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Author Topic: GGG micro-leaf switches  (Read 7108 times)

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Ummon

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GGG micro-leaf switches
« on: March 11, 2008, 02:23:10 am »
In a recent order, including a TT2, I got a few micro-leafs to see what they are like.

- quieter than regular cherries

- less pressure required

- probably the same travel as cherries (too much for me)

- they trigger about half-way down the stroke; cherries trigger nearly at the top. Given the length of the stroke, they end up about the same.


Overall: decent switches. I like the quiet factor but wouldn't necessarily get them for that.
Yo. Chocolate.


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Zobeid

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 12:46:50 pm »
I got my TT2 today. . .  and a couple of micro-leaf switches to evaluate.  I swapped them for a couple of standard microswitches in my HotRod controller.

The micro-leaf switches are quite a bit smaller than regular microswitches.  However, they require a bit more vertical clearance than the switches that were in the HotRod, due to the contacts being oriented vertically.  The contacts are also quite small.  The existing clips went on them okay for testing purposes.  If building a CP with these you would want to get the correct size of connectors I'm sure.

Echoing what Ummon observed. . .   The things I noticed most are the lack of clicky sounds and the much lighter spring resistance.

I was hoping these would allow me to rattle off rapid-fire bursts the way I remember doing on original Asteroids machines.  With a real leaf-switch button, if you could get the leaves almost in contact and then sort of jitter your wrist, it could cycle extremely fast.  However. . .   Looking back from today's perspective, that may be a maneuver only caffeine-and-sugar-besotted teenagers can pull off anyhow.    ::)

I didn't see any difference in my rate of fire between the regular microswitch and the micro-leaf switch.  In both cases I had the button rattling up and down in its housing, and that was what determined the fire rate.  There's no subtlety.

What surprised me was how much better the micro-leaf switch felt when controlling the ship's thruster.  It felt more smooth, effortless and precise than the regular microswitch.  So it seems that finesse is what these switches are really good for.

Regarding spring tension. . .  If you are worried about accidentally brushing against a button and triggering it, then these switches are not for you.  It can happen, they are that sensitive.  My ideal switch would be somewhere in between: more tension than the micro-leaf switch, less than the microswitch.  Given a choice between the two at hand, I'll take the micro-leaf.

It's not a slam-dunk.  I wish I could tell you these switches are for everyone, and they're definitely better than regular microswitches.  But you know, it's not a huge, dramatic difference, and it's going to come down to personal preferences.  If you have a sort of ham-fisted approach to the controls and like to really  bang on them, and you like the clicks and strong tactile feedback, then you'll prefer the regular microswitches.  If you typically have a light touch on the controls and want to finesse them, the I'm sure you'll prefer the micro-leafs.  I don't think the difference is likely to show up in your high scores either way, honestly.  They do the same job.

I still haven't tried the leaf-switch brackets that are designed to fit microswitch pushbuttons.  I'd like to give those a try sometime, if I can get my hands on them.


Ummon

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 09:25:11 pm »
Good points and details I forgot to mention or didn't think of.
Yo. Chocolate.


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Zobeid

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 10:47:25 am »
Couple of extra thoughts that I had. . . . .

The two micro-leaf switches I got aren't perfectly consistent.  One has a little stronger spring than the other.  The stronger one is just about right to me.  The weaker one I don't like so much.

Springs age and weaken when they are cycled repeatedly.  You've got to figure your typical microswitch has a stiffer-than-ideal spring when new, so it allows for aging.  They are going to be cycled hundreds of thousands of times, potentially.

These micro-leaf switches don't seem to make any allowance for that kind of aging.  Then again, they're aimed mainly at home use. . .  So they probably never will be cycled hundreds of thousands of times anyhow.


RandyT

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2008, 11:53:47 pm »
Just a note here:

The actuation point of the switch differs between different buttons.  When talking about the performance of the switches, it would be a good idea to mention the type of buttons being used (not sure where the HotRod versions came from...anyone know?)

This goes for the spring tension of the buttons as well.  Fortunately, the tension aspect is one that allows for some adjustment.  If the button feels too weak, remove the spring from the button body and extend it somewhat.  Don't go crazy, just stretch it a little at a time until you get the feel you are looking for. 

