View Full Version : Controlling Things throught the Computer

Oct 17, 2006, 03:04 AM
Hey guys,

I have a question. Is there any way that I can control things through my mac. Say if I was to install a mac in my car, is there any way that I could turn the car on through the computer? Sorry if I seem a little misinformed, I really have no clue about this.

Thanks in advance!:)

Oct 17, 2006, 03:07 AM
lol. That would be cool.
I did once see a usb toy Surface-to-air missile launcher which could be controlled to aim and fire using a computer. not much point tho:p

Oct 17, 2006, 03:12 AM

I'm sure it could, with the right interfacing to your car's alarm and electrical system. But before we even get there - how do you intend to leave your mac powered up with your car battery, and then expect it to have enough juice to start up the car? :confused:

Oct 17, 2006, 03:15 AM
Simple....an ibook is my answer :D

Oct 17, 2006, 03:16 AM
The point is, where do I get the proper interface? Is there some usb module that I can use? :confused: :confused:

Oct 17, 2006, 03:18 AM
Google is an extremely powerful tool that will no doubt greatly assist you in your project.


Oct 17, 2006, 03:20 AM

iBook still runs on battery, albeit its own battery. And also, you really don't want to be too far away from your car before you start your car remotely right?

And if that's right - why not just a simple two-way alarm system? I actually have a Clifford system installed in my car - it works both as a remote start and gives me feedback when the car's been touched.

Oct 17, 2006, 03:24 AM
well I was thinking about incorporating it with a bluetooth phone and maybe have the car start when I get close to it. maybe in the future I can lower the windows thru my phone too and turn on music. that would be sweet.:D

Oct 17, 2006, 03:25 AM
the problem is I still have no clue where to start....
and yes I know google is a powerful tool...

Oct 17, 2006, 03:28 AM
All the best - novelty, no doubt.


BT don't work that well over distance u know. Also, a 2-way remote can already open your trunk, roll down window, open/close side-mirror, eject your mother-in-law - all if u have the right actuator installed in the 2-way remote system.

BTW, iBook, BT, remote access -> more risk of carjacking remotely, or simply breaking in for your iBook, isn't it?

Oct 17, 2006, 03:51 AM
Gee not to sound rude or anything, but I didn't really ask you guys if this was worth it or not. All I am doing right now is toying around with the idea and seeing if it can be done. So far no one has given me any info relating to my question.:cool:

Oct 17, 2006, 04:11 AM
You could google around for serial or USB relay controller boards or boxes, there are some OS X-compatible ones around (serial ones can be used by way of a USB-to-RS232 dongle). Companies that cater to robotics and RC enthusiasts should turn up some interesting parts.

The relays/triacs/whatever on interface boxes tend to be wimpy, so you may want to have those switch beefier relays that do the real work.

You will probably have to roll your own software to control things, but could exploit a Keyspan remote or something like Salling Clicker to handle the gory input details, so all you have to deal with on your own on the input side would be a simple keyboard interface.

Do think about the safety consequences before you start wiring up important stuff…

Oct 17, 2006, 03:02 PM
Thanks for the replies so far.

I will look around. If anybody knows anything else, please tell me.