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Building a basic USB device?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    Greetings, all.

    I have a requirement for getting some external sensor-data (possibly
    analogue, possible digital, not sure yet) into a PC (Linux, not

    This will need to be a USB connection, as it needs to be easily
    assembled by an untrained user.

    Can anyone recommend a good place to look for initial information about
    creating a USB device, alternatives, etc?

    Basically, I'm not sure where to start. Is there such a thing as a
    generic USB controller that I can integrate into a circuit? Am I
    barking up the wrong tree completely?

  2. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    You can buy USB cards here:

    Bob Monsen

    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World
    War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
    Albert Einstein
  3. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Hi. To work on making a USB interface, get "USB Complete: Everything
    You Need to Develop Custom USB Peripherals", Third Edition by Jan
    Axelson. You could also look at the Jan Axelson/Lakeview Research USB
    homepage for supplemental information, as well as other weblinks.

    Good luck
  4. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    there are a heap of variants at:

    all the items based on the FTDI devices have Linux drivers.
    may give you some ideas.


    Don McKenzie
    E-Mail Contact Page:

    Micro,TTL,USB to 1.5" color LCD
    USB,RS232 or TTL to VGA Monitor
    World's smallest USB 2 TTL Conv
  5. Leo Meyer

    Leo Meyer Guest


    have a look at this one:$=main/howto/mind.htm

    This one is Human Interface Device driver compatible which is present on
    almost every OS. Gives you 6 analog and 28 digital inputs with a minimal
    effort. Should be enough for most applications. (Haven't tested it though.)

    Regards, Leo
  6. Guest

    Thanks guys, that's exactly the sort of info I need to get started.
    I'm completely out of my depth, so it will be an interesting learning
    experience :D

    Basically I need to get data from several environmental sensors to a
    black-box monitor PC (sbc/embedded/etc) for ultimate presentation via
    http. I think the sensor-data is probably going to be from analogue
    varying-resistance devices, so I may need to build a small component to
    enable multiple different types of sensors to interface with the
    monitor PC.

    I'm new to programming anything with "real" devices, rather than
    data-only services like websites etc, so this should be an interesting
  7. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Good. You may want to look at the Lab Jack, a USB-interface device
    with built-in 20 digital I/O, 8 ea. 12-bit analog inputs and two 10-bit
    analog outputs. It's got a lot of other features. They do have Linux
    drivers, but they primarily support the Windows environment. If the
    hardware is appropriate, for $119 in single quantities you can just
    wire up your terminal blocks, plug the LabJack into the PC USB, and
    move on to the programming issues. It's worth checking out:

    Good luck
  8. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    Those futurlec guys are also selling some kind of web based sensor thingy,
    which you might want to take a look at.

    Bob Monsen

    He who cherishes the values of culture cannot fail to be a pacifist.
    Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
  9. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Circuit Cellar magazine has had some hands-on articles
    in the last year or so, at least in the dead-tree version.
    You might check what they have on their Web site.

    Best regards,

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    Home of DaqGen, the FREEWARE signal generator
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