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Resources: Reach v3.0 manual

What it does

The Reach sensor detects the proximity of an object by sensing the object's disturbance of an electric field. Once calibrated, the Reach sensor will produce a low output value with no object present. The closer an object is, the higher the value it sends to the I-CubeX Digitizer. The I-CubeX Digitizer converts this signal to MIDI messages according to the mapping you have programmed. The Reach sensor only detects total amount of field disturbance not x/y position. The field exists on both sides of the panel, so it can be used vertically as well as horizontally.

How it does it

The Reach sensor creates an electric field that is cylindrical in shape, like a tube. When an object enters the field the size of the field is reduced, causing a smaller current to be detected by the I-CubeX Digitizer. If no objects are disturbing the field it remains at full strength. A hand placed above the sensor reduces the size of the field and hence a higher voltage is sent to the I-CubeX Digitizer.

Tuning the Reach sensor

The Reach sensor detects objects due to their dielectric properties, which make it attract more or less of the Reach's electric field. However, all materials have different dielectric properties so that the Reach sensor has to be adjusted, using two parts on the sensor, to the object or material it is to sense.

Tuning adjustment switches

Only two parts are adjustable on the Reach sensor; the ZERO and the MAX switch settings. ZERO and MAX switch location: With the Reach sensor facing up and the cable pointing at you the ZERO switch is on the left side and the MAX switch is on the right side.

Calibration Procedure

Follow these steps to achieve an optimal response from the Reach sensor:

  1. Connect the Reach sensor to an I-CubeX Digitizer input; power the Digitizer and run the I-CubeX editor. Turn on a channel on the Programmer making sure it is set to receive the Input the sensor is connected to. Check that the Digitizer is sending sensor data (the green MIDI out indicator should continuously flicker).
  2. Place the Reach sensor on the surface you wish to calibrate for. Note: The calibration setting is only optimal for the surface on which the calibration was performed on; for example, the calibration settings for a wooden table will differ considerably from that of a metal desk.
  3. The first calibration involves setting the ZERO value. To set the maximum value use a plastic pen (or something alike) to press the ZERO switch so that the field disturbance is minimum when pressing the switch. The digitizer should then give a zero value.
  4. Approach your hand very close from sensor antenna but not touching it and press on the MAX switch. After pressing this switch the digitizer should give you a value of 127.
Verify that when your hand is away from sensor the digitizer value is around 0 and when your hand is close to the antenna the value is 127 (may have to repeat steps 3 and 4. You can get up to 1 foot distance to begin detecting hand. At this stage of calibration, you should be able to move your hand toward the Reach and observe an increasing output value.

Extend the reach

It is possible to make larger surfaces or objects sensitive. Please read this.

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