Morse Code Mayhem

By Eager Beavers


The Alarm

The alarm consists of a speaker and two lights. The speaker was made with black foam core with the picture of a speaker glued on the front face. The lights were two 6" diameter acrylic domes with red LED's inside, mounted to the display box. Once the players entered the room, played with the telegraph machine, and pressed the key, it triggered the alarm to go off. The speaker would then play the morse code alarm. The light would flash red in the same morse code pattern, giving a warning sign to the players that they have to crack the code and leave the room as soon as possible. Each alarm light had 30 LEDs inside and 2 arduinos were used to send signals to each other and start the different parts of the puzzle. For example, one arduino was used to turn on the alarm and send a signal to turn on the telephone code, and then send back a signal to turn on the telegraph.

The Telegraph

The telegraph is a standard telegraph key, made from various pieces that were cut and shaped out of wood. Before spary painting each piece in gold, black and brown, bondo was applied for better texture. Our telegraph machine mimicked the real behavior of a telegraph machine with a push button connected to an Arduino. The Arduino would detect when the button was pressed (done by pushing down on the key) and for how long, thus being able to detect when the correct secret code was entered. When the secret code was entered correctly, the Arduino would light the alarm lights up green, indicating that the players had won the room.

The Telephone

The telephone was a standard wall phone that was disassembled to house our electronics inside. We wired the original keypad to an Arduino so that we could tell when the user had dialed the right phone number. This would trigger the speaker inside the earpiece of the phone to deliver the secret message.

The Paintings

In order to make the room more like a musuem, we put paintings and pictures of different communication devices on the walls. Each painting has a caption that is written in English and has its translation in Morse Code. The players will use these translation to crack the code in the alarm they hear, as well as the code given to them on the phone to escape the room. The frames were bought and painted in cream. The pictures were all printed on glossy paper. The captions were pieces of two-tone gold acrylic with laser engravings.