DIY LED Pressure Coaster


Introduction

The LED pressure coaster is a great addition to your house decor and a great place to put you drinks. The unique feature of this coaster is that it tells you how much of your drink is left in your cup! Amaze your friends and family, or be the life of the party with this device.

IMG_3711

Overview

The LED pressure coaster work by uses copper PCB and conductive foam to turn on and off the LED’s. By placing the conductive foam between the copper PCB, this creates a certain voltage across the PCB’s. The conductive foam also has a resistance to it, therefore when you apply pressure to the copper PCB’s, it varies the voltage between them. This variation in voltage gets sent to the micro controller where is decodes it to determine what pressure level the coaster is at. The coaster has four pressure level (more info. below) and these determine what LED will go on. The heavier the object is on the top of the coaster, the higher the pressure level the coaster is at.

Beginner

    Pressure Levels:
    1 – no LED is lit
    2 – Red LED is lit
    3 – Yellow LED is lit
    4 – Green LED is lit
    Status:
    No drink on coaster
    Little amount of drink on coaster
    Good amount of drink on coaster
    Large amount of drink on coaster

Hobbyist

    Pressure Levels:
    1 – no LED is lit
    2 – Yellow/Green is lit
    3 – Green is lit
    4 – Teal is lit
    5 – Dark Blue is lit
    6 – Red is lit
    7 – Purple is lit
    8 – Sky Blue is lit
    Status:
    No drink on coaster
    Light drink/empty water bottle (16 oz) on coaster
    Quarter-filled water bottle (16 oz) on coaster
    full-filled water bottle (16 oz) on coaster
    plastic tumbler (16 oz) half-filled on coaster
    full-filled tumbler (16 oz) on coaster
    full-filled big gulp (32 oz) on coaster
    half-filled glass bottle on coaster
    giant pierrier-bottle on coaster

Note:
Adjustments for sensitivity can be made through the potentiometer. (In case you want the coaster to respond more to lighter drinks, status weights will change.)

Beginner Schematics


ATtiny45 Microcontroller Pinout Diagram
The numbers on the inside of the micro controller are the physical pin numbers and the pins on the outside are referring to the pins that Arduino can access.
attiny45_85pinout1

LED Pressure Coaster
Pressure Coaster Beginner Rev A


Materials

Tools

    Phillips #00 Screwdriver
    Phillips Flathead Screwdriver (Preferred size: #3)
    Soldering Iron
    Hot Glue Gun
    Wire Cutters
    Scissors
    Optional:
    Dremel with Grinding tool
    Drill with 1/4″ drill bit

Beginner

    1 x ATtiny45 Microcontroller
    3 x 1k Resistors
    1 x 10k Potentiometer
    1 x Green LED
    1 x Red LED
    1 x Yellow LED
    1 x Mini Switch
    2 x One-sided Copper PCB’s
    2 x (2 cm x 2 cm) Piece of Conductive Foam
    1 x Blue LED Button Coaster
    1 x 2″ Copper Wire
    3 x 2″ Red Insulated Wires
    1 x 2″ Yellow Insulated Wires
    1 x 2″ Blue Insulated Wires
    2 x 2″ Black Insulated Wires

Hobbyist

    1 x Atmega8 Microcontroller
    9 x 1K Resistors
    1 x Crystal Oscillator
    2 x 22 pF Capacitors
    3 x YG-5MM RGB LEDS
    1 x 10K Potentiometer
    1 x Mini Slide Switch
    1 x Blue LED Button Coaster
    2 x (2cm x 2cm) Conductive Foam
    1 x 2″ Copper Wire
    6 x 2″ Black Wire
    6 x 2″ Red Wire
    4 x 2″ Yellow Wire
    2 x One sided Copper Squares

Instructions

Disassembling the Blue LED Button Coaster

1) Start by removing the blue LED button coaster from its package and removing the “bubble shield” along the edge and silicon spacer from the bottom of the coaster to reveal a button.

Set aside the “bubble shield” and discard the silicon spacer.

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2) Remove the five Phillips #00 screws from the bottom of the coaster.

Put these screw in a safe place because we are going to use them later.

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3) Open up the coaster and remove the plastic button and batteries.

Put the batteries with the other goodies and discard the plastic button.

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4) The plastic frame of the coaster with circuit board will be considered the “top” of the coaster and the other side with piece of metal on it will be the “bottom”. Remove and discard the circular tab holding white circuit board in place.

