Introduction: VisPinger - Colorfy Your LAN State!

Help! I need somebody

Help! Not just anybody

Help! You know I need someone


Not long time ago I offered to public my project WebLight.

Unfortunately, it did not raise much of interest.

Some time has passed and one of comrades from site offered another idea:

He said: "Running lights - it is nice. But let's be honest - it is as useful as magpie d#@$. Neverless, there is a way to move this project from chindogu realm to relatively useful things.

Why not to take its schematics and create on its base a device, which visualizes LAN state?"

Great thought!

As many of you may know, one of the main duties of system administrator (besides struggling with users) is to stare on the screen with network topology and waiting for something to happens there ;)

Unfortunately, very few of CEO pay any attention to well-being of their admins and provide them with suitable equipment - a 50"++ inch display for example. And even if such kind Samaritan ever exists in the world, they totally refuse to pay any attention to psychophysiological features of man's brain.

Every sane person perfectly understands, that staring on a rarely changed picture is a hard job. It is clear to anyone (but CEOs), that all that equipment would be much better be used to display Fallout, Skyrim or similar content.

But enough meaningless moaning about cruelty of the world. Let's try to lighten a burden of sysadmins!

Step 1: The Wiring

Let's take WebLight project as a base and rename it to VisPinger. The most complicated part of job is done!

A couple of modification would be good as a final touch.

1) An ability to play MP3 files when some events happen would be good.

Even beautiful lights become dull when you stare on them all the time. But an unexpected sound may attract hairy guy attention to problem at last. A tiny MP3 player would do.

2) For more serious communication with real world (beside of feeble beep) we would add a relay module.

When real disaster happens, contraption may click relay and send signal to real world. Connect it to reset switch of equipment - and you would not need to plea admin to get job done!

The idea of VisPinger is simple: - poll periodically network nodes with ping.
- Based on ping timing or no answer situation display some color effect on corresponding LEDs.

- When some problem happens - play sound file to attract attention.

- And when real sh** happens - click corresponding relay. Together with comrade qawsed55, based on his experience and requirements, we created a structure of control file for VisPinger.

Step 2: Building

The building of project is simple.

- Take project from github and unpack it into your Arduino project folder.

- Copy content of libraries folder into your Arduino project \libraries\ folder

- open VisPinger.ino and start build. All should pass seamlessly.

After loading code to ESP8266 you would need to create initialization file, which corresponds to your network.

A sample file with comments is provided in data\ folder.

You may take it as a starting point and modify to suit your needs.

By default controller startts in WiFi AP mode.

Look for network VisPinger and connect with it with password vispinger.

Then you may set configuration to controller and switch it to WiFi client mode.

Step 3: Final Words

Result of this project - is a specialized controller for WS2812 LED strip, which check your lan and display it state.

You may take some cardboard, put LEDs in holes in it, put some labels on LEDs or draw connection between them. Then write a config file for VisPinger - and you got a live network map, which has big dimensions and easy to observe at a glance.

Cats did not like this contraption - lights are not moving.

So if you plan to impress them with this device - do not bother.

As usual - all descriptions, text, wiring, sources are put to github.