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 and 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
Calibrate new and existing equipment
Get a quote online, quick and easy
Return online within 30 days

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
One of the worlds smallest detection switches (3.0x3.4x0.9mm, ...
Description:
One of the worlds smallest detection switches (3.0x3.4x0.9mm, Wx DxH)A unique mechanism enables high contact reliability and high precision operation Supplied in strips of 25, on embossed taping Ideal switching solution where small size and low weight are key requirements in an application Weight approx 0.02g.
High reliability by gold contact Available to detect ...
Description:
High reliability by gold contact Available to detect from top or side direction Automatic mounting possible Ultra compact Low profile design of 3.35 mm ApplicationsDetection of Communication devices, Audio-visual equipment, Industrial instrument, Security devices, etc.
Connector, High contact reliability, Long stroke of 7.5mm. ...
Description:
Connector, High contact reliability, Long stroke of 7.5mm. High contact reliability:The contact part has a self-cleaning function.Long Stroke:Full strokeʹ7.5mm Snap-in Panel Mounting Connector Socket:The terminal section can be one touch to the contactor.This can shortener lead wire installation time.
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 handling equipment, such as loaders, lift trucks, buckets and shovels on ...