Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lego Power Functions Control Switch ⚡️🔌

What are they?


Lego Power Functions Control Switches are a three position switch that can be used to turn a motor on in either direction, or turn it off.  This can be done manually or mechanically.  A few Great Ball Contraption modules have used the switch to mechanically change the direction when required.  Tom Atkinson's Up-Down Elevator is a good example of this.

These switches can help configure your GBC layouts by reversing the direction when needed.  For example: If you have 3 modules connected to a single train controller, one of them may be going in the wrong direction. You can use a the Power function switch to change the direction of that module.  This is something I have to do with my Tri-Sep module since the Conveyor and Sweeper are driven by 2 separate motors.


Switches can be built up anyway you want!
I added some coloured levers to these.

I own two variants of the Power Function switch, one with a micro switch that changes the direction (again), and one without.  If for whatever reason you only wanted your switch to flip up and not down.  The microswitch will make sure that when flipped up, it turns the motor in the direction that you want.


Two variants, the one on the left has a second micro switch.


How do they work?

Switches can be inserted into a wired connection to either a battery box or a Power Functions extension cable.  A PF switch cannot be attached directly to a 9 volt speed controller because that uses the legacy connector that only the extension cable can interface with.


Power Functions Battery Box, Switch, and M Motor

One Way Flip
In the below image you can see I've built some stuff onto my train controller.  I've made it so that the switches can only be flipped upward.  They are blocked if they try to flip down.  By setting up your power like this, it makes it really easy for other people to start and stop your module at collaborative layouts.  It reduces the chance that someone else could put your module into reverse which could be catastrophic.

Switches attached to a 9v Train Controller and built so they can only be flipped up, not down.


Where can you get them?

You can order switches from shop.lego.com in the Power Functions section.
Buy them at retail locations in the Power Functions Motor Set (8293)
Get them on Bricklink.com search for part number: 8869-1