Fischertechnik interface driver

would be nice to have a support for the fischertechnik interface. Can be used to contral lamps, motors and check switches, temperature or light messering devices.

It seems i can not use the rs232 driver, because the fischertechnik interface is connected to lpt1 printer port.

as there is a windows driver on the fischertechnik homepage it could be easy to implent it into vvvv:

Windows Interface Driver
For serial Intelligent Interface, Part No. 30402
from fischertechnik Date: 07/27/2000
The driver is in the form of a 32 bit DLL and can therefore be used with all programs and programming languages capable of including or loading DLLs…

other drivers for the interface:

however, i have no idea how to do this.

Beta8.1 comes with a new node Port (Devices)
see the Change log
this node should be capable to communicate with the parallelport.

but , ahem, HowTo ??
i don’t know…

kalle is right. Port(Devices) is the node to go for.
unfortunately there is no how to parallel port so far. but on the web you will find plenty of documentation about parallel port interfacing. a few links can be found in HowTo Devices. actually interfacing the parallel port is quite simple. the parallel port has 3 ports:

  • data
  • status
  • control
    each 8 Bit; you must read / write to them individually. Port( Devices ) must be given the adress of the port you want to write to. to get this Look up MyComputer -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> select the parallel port -> Properties -> Ressources. there you will find something like
  • 3BC or
  • 378 or
  • 278
    these are the common adresses used for parallel ports.

you have the feed the port-node with a decimal number, so have to translate it from hex.

the parallel port has a data-port, status-port and control-port. see the link below for details or follow the appropiate links here: Electronics Links. consider: some of the pins are for output / some are for input (write / read). carefully design your interface!

and: be sure about the adresses of the ports. writing to the “wrong” port may make your system crash.

for a detailed description of the parallel port see : Introduction To Paralel Ports on beyond logic. that should provide you with all the information you need.

now you justhave to find some documentation for the communication with the fischertechnik - thing, and it should be easy to patch the driver.

enjoy, michel.

Ulrich Müller seems to be a real fanatic on fischertechnik interfaces. Anyway there seem to be different variants made by fischertechnik:

  • fischertechnik Intelligent Interface Art.-Nr. 30402 is a serial version, documented here. with this pdf it should be very easy to control the interface with the RS232 node

  • fischertechnik Universal Interface Art.-Nr.30520 is a parallel version. which in principle can be controlled with the Port (Devices) node. I think this a very old interface. This page seems to describe the way to program it. Notice that you probably wont be happy to with the Port node, as you´ll need something like 20 consecutive frames in vvvv to write the necessary impulse sequence to the parallel port. this will obviously take some time.

from a functional standpoint i dont think there is a significant distinction between “universal” and “intelligent” here. if there is any option: choose the intelligent (serial) version.

The Multiface series (Letzte Änderung: 23. März 1998) of interfaces at look quite didactical , but i think they´d suffer from the same issues with the parallel port as the fischertechnik interfaces.

sometimes in the future someone might like to take the delphi headers on Ulrich Müllers page and write a native vvvv node (summer interns apply now) but i´d already promised to write a lego mindstorms node first.

For more options see this post.