We live in Canada and winters can be brutal to motor vehicles; we park our car inside our garage but there have been a couple of times when we forgot the garage door open overnight and the northerly winds were not kind to the car or the inside of our garage. After it happened twice this past winter, I decided to fix it by installing a light indicator inside the push-button in our house to warn us if we forget it open again.
Basically this hack turns a BlinkM into a fancy garage door indicator by inserting it inside a push-button and by adding a magnetic door switch to activate it. I programmed the BlikM to flash a slow fading burst in green every 8 seconds when the garage door is closed, and flash fast with a fade effect in the red color when it is open.
Yes, I know... it could have been simpler, I could have just used a lighted push-button switch or a regular LED with the magnetic door switch, but I wanted it to be fancier than that and I have a tendency to "improve" things so I when I saw this hack that turns a BlinkM into a mini Arduino I knew it was the way I wanted to go at it; I had a couple of BlinkM handy anyway and this way I could make it flash the way I wanted.
Also, since the BlinkM is essentially a micro-controller, I can add more feature to this switch, for example I can use one of the unused inputs to flash the Blue LED to tell me when the mail man dropped by, but that is an upgrade for a later time...
Step 1: What I used:
1 x Push button switch (I was able to use the one that was already installed).
1 x BlnkM
1 x 5V DC adapter for power.
1 x Magnetic door switch- normally open (A normally closed one can be used but the code will have to be modified accordingly).
2 x terminal blocks for 4 wire connections each
* Arduino, breadboard, spare LEDs and jumper wires to program the BlinkM (See here for reference ).
* 4 conductor wire (I only used about 6 feet or 1.8 meters, but this can vary according to the individual setup).
* Soldering and de-soldering equipment plus your basic tool kit.