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5) Using the flathead screwdriver, pry up the white circuit board from the top of the coaster.

This might require some effort and set it aside when your done.

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6) On the bottom of the coaster, remove the piece of metal attached to it. The bottom and top should have nothing on them. The top piece of the coaster is the piece with “circles” on it and the other piece is the bottom of the coaster.

Set the piece of metal aside as we will use it later.

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7) Get the white circuit board and unsolder the pieces of metal with spirals at the end and set them aside again. The white circuit board is not going to be used any more so you discard it or save it, your choice.
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LED’s

8) Cut all the LED’s anodes (The long lead) and both of the leads on 1k resistors to an 1/8″.

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9) For each of the LED’s, Solder one of leads of the resistor to the anode.
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10) Solder one end of an insulated wire to the other lead of the resistor.

    Red wire – Red LED
    Yellow wire – Yellow LED
    Blue wire – Green LED

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11) Cut the red insulated wire on the red LED to 1″ and strip 1/4″ off of the cut side.

This remaining piece of red insulated wire insulated will be used later.

Switch

12) Cut one of the red insulated wires in half to get two 1″ pieces and strip off 1/4″ on each cut side. Solder one end of cut red insulated wire to the middle lead of the switch and one end of the other cut red insulated wire. Then, solder one end of another red insulated wire to the left lead of the switch.
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13) Solder the red insulated wire on middle lead of the switch and one of the metal leads with a spiral end together.
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Adjusting the Coaster Frame

For these next steps, if a Dremel and/or a drill are available to use, I would highly recommend that you use them. If not, a soldering iron will work just fine. This will smell so I would recommend having a fan near by, a fume extractor, a mask, or even going outside.

14) Remove the tabs on the top of both pieces of coaster.
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15) On the top of the coaster, melt the little tab sticking out of the near the middle of the coaster and a little section out of the bottom left.

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16) On the bottom of the coaster, melt the middle divider so that the copper plated PCB will fit.
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17) From the bottom left corner on the bottom of the coaster, measure 3/8 of an inch and draw a dot. This dot will be the center of the hole you are going to melt out and it should be 1/4 of an inch in diameter. Check and make sure that the white head of the 10k potentiometer fits inside the hole.

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ATtiny

18) Spread out the pins on the ATtiny so it will lay flat.

Make sure not to bend the pins out too far because they very fragile.

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19) Solder the following together:

    Pin 2 – 1 in Red Insulated wire
    Pin 4 – 2 in Copper wire
    Pin 5 – Red LED anode
    Pin 6 – Yellow LED anode
    Pin 7 – Green LED anode

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20) Solder Pin 8 of the ATtiny and the short piece of insulated wire on the left lead of the switch together.
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21) Bend the copper wire 3/8″ away from the pin 4 of the ATtiny.

Make you are bending the copper wire itself and not the pin of the ATtiny.

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22) Solder the one of the metal lead with a spiral end at the bend of the copper wire.
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23) Cut 1/8 of an inch off of the cathode of the red LED and solder one end of the black insulated wire to the cathode.

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24) Solder the long lead on the left pin of the switch to one of the copper PCB’s and pin 2 of the ATtiny to the other copper PCB.
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25) Spread out the pins on the 10k potentiometer. Solder the only lead on the top of the potentiometer to the opposite corner from where pin 2 of ATtiny is soldered on the copper PCB.

Be sure not to bend the leads on the potentiometer too far because they are very fragile

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26) Solder one end of the black insulated wire and the cathode of the red LED to the right lead on the bottom of the potentiometer.
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27) Solder the other end of the black insulated wire on the right lead of potentiometer to the end of the copper wire.
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Assembling the LED Pressure Coaster

28) Hot glue the ATtiny, switch, and copper PCB to the top of the coaster.
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29) Hot glue the copper wire so it stays in place.
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30) Hot glue the LED’s into the rectangular compartments on the top of the coaster:

    Green – Left
    Yellow – Bottom
    Red – Right

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31) Solder the cathode’s of the green and yellow LED to the copper wire.
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32) Hot glue on the other copper PCB to the bottom of the coaster.
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33) Hot glue the metal piece with spirals at each end to the bottom of the coaster.

Make sure there is no glue on top of the spiral ends.

