Christmas Fun from our Electronic Security Department – Web Controllable Christmas LightsChris
We’ve let our access control electrical engineers loose on our Christmas shop window display and they’ve really given us something fun to play with this year. We’ve let our access control electrical engineers loose on our Christmas shop window display and they’ve really given us something fun to play with this year.
Our electronic security side of the business has grown to be equally as busy as our locksmith / physical security team. The Rossells access control engineers are considered the best in the East Midlands, with projects ranging from our local solicitors across the road, to the national car rental installation reaching out across over 50 buildings.
Instead of passing a one day training course and setting to work on our customers expensive security systems, we insist that our team fully understand the detailed electronics and software programming they are working with. As a result of better understanding, we have been able to increase our one visit completion rates to 94%, and branch out into building automation systems where we can create intelligent workplaces with energy saving benefits.
So enough of what we get paid to do, and onto what our guys have created for the Christmas of 2013…
The link at the bottom of this blog will take you to the Christmas control page on our servers. By clicking around on the various buttons, you will toggle the selected lighting decoration on or off, and the live streaming webcam will let you see what’s happening (with a slight delay).
The lighting decorations are all LED’s, so very energy efficient, and your clicks are directly affecting what the people looking through our shop window will see!
Want us to get technical?
Well the three buttons submit a post request directly from our servers to a small linux computer called a Raspberry Pi, the ‘Pi’ receives the request and triggers one of its GPIO pins depending on the request received. The GPIO pins are only rated at 3 – 5 volts, so the guys used a set of relays to make it suitable for switching mains voltage. Finally the lights are plugged into the relays, and linked up to the right buttons on the page.
The webcam is an old one we had knocking around the office from a primary school visitor check in system we designed. A snapshot is taken every 5 seconds, and sent to our server to display on the page above the buttons.
If you’re really lucky, you might even be seeing our web pages served up from our prototype ‘Green Machine’ servers. These are 4 of the same Raspberry Pi’s used above, working in a ‘cluster’ to host all of our emails, phone system and websites, but at a fraction of the power used by traditional servers. In fact, our energy monitoring tests have shown the whole system using just 10 watts of power. Not sure what that means? Well it’s the equivalent of the power used whilst charging an iPhone 5. Once the system is fully tested and reliable, it could even operate on solar power (with recharging batteries) alone, which would really take a chunk out of our carbon footprint.
Have a read about Raspberry Pi’s and the Foundation here.
Come into the security shop on London Road, Leicester. Chat with the staff and play with the lights in real time.
If we’re not open, you can just stand outside the window and wave to your friends on the webcam.
Finally, here is the link to the fun stuff.. Merry Christmas from everyone at Rossells Locksmiths.
Merry Christmas, from everyone at Rossells Locksmiths Ltd
By Chris Bowles Google