Cheap Comp-controlled relays for Mac
I confess, I'm not currently trying to put a computer in my car, and especially not one of my many dated yet still precious Macs.. I'm trying to build my own TiVO using an old mac and a digital cable box (which I'm not allowed to open up). Once set up, I want to be able to tune the box using a remote control through a web server.
[I eliminated the details on the PHP, AppleScript, and video capture stuff cuz this is a carputer forum.. but I'd be happy to talk about it if asked]
So I opened up a universal remote I'd tuned to the cable box, and attached wires to channel up and down to be in parallel with the buttons. Yes, they all work and whatnot, and now for the really icky part: interfacing the remote with my computer.
I've decided the best way to do this is with a relay circuit connected to the leads of the remote and to the USB port on the mac.. However, pre-fabricated USB relays are expensive as hell, and even more expensive when they include software for mac:
I could easily live with a serial (RS232) solution, if I could only obtain some sort of software solution to operate one through my keyspan USB --> serial adapter.
So any suggestions on which serial relay board to get (preferably the cheapest with at least 2 relays) would be greatly appreciated. Or if you know one that has some great Macintosh software (or at least a hint?), that would be even better.
I know PHP very well, a bit of C++, and a dash of applescript (which is far more than anyone should know IMO), so I'm not totally helpless
I figured it was ok to ask this here because I'm sure every mac-oriented carputer person would at least want to consider doing this kind of thing.