Stoplight indicator system signals when your servers are in distress

stoplight_server_monitoring_system

At [mkanoap’s] office, they have a software package that monitors their various servers’ health, but they wanted a separate indicator to display the status of their most critical systems. They put together a simple list of criteria for their display, including the ability to view the status without a computer, and that it share the same red/yellow/green indicators that their monitoring software utilizes. With those needs in mind (and a few hundred dollars to spare), [mkanoap] and crew rushed out to buy a stoplight, then got to building.

Their status system is self-contained, utilizing an Arduino and Ethernet shield to control the stoplight. The Arduino was programmed to act as a web server, and responds to GET requests by toggling any of the three mains-powered lamps using relays. [mkanoap] then created a handful of scripts that check the status of the critical servers every 5 minutes, updating the stoplight accordingly. The whole setup was tucked neatly inside the light’s housing, before being mounted on the wall in their office.

[mkanoap] says that the reaction to the stoplight as been great, though they had to install dimmer bulbs so those people sitting near it were not blinded. His writeup is incredibly detailed should anyone want to construct one of their own, and who wouldn’t?

Weekly Roundup 9/17/11

In case you missed them, here are our most popular posts from the past week.

Our most popular post from the past week was one where we show a project where [Linas] built his own CT scanner and then used those scans to create 3D models.

Our next most popular post was an Engine Hack from the previous theme where [Mike] built a jet out of pipe fittings and motorcycle parts.

Next up is a post that will be of interest to folks who like their privacy. This post shows a project that simulates a trip wire using a laser beam. The end result is the same though. Cross the beam, hear it scream.

Our forth most popular post was one about a robot that can climb walls and then parachute back down to do it again… provided that it has a team of students ready to catch it on a tarp at the bottom.

Finally, we have a post that describes how to create a circuit board out of a piece of glass. The author is using it for a touch-sensitive button interface.

ATtiny Hacks: Simple USB temperature probe

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simple_attiny_usb_temperature_probe

[Dan’s] office is awfully hot, but he needed some real temperature numbers that he could show the building management office to justify opening a maintenance ticket. He had seen some simple temperature probe examples online, and decided to build his own using a small AVR chip.

Based off a similar temperature monitoring example called EasyLogger, his temperature probe uses an LM34 temperature sensor, which is wired to an ATtiny45. The ATtiny communicates with his computer using the Ruby-USB library in conjunction with a bit of Ruby code he put together. Once the data is obtained, all of the temperature measurements are logged and graphed using RubyRRDTool.

As you can see by in the image above, his office is far hotter than it should be, so we’re pretty sure he’s happy to have actual measurements to back up his claims.

If you are looking to make a small temperature probe of your own, his code, schematics, and links to all of the tools he used in the project are available on his site.

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