USB Data Acquisition Card Test Utility
USB Data Acquisition Card
Elektor published in November 2007 the USB Data Acquisition card. The card is build up around the PIC 18F4550. The card has 8 Input, 8 output, 8 ADC and 2 DAC ports. The card connects to the USB of the PC and gets also his power form the USB. It is very easy to communicate with the card and to write your own programs to control the USB Data Acquisition card. With this test utility and the corresponding hardware, you are able to test the proper working of the USB Data Acquisition Card. When you are interested to build the USB Data Acquisition Card, I refer to the Elektor NL or UK website to buy the article and to download for free the required firmware.
Installing the USB Data Acquisition card Driver
The USB Data Acquisition Card is build up around the PIC 18F4550. The 18F4550 has a USB interface. When you connect the card to the USB of you PC, it will try to install the driver. To be able to get the USB Data Acquisition card to be detected by Windows, you need to install the right Windows Driver. Download here the x86 and x64 Windows driver. Unzip the file's and connect than the USB Data Acquisition card to your PC. When Windows does not find the driver by himself, just install the driver manually via Windows Device Manager.
To program the USB Data Acquisition card ports from Visual Basic or C++/C# the mpusbapi.dll is required. Install the mpusbapi.dll in you application folder. You can download here the mpusapi.dll and the VBMPUSBAPI.bas module for Visual Basic here.
Microchip has a framework available which includes the required drivers for Windows as well as the mpusbapi.dll. The USB Data Acquisition card test utility has been developed with the MCHPFSUSB v1.3 framework. It has not been tested with newer versions of the framework. You can download the MCHPFSUSB v1.3 framework here.