Switching on/off device with toggle buttons not a physical switch

I am curious, I am not sure how to word this or if what I want is easily possible. But I know of switches, mechanical ones that turn on or off a device. I want to build an alarm based device and so I don't want the turning on and off of said device to be that easy. I was thinking having two toggle buttons or 3 and the right combination of say holding two down for 3 seconds has to be used to turn device or on or off. Is this possible? I suspect doing so the device would truly never power off? Or maybe a simple way to have the toggle buttons turn on device but then implement logic to see how long its been on for, and if other toggle buttons are held down and if so, then arm /disarm the device?

I also was kicking around using my RFID tag reader to easily arm/disarm the device..

So is there a word for this kind of switching on and off circuit? Just so i know what to google...

Is this possible?

yes, it is even possible with one button.
Make a morse decoder and just 'beep in' the right code

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I was thinking having two toggle buttons or 3 and the right combination of say holding two down for 3 seconds has to be used to turn device or on or off. Is this possible?

Yes. By recording the previous state of the switch(es), you can detect when a press event occurs. Note the time when this happens. You can detect a release event, too. Record when this happens. If the switches are pressed in the right order (based on the times) and released in the right order (again, based on the times) turn the device on or off.

I suspect doing so the device would truly never power off?

Why do you suspect this? What device are we talking about, anyway?

So is there a word for this kind of switching on and off circuit? Just so i know what to google...

Self-switching-off circuit? Circuit that turns it's self off? A google search for one of those should return something.

I also was kicking around using my RFID tag reader to easily arm/disarm the device..

If you can do it with a button, you can do it with RFID (assuming you can connect the reader to the arduino).

Is this possible? I suspect doing so the device would truly never power off?

It could be possible... Connect up a relay to provide power to the circuit. Shorting the relay contacts will switch on the device. It will then set a digital pin to high, keeping the relay contacts closed. When the correct combination is entered, the digital pin goes low, the relay opens and the device is switched off. This method relies on you being able to turn it back on though.

In the setup function, set the digital pin connected to the tranistor high. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE A BASE RESISTOR THOUGH! When the correct button sequence is entered, set the pin to low and it will power off. To turn it back on, hold the on switch until the setup function is completed.

Onions.

You can do it also without relays: Arduino Forum.
Depending on what kind of transistors you use, there may be a small (a few uA) leakage current flowing trough also when the circuit is switched off. If you use FETs instead of BJT, the leakage current should be practically zero. (Someone please correct if I am wrong).

The device is a jostle security monitor thing. Just testing out an idea... the reason I thought it would never power off cause if it is there recording push button presses, it has to be on to record those?

The system itself is simple:
tilt sensor
Arduino (Smallest one i can find).
Speaker
Pushbutton(s)
Battery
optional:
RFID tag reader to arm/disarm device...
LEDs to show state (on, off, armed) etc

The tiltsensor and all that im not worried about, basically i wanted a device that can totally off, and then turned on.

Then it can be armed (either just by the act of "arming" itself 2 seoncds or so after turning on or arming via an RFID tag. In either case I don't want a slider switch that can be simple switched off when the alarm goes of, but since the device is not meant to be used constantly, I do want the ability to turn it off to taking nearly no power, to powering up ready to be armed, and go off as an alarm etc.

At least that's the idea, so I just wasn't sure how to make it where it is essentially off but can be turned on in a way less simple than a slide switch.

At least that's the idea, so I just wasn't sure how to make it where it is essentially off but can be turned on in a way less simple than a slide switch.

I think you have this backwards. As a security device, it should sleep most of the time. Every few milliseconds, it should wake up and see if it is being messed with. If so, scream loudly (or whatever). It should be somewhat complicated to turn off (the noisemaker) not on (the device).

So the device needs to be on for like 4 hours (not always armed) and then it wont be used again for weeks... then on again for 4 hours (some of that time being armed, some not)

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Don't you need another 's'?

Don