Helpful Suggestions

If you have problems with touch sensors or LEDs not responding...

Most likely cause: When the HyperDuino is not attached to a computer, the LEDs turn on with the touch sensors. However, when the HyperDuino IS attached to a computer using the Media Linker, then the HyperDuino waits for an instruction (media list item with check-marks for the LEDs on/off).  This is totally the normal behavior of the HyperDuino system.  With no computer attached, it is on "auto-pilot".  When you attach your computer, it waits for your instructions in the form of the media list items.

Also be aware that when you plug in the touch rainbow cables, or any time you significantly change the arrangement of the touchpoints and their cables, it will probably work better with a re-calibration. The HyperDuino calibrates the "no touch" status of everything whenever it powers up or is reset.  Try unplugging then re-plug the battery or USB cable to cycle it whenever it doesn't seem to be responding to touches correctly after you have added new touchpoints or cable arrangements.

After plugging in the battery or USB cable, wait 10 seconds before touching a sensor or the rainbow cables.  This will give the HyperDuino time to properly calibrate itself for the "no-touch" condition of the wires and sensors.

When using the HyperDuino with your laptop (compared to stand-alone with a battery)...

The first thing of course is to make sure that you've selected the serial port connection to the HyperDuino.

Touch sensor pins grayed out - rainbow cables not attached or USB connection

If you have selected the serial port, but the HyperDuino Media Linker still shows touchpoint pins grayed out, the first thing to check is to make sure the rainbow ribbon cable is plugged into the white box on the HyperDuino.  When this isn't plugged in, the HyperDuino Media Linker grays out the touch pin lines.

If the connected LEDs don’t blink when the USB cable is first connected to the computer, or other LEDs that you expect to light up when you touch a touchpoint don't do so, try reversing the legs of the LED in the sockets.

Make sure that your LED is inserted into pin 13, and not the other side of the ribbon cable, which is pin 8.  Notice the wire colors where you have connected the LED and what colors are next to it.  Pin 12, right next to pin 13, have the colors orange and yellow.


Also for individually connected LEDs, double-check to make sure that the short leg of the LED in inserted into the socket with the small triangle. When viewed from the side where you can see the metal, that will always be the socket on the left, connected to the brown, orange, green purple, or white wire of the pair of wires going to your LED.

Inserting LEDs into foamcore or cardboard

In general, your project will look nicer if you make the hole from the front of the board (use a a small phillips-head screwdriver, a wooden manicure stick, pointed plastic rod, or something similar) and then insert the LED from the back side of the cardboard or foamcore of your project. The wires are also less likely to get crossed when they lay flat on the board, neatly folded over from the back of the LED.

Debugging/Troubleshooting/Help Features

To aid you in knowing which media list items are being responded to at any given moment, the media list item will be highlighted in green when it is active.

If the configuration window is open, and the HyperDuino app is responding to an input condition, rather than just being at that URL in the browser at that moment, then the “Input to Respond to” box will also be highlighted in green.     

Next to the Input to Respond to, Arriving at Content, and Leaving Content boxes are “?” icons that when clicked on will take you online help pages.

At the top of the media list window is an oval that displays either “Now: Active” or “Now: Idle”.  This is automatically changed to “Idle” when you don’t have an active USB serial communication established.

You can also manually set it to Idle so as to pause the automatic responding to inputs.

In the configuration windows, the HyperDuino app displays the real-time status of all inputs and outputs. This is very handy for knowing exactly what is going on at that moment in your system. It’s also handy if you’ve hooked up your sensors, but don’t remember which sensors have which identifying numbers.  To work that out, just touch each sensor on your model while watching the real-time display of sensor inputs.

Check the wires of the LEDS, photocells, or any other component to make sure that they're not crossed or twisted together.

You can also try taking out the LED and plugging in a different one. Failures of LEDs are rare, but it can happen. (There are even some extra LEDs in your HyperDuino & Accessories Kit!)

If it still doesn’t blink, check to make sure that the HyperDuino shield is neatly aligned with the Funduino underneath it, and also try unplugging then reconnecting the USB cable.  

If all this doesn’t get the LED to light, send us an email on this contact page:

Which wires/sockets are which LED or Touch Sensor numbers?

There are labels on the HyperDuino board itself, but all the wires count right-to-left, and the LED2 (closest to the middle of the board) and the TOUCH cable (gray) always have 13 on the left and 8 on the right. Once the cable has flipped around somewhat it might seem that you can no longer tell left from right, but if you look at the rainbow cable, you will notice that the "left" (pin 13) always has orange on the outside edge of the cable, and "right" is always red on the outside edge.

There may also be a temporary problem with the USB (serial) communications between the HyperDuino Media Linker and the HyperDuino hardware (Funduino/Arduino).

You can re-initialize the USB connection by doing the following:

     • Save your media list. Name it before saving if it's "untitled".

     • Quit the HyperDuino Media Linker

     • Unplug and then re-connect the USB cable/HyperDuino

     • Re-open the HyperDuino Media Linker

     • Re-set the serial port in “Settings” of the HyperDuino Media Linker.

     • Open your media list file.

