Wireless hackerspace status notifier

space_probe

Hackerspaces are always looking for novel ways to let their members know that they are open for business, and this notifier [Angus] from Make, Hack, Void recently put together is no exception.

While dumpster diving one day, he came across a fantastic-looking lab power supply from the ‘70s. He gutted it, saving the variable transformer for a future project, and started constructing his notifier. When someone enters the hackerspace, they simply set the dial on the “Space Probe” to the amount of time they expect to be there. The built-in Seeduino sends the data over Bluetooth to an OpenWRT-enabled router, which uses a couple of Lua scripts to notify members via email and Twitter.

Since almost all of the processing is done on the router side, it leaves the Arduino in the probe with little more to do than flash an LED and send ASCII status messages any time the knob is turned. [Angus] is well aware that this would probably make most people’s heads spin, but he hopes that other hackerspace members use that untapped potential to further enhance the notifier.

Stick around to see the Space Probe in action, and if you are interested in seeing what other hackerspaces use to keep their members in the know, check out this status switch from Hack42.

Comments

  1. mlseim says:

    You really need to have someone re-silkcreen the dial so it goes to 11. That would be cool.

  2. K!P says:

    concourse this implies that you know on forehand how long the quick hack takes before you go home. i found that taking a worst case time and multiply that by 4 works most times. Therefore: it must have a 11 setting!

  3. Angus says:

    K!P, the probe will beep and blink if you get to the time you said it’d close, and encourage you to dial in a new time and it’ll send a new message.

    Actually, that’s one of the reasons I built it. People would often email at 7pm or so saying “will just be here an hour or two” and send no more updates. Then it’d turn out the space was open until 1am or 2am while they were finishing something!

    I will try to find an eager silkscreener to add the 11, though. And some leather pants to wear while dialing it up!

    (Thanks HaD for posting this, btw. :D)

  4. Zizzle says:

    Top idea, implementation and video Gus!

  5. MattE says:

    C’est rad! =)

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