4 wire resistive touch screens … how to break them

After months of keeping my 4 wire resistive touch screen stored safely at the bottom of a small box, I felt a sudden urge to bring it out for experimentation. I was hoping to make a simple touch interface to control some stuff using my Arduino.

Excitedly I spent about half a day researching the touch screen. After reading a bunch of app notes and sample codes I felt confident enough to start.

Here are some helpful links:
Adafruit touch screen library
touch control panel by Practicalarduino.com
Touch screen example by Lars Schumann
Arduino and a Nintendo DS touch screen
Application note by Atmel
Application note by Texas Instruments
USB touchscreen mouse, example by Sparkfun
Get touchy, example on bildr

I had bought the touch screen (from digibay.in) without a separate connector. All it had was some delicate plastic film with the copper tracks. I would probably require connectors such as this or this to interface it to the Arduino.

I searched through some old motherboards, CD player PCB’s and Hard disk drives for a suitable connector, but couldn’t find any. Now, desperate to proceed, I began to carefully solder some wires directly to the tracks on the thin connecting film. I somehow regulated my tremors and managed to solder the wires. Then I applied a layer of hot glue just to strengthen the joint.


Unfortunately I had some other work to attend to and hurriedly placed the screen back into the box. The box was already almost stuffed full and I thought the space was enough for the screen.


So, today when I went to resume, I was shocked to see a sharp scratch on the screen surface. To my horror, on closer examination, the scratch wasn’t a scratch. It was a freaking crack! 😮


Now I’m left with a stupid broken screen and might have to order a new one. It’s not expensive, but I have to pay for delivery charges. So I’ll have to make a list of other things to buy to reduce the overall cost :-/

I felt a bit disappointed and wrote this post out of frustration. Shit like this happens 😦
Gotta be mindful next time.

Anyway I still feel a bit excited to check if the screen still works.


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