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Credits: Beam Contrechoc, 2014

This swatch is a research tool for investigating static electricity properties of your e-textile fabrics.

Reason and motive:
A Darlington array touch sensor works perfectly outside textiles, but more than once it doesn’t when sewed in. This is because static electricity is enough to excite the darlington array. This Swatch reverses this disaster: investigate in advance if static electricity will block your nice touch sensor with your combination of fabric and conductive material.

A darlington array of two BC547 transistors, a LED, 3V battery in PLA case. The setup is a prototype – not yet as clever designed as the Chinese gadgets! Together with the probe there are some samples of fabric to start testing. Rubbing helps when you want a bit of action.

darlington(crossings are not contacts)

Dimensions: 100 x 38 mm

Print the case yourself! STL files:

Press the button and make sure you touch also the upper part of the battery (in big upper hole). Test by touching the front metal probe with your other hand, the LED should light up. The battery can be replaced. Plastic foil is a good material for exploring: it has local points which light up. Conductive material gives a very constant reaction. The tool works also to discover if there is any conductive material in a textile and where: for this touch the material with your hand and explore the fabric with the probe.

The universe of static electricity is very variable! Static electricity depends on temperature, humidity and materials. The probe is most exciting in winter :-)




First swatch pitch version:

swatch preview_small


result of 3D printer design:



2 Comments so far

  1. Chevrette on August 21st, 2014

    the e static Shadows from Zane Berzina seems to use the same principle! http://www.zaneberzina.com/exhibitions.htm

  2. Chevrette on September 1st, 2014

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