Next Bus Signage

Affordable low-power in-store signage to display arrival times for buses by stop ID. The build process and the many things I learned are documented on Hackster.io

TAGS: esp8266,trimet,fabrication,microcontroller,hackster

Initial Feather Huzzah Prototype

Testing Data Retrieval

My wife owns a store, 11:11 supply that sits in front of a busy street car stop in Portland. Customers waiting for the bus come to browse, but are worried about missing their bus, so she asked me to prototype some minimalist signage to display bus arrival times. The initial prototype involved nothing more than retrieving data via WiFi from the Trimet API, and lighting a strip of LEDs according to the number of minutes wait.

Electronics - ESP8266 Thing Dev, LiPo Battery, WS2812B LEDs

Prototype 2

The second version of the prototype incorporated battery power, recharging, an on/off switch, easy JST-style connectors and tidied up and concealed wiring. I switched to a lower cost ESP8266 Thing Dev board from Spark Fun.

Finished Bus Signage Prototype

Prototype 3

The signage itself was laser cut black matte backed by birch balsa, at a 1/3 scale. The whole project can be built for less than $20 and incorporated by any store with WiFi. I plan to iterate by making the microUSB ports more accessible, adding an AC power option, and doing the finish in acrylic and ply, at a larger scale and wider form factor. I'll also ditch the glue and tape =)