Select the tactile switch suitable for your design needs.Follow article
Switches are necessary to operate most equipment. In particular, tactile switches are used in a wide variety of applications, such as ICT, automotive, and consumer equipment. The most common terminology used in the general market for these components would be tactile switch or momentary push switch, however Panasonic has uses the name, "Light Touch Switch".
In order to properly select a switch, one should focus on the "stroke” (travel) distance as a key parameter for the switch. The travel of a switch indicates the push depth distance traveled when the switch is turned ON, as shown in Figure 1 below. As you can see, this is the full travel distance covered from the original position of the push plate to the final position where it is fully depressed.
The push depth can be categorized into three areas such as "short travel", "medium travel", and "long travel" which is illustrated in Figure 2. Panasonic classifies short travel distance switches as 0.10 to 0.25 mm, medium travel as 0.30 to 0.90 mm, and long travel as 1.0 mm or more. The travel distance and physical dimensions of the switch itself usually have a direct proportional relationship as a longer travel length will require an appropriately longer push-in distance accordingly. Therefore, the size of the longer travel switch must be larger to accommodate this distance.
▼General category of travel distance
An explanation to determine which travel switch is appropriate to select can be found through the following examples.
【Short travel switches】
Short travel switches excel in in applications which require the switch to be operated quickly and continuously. These switches are also suitable for devices that require rapid operation and those which desire a low profile design.
【Medium travel switches】
Medium travel switch is comfortable to operate especially if operated frequently, so they are recommended for computer mouse and remote controls including video game controllers.
【Long travel switches】
Long travel switches do not turn on unless they are pressed securely which prevents accidental unintentional operations. Therefore, these long travel switches are recommended for home appliances and products featured inside of vehicles.
Now that we have introduced the features and applications of switch travel, it should also be worthwhile to note that the operation direction, mounting method, operation variation, and operation feeling suitable for the application and equipment should also be considered as important selection criteria.
Panasonic has a wide variety of products with different shapes and characteristics, which provides many options for switches suitable for almost all design needs.
Please also check the specification, comparison table, and application search information that are useful in selecting products.
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