This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) is rockin’ and rollin’ – it’s Suntsu’s Rugged Foot Switches. These switches are designed for use in guitar ‘stomp box’ effects pedals, so they are very rugged and reliable with smooth activation.
Most of the time, when engineers are adding pushbuttons to a design, they’re doing something like adding tactile switches such as these 6mm square ones or these panel-mount arcade switches. These buttons are available in a variety of different mounting types and sizes. However, they are still really only meant for use with hands or fingers (or noses!) – soft human bits with precision sensory feedback to keep from over-mashing the switch.
But sometimes our hands are busy and we need foot control. Most popularly, cars use feet for controlling speed and break so that both hands can be used for navigation or shifting. Or, sewing machines often have foot-pedal speed and mode switches that use foot and need angle. Likewise sometimes electronic or mechatronic devices can benefit from having a non-‘digital’ input. Some folks may consider using voice activation but most folks feet are very adept and fast enough.
The suggested uses from Suntsu are:
- Guitar foot pedals – Hey, by the way, did you know that Digi-Key has a whole section devoted to Guitar Parts? How cool is that?
- Sewing machines
- Tattoo guns
- Medical bed controls
- Soldering machines
- Industrial machinery controls
So while these fancy and durable buttons are famous for their guitar pedal use cases, they can also be great for any industrial / robotic uses where reliability and hands-free use is important. The first time we saw one of these is in a dictation system (where the person types and uses the switch to play and pause the audio).
These foot switches come in a few different configurations, but we’re the biggest fans of the 2388-SSWFS-S01-AE11-HWH-C25-ND version with a JST XH connector for quick plug-n-play. And, if the switch does eventually get damaged, it’s user replaceable. Bonus, our order even came with a matching socket connector!
All of the Suntsu foot pedal switches are in stock now for immediate shipment – in this case it’s a Digi-Key Marketplace product, which means it will be shipped direct from Suntsu – we got ours in just a few days and it came in a cool packaging box with the motto “Helping tech companies create kickass products!” – and who are we to argue?
See on Digikey.com at https://www.digikey.com/short/ccnp0780