Electromechanical switches are a common element of many industrial operations, supporting telecom, medical, electronic, instrumentation, industrial, audio/visual, appliance, and consumer markets alike with their capabilities. While switches generally perform the role of switching circuits on or off as well as switching between circuits, their exact design and capabilities will generally vary based on their type. DIP switches, or Dual In-Line Package switches, are those that are packaged within small boxes or housings for implementation on printed circuit boards. With a DIP switch, one can ensure that electronic devices are able to receive the range of electrical inputs that they need to function as intended.
While there are a few variations of DIP switches, the most common are slide, rocker, piano, and rotary types. The rotary DIP switch is a popular choice for many printed circuit boards, and they feature multiple electrical contacts that may be switched through the rotation of a “dial” situated on the housing. Rotary DIP switches are further categorized on their output, binary and multi-pole options being the typical options. With a binary encoded output rotary DIP switch, 10 or 16 choices are encoded into a 4-bit binary output, or a 3-binary output is offered with 5 to 8 choices. The other common choice comes in the form of a rotary multi-pole slide switch, that of which is designed to allow one signal to choose between multiple connections.
Slide, rocker, and piano DIP switches are all variations of single-pole, single-throw (SPST) contact switches, and they are simplistic devices that are either on or off in their resting state. As such, each switch can choose a one-bit binary value as all select between standard ASCII characters.
In general, DIP switches are most commonly chosen as an alternative to jumper blocks, known for being quicker to change while facing no risk of losing parts in the process. For their particular applications, DIP switches have served a variety of different needs over the years. For example, they were very common in arcade games during the 1980s, allowing for game settings and coin requirements to be adjusted as required. Meanwhile, they also served for garage door opener security codes and cordless phones as well, though it is more rare nowadays for DIP switches to serve such applications. This is because smaller, more software oriented options have come about for various consumer electronics.
In the present, DIP switches are primarily used for industrial equipment, this being a result of their cheap price and ease of installation in circuit designs. Additionally, they are beneficial for applications where one wishes to check the settings of the switch without having to turn anything on. Beyond such examples, DIP switches are also utilized in various remote controls where interference needs to be prevented. If you are in the market for DIP switches and need only the highest quality options, we have you covered here on Hardware Orbit.
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