Residential Street Speed Watch

Using hacked parts to create an IoT sandwich board speed reminder for your neighborhood.

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Most of us have probably been guilty of speeding, maybe not on purpose, but usually you either are not paying attention, or don't know/forget the speed. I would like to create a sandwich board to be a friendly reminder of the speed of drivers through my neighborhood.

I have a fairly narrow road and every once in a while it seems someone likes to speed through our neighborhood, not realizing that our neighborhood is full of children, pedestrians, bikers, and dog walkers.

The inspiration for this project, other than the forgetful drivers in my neighborhood, was a Make magazine article that Hackaday re-posted late last year. The article, referenced below, uses a hot wheels toy and increases the range and ability of a toy radar gun. The speed would then be displayed on a sandwich board LED sign. No data like car images or license plates will be recorded.

The main structure I am planning for the prototype is a wooden sandwich board. This will have a speed indicator made up of LEDs to display the speed only when it exceeds the limit of 25 miles per hour for my street.

The data will also be available online so that the speeds, rate of cars, and time of day can be trended.

I would like to design this as simple and inexpensive as possible so others in residential neighborhoods with the same problems can reproduce this project.

  • Research phase

    Zach Scheidegger05/15/2015 at 16:16 0 comments

    There is a lot of mixed information on the performance of the hacked toy radar speed checker. I am currently researching other ideas including fabricating something else. There is also a Ramsey kit that I linked to that may be a good alternative. Again, there are mixed reviews on that option stating issues such as signal noise. I would like to keep costs down, because my budget is basically things I already have, but I will just need to find a kit or toy and pull it apart and try. :)

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dodutils wrote 10/03/2015 at 20:52 point

Why not hack into $30 Mattel's speedgun toy that seems quite accurate ?

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PK wrote 06/16/2015 at 06:31 point

Hi Zack

Interesting project.  You may be able to hack a surplus police radar gun especially if it already has a seven segment display. :o)  Another option is to use the Lidar laser modules from (I have no connection to Sparkfun, only saw these modules in a recent newsletter.)

Good Luck


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Zach Scheidegger wrote 06/16/2015 at 17:10 point

Thanks Peter, for the price comparison I think the LIDAR is worth looking at for sure. I will do a little reading in that direction. Thanks for the comment. 

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