(Topic ID: 173513)

Cherry Microswitches in WMS games


By Pinballer73

2 years ago



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  • 36 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 62 days ago by G-P-E
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders

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    DB (resized).jpg
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    #1 2 years ago

    Looking for some helpful advice in selecting replacement Cherry micro switches for replacements in WMS 90's games.

    The Cherry part number for the original switches was DA3C-B1AA. Unfortunately these are no longer available. The tech details for these switches were as follows...

    Switch Series - DA3C-B1AA

    EN Rating - 0.1(0.5A) 50VAC

    UL Rating - 0.1A 125VAC

    VDE Min Ops - 50,000

    UL Min Ops - 100,000

    Max Operating Force (gms) - 90gms

    The question I have is the operating force figure. I've seen it written elsewhere that this figure is the force required to operate the switch contacts. However when you read the above information, taken directly from the Cherry catalogue, it states as I've copied above "Maximum Operating Force".

    The full catalogue can be found here...

    http://www.mouser.com/catalog/supplier/library/pdf/Cherryswitches.pdf

    Here in Australia, I've been able to locate a DB3C-B1AA switch, which has a Max Operating Force of 150gms. I've seen other restorers here on Pinside use that same switch in their restorations. However Pinball Life offers the DB5C-B1AA switch, which is rated at 70gms.

    Has anyone had any experience with the various types of these switches? Can I use a switch with a higher operating force rating and be assured the switch is going to operate each and every time when installed in the game?

    #2 2 years ago

    Isn't the actual arm used on the switch of concern? There are dozens of different arms on (often) the same, or only a few, switches?

    -2
    #3 2 years ago

    Honestly, the 'operating force' is unnecessary - a metal ball (even a ceramic ball like a powerball) will supply PLENTY of force, no matter what the operating force.

    Any microswitch should work - the latest version is the D3B, I believe, but it's been a while since I looked.

    #4 2 years ago

    Here is some further information straight from the CHERRY catalogue. This one details the original DA3 micro switch that was originally used and is now no longer available.

    DA3 (resized).jpg

    #5 2 years ago

    This one details the DB Series of mirco switches and as you can see there is a variety available.

    DB (resized).jpg

    #6 2 years ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    Isn't the actual arm used on the switch of concern? There are dozens of different arms on (often) the same, or only a few, switches?

    There are dozens of arms/actuators and they do greatly effect the force required to operate the switch. I am looking at the bare switch without any actuator at all. The details above are all related to switches without any actuator installed. Basically replacements for the switch body only.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from Coyote:

    Honestly, the 'operating force' is unnecessary - a metal ball (even a ceramic ball like a powerball) will supply PLENTY of force, no matter what the operating force.
    Any microswitch should work - the latest version is the D3B, I believe, but it's been a while since I looked.

    That's what I am trying to determine. Pinball Life list their DB5 switch as a direct replacement for the DA3 switch. However I have seen restorers here on Pinside use the DB3 switch. I'm hoping someone with experience of these switches installed in a game can chime in.

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from Coyote:

    Honestly, the 'operating force' is unnecessary - a metal ball (even a ceramic ball like a powerball) will supply PLENTY of force, no matter what the operating force.
    Any microswitch should work - the latest version is the D3B, I believe, but it's been a while since I looked.

    I actually found the switch in GBLE on the left ramp to be too stiff. About 20% of ramp shots weren't counting, usually very fast shots. I replaced the switch with a lighter trigger switch and it's now 100%. Now, Stern's arm/blade choice was bad as well, but adjusting it caused slow roller balls to hang up, so it was definitely a combined issue of switch stiffness and the blade choice. Either one being a better choice would have mitigated the problem. I prefer a lighter trigger switch to ensure that very fast shots still trigger reliably.

    #9 2 years ago

    Again - the mounting method, case, is identical. The only difference is the electrical ratings. And honestly, if you're worried about puttin' 100v through that switch, you have bigger issues with your switch matrix.

    Find the cheapest switch body you can from local electronics stores - DB1 through DB7. The ONLY thing that matters is the "-AA" for the actuator type, and the "-B1" for the terminal type. Operating temp won't matter, unless you plan on playing your machine in Space or on the Sun.

