01 August 2009

On/off switches

What ever happened to plain, simple on/off switches.

I’ve got (at least) two kitchen appliances (a Foreman grill and an Xpress 101) that are on when plugged in and can only be turned off by unplugging them. I actually found myself wondering if I could get a power strip with separate on/off switches for each plug.

An on/off switch shouldn’t be an accessory.

Now, I do understand that these kind of direct marketing products have to cut a lot of costs, but...really? No on/off switch?

My Digitech RP350 guitar processor doesn’t have an on/off switch either. I actually do use a power strip’s on/off switch for it. sigh All the technology packed inside that box, but an on/off switch was too much.

Some guitar effects, however, have the on/off switch combined with the input jack. If you plug an input into it, it is on. To turn it off, you have to unplug the input. So, it combines the cost and risk of mechanical failure of an on/off switch with inconvenient operation. Brilliant!

Then there are the “soft” power switches. It used to be the on/off switch physically connected and disconnected power to the device. That was too simple and effective I guess. Just the other day I had to pull the power cord on the Wii because the power switch and reset button where unresponsive.

My favorite on/off silliness, however, might be my Yahama acoustic guitar. It’s preamp has a switch labelled “mute” and “off”. “Off” means “not muted” which means “on”. So if I leave it “off”, the battery runs down.


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