Help me find a micrswitch

2005 Scion tC
The rocker that controls my sliding glass roof has become flakey. Upon disassembly of the control panel, I’ve discovered that the rocker pushes, four SPST normally-open momentary PWB-mounted microswitches (NOT SMT, but legs soldered to through holes). I’ve checked at the local surplus electronics store, Radio Shack (it’s okay, go ahead and laugh), and all over the internet. DPST momentary on microswitches are readily available, but I cannot find single poles anywhere.

I’ve ordered a new control panel ($76 after discount) but dammit; I like to FIX things, not replace them. The average Joe feels good if he/she succeeds in replacing the control panel… which is what the shop and any sane person would do… but not me… I want to fix the circuit board, replace the microswitches. I’m frustrated. If anyone has any ideas, other than accepting the fact that I can fix the car and not being frustrated by not being able to fix the PCB, any possible source of these switches, I’m soliciting them. If not, thanks for listening.

I miss the resources I had in industry.

Graingers ?

You’ve tried contact cleaner?

Have you tried these guys?


Graingers and McMaster Carr are great companies, but the stuff they sell is in a whole different and much larger category.

And contact cleaner won’t work, these buttons are sealed, and they’re about 5mm X 5mm square and about 4mm in the extended (open) position.

I know that it’s crazy for me to even be searching for something like this, but I already admit to being crazy so why not?

Hahahahahahah. I used Radio Shack too. Unfortunately, my neighborhood Shack is closed. Laugh at me, too. At least I’m in good company.

We use McMaster Carr at work for ground support equipment. They are worth a try.

is there a part number on your part? Maybe not for something that size. If there is one and you can’t read it, you might make it out on the replacement board. Post a picture and maybe we can help.

I checked there and Grainger already, but thanks for the suggestions anyway.

Good thought about the part number… unfortunately, there’s nothing printed on the parts at all. I looked under a 7X eyeloupe in the hopes of finding a company logo. There’s nothing. I may unsolder one and look on the base.

But, jt, you’ve raised an interesting point. A few years back I installed driving lights, and tried to get the connectors necessary interface with the existing wiring harnesses. I researched all the way to the connector part numbers. I think the parts guy thought I was crazy. Anyway, Toyota listed them as “not for sale” and I ended up buying the whole (small) harness. I WAS able to get the connector part numbers… but now that I think about it, I was unable to get the spec control info (supplier and supplier cross-reference).

Theory is what enables us to figure out what’s wrong. Reality is what we come up against when we try to fix it.

What about “Consumer Electronics” in eBay? Most of the time when I need electronic widgets that’s where I go digging around because Radio Shack here is where they film the Walking Dead.
An eBay seller I’ve used for electronic parts is “Curtsnovelty”; inexpensive parts and fast shipping.
That’s not a shill for the seller and I have no vested interest in his operation. Just great to deal with.

What about ripping an old PC or something like that apart? I’ve done that a few times to build up a stash of caps, resistors, and so on. I vaguey remember some electronic widgets having soldered microcswitches on their boards.

Radio Shack doesn’t stock cxxp and if you need a close tolerance resistor they NEVER have it stock. However, their website will provide one if you’re willing to cough up 9 bucks to ship it; and I’m never going to pay 9 bucks for a gram of shipped weight.

I’ll give these a shot. Thanks.
I think it’s going to take some search time to really even get close to what I need.

Unless I am missing something, you can use the DPST switches. You will only need one set of contacts, so don’t connect the second set.

Of course, markmast is correct … IF the mounting holes match up; maybe you just have to snip off the unused pin.

“All over the internet” – have you tried and ? I think there is another component vendor, but memory is slipping; I’ll post again if I remember it.

That’s actually probably what I’ll end up trying. I thought of clipping one set of legs of a DP button, which are readily available, but I’m limited by the existing PWB real estate layout and the need for the buttons to be properly located under the rocker that presses them. If I can find an SP, the buttons will be in the properly proximity under the rocker, if not it’ll be a b**** getting everything lined up well. The through holes are where the through holes are, and I’m stuck with that limitation.

I need to first intensify my search for an SP button. My gut suggests that they must be available somewhere, but without having a procurement manager to send RFPs to an established list of suppliers… well, it’s frustrating for me. Doing this as a civilian is going to require me to get an attitude adjustment.


Whatever I find, if anything, or whatever I try, I’ll post. I sincerely appreciate the help, and realize that I may be trying to do the impossible… sort of like trying to find a new platinum-palladium coated ceramic core for a cat converter. Ridiculous. And I accept that description of what I’m trying to do. {:stuck_out_tongue:

Wow. I thought I was the only man with grease under his fingernails to visit Radio Shack.

It’s just you and me, Rod. Unfortunately for Radio Shack.

I remember the days long past when the “in” thing to do was build your own TV. We used to call Heathkits “Griefkits”. And I remember driving to the RS store to test the tubes in TV sets, often repairing them just by replacing a tube. Those days are long gone. Probably just as well.

I picked up a pair of 80s vintage Realistic speakers at the local Goodwill last week. I’m going to have to replace the surround foam on the woofers. If I have to replace the woofers, I might pick up a pair of woofers from Parts Express. It turns out they sell microswitches too. The speakers will go well with the stereo receiver I bought in 1982 and just coaxed back to life with contact cleaner and compressed air.

Good luck, I understand where you’re coming from

Ed B.

I have found luck with getting a part number if possible, ebay could be your friend! Some parts I need ended up being order from brand only, at exhorbatant prices, but other times I have gotten lucky through web searches.

A thorough search of the site yielded no results, but I sincerely appreciate the link anyway.
Good luck with your speaker project.

Unfortunately, a part number is not to be found… unless, as I previously mentioned, I can manage to find something on the belly of one of the buttons under a microscope. I’ll have to unsolder and unmount one of them to look.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I feel like a fool. I had four double pole microbuttons in my hand earlier today and didn’t buy them cause they were double pole… for about a buck apiece. If I end up trying the earlier suggestion of clipping two posts and using the DPs, it’ll cost me more to drive back there than the buttons would have cost to buy.

I expect you already know this, but the problem is for parts like that, it’s likely possible to buy 10,000 of them, but to just buy a couple, not so easy. For stuff like that , besides RS – which often has something near enough to what I need – I’ll check out the internet sites like digidatakey, mouser. A couple other’s I’ve had pretty good success with are Jameco (located in the SF Bay area) and, I forget the name of that last one, but it appears in an article about LED lighting strips in “Nuts and Volts” magazine, Aug, 2015 issue. That last one is located in Florida I think.

It’s quite likely though what you want, you won’t be able to find, so you’ll have to come up with a work-around.

Edit: Years ago I sometimes had to order specially designed switches, physically small ones, which were purchased in big quantities, by the thousands per purchase order, tens of thousands per year, and I used a company called “C&K” as the vendor. That’s one of the biggest switch manufacturers, or at least was at the time. I can still remember the headaches I got looking through the catalog instructions and trying to come up with the correct configuration and part number … lol …

After they’d get the order, someone from that company would phone me and verify what I ordered was actually what I wanted. He told me they’d dedicate a section of the building and dozens of employees, so he wanted to make sure.

There use to be this surplus electronic store on Canal st in Manchester. Not sure if they are there any more. They might have what you want…but you’d have to dig through boxes to find it…or take apart some piece of equipment.