01 January, 2010

Theory vs. Practice

In theory, a flex sensor is simple. It is just a bit of resistive material, like anti-static plastic sheeting, sandwiched between 2 bits of copper laminate and squished inside some heat-shrink tubing. There are many things that I would like to build of of this. First up as a prototype is building flexible antennae for an Atari Punk Circuit to modulate the sound based on how they are moved about. Then I want to make a suit out of them at all my major bendy points and route them through a Freeduino into a MIDI to have an instrument suit. I think it'll be neat to be able to make roaring bass lines just by waving my arms about wildly, which is how I normally dance anyhow.

In practice, however, securing the copper laminate has been more difficult than expected. Turns out there are a lot more different types of copper foils than I had ever expected and I'm not sure exactly which one would suit my purposes best. And while we're on practice vs. theory, it turns out that Ethernet cables are much easier to make into complex braids than 16G aluminum wire. While a 42 braid of Ethernet does look cool, it is not a torc.

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