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Videos / Makey Makey Project - Skill Tester!

This Skill Tester DIY project is based on Makey Makey and takes around 10 minutes to put together and you'll have endless fun with it! Customise the challenge and remix it however you like!

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Hey guys, how’re you going? I’m Sam from Core Electronics and today we’re going to be making another awesome project with our Makey Makey. Now if you don’t know Makey Makey is the fantastic amazing wondrous platform that allows you to create circuits and projects with the world around you, its fantastic and today we’re going to be making a Skill Tester Project. And this is awesome because educators, parents, you guys are going to love this because it is so simple and easy to make. There’s no circuitry, there’s no soldering, there’s no coding, there’s no anything, it’s using household objects.

Now hopefully you’re all familiar with the classic game the Skill Tester where you’ve got a hook and a loop and the idea is to get the loop from one side around the wire to the other without touching the wire otherwise an alarm, or an alert or a buzzer is going to go off. Now it’s really easy to make, I’ve got a couple of things I have lying around in the workshop. I’ve got some packing foam, now this came out of some chairs I think that we got delivered and it’s nice sort of durable foam. Not a huge amount of flex, its solid and it’s going to be a great platform. Now I’ve also got some wire, now I got this out of some solid core hook up wire that I had lying around but you can use any kind of wire, anything that’s going to be conductive. You can use metal coat hangers but just be advised that with the coat hanger most of them nowadays come with a plastic coating to protect the metal, you know cut costs and keep prices low and all the rest, so if you do use a coat hanger you’re going to want to scrape that off and make sure that there’s none of that coating left on because otherwise it won’t conduct. It’s designed to look like metal but it’s just plastic. So you need something that’s going to conduct, if in doubt you can use your Makey Makey as a test. So you can connect one piece to the ground plane and another to one of the buttons and see if it lights up. It’s fantastic and it inadvertently also moved my page, so, I’m taking this and I’m just going to jab it down into the base so it’s nice and secure. Now it’s a little bit wobbly but thats going to be good, that’s going to add to the challenge, it’s fantastic!

Now I’ve got another piece of wire and made a pretty simple, you can see that, it’s just a little, little loop, a continuous loop with a bent bit of wire for a handle and lift one end of this up and put it through into there, now thats all there is to it. You could use some cardboard and some blutack as your base, you can use any form of wire that’s conductive and is going to hold its shape. Now the last thing we need to do, this is how incredibly easy this project is, is take two alligator clips, now we’re using our Makey Makey with the standard Resistive Touch firmware loaded up. It’s quite possible to program it to work with what’s called Capacitive Touch which just makes it operate a different way. We’ve got tutorials on Resistive and Capacitive Touch so check out both of those but if you have programmed it to work with Capacitive Touch you’ll need to revert and put the old firmware back on it. Check out our Resistive Touch tutorial for how to do that. But we’re going to assume that you followed our advice and we’re going to connect this up.

Now you want to take one clip, connect it to any part of the wire, doesn’t matter what side at all and connect it up to the ground plane. Then take a second alligator clip and connect it up to a point on the loop that you’re holding and connect this up but we’re going to need a male to male jump wire. Now you’ve got these in your pack, they come with our Makey Makey kits and they look like that. They’ve got a little probe on one end, a little probe on the other end and that’s because we’re actually going to need to use a keyboard input for this. I mean, we don’t have to but there’s a particular drum kit that I’m going to use and it’s mapped to the keyboard keys. So W, S, A, D, F, G etc not the mouse buttons or the directional keys which are on the pads on top. I mean you could use those and use a piano sound or something that takes those inputs, it just depends on whatever you want, but I’m going for a sound effect kind of buzzer.

Now, if I, in fact I’ll plug it in to one of these ones here so you can see what’s happening. So when I am holding it, just holding it, now you want to hold it by the insulated part of the alligator clip, you can see that there’s no light and then as soon as I touch it the light goes on because it triggered and it’s forming a circuit which is pretty cool. So I’ll go ahead and unplug that and I’m going to plug it in here, now you can see it if I go up into a search bar and form the circuit normally it would start typing I think but we’re going to go to the Makey Makey app. Now the link to the website, the Makey Makey website in the tutorial. Go here I’ve used the sound effects, the sound effects web app which is really simple. You click on that and I’m going to go to Google Chrome because it works a little bit nicer with these web plugins. Firefox can be a little bit tricky just a word of warning. Computer to respond…. Alrighty, fantastic, now after a moment of internet dropout we are ready to go. We’ve got our web app here, now this is kind of cool, it creates a bunch of kind of different cheesy sounds that’s based on the keyboard. Very fun, very alert grabbing which is what you want.

Now because we’ve connected our pinup to the W key that is going to trigger that sound which is, well, that’s ok but it's not really a nice, you know “you lack the skill” kind of alert sound so lets try, what one do we like? Oh, that ones cool, I like S so lets plug that into S. Now if we touch it, Yeah! that’s what we want. So this is really easy, we’ve created our project and the idea, whoop, no I failed already! The idea is to get around the entire circuit without touching the hook and the loop together. Oooop and it’s so shaky it’s actually quite hard, nup (loud noise) I give up. Anyway it’s a fantastic project, it can be quite tricky especially with this thinner wire that has a bit of bounce to it but you can use whatever you want as I said. A stripped coat hanger or some of this stripped wire, so long as it is conductive it’s going to be perfect and this our simple Skill Tester Project. This is perfect for all ages, you guys are going to love it so get building, pick up a Makey Makey kit and enjoy guys.

I’m Sam from Core Electronics and this is another of our Makey Makey projects, see ya :-)