Arduino from MS Excel

Hi
Noobie
I want to be able to send instructions from Excel via USB to a relay board or opto isolator board connected in parallel to a 16 key keyboard to operate model trains.

That is all. No other complications. That is when I push button(s) in Excel it runs a specified sequence of up to 10 or so numbers to parallel press the keyboard keys and operate its function.

Need the most simplest Ardinuo and then advice on setting up code so that when Arduino gets instructions it sorts out what keys to press.

Any comments or advice on similar things done already would be appreciated.

Charles Harris

sswcharlie:
I want to be able to send instructions from Excel via USB

when Arduino gets instructions it sorts out what keys to press.

What you want to do is far from clear.

Excel is normally use to process acquired data. You need to check that it can send data to another device via USB in the manner you require. This is not an Arduino problem. Once you have determined how to do that, a basic Uno is probably all you need, as you appear to want 10 outputs and a serial input.

In EXcel you have the macro language VBA (Visual Basic Applications) which can connect to the Serial port of the Arduino.

How to program the Serial port in Excel can be found on the internet, never done from Excel -> Arduino.
For the other way around you might use PLX-DAQ or - http://playground.arduino.cc/Interfacing/GoBetwino -

more specific questions about Arduino can be discussed here

sswcharlie:
Hi
Noobie
I want to be able to send instructions from Excel via USB to a relay board or opto isolator board connected in parallel to a 16 key keyboard to operate model trains.

That is all. No other complications. That is when I push button(s) in Excel it runs a specified sequence of up to 10 or so numbers to parallel press the keyboard keys and operate its function.

What do you mean by "when I push button(s) in Excel"? Do you mean mouse clicks, the computer's keyboard keys or touch screen touches?
Is Excel running a graphical display of your layout?
That would be interesting to see, as there are quite a few railway modellers on this forum.