Reed sensors are reed switches that are packaged within an external housing for simplified mounting/connecting and additional protection against environmental influences. These sensors are typically mounted in mechanical systems. A bare reed switch can easily be mounted on circuit boards. However, for an application such as a door security sensor, the reed switch needs a protective shell/housing for handling and mounting. These packages offer resistance to mechanical stress by protecting the bare glass of the reed switch.
There are several considerations in incorporating a reed switch into a sensor capsule, such as damage to the reed switch from mechanical shock and change in sensitivity due to mechanical stress. Depending on the type of mechanical shock, the damage can take the form of a loss of the hermetic seal, a change in sensitivity, or no operation due to glass capsule breakage. Fortunately, MPCO has much expertise in magnet for reed sensors and produces custom as well as standard reed sensors with high levels of quality and reliability.
There are many considerations that are the same as for both reed sensors and reed switches, such as electrical switching load, activation methods, etc. Since a reed sensor is a magnetic sensor, ferromagnetic materials such as steel in close proximity to the sensor can influence its behavior. Motors, transformers, and other high current electrical devices near the reed sensor may also cause unwanted influence. Another influence to be aware of is temperature. Both magnets and reed sensors become more magnetic at low temperatures and less magnetic at high temperatures. The amount of change with temperature depends on the type of magnet and reed switch used.
There are many types and options of reed sensors that are available. Sensor capsules may be plastic or stainless steel. Mounting may be with screws or by soldering to a circuit board. Sensors may be placed into a hole and held in place with nuts (threaded barrel sensors) or with setscrews or retaining clips (firecracker sensors). Electrical termination may be for a circuit board, by an integrated connector, or wires may be terminated with connectors, terminals, fastons, or just tinned leads. Although MPCO Magnetics offers a wide variety permanent magnets of standard parts, they cannot fit every application. That is why MPCO Magnets works closely with customers to provide custom magnetic solutions, including additional components such as resistors, triacs, or circuit board related work.
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