Switches are a key part of any system that uses electricity. They make possible a wide range of functions, from turning on lights to opening doors. But it’s not just for lighting and power; they’re also used in more complex systems, like computers and telephones.
What are they?
Switches are devices that open and close a circuit. When they’re closed, electrons can travel along a wire to the part of the system where the electricity is required. When they’re open, no current can flow to that part of the system. In many cases, switches are combined with other components, such as resistors and fuses, to form complex circuits.
When do they work?
Switches are used in many different systems. They’re used to control the flow of electricity. When a switch is closed, a current can flow from the source of electricity to the part of the system where power, light, or sound is needed.
A mechanical switch is an electrical switch that converts motion into electrical signals. Some switches have small levers or wheels inside that move across contacts when a finger presses the lever on top.
Others have small magnets on the top and bottom of the lever. A magnet on the bottom of the lever moves across a second magnet sitting in the base when it’s pressed. This magnetic switch is called a reed switch after James H. Reed invented it in 1835.
Examples of mechanical switches include light switches, doorbells, and electrical outlets. They are used to control many everyday systems like lights and appliances. The switches are also used to control devices like burglar alarms, which detect intruders using motion sensors.
How do they work?
Mechanical switches vary greatly in their design, but two basic types of switches are momentary and maintained. A momentary switch (also called a momentary contact) is held in place by a spring until it’s pressed in some way.
When the force is removed, it pops back up, and the switch is open again. An example is a switch on a flashlight. You must press it to turn the light on. When you let go, the switch pops back up and the light goes off.
A maintained switch stays in the position where it’s last pressed until some external force moves it to another position. A doorbell is an example of a maintained switch: You press the button by hand, and it stays in that position until someone else pushes it or until you push it again to turn off the chime.
The switch is an electronic component that closes or opens an electric circuit. It’s vital for power systems and other applications because it makes it possible to control the flow of electricity to different parts of a system.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Systems! For nearly half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of industry safety. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features, and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.
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