piclist 2002\01\22\003025a >
Thread: Pushbutton Switches
picon face BY : Russell McMahon email (remove spam text)

> I guess I could make up a little PCB to mount the switches to, and mount
> tact switches to that. Of course, then I'd have to mount the PCB at the
> right height from the case and make square holes for the key caps.

Making holes in a panel with a diaphragm over it and tact switches behind
the diaphragm works reasonably well.
Mounting height is important and the ability to change this is probably
vital in a one off (and is helpful even in a many-off - I have some friends
who do this in a commercial product and it works very well BUT the board to
panel spacing is adjustable.

A laborious but workable one-off solution is to use fully threaded screws
for the mounting towers with the pcb held between 2 nuts. The board height
can be adjusted up and down the screws to get the height right. You can then
locknut the screws (aaaargh!!!) or if nobody is looking a blob of silicon
rubber will work just fine. The proper practices police may catch you
however :-).

Some membrane keyboard makers offer internal "click" domes which give the
membrane switches a reasonable if not ideal feel.

A out of the square solution is to use crummy feeling switches and add an
audio annunciator to make a crisp audible click on keypress. Seems to work
reasonably well for less than  fully deaf people. Many touch/membrane
keyboard products do something like this (eg palm Pilot and friends.)

       Russell McMahon

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See also: www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=pushbutton+switches
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