Posts Tagged ‘UsbThumb’

Play PC games the iPad style – Using a PIC with USB, accelerometer and optional Gyroscope

The iPad is finally out – one feature that might caught your attention is the built-in accelerometer and the ability to control a game by tilting the device. For more than a year I was working on a similar idea for the PC Notebook market based on my original  motion gamepad project that would  allow playing a game by tilting the laptop/netbook. Now that iPad is out I hope that the notebook/netbook manufactures will catch up by incorporating MEMS sensor into their devices. Here is the result of my prototype , it is a USB attached device, but ideally I think this should be embedded into the laptop.

Demo:

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Trickster Mouse Emulator – April Fools Day Practical Joke

Trickster is a simple application built on UsbThumb platform. It tricks your victim into thinking they have a virus on their computer, by hardware emulating and moving their mouse in circles on intermittent intervals.

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Updating Firmware on USBThumb

USBThumb can be programmed with different firmware, including all Microchip samples from USB Framwework (use the ones for low pin count USB demo board).

In order to upload a new firmware to USBThumb you need to enter the bootloader mode. This is done by connecting the  VPP pin to ground during the time when device is plugged into the USB port.

This can achieved by placing a jumper wire or a 1K resistor (recommended) between GND and VPP pin.

GND pin is number 1, and VPP is number 5. Make sure you do not confuse VPP with the nearby VDD(pin number 4) or you will get a short !!! To be safe use a 1K or 10K resistor instead of the wire. Wire/resistor can be held by the spring action, it only needs to make contact during a split second while the device is plugged. If you plan on making frequent firmware updates , soldering a header is recommended.

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Using USBThumb as a Propeller Programmer and as a USB to Serial Converter

The Parallax's classic propeller programmer PropPlug  is simply a USB to Serial converter, the DTR/RTS signals are used to reset the Propeller chip before starting the programming sequence.

A custom PIC firmware  comes preloaded on the
"USBThumb Propeller Programmer" available on GadgetGangster.com, it allows you to use USBThumb as a Propeller Programmer but also as USB to Serial converter.

USBThumb (loaded with USBThumbSerial firmware)  is detected on your computer as a standard  CDC Modem device and works on all modern operating systems (Windows, Mac os , Linux).

On Windows you might be asked for driver path once you attach the device, simply use the driver part of the Microchip's USB Framework (it can be found in C:\Microchip Solutions\USB Device – CDC – Serial Emulator\inf\win2k_winxp ) , and I am including a copy for direct download here:

microchip_cdc_win2k_winxp.zip

On Windows you can identify USBThumb's COM port number from Device Manager:

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