February 16, 2012 AT 5:58 am

EEBookshelf: DIY Capacitive Touch

Looking for a poor-man’s capacitive touch sensor using only the ADC on your MCU and a couple discrete components?  NXP shows how it can be done in AN11023: Capacitive Touch Sensing using the LPC11xx (here for .zip file with code).  (Note: While this app note is aimed at the ARM Cortex M0 LPC11xx series of chips, the information is easily transferable to any other MCU.)

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  1. Microchip have a special peripheral in a number of their Microcontrollers called the Charge Time Measurement Unit (CTMU). You can use this peripheral for capacitive touch sensing, and a range of other applications:


  2. Microchip also published an App. Note “Capacitive Touch Using Only an ADC (CVD)” with a similar idea.




  3. You do not need an internal ADC in your micro-controller to do capacitive touch sensing. You can do it with general purpose digital I/O using the delta-sigma method. The load on your micro-controller can be significantly reduced if you employ your on-chip timer/counters. Do a Web search, there are many examples…

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