Are there such things as panel mount buttons (small ones) that merely have a little piece of plastic that pushes the actual PCB-mounted button on a PCB mounted behind the front panel (say 1/2" behind)? I’m looking for a button say 1/4" in diameter to push a button on a PCB 1/2" behind the panel. I keep thinking of keycaps on old keyboards.
Thanks for that, that would be good but it is the other way around from what I need.
I mean a physical button (no switch), that touches a PCB button with an electrical switch, like this:
The most common way is to get generic pushbutton caps, paired with pushbuttons that have appropriately long stems.
You can, of course, get custom actuators made.
Depending on your application, you might want to make the cap sit on the inside of the panel so that the button cannot be easily removed.
For products with a custom enclosure being designed/tooled anyway this can be more economical to do as another part of the this, which also gives more freedom in button function & aesthetics.
You can get off the shelf ones as above too, rubber or plastic. I’d say this is a very common way of doing it.
Also worth considering capacitive touch sense, I’ve just used one for the first time in a product and was simpler than I expected. You can can some good fit n forget ICs like the MTCH102, then just needs properly designed cooper pads/traces.
Tim, did you ever find a good solution for this? I’m looking for the same thing and think I have hit the same wall you did. I’d love to know if you figured out a good solution for this.
No, I did not. I purchased some light pipes of various lengths with a flat round end, that I thought could be super-glued to the button to extend it and fit into a hole in the enclosure, but I never tried this out in the end. Good luck and I hope you find something that works out! And then show us