Waterproof DIY Momentary-push Switch

[Patman2700] has a nice scope for his paintball gun that uses a red dot instead of cross-hairs. The problem is that he kept forgetting to turn it off which ended up running the batteries down frequently. His solution to the problem was to get rid of the toggle switch used to turn it on and replace it will a home-made momentary push button switch. Now he presses the switch to aim and doesn’t waste juice when he’s running around, trying not to get pelted with paint.

Since this is used outside he wanted it to be water-tight. The switch is built using materials we’ve seen in previous diy switches; adhesive-backed copper sheets for conductors, foam to keep them separated until pressed, and plastic as a support. Copper is applied to the plastic base, with a ring of foam separating the base from the second layer of copper. When squeezed, the two layers of copper come in contact to complete the circuit. To make it work a bit better [Patman2700] added a dab of solder in the center of the bottom copper layer so there is less distance between conductors, and used extra foam to build up a bump in the center of the assembly for a better ‘button’ feel. The whole thing is encased in shrink-wrap with the seams sealed with super glue to keep moisture at bay.

23 thoughts on “Waterproof DIY Momentary-push Switch

  1. i like reflex sites … i never found a need to turn mine off tho the one on my ak74 has a 72 hour battery life and charges in 15 minutes XD
    (before any one wants to troll yes i said ak74 not ak47 look it up)

  2. Why not tie this to the safety switch. Using an Emarker would have made this mod simple, tie right into the Emarkers power…oh wait your using a tippA5…no fancy features

  3. Oooh! I have a reflex sight for my Sig 556, and I lost the rubber cover for it. Normally thats not important, but the sight is light activated (and responds to different levels of light) meaning there is NO off switch!

    100% doing this in the next few days!

  4. All the paintball markers I’ve used have been so horrifically inaccurate due to the ball aerodynamics that any form of sight is utterly pointless, it’s +- 2ft at any range > 15ft.

  5. @Gdogg

    i never understood sights on toy guns there ranges are extremely limited and simple iron sights can do it fine even for quick pulls … i don’t even use sites on my handguns or ever had a need to XD

  6. @biozz I used to be nuts about sights and wanted to be a paintball ‘sniper’. Even had a red dot (and even had problems with it being left on).

    When I got more serious I realize how unnecessary it is. Professsionals line up with the side of the gun/follow the path of the balls (since they shoot 15bps) like a tracer. It’s crazy how accurate you can be with practice though

  7. Use a real switch, preferably a microswitch with click feel. Copper and solder make poor contacts and the sweat of hands will get to it before WX. What powers the laser? Tablet cells or a hamster wheel? Any combat worthy power should hold up for hours, or be behind the trigger-light pull.

  8. Super glue is not a good choice for this because it is not flexible.
    The join will eventually crack with flexing of the tube and allow moisture in.
    Still a pretty cool build, it’s just a matter of slight refinement.

  9. @Gdogg

    This is often true, unfortunately. The problem that too many people oversee is that the most important aspect of a paintball setup is the paint/barrel match. Though paintballs are .68 caliber, there is a MAJOR difference between manufacturers. (i.e. .684, .682, .685, etc.) This leads to either the ball bouncing around the barrel on its way out, or a lot of broken paint coming out the end.

    The rub lies in paint selection. Try a variety of manufactures’ paint, dropping one by one down the (detached) barrel. If it simply falls through, it’s too small. If you cant get it through, it’s too large. You should be able to get it through by softly blowing through the barrel.

  10. @echodelta

    It’s powered by a button-cell. This is how virtually all red-dot sights of this price range are powered (you’d have noticed it if you read the instructable ;) )
    Don’t forget, the dot should turn on BEFORE the trigger is pulled, to be able to line up the shot.
    Also, if you were to use a microswitch, then a) it would be even MORE susceptible to sweat and dirt, and b) the copper contacts are sealed inside a length of heatshrink tubing. It’s watertight.
    The problem with battery life (as I mentioned above) is that I’d forget to turn it off when either between games or putting it away. Sure, the battery may last 10 hours+, but not 48 hours+.

  11. @patman2700
    Nice work, just some constructive criticism:
    I would have used epoxy, plasti-dip or similar to seal it instead of superglue based on years of using superglue for the wrong purpose (it’s made for cuts and works great for that!). I would also stay away from copper and solder switches, try plating the copper with silver and then reducing the thickness of the foam to get a nice reactive switch that won’t easily wear/corrode.

    I think echodelta meant using a microswitch inside heatshrink like you did. That said, ALL switches are prone to failure. So I don’t think either option is much better/worse.

  12. @patman2700

    Earlier, in reply to Mr. AK74, you said that forgetting to turn it off was the problem.

    Well, that isn’t a paintball gun, you should treat that more carefully… lest you forget to unload and clear the chamber the next time you clean it!

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