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Project lead: Amelia Meyer

This project is dead, due to technical and social reasons. This page is left as documentation; please contact Amelia Meyer.

This project wholly replaced the WelcomeSwitch, with the goal of adding better maintainability and functionality.

However, it was determined quickly after installation several things conspired to make the project undesirable:

  • Technically, project lead has a short attention span, meaning that completion of project and bug-quashing languished
  • Technically, Beaglebone White used as controller is unsupported hardware, meaning that many hacks needed to be made to make the system work at all
  • Socially, there were concerns about the project becoming a "creep summon signal", especially with the addition of the camera
  • Socially, the space is no longer in desperate need of new faces, and there are sufficient members around that the space is easy to attend as a guest
  • Socially, it was difficult to convince members to remember to toggle the switch in the appropriate times, meaning the data thus generated was of slim use
  • Socially, it was determined that the amount of traffic the system generated on i3Detroit's Twitter account was too large and reduced our SNR

As such, the system has been decommissioned and will be removed from the wall as convenience allows.

Code and board files live at the i3Detroit Github page.


  • Timer to show time to picture.
  • New IP camera for picture of switch-flipper.
  • Better integration into website.
  • IRC integration.
  • OAuth support for Twitter.
  • Better physical switch.
  • Tie-in to OpenAccess.



  • Finish Twitter code.
  • Finish/replace IRC code (currently using phenny, which kind of sucks.)
  • Write IO code, BeagleBone target.
    • Read switch, preferably on interrupt.
    • Trigger camera, software/hardware?.
    • Run SPI-connected 7-segment display for timer.
    • Status LEDs.
  • Better website integration, maybe SpaceAPI instead of site-hosted file?
  • System integration
  • Camera?
  • Display alternating date/time when not counting down


  • Custom cape for IO (with OpenAccess stuff too) and power
  • Switch tie-in, likely replacing switch guts with microswitch.


  • Gut and refinish switch box.
  • Mounting of box, camera, power supply.


  • Twitter code
  • IRC code
  • Hacky website code
  • Camera code
  • New camera
  • Gutted and finished switch box
    • Box completely stripped of old paint using sandblaster
    • Display cutout done with air nibbler (rough), die grinder (less rough), Dremel grinder (almost not rough), and hand files (smooth)
    • Finish on box is polyurethane varnish, 1.5 coats
      • 0.5 coat was applied after rain washed some of the varnish away
      • Yellowed areas are where 0.5 coat pooled
    • Lettering is Liberation Mono, laser-engraved into varnish using Wolverine with speed 100 and power 40
      • Darker lettering is multiple passes; notably, the "i3Detroit Twitterbot" bit is 8 passes
      • Lettering lightly coated after engraving with polyurethane varnish
    • Display is glued to smoked acrylic with acrylic glue, and glued into slot with hot glue
Front panel with buttons, indicator LEDs, and countdown display
Inside box with gutted switch mechanism and new microswitch
Inside box with all hardware installed
Mounted and closed up


  • OpenAccess integration/replacement.
  • Website-hit tie-in to alert space if switch is off and people are looking...
  • IRC/Twitter tie-in for virtual doorbell.