When I press an ON-OFF type switch (SPST), I would like to have a corresponding HIGH or LOW registered on the inputs of both a 5V-level microcontroller as well as a 10V-level device, without damaging either one obviously.

How would I go about achieving this -- should I use a resistive divider?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do they have a common ground? \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Oct 19 '17 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor: Yes, common ground. \$\endgroup\$ – boardbite Oct 19 '17 at 2:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Trevor's answer is good and is what I would choose, provided you're ok with either using a normally-closed pushbutton or accepting an active-low signal on the destination devices. That said, your idea of using a voltage divider would be fine too - but beware of "sneak-path" powering the 5V MCU through the divider and switch when it's 5V supply is unpowered but the 10V is hot. \$\endgroup\$ – pericynthion Oct 19 '17 at 6:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity what is the 10V device? \$\endgroup\$ – pericynthion Oct 19 '17 at 6:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pericynthion: Thank you for the suggestions. And sorry about this really late (and possibly boring) reply: It was one of the control inputs of a VFD. \$\endgroup\$ – boardbite Dec 17 '17 at 16:18

Assuming you have common grounds you can use diodes like this.


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK. I'm reading up now about diodes; I've only used them once before based on an example circuit. Would a diode like 1N4148 or 1N400x be appropriate here? Also, what values would you suggest for the resistors? \$\endgroup\$ – boardbite Oct 19 '17 at 2:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ This sort of low speed signal logic application is not very sensitive to the choice of diode or resistor. Either of those diodes would be fine. A 10k resistor is a safe bet. \$\endgroup\$ – pericynthion Oct 19 '17 at 6:06

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