# Newbie: A/D -> RS-232 -> Computer -> RS-232 -> D/A

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#### Ralph Seguin

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'm interested in learning electronics (have picked up a basic book,
but open to recommendations).

Anyhow, I'm basically looking for some help on the
best/easiest/cheapest/fastest way of reading some analog values into
the computer (via USB or RS-232 port), processing these values and
then outputting a value via USB or RS-232 port to be output in analog.
I'm also interested in outputting a value that represents a frequency
to be generated by a timer chip.

Help!?

I've done some looking on Digikey and there are piles of A/D and D/A
chips with serial interfaces on them. These are clearly not meant for
RS-232 direct interfacing and I'm sure are meant for high speed serial
input.

I'm open to using PIC chips if necessary. If that is the route, then
I need to find an inexpensive source for them.

So, I guess I'm asking somebody/everybody to give me free
ideas/designs that would normally cost mucho $$Thanks. -Ralph C #### Costas Vlachos Jan 1, 1970 0 Ralph Seguin said: I'm interested in learning electronics (have picked up a basic book, but open to recommendations). Anyhow, I'm basically looking for some help on the best/easiest/cheapest/fastest way of reading some analog values into the computer (via USB or RS-232 port), processing these values and then outputting a value via USB or RS-232 port to be output in analog. I'm also interested in outputting a value that represents a frequency to be generated by a timer chip. Help!? I've done some looking on Digikey and there are piles of A/D and D/A chips with serial interfaces on them. These are clearly not meant for RS-232 direct interfacing and I'm sure are meant for high speed serial input. I'm open to using PIC chips if necessary. If that is the route, then I need to find an inexpensive source for them. So, I guess I'm asking somebody/everybody to give me free ideas/designs that would normally cost mucho$$$Thanks. -Ralph What I started reading your post I was hoping to see you mention the PIC (or any other MCU), which you did! That's because the MCU approach is one of the easiest and most flexible. You can get PICs with built-in A/D converters of up to 10 bits or resolution. As for D/A, if you're not too bothered with issues like precision, speed and ripple, you can use one of the built-in PWM outputs to generate an analogue voltage using a simple RC filter. The resolution of the h/w PWM modules on standard PICs goes up to 10 bits too, which matches the A/D nicely. If you want to go for a true D/A chip, there are plenty available. Choose a serial one (to save pins) and drive it from the PIC's pins directly. For the serial (RS-232) communication there are PICs with built-in USART modules that do it in hardware. I'd suggest the 16F877A as a general purpose PIC with all of the above. If it's too big for you (40 pins) you can get the 28-pin version (16F876A). If you finally decide to go the PIC way, do a Google search for programmers, resources, etc. The available information is overwhelming. I personally use the ePIC programmer from http://www.melabs.com/. As for source code, check out http://www.piclist.com. Once you build the data acquisition circuit and you can send/receive analogue signals, you can use the remaining PIC pins and code memory to do all sorts of fancy stuff like driving LCDs, controlling motors, etc. A nice beginner/intermediate project is to build a servo position control system with a motor coupled with a pot to provide the feedback signal. Good luck. Costas _________________________________________________ Costas Vlachos Email: [email protected] SPAM-TRAPPED: Please remove "-X-" before replying J #### Jan Panteltje Jan 1, 1970 0 I'm interested in learning electronics (have picked up a basic book, but open to recommendations). Anyhow, I'm basically looking for some help on the best/easiest/cheapest/fastest way of reading some analog values into the computer (via USB or RS-232 port), processing these values and then outputting a value via USB or RS-232 port to be output in analog. I'm also interested in outputting a value that represents a frequency to be generated by a timer chip. Help!? I've done some looking on Digikey and there are piles of A/D and D/A chips with serial interfaces on them. These are clearly not meant for RS-232 direct interfacing and I'm sure are meant for high speed serial input. I'm open to using PIC chips if necessary. If that is the route, then I need to find an inexpensive source for them. So, I guess I'm asking somebody/everybody to give me free ideas/designs that would normally cost mucho $$Thanks. -Ralph The PIC 12F675 has a 4 channel AD, 8 pins, you can use a pin for serial out, internal flash memory, internal oscillator and cost about 2 in single quantities. So: 2 power pins (+ and GND) 4 input pins 1 reset pin 1 serial out To do the D/A spend an other 2 dollars and use the timer in that chip to generate a PWM signal, that you then lowpass with a simple RC. Rest as above. For that money buy 10 and start experimenting. Some (much) more expensive pics have rs232 port, some are 'self programable' via the rs232. You can also use a Philips PCF8591 on 3 pins (2 for sda, 1 for scl), it has 4 channel A/D and 1 channel DA 8 bits, but not true rs232, but i2c. R #### Roger Gt Jan 1, 1970 0 Ralph Seguin said: I'm interested in learning electronics (have picked up a basic book, but open to recommendations). Anyhow, I'm basically looking for some help on the best/easiest/cheapest/fastest way of reading some analog values into the computer (via USB or RS-232 port), processing these values and then outputting a value via USB or RS-232 port to be output in analog. I'm also interested in outputting a value that represents a frequency to be generated by a timer chip. Help!? I've done some looking on Digikey and there are piles of A/D and D/A chips with serial interfaces on them. These are clearly not meant for RS-232 direct interfacing and I'm sure are meant for high speed serial input. I'm open to using PIC chips if necessary. If that is the route, then I need to find an inexpensive source for them. So, I guess I'm asking somebody/everybody to give me free ideas/designs that would normally cost mucho$$$

Thanks.
-Ralph

Go to http://www.dataq.com/194.htm

It's $24.95 with all the software you need, and there are 4 10Bit channels. Least expensive I've found! I have three I use for DC power supply monitoring. T #### the Wiz Jan 1, 1970 0 I'm interested in learning electronics (have picked up a basic book, but open to recommendations). Anyhow, I'm basically looking for some help on the best/easiest/cheapest/fastest way of reading some analog values into the computer (via USB or RS-232 port), processing these values and then outputting a value via USB or RS-232 port to be output in analog. I'm also interested in outputting a value that represents a frequency to be generated by a timer chip. Help!? I've done some looking on Digikey and there are piles of A/D and D/A chips with serial interfaces on them. These are clearly not meant for RS-232 direct interfacing and I'm sure are meant for high speed serial input. I'm open to using PIC chips if necessary. If that is the route, then I need to find an inexpensive source for them. So, I guess I'm asking somebody/everybody to give me free ideas/designs that would normally cost mucho$

Thanks.
-Ralph

Monitoring analog data via an RS232 connection is the easy part. DATAQ has a 4
port, 10 bit, A/D device that gets its operating power from the serial
connection to the PC and includes some software. They even include some VB
source code. http://www.dataq.com/194.htm
\$24.95US

VB3/VB6/C/PowerBasic source code: http://www.jecarter.com/programs.html
Freeware for the Palm with NS Basic source code: http://nsb.jecarter.com
Drivers for Pablo graphics tablet and JamCam cameras: http://home.earthlink.net/~mwbt/
johnecarter [email protected] mindspring dot.dot com. Fix the obvious to reply by email.

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