I wanted to make a wireless 6 or more channel remote controller for PC. The receiver connected to PC through USB or any interface possible in a modern laptop. More specifically I want an idea to design a wireless or wired game show lockout buzzer which can connect to a modern PC (no parallel or serial ports except USB).

I explored the a circuit at : http://electrosofts.com/parallel/buzzer.html This connects to the parallel port. It would be great if we can interface it to USB.

I expect it to be possible by an RF receiver for PC and decoding the signal at PC.

If it is a wired solution, How can I interface it with PC through USB?

Thanks in advance !


2 Answers 2


These low-cost Nordic Semi nRF24L01+ transceiver modules interfaced to a suitable MCU (I'm using the PIC18F24J11) are ideal for the remote units. You can interface a push-button and piezo element to the MCU. You then need to interface one of the modules to a PC USB port using a suitable MCU, such as a PIC18F2455. Each unit can be built for about $10.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That seems to be a costly option for me ! I would look at a wired alternative too for this ! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 28, 2011 at 14:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If $10 is costly, your options are severely limited. $10 is low cost. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 28, 2011 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KevinVermeer lol! This was back in college here in India. Yep! thankful to a bit more prosperous now :) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2019 at 16:23

What country are you in?

Cheapest wired solution with a USB interface is probably a parallel port to USB converter. These are sold for as little as $US4 each (links at end).

For up to 8 channels (or even a few more with care) almost no other hardware is needed.

  • Depending on the hardware in the adapter that you use you may not need the resistors shown here.

  • Worst case you need one resistor per switch

  • Depending on the adapter, you may find that the inputs are pulled high or low by default.

  • If they are pulled low then you may be able to pull them high with a switch.

  • If they are pulled high then you may be able to pull them low with a switch.

  • If they are inconsistent (neither high or low reliably) then using resistors as shown will allow you to pull them to the other polarity with a switch.

  • Note that in the diagram the resistor is shown going to v+ and the switch to ground, but these may be swapped if desired.

enter image description here

This diagram comes from the excellent tutorial referred to below.

Here is a Parallel port switch input tutorial. This is for a traditional parallel port but much is applicable.

Another tutorial. Not so useful, but shows connections

Here are a few example images of the sort of device I mean using Yahoo search. Many more available.

Example only:

enter image description here

Here are some examples for sale These are from $7.99 each but you can probably find cheaper.

Here are some from $4!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm located in India.But for a number of places I have searched for this hardware, They advertised it as, It is for use with old printers, and unlike serial port to usb converters, This doesn't have a virtual parallel port driver. So will it be able to be programmed as a parallel port ? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30, 2011 at 4:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have another idea. To make each switch generate a DTMF tone and transmit it through FM. I will interface an FM receiver with laptop microphone input. What is to be concerned about the latency and similar issues ? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30, 2011 at 6:54

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