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I have a device in which a reed switch is encased in potting compound. (So impossible to identify.) My problem is, that for my application the switch is too slow.

I am considering replacing it with a hall-sensor switch like these. Is it possible to make an educated guess which switching threshhold I am going to need under the assumption that the reed switch is a "common" / "cheap" part? - Or whether any of these will work at all...

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Sure, take a look at datasheets for similar size reed switches to bracket the magnetic sensitivity. You wouldn't be able to identify it even if it wasn't potted most likely- they're seldom marked.

Alternatively, and assuming you're lacking a suitable magnetometer, you could purchase a few inexpensive reed capsules and test the operation distance. Then look at the spec sheets to see what sensitivity makes sense.

Try Digikey: Product Index > Switches > Magnetic, Reed Switches

I see about 300 products in stock, without searching for size or switching capacity.

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