PC as assay timer / counter...

Richard T. Timmer timmer at physio.emory.edu
Mon Feb 10 22:45:31 EST 1997


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?

Thanks much in advance for your help.

Cheers,
Richard Timmer






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