The ground has thawed, April showers have come and gone, and May flowers are blooming, which means it’s outdoor concert season. But even when the weather is nice, audio/visual devices are subjected to more humid or dustier environments than climate-controlled arenas. You can put up all the shelters you want, but weather finds a way to destroy everything, which is why E-Switch makes sealed switches for audio/visual, telecommunications, and medical devices.
Putting on an outdoor concert is a daunting task, and when things go wrong, they go really wrong. Slight wind gusts can blow out audio and make everyone wish the concert was indoors. Even worse, rain combined with faulty electronic switches could make for an electrifying end to the entire tour. Since you can’t count on the weather, you’ll have to count on switches designed to survive the elements. Here’s a guide for electronic switches from E-Switch that power outdoor concert season.
The TL4110 Series tactile switch has been used by an E-Switch customer for a vocal performance microphone. It’s low-profile design (2.0mm by 2.8mm) is ideal for applications with limited space, and it’s mounted at a right angle along the edge of the PC board. Most importantly, it operates in temperatures ranging from -40° to 85° Celsius and has a life expectancy of 300,000 cycles.
The RR1 Series rocker switch is sealed with a cap to protect from the elements at an IP54 ingress protection rating. This rocker switch can handle up to 16 amps of 125-volt alternating current and it features full, dot, and signal light illumination options for operating in the dark. They are RoHS, REACH, and UL compliant and operate in temperatures ranging from -20° to an incredible 105° Celsius, so however hot your mixing board gets, the RR1 Series can handle it.
The RRA Series power rocker switch features the same operating temperature range and ingress protection rating of IP54 with a slightly lower electrical rating of 15A, 125VAC. It has a full illumination option with voltage levels of 12, 24, 125, and 250 volts.
The LP16 Series illuminated pushbutton switch features the longest life expectancy of any electronic switch E-Switch offers: 50 million cycles. You can choose the cap color, LED color options, and/or a diffuser color. They’re rated for 100mA of 20-volt direct current and operate in temperatures ranging from -5° to 60° Celsius.
If you’re looking for an electronic switch that isn’t fazed by wind-blown dust or moisture, the LA Series illuminated pushbutton is a sealed switch with an ingress protection rating of IP65. It’s also rated for both direct (6A, 24VDC) and alternating current (5A, 250VAC or 8A, 125VAC). It’s life expectancy of up to 50,000 cycles will get through plenty of shows.
The 500R Series slide switch is an IP67 switch that protects from dust and moisture and has a 40,000-cycle life expectancy. It’s PC board mountable at a right angle or vertically and features gold contact material. Single-pole or double-pole circuits are available, as are three actuator positions.
Indoor venues are better suited for the use of visual effects and video projection since the lighting can be controlled during daylight hours, but projectors still play a big part in some of the biggest outdoor concerts. Some outdoor venues are flat, effecting the view of the stage for those farthest from it. Projectors provide a means for everyone in attendance to view the performance regardless of seat location. They even work well during daylight hours, but wind-blown dust and debris can still present problems given how high the projectors are mounted. This is why the PV6 Series illuminated anti-vandal switch is an ideal electronic switch for projectors being used outdoors.
The PV6 Series is a sealed switch with an ingress protection rating of IP65, so neither wind-blown dust nor a thunderstorm will keep this illuminated pushbutton from performing. Dot and ring illumination options with an RGB multicolor, LED indicator light will assure the switch can be seen on the darkest on nights. Most importantly, these electronic switches have a long life expectancy of up to 50,000 cycles. Wire leads and graphic options are also available.
Projectors are often mounted high above the crowd to ensure the projected images aren’t blocked by passers-by, which means a remote control is required to power on the device. A tactile switch will likely serve as the power button on the remote. When pressed, the PV6 Series sealed switch will illuminate to indicate the projector is powering on.
Since the power button is likely the most used electronic switch on this remote control, it must last a long time. The TL6150 Series tact switch is another IP67 switch that does just that. Its 160gf option has a life expectancy of five million cycles, which should survive longer than the projector itself. Two other actuation force options feature life expectancies of 350,000 (350gf) and 500,000 cycles (200gf). These electronic switches also operate in temperatures ranging from -40° to 85° Celsius, so even the hottest summer day is no match for this tact switch.
People will want to buy food, beverages, and merchandise to commemorate their concert experience, so reliable mobile payment terminals will be essential. These devices must withstand beverage spills, thunderstorms, wind-blown dust, and even being dropped in the dirt. That’s where another sealed switch plays a pivotal role.
The TL6700 Series surface mount tactile switch is another IP67 switch that can withstand dust, moisture, and even aggressive wash processes. It operates in temperatures ranging from -20° to 70° Celsius and features a life expectancy of up to 500,000 cycles for the 160gf option and 100,000 cycles for the 260gf option.
Outdoor concert venues present a higher risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion and are often more difficult for emergency vehicles to enter and exit. Having ample medical supplies and emergency personnel can help limit these risks, with defibrillators being potential lifesavers.
The ULV8 Series anti-vandal switch is often used as a power switch on defibrillators because of its reliability and durability. It’s another IP67 switch that lives a long life: a million mechanical cycles for momentary functionality and 500,000 cycles for maintained (latching) functionality. This illuminated pushbutton switch is available with ULV wire leads in two different lengths (300mm and 500mm) and features four termination options. Ring or ring/power symbol illumination in six different voltage levels lets you determine how well the switch can be seen in the dark when actuated.
When designing devices that deliver excellent audio/visual experiences, make sure they can survive outdoor concert season by considering the vast catalog of sealed switches available at E-Switch.