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Rotary switch questions - Please help.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Drunlar, Mar 26, 2010.

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  1. Drunlar


    Mar 26, 2010
    I have been trying to figure out how to wire a rotary switch in my car and "call me thick" I am having a tough time figuring this out. I wondered if anyone has any tip or help could help me out.

    What I need to perform...
    I have 4 connections/positions:
    1) An empty position lack of connections on other positions (that should be easy just don't add wires to that selection setting).
    2) A normally open positive to positive connection that should be closed when position 2 is selected.
    3) A normally open negative to negative connection that should be closed when position 3 is selected.
    4) A normally closed positive to positive connection that should be closed when position 4 is selected.

    NOTE: If 4 is too complicated that is an option, I consider would be nice to have but not absolutely necessary.

    After researching this stuff I was thinking perhaps a "3 pole 4 way" rotary switch would fit my needs but can't figure out the details on that. At this point I was considering perhaps just getting a "3 pole 4 way rotary switch" and just playing with it to see if I could make it do what I wanted.

    So if anyone has any advice for me on what I need, how to wire it, where to get the supplies I need, just about any information you would consider helpful, I would be very grateful.
  2. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    Have a look at statement 4) and try to rephrase it to make sense.

    Positive or negative connection doesn't matter for the switch itself or its selection, only for the wiring diagram & the rest of the circuit.

    A 3p 4w switch should do the trick, but the question is if you want a make before break (shorting) or a break before make (non-shorting) switch.
  3. Drunlar


    Mar 26, 2010
    Thank you for the feedback.

    Number 4 is... this wire would normally in its off position be a completed electrical flow. When selection 4 on the rotary switch is selected the electrical flow would be cut/removed rather than completed.

    I though positive negative might matter since I am swapping the two on the same switch. As in there is 1 common in line on the rotary dial and 4 (or more) unique outs. So if I made the common in positive then when I hit the switch that should be completing negative to negative wouldn't that create a short or rather lack of current?
    Something like this:
    [pos] ---- [switch] ---- [pos] ---- [(in) device (out)] ---- [pos]​
    Wouldn't I need neg going into the device from the switch. Something like:​
    [neg] ---- [switch] ---- [neg] ---- [(in) device (out)] ---- [pos]​

    Thanks for pointing out the make before I break and vice versa. I want break before I make however the switch options are completely independent devices. With each one on its own toggle I can flip them in any combination and not cause damage so that pattern is only for cleanliness.
  4. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    Ok, so:
    1) All off.
    2) Circuit A, normally open, closed in position 2.
    3) Circuit B, normally open, closed in position 3.
    4) Circuit C, normally closed, open in position 4.

    Either of these two ways to wire each separate switch makes sense:
    [pos] ---- [switch] ---- [(pos)] ---- [(in) device (out)] ---- [neg]
    [neg] ---- [switch] ---- [(neg)] ---- [(in) device (out)] ---- [pos]

    For section C you hook positive to common, and connect position 2 & 3 together and to the load. With a break before make switch you'll get a glitch when switching between positions 2 & 3.
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