This Stranger (Internet of) Things Wall Receives Messages from Your Phone

Arduino Art & Sculpture Craft & Design Furniture & Lighting
This Stranger (Internet of) Things Wall Receives Messages from Your Phone
Photos courtesy of Clarissa San Diego. Feature photo by Nat Seymour

The crew at Seattle-based Makerologist can now add interdimensional communication to their project portfolio. The group of six makers, lead by Clarissa San Diego, created this painstaking, 64-square-foot replica of Joyce Byers’ living room wall from the TV series Stranger Things.


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Faithfully recreating the show’s iconic holiday light Ouija board was no easy task for the electronics team of Micah Summers, Krunal Desai and Katarina Wolcott.

Not content to take the easy route with addressable LED lights, the team individually wired period-accurate C9 incandescent bulbs to 26 DPDT relay switches passing live AC power.

Two MCP23017 I2C expanders consolidated these connections down so that a single Arduino and a series of MOSFETS could manage them.


Light bulbs aren’t the only detail they obsessed over.

With the fabrication help of Gabriel Bello-Diaz and a steady soundtrack of ‘80s synth pop, the crew doctored up the perfect mix of worn wainscoting and dingy wallpaper to realize their vision for aesthetic accuracy.

To make the wall interactive, team member Dan Halpern leveraged the Bluetooth LE capability of the Arduino 101 board to allow for viewers to post messages to the wall using a mobile app. “We knew the installation was going to be in an open area where Wi-Fi would be unreliable,” explains San Diego, “We created a mobile app with a simple interface of an input field and several buttons that would run natively from an iPad.”



The project debuted at the 2016 Portland Mini Maker Faire, and was later exhibited at Seattle’s EMP museum. So far, only a handful of visitors have been eviscerated by Demogorgons.


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I make stuff, play music, and sometimes make stuff that plays music. Fan of donuts, Arduino, BEAM robotics, skateboarding, Buckminster Fuller, and blinking lights.

View more articles by Donald Bell