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34) Check to make the top and the bottom of the coaster align. The white top of the potentiometer should fit into the hole you melted or drilled out. If it is not aligned unsolder the potentiometer and move it until it is aligned.
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35) Place the two pieces of foam on top of each other on the top of the copper PCB on the top of the coaster.

Make sure that the pieces of foam don’t cover the screw hole in the middle of the coaster.

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36) Move the switch so it is in the off position or to the right. Then, place the batteries in the coaster so that the right battery is positive side down and the left battery is positive side up.
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37) Bring the copper PCB on the bottom of the coaster on put on top of stack of foam. Then, press it down as far as you can and put the screws in it. Finally, put on the “bubble shield” back on the outside of the coaster.

There are only 4 screws that need to be put in.
It is not necessary, but to improve ascetic appeal the coaster may be hot glued on the top next to the switch to be more flat.

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Calibrating

38) First, turn on the coaster. If the green LED is on turn the potentiometer clockwise until until the red LED goes off. If none of the LED are on, apply pressure to the PCB’s to see if it lights up. The goal is to get the coaster to light up the red LED with a little bit of pressure and when you let it go the light will all be off.

Instructions


Similar to beginner instructions on taking apart the blue LED coaster, follow steps 1-6 prior to this step

Step 7) Now that the coaster covers have been separated, take a pair of wire cutters and start removing the indentations to make more space for the components. This part can be optional as long as all the components are able to fit.
IMG_3465

Wear safety wear for your eyes or hold the disc away from your face as the plastic bits will tend to shoot off!

IMG_3466

Step 8) This step is actually optional, if you have a dremmel with a sander it helps to get more of the indention out but then leaves a scratched finished. The electronic components will mask these parts.

IMG_3467

Step 9) Now grab your Atmega8 and carefully bend the pins outward. It helps to do it one at time with your finger.

IMG_3386

Step 10) Then grabbing the crystal oscillator, trim the pins a little so it won’t take up as much space on the board. You want to then solder the crystal oscillator to pins 9 and 10 of the Atmega8.

IMG_3387

Step 11) It helps to apply solder to the atmega8 pins first, and then grab the crystal oscillator with a pair of pliers.

Don’t try soldering the crystal oscillator by grabbing it with your hands, there’s no insulation so it WILL burn

IMG_3388

Step 12) Next grab the 22pF capacitors and using needle-nose pliers bend them as shown in the picture and solder one end to the the same pin as the crystal oscillator. The other legs will go to ground.

IMG_3389

Step 13) One important part about making this kit is being mindful of spacing. It helps to place the parts onto the disc to get an idea of how much you need to trim to fit all the components.

IMG_3390

Step 14) . Next color the long pin of the RGB LEDS because this is a common anode and needs to connect to the power rail.

IMG_3391

Step 15) . Trim the LED legs to appropriate length so they fit on the plastic disc.

IMG_3392

Step 16) Next, grab the 1K resistors and trim one end. These will be connecting to each pin of the RGB LED (except the anode).

IMG_3393

Step 17) Solder the resistors to each pin of the RGB Led that will be connection to the atmega8 chip.

IMG_3394

The results should look like this:

IMG_3395

Step 18) Next comes the most difficult part of the whole design, trimming the other ends of the resistors and soldering to the Atmega8 chip. It is easiest to apply solder to the pin of the Atmega8 chip first, then soldering the other end of the resistor on.

Starting from rightmost end (where the anode is the 2nd to the right) solder resistors to pins 17,18,19 on the Atmega8 respectively. Remember that the colored pin will not connect to anything just yet.

Then using another RGB LED, it was easiest to trim the leftmost pin really short and add a wire so no cross connections happen. Just like in Ghost Busters, you can’t cross the streams! Solder the resistors to pins 14, 15, 16 of the Atmega8 chip.

IMG_3396

Step 19) You’ll then want to trim the resistors and solder small wires to connect the last RGB LED to pins 2, 3, 4 of the Atmega chip.
step19

Step 20) You’ll then want to connect a red wire to each of the colored anode pins of the LEDS. Connect the other end of those wires to a piece of the copper wire which will be the power rail. Pin 7 of the Atmega also goes to power, and pin 8 of the Atmega goes to a ground rail alone with the other ends of the capacitors.

Ignore the stray yellow wire underneath the chip in the photo, it is not connected to anything.

