So we live with an inventor, Hood #2 has been inventing things since the beginning of time. He is mad about electronics and has been exploring how to make his own stylus. The other day I posted this photograph on instagram:
So many folks asked: “How did he do that!!!” We decided to share a quick tutorial on how to make a stylus… and for my mom, his granny, a stylus is a special “pen” used to write on a touch screen like an iPhone or iPad…
Let’s Meet the Players
- An old Pen that you can dismantle
- Masking tape
- A thumb tack
- A square of tin foil, large enough to cover your pen.
- Wire strippers
Let’s Play the Game:
- Dismantle the pen, you are going to need the shell of the pen to form the frame for your stylus.
- Strip the ends of your wire, remove the insulation on the ends in order to create contacts.
- Tape one end of the wire to your foil.
- Thread the other end of the wire through the pen casing.
- Wrap the free end of the wire around the sharp point of the thumbtack and use a tiny piece of tape to keep that connection in place.
- Gently fit the thumbtack into the pen casing…
- Tape the foil down to prevent skidding about… and you are good to go…
Wrap the other end of the wire and foil around your pen casing…
How Does it Work?
You have created an open circuit with a tiny flow of charge from the screen to your thumbtack, through the wire into the foil and essentially into your hand. You are essentially the earth leakage. The screen recognises this point of “loss of charge” and marks it black… and so your stylus can be used to create pictures and patterns on your screen.
For myself I was far more concerned that the metal of the thumb tack would scratch my screen… I was told, sigh, “the sharp, scratchy” part of the thumb tack is inside the pen… and with trepidation I tried it and it didn’t scratch the screen. So it worked and we all got to enjoy a fun little bit of applied science.
Go on, give it a try… we now have a roaring stylus trade going on in our house… and their is only one currency around here… LEGO is being traded for stylus’… Yes, our domestic economy is indeed based on LEGO!!!