light array switchboard @ restaurant application

light array switchboard @ restaurant application

Hi folks, I'm asking for help with a project and how to best accomplish a task.

At our restaurant we have what we call a "bingo board" (a matrix of lights) that indicates to our patrons when their food is ready. We give the patrons numbers 1 through 30 when they order their food, the numbers correspond to the numbers on the lightboard.

There are 31 indicator lights; the first 30 are for indicating when orders are up, and the 31st indicator light indicates that the kitchen is either busy or not busy.

Currently the indicator layout is using classic lightbulbs, and light sockets (regular house wiring).

I'm imagining the indicator board could consist of LEDs instead of classic household lights and light sockets.

We are thinking that the seperate kitchen busy-ness indicator could consist of RGB LED, to indicate different levels of busy-ness or something.. so it can show, green when food will be available within 15 minutes or less, orange when food is available 40 minutes or less and red when food will be available 40 minutes or more, instead of what it does now, not busy or busy.

Currently the indicator board is being controlled by classic lightswitches (again think regular house wiring stuff). Because the controller board is using classic lightswitches, it is huge and sits on a far wall away from the kitchen. The cook has to walk 5 paces out of the way to to flip a switch when an order is done.

I'm imagining the controller board could consist of those wonderful little translucent silicone buttons (ala Monome/Bonome) ( insert sparkfun website url here, product id# 7836, i couldn't put a url in my first post). This would reduce the size of the switch array drastically and we could put the controller switch array on the wall in the kitchen in front of the main cook line.

So if I could get someone to help me wrap my head around how to accomplish this it would be great.

I'm willing to take the time to learn and build this. I have an arduino board, I am familiar with PureData (or Max/MSP if I have to). I'm hoping we can run this without a PC attached. I don't know C or any language like that.

Any help is appreciated; sorry if I haven't been clear enough, it's newbness with all this electronics and stuff, so please forgive me.

-Andy

At our restaurant we have what we call a "bingo board" (a matrix of lights) that indicates to our patrons when their food is ready. We give the patrons numbers 1 through 30 when they order their food, the numbers correspond to the numbers on the lightboard.

What re-furbished old 1960s/70s-era Denny's do you work at, anyhow?

;D

Seriously - I haven't seen those kinds of displays used in decades; the few times I have seen them, they were always in an old restaurant in some small "backwater" town off the freeway, down in the old "business district", where the waitress was about as old as the restaurant itself (and about as haggard looking).

Your idea does sound interesting, though...

:)