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Computer Interaction!

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wolf_humor

New Member
I want to develope a light board using LEDs; but I want to be able to control those using a computer program or even a website programming language like PHP. In other words, I want to have a program on my computer that I can type in the letter 'A' and hit enter and the board will display the letter 'A' by lighting the corrasponding LEDs on the board. I know I have to write the code to do that, but I don't know how to interact with the board from the computer, or what I need to purchase to do that.

Please Help!
Thanks!
 

Skyknight

New Member
Do you want just one character each time? A mean, one character fits the whole screen-board?

I think I would use a PIC microcontroller. It'll probably need a MAX232 for conecting to the serial port of the computer. 50 LED for making a 5*10 array. I'm imaging it like this:

-ooo-
o---o
o---o
o---o
-ooo-
o---o
o---o
o---o
-ooo-

50 pins are too many pins to waste from a microcontroller so I would use some multiplexers. Sure there are libraries for controling the serial port for C or JAVA, for example. I think you could be able to send a code through the serial port to your microcontroller each time a key is pressed. Your microcontroller would receive it and, using tables, it would send a combination through its pins to those multiplexers and they would compose the signal for the LED array. :roll:

What do you think about this idea :?:
 

wolf_humor

New Member
Single digit is fine. Once I figure out how to do this, I can easily add more later. You have the my idea correct, and I have looked at the PIC microcontrollers and MAX 232, but still am not quite sure I know what to do about getting started.

I know I need to get a breadboard for testing, power supply (I can convert an old computers supply), jumpers, I looked at an APP-II kit. How do I combine the thing to the computer for instant control. I want to first get it to work just by downloading a program to the microcontroller and then I can work on making it web interactive.

By the way, I am very inexperienced at this stuff. I am a fairly good programmer, just never worked with electronics like this before.

Thanks for the help.
 
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