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Thread: 3-in-1 (always on/always off (valet)/normal) switch?

  1. #1
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    3-in-1 (always on/always off (valet)/normal) switch?

    I've seen more than a few schematics that include a valet switch but I'm wondering if it's possible to use a 3 position maintained switch to use as a valet switch AND an always on switch for those short trips to the gas station, etc.
    If it is possible how would it be wired?
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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    yup it is possible-- connect a on-off-on type 3 way--first 'on' terminal would be connected to the switched line, second 'on' terminal would be connected to a constant 12v source, and the common terminal would be connected to teh remote lead of the carputer..

  3. #3
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    Ok, I'll put that into my own words to make sure I understand and you can confirm or deny.

    A SPDT switch has three terminals, the two outside ones are for ON and the middle one is COMMON.
    Connect the first outside terminal to a switched line as per usual like ACC or IGN. This gives me normal function.
    Connect the second outside terminal to a constant 12V source. This give me always on for when I'm getting gas or whatever.
    Connect the middle terminal to the remote lead of the PSU. This will allow the signal of option 1 or 2 to actually go to the computer.
    Leave the rocker in the middle for always off.
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    Seems to me that conceptually two switches might be more user-friendly; one for a big on/off, and one for normal/always on.

    That way you have one switch who's purpose is clearly "turn the whole contraption off", and another that lets you choose how you want to use it. Different switches for different conceptual operations.

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    The Last Good Gremlin GizmoQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkyks View Post
    Seems to me that conceptually two switches might be more user-friendly; one for a big on/off, and one for normal/always on.

    That way you have one switch who's purpose is clearly "turn the whole contraption off", and another that lets you choose how you want to use it. Different switches for different conceptual operations.

    Gary (-;
    Unless you're going for a clean, less cluttered install (believe me I got enough clutter). Given all the other stuff I got going on, adding two switches was too much. The one for the CarPC is labeled and illuminated (so I don't get out with in the permanently ON position). Wouldn't have it any other way, personally.
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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    tical: if you choose to go with 1 switch, you will need a 3-position switch--radioshack labels them as on-off-on switches-- these have 3 detention points, the 1, being to the first terminal connection, the second being off, and the third being another terminal connection.

    i think it would be a good idea to mount some led's near the switch, so that you can tell at a glance what position it is set to(at least when it is set for acc, or constant on)

    Quote Originally Posted by chunkyks View Post
    Seems to me that conceptually two switches might be more user-friendly; one for a big on/off, and one for normal/always on.

    That way you have one switch who's purpose is clearly "turn the whole contraption off", and another that lets you choose how you want to use it. Different switches for different conceptual operations.

    Gary (-;
    this is actually how my own install is, but i assumed(you know what they say about that :P) that the OP wanted a all-in-one switch-- i have 1 switch that is connected between the ign line and the carputers ign line--so i can control if the carputer starts up, and i have a second switch connected to a constant 12v source, and linked to the first switch-- i don't use a diode, so that anything that is waiting for the ign line to go hot, will turn on-- meaning that i can have all my amps, carputer and lights on without needing a key..

    both switches are lighted, and mounted in the underside of a cubby hole in the dash-- you would never know they are there, but the light is enough that i can see what is going on at night...

  7. #7
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    I'm going for all in one. I have a couple rockers to choose from already. I also want it hidden but accessable, otherwise what's the point of a valet switch? I can put an LED somewhere though, and I think I have the perfect location too.
    Every mod I've done to my truck is completely reversable, and I want to keep it that way. So far there are no holes drilled anywhere, even for my alarm LED or manual e-fan on/off switches.
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  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate Sleepyz0mby's Avatar
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    Why not a small illuminated push button (momentary) ? A quick trip to the shack for some cheap pieces and a board, a lil soldering, and -presto- the cleanest switch you can have. I'll see if I can find the schematic some place, it's easy.

  9. #9
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    Wait a tick, I just thought of something.

    What if it's in normal mode and I want to switch it to always on because I'm pulling into a gas station for example. While the vehicle/computer is running I'd have to switch it to always off, then to always on. Meanwhile my computer will be shutting down, no?
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  10. #10
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    Depends on your power supply configuration. If you are using a true car style PSU (M2-ATX, etc) then this switch should be on the ACC line, not the main power. Most PSU's will have a delay before actually shutting down the PC after losing power to the ACC line.

    Personally, if i was going this route, I'd look at using a 3 position key switch. At the very least, i'd go with a rotary switch, instead of toggle. 3 position toggles are never very user friendly. (it's hard to determine where they are without actually flipping them).
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