How may an Apple's USB port be used to control simple electronic devices e.g. LED(s) ?

I'm happy for any workable answer, but hopefully someone may know of a link to a supplier of a cheap USB interface that can control a LED (light emitting diode) when plugged into an Apple, and some simple script/application is run to change the LED on/off.


Arduino ftw


You can get simpler than this, and just use the power from the usb port to power a breadboard LED device. You should really have a basic understanding of electronics, be able to read a schematic, etc., before you do this. Its not that you will electrocute yourself, but you may lose the use of the usb port.

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A cheaper solution would be to buy for example a Texas Instruments EZ430-F2013. It costs 24$ from TI, and might be gotten cheaper other places. I know earlier one they were giving these out for free.

It's a small USB-device in a clear case that has a LED on it already. No need for any real electronics knowledge, soldering or anything like that.

It comes with development tools and sample programs for you to customize.

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  • Having a build in LED is not what the OP is asking. – Ruskes May 12 '14 at 10:52
  • Well, he mentioned the LED so I thought I would mention that it would be especially easy. The EZ430 also has fully accessible pins on it where you can connect any other simple electronic device - but it would obviously require a wee bit of soldering. – jksoegaard May 12 '14 at 11:06

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