Environmental Controls (EC)

Finger Lift Switch

Overview

The Finger Lift Switch is an assistive switch that is activated by lifting a resting finger upwards. The switch activation distance is approximately 5 mm and the required operating force is 2 to 5 grams, depending on balance screw adjustment.

Usage

Connect the cable to an assistive device with a 3.5 mm input jack. The user’s lifting fingertip should be placed under the finger lift pad, resting on a lower surface or splint.

When the user raises their lifting finger, the finger lift lever will rotate and activate the switch. The switch will de-activate when the user lowers their lifting finger back to the resting surface.

Cost

The cost of components for a single switch is approximately $11 CAD. However, obtaining the minimum quantities  for a single build will bring the materials costs to $66 CAD.

 

Build Instructions

The Finger Lift Switch consists of 3D printed parts and electronic components. The Assembly Guide is available at the GitHub repository.

Skills Required

  • 3D Printing
  • Soldering
  • Assembling screws

Time Required

3D Printing Time: 1hr 30m

Assembly Time: 30m

Tools

  • Soldering Iron (fine tip)
  • 60/40 rosin core electrical solder
  • Medium size Phillips screwdriver (type #1)
  • Side cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Super glue (gel type is best)
  • Hot melt glue gun (low temp type)
  • Permanent felt marker (fine tip)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Sturdy metal tweezers
  • Multimeter (with continuity reading capability)

 

Components

  • 1X Ball Bearing: Type MR85ZZ (8 mm OD 5 mm ID)
  • 2X 5 mm x 1 mm Magnets (Neodymium)
  • 1X Reed Switch (Glass) Contact Normally Open (N/O) Magnetic Induction Switch (2 mm × 14 mm)
  • 2X M3 x 8 mm Stainless Steel screws (Base & Base Cap screws)
  • 1X M3 x 10 mm Stainless Steel screw (Counterweight screw)
  • 1X M3 x 12 mm Stainless Steel screw (Bearing Screw)
  • 1X M3 x 16 mm Stainless Steel screw (Balance screw)
  • 5X M3 Stainless Steel Nut
  • 1X 1/4-20 (Imperial size) Nut
  • 1X 5-foot mono audio cable with 3.5 mm male phono plug

 

3D Printing

  • 1X Finger Lift Lever (3D)
  • 1X Balance Screw Holder (3D)
  • 1X Counterweight Nut Holder (3D)
  • 1X Bearing Base (3D)
  • 1X Bearing Base Cap (3D)
  • 1X Reed Switch Plate (3D)

Design

This design was created using OpenSCAD.

Attribution

Designed by Makers Making Change (Derrick Andrews) in conjunction with Sunnyhill

My Pal Scout/Violet Switch Adapted Toy

Overview

The switch adapted My Pal Scout/Violet sings songs and can be controlled with accessible switches that have a 3.5mm jack. The My Pal is a LeapFrog toy that sings lullabies and learning songs, and has activities with numbers, animals, food, and more.

Usage

You can use the My Pal Scout/Violet by plugging in one to four AT switches. The cable clamp labels which function each audio lead controls. Then, press the AT switches, or the in-toy buttons, to activate the various songs and activities.

Build Instructions

You can build the My Pal Scout/Violet by following the Assembly Guide attached. Follow the “How to prep your 3.5mm headphone jack” tutorial first to prepare for this toy adaption.

Bill of Materials

1 x LeapFrog My Pal Scout or Violet Toy (https://www.amazon.ca/LeapFrog-Pal-Violet-English-Version/dp/B00D2KZ1ZY?th=1)

4 x 3.5mm Female Headphone jacks (something like two of  these cut in half: (Amazon Canada)

8 x Crimp Connectors (Amazon Canada)

1 x 3D Printed Clamp

2 x #4 Metal Screw, 3/8″ Length (Amazon Canada)

1 x 4″ Zip Tie (Amazon Canada)

1 x 18″ Zip Tie (Amazon Canada

Electrical Tape

 

Note: Other wire connections aside from the crimp connectors can be used, such as UR2 connectors, Marrettes, or even soldering the connections.

