DIY Switches 2:

One blog post was definitely not enough to look at DIY switches. Given how simple the idea is, it’s surprising just how many different ways you can make a switch! If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at our first post.

We love these, as they provide an alternative way of using interesting inputs with the Crumble. We’ve decided to show you a few more examples of switches you can make yourself, and whilst going through this process we’ve thought of a brilliant idea for a new project, which we are working on now.

The first switch we have here, is a moisture sensor. It is made using two strips of copper tape (you could use anything conductive) placed close together.

If you wet your finger and place it across the two strips, the moisture bridges the two pads, causing the switch to be ‘closed’.

Next up, we have a reed style switch. For those of you unfamiliar with a reed switch, take a look at our Magic Candle blog to see it in action. Put simply, it’s a switch that is triggered (closed) by a magnet. We have fashioned our own using some aluminium foil (not magnetic), and a nut glued to the raised flap of foil.

When a magnet goes near the underside of the switch, the nut is pulled towards the other piece of foil, closing the connection. When the magnet is moved away again, the foil flaps open again. It’s amazing how resilient and springy foil can be!

Now we move onto something a little bit different. We’re going to call this a ‘joust switch’. It serves the same purpose as a whisker/bump/micro switch.

When it is pressed, the connection is broken (push-to-break). We can use this as a limit switch, and easily make a bump-and-reverse buggy!

Our final switch takes inspiration from a tilt switch. We have left the top off of this version, to make it easier to see what is going on.

When tilted in a certain direction, the ball bearing touches our two electrodes, closing the switch. When it’s tilted back, the ball bearing moves away from the electrodes and breaks the connection, opening the switch.

And there you have it, more switches to use with your projects!

If you have a go at this project, or any other, we’d love to see! Get in contact with us via emailFacebookTwitter or our Forum, and we may feature your work!

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