LittleBits SMART HOME KIT

Introduction

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In this blog post, you will find all resources related to the Smart Home Kit. The Smart Home Kit can turn any household object into an internet-connected device. Instead of buying a bajillion different smart products, you can reinvent the things you already have. Control your AC from anywhere. Automate your curtains to open at sunrise. Make a remote controlled pet feeder. The Smart Home Kit is the easiest way to Snap the Internet to Anything.

For smart home project inspiration, check out the Community, where you will find DIY projects for all the rooms in your house!

There are 5 new modules in the Smart Home Kit. To learn more about how to use them, check out the following links and videos:

Tips & Tricks: Threshold
Tips & Tricks: MP3 Player
Tips & Tricks: Number+
Tips & Tricks: Temperature Sensor
Tips & Tricks: IR Transmitter & the AC Switch

Smart Home Kit Basics

The Smart Home Kit contains 14 modules, ranging from a temperature sensor to the internet-connected cloudBit. It also has 11 accessories–including an AC switch that allows you to remotely control household appliances (like fans and lights) with a littleBits circuit. No need to mess with any electrical wiring.
The kit also includes a fold out poster with information about every module in the kit as well as 14 project ideas (e.g. smart refrigerator, retrofitted curtains that open at sunrise, a smart lighting) to transform any room in your home. The possibilities are infinite. Step by step instructions for every project are illustrated in the poster as well as hundreds more online.

Meet The New Bits

Let’s talk about Bits! The cloudBit is the super star of the Smart Home Kit and there are five new modules that we’re psyched to add to our growing library of modules. Huge props to our engineering and cloud teams for bringing these modules to life.

1. Temperature Sensor
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The temperature sensor outputs a voltage between 0V and 5V based on the ambient temperature surrounding the module. Place it before the number module (in “value” mode) to see the current temperature. Transform your current AC unit into a Smart AC Unit with this module.

2.Threshold
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The threshold compares the signal coming into the module’s input connector to a voltage you set with the knob. If the input voltage is greater than the selected voltage, the output is set to 5V (high). Use it to make any sensor module into a trigger module. The Smart Fridge project is a great use of the threshold.

3.Number
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The number module features a two-digit, seven-segment LED display. In the “read” mode, the module displays information about the signal it’s receiving. In the “count” mode, the module counts up or down with each trigger. The counter can be reset by receiving a trigger at the reset bitSnap. This number module is new and improved from the existing number module. The Bark Tracker project shows off the counting functionality of the module really well AND it features a cute doge. Double threat project.

4.MP3 Player
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Add music and sound effects to your next project with the MP3 player! Just load your MP3 files onto the provided microSD card. Sending a signal to the MP3 player can make it work as an audio player or sampler. Toggle between two volume levels by pressing both the forward and back buttons simultaneously. An audio guide with detailed info is loaded on the microSD card. Check out the SMS Doorbell + Answering Machine to see the MP3 player in all it’s glory.

5.IR Transmitter
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The IR (infrared) transmitter sends a short pulse of modulated infrared light. You can activate it with a trigger from an input module (like a button). Use it to wirelessly activate the AC switch to turn appliances like a lamp or fan on and off!

6.AC Switch
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The AC Switch is an IR controlled electrical socket, AKA an appliance upgrader. Use it with the IR transmitter to remotely turn on or off anything that plugs into a standard outlet. As a note, it works with devices that use up to 15 Amps. Check out the Coffee Control project to see the AC switch in action.

Make Smart Home Projects

1. Coffee Control

Make your dumb coffee machine smart! There is no need to buy a completely new coffee maker just to connect it to the internet. Use littleBits to brew the perfect pot of joe anytime from anywhere. This project features the brand new AC switch and IR transmitter.

Coffee_Control.Still003LR

How it works:
When you press the button in Cloud Control [on your phone or computer], a signal is sent to the cloudBit, which triggers the IR transmitter. The IR transmitter sends a blast of infrared light which is picked up by the infrared sensor on the AC switch. Upon receiving an IR signal, the AC switch toggles any device that is plugged into it on or off. The bright LED acts as a visual indicator that your circuit triggered.

