The code will remain here should you want to continue using it. You are welcome to fork it and use it in any way you please.
Phidget boards are a great prototyping tool which can handle digital inputs and outputs, along with a great array of analog sensors (RFID, temperature, distance, etc.). Node.js and io.js are fantastic networking library which makes it easy to create fast networked applications. This project aims to make it simple for them to interact. Synergy!
This project assumes you have the Phidget WebService up and running. For "regular" (USB) Phidget boards, this simply means that the computer you are connecting to has got the webservice installed and started.
For stand-alone Phidget Single Board Computers (phidgetsbc), this assumes you have configured the server via the web portal. Since you will be connecting to the Phidget server via TCP, be sure you can access the server from the machine running this project.
This library can interface with multiple phidget boards connected to a single computer via the Phidget WebService.
If you already have Node.js installed, you also have npm installed. This means you can install the phidgets package with:
npm install phidgets
Phidgets Inc. makes a line of phidget boards which are themselves small ARM Debian computers. It it possble to run Node.js on them, and use this package locally. Here's a gist with the steps and a blog post about how to get this up and running.
The most common way to interact with a phidgets board is to set up listeners for whatever you are interested in. For example, this code will log to the console all changes detected on the analog sensor inputs of the device:
var phidgets = ;var pik = ;pik;pik;
Obviously, many other events are available. The exact events vary with the device type. As
an example, here are the events specific to
- "input" : triggered when a digital input changes status
- "sensor" : triggered when data is received on the analog sensors
- "output" : triggered when the status of a digital output changes
The following events are common to all phidgets:
- "opening" : triggered when a connection to a phidget board is attempted
- "reopening" : triggered when trying to automatically reconnect to a remotely-closed phidget
- "timeout" : triggered when a connection attempt times out
- "opened" : triggered when a the connection attempt has succeeded and the board is ready
- "closed" : triggered when the connection to the board has been closed (locally or remotely)
- "error" : triggered when an error occured
Since all relevant functions are chainable, the above example can be written more concisely:
var phidgets = ;var pik =;
When no parameters are passed to the
open() method, the first matching device on the
local machine is used. If you have multiple devices connected, you can connect to a
specific one by passing its serial number or label (as defined in the Phidget WebService
control panel). You can also, if necessary, specify a password:
If you need, you can connect to devices on another machine:
Retrieving data from the board
As illustrated above, you can retrieve data by adding the appropriate listeners
'sensor', etc.). You can also, at any time, manually check the status of any
inputs, sensors, leds, outputs, etc. Depending on the type of board you are using, all of these
will or will not be available. For example, on a
PhidgetLED board, there are no inputs
or sensors. However, you can still read the state of all LEDS by looking at the
PhidgetLED.leds object. This object will look like this:
0: 01: 672: 03: 13// etc.count: 64 // The total number of inputs/outputs/leds/etc. (as reported by the board)
For example, if you wanted to periodically check the status of an analog sensor hooked up
to port 3 of a
PhidgetInterfaceKit, you could to the following:
var phidgets = ;var pik =;
Sending data to the board
outputs object is meant to be read-only. If you want to change the value of an
output, use the relevant method. For example, to change an output on a
PhidgetInterfaceKit, you would use the
PhidgetInterfaceKit.setOutput() method. To do
the same on a
PhidgetLED, you would use
Currently, all interface kit boards are supported through the
object. This includes boards such as:
- PhidgetInterfaceKit 8/8/8 normal and mini-format
- PhidgetInterfaceKit 2/2/2
- PhidgetInterfaceKit 0/16/16
- PhidgetInterfaceKit 8/8/8 (with and without hub)
Also included in the library is full support for the following boards:
If this primer wasn't enough, the full API documentation is available for download in the docs folder. You can also view it online.
A note about version 0.4.0
The API in version 0.5.0 and above has changed significantly and is not backwards-compatible with version 0.4.0. If you need to maintain projects using the older version, you can still download an archive of version 0.4.0.