Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Care and Feeding
Technical Questions



General Questions

Can you do custom designs?

Absolutely, but it's typically only cost effective in quantities of 1000 or more.  See our custom

page for more details.

Do you have any local distributors?

If you happen to live in the Austin or Dallas areas, you might see some of our products, but otherwise we are a predominantly online business.  However, we are expanding, so if you'd like to be a distributor please contact our director of sales and distribution, Fritz Meitzen.

Shipping rates, combined shipping, overseas shipping, etc.

Shipping questions are covered here.


Care and Feeding

Are the ornaments safe to take into an airport?

Generally, you should not take these ornaments into an airport, even though they are technically harmless.  Devices with LEDs and exposed circuitry and/or wires have been misconstrued as bombs on several occasions in the past.  It is your responsibility as a citizen to follow all applicable laws and regulations.  If you are unsure of your rights, consult the appropriate authorities.  Circtistic is most definitely not an authority on these matters.

How should I store my ornament?

First, it's best to remove the battery before storing.  If you wish to leave the battery installed so you don't lose it, make sure you wrap the ornament in something non-conductive so it doesn't turn on.  Second, and more importantly, protect the ornaments from moisture.  The shiny, silvery finish of these ornaments is metal, and therefore susceptible to corrosion like any other metal.

How do I clean my ornament?

So long as you dry it quickly, you can clean the ornament using a damp towel.  However, we recommend using alcohol.  We do not recommend using any kind of detergent, and please note that cleaning items such as "Pledge" can leave a residue that is likely to short out your circuit such that it never turns off.


Technical Questions

How do I replace the batteries?

Simply push the battery out with a small screwdriver or other object and replace it with a new one.  Make sure the "plus sign" (+) on the battery is facing upwards.

Where can I buy extra batteries?

We sell them for very reasonable prices here.

My ornament won't light up.

Make sure a good battery is installed and try firmly touching many different parts of the PCB.  If this doesn't work, please contact us and we will assist you in obtaining a replacement.

My ornament won't turn off.

First, make sure the ornament isn't touching anything else conductive.  Artificial trees are made mostly of plastic and standard Christmas lights are insulated, so neither should be a problem.  However, a metal ornament, foil, or even another PCB ornament could short out the ornament and cause it to blink continuously.  Also, Make sure the ornament is clean and free of debris or moisture.  The touch sensor is very sensitive and cannot tell the difference between your finger and any other conductive object, such as a drop of water.  See cleaning section below for tips.  If none of this works, please contact us and we will assist you in obtaining a replacement.

Can the ornament shock me?

The voltages are not sufficient to produce a perceivable shock.  If you feel a shock, it is probably random static electricity, which involves voltages nearly 1000 times larger than those used by the ornaments.  Still, the device should be respected and not used in any negligent way.  Do not place it in your mouth or any other bodily orifice.  Seriously.

How does my ornament work?

A simple circuit compares the impedance of your skin to that of a fixed resistor.  This is why someone with dry skin might have to press harder to activate the ornament, while someone with moist skin would only need to tap it.  You can also try breathing on the ornaments like you were trying to fog up a window.  The thin, moist film left behind by your breath is conductive and can trigger the sensor.  The sensing threshold is around 1-2 MegaOhms, approximately 10 times greater than the typical impedance of human skin, so it is quite sensitive!

 
     

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