[futurebasic] Re: [FB] Re: Analog Thru the USB Port

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From: Robert Covington <artlythere@...>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 06:42:24 -0400
On Monday, May 3, 2004, at 05:46  PM, Walter Lenk wrote:

> Greetings -
> On April 30, 2004, Scott Spencer wrote:
>>  I for one would like to know more about what you're doing...
> On 30 Apr 2004 Robert Covington wrote:
>>  I am quite interested too, because I've tried to run some PIC
>>  Programming things via Virtual PC (2.0) on my Umax, and also Windows
>>  machine (cheapie P2 266), with various programmers. Not much luck 
>> yet,
>>  just getting the programming setups to work is very windows-ish and
>>  unreliable for me so far, and I can't get such to work in the Windows
>>  console when in Virtual PC. (Dos'y things)
> Sorry for the delay - I get the list in digest mode, and they come out 
> every several days now rather then daily. I sent the following to 
> Scott privately, but I'll post it for the group:

Walter, thank you much for your details. I'll be contacting you about 
some things I think. Your kinetic sculpture mention caught my eye, I've 
had a long term wish in that area.


> The short answer is that I am by vocation an electrical engineer - 
> self employed, and specializing mostly in audio, process control, and 
> data gathering.  Over the last 15 years or so, I have found that many 
> of my projects have migrated from pure hardware to a combination of 
> hardware and software - many of these projects use a PIC 
> microprocessor (with the firmware written in assembly) to control the 
> process or gather the data, which then often talks to a FB program 
> over the serial port for overall control and display. Some of these 
> projects are mundane, some of them are wild and whacky, and some of 
> them are a result of my personal whimsey. Here is a sample:
>   An medical ADHD evaluation test using an infrared motion sensing 
> camera
>   Data gathering devices for High School Science curriculum
>   Process and sequence control for several kinetic sculptures
>   Data gathering (including vital signs) for a drug evaluation study
>   A home temperature setback thermostat
>   A home X10 automation control timer
>   Audio test equipment - including a frequency response grapier.
>   A home heating system data logger (what's on, and for how long)
>   Several school playground devices; including a light Track, where a 
> sequence
>     of lights (30 or so that are a meter apart) pace runners.
> The longer answer depends on what part of all this you might be 
> interested in.
>>  Have you looked at Drek's USB stuff on the FB3 CD??
> Briefly, but I haven't found it all that useful so far. There are 
> several reasons for this:
> 1. The PICs that I use have a hardware USART in them that is 
> straightforward to use, and implementing a USB port would require 
> considerably more horsepower than the actual task itself currently 
> uses.
> 2. My data transmission requirements are usually far below the limit 
> of a 9600 baud serial port.
> 3. The remade external devices that I sometimes work with have always 
> been serial port rather than USB.
> 4. The Keyspan adapters and their drivers work well, and the FB OSX 
> serial port code also works well.
> 5. I can see serial port chatter with my scope and decipher it to some 
> degree.
> I realize that USB is the coming thing, but it is _WAY_ more complex 
> than the old legacy serial port. At some time however, I will probably 
> be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.
> As to Robert's question about PIC development on the MAC:
>  1. I write the source code in BBEdit under OSX.
>  2. I assemble the source code with the Tech-Tools 'CVASM16.EXE' 
> assembler, running in the DOS part of Windows 98 that runs under 
> Virtual PC 6.1 under OS 10.3 on my 800 MHz iMac. The source code is in 
> a folder that is recognized as a network disk by virtual PC. The 
> object code file is left in this same folder.
>  3. The object code is loaded into the target PIC thru a Tech tools 
> 'Picwriter' that is connected to the MAC via a Keyspan USA28X USB to 
> dual serial port adapter. The Tech tools 'Picwriter' software runs 
> under Windows 98 that runs under Virtual PC 6.1. About 19+ times out 
> of 20 this works well - once in a while I have to reset things.
> I used to do steps 2 & 3 with an old Wintel Laptop via the 'floppy 
> shuffle' (what a pain), but about a year ago I figured out how to do 
> it all on the MAC. I am certainly not a Microsoft fan, but I must say 
> that one of the neat things about Virtual PC (now owned by Microsoft!) 
> is the ability to save the state of the virtual machine. This takes 
> about 5 or 10 Seconds to do, and then when next you run Virtual PC 
> again (maybe days later), your whole Windows environment comes up in 
> about 5 or 10 Seconds just as you last left it - programs running, 
> files open, etc. I'm impressed.
> Robert, if you (or anyone else) want more PIC development details, I'd 
> be happy to oblige - in some ways talking on the phone may be an 
> easier back and forth, so don't hesitate to call.
> Cheers,
> Walter
> -- 
> ===========================================
> Walter Lenk    Cambridge Ma    617-547-7781
> ===========================================
> --