General Purpose Alarm Device (GPAD)

Invention Coach:

Lawrence Kincheloe

Public Inventor(s):

Lee Forrest Erickson


Sophisticated medical devices, such as the PolyVent open source ventilator Public Invention Project, often need to alert care provides of some condition that must be corrected. These alarm conditions might be life-threatening or merely informational. A device that could alert caregivers by light and sound, and provide some textual information, would be a very useful module. Furthermore, it could be used for many other purposes. This is the goal of the General Purpose Alarm Module (GPAD).





This work is a collaboration with the Sustainable Progress and Equality Collective (SPEC).

This General-Purpose-Alarm-Device repository defines a ‘General Purpose Alarm Device’ aka, GPAD module. This module has an enclosure and inside is an embedded microcontroller system with the following features to alert a human of a condition.

  • Flash bright lights
  • Make loud tones
  • Button to “mute” or suppress the alarm condition.
  • Text display for messages (20×4 characters)
  • Power from wall supply on barrel jack 2.1mm at 9-12V <= 1000mA (or from host controling device at 5V or 12V)
  • RJ12 Data Cable connection for signal (and optional power) between host and GPAD.
  • An I2C output for control of devices TBD. Connection by locking JST connector: S04B-XASK-1(LF)(SN)

The GPAD does not detect the conditions that need to be alarmed. It is a peripheral to a controlling host device which will assert status through the GPAD to an end user.



Skills Needed

Arduino programming, documenetation, audio subsystem design

Quarterly Goals

  1. Test the enclosure
  2. Develop good test software
  3. Make the software useful