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Glossary Terms

The following glossary contains definitions of characteristics, options, and esoteric terms applicable to rotary switches. It is in alphabetical order for ease of reference, and can be useful to the designer in establishing specifications to meet unique applications.
A - C
Glossary A - C
Term Definition
Add-A-Pot Add-A-Pot rotary switches include a Potentiometer as part of the assembly. Concentric shafts allow independent actuation of the switch and the potentiometer.
Add-A-Pot is a popular custom modification available on many of our switch lines.
Adjustable Stops Adjustable stops are holes beneath the panel seal. Stop Pins are special pins inserted in these holes, and act as position stops.  Stop pins allow the user to pre-select switch positions where the range of motion stops.
Angle of Throw
Number of
Positions
Degrees
between
Positions
4 90¡
6 60¡
8 45¡
10 36¡
12 30¡
Number of
Positions
Degrees
between
Positions
16 22¸¡
25 14.4¡
48 7¸¡
50 7.2¡
100 3.6¡

The angular degrees between positions.

Coded Switches Rotary switches that convert positions into a binary number:
  • BCD (Binary Coded Decimal)
  • Binary Base 2
  • Octal (Base 8)
  • Hexadecimal (Base 16)
  • Gray Code

Custom Codings are also available. Please Contact Us

The most popular binary codings available are:

standard_binary_chart.gif (4060 bytes) gray_code_chart.gif (4001 bytes) 45deg_reverse_octal_chart.gif (2431 bytes) 30deg_quad_gray_chart.gif (2590 bytes)

Common The common is one of the switches' terminals, and is the terminal that is always part of the switch circuit regardless of position.  The common connects to the different circuits via the individual stator terminals as the shaft rotates from position to position.
Also called the pole.
Concentric Shafts
coin_shaft_thumb.gif (1022 bytes)

Concentric shafts are two shafts on a common axis that are independently actuated, performing separate switching functions on the same assembly.

Concentric Shaft Switches
tri_shaft_thumb.jpg (1725 bytes)

A concentric shaft switch is one that has a shaft within a shaft.  For example, an outside hollow shaft of .250" diameter with a .125" shaft inside it.
Each shaft works independently, actuating one or more decks, each deck having different throw angles and number of positions.

In effect, it is like having two separate switches in one panel location.

Conformal Coat A sealant used on   switch seams or terminal bases to safeguard against caustic, acidic, or corrosive contamination by foreign substances.

Looking for protection against Flux Contamination, Liquid ImmersionCole can provide a rugged switch for your demanding application!

Contact Chatter Contact discontinuity (open circuit) experienced when a switch is subjected to physical vibration or rotated to a new position.
Also called contact bounce.
Contact Resistance The Ohmic resistance of the switch contact points, usually measured in milliohms.
This is particularly significant in "Dry Circuit" or low level applications, since the resistance varies significantly at the micro-amp level with current variations.
D - G
H - O
P - S
T - Z

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Rotary Switches
By Applications
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The Innovative Switch Company

P.O. Box 25063
Santa Ana, CA 92799-5063

ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016 Rev. D
Certified

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +714-556-3100

QUICK LINKS

Rotary Switches
By Applications
By Customizations

The Innovative Switch Company

P.O. Box 25063
Santa Ana, CA 92799-5063

ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016 Rev. D
Certified

Email: sales@cole-switches.com
Tel: +714-556-3100

Founded in 1965, Cole has earned a world class reputation for designing and manufacturing high quality, precision rotary switches for Commercial, Aerospace and Military applications.

The Innovative Switch Company

ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016 Rev. D
Certified

Email: sales@cole-switches.com
Tel: +714-556-3100

Locations

HEADQUARTERS

2650 South Croddy Way
Santa Ana, CA 92704

MANUFACTURING

2711 South Shannon Street
Santa Ana, CA 92704

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

11640 Coley River Circle
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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