Like many YuKonstruct members, Seamus is a problem solver.
In addition to being one of the makerspace’s volunteers and site moderators, he is a Senior Software Developer with Make It. His job recently brought him face to face with members of the royal family when he was asked to develop a very special piece of technology for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the MacBride Museum.
Seamus was challenged to connect a one-hundred-year-old telegraph key to modern social media, to turn the museum’s gold rush era telegraph office into a digital guestbook.
“This project was an interesting example of different technologies combining to create something new,” says Seamus. “The development of the Telegraph to Tweet concept really allowed me to leverage different areas of expertise to achieve the end goal. Hardware, software, mobile, cloud technologies and even woodworking went in to the development of this technology.”
Seamus set up a microcontroller with built in wifi to record the duration of time the telegraph key is pressed and released. Once the operator completes a message in morse code, the microcontroller sends the recording of the signals to a webserver which converts the signals to text.
To safely house the microcontroller, Seamus designed and built an enclosure at YuKonstruct. “I wanted an open concept for the case that would still allow for accessibility of the wiring for both the front and back. Took about 30 minutes to design and then cut it on the laser cutter!”
The Duke and Duchess sent out the inaugural telegraph to tweet message on September 28. Visitors to the museum can now contribute to the guestbook and the messages are viewable at https://twitter.com/telegraph_tweet
Photos courtesy of Make It.