Atec Ultra Light switch review: nearly painless

IMPORTANT: if you can avoid it, don’t buy this switch from EnableMart. They charge double what other sites do.

After returning a bad adjustable pressure switch, I decided to try another kind. This one is working better: an Atec Ultra Light switch. I gritted my teeth and bought a pack of five for $90. That would only have gotten me two adjustable switches — not even that. I ordered the Atecs through Marblesoft; if I’d ordered through EnableMart, I would have been charged $200 for a pack of four.

The Atecs are tiny and fit easily in a pocket of the laptop bag that carries my trackball and switch interface. They’re black and come with colored stickers: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. I recommend using them, particularly if your switch interface doesn’t label the jacks. From the shape, they’re meant for pressing with a finger, very lightly — about 7g of pressure, compared to about 100 for a standard Buddy Button or 200 for a pressure switch.  (See comparison chart.) However, if I stick them to the desk (reusable adhesive is included), I can use the side of my right hand or, with concentration, part of my left fist. The switch is so small that a spasm swings my arm wide of it, usually, instead of clicking again.

Most often, however, I end up using the side of my right hand, which is why I wanted something light. At first I thought I should make more use of my left fist when I could, but spasticity requires heavy switches and concentration makes tension, and I don’t think that’s good in the long term. My fist joints have started to swell and stiffen too, half from being an involuntary fist for so long. I don’t want to create more pain in something I can’t move to ease.

The switches are also small enough to be held in or strapped to the hand and squeezed. The low force and variety of positions make them potentially good possibilities for long term switch users, too, if you’re needing that kind.

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One Response to Atec Ultra Light switch review: nearly painless

  1. Marty Stone says:

    Thank you for your kind words about the Ultra Light! I’m delighted you like it. It has gotten great feedback. Just as you predicted other versions of this switch are available that are specifically for Finger, Thumb, Hand, and Chin placement. There is also an instruction sheet available on how to make your own Chin switch from the Ultra Light. Email me and I’d be happy to send you this information. Very best regards, and keep blogging! Marty (sales@atengineering.us)

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