    Other than that, the switch body is exact between the models so there's no difference in mounting or wiring. Take the old metal actuator off the old switch, pop it onto the new one, and you're good to go. Note that there are two locations for the actuator to mount - replace it in the same one for the same result (though, not necessary of you want to move it.)

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from Coyote:

    Again - the mounting method, case, is identical. The only difference is the electrical ratings. And honestly, if you're worried about puttin' 100v through that switch, you have bigger issues with your switch matrix.
    Find the cheapest switch body you can from local electronics stores - DB1 through DB7. The ONLY thing that matters is the "-AA" for the actuator type, and the "-B1" for the terminal type. Operating temp won't matter, unless you plan on playing your machine in Space or on the Sun.
    Other than that, the switch body is exact between the models so there's no difference in mounting or wiring. Take the old metal actuator off the old switch, pop it onto the new one, and you're good to go. Note that there are two locations for the actuator to mount - replace it in the same one for the same result (though, not necessary of you want to move it.)

    Thanks I appreciate your reply. So you think the "Max Force Rating" is irrelevant?

    Jar155 in the post above explains the difference well.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from jar155:

    I actually found the switch in GBLE on the left ramp to be too stiff. About 20% of ramp shots weren't counting, usually very fast shots. I replaced the switch with a lighter trigger switch and it's now 100%. Now, Stern's arm/blade choice was bad as well, but adjusting it caused slow roller balls to hang up, so it was definitely a combined issue of switch stiffness and the blade choice. Either one being a better choice would have mitigated the problem. I prefer a lighter trigger switch to ensure that very fast shots still trigger reliably.

    Thanks, that's the feedback I was looking for. I've read elsewhere that others have found similar issues with higher rated Max Force Rating switches. Hearing what others are using is interesting.

    In Bryan Kelly's TAF restoration thread he shows a picture of DB3 switches and talks about building up 100 at a time. Once I read that, it cast doubt in my mind as to what is the CORRECT switch to use.

    #13 2 years ago

    Yeah.
    A wrong actuator, (or badly-designed one..?) can cause ball misses (or hangups).

    If the actuator is installed on the close mounting tabs, it increases the force necessary but increases the range needed to actuate the switch. When mounted on the far tabs, the force needed is dropped considerably, but the motion of the actuator is limited. (Physics, baby!)

    A wrong actuator, or actuator mounted in the wrong position for the application can cause issues, definitely. Personally, I don't see that as a fault of the switch itself.

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from Coyote:

    Yeah.
    A wrong actuator, (or badly-designed one..?) can cause ball misses (or hangups).
    If the actuator is installed on the close mounting tabs, it increases the force necessary but increases the range needed to actuate the switch. When mounted on the far tabs, the force needed is dropped considerably, but the motion of the actuator is limited. (Physics, baby!)
    A wrong actuator, or actuator mounted in the wrong position for the application can cause issues, definitely. Personally, I don't see that as a fault of the switch itself.

    Yes I agree with that logic. However between the DB5 and the DB1/3 switches there is double the force required. Surely there must be some applications in games where this will be an issue?

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballer73:

    Yes I agree with that logic. However between the DB5 and the DB1/3 switches there is double the force required. Surely there must be some applications in games where this will be an issue?

    Kinda doubt it. I mean, I'm not familiar with every. single. game. out there, but look at the weight of a pinball (or ceramic ball, like the powerball)..

    I replaced all the switches in my TZ with DB3's I got in bulk from Digikey (far cheaper than pinball life for the qty I ordered..) and haven't had an issue so far. But again, each game is different.

    #16 2 years ago

    Db3 are fine

    #17 2 years ago

    Has anyone used DB2 switches? I can source those locally at a very good price, they have a contact rating of 10A and a max operating force of 250gms.

    8 months later
    #18 1 year ago

    Lets resurrect this old thread It is still very relevant for me.
    In my experience DB3 is fine for most cases, except where the actuator arm is very short or the ball needs to clear the switch from a slow speed. For example, DB3 switches won't do well in a Stern trough because a resting ball won't start rolling when resting on a switch.