How To Make It
STEP 1 :
Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t done so already. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here.

STEP 2 :
Connect your circuit: USB power + cloudBit + IR transmitter + bright LED. We held our circuit together with a littleBits mounting board.

Click here for the circuit diagram.

STEP 3 :
Plug the AC Switch into the wall. Then plug your coffee maker into the AC switch and turn it on [Note: during setup, it is best not to have water in your coffee machine]. You will notice that the AC switch has a small oval-shaped sensor tethered to it. You will want to position this sensor so that there is a direct line of sight between it and the IR transmitter on your littleBits circuit. Note: the IR transmitter emits light out from the side of the board. You will need to position the circuit so that the side of the IR transmitter is facing the AC switch. IR light is invisible to the human so you won't see anything happen on the board when you trigger the IR transmitter. You will however see the bright LED flash quickly if the cloudBit is triggered.

STEP 4 :
Prepare the IR transmitter. The IR transmitter has four channels and is able to work with up to four AC switches. However, for this project, unless you have more than one AC switch, you only need to use one channel on the IR transmitter. Set one of the little switches on the IR transmitter to the "on" position.

STEP 5 :
Pair the IR Transmitter with the AC switch. If you have a button module handy, temporarily replace the cloudBit in your circuit with it [if not, you can still use the cloudBit - the button just makes it easier to test quickly]. On the AC switch, you will see a slow blinking red light. If you don’t see this, hold down the button on the AC switch until you do. On your circuit, press the button module to pair with the IR transmitter. You should see the red light on the AC switch blink very quickly and then go off.

STEP 6 :
Test the circuit. Now, when you press the button module, your coffee maker should turn on. Press it again and your coffee maker should turn off. If it doesn't work, check all the connections of your plugs and/or try adjusting the positioning of the IR transmitter. To reset the AC switch, just hold the button down until the red light starts blinking slowly again.

STEP 7 :
Make it smart! Once you know your circuit works, replace the button module with the cloudBit. Wait for the cloudBit to connect to wifi (the LED should be solid green), and then use the button on Cloud Control to remotely turn your coffee maker on and off.

STEP 8 :
Grind some coffee beans, add water, and brew!

2. Smart Fridge

Get alerted if your refrigerator door has been left open for too long!
The FDA says that your fridge should be set between 38 and 40 degrees fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above this temperature for an extended period of time, your food could go bad. Prevent this from happening with the littleBits smart fridge circuit. We've all accidentally left the fridge door open. Now your fridge will communicate with you when this happens so you can save your food!

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How it works:
This circuit lives inside your refrigerator. The temperature sensor module senses the current temperature and displays the readout on the number module. A threshold module after the number module is set to trigger the cloudBit if the temperature rises above 50 degrees fahrenheit. The threshold will turn any sensor into a trigger based on the parameter you set. We chose 50 degrees because we only want the fridge to trigger if open for an extended period of time vs. just a few seconds. When the cloudBit recieves the trigger from the threshold, a text message is sent to your phone through IFTTT's SMS channnel. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that lets you connect to different web apps through simple conditional statements.

How To Make It
STEP 1
Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t done so already. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here.

STEP 2
Set the threshold by building this circuit: USB power + cloudBit + threshold + number. Make sure your cloudBit is connected to WiFi [LED on board is solid green]. Set the number module to "value" mode so it will display the temperature data in either fahrenheit or celsius. Switch between the two readouts by flipping the switch on the temperature sensor board.

To begin, the knob on the threshold should be turned all the way clockwise and the number module should read 00. In the Cloud Control "send" tab, move the slider to 50 [or whatever temperature you want your fridge to trigger at]. Then, on your circuit, turn the threshold slowly counterclockwise until your number module displays 99 instead of 00. Now when the slider is below 50, the number module should display 00 and when the slider is above 50, the number module should read 99. Basically, you've made an on/off switch at 50 degrees [or 50% voltage]. Now the threshold is set and ready to be placed in the final circuit.

