For my road test of the CapSense MBR3 I want to see how suitable these sensors are for a workshop environment. In my previous test I looked at different types of gloves, so for this test I am going to review different front panel materials and thicknesses.

When I looked at what materials I had in the workshop I found the following:

PlasticSheets.jpg

  • 2mm clear polystyrene
  • 3mm polycarbonate
  • 3mm acrylic
  • 10mm acrylic

I also found some toughened glass around the house in the form of a bathroom shelf 6mm and scales 8mm.

 

The buttons were configured the same as the previous test with automatic threshold, and buttons sensitivity set to 100,200,300 and 400 respectively for button 1 to 4.

Starting with the 2mm polystyrene this behaved very similar to the glove tests, button 1 and 2 worked with three being temperamental and 4 non operational.

With the 3mm polycarbonate, only button 1 was operational, the 3mm acrylic was the same.

The 10mm acrylic actually triggered the board when it was placed on. It was then reset but non of the buttons were operational. I tried various parameters and used the output tab to see the signal with this covering. I discovered that with the shield electrode turned on then button 1 reliably worked even with this ridiculously thick covering.

With this configuration button also worked with the 6 and 8mm toughened glass. I also retried the 3mm polycarbonate and found that buttons 1 and 3 worked with these settings.

 

In conclusion I'd again say that the sensors passed these tests nicely. Based on these tests I'd likely select 2 or 3mm thickness for the front panel and as per the glove tests, a larger sensor size would seem to be a good idea. I think I'd also recommend the use of the shield sensor as that allowed the switches to be much more tolerant of panel thickness. The sensitivity also needs to be set high, although it is possibly this could be reduced with larger pads.