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Project Help and Ideas » Twitter Doorbell with Photo via TwitPic

December 29, 2010
by Steven
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I'm 17 and received a NerdKit for Christmas (thanks, dad!) and quickly picked up the different style of programming and thought processes required. I remembered reading about someone using an Arduino to make a doorbell that sent a tweet when rung. I thought, can I do this with my NerdKit? Of course!

Click to visit TwitPic (Click to see the TwitPic page)

I used code examples from the Morse Code Decoder project and the Crystal Real Time Clock tutorial to read the state of the pushbutton and disable the button for a certain amount of time, and the Buttons, Switches, and Pull-up Resistors section of the Digital Calipers DRO tutorial to wire the pushbutton.

Basically, the NerdKit waits until the pushbutton is pressed, sends a "Button pushed." message over the serial port, then enables interrupts and starts the clock, which essentially disables the pushbutton for a set period of time.

I didn't want someone to "abuse" the button and send mass amounts of tweets and photos; this would freeze up my computer and internet connection. For testing purposes I set this to 5 seconds, but in a realistic environment you would set it higher, like a few minutes.

I wrote a quick program that monitors the serial port for that "Button pressed." message, and when it finds one it will take a photo from the selected webcam, upload it to TwitPic, then tweet "Doorbell rung!" along with the time and the link to the TwitPic photo to my Twitter channel.

I made a quick video you can watch on YouTube:

And here is the link to the Twitter account I made to test it:

December 29, 2010
by Ralphxyz
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Steven you are awesome!! Great project.


December 29, 2010
by hevans
(NerdKits Staff)

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That is a fantastic project Steven, keep up the great work!


January 19, 2011
by siapipa
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I'm really interested in doing this project. I just have a question on how would the signal coming through the USB from the micro controller connects with the Webcam and twitter? I'm so confuse right now. Please give me a hint on how it is done.


March 14, 2011
by missle3944
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Did you use Visual Basic to create the program that is in your video?

March 22, 2011
by d3adl0ck3
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Hey Steven,

That is totally awesome. At 17, hum, I guess I was pretty much 'Beavis and/or Butthead' if that means anything to the other old folks. Glad to see our (computer) scientific future isn't as dark as some assume!

April 07, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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Hey Steven, could you help out Singlecoilx3 with his need to understanding sms text messaging tied to the Nerdkit like you did with your great doorbell project.


April 07, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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OOps, sorry here is the link to Singlecoilx3's thread.


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