How to set up the Touch Board with Arduino for the Interactive Wall Kit

Discover how to set up the Touch Board with Arduino for the Interactive Wall Kit

The Touch Board has been designed to work with the Arduino IDE and the set-up is straight forward. If you have set-up the Touch Board before, you still need to go through part of this tutorial, you can just skip to Step 5. The reason for this is because the Interactive Wall Kit comes with 5m long shielded cable, so you need to use a slightly modified version of the standard “Touch_MP3” code.

Currently, the latest macOS update, macOS Catalina, doesn’t support the Touch Board. This is an issue that needs to be fixed by Apple, in the meantime, we recommend that you don’t update to the latest macOS version if you still require to use the Touch Board.

Step 1 Install the Arduino IDE

First, download the Arduino IDE from the Arduino website. Make sure to use the latest version of Arduino. Once you’ve downloaded Arduino, save it to your Applications folder on macOS or run the installer on Windows.

Step 2 Open the Arduino IDE

Open the Arduino IDE once and close it again. This generates the necessary Arduino folders in your Documents folder.

Step 3 Download the Touch Board Installer

We have created an installer for each operating system which will create the files needed to make Arduino work with the Touch Board. You can download the correct installer for your operating system from the links below:

Windows installer

macOS installer

Linux 32-bit installer

Linux 64-bit installer

Step 4 Run the installer

If you have the Touch Board plugged into your computer, please unplug it before going further. Locate the installer that you have downloaded, unzip it, and double-click the file inside to run it. You should see a splash image pop up, followed by the step by step installer.

For macOS users, this is a straightforward process and you do not need to take any special steps.

Windows users may need to approve the program to run when they first double-click it, and then later approve the installation of a small driver so that Windows understands how to talk to the Touch Board.

Linux users will have to enter their password to approve the addition of a rule, to ensure that the operating system does not accidentally try to use the Touch Board as a USB modem. You will also need to restart Linux after the installer is finished.

Step 5 Download the Touch MP3 IWK code

Next, download Touch_MP3_IWK from the GitHub repo. Unzip the file, and copy paste the folder “Touch_MP3_IWK” into the Arduino Sketchbook Folder. This will be different for each operating system:




My Documents\Arduino



Linux (Ubuntu)


Step 6 Upload the Touch MP3 IWK code

Open the Arduino IDE and select the “Touch_MP3_IWK” code from:

File→Sketchbook→Touch Board Examples→Touch_MP3_IWK

Then, connect your Touch Board to your computer and turn the board on. On Windows, you may now see a message pop up telling you that a driver is being installed. Give this a minute or two to settle – it may even say that installation has failed initially, before finally sorting itself out.

In the Arduino IDE, select the Touch Board from Tools→Board. Additionally, in the Tools→Port menu, search for the ports labelled “Bare Conductive Touch Board”. In Linux and on Mac, there may be several options: choose the one that has CU in the name. In Windows, there should be one COM port labelled “Bare Conductive Touch Board” – choose this.

With the board selected twice, click on “Upload”. Give it a bit of time to upload, it will say “Done uploading.” when it’s done. You can also tell by checking the Touch Board, once the lights stop flashing, the Touch Board has uploaded the code.

On Windows machines, you may now see another attempt to install a driver, which most likely will appear to fail and the upload will fail too. Again, give this a minute to settle and try again – this will only happen the first time.

Step 7 Using other code examples with the IWK

The “Touch_MP3_IWK” code is similar to the “Touch_MP3” code that you might have used before. We have modified the code between lines 112 – 121, which will allow you to use the 5m long cables for the Interactive Wall Kit. If you want to use any other code examples with the Interactive Wall Kit, you need to add these lines to the code wherever MPR121 has been set up. For example, if you want to use the “Midi_interface_generic” code for your interactive wall, you need to copy these lines underneath “MPR121.restoreSavedThresholds();”.

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