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SPDT Medium Duty Toggle Switch
Hangs head in shame... What do the numbers mean?
I know... I know...Well, I DON'T know- much about electricity. But I learn new things I can apply every day.Silly question time. There are three connection points on the bottom of this switch. I assume positive, negative... and... ground? The switch has numbers 1, 2, and 3 marked next to each connection point.I'm using this switch between a power source and a Dayton amp module. However, I am afraid I do not know how to determine polarity with electrical connections unless it has a (+) or (-) marked at connection points. The amp module does- no problem there.So let's say (+) is #1, (-) is #2... If the last connection (#3) is indeed "ground," where the heck would I wire ground to? This thing is in a plastic box... ground? Maybe #3 is for a totally different application. I looked at the diagram on this page. No polarity marked there.Sorry. I probably just need a 9th grade shop class but I have next to nothing about electricity roiling around my noggin.This just occured to me. Maybe it doesn't matter? Maybe wiring this with positive on one end and negative on the other just determines which direction "on" and which is the switch position for "off." ??Help out the electrically ignorant, please.
The answer is hidden in the SPDT abbreviation in the title. SPDT stands for Single Pole Double Throw.Pole - number of switch contact sets.Throw - number of conducting positions, single or double.I like to think of a pole as the number of electrical inputs for a switch and the throw as the number of outputs.SPDT switches come in two forms an ON-OFF-ON (or a three position switch) or an ON-ON (like this switch). One of the connections points (Generally the middle, #2, but you should test the switch before wiring to be sure) is a common point and the other two (#1,#3) are the possible outputs. As an example, you want to wire power to a heater and cooler but want one switch to determine which is on. So if it is hot out, you want the cooler on, but cold the heater. Wire the power source to the common connection, then each of the others to each device.If you just want a simple ON-OFF switch, this will still work. Place your power source at either 1 or 3 and the connection to the device you want switched to the common connection. If power on 1, then it will be on when up and off when down.I hope this helps.P.S. Electrical circuits can be confusing and abstract. It is sometimes helpful to think of things analogously. When I first got into electronics, I linked circuits as a closed water pipe system. Switches: where valves, batteries: faucets and drains, resistors: pipe restrictors, capacitors: elevated holding tanks or membranes , and inductors as water wheels.P.P.S. It is also help full to draw out schematic images with connections. The symbols might make it seem convoluted, however they are representations of the most basic function of the part in question and invaluable when wiring connections up.
Date published: 2013-04-22