Thermal Tweeter facts and figures FAQ @dangerousproto

A lot of questions are coming through the Thermal Tweeter. Here’s some answers:

  • How many rolls? About 1/day on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 2.5 on Sunday, and it ran out twice for a few hours. Also, about 2/day of this variety.
  • The printer uses thermal paper in rolls. It doesn’t use ink.
  • Rolls were 5 for a buck, cheaper in bulk. We have to stock up today.
  • The paper has red stripes for a few meters from the end.
  • Average delay from tweet to viewing it print is around 30 seconds.  The printer checks for new @mentions every 30 seconds. There’s about 15 seconds of USTREAM delay too.
  • Only standard ASCII characters will print. Unicode is filtered out by the web platform when it processes the tweets. The printer does support a few extended characters, but not unicode. There’s no direct translation from unicode numbers to the extended characters supported by the printer, it would be a real pain to deal with that.
  • The printer knows when the paper is gone and stops printing.
  • All the tweets are in a pile on the floor, we’ll give some away at end
  • Almost 4 days of non-stop USTREAM using Adobe Flash Media Live app and a Firewire DV camera. As long as we keep the preview window minimized it doesn’t crash…
  • We don’t mind if you want to use a lot of paper or tweet via script, it makes it more interesting for people watching the USTREAM.
  • It cost about $100. The printer was $50 at SparkFun. The Web Platform is $40 at Seeed Studio, but we built our own.

See the design overview, and read the first system update.

Join the Conversation


    1. We’re using the adobe encoder. It works great as long as it is minimized. If the preview is on screen it crashes a lot.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.