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Signs of Snow

by zmccune

Published on December 8, 2015

Is it snowing in Tahoe yet? Hard to know in sunny San Francisco 204 miles away. So I made a retro billboard connected to Yahoo! Weather via If This Than That to flash on when the snow is falling. Then I just need to grab my ski pass and head for the hills. 

How To Make It


Make your billboard Grab a Billboard Kit from Boundless Brooklyn (http://www.boundlessbrooklyn.com/products/billboard-model-kit) and set it up. The kit uses 'glue dots' to assemble so you can have your structure ready in about 2 minutes. I also recommend glue a plank *behind* the sign to serve as a cradle for your electronics.


Add the LittleBits Snap together 1 cloudBit, 1 wire, and 3 long LEDs. Glue them down on the cradle behind the billboard surface. Test to ensure full connections and that the LEDs are receiving power.


Draw your sign I spent nearly a week looking at vintage Lake Tahoe postcards to style the type and scenic nature view of the mountains. Then I sketched it at a coffee shop in the Castro and watercolored it in. My best tip: make it layered. Create a flat background and then glue the actual language touts on top. The raised lettering looks fantastic.


Connect to the Weather Using If This Than That, connect the CloudBit to Yahoo! Weather. I needed multiple recipes running. One to turn the lights on "forever" when conditions change to snow. 3 to turn the unit off whenever conditions change to "sunny" "overcast" or "rain."


Test it I always set up a IFTTT test for the unit that connects a simple text message to turning the lights on. When that works, I know the cloudBit is getting working instruction from the IFTTT servers.


Wait for snow Is it on yet? Is it on yet?

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