What do you use for power switches on your protoboards?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by chipwitch, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    I'm just curious?

    The thing I'm most curious about, though, is why it's so hard to find PCB mounted switches with a .1" pitch! Seems like everyone I look at is metric.

    I'd really just like a simple little slide or toggle switch that I can insert onto an experiment board rather than having to unplugging the power or pop out batteries. I realize I could use a latching circuit with two momentary switches, but it just seems so silly.
     
  2. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    Hmmm. I never use a power switch on a board unless it is an AC mains switch for a power supply. For development I use the switch on the power supply.
     
  3. MaxHeadRoom

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    If they are .1 pitch they will not be very high current otherwise for low voltage use a 4 block DIP switch.
    Max.
     
  4. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    @papabravo (you a pilot?), you mount mains switches on a pcb? That is probably the exact occasion I'd AVOID mounting a switch on a pcb. Can you give me an example? What I'm imagining doesn't seem safe.

    @maxheadroom: I'm just beginning with actually building circuits. Still at the bottom of the learning curve. I'm working on a PSU, but haven't had time to finish it, so plugging in is a bit of a pain in the butt. When I'm left with no other alternative, I've been using a computer PSU right out of a computer. (No binding posts or anything, just test leads). Batteries are usually easier, if given the choice. I have a good selection of battery holders and often just use them with test leads.

    Anyway, I was going to put together a target board to program microprocessor chips. I had intended it to be semi-permanent. I was going to mount batteries to the board and wanted a switch to turn it on and off. Seemed like a reasonable plan to put a slide switch on the board. Quick, easy and cheap. Then I wouldn't have to remove batteries to turn it off. I could use a jumper, or a connector or as you suggested, a dip switch. Just seems odd that onboard switches are so hard to find. Keep in mind, I'm new at this and was just shocked to find them nearly non-existent. I'm so new, I just hobbled together my first practical circuit wholly designed and built by me! I really haven't had a need for a switch until now. Sure, there are workarounds, but I wanted a switch! I guess the dip switches are "okay."

    As for the pitch, it could be any multiplier of .1" That would be fine. But, I have no problem with using low current switches either. That's what transistors and fets are for, right? Besides, aren't their pins often passing pretty high current on pins .1" apart?
     
  5. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    You can get DIP relays also, COTO and Omron are a couple of makes.
    Max.
     
  6. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    I actually used a dip relay on my "one" practical project to switch on a mains light bulb.

    I went onto ebay to see what I could find in the way of a dip switch. They actually make single position switches too. I'd never seen one. Still, it just seems odd to me. Switches mounted to the board seems natural. I know they make them. They just aren't common. Translation: over-priced.
     
  7. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    You can bend the leads of some switches to solder them on a component carrier or pin header to create a breadboard friendly switch module.
     
  8. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Usually a PCB for something is mounted in an enclosure or box. Then a switch, pot or even batteries are wired to the board and mounted in the side or top of the box. The wire 'jumpers' are soldered on to the switch and the to a point on the board.

    And .1" spacing is metric! It's known as 2.54 mm. :)
     
  9. Papabravo

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    Was a pilot. Gave it up when my son was born.

    If a product requires a power supply inside it, I'll put a mains switch on a PCB or use a bulkhead switch with a wiring harness to the PCB.
     
  10. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    It's been several decades (literally) since I used those solderless boards, but I seem to remember soldering stiff wire leads onto the terminals of switches like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    Shortbus, I'm guessing your shop is neat and orderly too! ;) I barely have time to solder up the board, let alone actually do it "right".
     
  12. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    Ernie, I wasn't talking about the solderless boards. I'm actually doing this on one of those protoboards, (one hole, one pad?). But, I suppose a couple stiff short wires could work. Maybe even bend a small piece of sheetmetal, a z-bend, could be used for actually mounting the switch to the board. Thanks for the idea
     
  13. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    A quick check of Digi-Key shows several 0.1" pin-spaced SPST through-hole PC mount slide switches.
     
  14. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    WBahn... sure... you can buy switches anywhere. Did you actually look at the drawings? I sorted them by price. The first half dozen or so don't fit the standard .1" pattern. You have to pay 3 bucks and change to find one that will fit. That's probably more than I have in all the other components on my board combined!

    My point was that it seems odd they aren't abundant like pots, tactile switches and even 4 position dips... all of which are readily available and inexpensive. I can buy 4 position dips for under a half buck. That's like 12 and a half cents per switch! Seems disproportionate to me. That's why I asked the question, "What do you all do..." I try to buy a dozen or so of whatever parts I buy for stock. I have tactile switches, pots and even dips, but at $3.50 each, I'll find an alternative. Dips aren't elegant, but they will serve the purpose.
     
  15. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    Perhaps I need to practice my mind reading skills. I didn't see a question about finding .1" pitch switches that are cheap, just finding 0.1" pitch switches at all. Perhaps that was because I was erroneously responding to the question, "The thing I'm most curious about, though, is why it's so hard to find PCB mounted switches with a .1" pitch! Seems like everyone I look at is metric." So I tried to answer that question by pointing out that it isn't too hard to find them and giving a reference to one such source. Sorry.
     
  16. pilko

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2008
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  17. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    I appreciate all the help, but I don't recall saying I couldn't find the switches. If I did, I apologize for mistyping. I ordered them before I'd even posted. In fact, I ordered the ones pilko just posted (from a different seller).

    If you know everyone owns a car and you go to the car store to buy some tires, but the tires are hidden in a corner somewhere, expensive, lacking variety and covered in dust, it makes one wonder what other people do when they need new tires. I would think it odd.

    I apologize if I wasn't clear. I can see how it might seem like I had NO solution. But, there are lot of solutions. Use a jumper, optical switch, a two conductor connector, switch mounted to a box... My original question was one of curiosity. "What do you use?" It's in the title of the post. A few members answered the question and it seems in general, what seems like an obvious need to me, isn't by anyone else (relatively speaking). If the answer to my OP question is "nothing," it's still an answer.

    I understand people like us are problem solvers and we jump at a challenge. We look for problems to solve. I do it too. I really do appreciate all the help in finding switches, but sometimes, a question is just a question. No mind reading required. I really just wanted to know what you use.
     
  18. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

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    You'd be very wrong! I've got many hobbies and the tools for all of them. But since my shop (a two story, with attic 40'x50' barn) is so disorganized, I usually end up buying new tools when I need them. Faster and easier than hunting for what is buried in the mess.

    Always tell people, when they see my shop, "it's a wonder there was no fire when the explosion happened":p:D:eek:
     
  19. chipwitch

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    Forgive my sarcasm! I'm the same way. I'm usually off to the next project before putting the finishing touches on my projects. The "box" I used for the last pcb I did is a 2x4 with a couple screws to hold it down. I'm hatching my first clutch of chickens and the board wasn't finished until two days after trying to incubate them. So, rush rush rush. When they hatch, I'll finish it proper.
     
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  20. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    You mean boards like these?

    [​IMG]

    That happens to be my favorite type... but I never put switches into them, if I have switches they get mounted on a box and wired to these boards.

    To mount a switch directly on them I'd make a hole and then just use any kind of thru panel switch, with flying lead wires to connect.

    A standoff in each corner will let you push and play with the switch.

    A sheet metal Z works but seems a lot of effort for little payback.
     
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