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PICList Thread
'Designer switches'
1998\11\25@125610 by Steven Davidson

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<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>I am still looking for designer switches that
fit into a standard US single gang wall switch plate.&nbsp; I have seen these
switches in alarm systems and light dimmers, but non as standalones.&nbsp; I
talked to many of the standard suppliers of home electrical switches and alarm
systems, and the ones that do use them, they are custom made ($150 for a single
gang with 4 switches).&nbsp; I have searched the WEB, all the catalogs at the
electrical and electronic suppliers, Digi-key, etc.&nbsp; No such luck.&nbsp;
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>I am now using the standard drill a hole and mount a
pushbutton switch.&nbsp; My wife says they look like a airplane cock-pit.&nbsp;
I have to agree, they are ugly.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Ideally I need four monetary and two push on push off in a
single gang plate.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Any help would be appreciated.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Thanks.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Steve</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>PS&nbsp; E-mail me directly and I will summarize the results,
if any.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2><A
href=""></A></FONT></DIV>> <DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000
size=2>----------------------------------------------------------<BR>Steven M.
Davidson<BR>Department of Commerce<BR>NTIA/ITS<BR>325 Broadway<BR>Boulder,&nbsp;
CO&nbsp; 80303<BR>W 303-497-3411<BR>Fax&nbsp; 303-497-6982<BR><A


1998\11\25@131136 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
I've no idea what a US standard wall mount plate is like but there are
several manufacturers in Europe who make modular switches (and not only)
and they have catalogs.

At least one (Gewiss) has got all sorts of things that are unrelated to
lighting and plug into their modular frames (including speakers,
nightlights, timers and whatnot). The frames are single or multiple
modular wall mount plates and the swicthes etc pop into them with plastic

I guess you should be able to buy all that for less than $129 per place.

Gewiss is in Italy at:

hope this helps,


1998\11\25@131339 by David Blain

picon face
Here is a link to a home automation site that sells Switches with X-10
controllers that fit into a single gang box.  They let you buy just the
switch part (no X-10 controller) that has a single 8 pin header that should
not be too hard to figure out the pinout.  They offer a wide variety from 1
switch to 4 with LED status lights.  It uses a standard Decora Wall Plate

       The 4 switch with LED's costs $16.95US... Not cheap but better than $150

I have never tried to connect a PIC to any of these, but I thought it was
worth mentioning.

Just my 2 cents.


{Original Message removed}

1998\11\25@164834 by paulb

Steven Davidson wrote:

> I am now using the standard drill a hole and mount a pushbutton
> switch.  My wife says they look like a airplane cock-pit.  I have to
> agree, they are ugly.

 Please recall that all these switches, volume controls etc. are meant
to be mounted to a (metal) plate and an escutcheon plate, suitably
drilled, placed over this.  That's how it happened, oh, 50 years ago!

 For a wall plate, you use a blank with a metal or plastic mounting
plate screwed to the rear (the right plate should have the holes for
this already) without penetrating; the switches are mounted to this and
the actuators project through holes in the plastic escutcheon.

 Easy!  (Albeit - you have to do some work on it!)
       Paul B.

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