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Thread: Home Made Rotary Switch/Selector Ring

  1. #1
    Flashaholic Aepoc's Avatar
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    Default Home Made Rotary Switch/Selector Ring

    Has anyone out there made their own rotary switch/selector for a custom light? I'm building an EDC with both white and red LEDs and I am trying to figure out how I'm going to switch between the two colors... I will be using a McClicky to turn the light on and off, so I'm looking to make an SPDT (Single Output Double Throw) rotary style switch. I would like to make it so that I can turn the head a quarter turn or so, to switch between the red and white. I could use a store bought switch, but I'm worried about water resistance as all the switches I've seen (toggle and rocker style) would require creating another hole in the body... I'm thinking of building a swich that will be located between the posative cell terminal, and the two circuit boards that I will be using (one for each LED).

    I have a few ideas thus far, but I'm having trouble locating parts to build my own switch. I have no idea where to look for blank circuit board material, prefferably circles ~1" in diameter. I'm also not sure what to use to carry the current through the switch. I have some copper and a dremel tool, but it would be nice if I could find some thin metal strands similar to what is used in a mag switch...

    I have considered retrofitting an existing rotary switch, but I can't really find anything that would suit my needs.

    I hope to get sketches up soon to help visualize what I am thinking. I would greatly appreciate any input on the design, and I am in despirate need of finding any parts...

    Thanks in anvance!
    EDC: HDS Ra Clicky T SN7156 (100L WWGD) or Lunasol 20 (I can't choose between the two)
    Favorites: Sub 1-D Tri-XML Copper Mag | DBS V3 XML w/ Aspheric Lens | Leaf/SF MN21 Turbo Lego | The Kroma

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Aepoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Rotary Switch/Selector Ring

    Okay, so here's a crude sketch of my design. I apologize as I don't have access to a cad program right now.



    The half that goes to the LED drivers will be attached to the head of the light, and the part that goes to the cell will be attached to the body. When the head is turned, the current should switch between the seperate white and red led-driver setups
    EDC: HDS Ra Clicky T SN7156 (100L WWGD) or Lunasol 20 (I can't choose between the two)
    Favorites: Sub 1-D Tri-XML Copper Mag | DBS V3 XML w/ Aspheric Lens | Leaf/SF MN21 Turbo Lego | The Kroma

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    Flashaholic Aepoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Rotary Switch/Selector Ring

    And another crude sketch of the circuit showing the SPDT switch in the center:



    I still don't know where to find parts, specifically any blank circuit board material, or layered boards with copper in the middle... Are there any electrical engineers or circuity gurus out there?
    EDC: HDS Ra Clicky T SN7156 (100L WWGD) or Lunasol 20 (I can't choose between the two)
    Favorites: Sub 1-D Tri-XML Copper Mag | DBS V3 XML w/ Aspheric Lens | Leaf/SF MN21 Turbo Lego | The Kroma

  4. #4
    Flashaholic Hoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Rotary Switch/Selector Ring

    For the circuit boards, consider machinable circuit boards. Inventables sells them. Tin snips should work to cut it into round boards. You can carve out rough traces with a dremel, or possibly use a scribe. If you wanted more precise traces and don't have milling equipment you could make a basic milling machine using a dremel, "all thread rod," nuts, and wood for the frame, similar to how people make diy cnc routers on the cheap, or easier yet, get yourself a "cross vise" and mount the dremel to something rigid or to the dremel workstation.

    For the switches, your method should work fine. Perhaps some battery contacts from newark or mouser could work for the circuit board contacts. Several positive battery contacts mounted to a circuit board could make a very compact switch.

    Since you have 1" diameter to work with you could use two taskled hall switches, as an alternative to making your own switches. You could use one magnet and two switches, turning the head opposite direction for one led or the other. k&j has real nice magnets down to 1/16 diameter and such.
    Last edited by Hoop; 07-09-2012 at 01:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic Aepoc's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks a lot Hoop! This info will get me well on my way into this wole switch endeavor. I really appreciate the leads on parts, and ideas on how to do the milling. Also, its good to have several different designs in mind so one can consider pros and cons of each before deciding on one to implement. Thanks again for your input.

    I will be making a prototype soon, and will post pictures when I have something. I plan on using the switch in a cheap light in order to get all the bugs out before moving on with my edc project.
    EDC: HDS Ra Clicky T SN7156 (100L WWGD) or Lunasol 20 (I can't choose between the two)
    Favorites: Sub 1-D Tri-XML Copper Mag | DBS V3 XML w/ Aspheric Lens | Leaf/SF MN21 Turbo Lego | The Kroma

  6. #6

    Default Re: Home Made Rotary Switch/Selector Ring

    I would like to warn you that the dremel workstation is total failure. It's nice concept, so nice that I ignored comments like mine now and bought it anyway and was dissapointed. It has few weak points that are bending or moving under pressure so any precise work is out of question. "Precise" like in 1mm tolerance heh, I'm not even speaking about 0.1 or 0.01 mm.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic Aepoc's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the heads up stp. I was looking into getting one today... Perhaps I wil just make my own.
    EDC: HDS Ra Clicky T SN7156 (100L WWGD) or Lunasol 20 (I can't choose between the two)
    Favorites: Sub 1-D Tri-XML Copper Mag | DBS V3 XML w/ Aspheric Lens | Leaf/SF MN21 Turbo Lego | The Kroma

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