IMG_3471

Step 21) Grab the 10K Potentiometer and draw a dot as to where the best placement for it will. You’re going to need to drill a hole, or using the soldering iron then punch a hole, through the plastic so the potentiometer can be adjusted from the outside. This will be going on the bottom of the coaster so it won’t get wet.

IMG_3472

Step 22) The 10K Potentiometer should fit snugly in the hole.
IMG_3473

Bottom View of the coaster
IMG_3474

Step 23) Solder a black wire to one of the legs of the pot and the other end to ground. Grab another black wire and solder to the front leg of the pot and the other end of the black wire will go to the bottom copper plate. (Ignore the yellow wire pictured here).

IMG_3475

Step 24) You can attach one piece of the foam with a little bit of hot glue on the edges.

IMG_3690

Step 25) Solder a red wire to the power rail and the other end to the top copper plate. Solder a yellow wire to the bottom copper plate (with the black wire) and the other end to pin 26. The end result will look like this:

step25

Step 26) Next grab the switch and solder 1 black wire to the ground rail, and with the same pin another black wire that will go to the negative terminal of the batteries. Then for the middle pin of the switch, solder a red wire that goes to the power rail. Finally, solder a red wire to the last pin of the switch that will go to the positive terminal of the batteries.

Do not solder any wires to the batteries, doing so may cause fire, an explosion, or even death!

IMG_3477

Result of the electronic components with the switch added
switch

Step 27) Then using the curly wires from the original coaster, solder to the ends of the red and black wires as shown:

IMG_3695

Step 28) You’ll want to place the batteries in the battery holder with a piece of metal connecting the negative to the positive so they are in series. Place the circuit on the bottom disc of the coaster with the hole drilled in to see where everything will be placed.

IMG_3696

Step 29) This part is also tricky as the components will be to be glued to the plastic. We used hot glue and found it the best choice to hold the components to the plastic.

IMG_3697

Step 30) Hot glue the copper plate to the bottom disc and then start hot gluing the other components one at a time. For example, you could hot glue the ground rail beneath the copper, and then hot glue the power rail on the other side of the board. Then carefully hot glue around the potentiometer but make sure you still adjust it from the other side. Hot glue the switch so it sits near the top above the batteries.

IMG_3697

For an alternate way to connect the batteries, try beginner instructions’ method steps (33-34). My method was using electric tape to stick the spirals to the negative and positive terminals of the batteries, with the long metal connected them in series that is hot glued to the bottom of the disc.

Final Step Now that everything is connected on the disc, you can hot glue the plastic ring to the top part of the coaster and then connect with the bottom part of the coaster by hot-gluing the edges. Also hot glue any holes to water does not leak inside!
The final result:
IMG_3713
IMG_3700[1]

Remember to adjust sensitivity by adjusting the potentiometer
Here’s the same bottle with the potentiometer adjusted making it more sensitive.
IMG_3699

Code

To edit the code on the ATtiny, these two steps need to be completed if not done so already:

  1. Download Arduino ATtiny libraryhere
  2. Breadboard Arduino and ATtinyhere

After you have loaded the Arduino ISP to the Arduino, the correct board in the tools drop down menu must be selected to program: “ATtiny45 (internal 1 MHz clock)”.

Beginner Code


// Indentifies the Pins used on the ATtiny
int pinLedRed = 0;
int pinLedYellow = 1;
int pinLedGreen = 2;

int pinPressureSensor = 3;

// The number of pressure levels and their ranges
int countPressureLevels = 4;
int colorPressureLevels[4][2] = {
{0,100},
{101,103},
{104,106},
{107,1000}
};

// This is the color for each pressure level
int colorRGBValues[4][3] = {
{0,0,0},
{255,0,0}, //red
{0,255,0}, //yellow
{0,0,255} //green
};

/* ATtiny’s don’t have the serial library due to their smaller size, so that’s
why is commented out.
*/
void setup() {

//Serial.begin(9600);

pinMode(pinPressureSensor, INPUT);

pinMode(pinLedRed, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pinLedGreen, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pinLedYellow, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
int pressureLevel = getPressureLevel();
//Serial.println(pressureLevel);
setColor(pressureLevel);
}

// Finds the color for the right pressure value and turns on and off the LED’s
void setColor(int pressureLevel) {

int redValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][0];
int yellowValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][1];
int greenValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][2];

analogWrite(pinLedRed,redValue);
analogWrite(pinLedGreen,greenValue);
analogWrite(pinLedYellow,yellowValue);
}

