Solving Family Problems with Technology – The Pi/Flip Dot Alert System

Maybe this is a solution in search of a problem, but there are use cases. On occasion I will be down stairs in my Tech Center rocking out on some Ham Radio DX or writing some code for a Raspberry Pi and oblivious to the world. Those are usually the times when my wife Tammy is trying to get ahold of me, but is worried about interrupting me.

Introducing the Jim Alert system. It starts with the button on this Raspberry Pi Zero.

Tammy pushes the button which writes a file to a server which trips the LED on the Pi. This allows her to know the alert has been triggered.

Once every minute (for now) my flip dot clock will check for that file. If it finds it, it will trigger a custom message on the clock and an alert sound. (Literally, ALERT in Morse Code). Here’s what it looks like…

Once the alert displays, the LED on the Pi Zero goes off and it clears from the Flip Dot in about 30 seconds, at the top of the next minute.

A possible future enhancement might be to add multiple Pi’s and show the room the alert came from.

For more on my Flip Dot project, read here: