LED Reader boards, scoreboards, and scrolling marquees have always been an interest for me. So I jumped at the opportunity to make one that’s about the size of a belt buckle. That’s, most likely, what this project will ultimately become. But for now I’ll be using it as a marketing piece for our Hackerspace, Ace Monster Toys. Look for me at the Bay Area Maker Faire in May. I’ll be the one with a pith helmet with a scrolling message on it.
This video shows it scrolling a pre-recorded message. However, I’ve also modified it so that it can handle all alphnumeric characters, upper and lower case, as well as punctuation. It will accept new input from the serial USB cable when connected to a 9600 baud serial terminal. Next step is to create an IRC bot and hook it up the #AceMonsterToys IRC Channel.
In our organization, we have an Asterisk based phone system. Because we are a 24X7 365 operation, and because our business must react quickly to customer demands, we actually have a completely redundant Asterisk system idling in standby mode. When we have to transfer over to the redundant system most of the operation takes only seconds, with one exception. Some of our inbound and outbound call traffic is carried over old school, plain ol’ telephone service (POTS) via physical T1 data circuits. In order to move these T1 circuits to the failover server, one of our engineers had to physically move the patch cables from one server to another.
Our engineers have tried a number of failover options, including converting the T1s into VoIP traffic so we could just change the packet routing when we needed to swing the calls to the failover system. However, the hardware and the software we’ve found, so far, does not meet our quality of service needs.