PC as assay timer / counter...

Robert Horton fzhorton at bullwinkle.ucdavis.edu
Tue Feb 11 14:33:31 EST 1997

Richard T. Timmer (timmer at physio.emory.edu) wrote:
: Hello,
: Before reinventing the wheel, let me pose this scenario to the avid
: readers of this newsgroup...
: We do many assays for various kinetic studies that require sampling at
: known times very exactly (i.e. a sample is removed at some time "t")
: with many samples done in parrallel.  Currently we have a mechanical
: counter/timer connected to a foot pedal.  We remove a sample to the
: stop solution, hit the foot pedal, and the time is recorded (on a
: hardcopy printout) at which the foot pedal was hit.  This mechanical
: system is beginning to show its age, and is frankly, a one of a kind
: device (custom made - many, many moons ago...).  
: As a replacement for this system we thought that some type of foot
: pedal could be connected to the serial port of standard XT PC.  A push
: of foot pedal would cause the elapsed time to be recorded, without
: stopping the timer/counter...at each time point, for each sample, the
: foot pedal would be hit and the elapsed time at that moment recorded
: to disk in some type of ASCII file.
: Is this possible?
: Anyone know of a source of foot pedals that can interface to a serial
: port?
: Has anyone written serial interface software to do this?  Where?

How about using a game port? They can directly monitor up to four
"buttons", and commands to read them are bult into many PC languages,
including BASIC. See my page on home-made rodent activity monitors:

Robert M. Horton, Ph.D.                   *** New e-mail address: ***
UC Davis Department of Dermatology        *  rmhorton at ucdavis.edu   *
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