A rotary switch is one of the most common types of devices found in equipments which can be operated in more than one mode. These switches include complex functionalities in comparison to ordinary switches and devices. These switches are used in equipments to perform a variety of tasks which can seldom be performed by an ordinary switch.
In the earlier days, the rotary switch was used to change the channels instead of a remote control. These switches are designed to handle different functions at the same time. Most of the ordinary switches are capable of performing only one function where as these devices can be used to perform multiple tasks in the same equipment.
The rotary switch includes a spindle which is connected to a contact arm. There are a series of pins or terminals at the base of the switch. Each and every pin on the switch is assigned to a different application such as high, low, reverse, forward and so forth. When the dial of the switch is turned, the contact arm connects to one of the terminals. When the connection is made, the circuit closes and the operation begins.
There are many benefits associated with the use of these switches. It is quite efficient as it simplifies the job processes. It reduces the cost as it enables different functions with a single switch.
In comparison to the traditional pole rotary switch, these switches are connected to the terminals by soldering them or rather with the use of slide on connectors.
Select a discreet position: The rotary switch can be used to select a discreet position by simply turning the knob. Therefore it is also known as selector switches. The rotating shaft in the device connects to a particular terminal. It can be connected and disconnected from other terminals.
Used for various purposes: Although today it find its application in various fields such as heater fan, head lights, wind shield washers, volt-ohm meters, household appliances such as blenders and food processors, it was first used to change the channels in early television sets.
Variations: There are variations in the type of rotary switches according to its operational functions. Some of these switches are operated by electrical motors where as some of these switches are operated manually. Another variety is the timer motor switch which is used for washers. The cycle selector switches in cloth washers include both the manual and the electrical motors.
Movements of the switch: The user can easily rotate the switch spindle to different directions to perform different functions. These switches can be used to control medical equipments, computers, communication devices and so forth.
Sensor and detent mechanism: It has a sensory system and a detent mechanism which determines the number of possible switch positions.
There are different types of rotary switches available in the stores today. Most of these switches are made available in the online stores too. It is available on the basis of pin arrangements and some of the most important varieties include the Double Pole- 6 way, the Single Pole-12 way, Quad Pole-3 way and the Triple Pole-4 way.