michaelfranzl.github.io

webDSKY

webDSKY is a historically accurate HTML5 implementation of the “DSKY” (short for “DiSplay and KeYboard”) of the 1960s Apollo program which first landed men on the moon.

The goal of this project is to provide a simulation of the DSKY which is both realistic in appearance and accurate in behaviour. It is implemented as a reusable Web Component so that it can be integrated into other projects.

The DSKY itself is just a basic input/output terminal and not a computer. It will only really come to life when connected to a simulation of the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) running one of the Apollo software programs.

However, on the demo included in this project, you can send some inputs to the DSKY and see some lights go on or off, and expect to get output when keys are pressed.

screenshot

The basis of this web component is a photograph of a real DSKY. The original photo is here which is linked from this page, which in turn is linked with the text “Pre-Launch LM Cabin Close-Out Photos” from the page Apollo 16 Surface Journal. I could not find a photograph of a real DSKY which is better suited for adaptation for this project. Using the GIMP editor I have deskewed a cutout of the photograph to be orthogonal, adapted contrast and brightness, extracted the glass labels (such as UPLINK ACTY or COMP ACTY) onto a transparent layer, and made the ‘glass’ of the warning lights semi-transparent. The shape of the 7-segment digits was thankfully found, documented and implemented as a font by Gene Dorr, even though I am not directly using his font here. I have generated SVG paths from this font so that it is possible to toggle individual segments, which the real DSKY supported partly, as documented by Ron Burkey. I have taken the greenish color of the active electroluminiscent display from a photograph of the DSKY onboard the Apollo 11 CSM (please let me know if you find a better photograph of an active real DSKY).

This implementation would not have been possible without the excellent resources on the Virtual AGC website.

Demo

See the demo sub-directory.

The demo sub-directory is live at https://michaelfranzl.github.io/webDSKY/demo .