Twitter Mentions on a Dot-Matrix Display

Let’s say that you don’t have your smartphone around and someone mentions you on twitter. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a display that automatically reads your twitter mentions and show it on a scrolling display? So let’s build a internet controlled (IoT) dot-matrix display that does this for us using an ESP8266. The plan to accomplish this is as follows: Someone mentions us on twitter (in my case @debsahu) IF This Then That (IFTTT) tracks these mentions and posts this data on Adafruit.io (MQTT Broker) An ESP8266 connects to Adafruit.io and shows this data on a Dot-Matrix display We can’t control who mentions us on twitter, so we move to the second step in our plan to configure IFTTT and Adafruit.io. To setup a data feed (MQTT topic) on Adafruit.io, Goto “feed” and “Create New Feed” Provide a unique name for the feed like “twitter-calls”, this means the MQTT topic that we need to subscribe to is “feed/twitter-calls” To setup IFTTT to connect to twitter and Adafruit.io, Connect your twitter and Adafruit.io account to IFTTT by logging in and giving proper permissions Create a new applet For “this“: Select “twitter” and “New mention of you” For “that“: Select “Adafruit” and “Send data to Adafruit.io”. Remember to select the correct topic created above and a message template using ingredients that suits your need. As a part of the third step in our plan, we need to subscribe to our MQTT topic and display this data on a Dot-Matrix display. Hardware Wemos D1 mini (ESP8266) link Max7219 Dot Matrix Display here Software Setup Arduino IDE to be able to program an ESP8266 (Instructions on how to do this is here as well as in the video below). Install Adafruit_MQTT and MAX7219 Dot-Matrix display libraries Upload the code found here on your ESP8266 Make these following connections between Max 7219 display and Wemos D1: VCC -> 5V GND -> GND DIN -> D7 CS -> D8 CLK -> D5 That’s it, now you should be able to see your latest twitter mentions on your Dot-Matrix displays.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Building electronics is one of my hobbies and I have in the recent year developed this skill to a point that I can help inspire others to make these things that make our day to day activities easier. Activities as simple as turning on and off lights using the internet (or using voice via siri/alexa/google voice) will help save energy and make our lives more easy aka… automated. My MCU of choice will be ESP8266 which costs as low as $3 which operates at 80 MHz, equipped with WiFi and up to 8 GPIO pins. I own a few NodeMCU v1.0 and Wemos D1 mini that I will use for almost all of my projects. I have a tons of ESP8266 (micro-processors with WiFi capability), relays, displays, motion sensors, led strips etc that I can assemble to make a functional product. There will be two aspects to this, Hardware building encompassing soldering and planning circuits Software (Arduino IDE) to take care of all this hardware functioning properly. I will spare some time and build one product at a time, documenting it by videos and post the details over here. Some project examples will be something in the lines of internet controlled light switch or motion sensor based home automation or home security using laser trap or animations on a LED strip etc.