Category Archives: projects

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!

Project Update: Jerome v1.1

The latest release version of Songbird was incompatible with my library consolidation script. So I modified it, and its working with Songbird v1.1 now. Unfortunately this makes it *incompatible* with any previous Songbird version (like 1.o).

jerome – A Songbird library consolidation script for Linux users.

score2sms – DIY football score updates via text message

A cool new project I’ve just finished…

Let’s say you’re favourite football team is playing tonight, BUT you’ve just promised your girl that you’d take her out to that new Indo-Cuban sushi restaurant slash hair salon (hey, it could exist). So what do you do? Now obviously you can access the net using your mobile these days, but that means you have to keep checking your phone every 2 minutes. Or I suppose you could ask a friend to update you, but at the rate your friend is downing those beers at the sports bar he’s probably not going to remember to text you (well my friends anyway). The solution?


score2sms is a system using some Linux software, some electronics and an old Nokia mobile phone which will automatically text you when the score changes for games that you have chosen to monitor. Click the pic for more details.

The score2sms setup.

The score2sms setup.

Check out the project page here.