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A project to create a LED display to be put in the room, allowing people from IRC or other sources to send messages to the people inside.

Basic Idea

IRC bot that activates a rotating light (Gyrophare) when someone types a message in IRC. This can be useful e.g. in case people are waiting outside the door. A message can be optionally embedded in the message and displayed on the display.

Idea shamelessly copied from https://raumzeitlabor.de/wiki/Ping and https://raumzeitlabor.de/wiki/Ping%2B


Currently working on the project:

Decisions taken

  • Implement a Blinkenlights compliant device as display
  • Use an Arduino (with Ethernet shield) to drive the LED panel
  • Resolution of the panel between 48x8 and 64x16
  • Monochrome LEDs
  • The display, including LED matrix, will be built from scratch


  • Should be modular in some way: the input might come from other sources (Twitter, SMS, hidden button near the entrance, ...), and the output might go to other signals (recorded message through MPD for instance <AOL voice>You've got visitors!</AOL voice>).

Procrastinated decisions

  • Should the display be reachable over IPv6?
  • Does the IRC bot run from the Arduino itself?
    • Yes it can !
    • 20Ko are needed to do the minimal job (connecting, registering, etc...) using Arduino APIs (32Ko are available on the Uno)
      • We can free up to 2Ko by disabling Serial outputs (used for debugging)


  • Discover how much flash/RAM is needed for a Blinkenlights implementation on an Arduino UNO (the_nihilant)
  • Discover how much flash/RAM is needed for the implementation of an IRC bot on an Arduino UNO (CapsLock)



  • LED display
  • Rotating light (Gyrophare)
  • Controller for the display and light
  • Somewhere to run the IRC bot on (on the Arduino itself or on another system, maybe another Arduino or a RaspberryPi or any computer in the room or outside, provided the panel is reachable from there


  • IRC bot (standalone or Arduino)
  • Display driver (Arduino)