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Custom Push Button Rotary Selectors

(Original thread started on 02-22-11 by Ron Rollo)

There have been a handful of us Hangar45 members looking for a rotary selector with a push button feature. So far, we have not been able to find anything close. If anyone knows of where we can find one for a reasonable price, please let us know!


The issue is we need three of these rotaries, one for each of the Master Caution reversion panels on the Glare shield and one on the System Test Panel.


So Eric and I have been batting around the idea and we came up with this:

Ron 1140


It's a standard rotary mounted on a panel behind the backer panel. It uses spacers and light springs. When you push the rotary shaft, it pushes the whole rotary switch backwards into a push button switch. (Not yet installed.)

Ron 1141


This design is not final but it is about 95% complete. I am waiting on about 6 different push button switches from Mouser to arrive so I can see which will work best in the very last clear panel:

Ron 1142


So regardless if you come back and say that there is an affordable and available rotary switch out there or not, we are good to go!


(Posted by Shane Barnes on 02-22-11)

I've looked for a rotary w/ push switch with no luck. You can find them on some used avionics but you would still need to do modifications and the design you demonstrate in the above photos looks much cleaner than the modifications that would be necessary to convert used switches. Also would be easier and cheaper to replace parts on this design vs. the used switches if a switch failed.


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-24-11)

My Mouser package arrived and the very first switch I tried and thought would work did and with great success! It is Mouser P/N 633-MB2411S1W01-RO


So here is the updated pictures! Notice I went ahead an cut the four threaded bolts down to size:

Ron 1143


I wanted a positive clicking feel with this momentary push button which it has. I also wanted it so that the travel of the knob was as little as possible so that the knob was as close to the front panel as possible. It needs to be close so that the back lighting reaches the knob and lights it up:

Ron 1144


This is the third rotary selector in the L45 cockpit that has a push button action. It can be found on the System Test Panel on the TQ Pedestal. It has 12 positions and will be built in the same manor as the Reversion rotary selector push button, only difference is this thing is on steroids!

Ron 1145


There is a push button switch behind the rotary and I have it wired up so that when the rotary shaft is pushed, it closes the circuit for whatever the rotary has selected. The ground wire is wired to the push button. It's nickname is "The Highchair":

Ron 1146


The knob is going to be fun because it has the push feature at the top and it is also back lit. This knob was designed and built by Vince:

Ron 1147


I have all twelve selections wired but as of right now, according to Eric T., only seven of the selections can possibly be interfaced. But if ever the day comes that the other selections can be interfaced, I'll be ready.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 02-25-11)

Ron, this has turned out to be really awesome to see how it all came together so quickly. A very simple and elegant solution to an otherwise very expensive switch. Thanks for taking the time to research the hardware requirements and building the prototype! Now I got to get busy ordering switches.


(Posted by Mark L. on 02-25-11)

Looks great Ron! Can you identify the standoffs you used? I haven't seen any that size in my hardware store, so getting those might be difficult for me. What size threaded rod are you using?


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-25-11)

Hey Mark, I am using #4 threaded rods. At first, I was looking for a #4 bolt with a screw head on it. But I could not find any #4 bolts that were 2 inches long. So I used 3 inch long #4 threaded rod which works better anyway. This way, I can adjust the plates as needed and cut the excess off.


In the next few days, I will gather all the parts and list them for you guys who want to go this route and build them yourself. I will also be making these panels available, including the rotary switch hardware!

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