Joined: 30 Dec 2010
|Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:51 am Post subject: Newbie: CdS photoresistor and USB
I'm a programmer by day. For some reason, I've got an itch to follow in my dad's footsteps all of a sudden and tinker with electronics all night. I took a basic electronics class my freshman year in college, so I'm somewhat familiar with soldering and various components. It's been a long time, but I think I'm picking things up again pretty quickly. The first project that I want to do *seems* rather simple to me.
I want to somehow use a CdS photoresistor (or something similar?) that sends data directly to a computer using a USB cable. Based on what I have researched thus far, it seems like I essentially need the photoresistor, a female USB port of some sort, some magical arrangement of resistors, probably some sort of voltage regulator.... Seems like I might need something along these lines + the resistor + ???: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8376
The biggest wrench in the gears, it seems, is that I don't want to use an arduino or something like that. I've got an Arduino UNO on its way, but it seems rather big, expensive, and complex to use one of those just to send photoresistor values to the computer.
What kind of options do I have to send resistor values straight from the resistor to a computer via USB? What should I be planning for on the PC side to be able to interpret the values it receives from the resistor? I presume I'll need to write a driver of some sort... My current plans involve only Linux having to interpret the values. Eventually I want to be able to just trigger arbitrary programs based on the reported value.
I also want to make something that is relatively compact (yet another reason I'm hesitant to use an arduino). I plan to make an enclosure for the whole thing that I could eventually use all over.
Please excuse me if this is not the appropriate forum to discuss this sort of thing, and thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to offer!