factory shop buzzer controlled via pc

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by shreko, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. shreko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    6
    0
    I have been given assignment of implementing a PC controlled buzzer system for a shop floor. For example: buzz at 5 minutes before start of the shift then start of the shift, start/end of breaks, lunch time and end of the shift etc. Right now we have it tied to a shop time clock appliance which is not used for anything else, so every time we wanna make a change we have to call a appliance rep to set it up. I have not looked closely at the interface but it seems to be electric wires.
    I'm wondering if its possible to control this via pc and program interface for config.
    My biggest confusion here is how to interface electric buzzer with a pc.

    Thanks
     
  2. leftyretro

    Active Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    394
    2
    The electrical Interfacing to your buzzer system is the easy part. it could as simple as a relay. The PC activates the relay coil, the relay contacts are wired in place of the time clock's output contacts. The more difficult part is software, are you to write your own or find a ready made one? Does it need to know about week-ends, other shifts, holidays, day light savings time, etc? What ports are free on the PC? comm, parallel printer port, USB only ? Will the PC have UPS power in case power is lost at night and doesn't reboot correctly?

    PS: Are there still places of work that require this kind of system? Sounds like either a strong union workplace or a place run by a dictator. :cool:
     
  3. IT_Guru

    Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    17
    0
    Buzzers are boring. Use a PCSpeaker or Audio program and play some MIDI or WAV files instead. Reville, Retreat, Diesel Horn, etc.

    If you must use the buzzer, you have 3 options. Joystick/Game port, Serial or Parallel (Printer) port. And with each you have 2 options, do it with a small reed relay, or use a transistor or Chip (TTL or CMOS)

    Of the 3, the Parallel port is easiest b/c it outputs +5v signals with respect to ground. The Serial and Game ports are diff. animals with one swinging between + and - 12v, and the other a solid + or - 12v.

    PARALLEL PORT:
    Plans for Reed Relay Interface: http://wiki.opendildonics.org/ParallelPortComputerInterface

    Just substiture 'Buzzer' for 'Vibrator' ;-)

    Plans for Solid State Interface:
    http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/parallel_output.html

    Links for the software (programs) for each type are on the respective pages.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  4. shreko

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    6
    0
    Ha ha. No, it's neither an union nor a dictator. It's a metal fabrication, heavy machinery equipment mfg. Typical processes such as machining (lathes, mills, saws etc), assembly (presses), welding etc. There is a lot of noise and everybody working on the shop floor is required to wear ear plugs at all time. So signal needs to be loud and clear.
    I'm wondering what else can I use to cover area of 50,000 sqft under above conditions? Is PC speaker gonna be loud enough for this? I can see how you can play some cool sound with MID and WAV files.

    If solution is more PCish which I'm more comfortable with, I would do the programming. Yes, taking care of daylight savings time would be nice.
    I'm fairly new to the electronics/uC world, so it would take me more time to implement and program parallel port interface.

    I'm leaning toward simplest solution that works. I don't have much time left, we are moving to this new factory in a week from now, so I have to work quickly or else I will have to bring the old buzzers and continue the old way.

    Thanks for your help
     
  5. IT_Guru

    Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    17
    0
    Use PPort and a (reed) relay and wire in a 12v piezo siren (Whoop-Whoop) from Harbor Freight to make the noise you need. 130-150 decibels is hard to miss ;-) A very simple batch or BASIC program could trigger the output(s) you need and the required intervals.
     
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