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Thread: Wireless/Wired Relay/Servo Controller

  1. #1
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    Wireless/Wired Relay/Servo Controller

    I've been looking over the relay and servo controllers on this board, and it seems most of them are Serial (limit on port size) or not completed, have no SDK.

    I am interesting in making a Relay/Serial controller, USB Controlled, to control X number of Relays (With a usefull power rating) & Servos (via addon cards).

    Also, making it Wired (USB) and Wireless (RF, Bluetooth).

    Most importantly: at a price hobbyests can afford, whilst being rugged enough to survive in a car.

    Who would be interested in this? Would you buy a wired or wireless one?

    It would be able to controlled via COM dll, so it can be accessable in C++, VB, .NET etc.

    Price would probably be about $20 for the wired one, and about $35-40 for the wireless (RF) and $40 - 50 for the Bluetooth version.

    Timescale (Approx. 1.5 Months to complete Wired version.)

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate kiltjim's Avatar
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    Both would be awesome. I was hoping to make a wireless one myself, as soon as I finish with the wired one. I was also thinking about making it standalone capable. Maybe a keypad at the controller, so if I didn't have the computer on, I could still control it. I was thinking RF, or IR for that too.

    Good luck and keep us posted. I know there are alot of guys on the board here waiting for something that is cheap, but is ready-made.
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  3. #3
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    Now, I know they cost a fair amount.. but phidgets makes a 4x servo controller for usb allready... you can get the whole kit of controller and servos for like 100.

    Just incase you didn't know

  4. #4
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    no i know, but thats expensive for a hobby. Would you pay like.. $20 for a Servo & Relay control board in a nice little box with some proper connectors etc. ?

  5. #5
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    if it was usb I would

  6. #6
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Microchip has PICs that do both USB and Bluetooth.

    I've been thinking along similar lines. The problem you'd have with making a USB device is that to actually get a USB device id or use the name "USB", you have to pay a lot of cash in fees.

    Though there is an app on microchip.com about making a PIC card reader (generic usb drive).

    One way to hack it would be to have the PIC use the "file system" to issue commands and return status. So as far as Windows/'nix knows, it's reading a regular CF card.

    So writing to CARD:\dev\serv0 would actually control servo 0.
    Reading from it could return the current pulse width.

    Something like that would probably work.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunefx
    Microchip has PICs that do both USB and Bluetooth.

    I've been thinking along similar lines. The problem you'd have with making a USB device is that to actually get a USB device id or use the name "USB", you have to pay a lot of cash in fees.

    Though there is an app on microchip.com about making a PIC card reader (generic usb drive).

    One way to hack it would be to have the PIC use the "file system" to issue commands and return status. So as far as Windows/'nix knows, it's reading a regular CF card.

    So writing to CARD:\dev\serv0 would actually control servo 0.
    Reading from it could return the current pulse width.

    Something like that would probably work.
    Using a RS232 to USB chip would get around that issue. Slightly ugly, but definatly usable (would appear as a COM port).

  8. #8
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by konnichiwa
    Using a RS232 to USB chip would get around that issue. Slightly ugly, but definatly usable (would appear as a COM port).
    Well if you go that route, might as well make it serial only. That way they can buy the serial to usb adapter if they need it and keep cost down if they don't.

  9. #9
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    There's some nice usb communication boards here

    http://www.hobbyengineering.com/H1516.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunefx
    There's some nice usb communication boards here

    http://www.hobbyengineering.com/H1516.html

    They are way too expensive.

    This chip is almost all thats needed for controlling the Relays and Servos etc.

    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...roducts_id=233

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