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By Torre Skornia

For Your Eyes Only: Adabox 003

For Your Eyes Only

What You’ll Need :

For the Book

  • Large book with at least a 2” spine (Goodwill will be your best friend)
  • Glue (Elmer’s works)
  • Plastic
  • Band saw (or other cutting device that can make vertical 2” thick cuts. Most jig saws won’t work)
  • Laser cutter
  • Small sheet of plywood

For Your Eyes Only: Adabox 003

For the Security System

  • Adabox 003
    • Half Size Breadboard
    • Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266 WiFi chip - pre-soldered with Feather Stacking Headers
    • DHT22 Temperature-Humidity Sensor
    • Micro Servo
    • PIR Motion Sensor
    • Magnetic Contact Switch (door sensor)
    • Wires
  • An Adafruit account (for Adafruit IO)
  • Arduino IDE (version 1.6.8 or later)
  • ESP8266 Board Package
  • Adafruit IO Arduino Library
  • Adafruit MQTT
  • Adafruit Unified Sensor library
  • DHT Sensor Library

Creating the Book --

This portion of the project needs to be completed ahead of time. We suggest to start at least 48 hours before the scheduled class.

-First you’ll need to glue the pages of the book together. Make sure that the pages are independent of both the front and back cover. Use plastic sheeting to protect the covers. Spread a generous amount of glue on outside of the book pages. Use something heavy to compress the pages while the dry. Make sure to place another piece of plastic between the book and the heavy object. Let dry for 24 hours.

Creating the Book

- Once the glue is dry, draw a guideline on the first page. Make sure to leave a generous border of paper so that the outer walls of the hidden pocket will be strong. Using the bandsaw, cut along the line to create the secret compartment. Make sure you are only cutting through the paper. Start cutting at the top left part of the book (near the spine) and cut your pocket. The final/exiting cut should be approximately 1.3 inches from your entry cut. This space will be for a sensor.

Once the paper has been cut, glue the inside of the pocket to keep the pages from separating. Once the second coat of glue is dry, you will need to cut the pages away from the FRONT cover so that the spine of the book can open and lay completely flat. Next you’ll need to create a space for the largest sensor and the power cord. There are two options for this. You can use a utility knife or small hand saw to create the space OR you can completely separate the pages from the book and use the bandsaw saw. This space will need to be on the create an opening from the inner pocket to the spine. It needs to be approximately 1 inch and will need to correspond to the opening in the coordinating wood box. We suggest tracing the sides of the inner pocket onto the back cover to aid in re-aligning everything. Once you’ve created the two spaces, glue the back cover to the pages and glue the inside of the two spaces you’ve created. We added an additional layer of glue to all sides of the pages but this isn’t required (but why not, right?).

Creating the Book

-To create the interior box for the components, measure and adjust files to fit each book. You’ll also need to cut the holes for the IR sensor on the laser. The best way to achieve this is to cut from the outside of the book (cover side). Make sure to use some risers in the laser or the spine won’t be level and cause some focal issues! All the files can be found here (DXF or Corel). Pre-glue wood portions of the box.

-Finally, you’ll need to cut out the locking mechanism. Do not glue this in place and it will depend on the placement of the servo. This should be done in class. ** I am still trying to work through this. Any suggestions would be AMAZING**

-At this point, the book prep is completed and should be ready for class.


Software --

-Head on over to Adafruit IO and make an account. If you already have one, you get to skip this step!

-Grab a laptop or computer with the latest version of Arduino IDE

-First, you’ll need to download and install the Adafruit IO Arduino Library. Enter into Additional Board Manager URLs field in the Arduino preferences.

Download and install the Adafruit IO Arduino Library

-Next, use the Board manager to install the ESP8266 package.

Use the Board manager to install the ESP8266 Package

-After the install process, you should see that ESP8266 package is marked INSTALLED. Close the Boards Manager window once the install process has completed. When you've restarted, select Adafruit HUZZAH ESP8266 from the Tools->Board dropdown.

select Adafruit HUZZAH ESP8266

-Next we need to install Adafruit IO, Adafruit MQTT, ArduinoHttpClient, Adafruit Unified Sensor, and DHT Sensor Libraries. To do this, navigate to Manage Libraries > Sketch > Include Library. Enter Adafruit IO Arduino in the search menu and click on the Adafruit IO option to install. Repeat this process for the following libraries; Adafruit MQTT, ArduionoHttpClient, Adafruit Unified Sensor and DHT Sensor.

Manage Libraries

Enter Search Term, Select Library, Click Install

Putting it all together -

Wiring Diagram:Putting it all together

** NOTE ** The Sensor on the top left (two small blueish green bars) is the magnetic door switch.

Programming --

  • Next, we need to code our board. Don’t panic. It’s the easiest.
  • Open the File adafruitio_proj in Arduino IDE
  • Navigate to the Config Tab
  • We need to tweak the Network Config. To configure the network settings, click on the config.h tab in the sketch. You will need to set your Adafruit IO username in the IO_USERNAME define, and your Adafruit IO key in the IO_KEY define. You AIO Key can be found at under settings.

Set Your Username and Key

  • Finally, we need to tweak the WiFi Config. WiFi is enabled by default in config.h so if you are using one of the supported WiFi boards, you will only need to modify the WIFI_SSID and WIFI_PASS options in the config.h tab. This will need to be updated to your personal WiFi information when you take your project home.
  • Now just upload the program to your project.
  • If it doesn’t work, you can navigate to Tool<Serial Monitor and troubleshoot from there.

Setting up the Dashboard

Lastly, you need to setup a dashboard so you can control and monitor your book from your mobile device.

  • Log in to
  • Click Dashboards


  • Actions< create a new dashboard
  • Select Gauge
  • Select “switch” feed and click next step
  • Set min to 0 and max to 1
  • Create Block
  • This block will now monitor the magnetic contact switch. A value of 1 indicates the switch is closed and a value of 0 indicates it is open.


  • Actions< create a new dashboard
  • Select Gauge
  • Select “motion” feed and click next step
  • Set min to 0 and max to 1
  • Create Block
  • This block will now monitor the PIR Motion Sensor. A value of 1 indicates no movement and a value of 0 indicates movement.


  • Actions< create a new dashboard
  • Select Graph
  • Select “Temp” and “Humidity” feed and click next step
  • Set History to 4 Hours
  • Create Block
  • This block will now monitor the Temp and Humidity Sensor.

Servo (Locking/Unlocking Mechanism)

First you need to create a new Feed.

  • Click on Feed in menu
  • Create New Feed
  • Name is Servo and use servo as the key. Make sure the s in the key is lowercase. If it isn’t, it won’t work.

Next, you need to create the final dashboard.

  • Actions< create a new dashboard
  • Select Toggle
  • Select “Servo” and click next step
  • Rename the Botton On to Unlock and Buttom Off to Lock
  • Create Block
  • You will now use this toggle to lock and unlock your book

Now it’s time to put it all together!

Adabox 003 Project

 For Your Eyes Only: Adabox 003

 For Your Eyes Only: Adabox 003

For Your Eyes Only: Adabox 003