Instructables
Picture of The CoaTracker
Has this ever happened to you? You wake up in the morning and realize that you're terribly late for work/class/your weekly pedicure/whatever. You throw on a t-shirt and flip flops, sprint around your warm, heated house grabbing your belongings, and race out the door...where you suddenly find yourself surrounded by a cold, biting wind encompassing you in a horrible vortex of snow. You're completely unprepared for this weather, but it's too late to go back now. You must suffer through the wintery day, freezing and looking like a crazy person who can't figure out how to put on a coat.

This instructable will show you how to create your very own CoaTracker, an interactive coat rack that tells you the local weather conditions with a single glance, so you'll never again be unprepared. The CoaTracker is not only useful, but also an aesthetically pleasing and thoroughly modern addition to your home.
 
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Step 1: What you'll need

Picture of What you'll need
To begin, you'll need to order an Arduino. LadyAda (www.adafruit.com) has a great starter kit for $65 that will provide you with everything you need to use the Arduino.

You'll also need to buy:
4 5V Relays (available at RadioShack)
4 3 ft pieces of Electroluminescent Wire, small to medium sized, any color
2 Inverters (you can order the EL Wire and inverters from any EL Wire site, I ordered mine from www.elwirepros.com/)

Now for the construction stuff. You can get creative here, but this is what I used (available at most arts and crafts stores):
1 packet of 4 12"x12" cork boards
1 flat wooden coat rack with 4 pegs

Now, you should be all set to get started!

Step 2: Software

You'll need to download a few different kinds of software to run the code:

Arduino software
http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

Processing software
http://processing.org/download/

Follow the instructions for your operating system.

After both softwares have been installed successfully, you'll also need to download Firmata, a standard Arduino firmware that makes it possible to control the Arduino through Processing. Follow all of the instructions here:
http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Interfacing/Processing
alex de4 years ago
i love this. i was here looking for how i could make a weather house,any clue?
i generally check out bbc weather online b4 i go to sleep the night b4, but still like the idea of making this with my son. love the design and its a coat rack too, ace.
: ) still wanna watch those lil people pop out of their house tho. mine in the kitchen ur's in the hall. nice1 jaylmer.
madlookin5 years ago
this is very clever and inventive....but for lazy people like me...i just pull the curtain.
Or... you could look out the window. Not as much fun, tho, I admit. :)