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Author Topic: My ink is conductive!?  (Read 1925 times)
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B0100111001000011, USA
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Well....not very...



I was sitting on my computer when a strange whim struck me, and I took out some batteries, my (crappy) DMM, and the Single Sided Arduino PCB I have printed out on regular paper (with my injet) for fun.  I attached the wires and touched a trace with my DMM, and to my surprise, it showed voltage!

This led to the printing of an accurately labeled line and more testing.

Using a combined total of 14.88 combined battery power (one 9V is dying smiley-razz), I discovered:

By placing the + end of the batteries at the 0" mark, and attaching my - DMM lead to the - Battery lead, and the + lead to the 1" spot on the line, the voltage dropped to 2.68 volts (about a 82% drop :O).

But after that initial drop, the voltage only decreases at about 40% each inch.

I know that sounds like a LOT of resistance, but I wasn't expecting this to do anything at all smiley-razz.  Any clue what in the Ink is causing this phenomenon?

Here are some more pictures:





« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 09:10:25 pm by Tchnclfl » Logged

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  Well there is probably some carbon in the toner/ink that your printer is using. Some resistor pots are still made using carbon for the conductive track. I know that SparkFun sells some linear resistor potentiometers strips that work similar to what you are seeing. Not sure if every brand/model of printer ink could replicate your results, but it could be used in some useful or innovative project.

PS: Before you buy another Arduino board, get a better DMM  ;D

Lefty
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 09:55:46 pm by retrolefty » Logged

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Ah ok then.  I was just wondering what the heck was going on smiley-razz

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PS: Before you buy another Arduino board, get a better DMM

It's on my Christmas list smiley-wink.  This one, in fact.
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and to my surprise, it showed voltage!

That would suggest that you ink is acting as a battery.  smiley-wink

Did you mean to say:-
and to my surprise, it showed some resistance value!
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B0100111001000011, USA
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Ah...indeed. I was excited and mistyped smiley-razz.
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Lucky you! My ink(toner) doesn't seem to have this characteristic. I would've loved to do some papertronics smiley-wink
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Not related to the observed phenomena but maybe interesting for Pracas the paperduino:

http://lab.guilhermemartins.net/2009/05/06/paperduino-prints/
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It's not quite conductive enough to be practical haha smiley-razz. The voltage drops considerable amounts over a short distance. smiley-sad
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Probably as much a testament to the op amp in the DMM as to the conductivity of the ink.  smiley
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You may get conductive ink if you mix it (worth a try) with the content of this:
http://www.amazon.com/Caig-Chemicals-CAIG-CircuitWriter-CW100P/dp/B0002BBVQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1259966320&sr=8-1
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Not related to the observed phenomena but maybe interesting for Pracas the paperduino:

I can't really tell what they did.  Did they just print out the boards as templates, and then use wires to connect everything (inside the Cardboard)?  I feel a "Carduino" coming on... smiley-razz

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You may get conductive ink if you mix it (worth a try) with the content of this

That's a bit pricey for only 7ml!  :o
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you can see in the last image, all the component leads are soldered together "dead bug" style
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That's a bit pricey for only 7ml!
A cheaper alternative is to use staples.
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A cheaper alternative is to use staples.

Or Conductive Tape.
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you can see in the last image, all the component leads are soldered together "dead bug" style

Seems like I read something once "Fahrenheit 451"
I wonder if the paper 'board' ever catches fire when soldering the leads up.  smiley-wink

Lefty
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