Proposal : hyrdoTelegraphy


For my final project, I propose an alternative method for text messaging– the long distance transmission of textual or symbolic (as opposed to verbal or audio) messages without the physical exchange of an object bearing the message. This is not a message in a bottle nor is it achieved through carrier pigeons, rather it’s rooted in the early 1800’s developments in electrical telegraphy and mashedUP with the 1950 initiative SOSUS (sound surveillance system).

I will build a Hydro-Telegraphy Transceiver for use now and in a future time when people must gather at reserviors, lakes and calm bodies of water to ‘silently’ communicate to one another. Meanwhile, coast to coast, our nation is being outfitted with canals and aqua-ducts in place of defunct data comm and telephone wires.

From my sketchbook;


Beginning with existing hydrophones, which are listen-only devices, I want to add a means of broadcasting a language similar to morse code and possibly translating it to the user aurally as English.

Using Arduino controlled sensors and script functions:

  • piezoelectric sensor = input
  •  LED = output (possibly a electromagnetic speaker for translating code to English)
  • Arduino controlled actuators create a percussive ‘clap’ sound
  • One challenge is to determine if I can use existing software or code to translate morse code to spoken words, and another challenge will be to create a water-tight and simple devise.
  • One push-pull solenoid (
  • Battery case/sled for 12V supply

Links to prior similar work and/or tutorials:



Author: ChrisRand

Products of Design MFA Student at the School of Visual Arts