If nothing seems to work to have the touch sensors display properly, and if you happen to have a 2nd HyperDuino board, try plugging the 2nd HyperDuino into the same Funduino as the first, so as to exchange the boards, and see if the 2nd HyperDuino board works in place of the 1st. If so, the touch sense chip on the HyperDuino board may be faulty. It's rare, and the boards are all tested at the time of manufacture, but after-production failures do sometimes occur.  If that seems to be the case, please contact us for a replacement.

Note to Windows Users: We have seen that it matters *which* USB port on a laptop you use. If the "Now is:" column is blank, try switching the HyperDuino USB cable to the other USB port on your Windows laptop.

For the rainbow cable connected to the box labeled LED1 (pins 2-7 for LEDs), brown on the outside is always LED 7 and red on the outside is LED 2.

For  the rainbow cable connected to the box labeled LED2 (pins 8-13 for LEDs), brown on the outside is always LED 13 and red on the outside is LED 8.

This is discussed in the "Version 1 vs. Version 2 of the HyperDuino" document here:

Windows Users: Be sure that you have manually installed the Arduino drivers. This is required for windows.

Note: if you do not see the serial port listed at all, confirm that you're using the Funduino that comes with the HyperDuino kit. Although other Arduinos "should" work, we have seen instances where they don't connect to the serial port.  Unless you purchased the HyperDuino shield separately from the complete HyperDuino kit, you should have received a Funduino as part of the kit. Make sure that you are using that as the base of the HyperDuino.

Google Drive Movie Selection/Playback Problems

Google Drive videos must be set up as “shared” set to “anyone with link can view”. This is still semi-private, but it’s required for the HyperDuino Media Linker to be able to access the video.

IMPORTANT: If you are in a school environment where the default sharing is "only those at <your school network> can view", use the "more" option in sharing to set sharing to "anyone with the link can view". This is necessar so that the HyperDuno app can play back the videos. Your videos are still private in the sense that you haven't actually shared the link with anyone if you don't want to. This just allows the HyperDuino app to access the video.

Note that only .mp4 videos less than 25mb in size can be played back by the HyperDuino Media Linker. If you upload other video file types to your Google Drive, for example .mov files from an iPhone or Mac, they will have to be converted to .mp4 to play back in the HyperDuino app.

To convert a video from .mov or other format to .mp4, one way is to upload it to YouTube (you'll probably want to set privacy to 'private' or 'unlisted'), and then use the "Download as .mp4" option in Studio Creator.

Another Google playback problem you may encounter is "Unable to play this video at this time. The number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded. Please try again later.", particularly when you are first creating a media list and have been playing a particular video many, many times while experimenting to get just the times you like.

To avoid this, use "play offline" (in the Start/End configuration window) for your Google Drive videos:

Suggestions for your HyperDuino Projects

The online pages here are here to provide you with suggestions that we hope are helpful to you in the creation of your interactive maker projects.

Click on the links below to jump to particular suggestions and problem-solving tips.

If the serial port for the HyperDuino doesn't show up in the list...

When you set the serial port with the Settings menu, in the list you should see a choice for where the HyperDuino is connected. On Mac, this will usually be something like "dev/tty.usbmodem1411", on Windows "COM7", and on Chromebooks, "dev/ttyACM0".

If you do not see "dev/tty..." in the list, or if the COM choices that you make aren't connecting, try quitting the HyperDuino Media Linker, unplug and re-plug the HyperDuino, and restart the HyperDuino app. If this doesn't work, then,

For Chromebooks in a school setting, it may be necessary for your system administrator to grant permissions for your device to access the HyperDuino using the USB port.

Also, check to see if there is an LED light that you can see from the Funduino, visible between the Funduino and the HyperDuino board. If you don't see a light, it's possible that the board isn't getting power from the USB cable, or that the HyperDuino pins aren't properly connected to the Funduino. Check the pins to make sure that they haven't been off-set in one direction or another when the boards were attached to one another.

If you have a second HyperDuino available, try plugging it into the same machine and see if it shows up. If the 2nd one tested shows up in the list, but the first one doesn't, it's possible that there is a failure of the USB controller on the Funduino. These are tested at the time of manufacture, but on very rare occasion, (or if somehow damaged with an electrical overload), they can stop working. Contact us for a replacement.

For interacting with touch sensors, with or without the computer, you will want to have installed the HyperDuino program installed on the HyperDuino.  This is the "out of the box" personality used in the HyperDuino tutorial and pretty much any project that you do with the HyperDuino aside from special programs that you might create and upload on your own with other programming tools.

If at any time the serial communication with the HyperDuino does not seem to be working properly, or the LEDs and sensors are not reacting as you expect, re-initialize the USB connection by doing the following:

     •  Save your media list

     •  Quit the HyperDuino Media Linker

     •  Unplug and then re-connect the USB cable/HyperDuino

     •  Re-open the HyperDuino Media Linker

     •  Re-set the serial port in “Settings” of the HyperDuino Media Linker.

     •  Open your media list file.

