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Sumanth sent us a link to a DIY USB Bit Whacker, which can be built in about 10 minutes. You can buy commercial version, but if you have a PIC18F2550 lying around you might as well make it.

Calling the USB Bit Whacker a virtual parallel port is doing it a disservice; it’s much, much more than that. It gives you complete control of a fairly powerful microcontroller, the PIC18F2550, through a serial, command-driven interface. The entire platform is powered from the USB bus, no wall-warts or additional wires! In addition, all communication occurs through a virtual serial (COM) port, using the USB CDC protocol.

Read more about making a USB Bit Whacker

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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