A different crossing sign

Way behind on typing up my pelican crossing doorbell project. Things get in the way, including building a 3D printer… but here’s something I did for the office recently.

We have a new Usability lab at Box UK, and needed some sort of indicator to show it is in use. My managing director asked me for ideas (knowing about my messing around with crossing signs of late), and I managed to get his backing for an American pedestrian crossing sign to be used for the job. Here it is in operation!


wpid-wp-1403267279801.jpegThe build was really simple and the large void in the sign provided plenty of space for the necessary electronics. The sign, being from the wrong side of the Atlantic, runs on 110V so is being fed by a transformer, but everything else necessary is internal. As well as powering the LED drivers (I didn’t want to go down the road of rebuilding things) the 110V runs to the power adaptor that came with my Chromecast (being an import I can’t use it, but it’s a decent quality adaptor that won’t burn the office down). This powers a Digispark, which in turn controls a relay board that switches between the states. To swap between states there’s a push-button (reclaimed from an old television gallery) on the end of a cord that I fabric-coated by very slowly and carefully threading through the centre of a shoelace (the effect is really nice).

The total cost for it (excluding my time, which was donated because I love doing this sort of thing) was under £100 including shipping the sign over from Texas, and it’s resulted in a striking, head-turning yet practical piece in the office that clients find fascinating.