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AN ELECTRICALLY AND MECHANICALLY DETENTED POTENTIOMETER BASED SELECTOR MECHANISM

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007308D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Mar-13
Document File: 3 page(s) / 118K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Clint Luckinbill: AUTHOR

Abstract

Manufacturers of electrical products are pressed by their markets for ever lower cost while maintaining high reliability. Products employing rotary selection switches designed for many operations and A/D equipped microcontrollers can reduce cost with the mechanism disclosed in this article.

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MOTOROLA Technical Developments Volume 23 October 1994

AN ELECTRICALLY AND MECHANICALLY DETENTED POTENTIOMETER BASED SELECTOR MECHANISM

by Clint Luckinbill

  Manufacturers of electrical products are pressed by their markets for ever lower cost while maintaining high reliability. Products employing rotary selection switches designed for many operations and A/D equipped microcontrollers can reduce cost with the mechanism disclosed in this article.

  A potentiometer based rotary selector utilizing mechanical and electrical detenting can be utilized as a replacement for rotary selector switches. The potentiometer communicates selector position. A mechanical detenting mechanism physically com- municates a selection change. The unique idea here is that the mechanical detent mechanism should actuate a switch to afiect the potentiometer wiper output so that its electrical characteristics become detented. The electrical detent is a change in the effective potentiometer wiper output to a value not obtainable by the potentiometer alone. This aids translation ofthe potentiometer output into a selec- tion The electrical detent clearly delineates each selection's range ofpotentiometer output and empha- sizes a selection change.

  Potentiometers alone have been used to imple- ment selection mechanisms. The wiper output volt- age is interpreted to represent one of several selec- tions. This implementation does nothing to address potentiometer technology's failing to provide wholly non-overlapping voltage ranges representing physi-

cally detented selections. The proposed electrical detent maps the mechanical detent into the potenti- ometer output. A device interpreting the potenti- ometer wiper output is now prompted to make a selection decision by the electrical detent. The elec- trical detent also indicates what wiper output volt-

age ranges represent each of the mechanically detented selections. The i~nterpreting device can learn the voltage range representing each selection.

The selection mechanism disclosed here is com- posed of the following devices:

1. A potentiometer ;,
2. A mechanical detent mechanism
3. A SPST switch driven!by the detent mechanism.

INPUTS TO THE MEC...