June 09, 2012

"tweeting" from a rotary phone

In a fascinating mash-up of 19th and 21st century technology, two design bureaus collaborated on modifying an old rotary telephone so that it could be use to send messages over twitter. To create the message, one dials in a similar method for sending a text messages using a mobile phone (e.g. press '3' twice for the letter 'f'), so for the this project you would dial the number '3' three times instead. For example:

The hardware consists of the telephone, an Ardiuno, the LCD and some miscellaneous circuitry. The message is transmitted through the serial line and USB, then picked up by a Ruby script which sends the tweet. One can also send twitter messages directly from an Arduino board with Ethernet, and using our Freetronics Eleven (an Arduino Uno compatible with onboard Ethernet and microSD card socket) would be perfect for the task:

The designers have made available an interesting webpage as well as a full design description, with the sketch files available on github. Visit here for the introduction, and here for the design description (opens in Google Translate).


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