The SparkFun Touch Potentiometer, or Touch Pot for short, is an intelligent linear capacitive touch sensor that implements potentiometer functionality with 256 positions. It can operate as a peripheral to a computer or embedded microcontroller or in a stand-alone capacity. The Touch Potentiometer provides both a dual-channel analog and PWM output for direct control of other circuitry. Configurable analog and PWM transfer functions support a wide variety of applications such as volume control and LED dimming.
The Touch Potentiometer is controlled by a Microchip PIC16F1829 8-bit micro-controller that provides the host interface, LED control, capacitive sense and peripheral control functions. A built-in low-dropout voltage regulator allows operation over a range of input voltages up to 12V and breadboard friendly connectors make it easy to play with. A desktop application has been created by our collaborator, Dan Julio, that communicates with the Touch Pot over a serial connection. From this utility app you can change configuration settings, alter LED behavior, calibrate the capacitive touch sensor, view current readings in jabber mode, and much more.
Note: This product is a collaboration with danjuliodesigns. A portion of each sales goes back to them for product support and continued development.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 2 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
Great little dimmer switch. It responds well to touch, and always does what I expect. Well Engineered.
Super easy to hook up to an led driver that takes pwm, just solder 4 wires, and it works!
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I rarely leave bad reviews. Almost never. But this product has pushed me to leave the worst review I can give.
A little backstory: I purchased this product to put into a movie replica gift to someone who is not very tech savvy. I bundled it up in a case with the touch strip exposed, and started testing. I couldn't get it to stay steady, and my tap detection was not working well. I was using the I2C interface directly into the microcontroller, and I just couldn't get a solid touch detection without reoccurring false positives. I managed to use the calibration routine just right, just once out of the 20 or 30 times I tried, and it finally worked... for about 3 months. Now the calibration is off again, and the gift receiver is not savvy enough to calibrate it (I'm apparently just savvy enough to get the calibration to work once...).
So, I entered a support request into Sparkfun... 2 months ago. I got the confirmation, I waited, I sent a follow up, I waited and still nothing to this day. Usually Sparkfun has great support, except apparently for this part.
So in summary: 1. Won't stay calibrated (Power-up calibration appears to do nothing) 2. Terrible calibration routine makes it hard to use advanced features. 3. Non-existent support
It might work well for a breadboard project, but will not work for a design which requires longevity. Overpriced and definitely not worth it.