Drive Stepper Motor Using USB

We all know how complicated it’s to run stepper motor using a microcontroller without any use of external libraries. This project allows you to control a stepper motor using a simple USB interface. They have use PIC18F4550 microcontroller which has an in built USB (USB 2.0) functionality which allows to connect with any computer with a USB port and Windows OS. The USB is made to run at full speed of 12Mbps, however it can also be run in low speed of just 1.2Mbps. The whole setup is very cheap to build. The only thing that would add cost is the stepper motor which itself will be very costly then the entire project setup.The stepper motor used here is a 5 wire Stepper motor (M35SP-8) which is going to be operated by an application written in C#, (visual studio) which will communicate with the microcontroller board via USB. Also, you can use any other stepper motor but some numeric value has to be changed in the code since different motor will have different step size. The entire code including the… Continue reading

A geeky way of keeping time using PIC18F2550

The build for a geeky clock is on!  AndyO fashioned a digitally programmable clock – not just any ordinary clock this one comes with loads of geeky functions, some of which are overly geeky they are not really necessary – but in a nice way! This clock has two arms, rotary dial? Nah! That’s not geeky enough. AndyO have dials similar to an analog meter one dial for the hours while the other for the minutes. It has LED indicators and front panel lighting, also has buttons and guess what – this clock has a USB port! Settings are loaded to the clock using USB interface. The clock’s dials are actuated using servo motors with a gearbox. The brain? A clock with a brain? Yeah this one has a PIC18F2550. AndyO used the PIC18F2550 since it has enough I/O ports and it has USB compatibility! Swordfish USBHID was used for the USB communications while digital signal pulses are used to control the servo motor actuator. Continue reading

Magnificent RGB LED VU meter controlled via USB interface

Do you like to mod computers? This project might be really great addition for you next cool case. It is a USB controlled RGB LED UV meter. USB information is processed by PIC18F2550 which then sends signals to TLC5940 – a 16 channel PWM LED drivers (3 units for each color). PIC microcontroller has a native USB interface you can run it easily by adding Open Source Framework for PIC18F USB. Probably most fun part is a host application that is written in Visual Studio C# 2010 and runs under Windows 7. To display UV information on LEDs you actually need to track music information. This is done by using another API that can do lots of thing with music information. Everything is wrapped in to nice GUI where you are able to select several parameters like damping speed, fade OFF speed and colors. Final effect looks really great – worth trying. Continue reading

Analogue meter PC performance monitor

Probably you remember we mentioned about Open Source PIC18F USB HID framework. So here it is – a project based on it. And it looks really cool and this is not about circuit and connectivity, but look and idea. Circuit is built around same PIC18F2550 microcontroller with minimal component count. Meter has one RGB LED and couple analogue Hi-Fi UV meters. The device speaks itself about what it does – microcontroller reads performance counter data from PC via USB, then sends PWM signals to UV meters according to CPU or Network load. RGB LED is used to indicate HDD events. It changes intensity on utilization level and color depending on reading, writing or even both. On PC side there is a Visual Studio 2008 C# host application working to ensure communication with target. Overall this is a fun device that can be built as standalone device or integrated as PC case mod. Continue reading

The PIC 16F877-based USB Interface

Guys, PIC USB Interface is not longer a fresh stuff, as many of you have been created this project before, maybe not once, but twice or more… However, each of the PIC USB Interface is having its own specialty, like this PIC 16F877 microcontroller. Well, it’s a simple design, which is using the PIC16F877 microcontroller and the FTDI FT245 USB FIFO device as the main parts. Basically, it has been designed using a single-sided PCB with only one surface mount device. Since it used the FTDI FT245BM FIFO device in the project, the part is able to handle all the details of communicating via the USB bus. By only a simple 1Kbit serial EEPROM, it holds most of the USB configuration information. After you’ve assembling the PCB, you must doing the inspection for solder shorts. You can remove the PIC microcontroller and plug in the PCB + USB device + EEPROM into a USB hub on your PC! Keep in mind that the release of the FTDI Common Driver Model (CDM) driver setup is very easy. Well, you just had… Continue reading