controlling through computers

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by raks_universe, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. raks_universe

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    hi guys,
    How to control the electrical and electronics devices(like fan,tubelights,heater etc)by the command from COMPUTER,instead of simply switching on with ordinary electrical switches.
  2. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    The simplest way to learn your way through this is with a simple Data Acquisition board. B&B Electronics makes some affordable USB port DAQ modules with multiple channels of control and measurement available.

    Industrial grade I/O cards can be quite expensive, such as National Instruments hardware, but you may be able to access them if you are in any university courses. Check with the robotics geeks you can usually find in any middle school, as well. :)

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  3. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
    Depending on how much you want to spend, local control (in-home) through X10 modules would be the simplest. They have the software, interfaces, and modules to control almost any light or appliance.

  4. raks_universe

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    I am very very new to this concept.......

    what are the steps involved in implementing this small project .......?
    And what are the requirements for this project....?
    please guide me..........

    (I am very attracted by this concept)
    (I am in holidays and so i wish to do this small project in this holidays)
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Google "x10" to see what's there.
  6. VoodooMojo

    Active Member

    Nov 28, 2009
  7. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    What is your computer, and what is the operating system? Does it have a parallel port (for a printer)?
  8. Harrington

    New Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    If you are going to control peripheral devices through a Pc My suggestion is read up on parallel ports and also RS232 communication
    Rs232 is always a good way to start this type of project but would strongly recommend that you use a peripheral interfacing devices device to start with

    C hard core programming required or Visual basic using MScomm control might be an easier approach to this
    If you intend to use the parallel port you need to install a inputout32.dll otherwise you wont be able to communicate with the parallel port on 32 bit XP or NT based machines
    I would also strongly recommend that you interface the port via 74LS273 data latch as this will prevent damage to the parallel port
    Pic based serial in routines would also be an advantage here as well as understanding concepts about baud rate ascii communication, bit banging Lots of articles about this on the web I recommend Mike Pedro's pic programming

    In fact I would start this way first before attempting to control via a Pc much safer
    If you damage anything it s only going to cost you £2.50 up to £8.00 If you use a PC and do something wrong here its going to cost you a motherboard and that’s not cheap
  9. Harrington

    New Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    As a further point of interest to you Recommendations are that when interfacing relays to any type of Microprocessor you use opto couplers to achieve this
    This avoids noise which upsets ports and can disrupt registers inside a cpu Just a small tip

    I found this problem out the hard way Don’t forget to use diodes across the relays to prevent back emf from damaging transistors