Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arcade Push Button Light Switch Redux

I got a lot of feedback on my post from a couple days ago about making an Arcade Push Button Light Switch.  Mostly that this task could be easily accomplished with a single DPDT 110VAC relay.  While this true, the original post was really about using what I had on hand at the moment to remake something I saw online.

Never the less, while I was at Grainger this morning picking up supplies for another project I also grabbed a DPDT relay, part no. LY2-AC110/120, to make another version of the arcade button light switch.  This is how I would make the switch if I was going to be purchasing parts for it.

Here is a schematic.  This sort of design has been around for ages.  I guess people used to use relays for all kinds of control applications and called it Relay Logic

* Update *

A few people have asked for more pictures of what wires go where.  Unfortunately, I do not have any photographs that would be useful.  I did draw the picture below, though and I know of at least one person that built this switch based on it.  If you are unfamiliar with working with 120v household wiring be sure to ask someone who is in the know for some help.  Getting a shock from 120vac is unpleasant. 

Below is a picture of the microswitches in the arcade pushbuttons.  As you can see they are more than capable of switching the voltage and current required for this design.

So, wire it all up, apply some hot glue and drink some coffee.

And then take an action video.  I am switching my frequency counter in this video.  It is kind of handy anyway as the power switch for the counter is on the back of the unit.  I don't always use my frequency counter, but when I do, it's a pain to turn it on.  Well, not anymore.


Bryce D. said...

Thanks for posting this, I'm making a similar light switch for my office however I'm using four buttons (2 for the light and 2 for the fan.) With four buttons would I simply purchase two relays and wire them seperately or is there a way to only use one relay for both sets of buttons? I'm an electrical noob so I appreciate the help!

Pete said...

Hi Bryce,

You will need to use two relays if you want to control the light and fan independently.

Best of luck,


Bryce D. said...

Thanks, much appreciated. Is there any way to get a better look at where each wire is soldered to each contact point? Perhaps I just need someone with a better understanding of circuit diagrams to explain your design to me. My experience reading them = zero. =)

Pete said...

Bryce D,

I have updated the blog post with a pictorial schematic that shows what connections to make on the parts. I hope this is helpful to you.


Bryce D. said...

that helps a ton! Thank you again. I'll be picking up my relays on the way home today!

Anonymous said...

Great! BTW your video no longer works :(

Pete said...

Thanks Anon. Should be fixed now.


Josh Lindquist said...

Is there any way to use just a single arcade button as an on/off switch? I am working on finishing my basement which will include having all my A/V equipment built in to the wall under my staircase, and was thinking of using a single button to power up some repurposed PC fans to exhaust the heat from these components...

Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete said...

Hi Josh,

The short answer is " Yes " however, not without additional components.

Using a different relay, 2 resistors and a capacitor ( oh, and a separate power supply too ) you can achieve your goal. Here is a link to an example I found online

Once you resolve yourself to having additional components however, there is really no end to the number of ways you could toggle the output of a relay.

Good Luck!

matt hutson said...

If i want to make the exact same one as you (but in red and blue), what exactly do I have to order? im kind of new to this stuff and don't want to electrocute myself. thanks for the help,
Matt H.

Pete said...

Hi Matt Hutson,

I don't want you to electrocute yourself either, so please be careful and ask a friend for help if you are unsure of your ability to remain safe with this project.

Having said that the parts you will need are the relay ( find link in blog post ) and the buttons which you can find here

There are other components like the extension cord, electrical box and wall plate but you can source them at your local hardware store.

Best of luck!

Philippe Lafortune said...

This would look great beside my arcade machine..

How about making a step-by-step and detail video on how to built one. I am sure many of the arcade fanatics scene would love to see it and built one themselves.

In order to make this interesting for yourself, I would suggest you make this a project supported on and have people pledge a few dollars to make this video project a reality. Something to make it worth your while.

I for one would participate. Let me know if this is something you would consider.. thanks!