Switch Torture Test (preliminary)

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pflexpro
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Switch Torture Test (preliminary)

I will be testing some switches and want to give everyone a heads up.
I plan on building a test rig that will actuate the switched 4 times per second and the switches will have a 5A load. There will be no springs and the load leads will be soldered directly to the switch tabs. The fast cycling will tend to heat the switches up, so I think the 5A load should be sufficient.
Some of the switches are forward clicky, but the test will be ‘full click’ on all of the switches. I plan on testing 2 of each switch -I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m shooting for 20,000 cycles (I’m calling one click one cycle…on/off will be 2 cycles). If a switch reaches 20,000 cycles, I will consider it a ‘pass’.

If the switch fails to latch, it will be considered a failure. If the switch’s resistance increases to some point (to be determined), it’s considered a fail.
Part of the load will be driving an LED which will be monitored for output. I will log the output and look for anything unusual. I will be able to see if a switch stops latching or if the output drops or it just stops working.
I will multiply the duration the switch worked properly (in seconds) times 4 for the number of cycles. There may be some variation in the actual number of cycles, but this variation should be small and will be consistent with each switch tested.

The switch line up:
Solarforce stock L2 FC Switch
Convoy stock RC switch (M1, C8)
Mountain Electronics 17mm FC switch
McClicky FC
2 other switch from Kai that I just want to try

It will probably be several weeks before the test starts, so if you have another switch to suggest, just make sure it’s not specific to a particular light and it’s something someone may use as a ‘general purpose’ switch.
The Convoy stock RC switch is available separately and I’m testing the Solarforce switch just because I build a lot of SF lights.

chadvone
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Awesome. Subscribed

emarkd
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Awesome, thanks for the effort! I believe that mtnelectronics switch is a mini omten but if it isn’t then one of those should be included.

DB Custom
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Awesome task you’ve set yourself up with!

I’d really like to see the small Omten switch tested. I use it a lot and it comes factory on the Eagle Eye X6/A6 models. I’ve got it in lights running as much as 21A and so far so good. Richard sells these at his store, they’re RC.

MG
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Subscribed. Should provide some very useful data. Thanks for doing this!

pflexpro
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DB Custom wrote:
Awesome task you’ve set yourself up with!

I’d really like to see the small Omten switch tested. I use it a lot and it comes factory on the Eagle Eye X6/A6 models. I’ve got it in lights running as much as 21A and so far so good. Richard sells these at his store, they’re RC.

I have some RMM’s Omten 1217 1.5A switches I will test…If you’re talking about the Omten 1288 -I don’t have any of those and he’s out of stock.
The other RMM switch I’ve already listed for the test is 17MMFWDCLK-PCB forward clicky on the 17mm board ($2.75)

The Convoy switch I’ll be testing is an Omten -small white with no rating printed on it.

wight
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Sounds like a good project.

I assume that the reason you are monitoring LED output (rather than other things) is because you’re already all setup for logging brightness? That makes sense.

Maybe some high-current voltage-drop tests every 1000 cycles or so would be worthwhile? Something along these lines: djozz – switchtesting

Still fine, still on a break. One day I’ll catch up with you folks! previous wight catchup Wink
list of my drivers & variants (A17DD, FET+1 stuff, WIP stuff, etc)

pflexpro
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wight wrote:
Sounds like a good project.

I assume that the reason you are monitoring LED output (rather than other things) is because you’re already all setup for logging brightness? That makes sense.

Maybe some high-current voltage-drop tests every 1000 cycles or so would be worthwhile? Something along these lines: djozz – switchtesting

You’re right, I can log the brightness of the emitter to indirectly monitor the switch performance.

I love djozz testing…I’ll read through it later tonight…I may get some additional testing ideas.
I can read resistance of each switch at the start and then every 1000 cycles.

DB Custom
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Are you wanting to expand the database? I have some of the KAN98 and the black Omten in both large and small I think.

zoom zoom
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Those Omten 1288 (small omten) switches that RMM sells are very common in a lot of lights. I’d be really interested in seeing comparisons between them and the white ones. I use them in high powered lights, up to 13A with single li-ion input and it’s usually too much heat that kills them, the little spring inside ‘melts’ or melts through the plastic.

CRX
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Should be interesting.

onetrickpony
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Thanks for doing this, can’t wait to see what you find!

Fritz t. Cat
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One thing to consider may be the tiny sparks that are made when a switch disconnects. These may or may not have a significant effect on the switch life and reliability. They are caused by the stray inductance of the wires and springs in the flashlight and in the switch, and they may cause corrosion and abrasion of the contact surfaces. The effect is similar to the reason that the contact points in an old fashioned automotive high tension ignition system had to be replaced or honed every ten thousand miles or so.
I am thinking the tests may be more relevant to flashlight use if the inductance in the test is similar to that in a typical light. At least the inductance in the test should not be much greater than that in a typical flashlight, which is fortunately less than in most other circuits, because of the lack of wire connections and narrow traces. The springs do contribute some inductance.
Stray inductance is caused by the magnetic field energy wrapped around the current carrying elements. It is greater for smaller diameter elements such as thin wires and for coiled elements such as springs.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

Rufusbduck
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Did you happen to see scaru’s test rig? I think he set it up for the Tofty switch since he needed something that would handle first 3, then 7 xml’s on a 20mm mule board.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

The Miller
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Wow would be great to see a video of this testing procedure.
Cool project!

pflexpro
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Here is a preliminary schematic of the test setup.

! photo switch test_zpsytpqnvlp.jpg!

