Switches   to   Use

IMPORTANT !!! DO NOT use wall current !!!

          For projects such as these, we would recommend knife switches. Their one great advantage is that their "open" design easily shows how a switch works. However, their 2 disadvantages are   1) they are hard to find and   2) they are somewhat expensive. Much easier to find (and cheaper) would be switches used in everyday house wiring. (Don't buy illuminated types or mercury types and ONLY use battery power with these). Household switches have their moving parts encapsulated in plastic and cannot be seen. So, take all these facts into consideration when deciding which type of switch you are going to use.

Lights   &   Batteries

          At first thought, taking apart a flashlight might seem to be a good source for both these items. However, when batteries and light bulbs are outside of a flashlight, they are very awkward to work with. For example, how would you connect wires to the batteries and the bulb?

          We recommend using a 9 volt battery. Terminals that 'snap' onto these batteries are readily available. These have 2 short wires that easily allow you to make good electrical connections. For a bulb we would recommend a 9 volt "screw type" that can be inserted into a matching socket which should have screw terminals for attaching wires.

W   I   R   E   S

            Wires come in varying thicknesses or "gauges". The smaller the number, the larger the wire. For example, #16 wire is bigger than #18 wire. We recommend using #18, #20 or #22 for these circuits. Wire also comes in solid or stranded types. If you are totally inexperienced with wiring, you might want to use solid only. Stranded wire is not that much of a problem, but remember to twist the strands tightly before making connections.

          DON'T use bare (uninsulated wires). With that in mind you will need a tool for removing the insulation from the wire. A wire stripper or even wire cutters should do the job quite nicely. A knife could be used but it has a tendency to nick the wires, doesn't do as neat a job and poses the risk of cutting yourself. Please use the proper tool for removing the insulation.

          As for making connections, strip away 3/4" of insulation. Connections of 1 wire to another wire should be twisted tightly and then covered with electrical tape. Wires connected to screw terminals should go about 2/3 the distance around the screw in a clockwise direction.

          Good luck with wiring the project !!!




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