STEP 3
Connect your circuit: USB power + temperature sensor + number + threshold + cloudBit. We held our circuit together with littleBits adhesive shoes and stuck in to the inside of the fridge. Strategically run the power adapter cable out the refrigerator door so that it doesn't get in the way when opening and closing.

STEP 4
Create an account on IFTTT.com and activate the littleBits channel.
Click here for circuit diagram.

STEP 5
Set up the text alert with IFTTT’s SMS channel. The recipe should read: IF my littleBits cloudBit is triggered, THEN send me a text message. Check out our recipe below.

STEP 6
Test out your circuit. Try leaving your refrigerator door open for 5 minutes or so to verify that the text alert works when the temperature climbs above 50 degrees. You could also test by taking the circuit out of the fridge so that warms up.

STEP 7
Now your smart fridge is ready to go. Keep that food fresh!

3. Good Morning Sunshine

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A cloud-connected circuit that automatically opens up your curtains and plays a wake up sound every morning at sunrise (or other time of your choosing).
Using IFTTT we can send a trigger signal through the cloudBit at a scheduled time every day. This signal goes down both wires of the Split Module. On one end it causes the servo to pull the pin that is holding up a counterweight. When the pin is pulled, the weight falls, pulling the cord that opens the curtains. On the other end of the split, the trigger signal causes the mp3 players to start playing a sound file. This file is played through the speaker, which is hooked up to an old radio horn for amplification and general awesomeness.

HOW TO MAKE IT
STEP 1
Cut out the wooden panels you will need to assemble the shelf for the circuit and speaker.

1-Cut-Diagram

STEP 2
Glue the panels A, B, and C together as shown in the assembly graphic. When you add the shaft collar, make sure that the set screw is facing the back of the shelf (see image 6). A couple of pieces of double sided tape will help keep the shaft collar in place while you are gluing.

5-Shaft-Collar-Orientation

STEP 3
Next, glue two of the D strips together to create a .5” x .5” x 2.75” block. Repeat this with the other two D strips. When they are both dry, glue them to the back of panel A as shown in the assembly diagram. The space between the two pieces should be the width of the servo.

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STEP 4
Next, glue both E and F strips together to form the square that will hold the speaker. When this is dry, glue the square to the top of plate C .

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STEP 5
Once all the glue has dried, you can paint the assembled shelf and screw it into the two shelf brackets. A clamp will help keep the shelf in place while you work.

STEP 6
Next, put the servo in the slot you created at the back of the shelf and screw it into place.
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STEP 7
Place your speaker on the small speaker box with the speaker facing down into the hole. (a little hot glue or tape can help keep it in place) and then add the rest of your circuit. Adhesive shoes will help keep the bits in place as you work.

STEP 8
Screw the shelf to the wall next to your window and then add the radio horn. The set screw on the shaft collar will lock the horn in place.

STEP 9
Mount the two pulleys on either side of your curtain rod and add the pull cord. One end of the pull cord can be tied directly to the right curtain. You will need to run a string from the left curtain to the top of the pull cord
96-Curtain-and-Pulley-Assembly
STEP 10
Tie the other end of the pull cord to the steel ring, then use a little more rope to tie the counterweight to the ring. Mount the panel hanging bracket (which we use to hold the quick release pin in place) on the wall so that when the curtains are closed, the steel ring sits right inside the bracket. See image below image NOTE: The quick release pin we bought has a small spring and ball mechanism that locks it in place. We used a file to grind this ball down so the pin would pass through the bracket easier.

99-full-mechanism-detail

98-Pin-Detail

STEP 11
Use a string to tie the quick-release pin to the servo. A eye hook will help guide the string from the servo to the release mechanism. This string will need to be pretty tight so that when the servo turns it pulls the pin all the way out of the bracket.

STEP 12
Now that your wakeup machine is all set it, it’s time to automate it with IFTTT. We’ve included two sample recipes you could make. One is set up to activate at the same time every day (just like a regular morning alarm). The other is set up to activate at sunrise (which is at a different time each day of the year).