Quick Way to Test Sensors & LEDs in a Project

A quick way to test your sensor connections, LEDs and wiring is to:

a) Attach only a working 9 volt battery to the HyperDuino, not the computer, or

b) Attach the USB cable for power, but do not open the HyperDuino Media Linker,

When powered on all the LEDs should blink about 10 times, and you can easily identify any that aren't connected properly.


Touch each sensor in turn on LEDs.  When you touch each sensor, the matching LED number should light up.

If an LED doesn't light up, check that the short leg of the LED is inserted in the socket with the triangle.

Also, occasionally LEDs do "burn out" or just don't work, so try another LED if one isn't lighting up when the sensor for that LED is touched.

You can view the Start/End window for existing media list items by clicking on the gear icon.

"Oops" alert: Need to upload HyperDuino program

If you get this alert when trying to set the serial port for the HyperDuino, it may be because you have an Arduino from another source other than the HyperDuino kit, or if you've uploaded custom sketches (programs) to the HyperDuino, or are getting this message for some unknown reason. Use the following steps to totally reset both your USB connection and the programs on the HyperDuino.

1.  Before opening the HyperDuino Media Linker, unplug the HyperDuino/USB cable if it's plugged in, and re-plug for

      a fresh USB connection before opening the HyperDuino app.

2.  Open the HyperDuino Media Linker.  On a Chromebook the "Now is: Active/Idle" message at the upper-right

      corner of the screen might already be green.  If so, the USB connection is probably working and the correct

      programs is on the HyperDuino.  Still, you can proceed, just to be sure...

3.  In the Settings menu, choose "serial port..."

4.  In the Programs menu, click on the HyperDuino image to start the upload.

Erratic behavior of LEDs to Touchpoints

With the touch sensors and rainbow cable, the main thing to recognize is that if you're holding the rainbow cable in your hands, that can be picked up as a "touch".  Also, when the cable is just laying on the table, it's easy for the touch sensors to touch one another.

When testing the LEDs and touchpoints "loose" on a table hold the touch rainbow cable lightly by the edges, and look to see that the touchpoints are not in contact with one another. Another thing that can cause erratic behavior is a low voltage on the 9v battery.  The batteries provided in the HyperDuino kits are new, but if you're in a workshop where the batteries may have been used before, you might want to try a different battery.

You can also help the touch sensors "know" what the starting (not touched) condition should be by unplugging and re-plugging the battery when you're testing things not connected to the computer. Whenever the HyperDuino powers up by being connected with a USB cable or battery, it calibrates itself assuming that no sensors are being touched during that start up process.

Once the touch sensors are in a project, neither of those are a factor, and keeping those things in mind before the touch sensors are in a project will avoid erratic responses.

How do I add a new item to the media list?

If you're clicking on the green "+" to add a new video or webpage to the media list, and can't see how to add something different than the default website, remember that you have to change the web-view window to the video or webpage that you want to add BEFORE you click on the green "+".

You can also click on the blue four-way "expand" arrow to make the browser display full screen if that makes things easier. Press the Escape button on the keyboard to return to the regular view.

There's more on this in the HyperDuino Tutorial, under "Adding Videos and Other Digital Media"  

"Unable to find YouTube" error message

If you get this alert when trying to add a YouTube video, it is because there is more than one (or none at all) YouTube videos displayed in the web-view window of the HyperDuino Media Linker.

To use this feature, bring up the display of a single YouTube video in the web-view window, and then click on the "+" button and the YouTube option.

Windows Users: Be sure that you have manually installed the Arduino drivers. This is required for windows.

Note: if you do not see the serial port listed at all, confirm that you're using the Funduino that comes with the HyperDuino kit. Although other Arduinos "should" work, we have seen instances where they don't connect to the serial port.  Unless you purchased the HyperDuino shield separately from the complete HyperDuino kit, you should have received a Funduino as part of the kit. Make sure that you are using that as the base of the HyperDuino.

For Windows, also try plugging the USB cable into a different USB port on your computer after quitting the HyperDuino app.  We have seen instances where Windows 10 will recognize the Arduino on one USB port of a laptop, but not the other.

Adapting the Post Backs to Different Board Thicknesses

The silicone earring backs are used to secure the posts of the touchpoints in whatever project material you are using.  However, the thicknesses of the material for cardstock, bristol board, cardboard and foamcore are different, ranging from 0.25mm for cardstock to 4.6mm for foamcore.

These post backs were specifically chosen for their ability to be easily trimmed down with scissors to accomodate the thickness of the project material, while still leaving enough of the post exposed for a good connection to the touch sensor cable sockets.

Un-trimmed post back with


Trimmed post back with


How can I make better names for the media list items?

When you add a media list item, the name of the item defaults to whatever the name of the webpage or video file was.  

However, you may prefer to give specific names to each item so as to more easily identify them and/or tell them apart.  Re-naming is easy: just click on the name of the media list item, and edit it to the name you wish:

It's even handy to include the touchpoint and LED numbers in the name.

5.  You shouldn't get another  "Oops!" message after the upload, but if you do, ignore it, and,

6.  Quit the HyperDuino Media Linker

7.  Go back to Step 1, 2 and 3 to see if things are now working correctly.