A Pull Chain To End Your Zoom Pain

Yay! Another videoconference call is in the books, so that must mean that it’s time to fumble around awkwardly for the hang-up button with a fading smile. [lanewinfield] knew there had to be a better way, and looked to the pull chain switch for salvation. Sure, this could just as easily be a button, but what’s the fun in that? Besides, few buttons would be as satisfying as pulling a chain to a Zoom call.

The pull chain switch is connected to an Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Express that’s emulating a Bluetooth keyboard. Firmware-wise it sends command + F6, which triggers an AppleScript that manually exits and and all Zoom calls and kills Chrome tabs pointed to meet.google.com. He’s using Apple’s hotkey wizard Alfred, but this could be handled just as easily with something like AutoHotKey.

Pull chain switches are neat little mechanisms. The chain is connected to a cam that engages a wheel with copper contacts on half the outside. When you pull the chain, the wheel moves 90° and the wheel contacts connect up with the fixed contacts inside the housing to make a connection. Pulling the chain again moves the wheel which slides to the half without the contacts. Check it out in the video below.

Via adafruit

14 thoughts on “A Pull Chain To End Your Zoom Pain

  1. OK, I’ll try to make this rant short.
    ALL function buttons for a website or application should be in the UPPER LEFT CORNER of the window since if anything is cutoff it is normally the right-side. Yes, I’ve been around a LONG time. Back in the Dark Ages when screens were just beginning to grow, the window started in the upper left and filled the screen until the right-side was cutoff if your monitor wasn’t “high” resolution.
    And make those “in” and “out” buttons BIG. “in” = green “out” = red
    I don’t care how pretty your site or program looks. I’ve already “bought” it you morons.
    That’s about as short and “diplomatic” as I can make this.

    1. Having used computers and software since it had to be punched into a card, the thing that I have noticed common to all software…. as a user goes to use it, typically the first thing uttered is, “did someone, somewhere ever get this to function even once?” Can’t use automated tests anymore, windows has invented so many new ways to fail they can’t function.

    1. I was wondering whether to explain that, they seeming to be extremely rare in North America, though I think I encountered it in campground toilets once. The tank/cistern is mounted 6ft high or so, and the chain dangles off the flush lever, mechanism being otherwise similar, but you get 5ft of extra pressure to blast away your poopy nuggets.

      However, IDK if you should describe it as indoor plumbing either, most of them I saw in use in the UK still were in outside lavvies. (Separate leanto on end of Victorian terrace houses with flush toilet. They were possibly built without these originally, being added some 10- 30 years later, there being communal wash-houses that may have been serviced by “night soil” carts if the sewers weren’t laid yet.)

        1. Those high level cisterns are widely used in pubic lavatories in Poland, for instance in my technical university. They offer much higher flush pressure and because of that, the toilet doesn’t need to be cleaned as often. The only issue is that students will often jokingly urinate on the floor and that causes nasty, sweet smell to linger for a couple of days before next cleaning on monday.

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