Picture of Tilt Activated Switch
It's a 3 position SPDT switch that closes (on) when tilted. Made with 3 pieces of plastic, a washer, and three machine screws + nuts. I made this switch as a hack for a cheap r/c car controller, inspired by the wiimote controlled car.

I just realized, this can also double as a pedometer or a shake sensor

See the Hand Motion Controlled R/C Car Instructable

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
two #8-32 machine screw, 3/4" long
four #8-32 machine screw nuts
one #10-32 machine screw, 3/4" long
two #10-32 machine screw nuts
a sheet of 1/8" thick TRANSPARENT plastic, lexan or acrylic can be found in home depot
a washer, 5/8" wide on the outside, with a 3/8" hole in the middle

a 1-1/2" doorknob hole saw (it's a special drill bit, see picture)
a 1" forstner drill bit (or flat wood bit but i am not sure if it works)
a drill, drill press is best, and some standard drill bits
metal files, a thin round one and a larger flat one
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unique15109 months ago

hey frank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! can u plzzzzzzzzzzzzz............... tell it is only a circular thing with holes in it?????????????

wazalac182 years ago
i think he used 3 screws so he can switch it anyway he tilt it. (may it be counter/clockwise)
diy_bloke3 years ago
great idea. Not entirely sure why you need 3 screws rather than 2.

you could make it more versatile by just using 1 through screw and one bolt that has it's head in the space between the discs. You then would not need to dril additional holes for various switching positions. Just put it in th eright position and tigthen the center screw
so basically it works like a normal switch excepy like a see saw.....i want to make one for a project
frank26080115 (author) 3 years ago
LOL this Instructable got featured today but it was published back in 2007!
so... would it be possible to make a wireless "in-air" kind of mouse with this? that'd be cool! or hang this from a string with a pulley connected to the ceiling for a really unique switch!
this kind of switch would make a very crude and jerky mouse(it only has on or off) a better idea for a tilt controlled mouse would be the tube with a ball bearing and a strip of resistive material(like a slider pot). that way it moves faster the more you tilt it.
frank26080115 (author)  technodude927 years ago
Me and my friend are experimenting with a resistor consisting of two strips of paper covered in pencil, the paper will be rolled up and there will be a conductive roller inside, this is to make a crude accelerometer
How about this: Take a round plastic box, like a snuff box, put a metal disk on the bottom so that it not quite touches the edges, securing it with an electrical contact screw in the center of the box and the disk. Take a piece of electricaly conductive plastic foam (Anti static foam used for shipping ICs etc.) and cut a strip that fits around the inside wall of the snuff box. Secure the foam with two electrical contact screws, leaving a small gap between the ends of the foam. Drop in a marble sized steel ball bearing and allow it to roll around making contact between the disk and the foam making a tilt sensing pot or resistor.
ill work on somthing that would do that ok..
that'd be tight!
I have had some luck creating a very crude and simple in air mouse using a joystick (this one actually has a builtin tilt sensor) and using a software driver which enables you to use a joystick to controll your mouse functions. I guess doing something like this is easier than learning how to program a microcontroller. Though I guess code for this must be easily findable on the net.
bman NyXx7 years ago
Whats the driver? I've been looking for something like that forever.
NyXx bman7 years ago
look for something called joystick2mouse: http://atzitznet.no-ip.org/Joy2Mouse3/
bman NyXx7 years ago
why did you make 2 rings in step 4? i only see one being used... maybe i'm not understanding something.
frank26080115 (author)  hongkongfong8 years ago
i made two switches, you only need 1 ring per switch
apple is making a mouse that uses accelerometers.

if somebody can program a microcontroller to out put data like a mouse, i guess it can be done.
I dont understand wats the use of the ring can anyone explain it to me
you tilt the thing, the ring touch the center screw and one of the side screws, that's it, you have a tilt sensor.
Jedrokivich4 years ago
Clever! Almost as good as a mercury tilt switch, and can be modified to suit your needs.
bertus52x114 years ago
This is very smart!
Neodudeman7 years ago
It's the same table he uses to chop up his murder victims.
i see it is blood
...in a word... WOW!
astro boy5 years ago
 man this is awesome just what i needed thanks. : D
anakuron6 years ago
super! what a great idea! and what's best, really cheap. thanks for sharing
nice idea, thanks
dean-1017 years ago
does this mean the washer will always be hitting one of the other screws or if you tilt it enough will it be out of contact with both screws
frank didnt quite seem to understand what you were talking about and no as long as you use a washer that is not as wide as the screws are apart it wont touch and even if it would that would mean you did it wrong and they would always touch from then on
frank26080115 (author)  dean-1017 years ago
there will be moments when the washer is disconnected due to vibration, but for purposes that does not require precision, this is ok.
QwertyuioLP7 years ago
can u do it wirelessly?
what do you mean by wirelessly?
casey321b6 years ago
doesnt seem like too much work. i dont see what the deal is with the other guys but i was wondering could i do this with cardboard instead of plastic? ill probly stick with plastic but i was planning on using nails instead of screws and just some how fastening them on the other side
ootsae6 years ago
Seems like a lot work but, no mercury and it looks great.
Kydoes6 years ago
Sorry but the solution for all this hard work was created long ago. It's called a mercury switch. ;)
hondagofast7 years ago
Is that blood or a stain on the table?
frank26080115 (author)  hondagofast7 years ago
yes, and my body is made of wood see if you get that joke
HaHa That means its a stain?
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