Simple Switch Tester

Makers Making Change is starting to work on a Simple Switch Tester. This is a small, battery powered device that you plug an assistive switch into and enables you to quickly assess whether the switch is working or not. These can be used by users, caregivers, and/or disability professionals to troubleshoot switch problems. We often use switch testers during the course of building an open-source switch to confirm that it is working.

These are relatively simple, and consist of a jack for the assistive switch, a power source, and a way to provide feedback - typically a light. There are some AT-specific products available such as the AbleNet Single Switch Tester, but they are quite expensive ($55 USD / $80 CAD + Shipping).

MMC has also created simple testers in the past using parts from other projects like the one pictured below. These work, and cost a fraction of the commercial version but don’t tend to withstand travel well.


The goal is to create a simple switch tester that is easy to use and can be easily made with readily available components.

If you have ideas, input, or anything else to contribute, feel free to add it here.

Hi Jake,

Does the Ablenet tester validate some level of minimum resistance? It’s possible to get continuity but for the internals of the switch to impose so much resistance that the toy or device doesn’t function properly.


Thanks Ken - that’s a good point and not something I had considered. I haven’t had a chance to check out the internals of the AbleNet tester. I’d be surprised if it is testing anything more than continuity, but it’s certainly a possibility.

A continuity tester in a multi-meter has a tone to indicate continuity.
Would adding an audible indicator add value to the tester?

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@dalesd - yeah, a tone is a good idea. We considered some sort of haptic feedback as well (e.g. vibration).

We’re pretty close to releasing a fairly simple light-only version for testing, but I think it would be helpful to have a version that provides alternate/additional feedback.