I have almost no experience with electronics so this might be a stupid question.

I have a "switch" that I want to operate from a computer running Linux, it's actually two cables that I need to connect to each other closing the circuit for about 1 second. They operate at 5V.

I did some research and apparently I can do this with an Arduino, but since it seems like a very simple circuit I was wondering if I can build something with only a few components. I also found the Teensy board but it still seems overkill.

Any advice?

  • 1
    What about an USB-GPIO module ? – Long Pham Aug 13 at 8:57
  • 1
    You can buy off-the-shelf USB relay modules. – Simon B Aug 13 at 9:00
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You could do this with a microcontroller, and the hardware can be very simple, using something like a PIC18f4550 which can run at 5 volts, you would just need the PIC, a couple of decoupling capacitors, a transistor, relay and flyback diode; there would however be a fairly significant software burden.

A much better solution in your situation is to get a ready made unit off the shelf which provides this functionality, something like this, though I have no experience with it so can't vouch for the quality, it just turned up with a quick google.

  • That seems perfect, I'm gonna try it, thank you! – Fyde Aug 13 at 11:15

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