Instructables

Facebook LED blink on new notifications and messages

In this instructable I will show you how to make a LED blink when you have a new notification or message on Facebook via the parallel port. Check out the following video for a demonstration:


It is a quick and easy project to do, provided you have the required stuff.
 
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Step 1: How does it work?

There are two parts that power this project.

The first part is a small program that turns on or off the LEDs that are on a parallel port using inpout32.dll. The program hosts a tiny server that its one and only purpose is to understand HTTP requests.

The second part is a Greasemonkey script that detects when you have a new notification/message.
If you have a new notification or a message, the script will request a URL from the server the program described above hosts, and the program will understand the URL, and will start blinking the requested LED.
After you read your new notification/message, the script will request the same URL as before, which tells the program to stop blinking the LED.

Simple eh?

Step 2: Requirements

You will need:
- Windows (also works with x64 versions)
     It should be possible to make this work on Linux, but not on a Mac, because as far as I know, Macs do not have a parallel port
- A parallel port
     Most new computers don't have an integrated parallel port, so you'll have to buy a PCI-to-parallel card yourself. From what I read on the internet, not all cards will work, and USB-to-parallel also won't work.
- Mozilla Firefox with the Greasemonkey extension installed or Google Chrome (Opera might work too)
- 2 LEDs
- Centronics Printer cable (optional; I use it as an extension cable)
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Matthay2131 year ago
Hello, My message light don't work with the message box up and minimized. It will turn on with the link provided but not when i get a new message. Any ideas?
brunoip2 years ago
Can you upload the LED Blinke again? The link is not working
Stonos (author)  brunoip2 years ago
Sorry about that. I attached the zip to step 3.
webart3 years ago
hi guys I just wonder, can I use this and make it work same way ? http://www.dcs.dk/CNet/digitalcontent/ccs/6D1382DF-846B-4B5A-B64C-85D337E875AF.jpg
Stonos (author)  webart3 years ago
Sorry, as far as I know, USB-to-parallel cables won't work :(

If your computer doesn't have a parallel port, then you'll have to get a PCI-to-parallel controller (unless you are on a laptop, so you're out of luck). I use this one, but if you can't find that particular model in your country, then you can try this one, which should work, since it uses a chip similar to my card.
any chance this can be done with a serial port (unfortunately dont have a parallel port or any open PCI ports) - Thanks!
Stonos (author)  cooltech7863 years ago
Unfortunately, I don't think it can be done with a serial port. Sorry :(
Yeah, Serial ports are strictly rx/tx data transmission pins. No voltages suitable for LED fun. :(
Oh, it can be done. I don't know about this script but I've been doing it in VB by switching the DTR and RTS pins on and off to tell me if I have email. I've also been doing it with a USB to Serial adapter so I don't need an on board serial port.

I guess the first step is to see if inpout32.dll ca handle serial port action or if it strictly does parallel ports.
JTigchelaar3 years ago
the message light doesnt work? plz help
Stonos (author)  JTigchelaar3 years ago
As described in step 6, there are some limitations regarding the message LED: "The part that detects new messages has a limitation: You must already have a chat window open and minimized with the person that sends you the message; otherwise, the new message will not be detected."

Make sure that the LED is correctly connected (does the message LED start blinking when you visit http://127.0.0.1:4012/6/on ?). Also, make sure that you're using version 1.2 or newer of the script.
oh its for chat not an actual inbox! Is there an way to modify the script so it detedts inboxes?
Stonos (author)  JTigchelaar3 years ago
Replace line 12 ("var notifCount = jc.getElementsByTagName("span")[0];") with "var notifCount = document.getElementById("jewelInnerUnseenCount");".

Keep in mind that this will replace the new notification blink function. If you want to keep both functions, I can modify the script for you to include both functions.
please do
Stonos (author)  JTigchelaar3 years ago
The script has been updated :)
does the new code only use the one LED becasue the one still wont flash when i get a message
Stonos (author)  JTigchelaar3 years ago
Yes, it's still on LED 1.

Some questions:
Does the LED blink when you go to http://127.0.0.1:4012/1/on ?

When you receive a message on Facebook, does it say that you've got an unread message at the top of the page (where the friend requests and notification buttons are)?
Yes they both work when i test them with the link but not when i recieve a message i doesnt flash
Stonos (author)  JTigchelaar3 years ago
That's weird. Does Facebook show you that you have an unread message (the same way that it shows you that you have an unread notification)? Also, does the script work for notifications?
ya it shows when i have an unread message and the LED notification light works fine
Stonos (author)  JTigchelaar3 years ago
I'm not sure why it's not working for you :/

Any errors in the error console related to my script (in Firefox, go to Tools -> Error Console and click Errors. Do that after Facebook has finished loading)?
i get an error in chrome
uncaught type error: can not read property 'location' of undefined

please help
Thanks so much
Origommi2 years ago
Anyway to make this talk to a USB LED instead?
mlakhwani2 years ago
dear sir,
in my case both the led's are working with your given link but not with gresemonkey script...is that due to new facebook pattern or some thing else..please help me out....

regards
me too. :(
help me pls
Stonos (author)  areyie ahmad2 years ago
I made a small change to the Greasemonkey script which might fix your problem.

I have also released an update to LEDBlinker (same URL).
Please try it and tell me if it fixes your problem.
Works excellent.!
thank a lot Stonos.!
Stonos (author)  mlakhwani2 years ago
I made a small change to the Greasemonkey script which might fix your problem.

I have also released an update to LEDBlinker (same URL).
Please try it and tell me if it fixes your problem.
I have a problem. Everything works properly, manually start and stop the LEDs. When I start the plugin with Facebook lose manual control. Nothing flashes and can not run LEDs manually. I can restore manual control only when I stop the plugin and process from Task Manager and start again LEDblinker. Guess the plugin is out off date, but don't know what needs to change.

(I try the plugin both on Mozzila and Chrome. Also, i use Windows 7, if there matters)
Stonos (author)  'главчев''2 years ago
I have released an update to LEDBlinker (same URL).
Please try it and tell me if it fixes your problem.
Works excellent! Thank you very much. :)
Can you do the same thing for Twitter? Like Twitter replies (@mention) and Twitter Direct Messages?
baven3 years ago
I have built one
LED Blinker.jpg
possum8883 years ago
Before I embark on this, has anyone had any success using this with a USB-to-Parallel adapter? I can use this on a computer which has a parallel port, but I'd prefer if I could use this on my laptop, which doesn't have a parallel port.
Usb to parallel adapters do not work on anything but printers, i did a project last year making a cnc driver and did extensive research on the topic because i too wanted to use it on my laptop, there were a few models that claimed to be "fully intigrated" or whatever but the cheapest one was 465 usd
account3r23 years ago
what are the other holes for?
atilimizgu3 years ago
i just finished project that works really good :)) but my green led is blinking on only chat window when somebody post some thing..
beehard443 years ago
it works! i added a parallel port switch to switch from printer to "FB Notificationator"
beehard443 years ago
it's so weird how nearly everyone of you aren't reliant on your parallel ports...

i just can't let go of my canon BJC1000SP....
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