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AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Pre-1950 (Antique) > Pancake switch replacement option Part II

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Pancake switch replacement option Part II  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2020 05:38 am
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William Dunlap
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Joined: Fri Jan 31st, 2014
Location: Kula, Maui, Hawaii USA
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I was never satisfied with the two attempts I've made at replacing the missing switch on my '02 Pancake and like a badger with a stick, I just couldn't let go.So, I persisted. Too much time on my hands at the moment, obviously. 
The last iteration of my project switch did the job as intended, turning all the way around the clock to select the five different speeds and also the off position. However, it fell short in two ways. First, you could spot that it was not the original switch. The switch shaft adapter was brass where the original was an insulator made from phenolic or some thing similar. (I've painted it black. Problem solved.) Second, the switch could turn easily in both directions which meant I used a jam nut to secure the knob, also obvious deviation from original.
I ordered several switches from ebay and Amazon. The five position single pole switches arrived first so I went ahead with modifying those.
Here's some pics.
First pic is the first switch I used just to get going. It's a six position switch with off, but only goes to the six o'clock position. This type of switch is near impossible to modify.


Next is my second attempt. Note the mounting bracket I fabricated for this one.


That switch required considerable "McGuivering" to make work. It did, and I was satisfied with the function of it, but criticism from a certain pancake connoisseur caused me to rethink it.
I used the same switch for the third iteration, but this time I wanted to simplify if possible, make it visually indistinguishable from the original and address the "feel" of the switch to come as close to the original as possible.
I've accomplished that and I am now satisfied with the results. See video below demonstrating it's function.

These switches can be dismantled easily, which helps tremendously when you are modifying.This is the switch before modifications.

I took it apart, moved several of the contacts to different positions, removed the detent plate and hammered flat all the bumps used to position the switch in the correct places. I fabbed a brass plate to create my own detents and to also serve as a mount for the switch and riveted it to the original plate. I drilled six holes in the brass plate of a diameter just under the ball bearing's size being careful to get them in the exact right positions. With a punch, I raised the lip on one side of the hole, then with my dremmel ground a path out of the hole. The intent of this was to re-create the spring-snap feel of the original switch. The feel, now, is nearly exact. 
In the pic below, you can see two of the parts needed to do this. One is a threaded stand-off to mount the switch, and the other is the adapter I used on the second switch.

The adapter is easily fabbed using 3/8ths x 1/4 brass tubing, then solder a piece of 1/4 rod that has been threaded for the knob. The end of the tubing is then filed into a double "D" for the switch pointer to mount.The third version I made is quite a bit shorter as I had some interference problems with this switch and the rotor.
So, in reality, there are only four fabbed pieces for this conversion which makes it pretty simple.
I've ordered a couple of 1 pole 11 position switches that look just like this one. With those, you could just install it after removing the stop inside and use it as is. It would have twelve stops, but you could use every other contact and get just five speeds and off with it. Changing the detent plate is more work, but in the end, I wanted it to look and work just like the original so I took the extra time to change that.

I'll probably modify the two 11 position switches that are on the way from China and move on. I've a mind to make my own switch starting with a 1/2" diameter rod of nylon, Delrin or something of the sort. I have a plan to make a switch that looks similar to the original, but is simplified. It needs to use all the original parts like the insulator, pointer and knob and be compatible with existing mounting without any modification. Plug and play if you will.


The purpose of this post is not to sell switches. If someone has an old fan and can't scrape up the cash for a new switch (200$) this is a viable option. I've got about five switches now and have spent about 20$ so far.




Cheers,
Bill

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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 02:52 pm
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Richard Daugird
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Nice work Bill!

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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 06:40 pm
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Jim Kovar
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Location:  Lincoln, Nebraska USA
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William Dunlap wrote: I was never satisfied with the two attempts I've made at replacing the missing switch on my '02 Pancake...
First two attempts?...

https://www.afcaforum.com/forum1/50848.html

http://www.afcaforum.com/forum1/59693.html

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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 06:57 pm
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Richard Daugird
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I'll just be glad when the Corona Virus dies down so I can go get some of those "Jiffy Bake Switches" in the second post, Jim.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 07:54 pm
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Jim Kovar
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Richard Daugird wrote: ...so I can go get some of those "Jiffy Bake Switches"...
I've been to every grocery
store in Lincoln.


Can't find 'em.  :X

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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 09:49 pm
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William Dunlap
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Joined: Fri Jan 31st, 2014
Location: Kula, Maui, Hawaii USA
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Jim Kovar wrote: William Dunlap wrote: I was never satisfied with the two attempts I've made at replacing the missing switch on my '02 Pancake...
First two attempts?...

https://www.afcaforum.com/forum1/50848.html

http://www.afcaforum.com/forum1/59693.html

Yes, there has been only two other switches in the back of my pancake.Now, there's a third, but I ain't done yet.
I have plans for a forth and that one, if it is successful, will be made in a certain quantity, perhaps, 10, that I will be selling at a loss to certain individuals who have been pretty good to me.
Cheers,
Bill

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