Circuit synergy


Build and test your love connection at Proto Build Bar

By Lisa Bennett

Photo: Spend Valentine’s Day with your understanding half building the Love Tester kit at Proto Build Bar’s Soldering Night, Feb. 14

Of all the crazy, romantic, and sometimes downright wild Valentine’s Day ideas, “nerdy night out” isn’t usually something that springs to mind, unless of course, you happen to be a character from the set of the Big Bang Theory TV series. This Feb. 14, however, Dayton couples looking to change things up have a unique opportunity to get down and dirty… Proto style.

The Proto Build Bar on East First Street in Dayton is hosting a Couples Soldering Night when sweethearts (or friends) can get to know each other over some nice wine and, of all things, circuit board kits, one of which reportedly predicts romance. Couples can spend time soldering a “Love Tester” kit that measures how compatible they are as a couple.

While it may sound like a date from a science fiction movie, is the “love tester” science fiction or just science? Chyanne Moore, one of the technicians who helps people build the kits says, “The scientific answer is that there are differences in body heat temperatures, and the tester reacts to that. But generally, if you’re sitting with someone [of romantic interest], you’re going to be blushing and your body temperature rises, so technically I guess yeah, I think it could work.”

Whether or not the tester can actually predict love or whether you’re an expert at soldering or a beginner, the challenge of working with someone to complete a kit will more than likely give you some insight into your compatibility as a couple. It will also give you a little insight into yourself. Being able to build something with your hands, especially something that looks really complicated can be a rewarding experience.

“The cool part is getting people to do something new and go home with it and be like, ‘Hey, I did this—I built this with my own two hands,’” Moore says.

Sometimes though, the process may even better. So if the wine gives you the giggles or those sexy glances get too distracting and you mess up, you can always get help fixing it. You can even go back another time to get it right. For those who are looking for a less complicated kit, there is the Flashing Heart LED kit. This kit is a bit easier for first-timers and, like the Love Tester kit, it comes with the option of a bottle of wine or a wine-free ticket.

What do you do if your date wants to try soldering, but the thought of soldering makes you cringe? If soldering is on your no-fly list, don’t panic. Proto Build Bar has a number of 3-D printers available for use, along with the world’s largest claw machine to try, as well as some incredible Boston Stoker coffee and delicious food provided by 5th Street Wine and Deli. So you can still enjoy something different without playing with fire.

But not everyone will have a date for Valentine’s Day this year. And if you’re one of the millions of unlucky—or lucky, depending on your perspective—dateless, there’s no better way to find someone who shares your techie dreams or passion for trying something new, than to hang out at Proto and build a kit yourself. Tickets for singles are also available with or without wine. So go ahead, get crazy, and make some friends while you’re at it. If nothing else, you can check that goal of “try something new” off your New Year’s resolution list. If you’re like me, though, and not so keen on soldering solo, you can always bring a friend or even a sibling along. If you do, just keep in mind that the body heat the Love Tester measures may end up being the result of some friendly competition or sibling rivalry instead of an actual love connection.

Which brings us back to the original question: can a “love tester” really predict love? A study released in 2012 by the Royal Society Biology Letters found that skin on the faces of both male and female test subjects increased in temperature when they were sexually aroused. However, it also showed that the temperature in the same region increased when they were subject to mental stress, including working on a difficult task. So while it’s possible a person may be attracted to you when the heat signature increases, it’s also just as likely you, or the task at hand, are stressing them out. The only real way tell is to spend time with them, perhaps over a circuit board and a bottle of wine.

Couple’s Soldering Night takes place Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Proto Build Bar, 534 E. First St. in Dayton. Times are available between 4–10 p.m. The event also takes place Saturday, March 11 and April 15. Tickets, including soldering bench time and a bottle of wine, are $60 per couple; without wine, $45. For more information, please call 937.222.6253 or visit

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Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at

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