One of the shortcomings of most highly popular single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) is the lack of an on/off power switch. The board springs to life as soon as you insert the micro USB power cable into its socket. If you simply switch off power or pull out the micro USB cable off the RBPi, you stand the risk of not only losing data but also of corrupting the file system. Therefore, to shutdown the RBPi safely, you need to call a shutdown command, which closes down the file system Read more [...]
Any ordinary electrical switch has two contacts. Push-type switches are spring loaded so that pushing a button brings them together and they spring apart on releasing the button. Rocker switches have mechanical levers that close the contacts when in one position, while in the other position they pull apart.
In reed switches, the two contacts are in the shape of metal reeds, each coated with a metal that does not wear easily. The reeds are made from a ferromagnetic material, so they are easy to magnetize. Read more [...]
We are familiar with appliances such as wine coolers, freezers, and refrigerators. They keep out beverages and food cold, extending their useful life. Most often, these appliances have lights that illuminate the insides when the user opens their doors. Since the lights only need to be on when the user opens the door, usually, the designer of such appliances place a sensor to detect the opening and closing of the door.
A sensor of the Hall-effect type can detect the position of the door. In refrigerators, Read more [...]
Although conventional reed switches have been in use for their excellent properties, their large size makes them difficult to integrate in advanced applications. Most equipment now use miniature components and manufacturers have found a way to reduce the size of reed switches to match. They now use HARM MEMS or High Aspect Ratio Microfabrication MEMS technology to make miniature reed switches, keeping all their desirable properties intact.
Reed switches are popular because they do not require Read more [...]
The familiar reed switch comes with a unique set of properties. These include ON resistance of the order of milliohms, OFF resistance of the order of tera-ohms, total immunity to ESD or electrostatic discharge, hot switching capability of about one watt, and almost zero power operation. However, as all electronic components are shrinking to surface mount sizes of 0402, 0201 and even to 01005 (0.4 x 0.2 mm), the large size of the reed switch is anachronistic. Since 70 years of its invention, the conventional Read more [...]
We find tactile switches almost everywhere – on keyboards, on mice, beside the monitor, on TV sets, on set-top boxes, on toys and on mobile phones. These tiny switches give a distinctive feeling when pressed. We are so used to using tactile switches; we press them a dozen times a day and never think twice about them – that is, as long as they work. However, tactile switches can also stop working, and engineers must select tactile switches with great care so they last long. After all, most feel Read more [...]
Whether you use a desktop or a laptop computer, one of its features is the intelligent power supply that shuts down the system once it detects that the software has sent the shutdown command. To switch the system on, you need only press a small button. The Raspberry Pi, or the RBPi, being a low-cost single board computer, does not have this feature. After shutting down the OS, you have to unplug the power cable physically from the RBPi.
With large numbers of community projects springing up around Read more [...]
The Vista-based company APEM, Inc., from California, has developed a new series of fully illuminated push button switches that meet the ISO 7000 standards in all respects. These are the FP30 series pushbuttons. These are being offered to users in both threaded bush mounting form and snap-in type. Even though the size is rather large, they are very light. For snap in types, the panel thickness ranges from 1.5mm to 2.5mm and the threaded type support 1mm to 9mm panels. The unique feature of the FP30 Read more [...]
A rotary switch is a kind of switch that has a rotating shaft attached to a terminal. That terminal is able to make or break a connection to one (or more) other terminals. Rotary switches may feature different switch positions that can be set by rotating the switch spindle in one or another direction. Some common examples where a rotary switch might be used is in a multi-speed fan or as a band selector on multi-band radios. Until the early 1970's, rotary switches were used as channel selectors on Read more [...]