4. Wireless Lighting

Turn on a lamp [or any other appliance that plugs into the wall] anytime from anywhere. Arriving home late to a dark apartment or just sitting on the couch and feeling lazy? Simply use your phone to remotely turn a lamp on or off.

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How it works:
When you press the button in Cloud Control [on your phone or computer], a signal is sent to the cloudBit, which triggers the IR transmitter. The IR transmitter sends a blast of infrared light which is picked up by the infrared sensor on the AC switch. Upon receiving an IR signal, the AC switch toggles any device that is plugged into it on or off. The bright LED acts as a visual indicator that your circuit triggered.

HOW TO MAKE IT

STEP 1
Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t done so already. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here

STEP 2
Connect your circuit: USB power + cloudBit + IR transmitter + bright LED. We held our circuit together with a littleBits mounting board.

Click here for the circuit diagram.

STEP 3
Plug the AC Switch into the wall. Then plug your lamp into the AC switch and turn it on. You will notice that the AC switch has a small oval-shaped sensor tethered to it. You will want to position this sensor so that there is a direct line of sight between it and the IR transmitter on your littleBits circuit. Note: the IR transmitter emits light out from the side of the board. You will need to position the circuit so that the side of the IR transmitter is facing the AC switch. IR light is invisible to the human so you won't see anything happen on the board when you trigger the IR transmitter. You will however see the bright LED flash quickly if the cloudBit is triggered.

STEP 4
Prepare the IR transmitter. The IR transmitter has four channels and is able to work with up to four AC switches. However, for this project, unless you have more than one AC switch, you only need to use one channel on the IR transmitter. Set one of the little switches on the IR transmitter to the "on" position.

STEP 5
Pair the IR Transmitter with the AC switch. If you have a button module handy, temporarily replace the cloudBit in your circuit with it [if not, you can still use the cloudBit - the button just makes it easier to test quickly]. On the AC switch, you will see a slow blinking red light. If you don’t see this, hold down the button on the AC switch until you do. On your circuit, press the button module to pair with the IR transmitter. You should see the red light on the AC switch blink very quickly and then go off.

STEP 6
Test the circuit. Now, when you press the button module, your lamp should turn on and off. If it doesn't work, check all the connections of your plugs and/or try adjusting the positioning of the IR transmitter. To reset the AC switch, just hold the button down until the red light starts blinking slowly again.

STEP 7
Make it smart! Once you know your circuit works, replace the button module with the cloudBit. Wait for the cloudBit to connect to wifi (the LED should be solid green), and then use the button on Cloud Control to remotely turn your lamp on and off.

STEP 8
Enjoy your smart lamp!

5. Remote Pet Feeder

When away, make sure your pet [fish, cat, dog] never goes hungry with this WiFi-activated feeder/treat dispenser.
You can either feed your pet remotely by pressing the button in Cloud Control (on your phone or computer) or you can set up an automated feeding schedule through IFTTT (If this then that). IFTTT is a service that lets you connect to different web apps through simple conditional statements.

How it works:
Any time the feeder receives a signal through the cloudBit, the servo is activated. A food container [with a small hole in its side] is attached to the servo. When the servo turns, a few pellets/kibble/treats drop out of the container and into a bowl. You can adjust the hole and size of the container accordingly depending on whether you are feeding a cat, dog, or fish.
You can activate the servo remotely in a couple different ways. You can either use the littleBits button in Cloud Control to send a single pulse to the cloudBit, activating the servo. Or, you could use an IFTTT channel, like Date & Time to automate the feeding at times you set.

HOW TO MAKE IT

STEP 1
Begin by making the stand for the remote pet feeder. Laser cut all the pieces using our attached cut template [remote pet feeder laser cut]

STEP 2
Using acrylic glue, glue the two layers of the base together (¼ thickness clear acrylic). The maximum thickness that our laser cutter can cut is ¼”, so we doubled up the layers here to make a sturdier base.

STEP 3
Next, glue the base and two side pieces together.

STEP 4
Cut a ⅜” wood dowel to connect the two sides at the top, providing support for the feeder. The length of the wood dowel you cut should be 4 inch. After you cut the dowel to size, sand the two ends to make them clean and smooth looking.

