There are some advantages to using Morse Code rather than using Braille or audio text. Morse Code is quite easy to learn and can present the letters and characters of an eText about as fast as Braille can. The big advantage for F-T-C is that it can be smaller, lighter and much less expensive than a Braille reading system. F-T-C will also work for individuals who have limited touch sensitivity because of a disease like diabetes.
This is Part 1 of a 3-part IBL that will describe how to build F-T-C very inexpensively. You will need a Windows PC to run the F-T-C software. (Other types of PCs and mobile devices can be used with the hardware, but my free software only works with Windows for now.) The F-T-C software, like the hardware, is compact and portable. It can be installed on a flash drive (Pic 1) and carried from PC to PC without a complicated install process (Pic 2).
The hardware LED vibra-tactile component (Pic 3) is described in Part 2. The hardware audio amplifier vibra-tactile component (Pic 4) is described in Part 3. These can be built for as little as $25 and work with the F-T-C software described here. These too are compact and portable so they can be carried from PC to PC.
I want to make it clear that this project is still in the early stages of development. I am working with two people who have vision limitations and they are encouraging me to continue the project. I hope to be able to test the F-T-C devices soon with a group of students who have vision challenges. I will keep you informed of their feedback and suggestions.
Step 1: Concept
A computer with F-T-C software will be able to produce two kinds of output: audio tones and on-off LED signals. The hardware described in Part 2 of this IBL (Pic 2) uses the LED signals to switch the vibra-tactile motor on and off to form the dits and dahs of the Morse Code. The hardware described in Part 3 of this IBL (Pic 3) uses the audio tones to switch the vibra-tactile motor on and off to form the dits and dahs of the Morse Code.