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  • ON/OFF Button Placement Convention

    I thought I had posted this question before, but I can't find it. So my apologies if this is a duplicate post.

    I am making an ON/OFF power control for my lathe bench and I have discussed some of the details elsewhere. Right now I am getting around to where I will be mounting the main push buttons for ON and OFF and they will be arranged one above the other: a green one for ON and a red one for OFF. The red one is larger and sticks out more so it is easier to hit.

    So, my question is, is there any actual convention in the machine tool world about which button should be on top and which on the bottom? My tendency is to put the ON button on the top as that seems to be the more logical arrangement to me. But I have seen machines where OFF is above ON. For even more confusion, my Grizzly mill has OFF on top, ON below it, and an E-Stop button below and to the left of both of them. So, I am confused about the existence of any standards in this. I am not really sure what the difference between their OFF and E-Stop functions is except that the OFF does not lock in the OFF position while the E-Stop does.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    So, my question is, is there any actual convention in the machine tool world about which button should be on top and which on the bottom? My tendency is to put the ON button on the top as that seems to be the more logical arrangement to me. But I have seen machines where OFF is above ON. For even more confusion, my Grizzly mill has OFF on top, ON below it, and an E-Stop button below and to the left of both of them. So, I am confused about the existence of any standards in this. I am not really sure what the difference between their OFF and E-Stop functions is except that the OFF does not lock in the OFF position while the E-Stop does.
    There are two possibilities: 1) There is a convention. 2) There is not a convention.

    You cite two examples where the OFF switch is above the ON switch. So, if you configure your switches the same way, you are good regardless of whether (1) holds or (2) holds. (Unless there is a convention, but the two examples you cite don't follow it -- in which case it's not really a strict convention.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Paul , looks like it is covered by IEC 60204-1 and NFPA 79
      Page 23 of this from Cutler Hammer:
      http://www.eaton.com/ecm/groups/publ...ol12_tab23.pdf
      and this from Schneider:
      http://www.schneider-electric.co.uk/en/faqs/FA28043/

      Neither completely answers your query.
      The IEC standard itself costs $300 or so !
      Regards

      Comment


      • #4
        In industry for motors the convention is start over stop. Since the start is normally recessed and the stop extended your hand is covering the stop when pushing start and you can just mash your hand down to hit stop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Going on a slight tangent here: if I were doing a start/stop, I would use a single button (push to start, push again to stop). No chance of confusing the buttons or accidentally hitting the wrong one. Such as hitting start when it's already running and you wanted to stop, even though "stop" was red and lighted and impossible to miss - BTDT.

          My buttons are chin-high above & slightly behind the bed. I hate looking around for switches/buttons.

          Bob

          Comment


          • #6
            Every time I have seen Green start/Red stop the Green has been on top - just like a traffic light. Seems intuitive.

            Mike

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MikeL46 View Post
              Every time I have seen Green start/Red stop the Green has been on top - just like a traffic light. Seems intuitive.

              Mike
              Around here the traffic lights have the green light on the bottom.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RichR View Post
                Around here the traffic lights have the green light on the bottom.
                Oops, does that count as a Senior Moment?

                Mike

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeL46 View Post
                  Oops, does that count as a Senior Moment?

                  Mike
                  Probably. See page 458 of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. It is a standard, at least in the U.S.

                  https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009r1r2/part4.pdf



                  Dan L
                  “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” (Problems of War and Strategy, Nov 6 1938, published in “Selected Works of Mao Zedong,” 1965)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is offensive to the Irish to have red on top of green, so we have this:

                    http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                    USA Maryland 21030

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paul,if you find having the ON button on top to be more logical, I think that's the way you should mount. I think you will find it will make hitting the correct button every time a little easier. Of course if your next machine comes with on/off buttons wired differently, you won't be happy until you switch them to be the same configuration.
                      Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This opens a whole kettle of worms. Does the ground pin on a receptacle go up or down? I have seen both. From what I have seen on British test equipment, the power toggle switch was up for off. Are wall switches that way in the UK?

                        Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hmm- the UK has Lucas- probably doesn't matter which way the switch goes.
                          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, no definite answer there. They seem more interested in the colors rather than the relative locations. I am stuck with Red and Green buttons as that is what came in the box I purchased.

                            As to the cost of that IEC standard document, I wonder just how an organization expects people to follow their standards when they price them out of sight. Somehow it just does not seem to make any sense.



                            Originally posted by wombat2go View Post
                            Paul , looks like it is covered by IEC 60204-1 and NFPA 79
                            Page 23 of this from Cutler Hammer:
                            http://www.eaton.com/ecm/groups/publ...ol12_tab23.pdf
                            and this from Schneider:
                            http://www.schneider-electric.co.uk/en/faqs/FA28043/

                            Neither completely answers your query.
                            The IEC standard itself costs $300 or so !
                            Regards
                            Paul A.

                            Make it fit.
                            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Funny you should mention that. As I said above, my Grizzly mill does have the Red/Stop button above the Green/Start one. And I do not like it. When I first got the machine I opened up the control box with the intention of swapping them. Until I saw the mad tangle of wires in there anyway. It would take me a week to sort them all out. Worst example of wiring I have ever seen.

                              Anyway, that is part of why I am asking this question. Personally, I would much prefer ON above OFF. It does seem more natural, but then the Grizzly was made in China.



                              Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                              Paul,if you find having the ON button on top to be more logical, I think that's the way you should mount. I think you will find it will make hitting the correct button every time a little easier. Of course if your next machine comes with on/off buttons wired differently, you won't be happy until you switch them to be the same configuration.
                              Paul A.

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                              Comment

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