STEP 5
Assemble the top shelf. Secure the shelf arms to the inside of the stand. Use nuts and bolts to do this.

STEP 6
Secure the servo to the servo holder. We used small nylon nuts and bolts.Then place the servo holder into the slots on the shelf arms.

STEP 7
Build the circuit. See the circuit diagram in the image gallery or the PDF [Remote pet feeder-circuit diagram] below. Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t already. You can find information about how to do this here: littlebits.cc/cloudstart.

Remote_pet_feeder_circuit_diagram.jpg

STEP 8
Stick the circuit to the stand. We used littleBits Adhesive Shoes to hold our circuit in place.

STEP 9
Make the food container. Drill or cut a small hole in the side of the round tin. This is where the food will fall out when the servo turns. Use strong double-sided tape [like VHB] to fix the tin to the servo arm. If you are using a bigger container, you may want to screw the tin directly to the servo arm for more support. Next, place the servo arm on to the servo (you may need to remove the arm that is already on there). You also might need to rotate the position of the servo arm so that food falls out how you like.

STEP 10
Now you can feed your dear fish remotely! You can activate the feeder in a couple different ways. You can either use the littleBits button in Cloud Control to send a single pulse to the cloudBit, activating the servo. Or, you could use an IFTTT channel, like Date & Time to automate the feeding at times you set.

6. Bark Tracker

Receive text notifications from your dog while you’re away.

Want to know when your dog’s barking is out of control? This circuit will give you an inside look at a day in the life of your pooch. It will alert you if Fido barks too many times in a day. Depending on how you customize the information [i.e. if Fido barks 10 times or 50 times], you can track if and when there is a problem while you are out. Maybe Fido is spooked by the mailman every day at noon. This could be a good time to schedule the dog walker to come by.

How it works:
With the sound trigger and the number module, this circuit counts how many times your dog barks. The following threshold module only triggers if the number of barks passes the “threshold” that you determine [i.e. 50 barks]. When the threshold triggers, the cloudBit is activated, prompting IFTTT to send you a text notification. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that lets you connect to different web apps through simple conditional statements. Once notified, to reset the count to zero, simply press the button in Cloud Control to trigger the reset bitSnap on the number module.

HOW TO MAKE IT

STEP 1
Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t done so already. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here.

STEP 2
Set the threshold by building this circuit: USB power + cloudBit + threshold + number. Make sure your cloudBit is connected to WiFi [LED on board is solid green]. Set the number module to “value” mode. To begin, the knob on the threshold should be turned all the way clockwise and the number module should read 00. In the Cloud Control “send” tab, move the slider to 20 [or however many barks you want your cloudBit to trigger at]. Then, on your circuit, turn the threshold slowly counterclockwise until your number module displays 99 instead of 00. Now when the slider is below 20, the number module should display 00 and when the slider is above 20, the number module should read 99. Basically, you’ve made an on/off switch at 20 barks. Now the threshold is set and ready to be placed in the final circuit.

STEP 3
Connect your circuit: USB power + sound trigger + number + threshold + cloudBit + split [one wire on the split should snap into the reset bitSnap on the number module]. The other wire can hang free or could be used to add more functionality [more on that later].

Click here for the circuit diagram.

STEP 4
Connect your circuit: USB power + sound trigger + number + threshold + cloudBit + split [one wire on the split should snap into the reset bitSnap on the number module]. The other wire can hang free or could be used to add more functionality [more on that later].

STEP 5
Set up the text alert with IFTTT’s SMS channel. The recipe should read: IF my littleBits cloudBit is triggered [my dog barks], THEN send me a text message. Check out our recipe below.

STEP 6
Test out your circuit. Upon hearing 20 barks, you should receive a text message. Once you receive a text message you will probably want to reset the counter to zero. You can do this by pressing the button on cloud control. Now you can always know when Sparky misses you or is barking at the mailman.

