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Topic: My ink is conductive!? (Read 2290 times) previous topic - next topic

TchnclFl

Dec 02, 2009, 03:06 am Last Edit: Dec 02, 2009, 03:10 am by Tchnclfl Reason: 1
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 :P), 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 :P.  Any clue what in the Ink is causing this phenomenon?

Here are some more pictures:






retrolefty

#1
Dec 02, 2009, 03:53 am Last Edit: Dec 02, 2009, 03:55 am by retrolefty Reason: 1
 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

TchnclFl

Ah ok then.  I was just wondering what the heck was going on :P

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


It's on my Christmas list ;).  This one, in fact.

Grumpy_Mike

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and to my surprise, it showed voltage!


That would suggest that you ink is acting as a battery.  ;)

Did you mean to say:-
and to my surprise, it showed some resistance value!

TchnclFl

Ah...indeed. I was excited and mistyped :P.

pracas

Lucky you! My ink(toner) doesn't seem to have this characteristic. I would've loved to do some papertronics ;)
Be The Change...

wortelsoft

Not related to the observed phenomena but maybe interesting for Pracas the paperduino:

http://lab.guilhermemartins.net/2009/05/06/paperduino-prints/

TchnclFl

It's not quite conductive enough to be practical haha :P. The voltage drops considerable amounts over a short distance. :(

pluggy

Probably as much a testament to the op amp in the DMM as to the conductivity of the ink.  :)
http://pluggy.is-a-geek.com/index.html


TchnclFl

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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... :P

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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

Osgeld

you can see in the last image, all the component leads are soldered together "dead bug" style
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=unread;boards=2,3,4,5,67,6,7,8,9,10,11,66,12,13,15,14,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,86,87,89,1;ALL

florinc

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That's a bit pricey for only 7ml!

A cheaper alternative is to use staples.

TchnclFl

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A cheaper alternative is to use staples.


Or Conductive Tape.

retrolefty

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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.  ;)

Lefty

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