Apollo DSKY Computer Simulated with Arduino Uno and Touchscreen

Apollo DSKY computer simulated using Arduino Uno and 240x320 LCD touchscreen, adds clock functionality.

Jeremy S. Cook
a month agoRetroTech

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11’s landing, hacker Mark Wilson decided to create his own DSKY computer replica using an Arduino Uno and 240x320 LCD display. While Wilson is quick to note that it’s not a faithful representation of the Apollo Display and Keyboard module, or DKSY, it at least gives users a feel for the machine and even acts as a clock when you’re not pretending to travel through space.

In simulation mode, the touchscreen has three main elements, including a set of indicator lights like “UPLINK ACTY,” “TEMP,” “GIMBAL LOCK” and other “spacecrafty” abbreviations; a numerical display to show data such as the “VERB” and “NOUN;" and input buttons. Of course all this is drawn out on the screen, but the build appears to be much more approachable than something that might fool armchair astronauts into thinking it was the genuine article — if just for a second.

The project also includes a very non-DSKY intro screen that displays the moon and the approximate landing position. When in clock mode it shows the time as well as the phase of the moon, making it more useful in some ways than some other replicas. On the other hand, for a more realistic and hardware-intensive build (that appears to have needed a correspondingly intensive time commitment to complete) check out Ben Krasnow’s electroluminescent panel featured here.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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