// This finds the pressure level between the two copper PCB’s
int getPressureLevel() {
int pressureLevel=0;

int pressureSensorValue = analogRead(pinPressureSensor);

for (int i=0; i<countPressureLevels; i++) { int minValue = colorPressureLevels[i][0]; int maxValue = colorPressureLevels[i][1]; if (pressureSensorValue>=minValue && pressureSensorValue<=maxValue) {
pressureLevel=i;
break;
}
}

return pressureLevel;
}

Hobbyist Code


//#include

int pin_zero = 0;
int pin_one = 1;
int pin_two = 2;

int pin_three = 8;
int pin_four = 9;
int pin_five = 10;

int pin_six = 11;
int pin_seven = 12;
int pin_eight = 13;

int pinPressureSensor = A3

int countPressureLevels = 8;
int colorPressureLevels[8][2] = {
{0,200},
{201,235},
{236,270},
{271,300},
{301,337},
{338,368},
{369,399},
{400, 1000}
};

int colorRGBValues[8][4] = {
{255,255,255,255},
{0, 255, 0, 255},
{255, 255,0,0},
{255, 0, 0, 0},
{255, 0, 255, 0},
{0,255,255,255},
{0,0,255,255},
{0,0,0, 255}

};

void setup() {
//Serial.begin(9600);

pinMode(pinPressureSensor, INPUT);

pinMode(pin_zero, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pin_one, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pin_two, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin_three, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pin_four, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pin_five, OUTPUT);

pinMode(pin_six, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pin_seven, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pin_eight, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
int pressureLevel = getPressureLevel();
//Serial.println(pressureLevel);
setColor(pressureLevel);
}

void setColor(int pressureLevel) {

//int otherValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][0];
int redValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][0];
int yellowValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][1];
int greenValue = colorRGBValues[pressureLevel][2];

//Serial.println(redValue + greenValue + yellowValue);
//Serial.println(greenValue);
//Serial.println(yellowValue);

analogWrite(pin_zero,redValue);
analogWrite(pin_one,greenValue);
analogWrite(pin_two,yellowValue);

analogWrite(pin_three, redValue);
analogWrite(pin_four,greenValue);
analogWrite(pin_five,yellowValue);

analogWrite(pin_six, redValue);
analogWrite(pin_seven,greenValue);
analogWrite(pin_eight,yellowValue);
}

int getPressureLevel() {
int pressureLevel=0;

int pressureSensorValue = analogRead(pinPressureSensor);

for (int i=0; i<countPressureLevels; i++) {
int minValue = colorPressureLevels[i][0];
int maxValue = colorPressureLevels[i][1];
if (pressureSensorValue>=minValue && pressureSensorValue<=maxValue) {
pressureLevel=i;
break;
}
}

return pressureLevel;
}



  • joakim

    great

  • Anthony Velez

    Cool

    • I like to always say, “cool beans.” I hope you love the Coaster as much as I do!

  • Will Wood

    Love it! Hope I win!

    • You will win! You will!

  • Matt

    Has the kit been sent yet?

    • We’ve been shipping it out all last week. The final orders are being shipped today.

  • joseph scalisi

    i’ve actually been needing a coaster XD

    • You don’t want to leave stains on the table.

  • Richard Hui

    Amazing idea! I grew up with parents who enforced the cardboard coaster rule lol. I have a couple questions:
    1) Where can I buy one of those led pressure coasters
    2) I have a spare ATMega328P. I know the pins are ordered differently, but if I match the wires and components as shown in your ATMega8 schematic to the equivalents pins on the ATMega328 would that work as well?
    I can’t wait to see your next video!

  • Gadgetron

    This looks like it belongs under a cup of awesome sauce

    • Awesome Possum Sauce. Get it? Awesome Possum? Nevermind. Haha.

  • Gadgetron

    This looks like it belongs under a cup of awesome sauce

  • Guest

    Fun build, now I can finally say my drink coaster has a serial port. I decided to power it externally and run the serial bus out. I modified the code a bit to free up the serial pins, added a bit of animation and reduced the bounce. Since I ran the serial bus out I can re-program the Arduino in the case (reset is a hole in the case that I can jump to ground) and read the voltage values on my homemade pressure sensor (and tweak the colors and threshold values). I was also able to fit everything in there with out too much modification to the case, I can still use the screws to put it back together. The only difficulty I had was with the caps. Since there were only 2 I did not look at them, they turned out to be the wrong value. When I powered up the circuit, the Arduino would not run. On closer inspection the caps were 22nF (223) not 22pF (22) as called for in the schematic. I replaced them with some I had on hand (the big blue HV caps in the pic), then it fired right up. Thanks for a great kit and idea!

