beakn v0.4.1 - DIY Lync Status Light with a Spark Core, Onboard LED, Ping Pong Ball and a Cardboard Box

Here’s a quick update to beakn – my Lync status light maker project – this version uses the Spark Core onboard RGB led. Joe Shirey tweeted his version of beakn which uses the onboard led – I was super happy to see someone build a beakn that I had to share details on how he did it. (Keep in mind that this approach won’t be as bright as the LED array approached used in the previous versions – but it’s a really quick and simple build)

Here’s a photo of Joe’s version:


Here’s how to build your own beakn using the onboard led.

1. Buy a Spark Core or Photon
2. Buy a 4xAA Battery Holder. Either get one like this with the connectors built in, or get some female jumper wires and solder to the battery holder wires to connect to the Spark.
3. Buy a Ping Pong Ball
4. Cut a hole in the top of the box. Cut off the bottom of the ping pong ball. Tape the ball to the cardboard box. See v0.4 post for step-by-step instructions on building the box.

5. Setup the Spark Core via the iOS or Android app. Go to the Spark Core Cloud IDE and copy your deviceId and access token to notepad.
6. Connect Battery to Spark Core. You can also add a power switch like I did in v0.4
7. Tape the Spark Core to the bottom of the box top.

8. Flash the following code to the Spark via the Cloud IDE.

9. Install the beakn Windows application. It’s an app that runs in the background and calls the Spark Core function setStatus when your Lync status changes.

To install the desktop app you can:

1. Get the source, build it and run it:

2. Install via the v0.4 MSI:

After you install it you are going to need to modify the config to use your Spark Core keys.

1. If beakn.exe is running you’ll need to stop it.

2. Open notepad as Admin open beakn.exe.config

3. Change the Protocol setting to “SparkCore”

4. Change the AccessToken and DeviceId to the IDs you get from

<add key=”SparkCoreAccessToken” value=””/> // – click on settings in lower left
<add key=”SparkCoreDeviceId” value=””/> // – click on cores in lower left, select your core

5. Save it.

6. Double-click on beakn.exe to restart it.

Congrats! Your beakn with onboard led should now be working.