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Does this part exist?

jrobert50n

Jan 3, 2016
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Hi Guys!

I am wondering is there such a component as a latching push to break switch? I know you can get latching push to make and regular push to break switch but I have been looking everywhere on rapid, amazon, RS etc and couldn't find one. Does this component exist? And how expensive would it be?

Could someone link me? Thank you so much!
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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Depends on the foot print you are looking for, they are very common in the industrial control world, for example the Emergency stop button!!
You can get various ones with both N.O. N.C. contacts push on-push off.
Long time since I worked in UK so I don't know what your sources would be, but look in the industrial push button suppliers.
M.
 
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Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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Another source which I think you will have access to is Idec AL6Q series for small footprint, and also Telemecanique, most of which are now coming out of China on ebay.
M.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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what you could look for is any push-on/push-off switch. If it's important to look pushed in when its off then look for something which is spdt and use the switch contacts that match your desired operation.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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Hi Guys!

I am wondering is there such a component as a latching push to break switch? I know you can get latching push to make and regular push to break switch but I have been looking everywhere on rapid, amazon, RS etc and couldn't find one. Does this component exist? And how expensive would it be?

Could someone link me? Thank you so much!
Please define the mechanical action you seek for "a latching push to break switch" and a physical size that is acceptable to you. A typical "emergency" off switch can be either a spring-loaded push-button that you press once and release or, (more typically) a plunger-type actuator with two stable positions that is pulled out for normal operation and pressed for "emergency" stop. A push-on, push-off switch is also commonly available, but there is generally no visual indication as to which state it happens to be in, on or off, when you look at it. Such switches are typically used to power up something you can see or hear operate.

Rather than describe a "solution" as being a particular type of switch, would you please describe what you are trying to do instead? We get hundreds of posts from people who think they have a solution to their problem and "just need a little help" if only... Well, maybe that's true some of the time, but most of the time their "solution" is not the easiest or even the correct way to solve their "problem". Please describe the problem, what you are trying to do or accomplish, and let some of us suggest a solution.

Hop
 

jrobert50n

Jan 3, 2016
7
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
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Please define the mechanical action you seek for "a latching push to break switch" and a physical size that is acceptable to you. A typical "emergency" off switch can be either a spring-loaded push-button that you press once and release or, (more typically) a plunger-type actuator with two stable positions that is pulled out for normal operation and pressed for "emergency" stop. A push-on, push-off switch is also commonly available, but there is generally no visual indication as to which state it happens to be in, on or off, when you look at it. Such switches are typically used to power up something you can see or hear operate.

Rather than describe a "solution" as being a particular type of switch, would you please describe what you are trying to do instead? We get hundreds of posts from people who think they have a solution to their problem and "just need a little help" if only... Well, maybe that's true some of the time, but most of the time their "solution" is not the easiest or even the correct way to solve their "problem". Please describe the problem, what you are trying to do or accomplish, and let some of us suggest a solution.

Hop

Thanks for your reply! I am looking for a button/switch that when a body (block or finger) is applied to it and pushed down it latches or locks in place. Until that block is taken away, and the button is "unpressed" and moves up. The action of latching in the two states is important. Very similar to an emergency switch but not as large (maybe 15mm L x 15mm W x 30mm H?).

Ok, I really appreciate your help. I am trying to create a board with a grid of these switches, at each side of the switches is a female port. A block with two male legs would fit into two of the female ports. Therefore the switch in the middle (SW2 in my attachment) would be covered. The switch that is covered will be "pressed" by the block with the male legs on it. Switches connecting around the block (SW1 and SW3) are not pressed, however if pressed by a finger downwards it would latch until it was pressed again and it would rise up.

I hope that makes sense? Once again thank you so much for your help!
James
 

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Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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I would think the Idec is available to you as they are international, The AL6Q series comes in many combo's. Push-on/ push off is one. There are also other makes with similar product.
11539668.jpg

M.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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... The switch that is covered will be "pressed" by the block with the male legs on it. Switches connecting around the block (SW1 and SW3) are not pressed, however if pressed by a finger downwards it would latch until it was pressed again and it would rise up.

