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How to communicate with a hardware? NOOB here.

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Hi guys! I want to make a device that will send 1 or 0 OR true or false to the computer. Here's the scenario. I want to make that device,then when 1 or true is sent to my program in the computer(windowsXP), a sound will be playing. so the questions are: (from a total noob) How will I make that device? How to connect it to the computer? (usb? or something else?) How will my program communicate with that device?(i think, my program will only be listening inputs from the device. The device must have 8 toggles(i mean, 8 peices of 1 or 0) Please help me with this, I badly need it. Thanks a lot. by the way, I know how to program in vb6,c++(im a game developer). I hope I can make this device. thanks a lot in advance.

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How will I make that device?

Circuit board, soldering gun, resisters, capacitors etc.

How to connect it to the computer? (usb? or something else?)

Depends on what you want and what you know how to do. USB, parallel port, serial port. There are options.

How will my program communicate with that device?

Assuming that you're running Windows, you'll need to write a device driver first so that the operating system can communicate with the device. Here's a link: Communication between GUI Application and Device Driver.

There's a learning curve to this, so don't expect to accomplish the task in one day (or maybe even one week).

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You will probably want to go with a serial port, USB is fairly complicated and wouldn't be worth implementing for such a simple task. Having that been said it still is not going to be easy to even implement a serial port.

Here is some information you might find helpful.

Information about how serial ports work

Using COMM ports in visual basic

Suggested hardware to communicate with computer

There are other options for creating the hardware to communicate with the computer but I have found basic stamp to be fairly easy. The downside is that it may be pricey for your budget and be an overkill when it comes to functionality it offers compared to the functionality you need. If you plan on making further projects with it then it shouldn't be a problem.

There is also going to be a small learning curve for using basic stamp, if you need some help with it send me a private message and maybe I could explain things for you.

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I really dont have ideas or knowledge how to start.
this is the problem.
I want to make a digital drumset.
so i only want if a button for the snare drum is pressed then the sound of snare will play in the pc.

I can do the program that plays the snare,bass,cymbals,etc.

BUT I dont know how to receive that information from my device. A device that is not yet made.how can I make a device like that?(simple buttons).
why do I need resistors,capacitors,etc. for what?
Im very sorry,your my only hope to make this posible to make. I have here a breadboard(white&small). so will i use this? whats the use of the green board?(i dont know if it is called "green board",I think know what am I referring to.)

Im very SORRY Sir.
thanks for any help.

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Rip apart a PC gamepad and re-use the controller board (should be very easy if you have any understanding of digital electronics). If you don't completely destroy it, it'll be accessible like a gamepad to the software, but on the physical side you can hook anything up to the button wires that closes their circuits.

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thanks for yout reply.
too bad i dont have any game pad.

and i really want to learn it from the bottom.

please, if anyone knows how to do basic stuffs like pushing a button and sending 1 / true to the computer.

please help me.

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You could use a printer port... if your computer has one. That's the only interface I know of where you can just connect wires directly to the PC (without any kind of integrated circuits) and actually have it work. I did this with a Nintendo Powerglove back in high school.

Sadly, I don't know how hard/easy it is to communicate with one of those in modern operating systems. Last time I messed with printer ports was with DOS.

It really would be easier to just buy a cheap PC gamepad and hack your drums to it. That's basically what the Rock Band controllers are (well, they are modified controllers for their respective consoles, anyway).

If you really want to try just hooking up raw wires to your PC, go ahead, but don't be surprised if you fry your computer.

(Edit) These also look like a good way to do USB hardware projects...

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thanks again for reply.
are you reffering to the serial port? the 25pins? or 9pins?
how can i receive data from it? and how will i make the device?
Im really confused. i dont know how to start..

:(

can anyone please tell me the stepbystep?

for example,you need this and that,insert this to that,etc.

please... thanks..

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Oh come on, show some effort of your own.

These forums are here to exchange helpful hints, tricks, and ideas to others who already have enough knowledge (or capability to do their own research) to put that information to use. We are not "Ask Jeeves" of computers... That's what automated search engines are for.

We've given you plenty of leads, however it's up to you to finish what you've started.

(Edit) since English might not be your primary language, you might not have any idea what search words to use. Here are some keywords that might help you:

pinout diagram
LPT port diagram
digital circuit
breadboard
printed cirtuit board
supply voltage
signal voltage
reference voltage
short circuit
circuit ground
rising edge
falling edge
baud rate

[Edited by - Nypyren on December 21, 2008 1:15:24 AM]

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