(Topic ID: 320122)

Stern microswitch alternative

By calgark

3 months ago


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  • 21 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by flecom
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    Cherry Switches.pdf (PDF preview)
    20220807_193134 (resized).jpg

    #1 3 months ago

    I have a failed kick out detect microswitch (part #180-5186-00 marco link https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5186-00) and I am looking for an alternative. Marco lists the part as discontinued and the only site I can find it is action pinball. I'm in Canada so shipping here is a challenge from them. Most sites appear to have a similar part (part #180-5186-01 marco link https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5186-01) but nobody is listing it as an alternative to 180-5186-00. I asked Marco and they said the product notes don't indicate they are compatible but it sounds like they are mostly talking about the actuator. Does anyone know if these switches can be swapped or have any other alternatives? The specific game I am dealing with is Stern Simpsons Pinball Party (2003).

    Perhaps a better question is whether there is a place to look up the specifications of game switches. Digi-Key has something that looks right if I can swap out the actuator with the one from my dead switch https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/zf-electronics/DB3CB1LB/1083873 It's 0.1A 125v so I'm assuming it should be fine, but I'm not sure operating force it should be. The Digi-Key switch above is 60gf... whatever that means. haha

    Any suggestions? The game is relatively unplayable without this switch. I replaced the diode hoping that might be the issue but it did not fix the problem. The only other alternative I know is to break the switch open and try to clean the contacts etc. That's my last resort... it still clicks so it's possible a cleaning might be the key, but I'd rather start with a fresh part.

    20220807_193134 (resized).jpg
    #2 3 months ago

    #180-5187-00
    That's not the same switch you are looking for if you take a little off the end?
    Recently had a similar situation where Marco listed my switch only as a reference, digging a little deeper I realized that I could simply
    modify a similar switch they had.
    My experience with faulty switches I'd say 90 % of the time the fix is a shot of DeOxit where the button is. I also check the switch with a multimeter both switch closure with continuity and the diode setting to check diode. I don't rely on switch test as an indicator of a bad switch as it may be a broken wire downstream.

    #3 3 months ago

    Thanks for the response!

    My main problem is my own ignorance about switches. I'm not sure how to tell what differentiates these microswitches besides their actuator and the amps they are rated for. Are they all relatively the same body with a different actuator on them? If so, I will definitely grab that switch you mention and either trim it or swap the actuator. I tested the original switch and the problem is that it either does not have continuity at all or it will register for a second and then lose it. So, dirty contacts seems like a possibility? I replaced the diode with a new one so that should be eliminated as a cause. I tested the switch continuity when the diode was removed.

    Thanks for the tip about DeOxit. I have never heard of it, but it sounds like it's basically made of naphtha? I'll dribble a bit of that into the button and see what happens. The switch is non-functional already so what do I have to lose?

    #4 3 months ago

    If cleaning doesn;t work, usually you either try to transplant the arm to another switch, or buy a switch with a long arm and cut/bend it to your liking.

    https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/12-SMSB
    https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/12-SMSW

    #5 3 months ago

    Thanks! This sounds relatively straightforward.

    #6 3 months ago

    That's a standard Cherry DB3 microswitch with a unique actuator. Now owned by ZF.

    You can find them online, sometimes on Amazon, and use your old actuator. Usually less than $3 US

    Or use this chart to find a different one with similar specs.

    Cherry Switches.pdf
    #7 3 months ago
    Quoted from calgark:

    Thanks! This sounds relatively straightforward.

    Yeah they're all just switches, as long as the arm flips the switch you're good

    #8 3 months ago

    This is awesome info. Thanks so much guys! I'm going to go on a switch binge now.

    #9 3 months ago

    I would also check to see if the switch you are looking at was discontinued because there was a revision made since then.

    See 180-5186-01

    https://www.pinballlife.com/stern-kick-out-detect-sub-microswitch-180-5186-01.html

    Mike

    #10 3 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Yeah they're all just switches, as long as the arm flips the switch you're good

    There are different applications of force needed. This is quite common... and generally overlooked leading to other irregularities. Most just look at the actuator but you can find different spec'd force models used. "Close enough" is the reining path tho

    #11 3 months ago
    Quoted from calgark:

    Thanks for the tip about DeOxit. I have never heard of it, but it sounds like it's basically made of naphtha?

    No it "deoxidizes" and cleans. It's it's own product. It is sold as a spray or in little bottles. It's saved my A#*$ many times. Often when I take out ribbon cable connections I will put some on the header pins just for good luck.
    As far as amperage the current draw is miniscule.
    And keep in mind if you test the switch with the diode in it in continuity mode (at least on my meter) the beep won't sound. In Diode mode you will see the change indicating it's closing.

    #12 3 months ago

    Switches were delivered from digikey already and they are a perfect replacement. Switches cost less, shipping cost less, and shipping was weeks faster than going through a pinball distributor in the States. As flynnibus mentioned I wasn't sure what force rating I needed but I went with 60gf as it seemed middle of the road and I figured a little less was better than too much. I'll also have to try that deoxit at some point if I can find it up here.

