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.

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?
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?
Can you upload the LED Blinke again? The link is not working
Sorry about that. I attached the zip to step 3.
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
Sorry, as far as I know, USB-to-parallel cables won't work :(<br> <br> 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 <a href="http://www.plaisio.gr/Computers/Hardware/Controllers---Hub/NOD-PCI-Serial-Parallel-X-1-Controller.htm" rel="nofollow">this one</a>, but if you can't find that particular model in your country, then you can try <a href="http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4638" rel="nofollow">this one</a>, which should work, since it uses a chip similar to my card.<br>
any chance this can be done with a serial port (unfortunately dont have a parallel port or any open PCI ports) - Thanks!
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.<br><br>I guess the first step is to see if inpout32.dll ca handle serial port action or if it strictly does parallel ports.
the message light doesnt work? plz help
As described in step 6, there are some limitations regarding the message LED: &quot;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.&quot;<br><br>Make sure that the LED is correctly connected (does the message LED start blinking when you visit ?). 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?
Replace line 12 (&quot;var notifCount = jc.getElementsByTagName(&quot;span&quot;)[0];&quot;) with &quot;var notifCount = document.getElementById(&quot;jewelInnerUnseenCount&quot;);&quot;.<br><br>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
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
Yes, it's still on LED 1.<br><br>Some questions:<br>Does the LED blink when you go to ?<br><br>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
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
I'm not sure why it's not working for you :/<br><br>Any errors in the error console related to my script (in Firefox, go to Tools -&gt; Error Console and click Errors. Do that after Facebook has finished loading)?
i get an error in chrome <br>uncaught type error: can not read property 'location' of undefined<br><br>please help
Thanks so much
Anyway to make this talk to a USB LED instead?
dear sir,<br>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....<br><br>regards
me too. :(<br>help me pls<br>
I made a small change to the Greasemonkey script which might fix your problem.<br><br>I have also released an update to LEDBlinker (same URL).<br>Please try it and tell me if it fixes your problem.
Works excellent.! <br>thank a lot Stonos.! <br>
I made a small change to the Greasemonkey script which might fix your problem.<br><br>I have also released an update to LEDBlinker (same URL).<br>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.<br><br>(I try the plugin both on Mozzila and Chrome. Also, i use Windows 7, if there matters)
I have released an update to LEDBlinker (same URL).<br>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?
I have built one
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 &quot;fully intigrated&quot; or whatever but the cheapest one was 465 usd
what are the other holes for?
i just finished project that works really good :)) but my green led is blinking on only chat window when somebody post some thing..
it works! i added a parallel port switch to switch from printer to &quot;FB Notificationator&quot;
it's so weird how nearly everyone of you aren't reliant on your parallel ports...<br> <br> i just can't let go of my canon BJC1000SP....<br>
Can this work with gmal?
Oh, also is there some program or something that can just make it turn on or off or just make it blink on or off?
what kind of led? like a 3v?
can this work with twitter?
MUST TRY!! really great :)
i don't know how many V comes out the paralel port, but in any case u want to add a resistor to those LED's
About 3.3V in my case.
3.3V is more than in the safe range of most standardized LEDs, no resistor is required.
A resistor isn't required for voltage control; but instead for current control. A good design would be one where the current through the LEDs are limited to about 20mA.
20ma is more than any printer port can source safely.....Guaranteed is only up to 2.6ma. Its a TTL output. There are ports around that can source more, but how will you find out if it can or not? I do not know of a safe way other than accept that TTL values will never damage it. Regards Andy

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More by Stonos:Facebook LED blink on new notifications and messages Facebook LED blink on new notifications and messages 
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