Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control - Palmtop

This is a discussion on Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control - Palmtop ; wrote in message news:e8to07$dhd$1@oravannahka.helsinki.fi... > In comp.sys.handhelds Al Dykes wrote: > > : Pick a device with a USB port and I bet you can find an > off-the-shelf > : device that does sensor inputs and contact closure outputs, ...

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Thread: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

  1. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    wrote in message
    news:e8to07$dhd$1@oravannahka.helsinki.fi...
    > In comp.sys.handhelds Al Dykes wrote:
    >
    > : Pick a device with a USB port and I bet you can find an
    > off-the-shelf
    > : device that does sensor inputs and contact closure outputs,
    > somewhere.
    >
    > The problem is that PDA:s are typically USB "clients" (to sync with
    > a "host"
    > PC), and while the USB gadgets to add sensor inputs are intended to
    > connect
    > to a PC, they are also "clients". Two clients cannot connect.
    >
    > How do I know? I use Palm PDA to read and plot data from a logger
    > (with my
    > own application). It works over RS-232 data connection. As serial
    > Palms are
    > getting rare, it would be cool to be able to switch over to USB,
    > but
    > unfortunately seems to be impossible...
    >
    >
    > -Tapio-


    This is at least partially incorrect. There are actually several
    PocketPCs that are USB host capable.
    For example: Toshiba E740 (which I own) and the Dell Axim series. I
    believe that several other Toshiba
    and Dell Series PPCs also have USB host, but I can only personally
    attest to these two. There are also
    several iPaqs that I see claim to have USB host. You will need to
    create a driver for your device though.
    I have only been able to get USB drives and mice to work so far with
    my E740.

    And even if your PocketPC does not have a USB host, you can buy
    compactflash adapters that
    provide that capability.

    Of course, if you have a SD or MMC port, you have SPI, and with
    compactflash, you actually have
    addressing and I/O. Obviously since these ports were mostly meant for
    storage, you will need to
    create drivers for them since the operating system (usually) only
    supports the storage classes.

    I would agree that finding a PDA with serial is a better choice
    though since it is easier to just send
    raw serial commands than creating a usb stack and driver.

    Another possibility is a palm pilot with the ethernet cradle.

    Scott McDonnell



  2. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    The Toshiba E800 and E830 have USB host capabilities but Dell? I have an old
    X5 and it doesn't. I don't believe any of them did.
    Terry

    "Scott McDonnell" wrote in message
    news:7J-dnVGzqobjzSfZnZ2dnUVZ_sydnZ2d@comcast.com...
    > wrote in message
    > news:e8to07$dhd$1@oravannahka.helsinki.fi...
    >> In comp.sys.handhelds Al Dykes wrote:
    >>
    >> : Pick a device with a USB port and I bet you can find an off-the-shelf
    >> : device that does sensor inputs and contact closure outputs, somewhere.
    >>
    >> The problem is that PDA:s are typically USB "clients" (to sync with a
    >> "host"
    >> PC), and while the USB gadgets to add sensor inputs are intended to
    >> connect
    >> to a PC, they are also "clients". Two clients cannot connect.
    >>
    >> How do I know? I use Palm PDA to read and plot data from a logger (with
    >> my
    >> own application). It works over RS-232 data connection. As serial Palms
    >> are
    >> getting rare, it would be cool to be able to switch over to USB, but
    >> unfortunately seems to be impossible...
    >>
    >>
    >> -Tapio-

    >
    > This is at least partially incorrect. There are actually several PocketPCs
    > that are USB host capable.
    > For example: Toshiba E740 (which I own) and the Dell Axim series. I
    > believe that several other Toshiba
    > and Dell Series PPCs also have USB host, but I can only personally attest
    > to these two. There are also
    > several iPaqs that I see claim to have USB host. You will need to create a
    > driver for your device though.
    > I have only been able to get USB drives and mice to work so far with my
    > E740.
    >
    > And even if your PocketPC does not have a USB host, you can buy
    > compactflash adapters that
    > provide that capability.
    >
    > Of course, if you have a SD or MMC port, you have SPI, and with
    > compactflash, you actually have
    > addressing and I/O. Obviously since these ports were mostly meant for
    > storage, you will need to
    > create drivers for them since the operating system (usually) only supports
    > the storage classes.
    >
    > I would agree that finding a PDA with serial is a better choice though
    > since it is easier to just send
    > raw serial commands than creating a usb stack and driver.
    >
    > Another possibility is a palm pilot with the ethernet cradle.
    >
    > Scott McDonnell
    >
    >





  3. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    Hmm...it appears you are right. I only had an Axim X5 for a few weeks
    before
    settling on the slimmer Toshiba, but I had thought at the time that
    both had USB
    Host. I have searched and I was wrong.