    • Bryan

      I tried to delete this post but instead disqus just made it a guest post. Kind of odd.

      • I see that lol. I’ll see what I can do

  • Guest

    Fun build, now I can finally say my drink coaster has a serial port. I decided to power it externally and run the serial bus out. I modified the code a bit to free up the serial pins, added a bit of animation and reduced the bounce. Since I ran the serial bus out I can re-program the Arduino in the case (reset is a hole in the case that I can jump to ground) and read the voltage values on my homemade pressure sensor (and tweak the colors and threshold values). I was also able to fit everything in there with out too much modification to the case, I can still use the screws to put it back together. The only difficulty I had was with the caps. Since there were only 2 I did not look at them, they turned out to be the wrong value. When I powered up the circuit, the Arduino would not run. On closer inspection the caps were 22nF (223) not 22pF (22) as called for in the schematic. I replaced them with some I had on hand (the big blue HV caps in the pic), then it fired right up. Thanks for a great kit and idea!

  • Bryan

    Fun build, now I can finally say my drink coaster has a serial port. I decided to power it externally and run the serial bus out. I modified the code a bit to free up the serial pins, added a bit of animation and reduced the bounce. Since I ran the serial bus out I can re-program the Arduino in the case (reset is a hole in the case that I can jump to ground) and read the voltage values on my homemade pressure sensor (and tweak the colors and threshold values). I was also able to fit everything in there with out too much modification to the case, I can still use the screws to put it back together. The only difficulty I had was with the caps. Since there were only 2 I did not look at them, they turned out to be the wrong value. When I powered up the circuit, the Arduino would not run. On closer inspection the caps were 22nF (223) not 22pF (22) as called for in the schematic. I replaced them with some I had on hand (the big blue HV caps in the pic), then it fired right up. Thanks for a great kit and idea! —

    • You’re welcome. It took almost a month and an half to think of the concept and put it together. I was sitting there with my hardware engineer friends at a dinner party when suddenly I saw that the drink coaster they were using was very dull and mundane. Then, one of my buddies (who noticed I was staring at the coaster) said, “Imagine if the coaster could weigh how much liquid you had left in your cup.” then another chimed in, “Yeah. And it was measured by LEDS” This is how it all started.

      I’m glad you love the Kit!

    • Kevin

      Bryan, you my friend are a genius. I was playing around with this kit and I couldn’t get it to work. Then I read your comment about checking the supplied capacitors and they were in fact wrong. Replaced them with 22pF caps I had and it worked right away. Thank you for all the help you give to kipkay community

      • Bryan

        Glad it helped!

  • Enrique Solano

    Hello kipkay is there a separate video for the beginner kit?

    • Jimmy from Kipkay’s Team

      The beginner kit and hobbyist kits are almost the same – beginner kits can be challenging but if you look through the docs, you’ll find it fairly easy to follow 🙂

  • joseph scalisi

    i sent an email requesting replacements, both the chip and the coaster (half the shell) are busted

    • Stephanie Ann Rosales

      Hey Joseph! I’ll inform the manager to make sure he got your e-mail =).

  • Jaren Peterson

    Hi everyone. I built the kit but am not able to calibrate it as I expected. I can turn the potentiometer around and around and the green LED stays on almost all the time. There is a tiny tiny zone in which it appears to work as expected. No lights are on. If I press fairly hard red, harder, then yellow and really hard green turns on. This is the right way it should work, unfortunately even a full tall glass of water doesn’t create enough pressure to turn on even the red light.
    Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong?

    • Bryan

      I am assuming the beginner kit here. According to the code, high resistance is red (less pressure) and low resistance (more pressure) is green. If the green led is constantly on that means that the resistance is very low (so low your trim pot can’t compensate) on your pressure sensor circuit. I would say, take a look at the two copper clad boards (and the wires running from them) and make sure they are not shorted out.

      • Thanks Bryan for being a team player! High-five *5*

  • lane myers

    Hey kip Kay I just go my kit today

  • lane myers

    Kipkay I’m having so trouble with the beginner’s kit with soldering

    • I do have a video on how to solder, if you have a question on the build me and my team would be happy to help!

