Control Stuff With Your Mac

Here’s a great little article on how to control devices using your Mac and a USB interface board. For similar projects, I may also reccommend Delcom Engineering USB I/O chips, which are dirt cheap and not too hard to communicate with using the included OS X drivers. Good for a Mac Mini robot project, perhaps?

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Control Stuff With Your Mac

4 thoughts on “Control Stuff With Your Mac

  1. matt cloke says:

    Did you ever finish with your LCD project? I’ve followed the blog but not seen any more details. I can reverse your circuit diagram from the pictures ;-) but am more interested in the software side of things. As far as I can work out, you are using the cypress chip to create a serial signal which is then passed to the next chip and then on to the display. Is this right?

    I have just bought a board on the back of Andy’s article but am interested in your LCD work as well

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  2. My LCD project works, but software support is still rather minimal, but at least functioning. Right now, I just have a command-line app that sends out strings of data to the LCD, but with a little more work, you can have complete control of the device, including backlight on/off toggling. I’ve stopped short of doing that while I decide what exactly it is that I want to do with the finished unit. :-) If I can find another dead-hard-drive 3G iPod, I may have an interesting project involving this LCD.

    You’re correct — the Cypress chip speaks USB to the computer and outputs serial data, and the MAX232 chip brings the levels up to those that the LCD expects. It would be even more complex if I didn’t have a serial to parallel adapter on the back of the display, which provides much of the functionality, as well as the byte shifting/latching.

    I’m curious what the difference is between a “stock” Cypress chip, and the ones I bought from Delcom Engineering…

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  3. matt cloke says:

    Thanks for the reply Colin. As far as I can work out the Delcom engineering chips contain the “stock” cypress chip, but can be set to be in different modes, therefore negating some of the work you need to do with the Cypress chip out of the box. But that could just be a guess.

    Ok, I guess its time for me to bite the bullet, buy the parts, build and debug. One last question, did you use the Delcom framework as the starting point in talking to USB I/O chip?

    Thanks

    M

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