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New power switch for Maverick Redi-Chek ET-73

WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 516
edited 5:04AM in EggHead Forum
The Maverick ET-73 Redi-Chek wireless meat and pit thermometer is very popular with egg owners since it works so well and is reasonably priced, however many people are frustrated that you have to remove the battery door cover to turn the transmitter unit on and off. This was an intentional design feature because they wanted the transmitter to be weatherproof and it would have been harder to incorporate an external power switch without introducing moisture inside the case. So like many other ET-73 users I have been tolerating this minor annoyance until now.


I recently came across a small battery powered light which is designed for installation inside a cupboard or drawer. This unit was only $1 at the local Dollar Tree store and it can be found at other discount stores including Walmart and Big Lots. It contains a small magnetic switch that turns the light on/off when the cupboard is opened and closed.


I decided to remove the magnetic switch from the light and install it in my ET-73 transmitter to function as an external power switch. Here is how I did it:

Pry open the light housing and look for the thin magnetic switch which is aligned with the side of the case in the area shown below. It looks like a tiny glass fuse and is about 1” long with a thin copper wire on each end.

Remove the magnetic switch from the light with a soldering iron or wire nippers. Be sure to leave enough copper wire on each end of the switch for installation in the ET-73.


Open the ET-73 case (six screws) and remove the circuit board from the housing (4 screws). Be careful not to lose the small black rubber seals or the gray TX button plunger.

Solder a short 2-conductor wire to the back of the existing ET-73 power switch. The wire should be about 5” long and no thicker than 22 awg. I used a short piece of twisted pair wire cut from an old CAT5 ethernet cable.


Reinstall the circuit board and solder the other ends of the wire to the magnetic switch, then glue the switch to the inside of the ET-73 case along the top right edge.


Reassemble the ET-73 making sure to align all of the rubber seals and the gray TX button plunger.

Now you can turn the ET-73 on by holding a small magnet to the outside edge of the case. I applied a thin strip of velcro to the magnet that came with the light and it works just fine. If you have a custom mounting bracket, case, or shelf for your ET-73 then you can attach the magnet to it and the transmitter will automatically turn on whenever you set it in place next to the magnet. You can also still use the original power switch inside the battery compartment if desired.


This was a quick, cheap, simple project and it makes the ET-73 a lot easier to use especially when I am wearing gloves or need to reset the transmitter. Hope someone can use this info.


  • Great idea! I know on mine when I open the battery cover to activate the switch that I have to be careful not to unseat the rubber gasket as it is not secured very well.I will have to keep an eye out for one of those lights.
  • u must be an engineer of some sort.
    I dont know what u did but hope everything works out buddy!
    Heeeeeeeee! GO JETS!!!!!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    smokin guitar player had a contest to guess when the batteries would run out. he gave up.

    i think the whole idea is that the unit uses so little energy that you never really need to turn it off.

    i have a thermometer that's always on, and it has to be five years old on the same battery.

    but i understand that sometimes a dude just has to have a project! nice work.

    but those of us without the electro-skillz should rest east that there's no need to bother turning them on and off. just let them ride.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Now the light doesn't work... dangit

    Thanks for sharing the idea, nice job and details.

  • I decided not to leave my unit turned on all the time for several reasons:

    - it may cause interference for my other wireless devices
    - it will shorten the life and range of the transmitter circuitry
    - the batteries may have enough juice to keep the unit powered up for a long time but optimal range is only realized with fresh batteries, so you will see a decrease in range or performance as the batteries discharge

    It was pretty easy to install the second switch so why not?

    And just for the record GG: the light does still work. It has a manual off/on switch so you can still use it. :)
  • just razzin ya... :laugh: :laugh:

    I had left mine on for 3 or 4 months and got to thinking this is only going to transmit for so long and then began turning it off after I used it.

  • Eggzelent. You know that dern power switch broke in the first couple times I used it. The power switch I use is called pulling the batteries out....

    I will definitely bookmark this one for a rainy day project.

