Treasure Hunt

I compromised on some of the prices to get better values. 

Bend / flex sensor        http://www.imagesco.com/sensors/flex-sensor.html      The $4.00 out-of-spec sensor would often suffice.

Fabric/stretch sensor             http://www.happystim-usa.com/catalog/i69.html

This was almost the only source of small quantities of conductive rubber I could find. Making a stretch sensor is as easy as attaching terminals to the ends of a strip of conductive elastomer, so that’s what I looked for. Apparently anti-esd rubber bands have resistance in the megohm range, which is not as useful. One $8.00 sheet could make dozens of sensors.

Electroluminescent “wire” (EL-wire)     http://www.cooltronix.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68&products_id=185

Alcohol sensor     http://www.junetrading.com/product_info.php?products_id=5593

Solenoid      http://www.goldmine-elecproducts.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16036

Linear actuator

This one allows precise position control:      http://www.herbach.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HAR&Product_Code=TM02MTR4562

This doesn’t:    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/DLA-1/DOOR-LOCK-ACTUATOR/-/1.html

Fiber optic cable          http://www.meci.com/product_info.php/products_id/6400057

Tiny potentiometer

Bag of small potentiometers:         http://www.elexp.com/cmp_grab.htm

Single tiny potentiometer:              http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=652-3364W-1-103E

Conductive fabric:          http://www.blockemf.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=5353     Cheap tacky metallized craft fabric would probably work for some applications.

Thermochromic paint/dye      http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo.aspx?tier1URL=Educational-Products&tier2URL=Graphics-Art-Design&tier3URL=Materials&tier4URL=Thermochromic-pigment&moduleno=73050    Nice minimum quantity, and you can easily choose the intensity of the tone by adding the appropriate amount of medium.

Nitinol / shape memory alloy wire            http://www.amazon.com/Nitinol-Wire-SuperElastic-Titanium-Straight/dp/B0013891KI/ref=pd_sbs_indust_2

Conductive paint         http://www.trainaidsa.com/shop-conductives.shtml      Is the RF shielding stuff conductive enough to handle useful current? If so, it’s a better value if you need a lot.

Neodymium magnets          http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4248      I ordered some from here and they’re the real deal.

Copper tape / copper foil

Conductive adhesive:     http://www.findtape.com/product329/JVCC-CFL-5CA-Copper-Foil-Tape.aspx?idx=33&tid=2&info=foil

Minimum price for a roll:     http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(5eh5ye55nbzwhs55pwdljebf)/productdetails.aspx?sku=998060152&source=GoogleBase

Tilt sensor          http://www.electronicsurplus.com/commerce/catalog/product.jsp?product_id=74086&czuid=1255286259364

$0.25 and detects on two axes. Probably not very reliable.

Peltier Junction      http://www.electronicsurplus.com/commerce/catalog/product.jsp?product_id=74086&czuid=1255286259364

These are sweet.

Weird Applications:

What can’t you use with an Arduino? With a big enough semiconductor switch, you could control a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation coil.

http://intra.ninds.nih.gov/Research.asp?People_ID=196

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