J4 Ball Switch For Robust Position Sensing

For many applications, standard garden variety ball switches won’t cut it. In fact, even Google is confused about ball switches, conflating them with tilt switches that happen to use a floating ball in their implementation.

But engineers know, that’s not a real ball switch.

So for the cognoscenti among us, we understand that a ball switch generally consists of a metal ball in some kind of carrier which when depressed, either opens or closes a circuit. The ball actuator has many uses in applications where mechanical parts pass over the actuation point in an imprecise way. There is no stick or plunger in a ball carrier, and the ball sticks out ever so slightly providing a low profile solution to sensing mechanical position for a wide variety of equipment.

For Ball Switches, The Devil Is In The Details

So if we are looking at true ball switches, they all have a similar profile. The real difference between ball switches offered on the market and the ball switches CPI makes have to do with four things:

  1. Materials used in construction.
  2. Internal design of the actuator mechanism.
  3. Ability to withstand water and other contaminants in the vicinity of operation.
  4. Electro-mechanical endurance of the switch. This is commonly expressed as the mean number of cycles of actuation before failure.

CPI’s J4 Series Ball Switch Design

Perhaps the first thing to understand is that unlike virtually every other ball switch in existence, the J4 Series Ball switch is waterproof, period. Not splash-proof or “moisture resistant”. And not just water. The switch rejects oil, gas, dust, sand, mud, ice and all manner of airborne contaminants. Unlike the ball switches of some of our competitors it has no plastic parts. Variations of our switch can operate over a temperature range of -50°F to 185°F without locking up (cold side problem) or failing to make contact.

The way CPI has achieved this has everything to do with our patented ball carrier design. As shown below, the J4 ball switch employs a double exclusion seal. This seal coupled with the incredibly tight tolerances achieved in manufacturing, keep contaminants out of the switch housing. An available stainless steel body and internally sealed contacts that can be manufactured in any lead length, complete the picture.

Here’s a look at the specs of our J4 series, as compared to other commonly offered ball switches.

Pollak Ball switchCPI Ball Switches
Waterproof RatedNoYes
Integrated wiringFixed lengthCustomized Length
Rated Endurance1 million cycles5 million cycles
Max Current24VDC, 5 Amps28VDC, 5 Amps
Temperature Range-40 to 150 F-50 to 185 F

Call CPI Today to discuss Your Application

In the world of ball switches, the CPI offering is truly unique. Call our engineering team today to discuss your applications