Uniface: Universal Interface Version 2The second version of the Universal Interface (UniFace) was designed as a better version of the Uniface v1. It should offer analog inputs as well as digital inputs, programmable limit switches for each output, a serial interface, an option for optical isolation between interface and PC and an universal extension port. Since the interface incorprates a microcontroller, it should now be possible to use this interface under Windows and Linux, since the PWM signals are now generated by the interface and not anymore by the PC.
The extension port enables to extend the interface with even more inputs and outputs, such as shift registers (both input and output) or I2C devices (not both at the same time). Also an option for a USB interface is added, since the serial interface is not available on new PC's. A FTDI chip should do the translation bewteen the (serial) interface and the USB port.
Since a microcontroller is incorporated, some high level commands are handled by the interface itself, such as limit switch shutdown. This is a great improvement, since a programming fault in the host program will not result in mechanical damage anymore, since this is protected by the on board microcontroller.
Communication between the PC and the interface is done in human readable commands and responses. This enables the user to check the interface with a simple terminal.
Note that this project is not yet tested! Build this interface at your own risk!