Rotary switches are a type of electrical switch operated by rotation. Rotary switches allow the user to turn a knob or shaft that increases or decreases the resistance conducted through the contacts dependant on the direction of turn. Rotary switches are an ideal alternative to more conventional toggle or slide switches when the number of circuits or electrical states in a circuit requiring control exceeds the capability of toggle and slide switches.
As their name implies, rotary switches function by means of circular rotation around a central rotor. They can stop in a number of different actuation positions, turning different circuits on or off or increasing or decreasing the value of the circuit. Some rotary switches can be configured to control multiple contacts simultaneously at a single switch position.
Rotary Switches Applications
Rotary switches are frequently found on audio equipment as volume control dials, they can be used for a wide range of applications including:
Controlling the speed of conveyer belts
Varying electrical values in electronic instruments
Step-control of AC/DC drives
Pilot controls of aircraft
Medical and diagnostic equipment
Construction and agricultural equipment