CSM Series Capacitive Touch Sensors FAQs

Common questions about the innovative capacitive backlit solution

Cap Touch LED Display Sensors

Learn more about VCC’s award-winning CSM Series

Core Capabilities

Capacitive backlit displays combine touch, color, and icons to elevate HMI design and eliminate size constraints. To help make the best design decisions early on, please review the frequently asked questions below.

If you need a custom design, our experienced team is happy to work with you.


1. What is a capacitive touch sensor?

A capacitive touch or cap touch sensor is an illuminated touch sensor with an integrated circuit (IC). This backlit LED technology is ideal for a range of applications due to its uniform illumination, high optical clarity, and design flexibility.

cth series capacitive touch sensor

2. What types of capacitive touch sensors or illuminated buttons does VCC offer?

VCC’s capacitive touch offerings include two product lines, the CSM Series and the CTH Series. Both products are available in LEDs in the following standard colors:

  • Blue
  • Pure green
  • Super red
  • White
  • Yellow

Optional icons can be printed using an overlay to further customize an interface. Standard icons include:

  • On/off 
  • Alarm 
  • Arrow

The buttons can also be customized with additional icons or colors to meet any need.

csm cth series group shot

3. What are some of the benefits found in a capacitive touch sensor?

The capacitive touch sensor offers OEMs and end-users a range of benefits:

  • Enhances the user experience – a combination of color identification and icons drives intuitive operation.
  • Allows for a sleeker interface – measuring 15.0mm x 15.00mm x 3.20mm, the CSM Series removes design constraints associated with size.
  • Extends the reliability and life of the device – the CSM Series is a reliable alternative to mechanical switches that tend to break down easily.
  • Simplifies HMI design – the ability to combine with a PLC/microcontroller to trigger an event and maintain status indication in a single element.
  • Provides production efficiencies – surface-mount technology drives streamlined manufacturing process and cost savings.
  • Enables design flexibility – can be used with or without icons, and placed under a glass/acrylic sheet or directly on the interface.
4. Does VCC customize the capacitive touch sensor?

While our CSM Series includes a range of standard variations, clients can also customize their cap touch sensors in many ways:

  • Creating custom icons or symbols for the overlay
  • Using bi-color LED combined with PLC
  • Using RGB colors with PLC/microcontroller
5. Is it surface-mount or through technology?

The CSM Series uses surface-mount technology (SMT). However, we also offer capacitive touch sensor displays with through-hole mounting in the CTH Series.

6. What is the size of the component?

The CSM Series is available in one standard size: 15.0mm x 15.00mm x 3.20mm. As the smallest footprint in the industry, VCC’s cap touch series eliminates size as a design constraint.

csm series capacitive touch

7. Is the output from the switch latching or non-latching?

The output from the CSM switch is a non-latching relay.

8. Do you have icons or symbols other than the arrow, alarm, and on/off?

Our standard offerings are the arrow, bell, and on/off, but we can create any icon you wish to be the overlay for your interface. With a custom overlay, you can enhance the operation of your device and improve the user experience.

Overlay for CSM SERIES surface mount capacitive touch sensor display

9. Will the touch sensor function if my fingers are wet?

Yes, the CSM Series is designed to operate quickly and reliably in a range of conditions, so it functions with a dry or wet finger, as well as with touchscreen-compatible gloves.

10. Will the touch work if mounted behind glass or acrylic?

Yes, the series was designed to accommodate a range of installation configurations and design objectives. The cap touch sensors will work when: 

Exposed – the button is what is shown on the interface

Hidden – the button is housed underneath a thin glass or acrylic sheet 

Please refer to the specific product datasheet for critical dimensions.

csm series touched behind acrylic

11. Does VCC offer an RGB version?

Our CSM cap touch sensors are available in standard colors of blue, pure green, super red, white, and yellow. We can also create a custom version with RGB colors to meet your needs.

The CSM output will interact with the PLC to trigger a signal based on pre-programmed actions.

Consider this example:

Press to turn ON a relay that controls a motor (M1) and turn ON the GREEN LED. 

To turn OFF the RED LED internal to the CSM. 

To turn ON a relay that controls a motor (M2) and turn ON the BLUE LED. 

To turn OFF a relay that controls a motor (M1) and turn OFF the GREEN LED. 

To turn ON the RED LED internal to the CSM. To turn OFF a relay that controls a motor (M2) and turn OFF the BLUE LED.

12. Is the CSM ESD stable?

Yes, the cap touch series is designed to remain stable when exposed to electrostatic discharge (ESD).

13. Can you reverse mount the CSM component?

The CSM can be surface or reverse mounted for additional design flexibility.

csm series reverse mount

14. What is the thickness of the acrylic/glass used over the CSM?

If using the CSM behind an acrylic or glass surface, that material has a maximum thickness of  3mm 0.118”

15. What is the distance between the overlay and the acrylic/glass layer?

To function properly, the distance between the cap touch sensor and the glass or acrylic layer is 0.015” (0.38mm).

Feel free to reach out to our design experts with any questions about your configuration.

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