STEP 7
Add on options! We’ve thought of a couple of ways that could respond to your pet in the case of over-barking. Using the same circuit, you could use the wire on the split module to connect an mp3 player and synth speaker. With this setup, when you trigger the reset, you could also play a sound clip for your pup - maybe your voice or a soothing lullaby to calm her when she is anxious. To learn how to use the mp3 player, check out the mp3 player Tips & Tricks. Another option would be to attach a servo module to the second wire on the split and build a dispenser that doles out treats [see remote pet feeder build instructions].

STEP 8
Try this alternate circuit to track each time your dog barks in a spreadsheet: USB power + sound trigger + cloudBit. With this configuration, you can use IFTTT’s Google Drive channel to log every bark with a timestamp on a google spreadsheet. You could then graph this information to visualize your dog’s activity over time.

7. Undercover Art

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Use littleBits to turn a work of art into a modern home security device.
This mask hangs on the wall, lit by a spotlight from across the room. Whenever someone steps in between the mask and the spotlight, it causes a light sensor to trigger the threshold, which sends signals to the cloudBit, the IR Transmitter, and the mp3 player. The cloudBit sends you a text message, alerting you of the intruder. The IR transmitter turns on all the lights in the room and the mp3 plays an alarm or warning of your choosing, scaring the intruder away.
We made the mask by out of paper, using a pattern we created on Pepakura Designer, software that helps you design folded paper objects. If you want to design your own mask, check out the Pepakura software page (link) as well as this super helpful tutorial from Instructables user krummrey (link)

HOW TO MAKE IT

STEP 1
Print out the mask pattern and cut out each of the shapes. Assembling the mask is much easier when you are using stiff paper, so we recommend printing it out on card stock or another heavy paper.

Bear Mask Pattern

STEP 2
Once you have cut out your shapes, it’s time to score all those dotted lines. Scoring the lines helps make each fold crisp and straight. To score the lines, we put a ruler along each line and drew on top of each line using firm pressure on a ball point pen (use a bone folder or a very dull knife if you don’t want to mark up your paper). Pepakura models have two types of dotted lines. Long dashes are mountain folds, meaning the fold will form a convex point on the outside of the model (like a mountain). Alternating long and short dashes are valley folds, meaning the fold will form a concave point on the outside of the model (like a valley). If you are using a ballpoint pen to score your lines, having two different colors will help you tell which folds are mountains and which folds are valleys.

STEP 3
Now it’s time to glue up your mask. The edges of each shape are numbered. You can tell which edges needed to be glued together because their numbers will match. We recommend using a small brush to apply glue to each tab. The brush helps you get a thin even coat of glue. Using too much glue gets pretty messy pretty quickly (and takes much longer to dry).

STEP 4
Once all the pieces were assembled and the glue had dried we decided to go a couple of steps further to make out mask more durable. However, this is totally optional so feel free to skip this step. A lot of our projects travel to various events around the country and we were worried that the paper would get crushed in shipping. There are quite a few options for making your paper models hard and durable and most of them involve spraying or brushing on some kind of resin. We used a two-part casting urethane called Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 321. We would mix about 2 ounces of resin, brush it on in a thin coat, wait for it to cure (about 30 minutes) and then add another coat. Once we were satisfied with the thickness of the resin we sanded the mask down for a smooth finish and applied a couple of coats of bright blue spray paint. NOTE: Be sure to read all the instructions for the resin and use the recommended safety equipment.

STEP 5
Now we can set up our circuit. The first step is to load a sound file onto your mp3 player. This is the sound that will play when your light sensor triggers the threshold. To do this, eject the SD card (the small black card in the metal holder) from the base of the board by pressing it in. Place the SD card in the SD card adapter provided with your mp3 module, pop it into your computer, and add any .mp3 files you like. When you are done, place the SD card back in the mp3 player. Make sure it clicks in place. Once your sound files are loaded, switch your mp3 player into once mode so the alert track will play one time whenever it is triggered.

STEP 6
Next, assemble the circuit shown in the circuit diagram. We recommend using shoes to keep the modules together and help attach them to the mask or wall.

STEP 7
Once your circuit is assembled, cut a small hole in the mask and position the IR transmitter right against the hole. This will allow your transmitter to send its signal to the sensor on the AC switch.

