Love Birds:

A box to Send and Receive Telegram Audio Messages

 
 

What is Love (birds)? Oh Baby don't hurt me don't hurt me no more
It’s a standalone device that receives send voice messages to your love, family or friend. Open the box, push the button while you are talking, release to send the audio message. Your correspondent will receive the voice message on his Telegram phone app or on his own LoveBirds box, with a nice motor move and bird song to notify him.

Ok my phone can already do that, why should I bother?And by the way who is this little voice asking me these convenient questions?

  • Love Birds is easier to use than a phone, only one button, this cool for children, old people that don’t like smartphones or long-distance relationships, just for couples who want a private line of communication thru a dedicated object.

  • Love Birds is not mobile so it’s like an old landline phone, you will take the time to answer from your sofa.

  • It’s so cute to see the thing turning when you receive a message when you come back home. It's like those vintage tape answering machine.

Checklist before you start to build one LoveBirds

  • 1 Raspberry PI Zero W (it will also work with raspberry PI 2 or 3 and 3B 3B+, but the zera is smaller and consumes less battery.

  • 1 micro SD card 4Go or bigger

  • 1 micro USB cable

  • 1 MIC+ sound card it is perfect for the job as it has one integrated microphone, and two onboard speakers and it is the size of a Raspberry Pi ZERO, but you can also use any sound card and speaker and switch to complete this project.

  • 1 cute box, I bought this one but it is just a suggestion (search for “heart wood box” on Amazon)

  • Your Telegram account, if you don’t have one yet it a good occasion to start as this is way more secure for your privacy than Whatsapp or Messenger. To setup one you need a phone, download the app on you store

  • Telegram username of the person you will exchange messages with it starts with an @,  by default you don’t have a username, you can choose a public username in the Settings section of Telegram.

  • 1 cheap servo motor found on Amazon to make the little birds move when you have a message

  • A pinter for the nice bird logo animated with the motor DOWNLOAD IT HERE


Prerequisites:

  • Basic computer use

  • Time: 1h, 30mn if you are fast

Step by steps:


Burn the SD card

  • Download archive here

  • Unzip it and copy the image file somewhere on your desktop (it could take a few minutes)

  • Burn the .img file on the SD card, on windows you can use Win32 disk imager, load the image file, select your SD card units drive (here G:) then click on Write


Wire-up everything

2.jpg
  • I use a pair of scissors to split the motor’s cable :

    • RED : 5v

    • Brown : ground

    • Orange : GPIO17

  • The button, Led and sound card are already cabled, I’m using the exposed pins on the top of the MIC+ to connect the motor:

3.jpg


Make a Hole for the USB cable:

Another one for the motor:

I hot glued the motor from the inside, and inserted the usb cable, check that the box is still closing, you might need to adjust the position of the Raspberry


Use a printer for the animated motor logo, cut it with a pair of scissor, I glued cardboard on the back to make it stronger, then I took the little gear plastic part included with the motor and glued it on the back.


Configure your Wifi



    • Insert the SD in any computer you should see a boot volume, open it and look for the file wpa_supplicant.conf on the root

    • Edit the file and change EDIT_YOUR_WIFI_SSID with the name of your wifi network

    • Edit the file and change EDIT_YOUR_WIFI_PASSWORD with the password of your wifi network



Setup your Telegram

  • Insert the SD card in your Rasbperry PI, plug it to a decent power supply minimum 2A because the sound card and motor will need it. It should take 2mn to boot.

  • Assuming that you configured correctly the wifi in the previous step, now you need to find the raspberry on your local network, it is always tricky so I’m giving you different methods to try:


  • If you have a screen and keyboard plug it to your raspberry login with pi password is raspberry the to get you ip address type ip a  and note the ip address


If you have no screen :

    • Method 1: on your computer browser open http://raspberrypi.local on windows this sometime does not work

    • Method 2: Open your router configuration page from there you should see the list of the connected devices:



  • Method 3: from a linux computer connected to your wifi type (assuming  your own IP is 192.168.0.x)

nmap -sP 192.168.0.*




  • In a browser type the ip address from the previous step, you should get this page. You need to authorize your Raspberry Pi to send messages on your behalf

  • Type your phone number used by your Telegram account don’t forget you +countrycode, then click on OK

  • After a few seconds (and assuming you are connected to the internet) you should receive a message from telegram on your phone with a 5 digits code, after the reboot refresh your browser and enter the code and click OK, the raspberry will reboot, wait.


  • In the bottom part of the page enter the username of your telegram correspondent you want to talk to, don’t forget the @ as the first character. If you don’t find username of your correspondent maybe he does not have one and he should create it from his profile. Here is some help



How to use it

If you hear the bird singing at startup you should be good to go!

  • To record a message hold the yellow button (recording button) while talking, release it to send

  • When you have a new message the led should pulse and the motor should move

  • To play a received message push quickly on the yellow button. If you receive a new message within 15s of your last push it will play immediately.


If you would like to install from scratch this project or just fork it to improve it please visit our GIT.


Credit

  • Original idea from Olivier Ros with the great work from Louis Ros for the code and the suggestion of Patrick for debugging.