    The Toshiba E740 and E755 do have USB host capabilities for certain
    as I own
    the USB Host cable and have gotten mice and MSDs to work with it.

    A Search of PocketPCs with host capabilities turns up some references
    to iPaqs
    as well. Though, my point still stands that USB would be the more
    complicated
    of available options for what the op wants to do.

    Scott McDonnell

    "tc" wrote in message
    news:rBuug.109859$I61.33087@clgrps13...
    > The Toshiba E800 and E830 have USB host capabilities but Dell? I
    > have an old X5 and it doesn't. I don't believe any of them did.
    > Terry
    >
    > "Scott McDonnell" wrote in message
    > news:7J-dnVGzqobjzSfZnZ2dnUVZ_sydnZ2d@comcast.com...
    >> wrote in message
    >> news:e8to07$dhd$1@oravannahka.helsinki.fi...
    >>> In comp.sys.handhelds Al Dykes wrote:
    >>>
    >>> : Pick a device with a USB port and I bet you can find an
    >>> off-the-shelf
    >>> : device that does sensor inputs and contact closure outputs,
    >>> somewhere.
    >>>
    >>> The problem is that PDA:s are typically USB "clients" (to sync
    >>> with a "host"
    >>> PC), and while the USB gadgets to add sensor inputs are intended
    >>> to connect
    >>> to a PC, they are also "clients". Two clients cannot connect.
    >>>
    >>> How do I know? I use Palm PDA to read and plot data from a logger
    >>> (with my
    >>> own application). It works over RS-232 data connection. As serial
    >>> Palms are
    >>> getting rare, it would be cool to be able to switch over to USB,
    >>> but
    >>> unfortunately seems to be impossible...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> -Tapio-

    >>
    >> This is at least partially incorrect. There are actually several
    >> PocketPCs that are USB host capable.
    >> For example: Toshiba E740 (which I own) and the Dell Axim series.
    >> I believe that several other Toshiba
    >> and Dell Series PPCs also have USB host, but I can only personally
    >> attest to these two. There are also
    >> several iPaqs that I see claim to have USB host. You will need to
    >> create a driver for your device though.
    >> I have only been able to get USB drives and mice to work so far
    >> with my E740.
    >>
    >> And even if your PocketPC does not have a USB host, you can buy
    >> compactflash adapters that
    >> provide that capability.
    >>
    >> Of course, if you have a SD or MMC port, you have SPI, and with
    >> compactflash, you actually have
    >> addressing and I/O. Obviously since these ports were mostly meant
    >> for storage, you will need to
    >> create drivers for them since the operating system (usually) only
    >> supports the storage classes.
    >>
    >> I would agree that finding a PDA with serial is a better choice
    >> though since it is easier to just send
    >> raw serial commands than creating a usb stack and driver.
    >>
    >> Another possibility is a palm pilot with the ethernet cradle.
    >>
    >> Scott McDonnell
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    >




  4. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    Thanks for the responses so far....

    Which units have cheap and adequate software development?

    Which languages are supported?

    It would seem that a serial port or address/data lines are the best
    interface.

    I note that the old Radio Shack/Sharp pocket computers had address/data
    interface, a serial port addon, and an advanced BASIC interpreter
    internally. With a small LCD display and a full minature keyboard, it
    seems to cover many of the requirements.

    The closest replacements seem to be the Gameboy or a serial PDA.

    TMT
    Too_Many_Tools wrote:
    > I am looking for a candidate for a small pocket computer for use in
    > data logging and control purposes.
    >
    > This is where one would attach a custom built interface that could
    > sense and control the external world.
    >
    > I am contemplating using a small pocket sized computer or PDA that can
    > be easily found in the surplus market.
    >
    > Any suggestions?
    >
    > Some that come to mind are the older Sharp/Radio Shack pocket
    > computers.
    >
    > Any suggestions are welcome.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > TMT



  5. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control


    "Too_Many_Tools"
    > Thanks for the responses so far....
    >
    > Which units have cheap and adequate software development?


    Pocket PCs (min. WinPPC 2003) can run compact framework apps. You can use
    Visual Studio Express, which is free (I don't know if pocket pc development
    is included in the free version though). You can program in C#, VB.NET, C++
    or even J# (javalike).


    >
    > Which languages are supported?
    >


    See above

    > It would seem that a serial port or address/data lines are the best
    > interface.


