DEFCON Thermometer

Redditor [mulishadan] — a fan of the movie WarGames — has created a singular thermostat in the form of a Defcon alert meter.

Looking to learn some new skills while building, [mulishadan] tried their hand at MIG welding the 16g cold-rolled plate steel into the distinctive shape. A second attempt produced the desired result, adding a 1/4-inch foam core and painting the exterior. Individual LEDs were used at first for lighting, but were replaced with flexible LED strips which provided a more even glow behind the coloured acrylic. A Particle Photon board queries the Weather Underground API via Wi-Fi in five-minute intervals.

Weather Data BoardEach escalation in the Defcon alert signals an increase of 10 F, starting at Defcon 5 for 69 F and below, up to Defcon 1 for 100+ F. The final build looks like a true-to-life prop with some useful functionality that can be adapted to many different purposes — proof that a relatively simple project can still produce fantastic results for entry-level makers. So why not try making this thermostat scarf as well?

[via /r/DIY]

22 thoughts on “DEFCON Thermometer

    1. Such anger! Please feel free to convert to the standard of your choice. The builder obviously uses Fahrenheit, which is the proper standard in that location. Just because it’s not YOUR standard doesn’t make it improper.

      Like I said in one of the other threads, I find it amazing that people all over the world find it so difficult to do something that American children know how to do freely by the time they reach the age of 10.

      1. I’d have to disagree; I’ve gone through the American school system and I never recall more than myself and a few other people being able to use the SI system. Even in high-school classes such as physics where you *need* SI units, pretty much nobody can do those conversions “freely”.

    2. While I agree that in all other cases SI is superior to English, Fahrenheit is superior to Celcius in the human experienced temperatures of daily living. 100 F means hot, 0 F mean cold. 100 C means dead, 0 C is just a little chilly.

    3. What the F? Why the hell would he do that?

      The article uses the units that the original builder used. And why did he do that? I would guess he is from the US. Whatever you may think of US industry and politicians combined choice not to switch to metric insisting that an individual do so anyway is assinine.

      No matter what arbitrary units you may think are better any sane person is going to build a thermometer in the units that are used in their country of residence. At least they will if they intend to use it regularly anyway. When everyone around you talks in Farenheit, weather forcasts are in Farenheit, other people’s thermometers including the public ones you sometimes see driving down the road are all in Farenheit.. what would the purpose be of making yourself do constant conversions in your head?

      This is HACK a day where people often make things that appeal only to themselves not a science journal. What right do you have to make demands over what units somebody uses? Insisting that someone who is surounded by people using F do everything in C makes as much sense as insisting that YOU use F in your SI country or maybe you should use Z units popular only in the backwaters of planet Zyglon IV or whatever…

      If your problem is that you want to see things that are useful to yourself then I would suggest that maybe if you aren’t skilled enough to change his code to convert to SI for your own build then maybe you should start with something more basic.

      Or.. maybe he just used Farenheit because that’s what would have been used by the characters in the movie.

  1. I enjoy the combination of welding the outer box then hot glue on the innards.
    LED strips are sacrilege, this kind of thing needs pygmy lamps with some nice loud clunky relays.

  2. McKittrick: See that sign up here – up here. “DEFCON.” That indicates our current “def”ense “con”dition. It should read “DEFCON 5,” which means peace. It’s still on 4 because of that little stunt you pulled. Actually, if we hadn’t caught it in time, it might have gone to Defcon 1. You know what that means, David?
    David: No. What does that mean?
    McKittrick: Pool Party.

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