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Topic: Electrocuted when using pressure pads instead of push buttons (Read 3886 times) previous topic - next topic


Hey guys,

Me and my group are making an interactive light installation that consists of 5 pressure pads which are basically made with two wooden boards, the insights of which are covered in aluminium foil and the outer (inner) boarders of which are covered with a spongy material so when someone steps on them the aluminium conductive sides touch and it basically acts like an on/off switch (as seen on one of the pictures attached below). The pads' surface is 31cm X 42cm in case that matters.

The basic idea is that each of the pads, once stepped on, activate an effect on a separate 3m long LED strip (all in all 5x3m = 15m SK6812 dense Led strips). When we started developing it, we were testing everything with push buttons instead of the pads. We used a Corsair CX500M ATX power supply to power the strips and the whole circuit (5V and 12A). Everything was working just fine but once we swapped the buttons with the pressure pads, the program started lagging at some point and stopped completely. To add more excitement to our problem, we also started getting electrocuted every time we try to switch the wires/resistors and try a different solution (with the power supply off). In order to reduce voltage on the pads/capacitors we swapped the 1K resistors with a 10K one however that resulted in none of the LEDs lighting up.

We are not the best at electronics as you might see and we really need your help, does anybody know what might be the problem and perhaps the solution? (We got the idea that we have basically created a gigantic capacitor out of our pressure pads and it's storing a lot of current that is causing the problem, but please correct us if we're wrong)

Here are some pictures of the pads and the whole circuit to get a better idea of what we're dealing with


I don't know what is causing the issue but if you can't figure it out, you could side step the issue by putting your button between the two panels. When the user steps on the pressure pad, it will just activate the button inside the pressure pad. 


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