Category : Science and Education
Archive   : GAMEPT16.ZIP

Output of file : GAMEPORT.DOC contained in archive : GAMEPT16.ZIP

MATRIX Game Port Monitor Version 1.6
Copr. 1988 by Taegan D. Goddard

I. Introduction

Have you ever wondered what else your computer could do?
Word Processing, spreadsheets, and data bases are fine -- but
wouldn't it be nice if your investment in hardware would pay for
itself in other ways? Personal computers are now being used for
home and office control. Scientists use them to monitor
experiments. The MATRIX Game Port Monitor allows you to hook up
sensors to your machine's game port so that you can begin to
experiment with environmental monitoring.

o Measure light intensity in a room.
o Monitor windows and doors in your home.
o Measure temperature.
o Observe human movement through open spaces.

Each of these things can be accomplished with your PC! Add a
computer interface for the BSR X-10 wireless appliance and light
modules, and you have the beginnings of a mini home control
system! With the PC game port and a few inexpensive electronic
components, you can add real-time environment sensing to your own
Let the MATRIX Game Port Monitor lead you into this exciting
(and relatively un-tapped) world of computing...

II. But What does it cost?

The range of electronic components you can attach to the
PC's game port are many -- from simple photocells and thermistors
to more complex infrared motion detectors. Less than $5 spent at
an electronics store can buy all that you need to measure light
intensity and temperature. A very small price to pay to equip
your computer with 2 human senses!
Likewise, the software is also very inexpensive. The MATRIX
Game Port Monitor, a shareware program (it's not free!), costs
just $15. Please send a check for $15 to:

Taegan D. Goddard
35 Woodside Circle
Hartford, CT 06105

to register your copy of the program. You will be sent future
updates of the program and additional tips for environmental
monitoring and home control. (I am also currently working on a
mini home control program using the BSR X-10 controller for
output and the PC game port for input.)
Please send any comments you may have about this program -
your input will help me create better updates!

III. Function Key Assignments - MATRIX Game Port Monitor

Calls up the help screen, listing all of the following
key assignments.

Graphs all incoming data from the transducers attached
to the analog inputs of the game port.

Shows program status: Time monitoring started, current
time, total number of observations, and average
observations made each second.

Begin saving incoming data to a file every 15 seconds.
All data is saved in a file named GAMEPORT.DAT. This
data can be imported into your spreadsheet or data base
program for further analysis.

Stop saving data to disk file.

Turn off screen display in order to prevent monitor
burn problems. Often you will want to leave your
computer on for a long period of time to monitor
certain inputs. This option can be used to prevent
damage to your monitor (or to stop prying eyes!)

Clear lower portion of screen. Shows only the actual
data boxes for analog and digital inputs, turning off
any other information screen at the bottom of the

Refresh Screen Display. Left over from earlier versions
of the program where certain interrupts caused problems
with the screen display. The bugs have been fixed in
this version of the program, but someone may still want
to use it!

Exit to the DOS prompt. Allows user to rename data
file, or perform any other needed task outside the
program, like using your word processor or spreadsheet.

Exit MATRIX Game Port Monitor. Ends monitoring session.

IV. Pin Locations on the PC game port

The following chart shows all pin assignments on the PC game

Pin # Pin Function
1 +5 volts
8 +5 volts
9 +5 volts
11 ANALOG #3
12 GND
13 ANALOG #4
15 +5 volts

NOTE: It is always safest to turn off your computer when
making connections to the game port.

V. How do I hook up sensors to my PC's game port?

The joystick is a typical device you would attach to the
PC's game port. It has two variable resistors attached to the
analog inputs, each corresponding to the X or Y axis. The buttons
on the joystick are digital inputs. Each can only be ON or OFF.
If you have a joystick, use the MATRIX Game Port Monitor to find
out what your joystick actually does...

A photocell (light sensor) or thermistor (temperature
sensor) has two leads coming from it. Each essentially acts as a
variable resistor - the resistance of the device changes as the
temperature or light changes. Attach one lead to +5 volts and the
other to an analog input pin on the game port. That's all there
is to it...
The MATRIX Game Port Monitor will now show a reading from
0-255 corresponding to the resistance of the device. If you are
using a thermistor, you can calibrate these readings to an actual
temperature reading. Submerge the thermistor in a pan of boiling
water. The reading MATRIX Game Port Monitor gives you corresponds
to 100 degrees centigrade. Do the same with a pan of ice cold
water, and you have the reading for 0 degrees centigrade. Most
thermistors give linear readings over this temperature range, so
you can figure out all points on the line, and thus the
temperature for any reading the program gives you.

Any kind of switch, such as a relay contact on a motion
sensor, can be used with the digital inputs. Connect one lead to
the digital input pin on your PC's game port and the other to a
Ground (0 volts).
The MATRIX Game Port Monitor gives you a reading telling the
ON/OFF status of the switch. With a magnetic type burglar alarm
switch you can sense whether a door or window is open or closed.

Once you have found out how to give your computer sensing
capabilities, you can write programs exploiting this new found
ability of your computer. Register your copy of the MATRIX Game
Port Monitor and you'll be part of a forum concerned with these
types of experiments and home control. I'll send you additional
ideas with respect to programming, sensors, etc... The MATRIX
Game Port Monitor will simplify your learning process and
instantly show you what your sensors are doing.
Look for PC-ROWER.ARC on your local BBS. This MATRIX program
lets you computerize your rowing machine! Many more programs of
this type will follow.

VI. Etc.

I make no warrantee or guarantees for the use of this
software or the hook-up of devices to your computer. Attaching
simple electronic components such as light and temperature
sensors is a relatively easy operation to complete, and poses
very little risk to your equipment, BUT if you are in doubt of
your skills then please get assistance or have someone else do
the connections for you.
REMEMBER: If you register your copy of the program, I will
send you additional ideas and future updates of the program.
Thank you in advance for your support of the shareware concept!

MATRIX is an informal company set up by Matt Jacobson-
Carroll and myself. Our main interests are in home control and
environmental monitoring. Let us know what your experiments are
in these fields...

  3 Responses to “Category : Science and Education
Archive   : GAMEPT16.ZIP

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: