Ring a bell with Node-RED and Twitter

This is a great beginner’s project from Red Reef Digital for those new to Node-RED. Node-RED is IBM’s browser-based, visual tool – looking just like a flow chart – for IoT programming. It seemed to come out of nowhere a couple of years ago, but it’s very easy to get your head around, and we’ve seen some great stuff done with it. (Winner? Probably the dinosaurs.)

Your instructions will end up looking like this:


The results being that you can ding a physical dinger by sending a command over Twitter.

Node-RED comes preinstalled in Raspbian Jessie, so you’ve probably got it ready to go for your Pi already.

The sales bell is a thing many businesses use as a motivational tool. The story goes that back in the Mesozoic, Amazon staff would ring a bell every time one of them made a sale. This worked well for a while, but eventually it had to be turned off, because a bell droning away constantly doesn’t make for a pleasant working environment.

(The bell approach remains much more effective than one of those Successories posters.)


For those businesses selling a human-scale number of items, and who like the motivating tinkle of the sales bell (and who doesn’t like a motivating tinkle?), this is a nice way to implement it, especially in a large office with only one bell. Users can send a message to Twitter, and the bell will tinkle. Motivatingly.


Here are Red Reef Digital to show you how.

If you’re looking for a getting-started Node-RED project, this seems a great place to begin – and it’s a project that you can start to build on and adapt very easily. (We’re thinking lights. Motors. Sirens.)

Red Reef Digital have made a neat little tutorial, with a parts list, wiring diagrams, code and step-by-step instructions. Let us know if you build this or adapt it; we’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


lafcadio avatar

I had heard of Node Red, but I did not know that it worked like this. I’ve been reading nore about it today and I’m going to try to learn it, it looks very useful!

Sean avatar

Hey there – this is Sean from Red Reef Digital. Go for it! This was very easy to stand up. This was a sick day project: it took me about 4 hours total, even while I had a 103F fever.

Rachel avatar

Love this!

Hacker X avatar

At last, the Remote Net-Hand can be shipped to users.

Alex Enkerli avatar

A neat thing about this blog is that any project can serve as an inspiration for something completely different. Beyond the tinkering ethos, this is one way deep learning happens.
Embracing this type of divergent thinking is a great feature of the RasPi community.
Also, neat poster.

AndrewS avatar

Boris Adryan has also run a number of Node-RED workshops at various CamJams ( http://camjam.me/ )

After a quick search, I found his worksheets at http://www.slideshare.net/BorisAdryan/documents

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