Posted by: GW7AAV | January 25, 2011

Morse Code Twitter Tweets

One is not at all surprised when a radio amateur comes up with strange uses for Morse code. So when my friend Graham GW0HUS sent me something about using the code to send Tweets to Twitter I expected an iPhone app that would let you tap Morse on the screen and a ham to have been behind it. I was a little off the mark; it was not an iPhone app and it was not a ham who had made it. It is a bit odd but the fascination with Morse code runs way deeper than amateur radio operators and short wave listeners. Do a bit of searching on line and we find that youngsters in Japan are using Morse as a more efficient way to send text messages.

Joe McKay is no wizz on the Morse code but his ingenuity makes up for his lack of skill. Watch the video to see what this is all about.

From Joe’s website…

The Tweetargraph uses an arduino to capture the dots and dashes created by the telegraph. The Arudio itself is running Firmata (now comes as a built in library with the arduino software) so that it can talk to Processing. The Processing sketch is using the java library twitter4j which handles the communication with the Twitter API.

You need to establish a Twitter account (obviously) but you also need to “register” your application through Twitter. This is new – as of the summer of 2010 Twitter uses OAuth for their permissions. Here’s the twitter page to begin authenticating. Admittedly, this can be a bit confusing – you need authorization codes AND also the “token” and the “token secret” codes.

Twitter4J does not have very good documentation online when it comes to integrating it into Processing, but robotgrrl does an awesome job of walking you through the process.
I found that acquiring the token and token secret through Twitter is much easier than through processing as robotgrrl has you doing in steps three through six (to be fair to robotgrrl that was probably the only way to get the token at the time of writing).

Processing, arduino, twitter4j and twitter are all free and open source. The arduino micro-controller costs about $35 US, and the telegraph I got on ebay for $27.
You can download my Processing code here. Please respect the Creative Common license below. I wasn’t really writing it with public consumption in mind, but you’re welcome to take a look at what I did. If you’re new to Processing and the Arduino, this is not the best project to start with.

Read the original here…

Check out Joe’s other projects here…

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Responses

  1. Thanks Steve, great post.
    If I die tomorrow I want “His ingenuity makes up for his lack of skill” on my tombstone. Thanks also for the link back to my homepage. I tend to get a fair bit of isolated interest in various projects, but rarely do bloggers take the step to see that there is more work.
    I was in Japan recently – I didn’t see any cell phone telegraphing but I did watch a lot of them navigate their devices with incredible skill.


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