A big project just got cancelled so I’ve got some time and I want to design something I’ll use on my board but that can also be used by others. Yea, there are other AS switches out there but there’s always room for another good one.
I have a few ideas, based on what I want it to do, but would love to hear what features/ratings you would like to see in a new AS switch.
Don’t be limited by what already exists! This is a chance for us to create something that does what no other switch does. Different size, shape, features, interface, ratings, responses to different conditions, etc.
We don’t need another switch that just looks and works like all the rest. Let’s create something incredible. Towards that goal I have a few questions…
What features or ratings MUST the switch have for you to buy it? That is, if it doesn’t have this feature or rating you will never buy it.
What totally off-the-wall features would you love it to have but that you can do without if it adds too much to the size or cost? Think of this as your wish list.
What features would make you decide NOT to buy it? That is, if this feature or way of working is part of the switch you will not buy it. For example, you might hate it having a beeper that can’t be turned off.
Things to consider can include, but are not limited to…
Size and shape
Connections and wiring
How it’s turned on/off
How it displays things like status, errors, etc.
Multiple channels or additional functions?
Types of things it protects against
There is no way for this device to compete pricewise with stuff coming out of China so it needs to compete in different ways, through its reliability and a unique set of features. It needs to be a unit that is worth the higher price. If someone wants a lower cost switch then those can be bought from another company. If someone wants the extras that this switch could offer then it might be worth the higher price to them.
Think carefully about what you’re actually interested in having as a feature. A rating of 200A might be something you ask for because you feel it would extend the switch’s life in a 100A setup. But that high rating makes the unit large and expensive. In this example what you might actually looking for is a switch that can be used thousands of times in any situation without failure.
That high reliability is something I would work to make happen and we can just concentrate on the ratings we actually need for the setups we have. Don’t think about specific numbers if they’re driven by something else. Think about what you really want in your dream AS switch.
I’m hoping this is a device of possible interest to some and I look forward to reading your ideas. Thank you for your time!
Things I want out of an AS that currently are unavailable:
High voltage support (up to 18s)
High current support (up to 200A continuous)
Things I would love to see in an AS:
roll to start and auto shutdown. So that you don’t even need a power button.
Extra bonus features:
Say you have a 4WD board. One (or two) ESCs on each end of the board. It would be nice if you didn’t have to route the battery wires all the way to the other end. If someone builds a symmetrical battery (leads come out from the center / somehow pack + and pack - are accessible on both ends), it would be cool to have an AS switch that allowed chaining two of them in parallel. So you’d have an AS on each side, both using the same button / roll to start turns both of them on / auto shut-off turns both of them off!
Or, some people have boards with multiple batteries (different voltage levels, no common ground). Being able to wire 2 AS together so that a single button controls both would also be cool.
Price, reliability, and size are also very important factors though. If it’s too big, I’ll buy an ESC with an integrated AS instead. Same scenario if it’s too expensive. And reliability – if it’s not bulletproof, I might as well just use a loop key.
Reliability and small form factor are the biggest needs.
The coolest extra bonus features off the top of my head are:
A way to lock the antispark switch so random people can’t turn it on. (biggest issue is not locking yourself out)
Small battery indicator on switch, maybe led tied.
Have a GPS locator built in to the anti spark drawing as low current as reasonably achieveable for the thieves
Alarm when board is on and disconnected from remote for a certain amount of time (would need uart or some ppm monitoring). Would maybe prevent a bit of reselling from thieves if board won’t turn on without beeping obnoxiously Could be used for custom notifications like over temp, speed increments, time, etc.
Ok the last 2 should be standalone devices but would be differentiating features I would likely pay more for.
I think for lights 12V is more common. If there were an integrated 12V buck converter, that would be perfect, but using a separate buck converter is an option too. With that said, I would trust the integrated buck converter a lot more than a 5$ aliexpress buck converter.
Having a separate button for the secondary light channel is how I imagined it, but maybe that adds too much extra complexity and cost, I am not sure.
One that’s small enough to be used as the terminal plug on a battery, without having to go from XT90 to switch to XT90 to ESC. Space and wire management are my main issues with AS switches and why I generally go for an ESC with a switch.
The discharge plug on a battery. From the positive and negative terminals of the pack, often ending in an XT90/60 or however one chooses to terminate their discharge wires.
As for current rating, I have no idea. I was just mentioning the space thing, which is the main reason why I stopped buying and using ESCs without an internal switch and haven’t even looked at AS switches since I used my last one.
IMO a shutdown after inactive time is the single most important feature. I will never own a board that can be accidently left on and this has been a key decision making point for me in the past when choosing hardware.
In terms of something new, NFC could be a really novel way to add some security. A tag / ring could be a seamless and secure way to power up without needing to drill enclosures. Also a fun design challenge that’s a little more complex.
Otherwise maybe a PWM pass through could be used for activation. So once the board is on, if you turn your remote off the pwm jumps to a default and the board is shut down. Antispark could keep the receiver active and if the remote Is turned back on within a set time (say 24h) the main power is turned back on. After that time the receiver is turned off again to protect the battery and a button start is required for the first wake.