Build Your Own Tilt Switch

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About: I'm mainly interested in music, food and electronics but I like to read and learn about a lot more than that.

Tilt switches come in various forms and sizes. Well known are the mercury switches, that are obsolete in most countries now due to the hazardous metal in it. These days most mechanical tilt switches contain a metal ball that makes or breaks the contact.
 
These tilt switches are relatively cheap to buy, but in the true spirit of this building community , we'll make our own.

Step 1: What Do We Need.

We need:

 

  1. A metal ball: Look in old ball bearings, or buy a new one.
  2. A 90degr male header
  3. A piece of veroboard
  4. A tube: Mine is an acrylic tube with an inner diameter of 7mm and that is perfect for the 6mm ball
  5. Glue, solder and soldering iron

Step 2: Making It

Now that we have gathered all our materials, we can build the switch:

 

  1. Cut everything to the desired size: Cut the veroboard to the size you want and the header into two pairs. Then cut the tube so that it fit between the two headerpairs when they are inserted in theire position.
  2. Add the ball
  3. Solder and glue: Solder the headerpins to the board and glue the tube into its position.
  4. Bend the pins: I bend the pins a bit outwards as you can see in the 3th picture. Do that to insure a good contact with your ball. the wider you can get them, the more of the ball that will have contact with the pins.

Congrats!!!! You have made it!

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    9 Discussions

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    samalert

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thx for ible i tried replicating the same but i dont knw why even when the ball bearing is touching the electrodes its not lighting the LEDs to full, i literally have to push the ball to lit it fully. I sanded the ball so as to increase connection but still in vain. Have you faced similar issues?

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    janwsamalert

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    This contact isn't ideal for direct usage ( in combo with leds or somethnig else) they work best as switch for a microcontroller. I have faced the same issues indeed.

    for the plastic tube, a discarded stick pen with the ink cartridge removed. Great instructable, btw