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
Related Products
Alps SSCM series of low profile detector switches ...
Description:
Alps SSCM series of low profile detector switches with bi-directional actuator. The SSCM series is offered both with or without location lug. The detector switch can be easily PCB mounted. Features and BenefitsLow profile 1.5 mm body.Bi-directional actuator.50,000 cycle mean ...
Sub-miniature switches in a choice of configurations and ...
Description:
Sub-miniature switches in a choice of configurations and actions. Note that these switches are not suitable for immersion cleaning unless stated otherwise. Gold wiping contact systemContact resistance: 100mΩInsulation resistance:100 MΩ @ 250VdcLow profile with tape sealMechanical life: 1000 Cycles.
6 ´ 6-mm Surface-mounting Switches for High-density Mounting. ...
Description:
6 ´ 6-mm Surface-mounting Switches for High-density Mounting. Available on Embossed Tape. Provide a sharp click and high durability.Tape packing style also available.B32-series Key Tops mount to models with projected plungers.
P36THR1 versions have (L508) left angular 5.08mm terminals. ...
Description:
P36THR1 versions have (L508) left angular 5.08mm terminals. Flux sealed & process washableContact rating: 150mA @ 24VdcContact resistance: 104 operationsOperating temperature: -30 to +90°CPositive detent340°C max. for 2s max. (40 watt iron max.) or 260°C for 10s maxGold plated contacts. ...