Build A Prop For A TV Premiere? Stranger Things Have Happened

Some guys get all the breaks. [Guy Dupont] had the honor of building a working, interactive wall-mount landline phone for the red carpet premiere of a certain TV show. The phone was to be an Easter egg inside an 80s-style pizzeria set. About every two minutes the phone would ring, and anyone brave enough to answer would be greeted with either a fake pizza order, an old answering machine message, or a clip from The Show That Cannot Be Mentioned.

Lots of room inside those old housings.

So the phone doesn’t work-work, but the nostalgia is strong — picking up the receiver when the phone isn’t ringing results in a dial tone, and button pushing leads to the busy signal. Those old pleasant-but-stern operator recordings would have been cool, but there was only so much time. (Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the number and try again.)

[Guy] used a SparkFun RP2040 to handle input from the DTMF keypad and play the tones, the dial and busy signals, and the various recordings into the ear of the receiver.

Instead of messing around with the high voltage needed to drive the original ringer and bell, [Guy] used a small speaker to play the ringing sound. Everything runs on eight AAs tucked under the keypad, which is stepped down to 5 V.

This project was built under fairly dramatic duress, which makes it that much more exciting to watch the build video after the break. With just five days to get the phone working and in the mail, [Guy] holed up on the floor of his office, his messy mid-move refuge from a house plagued by COVID. Unfortunately, the whole pizzeria thing fell through, so [Guy]’s phone will not get to have its moment on the red carpet. But at least it’s on the site that’s black and white and read all over.

[Guy] is no stranger to the old tech/new spec game. Remember that time he shoehorned Spotify into an iPod Classic?

Continue reading “Build A Prop For A TV Premiere? Stranger Things Have Happened”

Word clock in the style of the Christmas lights from Stranger Things. If you know, you know.

Stranger Things Message Board Passes The Time By Spelling It Out

Will Netflix’s nostalgic hit Stranger Things be back for a fourth series anytime soon? We could pull out a Ouija board and ask the spirits, but we’d much rather ask closer to the source, i.e. a spirit in the upside down. And you know that the best way to do that is with LEDs — one for each letter of the alphabet so the spirit can spell out their messages.

Arduino, ESP01, and real-time clock powering this Stranger Things word clockAlthough contact with the Demogorgon’s world isn’t likely with [danjovic]’s open-source Stranger Things board, you are guaranteed to get the time spelled out for you every minute, as in, ‘it’s twenty-five (or six) to four’. And if you want to freak out your unwitting friends, you can covertly send messages to it from your phone.

There are two versions now — the original desktop version, and one that hangs on the wall and uses a high-quality photo print for the background. Both use an ESP-01 and an Arduino to help drive the 26 RGB LEDs, and use a DS2321 real-time clock for timing. We love the enameled wiring job on the wall-mount version, but the coolest part has to be dual language support for English and Brazilian Portuguese. You can check out demos of both after the break.

We’ve seen many a word clock around here, but this is probably one of the few that’s dripping with pop culture. If it’s stunning modernism you want, take a look at this painstakingly-constructed beauty.

Continue reading Stranger Things Message Board Passes The Time By Spelling It Out”

Giving Stranger Things For Christmas

[rudolph] was at a loss on what to get his niece for Christmas. It turns out she’s a huge fan of Stranger Things, so the answer was obvious: make her an alphabet wall she can control!

Downsizing the scale to fit inside a document frame, [rudolph] calls their gift rudLights, and a key parameter of this build was to make it able to display any phrases sent from their niece’s Amazon Fire tablet instead of constantly displaying hard-coded phrases. To do so, it has a HC-05 Bluetooth module to forward the commands to the NeoPixel LEDs running on a 5V DC power supply.

[rudolph] enlisted the help of their son to draw up the alphabet display — printed straight onto thematically decorative wallpaper — and cut out holes in the light bulbs for the LEDs.¬† Next up was cut some fibre board as a firm backing to mount the electronics inside the frame and drill holes for the NeoPixels. It was a small odyssey to cut and solder all the wires to the LEDs, but once done, [rudolph] divided their rudLight alphabet into three rows and added capacitors to receive power directly.

Continue reading “Giving Stranger Things For Christmas”