How does Makey Makey work?
Makey Makey work just like a USB keyboard or mouse, sending keyboard (WASD, spacebar, etc) and mouse (left click, right click, etc) signals to your computer.
Makey Makey Classic works through opening and closing circuits, just like any other button. Instead of the circuit being closed underneath your keyboard, the circuit is closed through the conductive objects you connect with alligator clips like your hand or your lunch or some tinfoil. When the circuit is closed, the Makey Makey sends a command to your computer, just like a button pressed on a keyboard.
Makey Makey GOworks through capacitance, like a button on a touchscreen. When you connect something to the Makey Makey GO, the GO senses the capacity of that object to hold electricity. When you touch the connected object, that capacity suddenly expands to include your whole body! And the Makey Makey GO senses the difference and sends a command to your computer.
How are Makey Makey Classic and Makey Makey GO different?
To start, Makey Makey Classic uses resistive sensing and Makey Makey GO uses capacitive sensing (see previous answer for more).Makey Makey Classic
Makey Makey GO
- Outputs: 18
- Connector: Plugs in with a USB cable
- Size: 3 6/8 x 1 7/8 inches
- Sensor type: Resistive
- Price: $49.95
- Better for more complicated projects using multiple buttons.
- Outputs: 1
- Connector: Plugs directly into computer, like USB drive
- Size: 3 1/4 x 7/8 inches
- Sensor type: Capacitive
- Price: $24.95
- More portable, better for inventing on the GO and for simpler one-button projects.
What operating systems does Makey Makey run on?
Makey Makey works on Windows, Mac, Chromebook and on many flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, etc.)
If the device supports a USB keyboard or mouse, it should work with Makey Makey.
Does Makey Makey work with mobile devices and tablets?
Makey Makey is designed to work with QWERTY keyboard and mouse click input. It works on some tablets and mobile devices, but it is not officially supported. For more on iOS compatibility, see our blog.
How do I remap keys?
With a Makey Makey Go or Makey Makey Classic V1.2 or later, you can easily remap keys directly in your browser Here
Make sure that your keyboard is set to English in the settings on your computer before trying the Remap process.
If your Makey makey Classic is older than V1.2, you can reprogram your Makey Makey to output different keystrokes using Arduino software. You can read more about that here in the Sparkfun tutorial
How do I find out what version I have?
From version 1.2 we have printed the version on the back of the circuit board, older versions don't have a version number printed on them.
Can I use multiple Makey Makeys on one computer?
Yes! You can plug in multiple Makey Makey Classics and Makey Makey GOs at once and create an orchestra of Makey Makeys! (tested with up to 3, but could work for more).
How do I use the back of the Makey Makey Classic?
You can use the top row of connectors on the back of the Makey Makey to power small motors and LEDs. Here's what the pins do and how to use them.
KEY OUT is activated when any of the alphanumeric keys are triggered.
MS OUT is triggered when any of the mouse actions are triggered.
/RESET resets the board when that pin is grounded.
5V is always sending 5 volts of power when the Makey Makey is plugged in.
GND is an extra EARTH
PGD and PGC are for programming at the factory
GND is the same as Earth of the bottom of the board and works to ground small motors and LED's connected from either the MS OUT or KEY OUT pins.
To trigger small motors and LEDs, wire your device from either the KEY OUT or MS OUT to the GND pin. The attachment will receive 5 volts of power from KEY OUT when any of the keys (spacebar, WASD, etc) on the Makey Makey are Earthed - regardless of remapping. The same is for MS OUT; when any amount actions are Earthed (mouse directions, right click, left click), 5 volts are sent to your device.
How many keys can be pressed at once on a Makey Makey?
Makey Makey Classic can press as many keys as your computer allows at once, which is probably 6. You can use up to 18 in a session (6 on the front of Makey Makey and 12 on the back), but only 6 can be held down simultaneously on most operating systems. Makey Makey GO can send one key press at a time.
How many alligator clips come with a Makey Makey?
