Hardware Thread, Computer Controlled Bell Ringer! in Technical; Understand you can get "central heating style" timers for ringing the lesson change bell, but is there one that can ...
2nd July 2008, 12:20 PM #1
Computer Controlled Bell Ringer!
Understand you can get "central heating style" timers for ringing the lesson change bell, but is there one that can be controlled remotely via a PC perhaps?
We are looking for a replacement system, and if we can find one that can be controlled from a computer, it would be useful as very often we have timetable changes, and this means the current system has to be manually overridden.
To simply re-program the timing via a PC based utility would be great!
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2nd July 2008, 12:23 PM #2
Might seem stupid but ethernet?
We have a bell here in the exams hall that goes via ethernet to the main office bell.
2nd July 2008, 12:42 PM #3
How does that work?
Originally Posted by Hightower
And is it programmable, in that you can vary the times it will ring unattended?
2nd July 2008, 12:49 PM #4
It's a manual trigger that our old NM wired so the exams officer could ring for assistance in emergencies.
I'm not sure if it would work automatically - I just know it can be done manually.
I was kind of thinking if you had a dedicated PC that turned the network card on and off at certain times it might work.
I may also be on cloud number 9
2nd July 2008, 01:09 PM #5
OK, thanks for the reply, but it's probably not what we are looking for.
Originally Posted by Hightower
2nd July 2008, 01:25 PM #6
- Rep Power
I have a system where I have an oldish pc connected to the bell via a relay and USB project board. A very simple C app runs when Windows starts and fires the bell at certain times of the day. The times are hard-coded into the app though but i guess it wouldn't be hard to stick them in an INI file, and even have a mechanism to ring manually. Stick VNC on it and it becomes remote too.
If you're really adventurous at C, you could have a server program that runs the bell automatically and a client program to ring manually and change the times. The simple solution suits my school so i didn't go adventurous.
Maplin > USB Experiment Interface Board
Box it up however you like, I mounted it on a PCI bracket
Use any old PC with a USB port
Write the software, and done.. (Looks like it supports Visual Basic too which may be easier!)
2nd July 2008, 01:25 PM #7
I don't know of any packages that do this but I should imagine if you've got a low voltage switch in place (or a relay/transformer). It would be relatively easy to do with the serial port or a microcontroller. (PICAXE)
2nd July 2008, 01:54 PM #8
Thanks fellas, but I was really looking for an out-of-the-box solution as opposed to being 'creative'.
Originally Posted by Jona
None of us here have programming knowledge, nor electronics per se, so 'mickeying' up home-made solutions is not going to happen.
2nd July 2008, 02:02 PM #9
We have an automatic bell system. I do not know how it's controlled by I do know that it can be programmed and it's possible to manually override.
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