Category Archives: Switches

Advanced Applications Need Alternate Switch Technologies

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 [...]

Integrating Piezoelectric Flexure Actuators

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 [...]

How do you select a Tactile Switch?

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 [...]

Give Your Raspberry Pi an Intelligent Power Switch

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 [...]

ISO 7000 compliant Fully Illuminated Push Button Switches

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 [...]

Rotary Switches: Construction and Use

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 [...]

Five Easy Steps to Selecting the Right Switch

Although it is often one of the last components considered, selecting the correct switch is important when designing electronic equipment. Designers must be aware of the various options available in order to choose the most appropriate switch for any given application. The procedure of selecting the correct switch can be summarized this way: The requirements of the end user should be given consideration first The engineering aspects like load, contact materials, terminal type, voltage, circuit Read more [...]

Tact Switch – SKPFABA010

We've been selling a lot of this one particular switch - it's called a long travel tact switch; manufactured by ALPS. Here are some of the features of this switch: -- Dimensions: 8mm x 8mm -- Suitable for automotive applications due to its high operational force -- Malfunctions are prevented due to it having a longer travel than most conventional tact switches -- Easily mounted on a PC board with snap in leads -- Some of the output terminals can be used as jumper leads which makes the circuit Read more [...]