Makey Makey STEM Pack: Classroom Invention Literacy Kit
comes with 12 Makey Makey Cassics, 72 extra alligator clips 18 inches in length, 144 new and improved connector wires, 12 alligator clips 6 feet in length, 12 connector wires 6 feet in length, and 12 Makey Makey-Optimized Conductive 6B Pencils. MoreMakey Makey Classic
comes with 7 alligator clips 18 inches in length, and 6 connector wires 5 1/2 inches in length. Also 1 usb cable 5 feet in length. No extra purchases necessary to start inventing! More Makey Makey GO
comes with 1 alligator clip 18 inches in length. MoreMakey Makey Alligator Clips
is a package of 7 alligator clips 18 inches in length. MoreMakey Makey Invention Booster Kit
comes with 1 alligator clip 6 feet in length, and 1 jumper wire 6 feet, as well as a 6 Inch Square of Conductive Fabric, 30 feet of Conductive Soft Tape and a Makey Makey-Optimized Conductive 6B Pencil. More
My Makey Makey broke, what should I do?
If your Makey Makey isn't functioning correctly or a piece is broken, reach out to our support team and be sure to include:
- A picture of the damage
- The approximate date of your order
- Your order number
And we'll get back to you soon.
Sorry your Makey Makey isn't working right!Contact
our tech support team and include the above.
Is Makey Makey safe?
Makey Makey is powered by a USB connection, not AC current. Makey Makey uses resistive technology that allows users to invent projects using water and other conductive objects; the voltage is similar to that provided by 3 AA batteries or in technical terms, 50 microamps), enough electiricity to have a lot of fun, but not enough to do any harm. For comparison sake, this is less electrical charge than what we create with normal daily activities like walking on carpet or wearing polyester clothing.
Makey Makey is compliant with CPSIA, RoHS, CE and has passed the rigorous Prop 65 testing.
Here are some considerations to follow when using Makey Makey:
-Makey Makey should be used according to its intended use via the USB cable provided to a USB compliant port.
-Never connect Makey Makey to an AC outlet.
-If product is damaged or broken, please discontinue use and contact Makey makey support.
Does Makey Makey work with MIDI?
The easiest way to use Makey Makey with MIDI is to configure your computer keyboard to send MIDI through your music software. Ableton and Reason allow you to configure your computer keybaord(a,s,d,f, etc) to trigger MIDI notes. The Makey Makey then triggers keyboard presses and you're good to go.
The advanced way is to write a script that accepts keyboard presses and outputs MIDI notes. We have used this downloadable script
in the language 'processing' which you can use along with the soundcipher library
. But you can write your own script too!
Why is my Makey Makey working without EARTH?
Makey Makey is a tool for exploration. If it's working without being grounded, then what does that mean? Well, it means you actually are grounded in some other way than on the board. One way is by rubbing your feet with socks on the carpet. This will trigger the Makey Makey once, without being officially 'grounded'. Another example of 'always being grounded' is humidity - sometimes in tropical climates the air can act as ground. On a similar note (but not completely related) sometimes people's hands are not conductive if they are too dry. We're giving these examples because there is no wrong and right way to use Makey Makey, and we encourage people to explore.
What's the difference between the Makey 1.2 and 1.4 boards?
The main difference between Makey Makey 1.2 and 1.4 is that the "5V" in the output header is gone. The previous 5V out pin was actually too much power for an LED and so we updated the board to a KEY OUT, which helps protect your LED and uses Makey Makey for its intended purpose of using everyday things to complete a circuit. In the projects which suggest testing motors with this pin, you can actually just use the "KEY OUT" pin instead. The main difference is that you have to build a switch to use the key out function. The 5V out is "always on" and the KEY OUT pin is only on when Makey Makey senses a key press. So, the 5V will only turn on the item connected, just like a battery. Whereas the KEY OUT pin will allow the user to control the output by triggering key presses.
This Labz guide should help you understand the back of your Makey Makey v 1.4: