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So, I've been using my http://blog.jgc.org/2012/03/ambient-bus-arrival-monitor-from... for well over 4 years and it's proved to be really useful. Today, I would likely follow Stavros' lead and use the ESP8266 since it's a nice module and OLED displays are cool.

What I learnt from the project was that the most important part was the model bus. This made it acceptable for my SO to have the thing in the house and she's the one that uses it a lot more than me.

I've built other "IoT" things around the house (lots of Amazon Dash buttons that don't do what they were intended for and other stuff) and the packaging matters a lot. It makes the things seem less like technology and more like part of the environment.

Since I wrote that blog post TfL have created a proper API and it has loads of goodies in it: https://api.tfl.gov.uk/




Perhaps unsurprisingly, I had the same reaction from my SO. She loves this bus, to my dismay, because my reaction is "it took me countless hours to build a sensor and automation network for the house so it can all be centrally controlled, and you like a two-hour bus build?"

It seems that people like things by how useful they are for them, not by how cool they were to build, which is frustrating but not surprising.

The packaging is why I got a 3D printer and am learning CAD. I want to create little stylish boxes for my sensors, so they look more like devices and less like bombs.


Well, the buses do one thing well. Massive sensor/automation networks tend to be a pain to use for any 'normal' person but fun for nerds.


That's true, although the motion-activated lights work well enough. I think it's just the utility for her, because she can just glance at the bus and know when she needs to leave, when it's not that big a hassle to flick the switch when you walk into a room.


Would love to know what sorts of ways you've hacked Amazon Dash.


I don't know what JGC did, but you can detect the button's DHCP request and consider it pressed. I didn't want to do something that hacky, so I made my own Dash:

https://www.stavros.io/posts/emergency-food-button/

Come to think of it, I should have added an SMD switch to it, maybe I'll make a new one with a 3d-printable case. That's an idea...


That's right. Details are here: https://github.com/jgrahamc/dash


Thank you, this is really interesting. How much did the materials cost?




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