The humble electro-mechanical Rocker Switch has been and still is, the workhorse of Man-Machine-Interfaces inside the cabins of off-highway vehicles. Traditional advantages have been low-cost, direct load drive with numerous electrical and aesthetical variants available. However, they also have some drawbacks. Extensive power cabling needed to connect to the loads, reduced lifetime when switching high loads and the difficulty to add functions not thought of at first are all common issues when using existing Rocker Switches. To overcome these drawbacks while adding extra features, COBO introduces a new family of Smart Rocker Switches, series 4500.
Each COBO 4500 series Smart Rocker Switch has an internal microcontroller that verifies the key positions, drives the four internal LED’s, performs diagnostics and connects to an external gateway. The gateway confirms the switch status through two physical subnets, for up to 30 switches and interfaces with load drivers through CAN bus. The communication between switches and gateway is through a serial bus.
Connection is by a thin three-wire, daisy-chained harness with the Switches having two identical connectors for the purpose. Significant Space saving in small/crowded cabins, in particular installation space such as roof and pillars, is achieved with the smaller Smart Switch harness capability resulting in an estimated reduction of weight and space up to 30%.
With COBO 4500 series Smart Rocker Switches, the integrator/builder can add switches to the vehicle in a later design phase without the need to foresee expansions within the cabin harness. In fact, it is quick and easy to insert the new Smart Switch, connect it with a short bridge (available from COBO) and send a reconfiguration command through CAN bus. The reconfiguration happens in a few seconds and is stored in non-volatile memory inside the gateway. Additionally, the user/builder can swap the switch position at will to satisfy the customer’s personal preferences, or to group switches in assigned zones.
Each Smart Switch comes with 4 LEDs, grouped two-by-two under the two main key positions. A group consists of a white LED for Switch location and a RGB LED for activation(s). The LED functions for each Switch are fully customizable including the RGB colour, intensity and flashing duration. The LEDs can also be used for self-diagnosis reporting and to identify some special conditions, e.g. wrong or no configuration.
Due to the low currents involved in switching and sensing, the electrical life of the COBO series 4500 Smart Rocker Switches is improved by up to 500k cycles. The front protection index of IP69K and the operating temperature range from -40 to +85°C, allows the reliable operation of the of Switches in harsh environments including installations with direct exposure to the elements.
The series 4500 range of Smart Rocker Switches are now available for sampling in any common variant such as two or three positions, stable, momentary or mixed with customizable icons ISO7000, ISO2575, customer specific versions available on request.
The customer can choose to order between the fully defined Switch complete with key (standard P/N), or the bare body plus the keys separately. Software coupling between keys and bodies can be done at manufacturer’s site by means of free issue COBO software, no more need to stock innumerable variants of Switches!