Board K8055 from Velleman
Vellemann's board K8055 is a good board to take the first steps towards hardware programming in a high level language. No deep hardware knowledge is required for this. The board has digital and analog inputs and outputs, so it's good to experiment with sensors and actuators.
Thanks to the buttons, potentiometers and the display LEDs, quick function tests can be performed even without connected sensors and actuators. You can focus on programming languages such as Delphi, Visual Basic, C ++ Builder, etc. at the beginning.
A disadvantage on the board is that the program does not run on the microcontroller of the board, but on the connected PC. Therefore one is dependent on always to be connected to a computer with the program to be executed.
How to ensure communication between PC and K8055 board?
In order to establish a communication to the experiment board K8055 of the company Velleman, these must be connected in hardware with a USB cable to a PC. The software connection requires a DLL (Dynamic Link Library), which is copied to the folder windows \ system32. This then allows complete communication from the board to the desired 32-bit application program (in our case, we use Visual Basic for Application (VBA) Excel). The program is then written and executed under VBA.
Programming board K8055 in Excel with Visual Basic for Application (VBA)
The MS Office programs such as Word or Excel contain the programming language VBA (Visual Basic for Application). This enables processes to be automated. Many also use the macro recording, which can subsequently be edited as a VBA code. To program in our example now, I simply use VBA in Excel. Graphical surfaces can be created in the Excel table or via so-called Forms. These forms can be found in the development environment of VBA.
To get into the programming interface of VBA, go to the menu bar under the tab Development Tools simply opens the Visual Basic Editor.
Attention: tab development tools not included in the menu bar, it must be activated as follows
File> Options> Customize Ribbon> enable development tools
In the lower figure 4 one sees of me a simple example to program faster. The program includes a connection to the board and feedback, as well as 3 different running light programs to control the eight digital outputs.
Download section for the K8055 documentation and 3D drawings from the K8055 Velleman Board
Attention the dll file for the communication construction and technical interpretation of current and voltage consumption etc. can be found on the side of Velleman.