    I have been searching for a replacement switch for those rare cases where DB3 gives problems. This is what I found:
    Correct switch:
    Subminiature DA series http://www.mouser.com/catalog/supplier/library/pdf/Cherryswitches.pdf
    DA3CB1AA (AA = no lever, 90gms operating force = 0.9N)
    DA series is now obsolete. Also, In 2016, ZF bought Cherry.
    http://switches-sensors.zf.com/us/product/subminiature-db/

    Alternative:
    C&K
    LC series: http://www.ckswitches.com/media/1360/lc.pdf
    LCGDF5P00HCU
    for example:
    https://www.digikey.nl/product-detail/en/c-k/LCGDF5P00HCU/LCGDF5P00HCU-ND/3753656
    Would need a large order to make it affordable. The only difference with DA series is that it has a shorter 'overtravel'.

    Non-suitable alternatives:
    Cherry/ZF
    DB series. Although DB2 has a lower activation force, it also has a shorter lifespan (less cycles).

    Hartmann
    MBF5A

    Marquardt
    1050 series (for example 1050.1102)

    Conclusion: No easy alternative. LCGDF5P00HCU is the best match but is not available anywhere, a large order from C&K might make this feasible.

    #19 1 year ago

    I'm interested in joining an order if you want to enquire about the availability and cost.

    #20 1 year ago

    Best price indication I could find so far:
    https://www.onlinecomponents.com/c-k-components-lcgdf5p00hcu.html?p=11121390&ref=ECIAFeed

    I ordered a variant of this switch earlier, the LCGDF5A10LCU, so I could compare it to the Cherry switch. I have not installed it into a machine yet but I think it is a suitable replacement. I just don't want to pay 10 euro per switch like I did then.

    #21 1 year ago

    The db3 switch replacements used a special lever that had a round indentation on the blade

    I have 50,000 switches and blades work perfect been making up all the different replacements switches for over 10 years

    #22 1 year ago

    The Honeywell ZM series seems to be a good replacement for the DA series for its low activation force, but it has fixed levers. You would have to find the variant with the matching lever. ZM10B70F01 seems to be a fitting replacement for rollerblade switches, such as the Stern trough switches.
    I'm going to try it later.

    I'm still polling suppliers about LCGDF5P00HCU but no luck so far.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from lyonsden:

    Would this work: https://www.arrow.com/en/products/db3c-a1ba/zf-electronics
    $0.72 each (no lever), free shipping

    The DB3 series requires a high activation force of about 150gms. For most cases, DB3 is ok. We are looking for an alternative for the cases where it is not ok.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from jrcw:

    The DB3 series requires a high activation force of about 150gms. For most cases, DB3 is ok. We are looking for an alternative for the cases where it is not ok.

    Ah -- missed that part of the thread.

    1 month later
    #26 1 year ago

    I got a pack of ZM10B70F01 Honeywell Basic / Snap Action Switches from Mouser
    http://nl.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?r=785-ZM10B70F01

    these require a *very* light actuator force. Ideal for replacing switches in Stern troughs. No balls getting stuck on the roller lever.

    Unfortunately these have a fixed lever so you need to find the version with the correct lever if you need it elsewhere. See the datasheet for options.

    I am going to try the LCGDF5P00HCU later, this should be a proper replacement for all other switches. Hard to get and expensive unfortunately...
    https://www.onlinecomponents.com/c-k-components-lcgdf5p00hcu.html?p=11121390&ref=ECIAFeed

    #27 1 year ago

    Very interested in what you find. I have also replaced switches and found that they can be quite different.
    I had to bend the original actuator arm that I moved to the new switch to make it work.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from jrcw:

    The DB3 series requires a high activation force of about 150gms. For most cases, DB3 is ok. We are looking for an alternative for the cases where it is not ok.

    The colour of the button is the force. Green yellow and white

    7 months later
    #29 1 year ago

    Bringing this back to life.

