Rocker Switches Information
Rocker switches are electrical switches actuated by a standard or dual rocker or paddle. They are available in different configurations including two-position On/Off, three-position, momentary, maintained and more.
Pole and Throw Configurations
SPST rocker switches make or break the connection of a single conductor in a single branch circuit. This switch type typically has two terminals and is referred to as a single-pole switch.
SPDT rocker switches make or break the connection of a single conductor with either of two other single conductors. These switches usually have three terminals and are commonly used in pairs. SPDT switches are sometimes called three-way switches.
DPST rocker switches make or break the connection of two circuit conductors in a single branch circuit. They usually have four terminals.
DPDT rocker switches make or break the connection of two conductors to two separate circuits. They usually have six terminals are available in both momentary and maintained contact versions.
A normally open (NO) rocker switch has contacts that are open or disconnected in their unactuated (normal) position. A normally closed (NC) rocker switch has contacts that are closed or connected in their unactuated (normal) position.
Maintained-contact rocker switches are described as:
- Three-position center-OFF
- Three-position no center-OFF
ON/OF rocker switches have separate ON and OFF functions and work like light switches. Three-position rocker switches have a center position that may or may not perform an OFF function.
Momentary ON - describes contacts which interrupt the circuit when the rocker switch is in the normal, open (NO) position.
Momentary OFF - describes contacts which establish a circuit when the rocker switch is in the normal, closed (NC) position.
Alternate ON/OFF - describes a switch where the first actuation turns the rocker switch ON and the second actuation turns the rocker switch OFF.
Three-position momentary center-NEUTRAL rocker switches have a center position that can perform an OFF or NEUTRAL function.
Important specifications for rocker switches include dimensions, electrical ratings, terminal types, materials and features.
- Maximum current rating
- Maximum AC voltage
- Maximum DC voltage
- Maximum power rating
- Maximum mechanical life
- Length or diameter
- Panel thickness
- Feed-through style
- Wire leads
- Solder terminals
- Screw terminals
- Quick connect or blade terminals
- Surface mount technology (SMT)
- Straight PC pins
- Right angle PC pins
- Side PC pins
Materials of Construction
Most rocker switch bases and rocker switch actuators are made of plastic, thermoplastic, or metal materials.
- Pilot light or illumination
- Imprinted markings
- Wiping contacts
- Locking mechanism
- Time delay
- CE certification
- CSA certification
- UL listing
- Weather resistant
EIA-520D000 - This sectional specification relates to the toggle, paddle and rocker operated family of special-use electro-mechanical switches of certified quality.
MIL-S-22885/92 - This specification sheet is approved for use by Naval Electronic Systems Command, Department of the Navy, and is available for use by all Departments and Agencies of the Department of Defense.