October 4, 2004
Originally Published MPMN October 2004
Infrared Switch Cuts the Cord
Wireless foot switch eliminates cable clutter
An infrared wireless foot switch eliminates the use of cables and cords in environments where multiple wires may constitute a hazard.
A new twin aquiline foot switch manufactured by Linemaster Switch Corp. (Woodstock, CT) incorporates infrared technology to create a wireless unit. The infrared light waves transmit 360° of signal within an approximate 40-ft range.
Designed for use in situations where cords and cables may restrict user movement, the switch has found a home among hospitals and surgical centers. Surgeons and hospital staffers have asked for wireless technology in order to reduce tripping hazards, says Mike Szostek, program manager at Linemaster.
There is also the issue of cable breakage. “The cable is the weakest point of a switch,” states Szostek. “Eventually, it will break, so wireless [switches] seemed to be the way to go.”
The transmitter has a battery life of up to 200 hours and the receiver requires only 6 V dc at 200 mA to operate. Multiple wireless systems can operate simultaneously in the same room by using one of three configurations. There is a maximum of five switch functions and no product calibration is required.
Samples continue to be tested for use in various settings. Currently, OEMs are testing the switch for use with equipment to comply with regulatory requirements.
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