Getting Started with the Touch Board

Getting Started with the Touch Board

Set up your Touch Board, change the sounds, and create your first interactive surface with Electric Paint.

This tutorial is a step-by-step introduction to your Touch Board. It will take you through powering it up and changing the sounds on your micro SD card, all the way to using our stencil and Electric Paint to create a series of graphical touch sensors on paper!

This tutorial is the most basic introduction to the Touch Board and is a great place to start if you're a beginner or if you want to get acquainted with the board. We will show you how to use the Touch Board's electrodes as touch sensors with no programming required.

We'll also show you a few different ways you can use Electric Paint to create interactive graphics. 

We love it when you share your projects! Post your project on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter, and make sure to tag @bareconductive or use #bareconductive. You can also send your videos and photos to info@bareconductive.com so we can post them on our site for the world to see.

You will need:

  • 1 x Touch Board
  • 1 x Electric Paint 10ml or 50ml
  • 1 x micro USB cable
  • 1 x Speaker or Headphones
  • 1 x micro SD card adapter
  • 1 x Paper
  • 1 x Stencil
  • 1 x Masking Tape
  • 1 x Stencilling Brush 

Step 1 Power Up

Plug your micro USB cable into the Touch Board. You can power it directly from your computer or a USB charger. Ensure the on/off switch at the bottom left-hand corner of your Touch Board is switched to ON.

You should see the green light next to the on/off switch come on. This means your Touch Board is live!

Step 2 Audio Jack

Plug your speaker (or headphones) into the audio jack on the top left-hand corner of your board.

Step 3 Electrodes

Now, touch the Electrode on the upper left-hand corner of your board. If everything is working, you should hear the first of twelve audio tracks that we pre-loaded to help you get started.

The Electrodes are the twelve golden squares that run along the top edge of your Touch Board. They are numbered E0 to E11.

Listen to the Audio Guide to find out more about the Touch Board and its different features. Once you've explored the audio guide, you're ready to upload your own selection of sounds.

Step 4 MP3 Tracks

The first step is to select the sounds that you want your Touch Board to play. You may want to record your own sounds, or you may already have a library of audio to choose from. Freesound.org is also a great resource for sounds and music.

We have selected two tracks to test with, "bubbles.wav" and "STE-101.wav", and put them in a folder titled Audio Tracks. As you can see, these are currently formatted as "wav" files. If your tracks are not currently mp3s, you'll need to convert them.

we use the Online Audio Converter to edit these files (see link below). Follow the steps below to convert a file:

  1. Upload your files
  2. Select "MP3 (.mp3 files)" Output Format, and choose the quality you'd like, I've chosen "Normal 128 kbit/s"
  3. Click on "Convert"
  4. Download your files once Converted
  5. Save your files in the Audio Tracks folder

Step 5 Crop your Tracks

If you want to crop your tracks there's some great free software online that will allow you to do this.

We use Online mp3 Cutter (see link below) when we want to quickly crop a track.

Step 6 Micro SD Card

Once you've selected your tracks and have converted and cropped them accordingly, it's time to load them onto your micro SD card!

This card is located on the left-hand side of your Touch Board, between the Audio jack and the micro USB port.

Push gently on the edge of the card, and it should pop out of the holder.

Step 7 Micro SD Card Adapter

We've chosen to use a micro SD card on the Touch Board to keep its footprint as small as possible. Your computer probably won't have a slot to insert the card directly, so you'll need to purchase an SD card adaptor or reader. You may already have one from your camera or phone.

In this tutorial, we are using a micro USB card Reader.

Insert your reader into the USB on your computer, and then insert the micro SD card you've just removed from your Touch Board.

Step 8 Audio Tracks

Your micro SD card should show up on your desktop under the name "TB AUDIO"

When you click on it, you should see a series of files that look like the image on the right.

The document titled "README.txt" contains instructions on the Touch Board Audio, as well as the Audio Guide in written form. Don't delete this document if you feel you may want to review these instructions in the future.

It's also essential that you keep all the files in the top level of the SD card. You'll see MP3 files amongst other files. These other files are important for the Touch Board's various functions. Make sure to leave them in the top-level (i.e. don't put them in a folder).

You will see twelve tracks titled:

TRACK000.mp3

TRACK001.mp3

TRACK002.mp3

up to TRACK011.mp3

These are the files you need to replace to input your audio. You can create a folder titled "AUDIO GUIDE" to save these files if you want to keep them for future reference.

Step 9 Replacing Audio Tracks

Select the mp3 files that you want to put on the board, and drop them in the top level of your micro SD card. Make sure you've already moved the Audio Guide tracks to another folder.

In order for your Touch Board to read the audio tracks, these need to be named:

TRACK000.mp3

TRACK001.mp3

TRACK002.mp3

…up to TRACK011.mp3

TRACK000.mp3 will be for E0

TRACK001.mp3 will be for E1

TRACK002.mp3 will be for E2

and so on….

The tracks We have selected are for Electrode E0 and Electrode E10, so we have renamed our tracks to TRACK000.mp3 and TRACK010.mp3

As I haven't put any other tracks onto the card, my remaining electrodes will not produce any sound.

Step 10 Re-insert your micro SD Card

Once you've renamed all your mp3 files according to the system above, you can eject your micro SD card and slide it back into your Touch Board.

Step 11 Test your Touch Board

Once your card is back in your board, press the "Reset" button on the bottom right hand corner. This will make your electrodes re-calibrate.

The orange light at the bottom left-hand corner will flash while your Touch Board is resetting. Once it stops flashing, you can touch any of the Electrodes you've created track for, and hear the sounds you've uploaded.

Success!

Now we're ready to start painting.