Version 1.0 of Alphabrite LED Display Control Center—or, simply enough, Alphabrite v1.0—is ready for download. This application allows remote or local administration of your Alpha or Betabrite LED Display using PHP4 and 5 with the cURL extension. The application supports every sign that adheres to the Alpha 1.0 Protocol. (See README for more details.)

Available Modules:

  • Public Interaction: Interface your LED sign to the Internet through your website. By only embedding two lines of code, you’ll have everything you need on the front-end to accept feedback—without interrupting the flow of your other active modules. Includes optional notification of messages by email and/or to its own Twitter feed.
  • Stock Quotes: Define the stocks you want to watch and keep tabs on them through the ticker. (Stock quotes are on a 20-minute delay, so DON’T use it for determining whether to execute a trade.)
  • Weather: Get Current Conditions for your ZIP code, as well as Local Forecasts for two days out.
  • RSS Feeds: Define your feed and scan whatever headlines you feel like staying abreast of.
  • Twitter Recapping: Create an account for your sign on Twitter and, in combination with the Public Interaction module, display both current and archived messages sent to your sign. Or, if you prefer, display your personal feed instead.
  • Time/Date Display & Synchronization: For those, like me, without proper serial clock chips inside their Alpha or Betabrite unit, these functions will both display and regularly synchronize your time and date (on supported models).
  • Basecamp Integration*: If you’re a user of Basecamp by 37signals, keep track of the latest activity through this module. Especially useful for Project Managers.
  • IMAP Inbox Check*: Check how many unread messages you have, and how many messages you have total. This is pre-set to Gmail for your convenience.

Hardware Functions Provided:

  • Set Date/Time, Set Day of the Week, Set Time Format, Schedule Messages, Speaker On/Off, Generate Tone, Clear Priority Message (A0), Clear Non-Priority Memory (page or entirely), Soft Reset, Set Sequence (Data Reset), Update Sequence (Data Refresh)
  • Includes the PHP RS-232 method (alphawrite.php), which requires the fantastic and included ‘php_serial.class.php’ by Rémy Sanchez (
  • Furthermore, unit resets and refreshes can be automated via a simple crontab (or its Windows equivalent) using the provided utilities.

This was tested on an Alpha PPD220—a two-line, red LED display by Adaptive Displays. Should you run into any problems, please submit them here.

* See the README for important details and security caveats involved with the utilization of these modules.

Download: Alphabrite v1.0 (97kb, zip)

If you use and/or like what you see, consider clicking here to help fund further development.

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Posted on Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 09:32PM

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1 Comments for Alphabrite v1.0 Released:
  1. Holy crap! You totally decked this thing out. :)

    I grabbed your code to take a look at the improvements that you’ve made to it.

    One thing that I am still dealing with are /b/-tards who like to send all sorts of annoying things. I still need to construct a filter and blacklist feature for mine.

    jovino (#)
    Monday February 9, 2009

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