Sunday, 26 February 2017

Magic Morse!

I mentioned in the last post that I had been looking at a Morse code trainer using Arduino by a chap called Ray Burnett. Well, today I used his code (once i'd worked out how it all went together) to program up one of my Arduino Nanos.

I didnt do that first though. First I programmed the code into the Pro Mini (the one with legs but a duff regulator from yesterday), using it as an exercise in finding the right point to release the reset button! But I then realised that the Pro Mini is 3.3v and the LCD I had knocking about is 5v.

So I instead programmed up Sam's Arduino Uno, and breadboarded the circuit. All seemed to go together nicely, apart from the Words Per Minute control, which didnt seem to want to play. I eventually worked out that this was because I was trying to use the old codes method of a 10K pot, but the new version code uses a process of reading a 'key down' situation to select the Word speed. Once I realised this everything started going nicely.

I couldnt of course monopolize Sam's machine, so I transferred the code yet again, this time to a spare Arduino Nano. One of my stock of 16x2 LCDs was unsoldered, so ideal for this project! All the connections for the Arduino, plus the contrast control pot and the backlight resistor were soldered direct to the LCD pads. A 3.5mm jack socket and a piezo sounder from the junk box, plus a 5mm tricolour LED, completed the electronics

Under test on the bench
But it is no use as a loose jumble on the bench! I needed a box for it, and as luck would have it the remains of an old chinese component tester were kicking about! A bit of filing, and liberal use of hot-melt glue (im now in need of resupply of glue sticks!) and the Magic Morse Machine v.8.0 is now a boxed and complete project!

Magic Morse Trainer v.8.
At some point it could do with a DC socket fitting so it can operate without USB power, and the various leftover holes need covering. I did fit the LCD the wrong way around, but its not a big problem. Incidentally if powered by USB, the Serial Monitor in the Arduino IDE can be used as a display. I have added an extra micro USB socket, just for power (the Arduino has a Mini USB, which is a bit rare these days).

So, not any of the projects I should have been working on! But one completed anyway.

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