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Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Luke A. Guest, Feb 2, 2004.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm a programmer and would like to get into a bit of electronics with the
    intention of doing some sort or computer interfacing. I'm fine on the
    software side, I just need the hardware side.

    Could somebody point me in the right direction? Is there any online
    interactive tutorials to get me started?

    Thanks,
    Luke.
     
  2. The sort of hardware you might consider depends on the purpose of the
    computer interfacing.

    For a very prototyping and data aquisition a good bet is some sort of
    Data Aquisition card. This puts most of the problems in the software
    domain and allows simple monitoring of analgue and digital inputs.
    For science based projects DAQs are cheeper and less bother than
    building something yourself. Moreover, they let you do most of the
    work in software. A good site is
    http://www.geocities.com/data_acq/vitalink.htm

    If you want to do low speed interfacing to a microcontroller based
    circuit you should consider RS232. Many microcontrollers can be
    programmed easily down the RS232 with minimal external components.
    Moreover, using a microcontroller based circuit will let you do a lot
    of the work again in software. In addittion to programming most
    microcontrollers will have a UART wich can interface easily with the
    RS232. To get started I would recomend a commercial development kit
    such as the STK500. The STK500 is a ready built hardware that can be
    programmed down the RS232 and then easily interface with the PC. You
    can then learn about hardware from it. The STK500 is based uses the
    atmel AVR microcontroller which is perfect for basic interfacing
    projects. The web is also awash with easy to build AVR programmers.
    Once you have the programmer the microcontroller is easily programmed
    in asembly, basic or C.
    Check out http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=2735
    http://www.ingdm.se/avrdev/avrdev.htm
     
  3. Thanks for the info, I'll have a look. Although I think it'd probably be
    best to start with the basics and then move up to the computer
    interfacing, if at all possible.

    Luke.
     
  4. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

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