Pelican crossing doorbell project

It’s about time I finally got round to blogging this. It’ll end up in multiple posts, because the project’s ongoing. But, long story short, I’ve landed myself half of a pelican crossing. And I’m making the world’s most amazing doorbell out of it.

Recently there’s been major roadworks in the neighbourhood which included upgrading the pedestrian crossings from pelican to puffin crossings, and when I saw that the existing ones had been removed, I fired off an email to the council to see if I could get hold of them rather than them going straight to the scrap yard. Time passed, and I thought I’d been ignored (and I wouldn’t have been surprised), but a week or so later I got an email back saying my query had been passed on to the relevant department. Some conversations with a bemused senior engineer followed, and I ended up with the key parts of a pelican crossing – the pedestrian push-button box and the red and green man lighting.


(Why did I want them? Why wouldn’t I want them? I’d love a K6 phone box too… and a pillar box to go with it, plus a 60s/70s one-armed bandit, similar era pinball machine, electro-mechanical 70s supermarket till, and a whole load of other things I remember vividly from my childhood. Pretty sure I won’t get any of them though.)


Anyway, the parts were dropped off while I was at work. They’d been cut off with an angle grinder – not too bad for the lights, but with the pedestrian button box this meant it was still on a quarter-tonne (or so it felt) lump of pole.


As I started working on the bits, I made a discovery – these things are not made to be easy to open without the correct tools. In fact, thanks to the efforts of the IRA back in the day, there’s a pretty substantial toughened security bolt that needs defeating!


A visit to BFF Gareth was in order. He has more tools than me. After destroying one and damaging another, he was as determined to get it open as I was. The drill press called…


… and lo! Much effort results in an open button box, and the post it was on a distant memory!

Coming next time – the inside of the lights, discoveries and rewiring. In future posts, electronics to make these bad boys work once more.