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Tour Easy: Push-to-Talk Switch Rework

The handlebar-mounted PTT button for the amateur radio on my bike once again went toes-up, most like due to the accumlation of road dust and rainwater over the years. Rather than replace the switch, which would require peeling off a massive glob of hot melt glue and resoldering the wires, I just carved the tops off the rivets holding the cover in place, pried off the cover, and removed the button to reveal the top of the switch dome:

Handlebar PTT switch - corroded dome

Handlebar PTT switch – corroded dome

Blech!

The dome flexes outward to contact the (rather crusty) terminals on either side, so all the action happens under the dome.

A lineup of the plastic button, the inverted dome, and the cover plate:

Handlebar PTT switch - components

Handlebar PTT switch – components

The top and bottom of the dome show some grit: that’s where it contacted the switch terminals.

Wiping the crud out of the switch body, scrubulating everything with contact cleaner, and putting it all back together restored the switch to working order. There’s (once again) a snippet of Kapton tape over the cover holding it in place, but I don’t expect this to last very long:

Handlebar PTT switch - kapton cover

Handlebar PTT switch – kapton cover

But it works well enough for now …

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2014-09-03 - 11:24

    I use a CPAP compressor for sleep apnea, and the plastic cover over the membrane switches went through its allotment of flexions a couple years ago. I’ve been using Scotch tape to cover the cracks until I can attempt the bearing transplant on the even older compressor that this one replaced. One of these years I’ll have medical insurance…

    • #2 by Ed on 2014-09-03 - 12:28

      using Scotch tape to cover the cracks

      Covering the membrane switches on our kitchen scale with laminating plastic worked wonderfully well and looks a whole lot better than the Kapton tape hack. [sigh]

      Bearings: bah! Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em!

  2. #3 by David on 2014-09-04 - 16:37

    Sounds like a great place for one of those fancy hall-effect switches you and the Larval used way back when for the longboard (or am I losing my mind?)

    • #4 by Ed on 2014-09-04 - 20:14

      Aye, with a magnet implanted in my fingertip!

      Maybe on my next bike… or in my next life.

  3. #5 by david on 2014-09-05 - 03:01

    • #6 by Ed on 2014-09-05 - 07:23

      They’re much larger in person than you’d think, but I’m warming to the idea: the switch stash is running out of those little mechanical switches. No moving parts and no metallic contacts FTW!