Ambient Traffic Light

traffic lighttraffic light

Seems reader [Bucky] is just as annoyed with those ambient orbs as we are. I fully support unique ways to present information, but this executive toy stuff is nothing to look forward to. Bucky legally acquired a traffic light and then developed a parallel interface to the traffic light to display different types of information. This project does require switching 120 volt AC, so you should make sure your comfortable with electrocuting yourself before proceeding. I hope someday lots of extra interfaces show up.  Until then I guess we’ve got people like Bucky to keep us sane.

P.S. Don’t forget to give us feedback on the hackaday podcast.

Comments

  1. strider_mt2k says:

    mmm, various traffic lights…

  2. Hal Hockersmith says:

    Hmm, Could use a good dose of schematics for the boards but im guessing you just keep running the ports through the relay and call it good. The only thing missing however is the code for the project. The program is not linked to so how do you control the lights? Program your own?

    Hmm this is truly a good hack:
    _Hack_saw a light for your house from somewhere (someone may have done this for you already)
    harware _hack_ the components togehter
    _hack_ together some software (a professor called one of his classes his little hackers as we didn’t play any sort of code diagrams just started typing and taking out bugs as we went.)

    Please post any help on this that you can find so that i can do this in my server room.

  3. cOLD-FIRE says:

    You can use something like a darlignton array to drive the relays(ULN2803 if i remember well)and the sofwtare shouldn

  4. Bucky says:

    Hey hal, thanks for the feedback. I added some information at the bottom of the page regarding the application. I would have included the source, but I don’t have anywhere to host it. The program is really very similar to the one found here:

    http://www.codeproject.com/csharp/csppleds.asp

    I also would have included a schematic but, alas, I don’t know how to draw them. Sorry.

    if you guys have any more questions feel free to ask here or e-mail me at schrockwell(AT)gmail.com

  5. karl says:

    UrbanSim (http://www.urbansim.org), an urban simulator research project at the University of Washington, has actually used a real traffic light like this for quite a while. Every time code is committed, it performs a build and then runs a bunch of tests. The status of these builds and tests are displayed on a traffic light. If you broke something, the light will turn red. More information is included at http://www.urbansim.org/papers/tempest.pdf (including the hardware they used).

    By the way, they have a virtual traffic light that mirrors the real one at http://trondheim.cs.washington.edu/fireman/firemanweb.cgi?page=superindex

  6. Ever heard of BigBrother (network monitoring software)? I whipped this up earlier this year using the OneWire interface from Dallas Semicondutor. With a much cheaper stop light from Spencer Gifts at the local mall…

    http://stephenhouser.com/hardware/bigbrother_stop_light_monitor.html

  7. marc says:

    why are these called “executive toys”? its only like $150.. i could buy one if it wasnt so useless.. maybe if it was a cube and each side could represent a different stat.. all 6 sides would change colours depending on how u had programmed it.. u could get 6 sets of info in one cube instead of a little ball displaying one.. and also the cube would be housed in a little thing that would rotate it 360 degrees like those rides u get strapped into and spun around.. it would slowly revolve and allow you to see all sides.. and it would have a remote so you could press a button and it would turn that stat towards you

    obviously the revolver and the cube would be sold seperately.. but i’d pay like 200 for a cube design.. maybe 250 and like atleast 150 for the remote revolving device..

    you would just need a nice looking way to have the sides labelled..

    maybe have each side have its own set of colours..

    until then this thing is fairly pointless.. but given the technology (plug and play exactly) with no net or anything required and no monthly fee.. i think its well worth the money if its sumthin u actually want..

    it would be cool if they made a pocket sized one that ran off batteries.. you could take it with u anywhere

    “*reaches into pocket and pulls out glowing red orb*, oh sorry guys i gtg my g/f is online.. we’ll finnish this squash game next week”

  8. marc says:

    why are these called “executive toys”? its only like $150.. i could buy one if it wasnt so useless.. maybe if it was a cube and each side could represent a different stat.. all 6 sides would change colours depending on how u had programmed it.. u could get 6 sets of info in one cube instead of a little ball displaying one.. and also the cube would be housed in a little thing that would rotate it 360 degrees like those rides u get strapped into and spun around.. it would slowly revolve and allow you to see all sides.. and it would have a remote so you could press a button and it would turn that stat towards you

    obviously the revolver and the cube would be sold seperately.. but i’d pay like 200 for a cube design.. maybe 250 and like atleast 150 for the remote revolving device..

    you would just need a nice looking way to have the sides labelled..

    maybe have each side have its own set of colours..

    until then this thing is fairly pointless.. but given the technology (plug and play exactly) with no net or anything required and no monthly fee.. i think its well worth the money if its sumthin u actually want..

    it would be cool if they made a pocket sized one that ran off batteries.. you could take it with u anywhere

    “*reaches into pocket and pulls out glowing red orb*, oh sorry guys i gtg my g/f is online.. we’ll finnish this squash game next week”

  9. Gino says:

    [why are these called "executive toys"?..i could buy one if it wasnt so useless..]

    I think you’ve figured it out ;)

  10. rezyn says:

    Hey bucky, when are you going to come back to #vb so I can play with the traffic light!

  11. marc says:

    i think an executive toy would be more like that $3000 ski jacket.. if a regular joe can afford it than it has its own place in the world

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