Vex Sensors to a loptop

I’m working on a project where we have a robot who’s main processor is a laptop. We already have a motor controller and drive base but we want to hook up the vex sensors to the laptop because the system we are using is limited in its set of sensors.

Vex on the other hand is not. Basically we want to hook up a largish number of vex sensors to either the USB or serial inputs on the laptop. I was wondering if there is an adapter that is already made that would allow us to do this. We can design and build our own but we would rather not need to make the adapter itself. Writing a driver for an adapter isn’t a problem, it is the adapter itself that we need.

Any help would be appreciated.
Alex Norton

You can write code on the Vex that sends sensor status down the primary serial port, use the orange cable to connect it to the laptop.

The serial link runs at 115K baud, so you should get a pretty good data stream down from the Vex sensor array. Two ways would be a continuous stream of all the values from all the sensors. With 8 digital inputs and 4 analog ports its a 20 character message.

Or you could just send the sensors that change value, so it would be less data transfer.

I’ve heard good things about the Phidgets I/O boards. They use a USB port, and they include APIs for C/C++, COM, Java, .NET, and Flash/Flex.

I don’t think there is much difference between a dedicated IO board and a vex controller with code on it that does the same. If you already have a vex controller, do try using it.

New Laptop? Old one?

In the past, I’ve used LPT (parallel printer port) for a good, convenient, general purpose input/output ports.

Problem is, nowadays, it’s hard to find a PC with an LPT port on it anymore.