  • Mike Carter

    I finally got a chance to build this tonight, but it just doesn’t work. I’ve triple checked the connections and they’re correct. The project is getting power as I get a reading when testing on the power and ground rails. I’ve checked continuity and that’s good and the LEDs light up when I power each individually. Is it possible I have a defective IC or does anyone have any other ideas as to why it’s not working?

  • Joshua Post

    Whew. it is a tight fit. All I have left to do is glue the shell back together.

  • Joshua Post
  • Arturo
    • Joshua Post

      Lets discuss it on these threads so if others have the same problem, then can benefit from your experience. To start, could you describe exactly what it is or isn’t doing? No lights at all, single color, etc. If you have a multimeter, can you confirm that power is getting to the correct places? Along with the multimeter, also check the voltage coming from your batteries. Mine were pretty weak when I first got my project, so I replaced them with some spares I had on-hand.

      Then upload clear pictures of the front and back of your project, or of each component where you connected things, as it will be hard to see the top and bottom of your pressure sensor unless you take separate pictures of them.

      • Arturo

        here they are photos, it doesn´t do anything, and please show me how to accommodate everything and how it works because i don´t unerstand how the black foam it goes, or for what it is, i am new in this 🙁

        • Bryan

          To accommodate everything you want to assemble it with the case at hand so you know how to bend everything to make it fit in the coaster. You may have to get a bit creative. The foam goes on the copper sides of the boards and provides a pressure reading. Please be sure to check out the instructions and the video a couple of time, there is a ton of valuable information that will help you build this kit.

        • Joshua Post

          Do you have a multimeter? If so, connect your batteries and turn on the switch and make sure there is power to your positive and negative rails. Multimeter in DCV 20 mode and red probe to the positive rail and black probe to ground. You should get around 3v.

          For the foam, it will go in between the copper plates. Put the foam on top of one half of the plate, on the same side as your solder joint, and then put the other half on top, again the solder joint going on the same side as the foam. Then with everything on, squeeze the plates together some, so the foam starts compressing. This should start allowing some current to pass through from one plate to the other, and when working properly, will light up the LEDs.

  • TheRedstoneGamer

    I don’t have any conductive foam in my beginner kit. What should I do?

  • TheRedstoneGamer

    Can someone tell me where I went wrong?

    • Joshua Post

      Do you have a multimeter to get any readings? Which way did you have the batteries inserted? They need to be alternate directions. The instructions have detail on how they go.

      Did you put the black conductive foam between the copper pads when you put it together?

      • TheRedstoneGamer

        I can’t find any shorts. I did have the batteries in the wrong way at first, but I switched them around. I did put the foam in between.

  • Dly736

    I’m not sure where I went wrong. I doubled checked all connections with a multimeter. when it is turned on and pressed only the yellow LED turns on barely

    • Dly736

      I forgot to add a picture…

    • Joshua Post

      The picture really helped. As far as I can tell I don’t see any obvious errors. With your multimeter see what the voltage is coming out of each battery. When I received mine I think the batteries were nearly dead and could be causing your problem.

      You had the black foam between the copper plates, right? And did you adjust the potentiometer while pressing?

      • Dly736

        I changed the batteries, but that didn’t change anything. I did put the black foam between the plates and I also adjusted the potentiometer. It seems as though I have to press with a lot of force for the lids to come together. Is it suppose to be like that? I’m pretty sure a cup wouldn’t provide enough force to press the foam any further.

        • David Fries

          Try putting a spacer outside of the metal plate between the plastic and copper, like cutting up a few sheets of paper to put behind the plate.

          • Dly736

            I tried that, but i don’t think that’s the problem. I’ve checked it against the pictures and schematic, but can’t seem to find a problem.

          • David Fries

            Does it go from off to yellow to off as you continue to apply pressure? Does adjusting the potentiometer change the pressure point?

          • Dly736

            I’m not sure what I changed, but none of the lights turn on when i apply pressure now.

          • David Fries

            I would troubleshoot by reading the value from the pressure sensing foam, possibly soldering on a wire from ground and the sensor pin to outside of the coaster to read with the multimeter. That will help determine if the values are reasonable or not. Also look at the source code to see what the color threshold values are.

        • David Fries

          Try putting a spacer outside of the metal plate between the plastic and copper, like cutting up a few sheets of paper to put behind the plate.