There are many programs that track the speed and health of your Internet connection; many routers even have this functionality integrated in their admin page. But Zak Kemble wanted a way to check those stats at a glance without logging on anywhere or opening an application, so he made a small network monitor.
Zak used an ATmega328P microprocessor, a 1.8″ LCD, a Bluetooth module and a paper display holder to make the device. It gets its information from a Netgear DG834Gv3 router running OpenWRT. The router runs a shell script that obtains the data – which include upload and download speeds, ping, packet loss and even a clock and an email notifier – and sends it to a serial port. Finally a Bluetooth module attached to the serial port sends the date to the monitor. The monitor also has two display modes – the one pictured above and a simpler graphical display.
Another day, another tinkerer with an awesomely complex solution to a simple problem. Head to Zak’s website for his build guide.