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issue: May 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

Consumer Electronics: Engineering With Plastics
Bringing Music Control Outdoors


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by David Simpson, Contributing Editor

Audioaccess redesigns its popular multi-room audio system to allow keypad control from an outdoor location.

Audioaccess, a division of Madrigal Audio Labs (Middletown, CT, U.S.), wanted to extend the capability of its popular multi-room audio system to allow keypad control from an outdoor location (e.g. patio). The keypad contains sophisticated circuitry and eight pushbuttons to select and control audio sources (e.g. tuner, CD, tape), and for volume control and on/off. In addition, each keypad contains status LEDs and an infrared receiver to control the system from a handheld remote.


Figure 1: The single piece silicone rubber keypad seal is located in the middle.

To make the keypad weatherproof, Audioaccess needed a transparent seal that would permit reading the legends on the buttons, facilitate through-seal operation, be easily integrated into the keypad design, and be mounted to a standard outdoor electrical box. APM Hexseal (Englewood, NJ, U.S.) designed a single-piece, crystal-clear, precision-molded silicone rubber seal that nests neatly into a perimeter groove of the keypadÕs front plate assembly (Figure 1). This pliable, UV-tolerant seal permits easy viewing of the keypad legends and operation of each button through the seal. It has tolerance to weather/dust, and has molded-in recesses for the mounting screws (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Detail of the seal shows molded-in recesses for mounting screws, and a shape that fits into the controlÕs perimeter groove.

 

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