Tools

  • Needle Nose Pliers (or Wire Crimpers, or Vise Grips)
    • Crimping tool is recommended if available
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers

Attribution

Original Device: ATmakers

Updated Design: Makers Making Change

Solderless Unibody Switch

Overview

The Solderless Unibody Switch is a simple switch that enables the user to easily activate a button. This device is suitable for users with limited dexterity and finger movement. The unique design of the single-piece print and few electronic components enables the maker to build the device without the use of a soldering iron, allowing the device to be more accessible and buildable for makers.

Usage

The Solderless Unibody Switch is a simple device that is meant to be made accessible to makers that don’t have access to a soldering iron. This device is intended for individuals that are looking for a switch that has a lower profile.

Build Instructions

An assembly guide can be found in the documentation on this device page. If you are fulfilling a request for this device, please take a look at the maker checklist document before you start the build to help walk you through the process.

SKILLS REQUIRED

  • Fine motor skills – Applying a small amount of super glue
  • Pulling – Tightening zip tie
  • Gripping – Using tools/lighter

TOOLS

  • Super glue
  • Flush cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Heat Gun / Lighter
  • Needle nose pliers (optional)

COMPONENTS

3D PRINTING

1x – Body of switch (STL and printing guide can be found in the design files link above)

Attribution

Justin Pezzin – Makers Making Change

Battery Interrupter (Flex PCB)

Overview

A battery interrupter lets you use an accessible switch to turn on and off many battery-operated toys and devices. The battery interrupter interrupts the flow of power from the battery until an attached assistive switch is activated. This is a flexible battery interrupter that can be used with AAA, AA, C, or D sized batteries.

Note: This design utilizes a custom PCB, so it is not cost effective for small quantities (< 50). If you need a small quantity of battery interrupters, the Battery Interrupter (Soldered) design is likely a better option.

 

Usage

Initial Setup

The flexible battery interrupter is inserted within the battery enclosure either between two batteries or between a battery and a battery terminal. The flexible battery interrupter can be trimmed with scissors to match the size of battery.  The wires to the jack are routed to the outside of the battery enclosure.

Typical Usage

An assistive switch is connected to the battery interrupter switch jack. If there a power switch on the electronic device or toy, it is placed into the on position. Activating the assistive switch should then activate the electronic device or toy.

 

Build Instructions

Bill of Materials

1X  Battery Interrupter Flexible PCB ($2 – $126)

1X 3.5 mm Jack (https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/cui-devices/SJ1-3513/738683, ~$2 CAD + $11 Shipping)

1X 3D Printed Jack Case (~ 1.1 g of filament, $0.03)

1X 3D Printed Jack Case Spacer (~ 0.4 g of filament, $0.01)

Tools
  • Scissors
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder

 

Custom PCB

This design requires a custom flexible printed circuit board (PCB). All of the information and files required to have the PCB fabricated are within the GitHub repository.

The price will vary widely depending on the fabricator, the quantity of boards, and the selected shipping option.

 

Assembly

A detailed assembly guide is available on GitHub or within the zipped release.

  1. Solder the jack to the flexible PCB.
  2. Insert the jack with the spacer into the jack case.
  3. Thread the retainer ring onto the jack.

 

Attribution

Initial concept and design: Dale Grover

V1.0 Design and Assembly Instructions: Makers Making Change

 

Corrugated Plastic Switch

Overview

The Corrugated Plastic Switch works well for users looking for a large surface for targeting at a low cost. The switch is made from simple materials and can be replicated and modified easily. Similar in concept to the DIY Cardboard Switch, the switch works as a simple on or off button while attached to an electronic toy or appliance.  When given access to a switch, the user becomes an active participant in accessing the item and is able to use the switch to interact with the device.

Usage

The Corrugated Plastic Switch is ideal for users looking for a temporary switch to test sizing and activation forces with. This switch also works well as a quick replacement if an existing switch breaks. Users with difficulty targeting switches may find this device helpful with its larger surface area.

Build Instructions

Information on building the Corrugated Plastic Switch can be found in the instructions linked, along with the list of materials required.

