Stock tickers were telegraph-based machines from the 19th century, and quickly fell by the wayside with the advent of computer replacements from the 1960s onwards. However, there’s something charming about small machines that deliver us paper strips of information – as demonstrated by this notification ticker from [DIYprojects] (Russian language, Google Translate link).
The heart of the build is an Arduino Mini, which receives the text content of smartphone notifications via a Bluetooth module hooked up to its serial port. The machine mounts a small roll of paper strip, which is pulled along by a stepper motor fitted with a rubber earbud for added grip. The pen is moved along the paper by a servo using a Lambda mechanism to allow it to move nicely perpendicular to the paper’s direction of travel. Instead of moving the pen up and down, the paper is pushed into the pen by a solenoid mounted underneath.
It’s a fun little project, and one we can imagine being great for educational purposes. It teaches skills required to work with steppers, servos, solenoids and Bluetooth, all at once. It’s a little different from some other pen plotter designs, but the ticker format has a certain charm that’s hard to replicate any other way. Video after the break.