July 18, 2017

I can't get a key to press!

  • Make sure your Makey Makey is plugged into the computer.
  • The Makey Makey should have a red light on the back showing that the power is on. Is it lit? If not something is wrong with the computer, the USB cable, or the circuit board.
  • If the USB connector on your computer is blue, it's USB 3.0, and may not work with Makey Makey. Try using a USB 2.0 port.
  • Try making a connection in the simplest way you can. One way is to connect an alligator clip to "earth" and then touch other end to "space."
  • When you make a connection, you should see an LED light up on the front of the Makey Makey
  • When you are making a connection using everyday materials they need to be at least a little bit conductive. For example, play-doh, a banana, your skin, or aluminum foil should work, but plastic, most fabrics or paper will not work directly. You can always combine materials, for example by wetting the paper or putting play-doh onto the plastic.

One of the keys won't stop pressing over and over! What should I do?

  • Try unplugging the Makey Makey from your computer, then plug it back in again
  • Disconnect all of you alligator clips from the Makey Makey, then start reattaching them one by one
  • If your stuck key is still pressing, have a look at your connections. They might be touching accidentally somehow. Try taking things apart and putting them back together again.
  • Perhaps one of the things that you are using as an insulator (or non-conductor) isn't insulating enough. Try using a different material.
  • If one of the objects connected to the Makey Makey is your own body, then perhaps you are "grounded" to the earth via touching your computer's metal case, or by not wearing shoes. Take a step back and see what you are touching.
  • Perhaps one of the objects connected to the Makey Makey that you think is well insulated is not. For example, if you connect a banana to your Makey Makey and it's sitting on a wooden cutting board, is that cutting board moist or dry? If it's moist then perhaps all of your bananas on the cutting board are connected to each other through the cutting board. Try a dry table instead.
  • Is it raining? Is it extremely humid- are you in a rainforest? This can sometimes cause porous materials, such as paper or clothing, to become conductive.

It works sometimes, but not other times. : (

  • Your materials might not be conductive enough. For example, if you are making a connection with your fingertip, it can help to moisten your skin by licking it.
  • If you are using a drawn graphite line from a pencil, make sure the line is heavy and dark. Draw your line on a hard smooth surface, such as a table without any grain in it. Take care in folding the paper, because it can sometimes break the graphite connection. Once you are expert at drawing the lines, you don't have to follow any rules, but if you can't get it to work try the tips mentioned.
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