    Thanks to all who took the time to answer. Much appreciated!

    #13 3 months ago

    please share what you ordered

    #14 3 months ago

    I ordered some of these switches: ZF #DB3CB1LB digikey#CH880-ND (https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/zf-electronics/DB3CB1LB/1083873)
    and some of these for DIY actuators: ZF #6141234 digikey#CH669-ND (https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/zf-electronics/6141234/418187)

    #15 3 months ago

    I know I'm late to the helping party, but maybe this can help someone in the future. I had a switch that was missing the arm on a Spidey I was shopping out. I am a frugal person, so I didn't wanna pay $8 for a switch and $8 for shipping. Found these just doing a quick search. They work great, but you don't have the detachable arm. I got the longest blade I could find and just cut it to size. Now I have 9 spares for the future and I can bend the arm into whatever I need for the application. I didn't pay attention to how much pressure was needed, as someone posted earlier, but these worked for me. YMMV.

    amazon.com link »

    #16 3 months ago

    DB3's were a very unreliable Cherry switch that was soon replaced by the much more reliable DB5.

    #17 3 months ago

    The ultimate Cherry switch will always be the DA3 though. That thing was rock solid.

    #18 3 months ago
    Quoted from pinballlife:

    DB3's were a very unreliable Cherry switch that was soon replaced by the much more reliable DB5.

    Yeah, I hear you but it's always a juggling act of priorities, especially when ordering from Canada. A single DB5 switch from PBL costs $60 CDN when you factor in the cheapest shipping option provided. Ordering the same switch from a Canadian pinball supplier is still $30 since they all seem to charge $24 for domestic shipping. By comparison, digi-key is $13 CDN including shipping and it arrives in 1-2 days instead of 1-2 weeks.

    So for this situation I only needed the switch and it was a game breaker so wanted it asap. I wasn't able to find a DB5 for anywhere near the same price. It's rated for 100,000 cycles electrically and 15,000,000 mechanically so even if I get half of that life it could very well outlast my ownership of the pin. Well... it's TSPP so I may just eventually have it buried with me.

    #19 3 months ago

    I think he was providing background, not commenting on what you purchased.

    But coincidently I have gone through almost dozen DB5's in short order. I have a Baywatch on location and the trough switch assembly was giving me fits.
    When I bought the machine the switch was bad, so I bought 2 assemblies from Marcos. They lasted a few weeks.
    I ordered more 2 from Marcos and they lasted about 2 days each.
    Since Marcos was out of stock, and to save a few bucks, I bought 4 naked DB5 switches from PBL. They each lasted about 2 days each.
    Then I bought 3 more full assemblies from PBL and I am on my second one already, after about 2 weeks.

    The switches just stop working and/or the legs are falling off. I have been extremely careful on soldering and making there there is adequate slack on the wiring, as well as the physical installation. But I get he same results.

    This switch gets more use and vibrations since it is installed on the shooter assembly, but I've not heard of this issue from other Baywatch owners.

    Haven't had time to contact the vendors yet for such a small item, but they must have had a QA issue on the last batch sent to the US.

    I posted the spec sheet earlier, as I found it while researching these switches and alternatives. But after replacing the switch a couple of times the plastic mount/washers don't hold well and needed to switch back to the assemblies.

    https://www.pinballlife.com/data-eastsega-rollover-switch-right.html

    #20 3 months ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    I think he was providing background, not commenting on what you purchased.

    Oh yeah, no worries. I figured that was what he was doing so I just expanded a bit on why I went the route I did, just in case it might help someone else in the future. Ordering parts from Canada is a serious a buzz kill due to the crazy shipping costs. If there is any way to reduce cost it it's a huge win, especially for a commonly failing part like this.

    You must be frustrated with the constant switch failures. Besides that Twidec switch from Amazon posted above, I haven't seen any alternate manufacturers. I was hoping there would be a few different sources but it seems to be pretty limited. When I spoke with the guy from Marco he indicated that the specific switch I wanted has been on backorder for 5-6 months and they still have no ETA for new stock. If there was a factory QA issue like you said, that might explain the lack of new stock while they address it. Just a guess though.

    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

    I know I'm late to the helping party, but maybe this can help someone in the future. I had a switch that was missing the arm on a Spidey I was shopping out. I am a frugal person, so I didn't wanna pay $8 for a switch and $8 for shipping. Found these just doing a quick search. They work great, but you don't have the detachable arm. I got the longest blade I could find and just cut it to size. Now I have 9 spares for the future and I can bend the arm into whatever I need for the application. I didn't pay attention to how much pressure was needed, as someone posted earlier, but these worked for me. YMMV.
    amazon.com link »

    ya I've used cheap amazon switches for years, they work fine... sometimes they are a bit too stiff but you can open them up and de-tension the spring a bit to make them require less force

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