    That's what I am doing... using the pocket pc port interfacing with a PIC
    device via serial. Works as a charm. My pocket PC has bluetooth, wifi, SD
    card and CF card. I use a 256MB CF card to store my log files, then I don't
    even need to connect the pocket PC to my computer to analyze the data, just
    get the CF card from the pocket pc to the PC and it's done.

    Because it has wi-fi, it has the potential to make the data available
    quasi-real time via internet or lan.

    But I consider the main advantage of this platform the fact that development
    is very easy. The same code (not binary though) I have for the PC runs on
    the Pocket PC with very few exceptions.

    Cheers

    Padu



  6. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    On 18 Jul 2006 07:11:20 -0700, "Too_Many_Tools"
    wrote:

    >Thanks for the responses so far....
    >
    >Which units have cheap and adequate software development?
    >
    >Which languages are supported?


    http://www.pocketpcfaq.com/developer/dev.htm


    >
    >It would seem that a serial port or address/data lines are the best
    >interface.
    >
    >I note that the old Radio Shack/Sharp pocket computers had address/data
    >interface, a serial port addon, and an advanced BASIC interpreter
    >internally. With a small LCD display and a full minature keyboard, it
    >seems to cover many of the requirements.
    >
    >The closest replacements seem to be the Gameboy or a serial PDA.
    >
    >TMT
    >Too_Many_Tools wrote:
    >> I am looking for a candidate for a small pocket computer for use in
    >> data logging and control purposes.
    >>
    >> This is where one would attach a custom built interface that could
    >> sense and control the external world.
    >>
    >> I am contemplating using a small pocket sized computer or PDA that can
    >> be easily found in the surplus market.
    >>
    >> Any suggestions?
    >>
    >> Some that come to mind are the older Sharp/Radio Shack pocket
    >> computers.
    >>
    >> Any suggestions are welcome.
    >>
    >> Thanks
    >>
    >> TMT


    -----------------------------------------
    To reply to me, remove the underscores (_) from my email address (and please indicate which newsgroup and message).

    Robert E. Zaret, eMVP
    PenFact, Inc.
    20 Park Plaza, Suite 478
    Boston, MA 02116
    www.penfact.com

  7. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    On 18 Jul 2006 07:11:20 -0700, "Too_Many_Tools"
    wrote:

    >Thanks for the responses so far....
    >
    >Which units have cheap and adequate software development?
    >
    >Which languages are supported?
    >
    >It would seem that a serial port or address/data lines are the best
    >interface.
    >

    [snip]

    What's your projected battery life (or time between charges) for the
    pocket device?

    A Palm IIIxe (under $40 on eBay) gets some 10-12 hours continuous run
    time from a set of AA alkaline cells. It supports serial and InfraRed
    (IR) communications. NSBasic/Palm is $150 ( www.nsbasic.com/palm ) is
    $150 with occasional sales at $99.

    If you need serial communication faster than maybe 9600 baud, you may
    need to program closer to the metal with C or assembly. The version
    of gcc for the Palm is free, as is Palm's PODS development software.

    My iPAQ 3635 PocketPC ($50-$100 on eBay) runs about 5 hours with a GPS
    card in the compactflash (CF) slot. It supports serial and IR
    connections.

    CF slots bring out some number of data & address lines and development
    boards are available for building your own CF interface.

    Depending on the communications needed, NSBasic/CE (
    www.nsbasic.com/ce ) is $150, with occasional sales at $99.

    For either version of NSBasic, if you know Visual Basic or some other
    version of BASIC and understand event-driven programming, you should
    be able to create software that does serial or IR communication with
    the logger. (You can always hire someone to create it).

    If you need the direct I/O of the CF slot on the PocketPC, you may
    need to program closer to the metal with C, C++, or assembly. Since
    this is Windows, that usually means buying development software from
    Microsoft. The current version of NSBasic/CE might be adequate as it
    supports most of the API functions available in Windows CE - I just
    haven't explored hardware access enough to give a good answer here..

    John




  8. Re: Small Pocket Computer For Data Logging And Control

    In comp.sys.handhelds Scott McDonnell wrote:

    : This is at least partially incorrect. There are actually several
    : PocketPCs that are USB host capable.
    : For example: Toshiba E740 (which I own) and the Dell Axim series. I
    : believe that several other Toshiba
    : and Dell Series PPCs also have USB host, but I can only personally

    Thanks for the info. Is there hardware difference in USB host/client, or is
    it all in the software? Also, are there any Palms that could act as USB
    hosts?



    -Tapio-

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