Arduino Chip does Morse Code at 300 wpm

  Karl Hess, Sr. 1975 edition

Karl Hess, Jr. is the speaker scheduled for Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at the 200th meeting of the Karl Hess Club (named for his father, the late Karl Hess) at Dinah’s in Culver City. (UPDATE: Due to airline trouble, rescheduled to September 19, 2011.)

Karl Hess, Jr. encouraged me to buy shortwave ham gear when he spoke to our libertarian supper club at the 100th meeting a few years ago, citing its usefulness during an emergency when a colleague was injured in Africa, where he was working in the field.

Since then I’ve put together some kits in custom enclosures with more powerful ones on the way. Alternative communication methods to the phone and Internet grid are always in the news, most recently in Egypt.

See the complete meeting announcement at the club site for more information about Karl Hess, Jr.’s topic, “Wither Conservation in the 21st Century: More Government or More Liberty?.” Excerpt from site:

“The world changed in 1970. Although the first Earth Day called for more aggressive State involvement, over the past forty years conservation has evolved into a movement increasingly characterized by volunteerism, cooperation, network governance, and entrepreneurship.”

Karl Hess, Sr. mentioned ham radio in passing in his book, Community Technology, and even in his 1975 book, Dear America which followed his 1969 “Death of Politics” article in Playboy.

Karl Hess, Sr. was a speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, then later became an anarchist hippie proponent of alternative energy, off-grid food production and local industry who made a living as a welder for cash, famous for not paying taxes. Goldwater was a ham radio operator who promised to put an antenna farm on the White House if he got elected (he wasn’t). Hess’ autobiography was edited by his son and is titled, Mostly on the Edge: An Autobiography.

Okay, see you at the KHC if you’re in Southern California.

Now, this video from 2008 shows two Arduino boards sending and receiving Morse code to each other acoustically at the same time (full duplex) at 300 words per minute. You could get a 140 character tweetish message out in a few seconds at that rate. Even at just 30 wpm over the shortwave radio the same message would take less than a minute.

Beats walking if the phones or Internet are down.

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