Switch Design Issues?

Okay, so I've been working on a prop for a Team Fortress 2 Medic costume, and I've run into a fairly major problem with the wiring of the Medigun. I have everything figured out, except the triggering mechanism for most of the LEDs. In-game, the "trigger" is a pivoting handle, such as one that operates a valve on a firehose.

The problem is that I have no idea how to find/install a switch that will activate when the lever (indicated below) is pushed forward. I'm still trying to decide how to install the switch, but as long as the switch is active through a given angle, the installation shouldn't be too difficult to negotiate. Another problem is finding appropriate switches with low actuation forces, but that's an entirely different issue.

So, where could I buy that sort of switch, or barring that, how can I make one that will hold up decently well?

Thanks in advance!

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kelseymh6 years ago
What Caitlinsdad said about an "inline rotary switch":

Use a selector knob (like an old-school channel selector for a TV set). Take the knob part off and use the center-pin as the lever axle on one site. Tie some of the "forward" contacts together so once the lever passes some position (like half way), the LEDs turn on.

Here's one from RadioShack: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062536
bensciguy (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
This one seems to be the winner. This switch is nigh-on perfect, and cheap to boot. A little tooling to improve the design a bit, and it should do nicely. Thanks!
appolo6 years ago
Probably your easiest method is that sudgested by caitlinsdad already. A store that stocks home alarm components would have a door alarm contact set which will provide your magnet and read switch. Just carefully remove them from their plastic housings... dead simple to work into your project without to much engineering as both components are quite small. Just take care with the reed switch as they are quite delicate!!
nice way...thanks for sharing...
Goodhart6 years ago
There are switch/pot combos that might be usable, OR there are rotation type switches for lamps etc but inline versions too.
caitlinsdad6 years ago
You could get a reed switch and then embed a magnet somewhere on the handle. When it get's close enough, it will activate the switch. You could also do with some kind of pushbutton switch pressed by some nub on the handle or have an inline rotary switch as part of the handle pivot point. Good luck.