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Hi All

I work for a company that manufactures oceangraphic weather buoys.  These buoys have electronics inside that sometimes require an external on/off switch (bulkhead).  We have 2 or 3 way to achieve this, but there has to be a better/cheaper way.  Do any of you know of a switch like a toggle, rocker, push button, and magnetic that is rugget seals to Xpsi and my be low profile, and most of reliable.





Unfortunately, reliable and cheap are rarely used in the same sentence.

I would try a military standard push button switch (toggle switches have a high profile).  Try calling your neareast ARROW ELECTRONICS or TTI distributor and ask for an applications support engineer who has switch expertise.  To be rugged enough, the switch and associated bulkhead seal should exceed an ingress protection level IP69 per IEC 529.  The switch should have a flexible environmental boot over the button to seal the button from the outside world.  If the internal circuitry is hermetically-sealed then it should conform to IP69.  Unfortunately, many mil-specs don't yet reference IP levels so you may have to weed through the specs to see if the switch will meet the environment.  It is most important that the switch's internal "guts" be hermetically sealed and that the moving button be completely sealed from the outside.  You may need to worry about the UV-stability of the boot if the switch will be in the sun for 12hrs/day on average.  Assume solar flux (visible, IR, UVA and UVB components) of 1120W/sqm from the sun MIL-STD-810F Method 505.3 when doing the UV stability assessment.  The switch should also pass salt spray, salt fog, sand and dust, rain, and icing.  You can use the guidelines of MIL-STD-810F to derive the environment.

Another thing to try is to ask the USCG if they can recommend any switches for this environment.

Hope this helps.  If the switch is not "cheaper" as you so desire, then think about the consequences of a switch failure.  Then think again about costs!

I'd find the switch for you but I don't have access to military and industry specs (I'm at home).


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