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MIT Media Lab

  • Kit Materials: LED light, Microcontroller, Battery, Battery holder, Copper tape
  • Extra Objects, Materials and Tools Needed: Empty glass wine bottle, Hot glue, Scissors
Step 1: Bend Legs Bend the legs of your LED light apart as illustrated in the photos. Do the same for the microcontroller. Step 2: Hot Glue Hot glue your LED to the bottom indent of the wine bottle. Apply hot glue to the bottle first and then press the LED light into it. Apply hot glue to the back of your battery holder and then stick it to the side of the bottle so that it runs the length of the bottle. Repeat this step for your microcontroller, sticking it to the opposite side of the bottle if you like. Step 3: Cut Strips Cut the conductive copper tape into roughly 2mm wide strips.
Step 4: Connect the Circuit Now you need to connect the following components to one another to form an electrical circuit. In this step it is extremely important to make sure you have good electrical contacts between the tape and the legs of your components. Although the adhesive on the conductive copper tape is also conductive, it does not always make for a stable electrical connection. This can be improved by soldering the two together as a final step. You want to connect:
* LED(-) to Battery(-)
* LED(+) to Microcontroller(toggle on/off)
* Battery(-) to Microcontroller(-)
* Battery(+) to Microcontroller(+)
* Microcontroller(-) to a strip of conductive tape that spirals around the top of the bottle. Paralel to this you want to spiral another strip of tape leading from the microcontroller(-) pin. This is to ensure that the capacitive sensing is reliable.
Tip: As you are laying out the traces you can shape their direction by slowing curving and sticking down at the same time.
Tip: If a single strip of tape is not long enough to reach from one component leg to another you can simply overlap the tape ends by one or two cm. This will insure for a good electrical connection through the conductive adhesive.
Tip: You never want two separate traces touching each other so in order to jump one trace over another simply make sure you have a piece of paper as a spacer between the two. See image.
Step 5: Test If all is working then when you touch the neck of the bottle (bridging the capacitive sensing and the negative power line with your skin) then the LED light should toggle on and off. Step 6: Troubleshooting If it isn't working then the first places to look for mistakes are:
  • Is you circuit connected correctly?
  • Are your components oriented correctly (+,-)?
  • Is your battery supplying 3 volt?
  • Are the connections between the copper tape and the components legs good?
  • If all looks good but it is still not working, then one last thing to try is soldering the connections between the copper tape and the components legs.
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