Push me…

…and then just hurt me…

(sexist video/word joke wich i won’t link)

I have recently developed the habit of collecting buttons and switches (with the purpose of being used one time or another, not the purely diogenes syndrome/trash bin)).  I mostly prefer pcb and smd ones, because they are the most likely to be used in my projects. Still, this caught my eye:

At a secondhand kitchen appliance store, was this awesome, sci-fi looking, waterproof switch:

117 - Spaceship buttton

This was going to be a quickie post about that single switch, however, while thinking about it, I changed my mind and decided that since we don’t pay much attention to that part of our projects (how many of you have a specific box of switches/push buttons, with more than one of each type, for real projects?

So, here they are some of the standard, most likely to be used buttons out there:


117a - Toggle me

1 to 9:

Those where salvaged from various electronics (always dismantle trashed electronics!). They are unlikely to be used unless I’m going extremely small, or I have space constraints. Plus, I don’t know how much have they been used up, so they’re a bet.

1,2 & 7:

Can be bought over ebay, just look for smd or smt button (or push button if you feel like it)

3 to 6:

I have never seen them over ebay, they might have a different name, or not be avaliable altogether. They’re a kind of specialized switch, normally used for partial position detection (they fully retract). Arrow shows applied force vector to activate them.

8 & 9:

Same story (salvaged, already used) except that they have a plunger activation. Interesting as micro endstops.

10 to 13.

SMD versions of normal pushbuttons. They have different colours and heights. Low profile ones (12) have metallic stems and ultra low profile (13), use capton tape to hold everything.

Depending on how you search, 10 & 11 can have silicone or plastic button, only affects the switch feeling.
There is a special kind of pushbutton in that category wich will have it’s own post.



117b1 - Toggle me117b2 - Toggle me

There are many colors, stem shapes (18 & 21) and heights (22!) Nothing to add about these ones, you already know them.



117c - Toggle me

Mostly used in mouse and portable electronics (portable, NOT handheld).


It’s a special case, quickly disappearing from the landscape, but widely used as mouse button a few years ago, relatively expensive through ebay.


Those are widely used as computer switches, resets and speed toggles. (can anyone remember the turbo buttons on old Pentiums?). You can have them in various flavors: SPDT, DPDT, latching and non-latching.
Very cheap through ebay, there are 8x8mm and 6x6mm ones. Unfortunately, as avaliable as those are, button caps for them are nowhere to be found, or they are very low quality. 24* came from an old computer with it’s switch.

25 a & b:

Those are the mountain kings. They completely caught the mouse switch world and the miniature endstop area. All non latching SPST.

They have a few million clicks life, but I have managed to burn through five since my first computer. (yup, I remember how many of those I have changed XD!)



117d - Toggle me

I still have those around because…why not? The big square one might be used someday, but the rest, are just fancy mementos of how it used to be. Btw, the small one on top, has a horrid, squishy and unpleasant tactile feedback, do not use it under any circumstances other than “factory repair”.

And that’s pretty much it. I hope you enjoyed the button porn.


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