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Thread: Talking Toolbox

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    France, Brittany !
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    Talking Toolbox

    I's been a while I haven't posted anything, I have a batch of things late to show ...

    Here is my last invention !
    It's a multi-function smart and talking tool box.

    It is really full featured, you can :
    • Carry your tools (yep, it's a toolbox after all)
    • It has a power bar in order to plug your mains connected power tools
    • It also brings 5V USB in order to charge your phone for instance or power any small device.
    • It has an embedded 12V DC 20A power supply. I can plug for instance my "corded cordless drill"
    • Additionally, it is a multi-media sound station :
      • Stereo CLass D amplifier, with dual speakers.
      • FM tuner with deployable antenna for good reception, wherever you work
      • MP3 player, with USB Key or SD Card pluggable music file bank.
      • Bluetooth Audio, allowing to play the music from your smartphone for instance.
    • The tool box can also light up your work on the job site, it has a couple of 35W equivalent LED spots.
    • It has an embedded clock, displaying time with second precision.
    • It has a programmable clock alarm to wake you up when it's time to go. Plays sound and light alarm signals.
    • And last but not least, my Toolbox has a very special feature. It is connected ...
      • It has a Web server embedded
      • All the features of the box can be remote controlled through the Web interface
      • Moreover, whoever connected to the home Wifi network can open a Web browser, type the address "DadsToolBox", and get connected to the box.
      • My family, through this Web interface, can send me messages in the shop. The messages are displayed on the screen, and there is a vocal message played.
      • If for instance I have my ear protections on, or I am using a noisy machine, I can anyway get the message because the light is blinking while the message is broadcasted.
      • The possible messages are :
        • Time for lunch !
        • Come and see me !
        • Hello !
        • Call Me
        • You are making too much noise !
      • In order to show I have seen the message, I press the OK button, and the emitter receives an OK message on the Web page.

    Here is a demonstration video :
    (In French, but I have added English subtitles) :

    How it is done ...

    Well it's a bit complicated to explain in details, but if you want more, I will be happy to explain.
    I am preparing a detailed article on my Web site, it's not yet finished, but if you are interested, I will give all the details and the components used in this machine.
    I will also probably publish the software on my GitHub page

    I can show however the general chart of the electronics parts, it should give you an idea :

    For short :
    • The main board is a Wemos D1, which is an arduino formfactor board, but powered with an ESP8266 module, much more powerfull and Wifi capable.
      This board hosts the Web server and the main application, written in C++
    • The main board connects also the physical buttons on GPIOs and is connected to all other equipments through an I2C bus
    • The non I2C equipments (analog mux and message serial MP3 player) are connected to a slave Arduino, which is connected to the main board through I2C
    • The Clock, FM tuner, LCD screen are connected on the I2C bus (mixed 3.3 and 5V)
    • There is an analog part which is a 4 stereo inputs / 1 stereo output audio multiplexer, commanded by the arduino slave board. This part is homemade.

    And here are screenshots of the Web interface :

    Well, that's all, for the moment, hope you'll have as fun reading and watching this as I had creating it !
    Feel free to comment !

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Talking Toolbox-dadstoolbox_0001.jpg  

    173 Best Homemade Tools eBook
    Last edited by Christophe Mineau; Jul 22, 2019 at 04:56 PM.
    Cheers !
    Visit my Website :
    Facebook : La Belle Note
    All my personal works, unless explicitly specified, are released under
    Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Christophe Mineau For This Useful Post:

    baja (Jul 24, 2019), bruce.desertrat (Jul 23, 2019), Jon (Jul 22, 2019), mklotz (Jul 23, 2019), rgsparber (Jul 23, 2019), Seedtick (Jul 24, 2019), volodar (Jul 24, 2019)

  3. #2
    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Phoenix, AZ
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    Welcome back! This is a very creative and useful contribution.



  4. The Following User Says Thank You to rgsparber For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (Jul 23, 2019)

  5. #3
    Supporting Member bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    Nov 2017
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    bruce.desertrat's Tools
    That is awesome, wrapped in amazing, enclosed with cool all packed into a box of beautiful gorgeousness. Very nice!

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bruce.desertrat For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (Jul 24, 2019), volodar (Jul 24, 2019)

  7. #4
    Supporting Member IntheGroove's Avatar
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    May 2019
    Lake Tahoe
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    IntheGroove's Tools
    The last thing I need is a talking toolbox. That thing would telling me to get to work and "Use the right tool this time."...

  8. #5
    Supporting Member
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    Nov 2016
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    I could have used the wake up feature occasionally before I retired......

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to ibdennyak For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (Jul 24, 2019)

  10. #6
    Supporting Member Tonyg's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Centurion, South Africa
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    Bonne journée Christophe, comme d'habitude, un travail bien pensé qui, comme toujours, est magistralement conçu. Je vous remercie.

    Always great posts.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Tonyg For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (Jul 24, 2020)

  12. #7
    Supporting Member Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    France, Brittany !
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    Christophe Mineau's Tools
    Thanks Tonyg and others, merci, this one was particularly fun to build, and I think the messaging idea was not seen yet

  13. #8
    Supporting Member TrickieDickie's Avatar
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    Jun 2018
    Thanked 45 Times in 34 Posts
    Well done sir

  14. #9
    Content Editor
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    DIYer's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Thanks Christophe Mineau! We've added your Talking Toolbox to our Toolboxes category,
    as well as to your builder page: Christophe Mineau's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:

    173 Best Homemade Tools eBook

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