Customs: Switch for an LED?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by deaculpa, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Hey. i've checked out the tutorial on installing LEDs, but i didnt see much about buying a switch. can anyone recommend a simple, compatible type of switch for the electrically impaired impaired like me? i've already bought one switch which doesnt seem to work for this. :/
     
  2. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    How could it not work? Could you provide a pic of the switch you have. I may be able to help you learn about switches rather than just provide a link (which I can do of course) to good general purpose switches.
     
  3. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Here's what I bought, thanks in advance
     
  4. Shwiggie

    Shwiggie Likeable dryskinned biped

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    The basic function of a switch is to open and close a circuit. First, put your circuit together and test its function (if it doesn't work this way, your switch isn't the problem), and then put the switch in series (in-line with the rest of the circuit) and try to turn it on and off.

    As for what switch to use, it depends on how you want to use it. There are two basic mechanisms: toggle (like a light switch) and momentary (like push-button) You have a toggle switch there that's referred to as "single-pole single-throw", which means it controls one circuit and only performs one switching action. I'd stick with those until you know a little more about it.

    This may prove helpful :p 
     
  5. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Thanks. Can I use the one I bought in the link above? It doesn't seem to have an in / out for both the positive and negative wires. Am I missIng something? If not, I'm looking fir a recommendation of a specific product. Thanks again.
     
  6. Shwiggie

    Shwiggie Likeable dryskinned biped

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    You should be able to use it. Just tie one wire to one leg and the other wire to the other leg ("in series")...the leg being the prongs opposite the toggle part.

    Also, switches don't care about positive and negative...you could wire it "backward," and the only change is the direction you pull the switch.

    As for specific product, they're pretty generic. It's more a matter of application than a one size fits all sort of thing. My previous post details the best spec for you to start with.
     
  7. Cycrolus

    Cycrolus Herald of Primus

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    Keep in mind you can recycle. I'd challenge you to not be able to find some tiny electronic that doesn't work that you could pull a switch out of. I have a lot of LEDs and Switches and have not paid anything extra for them due to pulling them out of electronics. I've also found really good deals on small light up electronics, like happy meal toys, that I've gutted. These are also good for battery packs. In one light up thing I got on clearance for $.30 I pulled 3 green LEDs a tiny push button switch a battery pack, and a circuit board that allowed the lights to fade in and out giving a cool effect.
     
  8. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    [​IMG]

    Wire it like this and it will work.

    • Notes:
    • LEDs have a + and a - "leg". If the LED is new and the legs have not bee trimmed the longer leg is positive (+)
    • The battery(s) need to equal 3 volts roughly. Don't use a 9 volt it will blow your LED out.
    • Also avoid Large 3 volt sources, like 2 "D" cell batteries. The current is too powerful for the LED.
    • The resistor can be placed anywhere in the circuit, it will work. I typically put the in front of the LED(s) but it doesn't matter.
    • Resistors aren't polarized, meaning you can't put them in backwards, they will work either way.
    • You can probably get away without using a resistor if you use batteries that are small, like (2x) AG10, or (1x) CR3016, (2x) LR44, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  9. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    Great idea! My kids just got some of the BK kids meals with TF toys that make sounds. They include a button and a switch, and must have very small batteries. If my current set up doesn't work quite like I want, I'll have to check out some of the toys they don't play with anymore...
     
  10. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    EDIT: corrected, thanks Big Hank!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  11. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Okay, I'm awake now. I cleaned up my mess. The diagram is correct now!
    Correct diagram is on post #8
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  12. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Lol, thanks to all! Doh, now I need a resistor :( 
     
  13. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    You can probably get away without one. I included it because it's a safegaurd from burning out the LED. Truth be told, I don't use them half the time.

    Just do the circuit exactly the same but imagine the green line replacing the resistor.
     
  14. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Thanks, bro!
     
  15. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    No problem, use the diagram in opost #8. The one HTHRun quoted is wrong. That was from before I was awake.:p 
     
  16. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Brilliant as well!
     
  17. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    I edited my post to get rid of the old diagram.

    Deaculpa, resistors can be useful for dimming LEDs. If you're fine with your LEDs current brightness you probably don't need one. But if you would like one, I've got a ton and I could send you one. I bought a package of resistors from Radio Shack with a bunch of different values...
     
  18. Shwiggie

    Shwiggie Likeable dryskinned biped

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    You could also use a potentiometer to vary it after you have the circuit built. You just have to keep another resistor in series to limit the maximum current. Just use Ohm's law and a color chart to find the value you need. And, with resistors, you're not building pianos, so if the value you need is 322.33 Ohms then you can get by with a 333 Ohm element.
     

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