Don’t Miss the Bus: A One-Day Build

Sometimes the most satisfying hacks are those that spring from a situation where resources are limited, either by choice or by chance. Constraints tend to stir the creative juices.

Serial Hackaday poster [limpkin] limited himself to a one-day build with what he had on hand for this bus-route countdown timer. Full points for actually building something useful, and extra credit for making something to keep his wife from being late for work.

The principle is simple: scrape a web page to find out how much time is left before either of two busses leaves his wife’s stop, and display the number of minutes left on a huge LED display. The parts bin gave up everything needed, including an ESP8266, a boost converter, a charge controller, and the display and driver. We’re skeptical that the PCB was fabricated the same day; looks like [limpkin] is only counting the design and coding time in his 10-hour build. Still, it’s a testament to what’s possible with a deep inventory and the skills to put it to use.

Check out some of [limpkin]’s other hacks, like this Formula-E race car PCB or his adventures in laundry larceny. Oh, and he also used to write for Hackaday.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Miss the Bus: A One-Day Build

  1. I wonder if the bus company likes the frequent polling…
    I did something similar with 10 second polling (Also ESP8266, but no battery, and with an 2×16 LC-Display and a big 10mm RGB-LED turning from green [get ready] to yellow [go out of the door now] to red [wait for the next bus])
    After two weeks, the non-documented API stopped accepting my HTTP requests. Turns out, they started blocking the User-Agent I sent along in he HTTP request. After a few mails I was allowed to continue the polling in a 1 minute interval.

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