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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 30th Jun 2020, 12:29 pm   #1
David Simpson
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Default Old & New Rotary Switches

Cor, F-A-Duck ! Has anyone seen the cost of modern Rotary(Wafer) Switch assemblies recently ?
Referring to the "Roberts" valve tester thread in "Test Eq"., decided to delve into a huge plastic box of mainly an NOS RS Switch Construction Kit, plus a decent handful of salvaged/recovered/given older "yaxley type paxolin & ceramic wafer switches. Was looking for single pole/10 way wafers, plus some lesser combinations, for the "Roberts Revival Hybrid" which might(or might not)go ahead.
I've just got an old set of RS Catalogues from 2008, and was amazed by the cost(even back then) of individual(or in 10's) wafers, and all the mechanical switch assembly bits & bobs. Just leafed through a page or two & quickly got to a rough estimate of £100 for just a couple of handfuls of wafers. Then roughly estimated the rest, plus all the mechanical bitties - total = what - 300 to 400 effing quid !
Originally, the wafer kit came mainly in 5 of those lovely big yellow RS 6" x 10" 18 compartment plastic boxes with clear Perspex lids. But I needed them for heaps of nuts, bolts, washers, wee bulbs, etc.
God forbid that anyone needed to replace a switch or two in an AVO VCM, or HP gear, etc. with more robust ceramic or modern composite insulated wafers, instead of RS's basic plastic ones.
PS. The old Roberts switches are in the bottom l/h corner of the table.

Regards, David
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 10:52 pm   #2
joebog1
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Default Re: Old & New Rotary Switches

I buy beautiful ceramic double contact wafer switches from that site. They are available in hundreds of combinations and patterns. My latest purchase was 9 pole 4 position, so three wafers with nice ball indent clicker plate. They were $5 aussie dollars each, post free and took 6 days to get here from China.
Search " Ceramic rotary switch". it should pull up hundreds of different styles.

Joe
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 5:00 pm   #3
David Simpson
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Default Re: Old & New Rotary Switches

Thanks Joe for that info. Right enough, those ceramic wafers would be ideal. On eBay, the ones from China are flogged through the USA, so one sw. costing a fiver attracts a postage & customs charge of $30!
I'll delve through my RS "MAKA - SWITCHES" box of kit meantime, and see what combinations I could use. A lot of the older 2nd hand ones I have are paxolin wafers & need de-soldering. To obtain the best combination for valve testing I'll need a minimum of nine 1pole/10 way wafers(break before make), plus two or three others. The other factor I have to consider is the cabinet depth which is 3".

Regards, David
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 6:14 pm   #4
Keith956
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Default Re: Old & New Rotary Switches

I guess the rules don't allow me to be more specific but there are Hong Kong based sellers on ebay that will sell you rotary switches with free postage, I recently bought a 4p 8w one for £5.73, came with a knob too.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 6:26 pm   #5
David Simpson
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Default Re: Old & New Rotary Switches

For those folk who might be planning a project involving multi wafer switch connections, thought I'd offer a couple of hints for the uninitiated.
Even for experienced folk, this is fiddly & at times complicated. Throw in 10 wee latched/on-off-on toggle switches & things get more complicated. I prefer to use coloured-coded wiring, but mono-coloured wire with sleeve identification(RS Kit 557-001) could be used. Or a combination. I've chosen the good old resistor mnemonic - BBRO- - - . So sw contact 1/toggle sw 1 = Brown, - - - sw contact 10/toggle sw 10 = Black. I've also crayoned in all the colours alongside the rotary switches. This'll all be on the underside of a panel, so naebody will ken after completion. Looks silly - maybe. Saves time - definitely. Easy to follow through - most certainly. There will eventually be four panels to join up, and I've coloured-in my construction diagram. Definitely makes it easy-peasy for an old analogue duffer like me. Mind you, back in the early '70's, myself & fellow RAF electronics instructors taught our apprentice technicians to "ident" the wiring for their final qualifying construction project, I recall. As the poor sods had only 8 hours from cutting-out aluminium sheeting, bending to form a chassis, drilling/tapping, soldering components on a large sheet of vero-board, and so on.

Regards, David
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 8:56 pm   #6
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Old & New Rotary Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simpson View Post
Thanks Joe for that info. Right enough, those ceramic wafers would be ideal. On eBay, the ones from China are flogged through the USA, so one sw. costing a fiver attracts a postage & customs charge of $30!

Regards, David
I find it puzzling that a seller in China would supply goods via the USA, but without seeing the link, I could be mistaken.

If a search for any item to be sourced from ebay is made, if the site is listed on ebay.co.uk the price will be shown in GB Pounds, whatever county the supplier is in, whether it's China, Canada, Croatia or wherever. However, if the site is listed on ebay.com, whatever country the supplier is in, the price will be shown in US Dollars, which is the universal the international unit of currency. Hence, just because a price is shown in US Dollars it doesn't follow that there is any involvement in the USA in the supply chain, unless of course the seller is based in the USA.

I've just done a search for 'ceramic rotary wafer switches' & there is an abundance of new and NOS offerings on both ebay.co.uk (priced is GBP) and ebay.com (priced in USD).

When you say postage and customs add $30 (£22.80 at today's conversion rate), you don't say which bit of that is postage. If the declared value of the item and shipping in under £15.00, ($19.7 US) there wouldn't be any VAT or Customs Duty. If it over £15.00 but less than £135, there would be no Customs Duty, but VAT would be applied and an £8.00 Post Office handling fee. If the value of the goods is more than £135, both VAT and Customs duty would be applied, and the £8.00 Post Office collection fee.

Customs charges are calculated and applied by the UK Border Force on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). All mail sent to the United Kingdom may be checked by Border Force. Any charges applied will depend on the contents, where it was sent from and who sent it, but usually letters, postcards and parcels of documents are exempt. (Different rates apply to gifts).

Here's a clip from a recent thread on Import VAT and Customs Duty in the UK:

Quote:

Post Office Handling Fee:

To make sure you get your item as quickly as possible, we pay HMRC any Import VAT and/or Customs Duty charges on your behalf. We then send you a “Fee to Pay” card, showing how much you need to pay before you can receive your item. The amount you need to pay includes our £8 handling fee. This covers the costs for clearing the item through the customs process and presenting it to Border Force.

Items received from non-EU countries (Includes Channel Islands):

Value up to £15: No Import VAT, no Customs Duty.
Value over £15 up to £135 Import VAT but no Customs Duty.
Value over £135 Import VAT plus Customs Duty.

Gift sent from one individual to another:
Value up to £39: No Import VAT or Customs Duty.
Value over £39 up to £135: Import VAT, but no Customs Duty.
Value over £135: Both Import VAT and Customs Duty.

End quote.

Source:

https://www.royalmail.com/sites/defa...t-Jan-2017.pdf

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...t=customs+duty

As I said earlier, if the Chinese seller does for some reason ship via the USA to the UK, all of these remarks are irrelevant, but if not, it might clear up any confusion.
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Old 11th Aug 2020, 11:30 am   #7
David Simpson
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Default Re: Old & New Rotary Switches

David, I think my enquiries led me to a US eBay site, which quoted a basic price then added on US Export duties & postage.
For folk in the UK vintage radio fraternity, acquiring radios, equipment, & spares from the US has been fraught with hefty additional customs duties for years. Need a fancy Attwater-Kent valve holder eh ? See how much US duties will hit you for !

Regards, David
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