Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 27, 2008

USB Interface

at 5:11 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Electronic Hacks



The Doktor has hacked together a cool way of controlling something on your computer via USB. Looks to be a USB joystick that has been re-purposed to interface with new buttons. This looks to be the ‘new parallel port’. In the days when computers had parallel ports interfacing with the real world usually meant connecting inputs and outputs directly to the IO lines of the port. They were often buffered to prevent an accident from taking out your motherboard. Using an inexpensive USB joystick sounds like a great way to allow for contacts to be monitored in software. I can think of connecting them to door contacts, motion sensors, rain sensors…



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7 Responses to “USB Interface”

  1. Almost_There Says:

    Cool idea, but wouldn’t a Joystick be input only?

    I suppose you could also use a USB Keyboard for LOTS of inputs.

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    You may be able to get a few outputs from things such as vibration feedback circuits and lights.

  3. Almost_There Says:

    It is still hard to beat the simplicity of RS-232 I/O to/from a microcontroller.

  4. Heliosphan Says:

    No big deal,
    I did this years ago for my MAME arcade cabinet by wiring up two cheapo USB joypads to some real arcade joysticks and buttons.
    I did it in the same way – cracking open the joypads and soldering on the arcade joystick+button contacts via wires.
    Its not exactly a huge mental leap forward to rejig it for any input work on the computer – in fact my joystick controls the MAME game selection screen too.
    If anybody would like to see pics of the joypad solderings and the cabinet, I’ll be happy to post them for you, Mr Parekh would you be interested?

  5. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Heliosphan,

    I would love to see some pictures!

  6. ut666 Says:

    check these out http://www.phidgets.com/ even more usb fun.. 🙂

  7. Almost_There Says:

    >http://www.phidgets.com/ even more usb fun..

    It says “low cost” on the first page, but did you look up the price? (It’s all relative I guess.)

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