Internet Status Indicator – Arduino Project

In this project, I made a device that shows internet status using LEDs. I used red and blue LEDs because it went well with my overall design, but you may use any colours you like. Keep in mind that different LEDs have different forward voltage and current and may require different resistors. To calculate the resistance needed, check out

This device works by the arduino sending a ping command to a program called GoBetwino every 90 seconds. GoBetwino then pings the specified server and returns either a 0 or -1 to the arduino. 0 meaning the server was pinged succesfully and -1 meaning it failed. The arduino will then turn on the right colour of LEDs indicating the status of the internet. I have also programmed the arduino to send an email command to GoBetwino if the internet has been out longer than 1 minute. I have wired all of this into my custom computer case that I made from two Ikea picture frames.

Here is a schematic for this project using multiple LEDs:

Here is a simpler schematic using only 2 LEDs:

Here is the arduino sketch:

// This script is to be used in conjuction with GoBetwino to check
// if the internet is working on the machine the arduino is attached
// to. Get GoBetweeno at
// Variables:
const int ledRed =  6;  // pin for Red LED
const int ledBlue =  10;  // pin for Blue LED
const char PingCMD[] = "PING";  // command configured in gobetwino for pinging
const char EmailCMD[] = "EMAIL";  // command configured in gobetwino for emailing
const int DefaultPingInterval = 90000; // how often should the ping command be excecuted
const int netOutTime = 60000;  // minimum internet outage time for email to be sent
const char emailAddy[] = "";  // the email address to send emails to
// Nothing below this line should be changed unless you know what
// you are doing.
int incomingByte = 0; // for incoming byte from serial
int FirstLoop = 1;  // for indicating first loop
int waitingforSerial = 0;  // for indicating if script is waiting for response from serial
int PingInterval = 0;  // for storing ping interval
int LastWasBlue = 1;  // for determining if last color was blue
unsigned long currentTime = 0;  // for storing current time
unsigned long timerStart = 0;  //  for storing the time at which the timer started
void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);  // begin serial at 9600 baud
  pinMode(ledRed, OUTPUT);  // set ledRed pin as output
  pinMode(ledBlue, OUTPUT);  // set ledBlue pin as output
void loop(){
  currentTime = millis();  // set current time to millis
  unsigned long timePassed = currentTime - timerStart;  // get time difference between currentTime and timerStart
  if (FirstLoop == 1)  // if script is on first loop
      digitalWrite(ledRed, HIGH);  // turn red led on
      digitalWrite(ledBlue, LOW);  // turn blue led off
      FirstLoop = 0;  // set FirstLoop to 0
      PingInterval = DefaultPingInterval;  // set ping interval to default
    if (waitingforSerial == 0)  // if waitingforSerial is 0
      delay(PingInterval);  // delay script by PingInterval
      Serial.print("#S|");  // send ping command to serial
      Serial.print(PingCMD);  // "    "     "     "    "
      Serial.println("|[]#");  //"    "     "     "    "
      waitingforSerial = 1;  // set waitingforSerial to 1
      if (Serial.available() > 0)
        incomingByte =;  // read the incoming byte
        if (incomingByte == 48)  // if server was pingable
          if (timePassed >= netOutTime)  // if timePassed is greater than or equal to wait time
            if (LastWasBlue == 0)  // if last color was not blue
              Serial.print("#S|");  // send email command over serial
              Serial.print(EmailCMD);  //"    "     "      "     "
              Serial.print("|[]#");  //"    "     "      "     "
          digitalWrite(ledBlue, HIGH);  // turn blue led on
          digitalWrite(ledRed, LOW);  // turn red led off
          PingInterval = DefaultPingInterval;  // reset PingInterval to default value
          LastWasBlue = 1;  // set LastWasBlue to 1
          waitingforSerial = 0;  // set waitingforSerial to 0
          timerStart = 0;  // reset timerStart
        if (incomingByte == 49)  // if server was not pingable
          digitalWrite(ledRed, HIGH);  // turn red led on
          digitalWrite(ledBlue, LOW);  // turn blue led off
          PingInterval = 5000;  // lower ping interval to 5s
          waitingforSerial = 0;  // set waitingforSerial to 0
          if (timerStart == 0)  // if timer has not already started
            timerStart = millis();  // set timerStart to current time
          LastWasBlue = 0;  // set LastWasBlue to 0

sketch_jun28a.pde (3.77 kb)
Schematic_bb.svg (416.32 kb)
Schematic_schem.svg (94.70 kb)
Schematic-Simple_bb.svg (253.87 kb)
Schematic-Simple_schem.svg (65.96 kb)

DIY Computer Case using Ikea Ribba Picture Frames

Last weekend, I made a trip to Edmonton to go shopping at Ikea. While I was there, I picked up a couple of picture frames from their Ribba line to make a computer case that I can show off on my wall.

As soon as I got home, I started working on this project. I started by taking the frames apart. I then mounted the motherboard and hard drive to the thick, cardboard backing. After that, I put some blue LEDs in to give a cool glowing effect. But since the motherboard was too thick to mount in just one picture frame, I joined two frames together using a couple of hinges. I think the final product turned out great! Here are some pics:


Idea courtesy Hak5

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