    This DB switch at Digikey indicates it just needs 60 gf: https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/zf-electronics/DB3CB1LB/CH880-ND/1083873

    11 months later
    #30 70 days ago

    I'm still interested in this thread. Any conclusions on the best switch after all this analysis? I don't like using the current available DB5's as I don't like having the bend blades after installing a new switch, it can make the trip wire stick up too high. Whats the best alternative source for the DA3's or DB3's ?

    #31 69 days ago

    No easy answer.
    First -- the DA3CB1AA had a "button" force of 90 grams.
    The replacement series is DB3CB1AA which has a "button" force of 150gr.
    The DB5 has a "button" force of 70 gr.
    What max force really should be is anybody's guess.

    The plain DB3CB1AA is a button type switch with no actuator provided. It expects the user to provide or reuse the existing actuator.
    The DB3CB1LB mentioned above is the exact same switch but with an actuator preinstalled. This actuator is what drops the button force from 150gr to about 62gr... and the actuator that is installed is probably not the one you want anyways.

    There is no Cherry (ZF) direct replacement for the original DA3's but the DB's are closest, electrically. C&K switches have three options for actuation force. The C&K LCGD part would have been a better choice except these have been obsoleted and are no longer available.

    Low current switches (i.e. DB3C) tend to have a lower 'on' resistance than the higher current switches (i.e. DB5C) and are more suited for switch matrixes. Downside to low current switches -- they cannot be used for high current locations such as directly controlling flippers (although some people try this anyways).
    The higher current switches (i.e. DB5C) tend to have a higher 'on' resistance than the lower current switches and are not intended for switch matrixes. Tradeoff -- higher button force versus higher switch resistance. Problem with the ZF switches -- they no longer post the 'on' resistance for their switches.

    #32 69 days ago

    Thanks for the reply Ed. Personally I'm looking for the switch with no blade actuator, would be even better if it had the diode installed but not a deal-breaker. Haven't been able to find any DA3's so if I dare summarize, sounds like the DB3 is the closest. Has anyone tried these ? Any feedback on the force? Did the blades need adjustment?I tried the DB5 but found I always had to adjust the blade to make it work, not that that's a huge problem but would prefer more of a plug and play situation.

    #33 63 days ago

    I had some trouble with correct switches on an Austin Powers - balls couldn't run down the through, as pressure wasn't sufficient to press the actuator down, so I agree with anyone wanting Cherry's with the appropriate activation force. At the moment I'm looking for replacement to 5647-12693-32, - 33 and -34 for my Theatre of Magic. These are sitting before the trapdoor and mine are somewhat lazy or just tired, so I'm ordering new ones. I don't mind experimenting, so I'm trying out this one https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/microswitches/0517567/ for testing. It's without the actuator, but I'll just use the old ones as they are okay.

    It is a European vendor, but I reckon you'll find it in the States too. If anyone is interested in the result, give me a ping.

    Anyone with a comment on the difference between 5647-12693-32, 5647-12693-33 and 5647-12693-34 or their experience replacing them?

    #34 62 days ago

    The one in the RS-Online link is simply a DB3C.
    Without the actuator -- DB3C-B1AA
    These can be found in the US at several places such as here:
    https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=DB3C-B1AA

    The difference between -32, -33, -34? Just the actuator.

    #35 62 days ago

    So the DB3C-B1AA is about 62 grams of force with the actuator, what were the original DA3's force with the actuator? Being pinball machine switches only use actuators that's the number I think that matters. I didn't have good luck with the DB5's from P.L.

    #36 62 days ago

    You can't just say 'using the actuator' for a comparison as each actuator reduces the force differently depending on overall length.
    The DB3C-B1AA is the no actuator version. It is a different part number to get the ones with an actuator and the actuator from the factory is most probably not what you will be using.

    To compare apples to apples --
    DA3 with no actuator = 90 grams.
    DB3 with no actuator = 150 grams (full part number DB3C-B1AA or DB3CB1AA).
    DB5 with no actuator = 70 grams.

    Installing the same type of actuator on any of these switches will drop the force by the same 'percentage'. This percentage varies widely depending on overall length of the actuator and which set of 'nubs' you are installing the actuator onto (front or back).

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