DIY GSM-enabled Gate Access Control System

I built this system about a year ago, and I get so many people asking me how it was done I figured it would be a good post to help reboot my blog…

DIY Gate Access Control System


Both during the week and on weekends I entertain quite a few guests. We watch TV (sports/movies) in a room separate from the main house (the Playroom* – also home to my workshop) which does not have an intercom extension, and on the summer weekends I host braais in the outside entertainment area (also no intercom extension). Access to the property is through a motorised gate. Often guests ringing the doorbell will be doing so in vain, as the ringing can only be heard from inside the main house. Usually I get a message or a missed-call on my mobile informing me that someone is outside the gate and that no one is answering the doorbell!

Click to find out how I solved this problem using an Arduino, a Cellular Shield, some hardware hacking and some scripting!


Blog Reboot

Just a heads up that after two years of lying dormant I am attempting to reboot my blog. We’ll see how it goes.

End your almost-empty peanut butter jar woes

This is classic! I stumbled upon this awesome jar that opens on both ends so you never have to dig and scrape the last few bits of peanut butter (or similar foodstuffs) ever again!


[via skforlee]

Skater’s Home includes a Mini-Ramp into the Kitchen

Titled The Ramp House, this ‘skatable habitat’ was designed byAthanasia Psaraki for a skateboarder who wanted more integration between her living space and her skate space. Check out this post from ArchDaily for lots more pictures and more insight into the design. The entire house is designed around the ramps and bowls, and even elements such as the fireplace are directly embedded within the main living room space. I want to live here.

Click me for more info on this super awesome habitat![via ArchDaily]

Google Mow Their Lawn with Goats

From the official Google blog comes a a story of how they use goats to mow some fields adjacent to their headquarters. While gasoline-powered mowers do the job and spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the goats do the job and fertilize the fields at the same time. Legendary.

goats[via Official Google Blog]

A Test for Creativity

The Panamarican School of Art and Design have a very clever advertising campaign as created by AlmapBBDO, São Paulo, Brazil. An array of either x’s or o’s are printed on to a surface (paper, walls, doors, t-shirts, etc), upon which creatives are encouraged to manipulate, modify, enhance in an effort to develop as many symbols, glyphs or images as possible. Very cool.



Superhero Supply Store!

Grappling hooks, invisibility paint, jars of anti-matter, deflecter bracelets. Thats just some of the items for sale at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company. HOW AWESOME!


Proceeds from the store go to a non profit creative writing institute (the entrance to which is through a swinging bookcase within the store!).

Check this post for more details on the super items for sale, and some neat pics.

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co – A Tribe Called Next