From DIP, rotary DIP, and slide switches to tactile, rocker, push button, and toggle switches, there is a nearly limitless range of mechanical switches differing in size, shape, interfaces, and features. Although a relatively basic component in electronic design, each switch type has its benefits, drawbacks, and ideal use cases. Because all switches serve a similar purpose or function, an engineer’s process for selecting a switch will often be determined by the intended application or simply the interface preference.
However, it is still essential for an engineer to have a fundamental knowledge of the various switch styles available as well as their key specifications such as the number of poles and throws, number of positions, mounting style, actuation type, and more. Understanding the key differences between each type will aid engineers in selecting the appropriate option for their design.
This CUI Insights™ blog post, “Fundamentals of Switches” discusses all things switches, including the basics of poles and throws, key switch specifications, and the most common mechanical switch types.