Mail notifier clone

I’ve been a bit slack with blog posts of late. I’ll probably start with more electronics when the weather turns, but for now I’m enjoying the sun.

In the mean time several of the forum members on have been attempting to build a mail notifier inspired the LED cube that I’ve built. They’ve put their progress in this thread. Forum member posted some pictures to that thread. They’ve gone a bit further than I have by etching their own PCBs and using SMT components.

Here is the completed circuit controlling a mini lava lamp from forum member AlphaCentauri whom has also adapted with Twitter/ICQ/Mail notifier software, dBird to control the cube.


USB caps lock fob

When building the USB mail notifier, I found this blog post describing how to build a tiny USB device that randomly turns the caps key on. One of my colleagues, Simon, particularly hates accidental caps presses, so much so that, he physically removed the key from his keyboard. This made him the ideal target for this joke.

The hardware required is very similar to the email notified I built. It is actually possible with a reprogram of the chip to use the same device. However I want to make this small enough to be hidden.

As with all my projects I’m trying to avoid making PCBs or using surface mount devices. I’m sticking with stripboard and normal sized devices. I used the same vertical mount of inline components.

I have removed the USB connector from an old memory stick and, although this is surface mount, the pins are spaced far enough apart to sit on a track each.

When all the parts a soldered and the chip is flashed I tested the device. It doesn’t seem to work on OS X, but fortunately it does on Windows.

Caps locker fob
Caps locker fob

As for Simon, he was perplexed for about 40 minutes, but saw the funny side when he figured it out 🙂