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MQTT Thermal Printer "Fax"

MQTT Thermal Printer "Fax"

from hackster.io

YouTuber “Make Fun Stuff” was apparently headed back to work after some time at home, while his wife had instead gotten a writing job that would keep her at home permanently. As their anniversary was coming up – and Mrs. Make Fun Stuff anticipated missing having him around – he decided to make the MQTT-powered Ye Olde Fax Machine.

The device uses a Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 board to communicate with a Mosquitto MQTT server to receive messages. Notes are entered via a custom Android app on a smartphone, allowing 'Fun Stuff to send over messages whenever inspiration strikes. Once received, the D1 mini transfers data to a horrendously overpriced thermal printer to produce a record of the note.



In addition to the thermal printer, the unit includes a servo-controlled feather to simulate a "magic" quill transcribing the message that pops out (like Harry Potter). It's set up so that the D1 mini simply sends a start and stop signal to an Arduino Nano board, which drives the motors for the “writing” effect.

The Ye Olde Fax Machine is finished off with a small wooden enclosure with a slot created by progressively drilling, then chiseling/sanding off the remains. It was made functional in time for the pair’s anniversary, but a few extra features were added later to finish the design. It's an interesting build, as shown in the video below, and great inspiration for using a thermal printer and/or MQTT!

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