How to Make a Capacitive Touch Pad.

About: Just getting into the microcontroller craze. I used to do this sort of thing building circuits for 8 bit microprocessors back in the early 80s, so this is kind of like reliving a bit of my childhood. Back th...

There's lots of projects out there for using Capacitive touch sensors.
This instructable was inspired by someone who made a capacitive touch Arduino piano.

The problem is how to easily make a touch pad, especially if you want a thin or flexible pad or don't know how to solder.
Here is my solution to that problem.

At almost any local hardware store, you can get Aluminum Tape.
Sticky (and not so conductive) on one side, shiny and very conductive on the other.

Gather your wires, and the tape.

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Step 1: Prepare the Pad

Cut a piece of the tape the size of the pad area you want, plus an extra couple cm at one end for attaching the wire.
Peel of the protective backing, and lay the pad down sticky side up.

Step 2: Prepare the Connection

Make a small fold on the end where you left extra for the connection.
Fold it so it's sticky side to sticky side.
You should now have a pad that is mostly sticky side up, with a conductive strip on one end.
Place your wire on the sticky tape one half the width of the conductive strip away from the strip.
Fold the conductive strip over the wire - it should be in the middle of the conductive strip you are folding over.
The sticky part will hold the conductive part to the wire.
You should now have your sticky pad with the wire firmly connected by the sticky side of the tape to the conductive section.

Step 3: Attach Your Pad

Now you can place the pad wherever you need it.
It can be acrylic, wood, cardboard, coffee cup, pencil, or even paper. This stuff sticks to pretty much anything and is quite flexible.

Now just hook it up to your project!

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I want to build this but i wish it was a trackpad. How can I make one thin as this? (Not of paper with graphite)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This type of touch pad is extremely sensitive to water. I used one for under cabinet lighting in my kitchen...everytime you boil water or make soup(using an exhaust fan above the stove), the humidity fires off the touch pad and lights went crazy! I kept raising the sensitivity limit in the sketch, I finally gave up.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Good to know.

    My suggestion would simply be to relocate the touch pad.

    No electronic circuit of any kind should be subjected to steam....they really don't like it....LOL


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is not a mouse input device.

    It detects touch as "yes it is being touched" or "no it's not being touched".

    This is for Arduino or other MCU projects.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    is it can connected to laptop? if it can connected with laptop can you tell me step to connecting to laptop