I recently asked this question where I'm trying to wire up this momentary switch to my Raspberry Pi 1 Model A such that:

  • The switch is normally open; and
  • When pushed down: it closes the circuit, lights up and fires a HIGH signal to a GPIO input pin (GPIO 04 in my case); and
  • If needed, I can make the GPIO 07 pin an output pin and make it available to help run the light/LED inside the switch, but not sure if that's needed

The answerer to that question called out that I need a 6VDC power source for this button, because the RPi (which provides both 3.3VDC and 5VDC pins) is not enough for this switch.

I'm wondering what I could use to provide this 6VDC power. According to Wikipedia, AA batteries provide around 1.5V each. So I'm wondering if I could use a battery holder like this one to use 4 AA batteries (1.5V x 4 = 6VDC) to power my button, or whether that would provide too much or too little voltage/current. Either way, what is a safe & efficient (energy-wise and financially-speaking!) to power this switch?


All mechanical contact switches have a plating material designed for a specific voltage and current.

There are two basic categories:

  • <= 2A implies gold plating for microamp circuits so that oxidation leakage is not an issue.
  • ">"2A implies silver/copper/paladium/tungsten combinations over nickel or similar

Since this switch is an industrial type rated or 2.5kV we can assume it is the latter > 2A so we must supply a wetting current to burn off contact oxides. I learnt how to solve this problem 40 yrs ago with power relay contacts that had a sense relay contact that would fail from a reputable source P&B. Normally you need 10% of rated current occasionally to prevent oxidation build up so the contact arc burns off the oxide.

The solution is to use a tantalum or any low ESR Cap ~0.1 ohm with > 10uF accros the switch between Vdd and logic input with a 100k pull down resistor or whatever is needed to satisfy your logic input. This RC=T time constant needs to be long than the bounce time, which is undefined and may be 20 ~100ms for a large switch. So choose wisely and test it to verify bounce time and give it 2x margin.

e.g. C>=10uF to Vdd , Rpulldown <100k

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @Tony (+1) but I'm kind of shocked by your answer...it almost sounds like you're saying that I have to wire up my own power connector in order to deal with the switch that I'm using. I figured that Omron would provide a suitable/compatible 6VDC power supply to work with their own switches...is that not the case? \$\endgroup\$ – smeeb Oct 9 '17 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not really they offer LEDs with different R ratings for switching industrial AC voltage or 6Vdc. You on the other hand are using for uC. The internal 10K is only needed for >=100V I have no idea what you are switching but it appears to be logic level only. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Oct 9 '17 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey @Tony what about something like this: amazon.com/NOCO-G750-UltraSafe-Battery-Charger/dp/B004LX3AS6/… would that work? Technically, I need to power two (2) of these switches...could I use this charger to power both of them at the same time? \$\endgroup\$ – smeeb Oct 9 '17 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ That does not include a battery. Using 5V on the Omron 6Vdc option just means the 2~3V LED + R uses less current and may be slightly less brighter. So you can use 5V in and 5V out and a USB battery that does same. It has all the converters inside. amazon.com/SKG-Economical-Portable-External-Battery/dp/… I believe you are just using it as a big microcurrent switch with indicator LED, so that should work. But you can also consider 6V Gel cell and many other options. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Oct 9 '17 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @Tony I'll give it some thought. Any safe/known way to wire that USB battery (that you posted the Amazon link to above)? Looks like it just has USB/MicroUSB ports on it...so sounds like I'll be cutting the connectors off, stripping the USB wire and doing some kind of hackery maybe? \$\endgroup\$ – smeeb Oct 10 '17 at 0:33

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