We come from the school of thought that working surplus stuff might well be someone else’s refuse, but if it can be repurposed into something useful, then we’re generally up for the challenge.
One of our members was able to recover some dot matrix signs which were used to show the price of petrol(before it needed extra digits because of inflation!) These signs came with no documentation about their display protocol, so one of our members put his software engineering skills to work and reverse engineered it so that the display could be driven by an ESP8266 via wifi.
After this reverse engineering process was completed, another of our members found it only fitting to make up a timber frame to it. Using AutoCAD to draw the sign itself in 3D was the best way to go because there were a few dimensional peculiarities that were best planned out ahead of the saw being powered up. The design also needed to be as minimal as possible to keep the weight low. 3D printing was used for some prototyping and dimensional testing, this also helped with the final design. It also needed to be easily disassembled for future maintenance. The enclosure has holes so the internal mechanical fixings can be used for hanging it from the ceiling if necessary and so it can be securely fixed to the outer aesthetic frame.