How to make a Stylus for your Apple iPad or Capacitive-Touch Device

Now the Apple iPad 3 has finally landed, coverage for which was brought to you via my article Three’s a Charm as Apple iPad 3 Looms Large, we can start the dissection of the specs. Alas, this is not the article for it, as I am yet to get the buzzing out of my ears as it relates to the way in which the Apple iPad is still blowing away the competition with its amazing specs

Ok. Calm Apple fans, calm. Chillax…..Google still ain’t got game, albeit the Amazon Kindle Fire is….. blazin’ as kindled in Apple needs to consider a 7” Tablet as the million-selling Amazon Kindle Fire is Razor Sharp.

So now that you have recovered for the fact that the Apple iPad has Retina Display, supports 4G , specifically LTE (Long Term Evolution) and Bluetooth 4.0 (a machine talking to machines is a bad idea….. sorry Apple that’s how I feel!!), you now have something else to spend your money on from you Scotia VISA Debit Card.

I’m still a bit let down that the Apple iPad 3 has no Siri Voice Assistant and no 12MegaPixel Cameras as I had pined away for as can be seen by my expressed dejection in my article Three’s a Charm as Apple iPad 3 Looms Large

But for those of you sitting on the fence as it relates to Capacitive Touch Screen devices, you may be complaining as usual about the lack of a stylus. As simple a complaint as that may be, it’s one of the main reasons why Jamaicans still like the Blackberry: a solid touchable, clickable keyboard.

I usually argue with such folk by pointing out the fact that the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and the Google-flavoured copycats that use Capacitive Touch Screen as based solely on using the body’s capacitance to determine what you had clicked on the screen. “Argument fail”, I am told by such denizens of the Keyboard wasteland.

“We need a keyboard to do productive work” is their collective rant. Ok, I hear ye!!

The necessity to even press hard on buttons when touching the screen is a natural impulse that those of us accustomed to keyboards have to overcome, even stylus users from the Palm Pilot days of Resistive Touch Screens. Throw in the complaints about how expensive Capacitive Touch Screen Stylus are and you realize there is a bit of pent up demand for this rather unnecessary tool….. at least from my point of view.

These complaints are mainly for the older computer user who likes products such as the Apple iPad but just can’t get use to not pressing hard on buttons. Even if those buttons aren’t real and are on a screen!

A Capacitive Touch Stylus is this my answer for those of us still in training wheels as it relates to Capacitive Touch Screen technology in general. Wacom offers a Bamboo Stylus that is great for sketching on the Apple iPad for US$30 bucks.

But being a former Telecoms Technician, I fail to see why I would spend US$30 to buy this when I can possibly make one myself. So dear reader, you know what’s coming next. Yes, I have a workaround: instead of buying one online, you can make one yourself from ordinary stuff you can find about the house. Best of all, it only cost US$0.10 or just ten (10) cents!

First you need:

  • Plastic Pen
  • Scotch Brite Scouring Pad
  • Large Paper clip
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • 1/8” drill bit

Now for the DIY (Do It Yourself) part that is sure to inspire the MacGyver in you!:

  1. Separate the Scotch Brite (de rough part!!) from yellow part (de sponge!!)
  2. Cut the yellow sponge into small wedges. Make sure the sponge is slightly moist, not wet
  3. Remove the ink from the Pen
  4. Drill a hole near the head of the pen with a small drill bit.
  5. Take a paperclip and straighten it out using the bird beak plyers
  6. Thread the sponge wedge through the head of the pen
  7. Push the wire through the hole drilled in the pen so that it makes contact with the sponge
  8. Wrap the wire around the body of the pen several times
  9. Cut the exposed end of the sponge into desired pen-nub shape.
  10. To use the pen, make sure that your hand is touching the wire at some point. Draw or write with your stylus as you would on a piece of paper!

That’s it folks!

You now have your very own stylus and you can press with all you might on you brand new Apple iPad or Apple iPhone without doing the screen any damage

Just remember where you got this tip, tweet us or like us on FaceBook and pass on the good news!

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.