CODE SYSTEMS / VISUAL TELEGRAPH
Lauren Argo and I teamed up to create a visual telegraph. In this design, the metal sounder also holds a pen to add the redundancy of markings in addition to the tapping sounds. On a different circuit, receipt paper is run at a constant rate perpendicular to the metal.
The mental model: When the sender (information source) wants to send a message to some one, they must first encode a message, turn on the paper's motor, then transmit the message. The pulses of current move along the wires and activate the electromagnet when the loop is closed, the metal sounder is pulled to the magnet, which also pulls down the pen. The pen marks the paper, and the message can then be decoded.
The code: Arranges so that the most common used letters have the shortest markings.
Process: Before solidifying the design, we build everything out of tape and foam core to create a proof of concept.
Fun fact: Samuel Morse’s original telegraph also utilized visual markings to create redundancy to the sounder.