Stock Bot

What is Stock Bot

Stock bot simply displays the current stock price of a stock on a single digit display.  It does this by showing the (dollar value) number one digit at a time starting with the most significant down to the least significant with a comma / decimal point prior to displaying the last two and least significant digits (dimes and pennies some would say).  Then pause for a moment.  Repeat.


I’d like to set your expectations.  I do plan on documenting this project over time and to some fair level of detail.  I also plan on augmenting this page by adding blog entries to the site (news section).  I’ll find the right spot to link to those items.  My intention is to pick just one element or problem from this project sheet and provide details of my experience and learning in a linked blog entry.  That way if I dive into some element, only a few would find of interest, it lies outside this project description.  What we have here is a shell of the project that I can expand upon as I find the time, desire, or am compelled to by you.

Parts List

1x Netduino Plus
1x Numitron Tube
1x 4511 Chip
20+ wires of assorted lengths
1x Bread board 3” or 4” in length

Misc: USB cable, power cube (optional?), an Ethernet cable linked to your ISP / the Internet.

Why Stock Bot

I bought a Netduino on spec when at Marker Faire in San Francisco.  The guy demoing the device was very infectious about the cool new things it brought to the table.  I was not 100% convinced I’d enjoy the Windows and Visual Studio requirements, but it did have a great built in networking stack, memory and capabilities I had to look into.

The Netduino Plus in hand and Numitron tubes from an old eBay transaction – I had to start putting things together instead of just collecting bit and parts.  So… Stock Bot became a current project.

I wanted to learn about two things, the Netduino and 7-segment displays.  Once I collected the 4511 chips from some surplus store I had the parts to get started.

The Environment

Visual Studio C# 2010 Express.  VMWare Fusion and a copy of Windows XP installed on my MAC.  I am sure Windows 7 would work and you could certainly use a PC machine and not a virtual environment on some other hardware as I did.  Setup of the environment may be a blog entry – it was more difficult then I had expected.  The KEY information (at the time) was to install the Dot Net 3.5 Foundation before even starting with any of the rest.  Don’t be fooled by the Dot Net 4.x as superseding the 3.5 – you will get compile errors and troubles, just start with 3.5 as redundant as it may seem – then start with step one to build your developer environment.

Continuing blog entries

Blog posting that provides insight into some code written to make sending digits to the display simple and efficient. Stock Bot – about the 4511 BCD to 7-segment decoder

Pictures and video

Working prototype

A single Numitron tube

Boot Sequence (IP address – Example

Boot sequence version (example 1.4)

A stock value being displayed


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