How To Make A Capacitive Stylus With Common Household Materials
We’ve all had times when we wished we had something a little bit more precise than the tip of our finger to use on our capacitive touch screen tablet computers and cell phones. As you most likely know, a simple plastic stylus won’t work because these screens rely on the ability of our fingers which conduct tiny amounts of electricity to function properly.
Most modern touch screen devices use capacitive technology so not just any old touch screen stylus will work. If you remember the days of the old Palm PDA’s, they came with cheap plastic stylus pens. In a pinch, you could use pretty much anything with a point to make the device work but things aren’t quite that simple anymore.
You can of course buy a capacitive stylus that would work just fine but where’s the fun in that? Today I’ll be teaching you how to make a DIY capacitive stylus from things that you probably have lying around your house.
- An old ball point pen
- A bit of conductive foam
- About a foot of wire
- Electrical Tape
- Remove the ink cartridge from the pen.
- Cut a strip of conductive foam that is just a tiny bit larger than the opening of the pen’s tip.
- Strip about two inches of the insulation from the wire.
- Poke the bare wire through the foam and wrap it around the foam a couple of times.
- Thread the wire through the inside of the pen and pull the wire until just about 1/4 inch of foam is protruding from the tip of the pen. Note: make sure none of the wire is exposed in the foam tip or you might scratch the surface of your device’s touch screen.
- Strip the insulation from the rest of the wire and wrap it neatly around the outside of the pen.
- Secure the wires with some electrical tape to keep it from coming unwound.
- Trim up the end of the conductive foam to make a nice round writing surface.
Using Your DIY Stylus For Capacitive Touch Screen Devices
Now that you have completed your little project, anytime you hold the DIY touch screen stylus in your hand, the wire that is wrapped on the outside of the stylus will conduct electricity from your fingers to the conductive foam tip.
Make Your Own Capacitive Stylus Video
If you’re the type of person who learns better by watching than reading, here’s a short video that demonstrates the steps I’ve outlined for you above.
Have fun with your project and if you actually make one of these homemade touch screen gadgets, email me a photo and I’ll post it here on this article!