Cinematic Sign for Video Conferencing

Introduction: Cinematic Sign for Video Conferencing

This Instructable will teach you how to build a sign that turns on when you are in a teleconference so that others know not to disturb you.


Step 1: Adding the Letters

Put the letters of your choice onto the sign.

Step 2: The Relay + Arduino

Connect these together

Arduino GND - Relay DC-

Arduino 5v - Relay DC+

Arduino Pin 2 - Relay In*

*On the Arduino Nano, it is labeled as D2

Step 3: The Sign + Barrel Jack

Take the barrel jack (NOT the power supply!). Connect the barrel jack to the speaker wire using a NASA splice. Add heatshrink to the two new connections so they don't short (remember to put the heatshrink in place before you solder the connections). When you are done, it should look like this.

Step 4: Connecting the Power Supply

Take the Universal Power supply and connect the screw terminal's connector to it. This step is a bit complex, so we will do it in a few steps:

  1. Connect the power supply + to the relay COM
  2. Connect the power supply - to the speaker wire -
  3. Connect the speaker wire - to the power supply -

When you have done that, it should look like this:

Set the universal power supply to 5v with the key included with the power supply. This is VERY IMPORTANT. If there is more than 5V, you could damage the sign.

Step 5: Programming the Arduino

Get the Arduino IDE (if you don't have it already). Download the latest release from my GitHub repo that contains the code for this. Note that the code is under the Unlicense. Extract the (we will use the other zip later on).Go into the SerialLEDMoniter folder. Open the SerialLEDMoniter.ino file with the Arduino IDE. Select the board you are using (I used an Arduino Nano) by going to Tools>Board. Then select the port that the Arduino is on. Then press upload ( the ⭢ button). If it gives you an error, double-check that you selected the correct port. If that doesn't work, try doing Tools>Processor>ATmega328P (Old Bootloader).

Step 6: Setting Up the Code on the Computer

THIS STEP IS FOR WINDOWS ONLY. If you don't have Windows, or want to run it from source, skip this step and go to the next one.

To run the pre-made executable from Windows, extract the folder. Go into the extracted folder, then go into dist/main. From that folder, run main.exe by double-clicking on it. You are done! When the program is running, and the Arduino is connect over USB to your laptop, and the power supply is plugged in, when you are in Microsoft Teams, the sign should turn on.

Common issue:

Issue - It pops up a message saying "Include the desired COM port as the first argument". Solution - Rerun the program from the command line by using the command python3 COMxx.

Step 7: Building From Source (optional)

This step explains how to run the source code directly, rather than use the executable.

First, clone my GitHub repo.

(Option 1 - cross-platform, from source) - In it, run COMxx to start the program* with the COM port as the first argument.

(Option 2 - Remake the executable, only tested on Windows 10) - To build this into an exe (like I did to create the release), [in a shell] install pyinstaller by running pip install pyinstaller. Then do pyinstaller It will think for a bit, then inside dist/main there will be something called main.exe. That is the thing you want to run.

*Be sure to run this in Python 3.

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