Website Response Speedometer

Here’s something that will probably make it to a wall right next to the people responsible for the Hackaday servers sometime soon, and should be something every web dev should build at some point: a website response meter, an analog gauge that will tell you how long it takes to reach your website.

The build is simple enough, with a micro servo working as a gigantic analog gauge. There are also a pair of four-digit, seven-segment displays for displaying a digital number and the number of website requests per second. There’s also an 8×8 matrix of bi-color LEDs for showing a green happy face or a red frowny face, just in case all that data wasn’t self-evident to the uninitiated.

All the electronics are handled by an Arduino, but what really makes this build useful, or even possible, is the bit of code that runs on a computer. The computer uses an API from New Relic, a software analytics company, to come up with the response time and requests per second. That data is pulled down and piped up to the Arduino that displays everything on a beautifully milled acrylic sheet.

9 thoughts on “Website Response Speedometer

      1. Tracking scripts have got ridiculous in the last few years. I’m no longer surprised to see Ghostery blocking 15+ different trackers on some sites I visit ( I think 24 was the most I’ve seen so far !).
        So if any web “designer” is reading this and uses more than one tracker, I hope Santa bring you gadgets filled with fake FTDI chips !

  1. display porn :3 although my heart bleeds – alphanumeric displays for numbers seem a bit much for this, but this is just me having researched prices for a bttf time circuit (63 euros for a complete set from one distributor)… muah.

  2. 17 segment displays in the picture, 7 segment displays in the bom. Interesting…

    I have a whole bunch of 17 segment displays I picked up at a hamfest. Does anyone know of a source of inexpensive 17 segment display drivers? I see 7 segment ones all over the place but 17 seems to be rare or expensive. I suppose I could just dedicate some Attinys to the task but that feels like cheating.

    1. On my first real paying engineering job, I made a drive for 16 segment multiplexed display.
      – I have a pair of 8-bit D F/F latches for latching the data for the display and another (inside a PAL which had the decoder acting as column driver) latches the LSB of the address. i.e. the display column is memory mapped such that a write to Address 1 lights up display 1 with the data. It is multiplexed, so a timer interrupt write to one digit at a time. Pretty simple stuff in a 5 line-ish C code and not needing special drivers.

      The other thing I implemented in that PAL was a 3-bit PWM for the display synchronized to the fresh rate. Works pretty well and flicker free unlike the predecessor of the project.

      If I have to do it again, it would be in a CPLD driven from SPI. You can add ATTINY to that to make a self refreshing display.

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