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Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by stinkbutt on Thu May 20, 2010 12:39 am

OK, so I don't like LadyAda's industrial design. Not so much the enclosure or the tube, which I think are super-sassy, but the button placement. And it's really a simple complaint:

There's no snooze button on the top.

There's no snooze button on the top!

It's an alarm clock, and I don't care what anybody else says, if you can't whack the snooze button whilst half-asleep, if you have to fumble around and find the right button, it's not a good alarm clock. If I wanted an alarm clock that was a pain in the ass to snooze with, well hell: I'd just go buy a clocky. Actually, I DID buy a clocky. But now I want an Ice Tube, and I want it to work the way I want it to. And since this is an open source product, I should just put my money where my mouth is and modify the thing myself. So, this brings us to my question:

I'd like to put a capacitive touch sensor on the inside of the top face of the Ice Tube Enclosure. I figure if I just go grab something like this, wire it into a transistor in parallel with the snooze button on the alarm, and yoink, I've got a touch-sensitive snooze button.

My question is, does anybody know if the high voltage inside the case of the Ice Tube likely to increase the noise in the signal, to the point that I'll be unable to sense a finger (or hand) press? There's quite a high voltage being pushed into those VFD segments, and I figure it's possible it's pushing out it's own electric field into the sensor since it's oscillating on and off, (a changing current induces a changing magnetic field induces a changing electric field...)

Can anyone suggest a reason why I'm wrong? Or can anyone give some insight on how noise-sensitive these capacitive touch sensors are? I remember reading LadyAda once saying you couldn't really slave the Ice Tube to an atomic radio signal because of the noise in the enclosure. This seems like it might have the same problem.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri May 21, 2010 8:12 am

Maybe a different sensor technology would work better. http://www.rfmicrolink.com/ZOFLEXZL601.pdf
You can buy raw sheets of the stuff. http://www.rfmicrolink.com/products.html

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by adafruit on Mon May 24, 2010 10:04 pm

how about a tilt sensor? we have them in the shop. shake the clock to turn it off :)

of course, you must be careful not to drop it!!!

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by MrGlass on Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:26 am

Or maybe switches/pressure sensor on the bottom, press the whole clock down to click them.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by pstemari on Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:07 am

Whack it while half asleep!!!

Geez, I assembled the case on mine wearing gloves to avoid any fingerprints on the inside, and when I pick it up I only touch the screw heads for that same reason.

All of which is why I still own stinkbutt an o'scope trace.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by richms on Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:17 am

I would put an external button on it before making any mods that resulted in the whacking of the icetube clock.

Acrlic might break, its not nice tough ABS, the tube might break, etc.

Get an easy button and some wire and you are done IMO.

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by neutron spin on Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:56 pm

I would much rather prefer a voice/audio sensor...perhaps a simple clap on or clap off to enable the snooze function
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - Capacitive Touch Sensor

by pstemari on Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:40 am

Hmm, you could do an ultrasonic sensor--just wave your hand through the beam to beg the clock for mercy.
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