Question on wiring a 1p3t slide switch


I am learning circuit diagrams and symbols, and am not sure how to read the data sheet for this switch:

How would I interpret the diagram in this case?


This appears to be a three position slide switch. If you look at the left hand side of the sheet the middle diagram shows a pin on the right set a bit further apart that the rest. This is the common connector, it connects to one of the three pins on the right hand side depending on the position of the slider.

Cliff D

Although shorting switches of this type are fairly available, this particular one makes 3 different types of connections. If you were to label the five terminals A through E; then the three switch positions will give you choices of A+C, B+D or C+E.

What is your application for this switch?

If you are looking for a 3 position switch that will allow you to connect a single line to your choice of 3 other lines then you might want to look at a different switch (perhaps a rotary) that offers a single terminal that can be connected to your choice of 3 or more lines one at a time.

Also you need to figure out if you need a shorting switch or a non-shorting switch as some applications will not be tolerant of shorting during switch changes.

I agree with Grumpy_mike other than the common connector is the third pin from the left and not the lone pin. a quick way to check would be to get a multimeter and check for continuity between different points at the three switch positions. Then you would know the configurations for sure!

Thanks for the help, everyone.

darudude: Can you explain how the diagram showed the common connector is the third from the right? I am sure this is failry basic, but the diagram with solid and open circles is throwing me off since I have not yet had to work with one (this is REALLY new to me).


Be aware that a circuit diagram doesn't necessarily reflect the physical implementation. (Compare the circuit diagram for the Arduino Duemilanove at to the physical board if you're in doubt that that statement is true. ;))

I agree with Grumpy_Mike that the physical pin that's separated from the others is most likely to be the common, but a multimeter would indeed confirm that, as darudude says.

Also, @CSingleton, there are only four terminals. Let's label them A through D. In the lower left corner of the datasheet (the circuit diagram of the connections), terminal C is represented as an oval, and it is filled in, probably to indicate it is the common. The solid line connects the arrows at A+C, the thin dashed line connects the arrows at B+C and the thick dashed line connects the arrows at D+C (well, C+D, but same thing).

TBAr, your comments helped a lot to understand the diagram. Is this diagram a standard notation?

For some reason I was seeing the oval as two circles. Probably because I only have time for my hobbies late at night.

The third pin from the left is indeed the common, which makes sense given TBAr’s comments on the diagram. I have the switch working, and the 3 test LEDs I hooked up light when expected. Thanks!

I am making a bread board power supply as my first project, so next step is to add in some voltage regulators selected by the switch. I’ll probably have another topic soon!

Thanks again, this has been a lot of help.