The Enigma Switch Box





Introduction: The Enigma Switch Box

About: Electromechanical Engineer, Product Designer, Maker. I love to make prototypes and teach others in the process. I graduated from UCF and spent two years working at NASA.

I was fortunate enough to obtain a very large collection of switches, buttons, knobs, and potentiometers from nearby closing RadioShacks. I made this switch board into a puzzle by attaching a battery and wiring the switches so that only a certain combination would turn on the lights. It is a very simple project and would be a great "busy board" for young children.

Step 1: Assembly

After the video, I made the puzzle much more difficult to solve. I made use of the 11 position selector switch and the potentiometer. The light will only turn on if the selector switch is pointed in a certain direction, the potentiometer is turned all the way to the right and a specific sequence of toggle switches are triggered. You can make this surprisingly difficult. My current wiring allows for 45056 combinations and only one of them triggers the lights. Start off by deciding where to put your battery and then cutting holes in your enclosure for the switches and buttons. Solder everything up and get as creative as you want. That's it!

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    19 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Awesome! I'm a fan of the "because I can" projects, this one looks entertaining!

    1 reply

    It would be a perfect lock for any electronic project !
    Thanks for sharing. :-)

    What did u hook up all the switches to so that only a certain pattern turns on the light?

    It's a "busy board" for young kids that is also a puzzle with 45056 combinations.

    Glad to see someone else made out well in a RadioShack closing. I pretty much bought everything they had left in EVERY parts bin, including the parts bins themselves! In my local store they were selling all components for 90% off. It felt so wrong paying what I paid and leaving with so much stuff.

    Well, I knew that day would come soon. Radioshack is so damn expensive that I only use it for emergencies (like a new stereo jack).

    You should add something like this: Three LEDs, controlled by a microcontroller, that turn on in order giving you clues as to how to solve the puzzle. When you have the first one third of the switches correct, the first LED turns on, when you have the next 66.7% of it solved, then the second LED turns on, and when you have solved the puzzle, all three LEDs are on. This could be done with an Arduino board or even something smaller!

    I love turning on and off switches so ill probably make this puzzle. Gread idea. Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    I think this could be a really fun anti-theft device on my jeep. Thank you.

    1 reply

    Thank you. I basically just daisy chained all the switches together and added an extra light.