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How to increase signal and decrease (easy)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Dan_68, May 6, 2012.

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  1. Dan_68

    Dan_68

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    0
    May 1, 2011
    Hey,
    I have made a dance mat for a playstation two. My problem is i have simply wired the the buttons on the mat to the contact of the buttons on the controller. As its only a small voltage it doesnt always detect the button being pushed on the mat its not very sensitive. So i want to run extra power through the mat so the buttons become more sensitive but then i need a way to send this to the controller with out puting to much voltage in it. I can think of it in a mechanical sense i want a high voltage on the dance mat and when a button is pushed it would create a contact in the controller without actually using the power from the matt.
    Its kind of like a relay but i want a large voltage to control a smaller voltage thats whats got me confused.
    Any ideas.
    Thanks
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    11,522
    2,654
    Nov 17, 2011
    A relay is an idea in the right direction, but probably way too slow.
    You could use a photocoupler.
    People who watch me post in this forum might think I get paid for promoting photocouplers ;) . No, I'm not. A photocoupler is fast, reliable and in addition has the advantage of electrical insulation between input and output. In your applocation the insulation might be useful because I presume the wires from the mat to the controler are rather long and this may cause EMI problems.

    Harald
     
  3. Dan_68

    Dan_68

    36
    0
    May 1, 2011
    Thanks i did think about them as i have heaps from old boards laying around. How do they work. From what i have seen there is 4 pins, 2 each side. Is one each side effectivly a + and -. So if i put a voltage through one side the other side see the led inside and completes it circuit is it that simple. My pad does work but being 2 mm steel plates and small voltage you have to stomp hard to get it to work sometimes.
     
  4. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    11,522
    2,654
    Nov 17, 2011
    You send a current through the LED. You will need a current limiting resistor in series with the LED, see the sticky post on LEDs in this forum.
    On the other side is a transistor which turns on if the LED is lit and is off when the LED is off. You connect the transistor across the button contacts of the controller, You may need to bserve polarity: Typically there is an NPN transistor in a photocoupler. The emitter of this transistor goes to the button-contact with the lower potential (e.g. GND), the vollectro goes to the contact with the higher potential. If you're not sure what is what, just try it one way and if it doesn't work exchqnge contacts.

    Harald
     
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