[PLUG-TALK] Trimet and open source

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Fri Mar 25 17:37:29 PDT 2011

On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 04:27:03PM -0700, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> But getting back to the technology, an even better solution would be a
> small solar powered display on each stop, grabbing the arrivals via the
> GPS units in the buses / trains / trolleys. You'd need to make them
> unattractive to thieves. I wonder how cheaply they could be made,
> considering that you'd want to place an order for many thousands at a
> time. It sounds like a small Portland cottage industry could do it.

Repurposed/reused Android smartphones with ~$50 in solar panel and mounting
would do it.  Pulling the phones from their cases and putting them in NEMA
enclosures might take care of the theft problem, and a flexible mounting
and replaceable Lexan window would help with vandalism.

I suspect that, even though Android phones would have more features than
needed, custom-built devices would not cost any less.

My only worry is that Tri-Met would wind up paying through the nose for
data service (like the City of Portland did with the smart-meters).

(Yes, there are companies that provide cheap cellular data service for
industrial purposes.  No, I don't know how to make a deal with them.
Apparently, neither does the City.)

Heck, could probably pull it off for about as much as a "talking bus"...

Jeri Ellsworth is my ShoDurPerSav,

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