Switches

Switches are commonly used in electronic circuits. They enable control of the circuit by switching it on/off or controlling a range of other features.

How do they work?

Electronic switches are binary devices which sit within a circuit to control the flow of electricity. They work by interrupting the flow of electrons and switching the circuit on or off.

Switches contain terminals which connect to metal contacts. When the terminal and contact are touching, the switch is closed and the current can pass through. When the terminal and contact are not touching, the switch is open and the current cannot pass through the circuit.

What are Poles Throws?

The number of circuits controlled by a switch is referred to as "poles". The number of positions that the switch can adopt is called "throws". The combinations of these are:

  • SPST (Single Pole Single Throw)
  • SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw)
  • DPST (Double Pole Single Throw)
  • DPST (Double Pole Double Throw)

What types of switches are there?

The type of switch you require depends on the connections you wish to make within your circuit. Switches are often grouped by the way they are operated, for example, rocker switches that rock side to side. Alternatively, they are classified by their application, for example, keypad switches are used with keypads. Here are some examples of switch types:

  • Detector
  • DIP/SIP
  • Foot
  • Hall Effect
  • Joystick
  • Key
  • Keyboard/Keypad
  • Piezo
  • Microswitches
  • Rotary
  • Push Button
  • Toggle

Guides & Articles

article1_image

In this complete guide we look at what DIP switches are, how they work, as well as the different types available on the market.

article1_image

In this complete guide, we look at what touch switches are, how they work and the different types available on the market.

Related Products
Alps SSSB series of detector switches offer a ...
Description:
Alps SSSB series of detector switches offer a a comprehensive range of 1 & 2 way switches, with a wide variety of actuators to suit your application. The SSSB series also is available in both horizontal & vertical operating directions, ...
Detector Switches are used to detect mechanical movements ...
Description:
Detector Switches are used to detect mechanical movements and convert those or human manual operations, such as the closing of a mobile phone, to electronic signals. In some applications Detector Switches have been used to replace Encoders as a low ...
Momentary pushbutton switches, utilising Hall Effect sensor technology, ...
Description:
Momentary pushbutton switches, utilising Hall Effect sensor technology, for long life contactless switching and designed to withstand harsh environments. Ideally suited to applications requiring repeated 'jogging', or where continuous positioning of the load is critical. Typical applications include material ...
Suregrip SM2 series of slider switches provide a ...
Description:
Suregrip SM2 series of slider switches provide a proportional hall effect module offered in three configurations. The SM2 series are a sealed IP67 rated module, making them suitable for use within more demanding environments & external installation. +/- 24° travelIP67 ...