terça-feira, 25 de junho de 2013

London's transportation system...

Hello all,

As you probably don't know, I live in London (the UK one) and I must admit it is the city with the best transportation system in the world. Ok, I haven't been in every country or major city of this planet, but I've been to a few and the only system that gets close is the SMRT in Singapore.

The best thing about the London public transportation system, or TfL as is known in the Uk is its Countdown service (click the link for an explanation).
To use this service all you have to do is go to http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/, search for the bus stop you need and you'll get a prediction of when the next bus will roll by based on the GPS position of the buses.

This is all good and great... and not really a problem if you have one of the many mobile apps or if you keep a computer always on in your place, but for most people having to go online to check the website or go to the app... might be troublesome.

Wouldn't it be better if we could have an LCD board like this:

Bus stop arrival times
in your hallway or next to your front door so you could always see the next bus coming? Obviously, this is too big for that, but if it could be done with a little LCD display it would be great, right?

That's what I thought... and ended up with this: 

My own personal Bus Arrival notification panel. 

One interesting thing about it is that since a couple of months back, the Thames Clipper River Service is also included in countdown as you can see in the video. 

My original idea was to use an LCD shield and use the keys to create a config menu, however I realized (the hard way) that my Ethernet shield is not compatible with the LCD shield (the backlight control pin is use in the SPI communication) and so had to build my own lcd shield for Arduino... and boy, is that weird spacing a headache or what??? 

Next I'll post more details about this... and the library used... so stay tuned. 

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