Attribution

Made by: Jamie Mayo

LipSync Switch Input Module

Overview

The LipSync Switch Input Module enables a LipSync to be modified for use with two assistive switches instead of sip and puff. This adaptation can be useful for users who find using the standard LipSync mouthpiece difficult, such as those with Parkinson’s or ALS. The LipSync Switch Input Module can be used to convert the LipSync, LipSync Wireless, LipSync Gaming, or LipSync Macro.

Usage

Two assistive switches are connected to the corresponding jack on the splitter cable. One switch will be used to emulate sip input and the other switch will emulate puff input.

Build Instruction

The LipSync Switch Input Module consists of a 3D Printed Circuit Board and some commercially available electronics, cables, and cable adapter. You will also require a LipSync with a Switch Input Compatible Enclosure.

Bill of Materials

1X 3D Printed Circuit Board (34 min print; 2.5 g filament; ~$0.06)

1X Header, 4-Position Straight Female ($0.63)

2X Resistor, 10K Ohm, 1/4W Mini Axial Through-Hole ($0.14 ea)

2X Resistor, 100K Ohm, 1/4W Mini Axial Throuh-Hole ($0.14 ea)

1X Cable Tie

1X 3.5 mm Cable, Female, Stereo, 6 ft

1X Breakout Cable, 3.5 mm TRSM to Dual 3.5 mm TSF Breakout Cable ($16.46, e.g. Amazon)*

* There are two types of 3.5 mm splitters that appear very similar. The type required for this device separates the left and right channels into mono connections. This is different than the type that is more commonly available and often used for sharing sound between two users. Make sure you get the correct one.

Build Instructions

A comprehensive Assembly Guide is available as part of the linked files or through the GitHub repository. Once the Switch Input Module is assembled, the LipSync will need to be disassembled and the Pressure Sensor PCB replaced with the Switch Input Module. The 3D Printed Rear Housing will also need to be swapped with a version that is compatible with Switch Input. The LipSync is then reassembled so that both the USB cable and the Switch Input cable come out of the LipSync enclosure.

Attribution

Design and Documentation by Makers Making Change.

Suction Cup Single Switch Mount

Overview

This is a switch mount based on a commercially available glass suction cup. The glass suction cup is modified with an alternative base that provides a location for mounting an assistive switch. The switch mount can be temporarily anchored to a smooth surface for high holding power. These items can be used for people who need easily adjustable switch positioning for operating AAC devices and play.

Usage

A suitable assistive switch is attached to the Switch Mount base. The Suction Cup Single Switch Mount is positioned in an appropriate location for the user on a smooth surface with the lever in the upright open position. The lever is then rotated down to engage the suction cup to the surface.

To remove or reposition the switch mount, the lever is returned to the vertically upright open position.

Build Instructions

The Suction Cup Single Switch Mount is comprised of a commercially available suction cup and a 3d printed adapter. The assistive switch is not included and should be supplied or requested separately.

Bill of Materials

1X Glass Suction Cup with 4-2/3 inch diameter cups (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/FCHO-Suction-Aluminum-Vacuum-Lifting/dp/B07HNRB2CJ, https://www.amazon.com/FCHO-Suction-Aluminum-Handle-Lifting/dp/B07DK7NKS1, ~$15)

1X 3D Printed Switch Mount Base (~$3)

3D Printing

The 3D printed Switch Mount Base is a single component and the STL file available in the downloadables section. The print requires support and is about a 6hr 20m print. The print requires about a 100 grams of material (~$3).

Assembly

First, the glass suction cup tool is disassembled to remove the original metal base. A video demonstrating the disassembly process for a similar design can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AqfpCvtOqA.

The retaining ring is removed from the pin and stored where it won’t get lost. A clamp is used to take the tension off the suction cup, and the pin is removed along with the lever. The remaining parts are separated from the original metal base.

The suction cup parts are then reassembled into the 3d printed Switch Mount base.

ATMakers KeySwitch

Overview

The ATMakers Keyswitch is a low-cost assistive switch interface that allows a user to connect up to 5 external assistive switches with 3.5 mm plugs to a computer, tablet, smartphone, or AAC device with a USB port.  The Keyswitch sends keystrokes and/or mouse movement when the external switches are activated, and can easily be configured to change the keystrokes that are sent.

