I’ve had my front door bell sending me text messages since 2004 using a combination of a hacked X10 wireless remote control and Misterhouse, initially through an email to SMS gateway (not ideal as it cost me every time someone pressed the door bell) and more recently using TTYtter. It worked well enough most of the time but the X10 (both the radio and mains components) was always the weak link in the chain. I first had the idea of changing this over to an Arduino based system some time ago when I bought a Duemilanove clone and ethernet shield but it seemed like a lot of money to have tied up in a doorbell, that all changed with the Nanode of course, £22 seems like a much more reasonable figure.
So here is the first Nanode version working, it’s very simple, just a few small changes to the ethershield Twitter demo code that sends a tweet using Supertweet.net’s API proxy when a pin is grounded. I have set it up to send a message via another Twitter account which I have told Twitter to send me a text message for, the tweet from the Nanode includes a link to the web feed for my front door camera so I am just one link away from seeing who is there. Twitter won’t send two identical messages in succession so I’ve added a changing number to the URL for the camera so that each message is always different from the last, it’s a bit hacky at the moment but it works. I’m now thinking of other things I can connect to in the vicinity of the front door, a snail mail alert is an obvious next step.
The picture above shows the message coming into the Twitter client with the web interface in the background. There are another couple of pictures below, one showing the text message coming in and one showing the result of clicking on the link (yes my path needs weeding but where’s the fun in that?).
I need another Nanode now.