Friday, October 16, 2015

Easy tactile switch connection

So I was making a project (actually it is an ESP8266-01 programming board, which I will show you next time) in which I needed a tactile switch. And somehow I always have an issue with connecting them to the rest of my electronics.

The problem with these switches is that they have 4 pins. And these pins are connected 2 by 2. So it is always a pain to examine which pins are connected and which are not.

You can off course measure which pins are connected and which aren't. And there is a clue on the bottom of the switch.

The photo shows you that on the bottom there is a small plasic band running from one side to the other side of the switch. And that tells you that the top pins are connected and the bottom pins are connected. So to use the switch properly you need one of the top pins and one of the bottom pins.

Sounds easy but when you turn the switch around there is no clue at all anymore. It gets worse when you have tens of them laying on your desk and they get mixed up and turned etc. You will never know how the pins are lined up anymore. Connect the pins wrong and your project won't work or you might short circuit your project or even blow up a power supply.

Just look at the picture above. There is no way to tell wether the 2 left pins are connected or the upper pins etc.

So there has to be an easier solution to connect the switch properly. And there is.

Mount the switch diagonally and make sure the pins do not line up on the breadboard and that is it.

Just look at the breadboard picture above. It is obviously that if you take connect the left pin to the rest of your project and the right pin to another point of your project you will never have a short circuit.

Easy !!!

Here you can see how the connections are made on a breadboard in real life.

The picture above shows you how to implement this on a strip board. Normally the switch would be on the backside of the board. I put it on the copper side for demonstration purposes.

Till next time.
Have fun
Luc Volders