Thursday, May 27, 2010

Morse USB keyboard

This is a really cool little project.

It isn't clear what it does from the picture, but it's a device that makes a Morse key look to a computer like a standard USB keyboard. So you can type into your word processor, blog or whatever by sending Morse.

I want one of these. If I had to type all my blog posts using Morse I'm sure I would really get my speed up! Shame it isn't available as a kit.

8 comments:

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Stuff like this is really cool! I want one for my blackberry so I can send while texting to my XLY.
-mike

g4ilo said...

I've wanted something like this for my cell phone too for years because I'm so long sighted now that I can't see to text without putting on reading glasses.

Theodore said...

The cell phone idea is great.
Since morse can send faster than keyboard texting, perhaps the marketing guys can sell it as something your parents will not be able to do, then the teenagers will throng to it, and morse will have a new wave of recruits.
A built in electronic keyer and small attached paddle and its done.
An above normal adult hearing sidetone and complete covert operation is possible.
With todays vision-centric society though, it will probably not be viable, and it takes effort to learn morse, so probably won't take off.
Then again, if pet rocks worked, maybe ...
dit dit dit dah dit dah

g4ilo said...

I've dreamed about this. I don't think it is so far fetched. There are lots of stories of youngsters seeing morse code in action at a field day site or a demo station and going off and learning it. I think kids think code is cool. If they had an everyday way to use it I think it would take off.

Norm said...

That might be fun...and help me get back into using Code.

jo said...

Hi Julian,
I have been reading your blog for a while now, ever since we had contact concerning the Softrock project. Very interesting blog...
If you are interested in entering text messages in morse code, you must have a look at this video demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZczRxuUm2zE
I have bought a iPhone especially to be able to do this and it works great. I started learning to tap with index and middlefinger, but then changed to thumb and index because this is more like using a normal iambic keyer.
I have also ordered some stuff, and will start making the usb to keyboard converter.
73 de on5ao jo

jo said...

Hi Julian,
It took me quite a while, but I finally made this thing. First I had to learn something about
AVR's and how to burn a program onto them. Then I made my first one on a piece of veroboard. I
added a header for ICSP and a keyer IC , a Picokeyer-RM (by N0XAS) leftover from experimenets
with a QRP Rock-Mite tcvr. Then I made a second one. I left out the 7 segment display, because
you can hear in morse what speed you are setting the keyer to. Also left out the ICSP because I
had a programmed controller from my first experiment.
The converter works ok most of the time. It sometimes stops for no reason however, I couldn't
find out why. When that happens you have to restart.
But my main problem with this converter is that your computer has to be in qwerty keyboard
layout,otherwise you get all garbage on the screen. I have been working in the Dvorak layout for
a while now , so if I want to use this converter , and alternate between the iambic keyer and
the keyboard, then I would have to change the keyboard setting every time I go from keyer to
keyboard. An other point is that I can type a lot faster than send morse. So it would be ok for
excercising morse, but not very practical for entering text. So, my conclusion is that this was
an interesting experiment but not very useful after all and it will end up in the junkbox. 73 de

on5ao

Robert Bodnaryk said...

This nifty device may be of some value to the blind, especially those who are interested in trying the new "modified morse".

Modified morse can be found at
http://modified-morse-vs-braille.blogspot.com
Robert