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Step by step instructions on how to control electronics through the ports on my computer. Answered

I would like to learn how to control electronics (lights radio) through the ports (Serial or CAT5) in my computer. I need software and hardware help. I do not want to use the X10s I want to get into the nity gritty. THanks


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11 years ago

It used to be that to do this, you'd use the parallel port. Interfacing circuits with the parallel port was dead easy, as you had direct control over the timing and value of the pins. Though parallel port access is difficult on modern operating systems, if your computer has one at all. What's replaced the parallel port is the Arduino. It's relatively cheap, easy to program and gives you direct control over your circuits. You can communicate with it via USB as well. This is probably the easiest way to go about it. As for doing the actual communication, the Arduino emulates a serial port. So any API that gives you access to the serial port will let you talk to your Arduino.