I’ve been writing some Ardiuno code to allow me to tweet using a telegraph key (a morse code tapper). The key is, obviously, just a jumped up switch, so was really simple to wire to the Arduino. In fact, the button is the first circuit the tutorials walk you through.

Edit: Seems I wasn’t first. @rebobaydobay tweeted me a similar but much better version of this project that’s hosted here. Theirs launched a week after this post, but we were both behind this guy. Alas.

#TworseCode Telegraph Key connected to an Arduino

#TworseCode Telegraph Key connected to an Arduino

I’ve now got the Arduino listening out for switch connections (which it has to debounce, so as not to add lots of extra dots everywhere), converting these connections to dots and dashes, then transforming those into letters.

It’s been a pretty important piece of work: without it the telegraph key, which I bought at a local market, would be almost completely useless. There is something quite nice about twittering by tapping out your code like a woodpecker too.

So now to get it to actually send the Tweet, I’m caught in indecision. I can either send the completed string to Processing, and use a library like Twitter4J to do the actual Twittering. This seems like a shame, because tethering a Telegraph Key to a laptop would almost seem to frustrate the point of the whole thing.

Better would be to get an ethernet shield, and use it to make a stand alone twitterbox, which would plug into a router. Or better still, I could get a cellular shield and set it up with a sim card so you could #TworseCode on the go.

Also, because we’re not (yet) as versed in Morse / Tworse code, it would be handy if the box had some LEDs to show you which letter you’d just completed.

So, still some way to go.

I did not tap this blog post out in morse code. Maybe next time.