    Thanks for posting this one.
  • OK well I am humbled now - 5yrs on the same batteries... Well I guess my rainy day will be a little more boring, don't think I will pull the battery anymore...
  • That is very handy. This entire time I have seen everyone talk about Maverick ET this and that... I have owned a thermometer for about a year and just realized that I own a Maverick ET-72. I think I got it at BBB for about 30 dollars. It works great, now it is only used when cooking more than one piece of meat to monitor the temp of the other butt or what have you. I got the digi q so this got pushed to the back for some time, but now I realize I have a reputable product. Also, the on/off switch on this device is on the outside so no removing battery covers. But your idea is very impressive.
  • DaddyoDaddyo Posts: 209
    Now I understand - - - Wile E. Coyote: Genus, Super Genius.
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Nice idea. You could also use a mercury switch so when it is lying flat it is off and on when upright.
  • Yes, there is a reason that I use Wile E. as my namesake... ;)

    If you think this project is technical then you should see some of the modifications that I have done to my truck. Some of those projects take weeks to complete and the navigation system hacks alone involved about 30 different wires, 7 switches, 3 power adapters, 4 video components, and a custom built circuit to override factory lockouts.

    Then there is the 150 psi 4-trumpet 30-lb. stainless steel train horn that I installed under the truck. You can hear it from at least a mile away... sort of reminds me of the old cartoon where Wile E. is stuck on the train tracks while the engine approaches... :woohoo:
  • Interesting idea on the mercury switch Phil. I hadn't thought of that but it would work well.

    I am probably better off with the magnetic switch since I often toss the unit in my storage bin with other goodies and I sometimes lay it flat when using it. I just need to stick the magnet on the other side of the unit or place it in the other corner of the storage bin.
  • kernskerns Posts: 22
    WileE, excellent hack! My Maverick arrived last week and I'll head to the local Dollar Store ASAP to find a similar donor.

    Could you document exactly where on the Maverick's existing power switch to connect the interrupt switch wires? I can't see clearly from your photo which precise points to solder to in order to extend that loop.

    You should put this project up on, it'd be fantastic to share this idea there as well.

  • greetings Wile e,
    great Mod and very astute but from one bench tech to (obviously) another, dude you need to get a hobby.......... are you retired or recovering? bwwn there and done that.........
    how are the temp leads working out from last week?
    do you do PC board and crt repair? if so i may have a lot of work for you...........
  • Excellent hack, WileE! Well documented, too.

    All it lacks is a big block-print logo on the front that says "ACME ENGINEERING." :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    well. a caveat.

    mine is a cheapo non-maverick. but theor principle was the same.

    i agree, though, quite a goofy switch location, because when we see a switch, we want to turn it on and off, right?

    i don't remember if the maverick manual says to just leave it on. my non- mverick timer/thermo thing did.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Kerns: I forgot to take a photo of the circuit board when I had it removed to solder the wires but it is really easy. The back side of the existing power switch has 3 prongs to it. Two of the prongs are already soldered together on the circuit board and the other prong is single. So you just connect one wire to the single prong and the other wire to either of the two prongs which are joined together. You can test it by connecting the wires together after you solder them and the unit should turn on. The existing switch should still work also.

    Slotm: I am far from retirement but I still think about it every day. As soon as I am even close then I will cash out, grab the wife and the dog, and head for the RV. In the meantime I work on as many hobbies as I can by staying up late almost every night. My favorite hobby is helping other people and I found out that I can help more people by posting on the web than I ever could locally. So whenever I do a project I try to take photos and post them on one of my websites or on the forums. Some of my truck modifications have been implemented by thousands of people from all over the world so it is a good feeling to know that I can have fun while still helping others. Plus I feel it is only fair to give something back to the forums since I learn so much from all the other members. I am able to repair circuits and I have built some of my own circuits and computers from scratch but I don't do this as a business. If you have a special need then send me a note through the forum and maybe I can help.
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