View Full Version : PC controllable interactive case mods

11-11-2005, 10:25 PM
Crimson Sky suggested I mention this here. I've been developing a board to make it easy for my software (but not electronics) savvy friends to build electronic gadgets, like, say, case mods (or robotic fish, avionics systems for rockets, etc.)

The board comes programmed with a serial port command-line interface that lets you turn on all of the outputs (including the PWM channels for variable outputs like fan controllers) and read the inputs. So, it's easy to control by hand or from your own code (which can be written in anything that'll let you talk to a serial port). If you don't have a serial port, USB to serial converters are cheap and should work fine for the command-line stuff.

I'm putting up demo apps as I have time, but I have tons of ideas for case mods:

* RGB LEDs that show different colors and lighting patterns as instructed by the host PC. So, it could reflect CPU temperature, light up with the music you're listening to, do a "flames" effect when the weather forecast for your city (or some other city) calls for a hot day

* Analog meters could also be used similar to the RGB LEDs

* Fan speed control should be quite trivial

* With some glue code (say, using an open source flight sim), put those buttons on the F117 case mod to use. Analog meters and gauges are also easy to drive (so, they could show the sim's altitude, fuel, speed readings).

* Use an old Marantz stereo chassis to build a media PC and have all the buttons and knobs (and VU meter) actually work

Oh yeah, the whole project is Free; you can download all the schematics, layouts and code. Here's the project website:


02-10-2008, 08:14 AM
I'm presuming (by the file extensions) that this is Linux only?

If so, any chance of something that would work with XP?

And what sort of cost are we looking at for a built GadgetBox?

Might be ideal for a plan I've had in my head for years....

02-10-2008, 12:39 PM
I used something similar to this called a SSC-32 Servo Controller from Lynxmotion.com here is a link to the item. http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=395&CategoryID=52

it has 32 channels to control PWM servos. This might help you get started.

It also has analog and digital trigger inputs, and a bunch of other robotic stuff that I dont' understand. it runs on serial input, but I did purchase a usb to serial converter. But in the end, I decided to go straight serial to the motherboard connection.

It works great by the way! and programming was fairly straight forward.

02-10-2008, 01:08 PM

That'll do nicely.

Now to find a 1:6 or 1:5 scale lowrider model.....