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PC-Laptop robot?

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found this serial PIC development board with relays thing today by accident:


--- Quote from: Admin on July 27, 2006, 07:33:54 AM ---found this serial PIC development board with relays thing today by accident:

--- End quote ---

That's relatively cool, but it only has 4 relays on the board.

By the way, is $2.6 US a good price for a 24VDC solenoid?

Granted, they're not very precise on the specs... But perhaps this would be cool to make a small robotic arm with... They also have those small electromagnets at $5 US for 10:

They also have these which they classify as "shock absorbers", for $4 US, which look alot like pneumatic actuators to me:

None of the links work, requires logging in . . .

You dont want a 24V solenoid, its hard to make/buy control electronics for that voltage.

Check the lifting force of the electromagnets before buying. Usually its never enough.

just going back to Nyx's query on parallel ports,
this link here demonstrates exactly what you are talking about:

it is exactly this link that got me started on my first robot.

you can get 12 output pins from a parallel port.
each pin is controlable individually from Linux but i think things get complicated if you try and do the same from windows. (something about windows drivers not letting you access the hardware directly. i can't remember all the details.)
i had this working on an old version of DOS before i got into Linux but i don't think anyone runs DOS any more....

as for controlling things from a serial port, this is a much more robust option if you are using a windows PC but you need to use a microcontroller with a built in serial port (called a UART).
the PC's serial port can communicate with your microcontrollers UART with very little extra circuitry. attach some relays to your microcontrollers output pins and your all set.
here's an example of connecting a PIC microcontroller to a PC serial port:

i have seen commercially available boards advertised doing the same thing if you are looking for a solution that avoids too much soldering and messing around with microcontrollers but it's going to be more expensive.

happy building!



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