appliances management using interfacing of VB6.0, PIC16F877, and parallel port

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by marcus jamus, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. marcus jamus

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    I have an idea of doing interfacing, where a computer (with VB 6.0 program) and PIC16F877 microcontroller is involved in controlling the use of appliances at home. The user will indicate on the computer (and/or the microcontroller) the time limit of appliance usage, which interfaces through parallel port. If the user opts to turn off the computer, he may use the PIC16F877 microcontroller to indicate the time limit of appliance usage - thus allowing round-the-clock management of appliances.

    In order that the computer and microcontroller will not overlap in their task, we thought of adding a switch on our prototype. This switch will determine whether the user can use the computer or the microcontroller on a specific time.

    However, our friend suggested to make the computer the master controller, and the microcontroller as the slave controller. He explained that the user can only input time limit on the computer only, and while the computer executes the command, it also sends data to the microcontroller (as the computer's back-up). The idea is that the execution continues in the event that the computer got turned off. In addition to this, our friend introduced bit banging (so that a serial data can be transmitted to the parallel port).

    Now i am in the quandary, whether to proceed doing this according to my original plan, or follow my friend's idea of using bit banging. I have a few questions:

    1. Do you think these ideas will work?
    2. Which is the better idea mentioned above: my idea of the computer and microcontroller managing appliances on separate periods of time; or my friend's idea of making the master computer and slave microcontroller?
    3. What software program to use in bit banging?

    I appreciate so much for your ideas. Thank you so much.
  2. russ_hensel

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Master / Slave but always leave the micro in change, but it accepts command from the pc ( if any, if on ) Forget bit banging the 877 has a very nice rs232 hardware included.
    If you are a beginner use C not asm. If the pc only has usb get a cdonverter cable.