I hope all is well. I’ve included both a short version and a long version (with background) about my question.
Short version: I need to somehow shield out a lot noise from the capacitive touch sensor that I’ve got from Adafruit (AT42QT1070, link: Standalone 5-Pad Capacitive Touch Sensor Breakout - AT42QT1070 : ID 1362 : $7.50 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits) so it only “registers” a touch when a conductor actually “touches” one of the breakouts. There is backend processing done at an Arduino Mega afterwards.
Long version: In my setup, the goal is to register each individual licks of laboratory rat (an intermediately step in the project). We have a water dispenser that terminates in a metallic tube from which the rat can drink, or lick off, water. I’ve included a picture that shows how I’ve hooked up one of the sensor breakouts to this metallic tube (please let me know if anything’s unclear in the picture). Ideally, the sensor would register a touch only if the rat licks the metallic rod. The issue is that when the rat is in the general proximity of the sensor (with sometimes inches separating the two) the sensor tends to also register a touch.
Is there a way to mitigate this issue? If not, would getting analog or otherwise adjustable touch sensors a be a better idea?
Thank you again, and please let me know if anything is unclear.