I use them with the Electric ICE buttons and that 4 shot Asteroids burst is a walk in the park.  That wall of fire in Defender is also much easier to achieve.

RandyT
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 11:55:44 pm by RandyT »

Zobeid

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here's an update. . .
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 08:31:51 pm »
Instead of stretching the springs, I found I could fold up a small cardboard spacer in the top of the button where the spring seats.  It reduces the space available for the spring and keeps it slightly more compressed.

Then I measured the force required to activate the buttons using an improvised gravimetric technique -- I stacked tokens on the buttons until they moved.  The results:

standard button with "zippy" microswitch:  16 tokens
standard button with micro-leaf switch:  6 tokens
button with cardboard spacer and micro-leaf switch:  12 tokens

That result is just about perfect for me.

I think this should work better than stretching the springs because it's something you can do more consistently to a set of buttons, it's less potentially harmful to the spring, and it's reversible.


RandyT

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Re: here's an update. . .
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2008, 10:42:22 pm »
I think this should work better than stretching the springs because it's something you can do more consistently to a set of buttons, it's less potentially harmful to the spring, and it's reversible.

Unless you plan on lighting the buttons ;)


RandyT

Zobeid

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Re: here's an update. . .
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2008, 11:42:53 pm »
I think this should work better than stretching the springs because it's something you can do more consistently to a set of buttons, it's less potentially harmful to the spring, and it's reversible.
Unless you plan on lighting the buttons ;)

How is that a problem?  I don't imagine the cardboard casting much more shadow than the spring itself did.

I suppose the most ideal answer would be a spacer made of some transparent material.  Plastic tubing?


patrickl

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 03:43:33 am »
Or get a microswitch needing a slightly higher actuation force (or slightly lower compared to your Zippy switches)
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Zobeid

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 09:27:40 am »
Or get a microswitch needing a slightly higher actuation force (or slightly lower compared to your Zippy switches)

The whole point of the exercise was to get the micro-leaf switches adjusted to my liking.  So in that respect using different switches isn't an option.


RandyT

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Re: here's an update. . .
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2008, 02:14:29 pm »
How is that a problem?  I don't imagine the cardboard casting much more shadow than the spring itself did.

I suppose the most ideal answer would be a spacer made of some transparent material.  Plastic tubing?

I think something like these would get you there without causing a shadowing issue.  They could even be stacked, if one found it necessary to do so.

RandyT

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2008, 12:07:24 am »
How good do these things work on joysticks?  I don't mind the clicking of the microswitches when buttons are pressed, but on the joysticks it may get to me after a while.  Do this things stand up to the test of time on joysticks, and do they also fit standards Happ Competition Joysticks and Ms. Pac-Man style four-ways?
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2): 35,600
3): 30,100
4): 29,400
5): 28,200

RandyT

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2008, 12:43:56 am »
How good do these things work on joysticks?  I don't mind the clicking of the microswitches when buttons are pressed, but on the joysticks it may get to me after a while.  Do this things stand up to the test of time on joysticks, and do they also fit standards Happ Competition Joysticks and Ms. Pac-Man style four-ways?

They are specifically designed to interact with one of the actuating / plunger retaining prongs on a pushbutton.  A drastically different design would be required to adapt them to a joystick.

RandyT

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2008, 10:46:53 am »
Thanks.  Saved me about $30 there.   ;D
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Ummon

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Re: GGG micro-leaf switches
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2008, 04:55:32 pm »
How good do these things work on joysticks?  I don't mind the clicking of the microswitches when buttons are pressed, but on the joysticks it may get to me after a while.  Do this things stand up to the test of time on joysticks, and do they also fit standards Happ Competition Joysticks and Ms. Pac-Man style four-ways?



They are specifically designed to interact with one of the actuating / plunger retaining prongs on a pushbutton.  A drastically different design would be required to adapt them to a joystick.

RandyT

Are you still contemplating doing a stick design for them?
Yo. Chocolate.


"Theoretical physics has been the most successful and cost-effective in all of science."

Stephen Hawking


People often confuse expressed observations with complaint, ridicule, or - even worse - self-pity.