Sparky's Shocks

Monday, December 04, 2006


A few students at The University of Advancing Technology got into the Christmas hacking spirit this weekend and surprised the campus attendants on Monday morning with a TCP/IP enabled Christmas tree. The tree has been the centerpiece of holiday decorations at the university for the past few years, casting a static white glow across the commons late into the night. Static no more, the tree now hosts a web page from an embedded PINK Ethernet module. The page allows access to a Basic Stamp microcontroller preprogrammed with switching patterns for a set of solid state relays connected to the lights. The sectional nature of artificial trees made controlling the lights as simple as plugging in each level of the tree to a relay. Credit goes to these guys.

You can visit the UATree's embedded site at:
(The site may be up and down, busy or flooded, and so on)

Visit our University's page at
(Heavy on Flash)


  • How about an interesting twist (perhaps for next year)? Use colored light strands, and set the colored lights to blink according to certain tcp/ip or udp packets (say syn/ack) on certain branches of the network. Then you could say "everytime a light blinks, a connection is established" to paraphrase a quote from "It's a Wonderful Life".

    By Blogger Justin, at 5:41 PM  

  • I love it. Just wish we had more time before finals. Sadly the tree came pre-wired and it looks best with just the white lights, not to mention somebody(no names) hates us hacking school stuff.

    By Blogger Sparky, at 10:47 PM  

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