I hope that makes sense? Once again thank you so much for your help!
James
Sounds like the same action as an old-fashioned ball-point pen: press to extend pen nib, press again to retract it. Inside is a little plastic rotary cam, and a spring. The same action is available in commercial push-button switches. @Minder has recommended one line and brand that may suit your purposes. Why not purchase one and see if it can be adapted to your requirements? Visit this page to find a distributor on an online re-seller.

The action that occurs when a block is inserted is not compatible with a push-on, push-off type of switch action. If I understand you correctly, you want the switch to rise up and de-actuate when the block is removed. That is the mode of operation for a standard push-on, release-off switch. It is not going to happen with push-on, push-off mechanical action. After removing the block, the switch actuator would rise up but the switch would remain actuated, just as it did if a finger pressed and released it. To get both actions, which are fundamentally different for finger-press versus block press, you need to use those two male legs to identify whether a finger or block is pressing the switch. Having distinguished between the two modes of operation, you can respond appropriately.

I would suggest you use two switches to identify the mode of operation: a first switch, actuated by the male legs on a block, and a second switch
(the visible part of the array of switches) actuated by either a finger or the block. A normal SPDT push-button switch with push-on, release-off action would be used at all positions within the grid, including the male leg-sensing switches which would be hidden behind the switch panel. However, the response to grid switch actuation would depend on the actuation method. If finger-actuated, an external circuit would implement push-on, push-off, operation. If block-actuated, the switch responds as a normal press-on, release-off, push-button switch.

It could be desirable to have a lighted push-button switch, unless an external display shows which switches have been actuated., The light would illuminate if the switch is "actuated" and would be un-illuminated if the switch is "de-actuated" by a second button-press or removal of a previously inserted block. A lighted switch allows the operator to determine if a finger-actuated switch has been actuated. The presence of the light for a block-actuated switch would not be very useful unless the block is either transparent or translucent, allowing an illuminated switch to be visible.

If you go with this "two switch" design (and I think you should), small push-on, release-off, push-button switches are available in very small sizes, mostly without illumination, but some have small LEDs built into the button. External circuitry to convert this type of switch to push-on, push-off, operation is simple: a D-type flip-flop that alternates its output state each time the switch is pressed and released will do the job. If the switch array is largeish, that would require a lot of flip-flops. It would then be better to use a microprocessor to scan the switch states. Note, since more than one switch or block will be actuated at any given time, a matrix approach to switch identification is not practical. However, if you apply the outputs of the entire array of switches to N-line multiplexors, where N is usually 8, 10, or 16, you can use as many multiplexors as needed to scan all the switches. For example, sixteen bits from the microprocessor can address 65.536 switches (a 256 x 256 switch array) if needed.

Finally, the switch that senses when a block is inserted does not necessarily have to be the same as the main push-button switch. It doesn't even have to be a switch if the "male legs" are something like banana plugs or phone plugs that mate with two receptacles. The blocks would have a small conductor connecting the two legs, and the two receptacles would provide a continuity path to sense their presence, or perhaps (if phone jacks) have contacts that open a continuity path when a plug is inserted, requiring only a passive "male leg" to mechanically operate the receptacle switch. There are very small banana plugs and phone plugs and mating receptacles available. The cost is probably comparable or less than the cost of a push-button switch actuated by one male leg.

Hmmm. This sounds like it could be adapted as an electrical version of the "Battleship" game, the blocks representing ships and the free buttons being used for "shots". Problem with that would be how to "fire" a shot aimed where one of your ships is since that will be occupied by your own block. So, never mind about that. Can you tell us what this project is really for? Don't want you to compromise patent-ability by public disclosure, but I am curious.:D

Hop
.
 
Last edited:

jrobert50n

Jan 3, 2016
7
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
7
Sounds like the same action as an old-fashioned ball-point pen: press to extend pen nib, press again to retract it. Inside is a little plastic rotary cam, and a spring. The same action is available in commercial push-button switches. @Minder has recommended one line and brand that may suit your purposes. Why not purchase one and see if it can be adapted to your requirements? Visit this page to find a distributor on an online re-seller.

