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Toggle switch protection options


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As most of y'all may know, my project is an all electric bird (Velocity SE) with a rotary engine. Since if I loose power things get quite I am using Bob Knuckls' duel alternator/duel battery set up. What I am curious about is the switches in the cabin. Currently I have all the switches up high on the panel a bit right of center towards the co-pilot position. I hope to not have a passanger who would inadvertanlty flip a switch down and off, HOWEVER, you never know what may get tangled or a stray move may flip a switch. If my coil switch or primary injectors get switched off I will start sweating. Also, I don't really mind the switches where they are, but I do have a couple of other places I would like them, but I placed them here as to minimize being bumped.


My question is what other options do I have to either guard against accidental deactivation. I have purchased a couple of aviation locking toggles from ebay, but they are kinda small and may not be up for the task (but at $13.00 for twoI couldn't go too wrong...they may work for my coil switch and primary fuel). The regular priced DPDT (for my contactors and injectors) seem to start at close to $60.00 a piece...a bit much for my police salary if other options will surfice.


I have also considered installing some of the switch guards you see in old nuclear missle bunker movies that they would open to expose the firing buttons for the big ol' missles. I considered installing them upside down (which is really easy) so that they are on when the cover is closed thus making the switch impossible to turn off by mistake. This seems really fool proof, however, the guards, while cheap, are pretty big and do not look all that, well, elligant.


Also, I was watching the Astronaut Farmer last night on PPV and saw the little hard wire loops that where installed next to the switches on each side of the individual switches in his space capsule and this reminded me of the ones NASA used to use....maybe still do. Donno. These seem to be just half circles that make grabbing the switch very deliberate and minimizes potential knocks. Finally, it seems as if I have seen bars held in by springs that lay across a series of switches to keep them in place.


What say ye? Insight? Wisdom? Warnings? Observations? WAG's?




All the best,


Chris Barber



crossed posted on Reflector, FlyRotary, Aeroelectric Connection email list & Canard Aviation forum

Christopher Barber

Velocity SE/FG w/yoke. Zoom, zoom, zoom.



Live with Passion...

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There are a couple of good ways to do it. If it is a few critical switches that you don't want people to grab or for you to inadvertantly grab, use these




Normal operation would be with the guard down which physically pushes the switch to the down position. After you park the plane, you would lift the guard then flip the switch up. In-flight----guard down (switch on).


Another good way is with locking switches where you have to lift the switch to get it over a detent. Similar to these (http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/elpages/racbezelswitches.php)


(some expensive ones---http://www.steinair.com/switches.htm)

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From your description, what you want is a ON/OFF/ON SPDT toggle switch. What you used to have was a ON/OFF/(ON) toggle switch.


The new switch will allow you to flip up or down to go all the way up or down. You can switch it to center to stop either the up travel or down travel.


Infinity gives great descriptions on sticks and common combinations of switches on sticks at this site:



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