STEP 8
Plug in your circuit and mount it to the wall and place the mask over it. Position the sensor of the AC switch so that it can receive signals from the IR transmitter in the mask. The IR transmitter sends out a beam of infrared light, so the AC switch sensor needs to be in the path of that light. Now place a spotlight on the other other side of the room and point it at your mask. You will want to position the spotlight and the light sensor so that the spotlight shines through the eye holes of the mask and hits the light sensor.

STEP 9
Once your cloudBit has connected to the wireless network (when the light on it stops blinking and becomes a solid green) it’s time to calibrate your light sensor, threshold, and spotlight. First, make sure your light sensor is set to dark mode (this means the voltage will go up the darker it gets). Open cloud control and check the Receive tab for your cloudBit. You will want to adjust the sensitivity of the light sensor and the level of the threshold so that it’s receiving no signal when the spotlight is on the mask, but goes up to 100% when when you block the light from the spotlight.

STEP 10
Now we need to setup the AC switch so that it recognizes the signal from the IR transmitter. To do this, plug in the AC switch and wait for the little red light on it to start blinking (this means that it is in pairing mode, and will pair with the first signal it receives). Once it is blinking, block the light from the spotlight, which will cause the IR transmitter to send it’s signal to the AC switch sensor. The light on the AC switch will blink fast a few times, then go out, letting you know the two have been paired.

STEP 11
The last thing we need to set up an automated text message every time the cloud get’s triggered by the light sensor. We’ll do this with a recipe on IFTTT. The recipe you set up will look like this: IF input is received on the cloudBit, THEN send us a text message.

Undercover_Art_.Still004_v2-1

8-Resin-No-Paint

8. SMS Doorbell + Answering Machine

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Receive a text notification when someone rings your doorbell. Respond by playing back a recording to let them know you are on your way. Elevator music anyone?!
Whether you are in the backyard gardening, over at the neighbor’s house, or listening to music at full blast, you will always know when someone is at your door. Install this littleBits doorbell outside your home, and never miss a ring.

How it works:

When pressed, the button module on the Doorbell Answering Machine sends a signal through the cloudBit to IFTTT, which is set (via the SMS channel) to send you a text message [i.e. Knock knock! Someone is at the door]. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that lets you connect to different web apps through simple conditional statements. With a second IFTTT recipe, you can respond to the text message [i.e. #onmyway]. This will trigger the cloudBit in the Doorbell Answering Machine and activate a sound clip on the mp3 player to play out on synth speaker.

HOW TO MAKE IT

STEP 1
Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t done so already. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here.

STEP 2
Connect your circuit: USB power + button + bright LED + cloudBit + mp3 player + speaker. We held our circuit together with littleBits adhesive shoes. Note: you could also add a split to this circuit in order to better configure it for your build.

Click here to see the circuit diagram.

STEP 3
Load audio files onto the mp3 player. Remove the SD card from the base of the board by pressing it in. It should pop out . Place the SD card in an SD card adapter, pop it into your computer, and add any .mp3 files you like. When you are done, place the SD card back in the mp3 player. Make sure it clicks in place.

STEP 4
Set the mp3 player to whichever mode you like. If you only want one song/sound clip to play back to your visitors, we suggest “once mode”. If you want different sound clips to play back to your visitors, try “next” mode. Quickly test the mp3 player by removing the cloudBit from the original circuit so that is looks like this: power + button + mp3 player + speaker. The button module in this case acts just as the cloudBit will in the final setup. Press the button to play your sound files. If you are satisfied with the interaction, add the cloudBit back in.

STEP 5
Create an account on IFTTT (If This Then That) and activate the littleBits channel.

STEP 6
Set up the text messaging using IFTTT’s SMS channel. You will need to create two recipes - one that sends you a text message when someone rings your doorbell and another that plays a sound clip for your guest when you text back. See our IFTTT recipes below to see how we set them up.

STEP 7
In this project, we will just go through the circuit setup. For build inspiration, check out our SMS Doorbell project.

STEP 8
Test it out and put it to use!