Activewire is a USB I/O board with 16 programmable I/O pins that can interface to almost anything. The board is sold by Activewire Inc
. The board is fairly small and can be powered from the USB cable of from an external 5VCC.
Since the drivers do not work on MacOS X you need the drivers available at
[http://www.docdave.com/aw.html http://www.docdave.com/aw.html] or at [http://sourceforge.net/projects/activewire-osx/ http://sourceforge.net/projects/activewire-osx/].
Manipulating the I/O pins using the driver is quite easy. Yet the actual layout of those pins on the hardware is different. I put together this PDF
to help myself and avoid messing-up the board.
Most of the time you would need to provide your own power, since the power provided by the USB is limited. To do so you need to first remove the PWR.J1 jumper from the board. Then build a regulated source of power. The Activewire board needs 5 volts to operate. Here is a simple diagram of voltage regulator using a 7805. This diagram if for a negative input that is not ground. If you have a ground input then remove the .33uF capacitor from the input and place a 1uF capacitor from ground to pin number 3 which is the output. Now you can just connect your regulated +5V to any VCC pin in the board and your ground to any GRND pin in the board.