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nerd of nerds

Clear buttons?

37 posts in this topic

Wisefire, funny you should menton the clicking feel of the tact switches! I actually came across a surface-mount micro tact switch at EPO yesterday that has a smooth travel with a very light "resistance" halfway through its 1mm of travel...and no click. The top is made of rubber. I'll go buy one today and get a picture.

And Smash - no worries at all! Getting great feedback from experienced people is why we're all here. Thanks for the tip.

The good thing is that the easy mounting solution would still work, even if we used a regular switch instead of traces. I'll draw a diagram this morning.

EDIT: Smash, there's actually CArbon Paint? Hell, that would be easy to do. How do KB manus get the high key lifecycles they do, most of which use carbon contacts and traces?

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EDIT: Smash, there's actually CArbon Paint? Hell, that would be easy to do. How do KB manus get the high key lifecycles they do, most of which use carbon contacts and traces?

I don't engineer these (just years of repairing them) so this is just a guess:

Most of the keyboards leave enough room in there for the air to stay in while depressed with no vent hole, and surface tension between the rubber and the board (or sometimes glue) holds that same air in there for the life of the switch.

No fresh air in there means little oxidation on the contact surfaces, assuming the factory assembly area is climate controlled (quasi-clean room).

The cell phone makers get to cheat a bit, with a thin button they get a little bit of self cleaning action (since keypresses never mate the contact surfaces exactly the same).

Best

Smash

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Thanks for the info. I'm redesigning the buttons now; I think that with what Smash brought up micro-tacts are the way to go. For the LED's, I think that SMD's, like these:

http://www.hebeiltd.com.cn/?p=led.smd

will be required rather than dome-type; the domes are all too high, and the top of the button needs to be a bit thick for the dispersal to work well. I'm also increasing the angle of the inner post, so that it slopes from the outer edge a bit, which will prevent any side-side movement of the center post.

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I was just looking at the sticky-backed clear silicone rubber feet that came with my hifi speakers, thinking "Wonder if I could get more of those" ;)

Here ya go, stryd :) :) - $2.98 pack of 4 from Dick Smith

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Nice! That's the ones. Freakin expensive though, imagine a hundred of them... I could go the custom route for cheaper it seems :D

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Raining on my own parade,  ??? Why in my 2 weeks of googling did I not find these guys sooner? Thanks to the great Wise for finding this manu:

http://www.rjselectronics.com/cms/html/modules.php?set_albumName=album16&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php&page=1

60 different varieties of lighted pushbuttons, most available as either PCB OR panel mount (My choice for simplicity of install and maintenance).

This whole thread might now be moot. I sent off a price request just now.

EDIT: Got the prices back. The Owner of RJS is very friendly - but those EH switches are ridiculously priced; I know they are high quality but they are $25.00 US EACH. For my controller, this would equate to over $1000 bucks works of buttons.

They have a similar series called the LP, which is a SPST that costs about 7.50 each, or a mere $307.00 :(. Unfortunately, yellow, red, and green are the only available lamps. I guess by hand-tinting the caps you could make other colors, as long as you had 2 primaries like some yellows and some reds. But you could never make blue - you'd have the choice of yellow-orange through violet.

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These are really sad news! They are really expensive.

When some one posted the link for these button I thought also that those where

the ONES.

There other companies doing illuminated buttons (itt cannon, mec and

several japanese companies), but all are expensive if you want a large number.

(e.g. mec are around 4 euros including led, transparent cap and diffuser).

I think someone (moxi?) was trying to do some DIY silicone illuminated buttons. Did he

ever succeed?

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moxi seemed to have quite a bit of success - i was investigating last night. I think the problem was a large setup cost ~60Euros and the process being quite time consuming.

If you were to make a mould that could make 4 or even 8 it would save a lot of time. There are some great pictures of buttons that he created in the post "fabrication de boutons" in the french board.

I too would love something similar, and I'm cracking open my friends korg electribe to figure out their activation method for the buttons. Hardest thing seems to be getting central positioning of the led for a consistant diffuse appearance...

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Ahh Moebius was right... people why do you choose to fight....

OK so if there's a problem with centralising the LED location to get diffusion even, then don't fight it, USE IT :)

For eg, if the LED has to be offset to one side, then use the visual effect of that positioning to your advantage, for example, you could set it up so that the LED's shine out through a small vertical slit, making a little 'comet tail' shoot out of the button when it's lit, or you could have one LED on either corner to make a kind of faded frame, or you could put an LED lighting a slit underneath the button like an 'underline'... Geez I could go on for days. Use your imagination!

This is MIDIBox, you can customize... I don't remember the 11th Commandment being "Thou shalt only mount thine LED's in the middle of thine buttons"... so just because the commercial controllers do it, why should you? Think outside of the box, break the mould!  :D

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If you DO want to mount the led's centrally, you could use 2 tact switches per button, ganged  one on each side, to even the pressure. The button would have to be fairly large, though, at least 12-14 mm.

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Or one tact switch on one side of the button and some kind of fulcrum....

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