Thursday, April 16, 2015

Intermezzo #79: The Auto-Illuminator Switch

Many G-Shocks have an Auto-Illuminator or Full Auto-Illuminator on board. Sometimes it's called Auto-Light or Auto-EL. As far as I know the first Auto-Illuminator was introduced on the Extreme DW-003XS and DW-9000XS models (sold overseas as G-Lide) in April 1997. The Full Auto-Illuminator, which only switches the backlight on in dark surroundings, was introduced on the Raysman in 1998. Have you Ever wondered how the Auto-illuminator switch of your G-Shock works? I think I posted the answer probably more than 10 years ago on the G-Shock Forum (often nicknamed F17). Maybe an idea to bring up the subject again.
The light switch on the drawing board. 
+ B are the connections to contacts
C are the contacts at the top of the slope
D is the plastic housing with the slope. 
E is the little ball. 1 is the position in rest, 2 is the position when tilted. 

Actually the switch is pretty simple. Inside a plastic housing there is a small steel ball, located down a slope. This ball can freely roll over the slope. When you twist your wrist towards you, while your arm is hold roughly parallel to the ground, the ball rolls over to the top of the slope. At the top of the slope there are two contacts. When the ball is at the top of the slope, it connects the contacts, so the electric circuit is closed. The light will turn on.
 Of course I couldn't resist to build a working model and to make a short movie to demonstrate how it works.


Unknown said...

Super cool Sjors! The demonstration video rocked. And loved the name: 110v productions.

dorkinaut23 said...

HaHa, you couldn't resist to build a working model huh? That's funny. One thing that I've occasionally wondered about but not so much that I'm willing to start taking apart my G-Shocks, is why the tilt sensor seems to be a little sticky on the small 5000, 5600, 5610 size models. My theory is that the sensor is a little smaller and maybe the metal ball just doesn't have enough weight to start itself moving as quickly, but I don't actually know the answer.