Friday, July 06, 2007

Ambient Email Notifier

Small project to provide email notification via an RGB LED hooked up to the USB port.

Uses a 4d-micro-USB module to provide power and RS232 to a Picaxe 08M controlling an RGB LED. Can control colour (seven colours: work email in red, newsletters in green, other in blue) and brightness by sending characters to the COM port, this is done by a Python script run every 10 minutes by Task Scheduler with an accompanying system tray icon to allow LED to be turned off again (see python gmail check in four lines of code, pySerial and pySystray).

The schematic is as simple as possible:

The relevant code (python and picaxe basic) is pretty self-evident, I will provide it if anyone is interested. Update: Another post has some code.

12 comments:

Will said...

wow this seems a really interesting idea i would be interested in making one i am not that familiar with electronics but I'm sure my d.t teacher would help me out. the only problem is i cant program i dont suppose you could give me any help or any ways to help me understand to program something like this or even links would be of use

thanks for your post

will

Tom said...

A follow-up post with some code.

Brett said...

The circuit can be simplified by removing the resister and transister on Pin2 (5) and connect LEDs to Vdd.

Raising Pin0 (7), Pin1 (6), and Pin4 (3) to Vdd or making them inputs has the same effect as turning the LEDs off.

Tom said...

Brett, the transistor was included to allow the brightness of the LEDs to be varied via PWM on pin 2.

I never got around to actually coding it to fade in/out however, so you're right, they are not needed for the basic application.

MarkyB said...

Any plans on selling one of these bad boys?

Tom said...

I'm afraid you'll have to build it yourself Mark, or buy something like an ambient orb.

fred said...

Where did you get the star?

Tom said...

It was from a string of Christmas tree lights.

Anonymous said...

Here's another method that actually shows the count of messages waiting...

http://www.jpelectron.com/readme/pop3led.asp

Hunter S said...

This is really cool. I have been looking for something exactly like this for a mod I am working on. I would be very grateful if you were to send me the code for it (aloishis89 at gmail.com). Thanks!

Tom said...

@Hunter S: I posted some code already, that's probably everything that's portable to your situation.

Lowlysoundtech said...

Tom,

I am looking to build some figures that light up from notifications and the overall size of your controller board is fantastic. I'd like to discuss this more with you when you get a chance. I have a simple sellible idea and want your blessing. Please email me at tonylicavoli(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks and I hope to talk to you soon.

Tony