Ask MAKE is a monthly column where we answer your questions. Send your vexing conundrums on any aspect of making to email@example.com. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll scare up somebody who does.
I’m trying to see if you have a particular item or set of items to accomplish a goal. I’m trying to find a way to pull data from a web page and then display it on an LED marquee type display (static, not scrolling). This data would be purely numeric and 7 digits or less. My company makes products that help keep people safe during the blood transfusion process, so I want to make a “score board” in our office to motivate the troops by showing them the number of transfusions we’ve protected with our products.
Do you have a solution for this or can you point me in the direction of someone who does?
Dear Luke, The device you’d like to make is very similar to a project I covered recently: a DIY seven segment website hit counter by Bob Hobby. He uses an ATtiny25 as the heart of the device, and connects to his PC via USB. You can check out his site for the schematic to get help on the hardware side.
He then uses two apps called EasyLogger and AVR-USB to allow the device to communicate with the computer via USB.
Finally, the software is written in Delphi 6 and Indy 10, which allows the computer to check a site and relay information to the counter every ten seconds.
Bob’s page has extensive documentation and I’m sure with some modifications you can borrow his design to suit your needs. I hope this helps and wish you good luck.