Usage

Connect one and up to 5 assistive switches to the ATMakers Keyswitch. Plug the USB cable into the computer, tablet, smartphone, or AAC device with a USB port.

Build Instructions

Bill of Materials

To assemble the mount with the switch, you will need:
1 – 3D Printed Enclosure Base (~14 g of filament, $0.40; 1hr 15m)

1 – 3D Printed Enclosure Top (~ 7 g of filament, $0.20; 0hr 25m)

10 – Breakaway Male Headers (~1.20 CAD, https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/wurth-electronics-inc/61301611121/4846854)

1 – ATMakers KeySwitch Custom PCB

5  – 3.5 mm jacks (~$1 ea, https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/cui-inc/SJ1-3535NG/CP1-3535NG-ND/738699)

1 – Trinket M0 (~$12 CAD, https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/adafruit-industries-llc/3500/7623049; https://www.adafruit.com/product/3500 )

1 – USB Micro to USB A Cable

2 – M2.6x 8 mm or #4-40 screws

Tools

  • Soldering iron
  • Wire strippers / wire cutters
  • Screwdriver

Custom PCB

The files for the custom PCB are stored on the ATMaker Hardware Github repository (https://github.com/ATMakersOrg/ATMakers-Hardware/tree/master/KeySwitchBoard). A board will need to be ordered from a suitable PCB manufacturer.

3D Printing

Both the enclosure and the base are designed to print without support. There are two version of the top – one designed for translucent filament and one for opaque filament. The print files are available on Thingiverse (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3159609).

Assembling the KeySwitch

See the attached PDF for detailed step-by-step assembly instructions. There is also a video of the assembly process available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr9n-Ne0utA

Programming the Trinket

The instructions and code for programming the Trinket are available at the ATMaker KeySwitch repository (https://github.com/ATMakersOrg/KeySwitch).

Attribution

The ATMaker Keyswitch was designed by ATMakers. Written assembly instructions were created by Makers Making Change.

 

DIY Cardboard Switch

Overview

The DIY Cardboard Switch is a simple adaptive switch built using common household items. The switch works as a simple on or off button while attached to an electronic toy or appliance. The user can activate the switch in order to safely turn the item on or off. When given access to a switch, the user becomes an active participant in accessing the item. With the addition of a Makey Makey, the user can access computer programs or games. One such activity allows the user to play bongos sounds with each press of the switch.

Usage

In order to use the DIY Cardboard Switch, the user must connect the Makey Makey Classic and the switch(es) as shown in the How To guide. Once the user connects the devices, the user can press the switch(es) in order to control the chosen action(s).

Build Instructions

Information on building the DIY Cardboard Switch can be found in the Makey Makey How To guide linked. Additionally, links for the items required to build the project are also found in the guide.

Attribution

Made by: Katie Butzu & Mark Lyons

Battery Interrupter (Soldered)

Overview

A battery interrupter lets you use an accessible switch to turn on and off many battery-operated toys and devices. The battery interrupter interrupts the flow of power from the battery until an attached assistive switch is activated.

 

Usage

Initial Setup

The battery interrupter is inserted within the battery enclosure either between two batteries or between a battery and a battery terminal. The wires to the jack are routed to the outside of the battery enclosure.

Typical Usage

An assistive switch is connected to the battery interrupter switch jack. If there a power switch on the electronic device or toy, it is placed into the on position. Activating the assistive switch should then activate the electronic device or toy.

 

Build Instructions

Bill of Materials

2X 150 mm length wire

1X 30 mm long x 8 mm wide strip of paper

2X 25 mm long x 6 mm wide copper foil tape (e.g. https://www.amazon.ca/AIEX-Double-Sided-Conductive-Shielding-Electrical/dp/B088H4P8R4)

1X 3.5 mm Jack

2X 20 mm length heatsink (Optional, but recommended)

Tools

Scissors

Wire Strippers

Soldering Iron

Solder

Heat Gun

 

Assembly

See attached instruction manual for full assembly instructions.

 

Attribution

Design and Assembly Instructions: Makers Making Change

Usage Graphic: Gurbaksh Singh (techiebaksh)