SOURCE: Digital Switching Systems

Digital Switching Systems

June 29, 2012 10:27 ET

Digital Switching Systems Brings Reliable Simplicity to Rugged Keypads

PowerKey Pro 2200 Analog Keypad Is Ideal for Industrial, Outdoor Equipment, Marine, Military and Transportation Industries

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - Jun 29, 2012) -   Digital Switching Systems (DSS), a leading provider of rugged open-source keypads, has announced another milestone in its PowerKey Pro family, the PowerKey Pro 2200 Analog Keypad. The 2200 analog model simplifies the PowerKey Pro by allowing direct connection to PLC's and control units. By eliminating the communication and digital logic portions of the keypad, the PowerKey Pro 2200 analog version is the perfect lightweight and flexible solution for any application and continues Digital Switching Systems' leadership in rugged keypads.

The PowerKey Pro 2200 analog keypad was designed to provide direct, low voltage/resistance input using highly reliable snapdome-over-gold contacts in a sealed, silicon rubber enclosure, to microcontrollers and other digital logic devices. It combines four highly reliable switches into a single user interface device that has LED backlighting and indicators, featuring simple to change ICON inserts that can be end user configured. Large round keys with indicator rings and multiple mounting orientations make the PowerKey Pro 2200 analog keypad simple and easy to deploy or change in the field.

"The PowerKey Pro continues to be one of the most exciting series of keypads we've come out with, and the PowerKey Pro 2200 analog keypad has taken that to the next level," said Eric Vaughn, President of DNA Group, parent to Digital Switching Systems. "It adds simplicity to our rugged, reliable and flexible keypads. This new entry into the PowerKey Pro series of keypads fills the niche that customers have been asking for -- rugged, reliable, flexible, and now, simple. It truly makes the PowerKey Pro keypads perfect for any application."

The PowerKey Pro's physical keypad icons are interchangeable, so you can fully customize its layout at any time. The standard configuration allows multi-key interlocks and a wide variety of LED configuration.


Navcast, a leader in the marine weather industry, needed a sealed/rugged HMI device that will input directly to their controller device. It needed illumination and low resistance, lower power contacts that would be very reliable. The application involves a SOS/Distress system that had switch reliability issues. The old switch assemblies involved a complete switch box assembly that was designed to be watertight but the rocker style switches achieved only 3 to 4 years of life before failure. 

The DSS solution uses completely sealed snapdome switch technology enclosed in silicon rubber. Using the design of the PKP2200, the circuit was simplified to provide contact closure only and LED input wires to illuminate the backlit keys. The warning text and key ICONs are laser etched to provide 1 million plus actuations without loss of signal or LED indication while giving good tactile feedback to the operator while under a very stressful situation.

"The new keypad provides us with a simplified, rugged, waterproof solution. It is great that we can install it directly into the dash and it can withstand the harsh elements of the open ocean," said Craig Myers, Product Manager, Navcast.

Navcast will be using the keypad on an Iridium receiver that will be integrated with Sirius XM. The keypad will be used to activate/deactivate SOS transmissions, indicate when messages have been received, and toggle between different operational modes.

To learn more about the PowerKey Pro, please visit

About Digital Switching Systems:
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Digital Switching Systems is a leading provider of rugged, open-source keypad solutions for the industrial, outdoor equipment, marine, military and transportation industries. A subsidiary of DNA Group, Digital Switching Systems continues to bring to the forefront state-of-the-art devices and software applications for remote, networked control of low voltage DC power applications through the DSS family of components powered by omni-BUS™. For more information about Digital Switching systems, please visit

DNA Group, Inc. is a manufacturer of custom controls for the portable appliance, white goods and consumer products market. To learn more, please visit

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