There will be a timed relay controlling a liner solenoid set at about 4 cycles per second.
The load will be split between parallel resistors and the LED… I’m shooting for about 5A.
I added an inductor to to the LED to make the output more consistent since my meter polls at 1 second intervals.
I also have a diode blocking the induction back to the switch. I have one resistor placed before the diode so the switch will see some induction which I think is typical in a normal flashlight circuit. The diode can be moved between the switch and all of the resistors (and inductor) if I want to remove virtually all of the induction from the circuit.

During the test, if a switch fails to latch, the light output will fall to about 1/2 output. If an internal problem occurs in the switch, the output will also fall…it should be obvious when everything is graphed out.
I will run the test for 10 minute intervals (about 2400 cycles). Once the switch has cooled, I will check the resistance of the switch and compare it to it’s initial resistance.

Please let me know if you find anything wrong with my testing logic. There are a lot of variables to consider and I may change some things when I start building and testing the setup.

The Miller
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4 cycles a second
Does that really mean 8 presses?
125ms to travel back and forth
Say 3mm movement in 67.5ms
The bang of stopping will be much harder then in ordinary use and fiction could raise temps also more.
I try to time and my max presses on a 2,55mm travel tail switch was 41 in 10 seconds.
~4 per second
~2 cycles.

This is going to sound interesting, please make a video.

jhalb
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I believe this test will give a good representative value of actual mileage we get out of these switches. Well thought out! Thank you for doing the test!!

jhalb
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DB Custom wrote:
Awesome task you’ve set yourself up with!

I’d really like to see the small Omten switch tested. I use it a lot and it comes factory on the Eagle Eye X6/A6 models. I’ve got it in lights running as much as 21A and so far so good. Richard sells these at his store, they’re RC.

What equipment and flashlight are you using that is giving you a 21 amp reading? And at what voltage?

GrayEd61
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Subscribed
Though I have zero experience in any of this I was thinking 4 cycles a second seemed a bit extreme and might introduce variables that could hinder getting real world info.

Werner
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I have seen this here somewhere before with a rotating servo. I think scaru did it with the custom switches or so.

You should really test the omten switches these are really good and also very affordable.

pflexpro
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The Miller wrote:
4 cycles a second
Does that really mean 8 presses?
125ms to travel back and forth
Say 3mm movement in 67.5ms
The bang of stopping will be much harder then in ordinary use and fiction could raise temps also more.
I try to time and my max presses on a 2,55mm travel tail switch was 41 in 10 seconds.
~4 per second
~2 cycles.

This is going to sound interesting, please make a video.

In the original post, I said a cycle was one click (either on or off)…I’m not sure if this the right, but that’s what I’m calling it. Each second will consist of two ‘ons’ and two ‘offs’. I know this will be very hard on the switch, but it allows each test run to complete in around 2 hours. Also, the playing field is level…all switches tested will have the same rate, so it should be a good comparative analysis. If I’m testing 2 each of 5 switches, that will be about 20 hours total testing, plus several hours setup.

I will video it.

The Miller
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Aha
That video promesis to be good!
And well you know now that your choosen clicks per second can be done by humans, though two hours requires training lol

Werner
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the best would be if you could do a parallel test of some switches to reduce the time you are watching the clicking.

Lazy-R-us
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I don’t know if you have already built your test rig, but you might consider using a motor with a cam to activate the switch. Solenoids have a tendency to move very quickly and you may wind up breaking the plastic portion of the switch with the constant hammering rather than testing the electrical characteristics. It might be easier to build as well.

Lazy-R-us

pflexpro
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Werner wrote:
the best would be if you could do a parallel test of some switches to reduce the time you are watching the clicking.

The light meter will be watching for me..I’m sure I will hear something different if a switch fails mechanically.
If it fails mechanically or electrically, the output graph will tell the tale.

Andrew2007
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It’s always going to be more difficult subjecting any product to an accelerated test of real life conditions when an operation of the switch and another one so quickly will have an accumultive effect with a build up of heat.

In real life you could operate the switch a number of times very quickly to cycle through the modes and at other times it might just be on or off minutes apart, it’s not easy to replicate but subjecting it to the worst conditions possible will definitely be a good test.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Silly

pflexpro
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Let’s take a vote.

I believe that fast cycling at 5A will represent normal cycling at higher amps.
I am a little concerned about 4 clicks per second along with 5A may be too destructive.

Everyone let me know what you think.

Should the current be set lower?
Should the clicks be set slower?
Will this current and click rate cause all of the switches to fail early? An early electrical failure will not give a good representation to the mechanical ‘latching’ portion of the switch.
Should we expect more than 20,000 clicks?
All switches will be ‘playing on the same field’, so I still think the better switches will survive longer, but I don’t want to fry them with only a few hundred clicks.

Give numbers with your vote, so I can base the test on popular opinion.
Reply with something like ’4A with 2 clicks per second’ (I really don’t want to go slower than 2 clicks per second)

Rufusbduck
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Post 143 in toftys 10A switch thread.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

jhalb
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Then, if applicable, test one of the switches that did survive until they enter failure mode. Multiply that number by 1.5, that will give you actual life rating of the switch. Or, what an actual user would expect to see before failure mode.

Andrew2007
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I wouldn’t set the current lower, infact I would set it higher than 5A.

8,9 or 10A would be good as that’s what they could see in a modded light. If you run the test at 4A or 5A we’ll still be left wondering what they’re capable of when they’re really pushed.

Two clicks a second is probably the speed you could operate the switch yourself so I think that’s good.

If the overall time of the test is a concern as you’re going to have to observe it then there’s nothing to stop you from from running it for 1/2, 1, or 2 hour’s, then letting them cool down and then continuing the test the next day. I don’t think it’s important to have a continuous test without any pauses.

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