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Videos / Circuit Playground Express Workshop - Chapter 7 - Capacitive Touch

One of the fun features of the Circuit Playground is the capacitive touch-sensitive pads. They can be a little finicky sometimes, so this section is about making the most of the capacitive touch-sensitive pads.

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Hi, welcome back to the Circuit Playground Express online workshop, in this section we're going to learn about using capacitive touch with your Circuit Playground Express.

Now we've already talked about how to program with capacitive touch and it's quite simple with MakeCode, but we haven't talked too much about how you make it work on the physical side of things. so, I've given a couple of examples here of different setups for capacitive touch and how we can use them. So really when you're using capacitive to not touch you can use an alligator keypad clipped onto your Circuit Playground and you can connect it to just about anything could conductive and it'll work so you could clip to the Circuit Playground and clip one end to a piece of fruit that would even work, you can clip it to anything metal or you could even put an end in a glass of water and then when somebody touches the water it'll go.

So it's really quite versatile this comes in handy if you're making something kind of fixed because you don't need a mechanical button that it's something that might break, if it's something that is going to be touched many times like in our installation you can connect the capacitive touch sensor to a bolt or something because the bolts never going to wear out. So here I have a couple examples I've got some foil tape, like this it's a copper foil tape and it's conductive on both sides so even the glue side and what I've done is I've cut out a square of it and I've stuck it to the cardboard here with a fold, so I'm able to grab onto it with alligator clip and that makes a really positive connection and then you have a nice big touch pad that you can use to detect with the Circuit Playground Express. I've also got another example here which is a milled PCB that I've made to make a keyboard for an earlier project for the Circuit Playground Express and this is nice because it's a kind of a fixed and easily a reusable item, it's just a regular Circuit board with big pads in it and we've clipped the Circuit Playground to one of the keys, so when that key is touched the lights light up.

Now another way to do it a lot smaller as we have this really thin copper tape and if you have your Circuit Playground fixed to a surface you can really easily just tape directly to the Circuit Playground careful not to take to other elements on the Circuit Playground and then have it run off and that will work just fine so now I've created a quick and easy button and another way you could use capacitive touch that I haven't mentioned here is conductive thread. So, if you've sewn your Circuit Playground into some clothing or something you can use conductive thread and sew it onto the Circuit Playground and through your fabric so then when anyone touches that part of the fabric it could activate your Circuit Playground.

So those are some different ways that we can use capacitive touch with the Circuit Playground Express, there's a lot of options here a lot of different ways to be able to use it I just figured, I'd show you a little bit on the physical side. So, stick around in the next section we're going to talk about securing your Circuit Playground to your project.

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