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View Full Version : It fees better, and I am happier every time I use it !



David Powell
11-09-2013, 12:57 PM
Some 10 yrs ago the original electrics on my Busy Bee 12 by 37 lathe let ALL the magic smoke out. I was busy at the time and quickly bought a cheap drum switch( Unknown country of origin) and fitted an elderly Canadian made motor. The drum switch never was smooth in operation and despite giving it a " good looking at " a couple of times I was not able to improve it. About a month ago the switch became very " Notchy " in operation and I decided enough was enough. A search discovered a second hand Allen Bradley drum switch in my recent acquisitions. I am far from being an electrician but I got it all up and running again in an hour or so. The switch feels SO MUCH BETTER than the other ever was. The strange thing is that I feel much happier using that lathe, though I have done nothing to the rest of it! Any comments or similar experiences? regards David Powell..

darryl
11-09-2013, 01:21 PM
Having been involved in electronics professionally for many decades, I've seen my share of switches and controls of all types. I too get a good feeling from operating those that have a good feel, positive action, etc. I'm nearly disgusted to have to use something where is feels like it's about to break, or it's grindy, or similar. Doesn't matter if the function works- if the thing feels like crap, it seems to bring out a sarcasm in me, and if it feels good it brings out a sense of respect for it. I think it's fair to say that operating something 'good' improves my creative process for the project at hand- at least it does feel that way.

Paul Alciatore
11-09-2013, 02:03 PM
I think another great example of this is computer keyboards. It took them some time to get a consistent, good feel. I remember keyboards with distinct, sharp clicks. Others had almost no feel, just a light spring pressure. And some of them cost $50 and $75.

Now most computer keyboards have a good, tactile feel with a mild click sound. They work for many years and the cost is in the $5 to $10 range. And they do greatly improve the experience of using a computer.

RWO
11-09-2013, 02:04 PM
If the AB switch makes you feel good, you would be positively ecstatic if it was controlling a VFD driving a nice industrial grade 3-phase motor.

RWO

WhatTheFlux!
11-09-2013, 02:08 PM
A friend of mine does Human Machine Interface work for a living. He said there is a whole psychology when it comes to laying out controls and grouping functions... and that the best controls are designed and spec'd by the operators themselves. NOT spec'd by "experts" in the field or master engineers who have never run the equipment or $$$-controlling bosses who only want the cheapest that money can by.

The feel of the switch/button/levers/touch-screen goes a long way in deciding if a machine is "good" or crap, long before you get to the actual functionality of the machine in question.

PStechPaul
11-09-2013, 02:10 PM
Electronics is a bit of an art as well as a science, especially when it comes to ergonomics, and the look and feel presented to the user. I like pushbuttons with a crisp tactile feel and switches that turn smoothly and snap into position with a positive click. I have some multimeters that have a sticky rotary switch that sometimes must be fiddled with to get a good contact, and it makes the instrument feel "cheap", even though it may be more expensive and have more and better functions than my $3 HF multimeter, which has a nice feel to the selector switch. My HF lathe has a small rotary switch for FWD and REV, and it works OK, but it is in an inconvenient position and does not inspire as much confidence as a good drum switch. I have an old drum switch that I used years ago for my electric trains, and it greatly improved the experience compared to a simple toggle switch.

lwalker
11-09-2013, 03:06 PM
I have a stack of keyboards from the computers I've bought over the years. They all get replaced with my 30 year-old IBM PC keyboard. It sounds like a typewriter when the house is quiet, but I love the feel. The thing is built like a tank.


I think another great example of this is computer keyboards. It took them some time to get a consistent, good feel. I remember keyboards with distinct, sharp clicks. Others had almost no feel, just a light spring pressure. And some of them cost $50 and $75.

Now most computer keyboards have a good, tactile feel with a mild click sound. They work for many years and the cost is in the $5 to $10 range. And they do greatly improve the experience of using a computer.

Black Forest
11-09-2013, 03:40 PM
I have a 3D connexion mouse that I use with my CAD program. It is called a Space Pilot Pro. This mouse is used in conjunction with the normal mouse and keyboard. So when I am working in the CAD program I have a mouse in each hand and the keyboard in the middle. The Space Pilot Pro is without question the best feeling computer aid I have ever used. It just feels like quality. The knob for moving/rotating the model in 3D space is so solid feeling. All the extra function keys press with a perfect tactile feel.

So I completely understand where you are coming from regarding the quality feel thing.

David Powell
11-09-2013, 06:23 PM
If the AB switch makes you feel good, you would be positively ecstatic if it was controlling a VFD driving a nice industrial grade 3-phase motor.

RWO

When I bought the lathe ( Secondhand ) I needed it to do some larger paying work than I had previously undertaken . I have never really liked it very much. However, since changing the switch it has seen a lot more hobby use than previously. I really like my Standard Modern 9" with a DC drive system an old Boston Ratiotrol. I use a VFD on the vertical mill, that saves a lot of reaching to change belt positions.Being able to easily and quickly change speed is helpful but not an essential for me.I long ago found out that by running machines a bit slower I often got to the final destination a lot faster than when I ran hard and fast and ate tools quickly, not to mention ruined the odd workpiece. Regards David Powell.

kf2qd
11-09-2013, 06:49 PM
RG LeTourneau built some huge machines for moving dirt around. He stated that is the controls were easy on the operator then the operator would be easy on the machine. The one interface to your machine that you use every time you use the machine is now more comfortable and reliable, and thus you now feel better about using a machine that now has a better and more reliable feel to it.

Doozer
11-09-2013, 07:51 PM
To ergonomics and controls....
I have a VFD that I use on the mill.
For the 24v control inputs (fwd / off / rev) instead of
pushbuttons or toggles, I used a drum switch. Yes it
is way overkill for the milliamps that now run through it,
but I like the solid feel of the detents being on or off.
And maybe it is safer, as I am used to these switches
and in a panic, I instinctively put it to the off position.

--Doozer

ammcoman2
11-10-2013, 09:29 AM
+1 For this setup.

I have them on both lathes and on my mill. Initially I was concerned about the low current going through such big contacts but the wiping action keeps the faces clean. Never had any problems so far.

Geoff


To ergonomics and controls....
I have a VFD that I use on the mill.
For the 24v control inputs (fwd / off / rev) instead of
pushbuttons or toggles, I used a drum switch. Yes it
is way overkill for the milliamps that now run through it,
but I like the solid feel of the detents being on or off.
And maybe it is safer, as I am used to these switches
and in a panic, I instinctively put it to the off position.

--Doozer