Interface and Communication Techniques to Control the World
by Fred Eady
Are you in control? Or, do you just think you are? There are so many
gadgets for us to control out there these days. Do you find yourself
writing massive or complex applications for every little thing you want
to rule? Many times, we overlook the easy way to get at those remote
devices. And, many times we fail to play the hand we're dealt when it
comes to interfacing with a particular device.
Knowing the fundamentals of what we are remotely
targeting is a must. Unless you’re monitoring the pitch and
yaw of a supersonic fighter jet in parts unknown,
communicating with and interfacing to most everyday
gadgets with today’s commercial microcontrollers is a walk
in the park.
This month, we’re going to examine some basic
interface and communications techniques. If we can, we’ll
build on them to make them more powerful without
adding exponential complexity.
What Do You Really Need?
That depends. Will your target be physically accessible
to your control or monitoring device? Is a data radio
involved with your project? Do you have the firmware tools
to support your application? Will you need a particular
piece of test equipment? One thing is for sure. You will
need to bring enough microcontroller to the fray.
PHOTO 1. This simple little board is actually a
universal soldier in disguise. With some tricky coding
and hardware peripheral manipulation, it can be
adapted to most any application.
50 SERVO 06.2013