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Need Help: How do you build a piece of hardware and make the computer talk to it?

I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my own
device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer layer
in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
the user on screen or in other forms.  So there will have to be some
software layer that sits between the operator and machinery, somehow
talking to the two which are somehow connected to the computer.  So my
questions is..

How do you go about designing/connecting the two machines to the
computer, and then in software how do you go about doing the actual
communication.

I know how to program if that helps, in several languages, so feel free
to show me some code if you have it.

Thanks.

0
2/15/2005 6:59:23 AM
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"Jake" <jake.moffatt@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1108450763.457017.201420@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
> but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
> group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
> google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my own
> device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer layer
> in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
> input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
> the user on screen or in other forms.  So there will have to be some
> software layer that sits between the operator and machinery, somehow
> talking to the two which are somehow connected to the computer.  So my
> questions is..
>
> How do you go about designing/connecting the two machines to the
> computer, and then in software how do you go about doing the actual
> communication.
>
> I know how to program if that helps, in several languages, so feel free
> to show me some code if you have it.
>
> Thanks.
>

Alarm bells are ringing already - what does this hydraulic equipment do? Are
the 'safe inputs' you mention there to protect the machinery or the
operators?

The critical part of your design should be that it is fail-safe in every
conceivable scenario and if you haven't got the experience to ensure this,
don't even begin.

With regard to joining things together, first of all learn about the
interfaces that the machinery currently provides for controlling it, since
that's (presumably) something you can't change..

--
Roger


0
roger74 (154)
2/15/2005 11:23:48 AM
"Jake" writes:

>I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
> but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
> group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
> google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my own
> device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer layer
> in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
> input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
> the user on screen or in other forms.  So there will have to be some
> software layer that sits between the operator and machinery, somehow
> talking to the two which are somehow connected to the computer.  So my
> questions is..
>
> How do you go about designing/connecting the two machines to the
> computer, and then in software how do you go about doing the actual
> communication.

I would start by giving this target to Google groups: <"parallel port" 
hardware>
That should get you started and likely lead you to a more receptive group at 
least. 


0
r124c4u1022 (2303)
2/15/2005 1:20:51 PM
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 22:59:23 -0800, Jake wrote:

> I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
> but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
> group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
> google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my own
> device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer layer
> in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
> input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
> the user on screen or in other forms.  So there will have to be some
> software layer that sits between the operator and machinery, somehow
> talking to the two which are somehow connected to the computer.  So my
> questions is..
> 
> How do you go about designing/connecting the two machines to the
> computer, and then in software how do you go about doing the actual
> communication.
> 
> I know how to program if that helps, in several languages, so feel free
> to show me some code if you have it.

Depends on the OS. But the easiest way I've found is through the
printer parallel port.

http://www.beyondlogic.org/epp/epp.htm

Meh, I haven't done any hardware, so it is only "Easiest way I know" in
theory :)

Percival
0
2/16/2005 12:16:34 AM
On 14 Feb 2005 22:59:23 -0800, "Jake" <jake.moffatt@gmail.com> wrote
in comp.programming:

> I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
> but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
> group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
> google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my own
> device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer layer
> in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
> input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
> the user on screen or in other forms.  So there will have to be some
> software layer that sits between the operator and machinery, somehow
> talking to the two which are somehow connected to the computer.  So my
> questions is..
> 
> How do you go about designing/connecting the two machines to the
> computer, and then in software how do you go about doing the actual
> communication.
> 
> I know how to program if that helps, in several languages, so feel free
> to show me some code if you have it.
> 
> Thanks.

It sounds like you have a long way to go.

I would suggest you move over to news:comp.arch.embedded, because what
you are talking about is an embedded system, even if it uses an
off-the-shelf computer.

-- 
Jack Klein
Home: http://JK-Technology.Com
FAQs for
comp.lang.c http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
comp.lang.c++ http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/
alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++
http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ajo/docs/FAQ-acllc.html
0
jackklein (3930)
2/16/2005 2:54:47 AM
Jake wrote:

> I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
> but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
> group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
> google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my own
> device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer layer
> in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
> input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
> the user on screen or in other forms.  So there will have to be some
> software layer that sits between the operator and machinery, somehow
> talking to the two which are somehow connected to the computer.  So my
> questions is..
> 
> How do you go about designing/connecting the two machines to the
> computer, and then in software how do you go about doing the actual
> communication.
> 
> I know how to program if that helps, in several languages, so feel free
> to show me some code if you have it.
> 
> Thanks.
> 

How you do the software depends on the hardware, and how you do the 
hardware depends on the electrical interfaces that are available for the 
devices, and the timing requirements that the system must meet.  You 
probably need the advice of an electrical engineer who does 
computer-based systems.  If you intend to use a PC then the factory 
automation type folks do a lot of this.  If a more special purpose 
computer & screen is appropriate then you need an embedded system 
designer.  Either way, people make whole careers out of doing things 
like this.

-- 
Scott McPhillips [VC++ MVP]

0
Scott
2/16/2005 3:08:07 AM
Thank you all for the help so far, I'm definitely picking up on things
I need to do more research into, which is exactly what I wanted.

0
2/16/2005 6:34:26 PM
Jake wrote:
> I am starting on a project where I want to build my own input device
> but I dont' know where to begin.  Perhaps this isn't even really the
> group to post this in but I can't seem to navigate this layout within
> google groups to find something better.  Anyways I want to build my
own
> device to control some hydraulic machinery but I want a computer
layer
> in between the operator and the machinery, basically to filter the
> input (safe inputs only) and to return feedback from the machinery to
> the user on screen or in other forms.



google - "IEEE 4888"




cordially


Y.T.

--
Remove YourClothes before you email me.

0
ytyourclothes
2/18/2005 8:00:55 PM
Reply: