Colorful Display Keeps Track of Your Network

So you’ve built out your complete home automation setup, with little network-connected “things” scattered all around your home. You’ve got net-connected TVs, weather stations, security cameras, and whatever else. More devices means more chances for failure. How do you know that they’re all online and doing what they should?

[WTH]’s solution is pretty simple: take a Raspberry Pi Zero, ping all the things, log, and display the status on an RGB LED strip. (And if that one-sentence summary was too many words for you, there’s a video embedded below the break.)

Before you go screaming “NOTAHACK!”, we should let you know that [WTH] already described it as such. This is just a good idea that helps him keep track of his hacks. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for hacking. He uses the IFTTT service and Google Drive to save the ping logs in a spreadsheet, but we can think of about a billion other ways to handle the logging side of things.

For many of us, this is a junk-box build. We’re sure that we have some extra RGB LEDs lying around somewhere, and spare cycles on a single-board-computer aren’t hard to come by either. We really like the simple visual display of the current network status, and implementing something like this would be a cheap and cheerful afternoon project that could make our life easier and (even more) filled with shiny LEDs. So thanks for the idea, [WTH]!

20 thoughts on “Colorful Display Keeps Track of Your Network

  1. “Before you go screaming “NOTAHACK!”” I would never do that on something like that.

    I had the idea of using RGB LEDs for status information already myself as well as probably many others. But in combination with a PI Zero, it is very powerful and easy to utilize for complex tasks, yet small and cheap. Could also make custom PCBs with the meaning for each LED printed on silk screen or solder mask (looks good in case of ENIG)

  2. how about a simple device that will shout fire and murder if it detects a new or duplicate MAC addr on my LAN. With the options to immediately white-list it, or take the entire network offline ..

    1. also check the IP’s for ARP poisoning. I wrote a few bash scripts to do all this ages ago (before the 2.5 kernel), needless to say this box has been retired for quite some time, but it seems like a fun idea to re-implement on a Rapsberry Pi Zero. Add a big airhorn and a relay to cut power to the switches..

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