The first known usage of a mercury switch is found in the upload 16×16ディスプレイ。 by キーキ, also known as ki-ki. Ki-ki has even claimed to have accidentally discovered it. Since then, it has been used in quite a few English uploads.
How it works
Thunder is inputted in the switch, charging the metal that leads to the area with the mercury dot. The thunder detaches from the metal, which then hits the torch (the only solid element that will not react to any required elements) near the mercury. The mercury, in turn, "splashes" and passes through the torch to an open space, where either an incomplete circuit is, or pump that carries it to one.
To make more than two options for the switch, a vertical line of mercury can be used, which is measured similar to collected mercury in most calculators.
Criteria for working properly
- The mercury dot must be completely surrounded by a thick layer of torch to avoid the mercury from splashing somewhere other than the intended area. There must, however, be at least one dot taken out nearby for the mercury to splash to.
- The metal line that causes the mercury to move upon a thunder charge must have a blank dot at the end in order to have the thunder become uncharged, which will make the mercury splash to the other dot. This interestingly does not cause the mercury to splash to the dot.
- The target space must not be farther away from the space after the metal line than the initial space the mercury is in. In order for a two-way switch, the two spaces must have equal distance from each other. They also must have the same X-axis value.
Joint mercury switches
Joint mercury switches have an almost completely different design than regular mercury switches and produce a much more efficient output prone to less malfunctioning. Instead of causing a mercury dot to splash, thunder-charged metal moves a mercury dot that is joined to another outside of the circuit in order to cause it to either connect or disconnect another active circuit. Because of the conveyor effect, the joined mercury switches places with the thunder in the circuit, causing the mercury dot on the other end of the joint to move and affect a thunder path. If the joined mercury is at the end of the line of mercury, the thunder carries it forward instead of switching places with the metal dot connected to it, thus qualifying it a switch.
Joint mercury switches have often been used in binary devices and logic gates. If the circuit is off (0) and one thunder dot switches the joined mercury once, the circuit will be turned on (1). If another thunder dot is inputted into the device, the circuit will be switched off again.
An example of a binary device:
- There is only one input area as opposed to two.
- Joint mercury switches operate much faster than regular mercury switches.
- Since joints can be of any length, inputs can affect a circuit from across the screen.
- Joint mercury switches can face any way, and therefore can work in any direction.
- Joint mercury switches require one and only one thunder dot to change a circuit; any more would produce an inconsistent result. Regular switches, on the other hand, requires simply a click, as any amount of concentrated thunder will work (albeit inaccurate results on regular mercury switches with more than two options).
- Joints may bounce, causing malfunctions.