Pressure Sensor Pad Output


Recently I began to become very interested in creating my own projects using Arduinos. I decided that I would build a small pressure pad as one of my first projects. I have seen some examples and thought I would give it a try.

I build a 3x3 matrix of brass sheet strips. Between the horizontal and vertical strips I placed two small pieces of Velostat.

I used two 74HC4051 multiplexers to iterate through the horizontal and vertical positions of the matrix. This seems to be a common approach from what I have seen from other tutorials. I plan on expanding this matrix later but a 3x3 seemed to be a good test case.

I wired the breadboard accordingly. The setup is available within the first 2 pictures.

The source code for the Arduino controller is as follows. Understandably it is not yet optimized. At this stage I am looking to get a functioning solution first.

/ Define binary control output pins
#define S0 2
#define S1 3
#define S2 4

#define S3 5
#define S4 6
#define S5 7

int V;

void setup()
  // Set multiplexer controller pins to output
  pinMode(S0, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(S1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(S2, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(S3, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(S4, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(S5, OUTPUT);

void loop()
  // Loop through the 8 possible channels in the multiplexer
  for (int i = 0; i <= 2; i++) {
    for (int j = 0; j <= 2; j++) {
      V = analogRead(A0);

void setMultiplexer1( int i ) {
  int s0Value = i & 0x01;      // get value of first bit
  int s1Value = (i >> 1) & 0x01; // get value of second bit
  int s2Value = (i >> 2) & 0x01; // get value of third bit

  digitalWrite(S0, s0Value);  // turn first pin on or off
  digitalWrite(S1, s1Value);  // turn second pin on or off
  digitalWrite(S2, s2Value);  // turn third pin on or off

void setMultiplexer2( int i ) {
  int s3Value = i & 0x01;      // get value of first bit
  int s4Value = (i >> 1) & 0x01; // get value of second bit
  int s5Value = (i >> 2) & 0x01; // get value of third bit

  digitalWrite(S3, s3Value);  // turn first pin on or off
  digitalWrite(S4, s4Value);  // turn second pin on or off
  digitalWrite(S5, s5Value);  // turn third pin on or off

The results I am getting seem to be counter intuitive to me. I seem to receive small, random dips in my measurements but nothing substantial as I press down on the different number positions.

Any clue what I may have missed? Again, I am very new to this so any insights the community can provide are very welcome!

Happy tinkering!

What is "Velostat"?

Thanks. I got it.
Have You checked the level of the signals the controller is reading? I guess they are rather small, maybe needing amplification.

All values are around 1023 which seems to be the maximum value. Perhaps two layers of velostat is just too much resistance? I am modifying the pressure sensors to see if that might be the issue.

Post a little drawing of the wiring of those Velostats. Some data about them would be good.

Welcome to the forum.

Can you please post a complete circuit diagram, including power supply and pin labels.

Pictures can only show so much.
Please use a pen(cil) and paper or a CAD program, BUT not a Fritzy images.
What is A0 connected to?

Thanks.. Tom.. :grinning: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

1 Like

Sure Thing! Let me look those up and get a drawing to the community! Thank you!

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