The action that occurs when a block is inserted is not compatible with a push-on, push-off type of switch action. If I understand you correctly, you want the switch to rise up and de-actuate when the block is removed. That is the mode of operation for a standard push-on, release-off switch. It is not going to happen with push-on, push-off mechanical action. After removing the block, the switch actuator would rise up but the switch would remain actuated, just as it did if a finger pressed and released it. To get both actions, which are fundamentally different for finger-press versus block press, you need to use those two male legs to identify whether a finger or block is pressing the switch. Having distinguished between the two modes of operation, you can respond appropriately.

I would suggest you use two switches to identify the mode of operation: a first switch, actuated by the male legs on a block, and a second switch
(the visible part of the array of switches) actuated by either a finger or the block. A normal SPDT push-button switch with push-on, release-off action would be used at all positions within the grid, including the male leg-sensing switches which would be hidden behind the switch panel. However, the response to grid switch actuation would depend on the actuation method. If finger-actuated, an external circuit would implement push-on, push-off, operation. If block-actuated, the switch responds as a normal press-on, release-off, push-button switch.

It could be desirable to have a lighted push-button switch, unless an external display shows which switches have been actuated., The light would illuminate if the switch is "actuated" and would be un-illuminated if the switch is "de-actuated" by a second button-press or removal of a previously inserted block. A lighted switch allows the operator to determine if a finger-actuated switch has been actuated. The presence of the light for a block-actuated switch would not be very useful unless the block is either transparent or translucent, allowing an illuminated switch to be visible.

If you go with this "two switch" design (and I think you should), small push-on, release-off, push-button switches are available in very small sizes, mostly without illumination, but some have small LEDs built into the button. External circuitry to convert this type of switch to push-on, push-off, operation is simple: a D-type flip-flop that alternates its output state each time the switch is pressed and released will do the job. If the switch array is largeish, that would require a lot of flip-flops. It would then be better to use a microprocessor to scan the switch states. Note, since more than one switch or block will be actuated at any given time, a matrix approach to switch identification is not practical. However, if you apply the outputs of the entire array of switches to N-line multiplexors, where N is usually 8, 10, or 16, you can use as many multiplexors as needed to scan all the switches. For example, sixteen bits from the microprocessor can address 65.536 switches (a 256 x 256 switch array) if needed.

Finally, the switch that senses when a block is inserted does not necessarily have to be the same as the main push-button switch. It doesn't even have to be a switch if the "male legs" are something like banana plugs or phone plugs that mate with two receptacles. The blocks would have a small conductor connecting the two legs, and the two receptacles would provide a continuity path to sense their presence, or perhaps (if phone jacks) have contacts that open a continuity path when a plug is inserted, requiring only a passive "male leg" to mechanically operate the receptacle switch. There are very small banana plugs and phone plugs and mating receptacles available. The cost is probably comparable or less than the cost of a push-button switch actuated by one male leg.

Hmmm. This sounds like it could be adapted as an electrical version of the "Battleship" game, the blocks representing ships and the free buttons being used for "shots". Problem with that would be how to "fire" a shot aimed where one of your ships is since that will be occupied by your own block. So, never mind about that. Can you tell us what this project is really for? Don't want you to compromise patent-ability by public disclosure, but I am curious.:D

Hop
.

Thank you so much for your feedback @hevans1944! its really been helpful and opens up many possibilities.

Yes very similar to a battleship concept, my project is to create a circuit builder.

The hope for this project is the legs will act as the positive and negative legs of a component, the component will be housed in a 'block' and thus when a block is inserted into a grid its effectively like putting a component on a table. Several of these components will be linked together using push buttons/switches (as discussed, either side of the ports) effectively creating a rail or connector with switches. Helping students translate circuit diagrams to a real product.

So ideally when a component is applied the button/switch it covers is pressed, not to short out the components. As well as a notification that the button has been pressed (light up button). The board will be fairly large 8x8 so quite a few switches/buttons will be needed!

I hope that gives more context to my project?

Regards, James
 
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