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[DPRG] Super-flat sensor ideas?

Subject: [DPRG] Super-flat sensor ideas?
From: McQuay, Michael Michael.McQuay at wilcom.com
Date: Fri May 12 10:34:00 CDT 2000

> my best idea is to take two sheets of plastic (like overhead transparency
stuff) and rubber-cement foil to one side of each,

	Even less obstructive than that would be to place small conductive
surfaces all over the sculpture (squares of foil, whatever) that acted as
touch switches (like on a lamp that you can simply touch to turn on/off).
Of course there may be more circuit building involved for the
touch-sensitive circuits, but it would definitely be a less "button-like"
experience for the end-user.  

	Radio Shack sells a small "Engineers Mini-Notebook" that covers
using 555 timer chips to build this sort of a touch-sensitive switch,
however you may just be able to hookup a transistor to each foil square to
accomplish what you want, since you're just wanting a momentary "on", rather
than a timed pulse.  You might need to have pairs of conductive foil side by
side all over the sculputure so that the transistor turns on whenever a hand
brides the gap between a grounded (or hot) foil and an adjacent foil that's
connected to a transistor's base.

	The "Engineers Mini-Notebook" series is available at Radio Shack for
about $2 apiece, I think.  Each booklet covers a different topic (555 timer
circuits, Logic circuits, Op-amp circuits) and has lots of example
schematics of common circuits.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Patrick Innes [mailto:kc5ugq at yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 10:02 AM
To: dprglist at dprg.org
Subject: [DPRG] Super-flat sensor ideas?


I've recently been asked to assist a friend of mine
with a multi-media art project.  It is to involve a
sculpture studded with touch sensors, which will
replace the keys on a modified Mac keyboard, to
trigger various sounds, movies, etc. on the computer.

>From what I've heard about the concept, it should be
fairly straightforward to implement the program and
electronics, though I'm still at the "guess and see"
stage for coming up with the touch sensors.  They're
supposed to be affixed to a plaster sculpture of a
human torso, so I'm trying to make them as low-profile
as possible -- the effect isn't supposed to be, "Hey
look!  Buttons to push!", so I'm trying to shoot for
super-flat switches.  This is for a student project,
so low-cost (preferably zero) is important as well.

So far, my best idea is to take two sheets of plastic
(like overhead transparency stuff) and rubber-cement
foil to one side of each, placing a third sheet with
holes in it in between to keep them separated except
when they're being pressed (Alternately, I've also
considered using a metallized mylar survival blanket).
 The idea is sort of like a plastic and foil sandwich.

Probably easier to _show_ you what I mean, rather than
trying to describe it.


Anyways, that's the idea I'm working towards.  If
anyone has any better ideas, please let me know.


-- Patrick

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