DPDT "double pole - double throw"  switch can be used for reversing polarity.  All though this method may be a bit crude, it works great for changing the direction of a motor – analog style.  This could be used for Controlling motors for robots, animatronics and Halloween decorations to name just a few helpful ideas!  See the last Step for Pictures of the great robot battle, controlled from this very switch!

Now their have been great Instructables on this all ready such as this one, by Troy (Firgelli Automations) and his Instructable, HOW TO: Wire a DPDT rocker switch for reversing polarity found here:

But I don't think many have covered the idea of actually producing the switch itself, at least on such a scale.  The photos below will show you how.  Mine was used to control a large fighting robot I built for another Instructable found below.

I wanted Lil' Timmy to have a tank style feel to the controls, since it did have tank steering.  Controlling it from little radio shack style DPDT switches just wouldn't cut it.  I wanted these switches to have some heft to them, something I could slam hard when making turns.  So i searched the internet and aside from some industrial switches nothing came close.  The purchased ones were astronomical in price and even then didn't really have the heft I was looking for.  So when something doesn't exist, make it it exist.  Not that hard actually, with a few simple variations anyone can make it. 

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Here is a list of what I used, beside it are examples of what you could use to substitute items you may not have access too.

Parts I used
  • 4      3/4" x 4.5" bolts per switch
  • 4      3/8" x 2" bolts per switch
  • 4      3/8" nuts per switch
  • 4      3/8" washers
  • 12    3/4" nuts per switch
  • 24    3/4" washers per switch
  • 2       Small iron hinges - try to match them so they are the same width as the tabs below, preferable with 2 holes per hinge leaf
  • 2       Tabs of iron plate about 1" x 4" about 1/4" thick, per switch
  • 1       Piece of 1/4" plywood about 2" x 3", per switch
  • 1       Piece of plywood 3/8" thick and at least 8" x 5" per switch, of course if you want a series of switches, mine was a piece  8" x 10"
  • 1       length of 3/8" steel rod about 7-8" long per switch
  • 1       Handle, I used 2.5" x 3" barrel type bearings, you could use anything, bored out pool balls, shrunken voodoo head perhaps
  • 1       Small tube of 2 part 5 minute epoxy

Tools I used:

* Drill and assorted bits, for drilling steel and wood
* Saw, to cut the plywood
* Angle grinder with a zip-cut disc
* Hobby grade or better device to weld with. OPTIONAL as one could braze, or perhaps even solder with epoxy used to re-enforce it.
* Basic hand tools, especially a socket and ratchet to match your bolts, for quicker connections
I play a game where you control a space ship, I'm tired of just keyboard for input. Going to use Arduino and various type of switches to turn things off and on display with different indicator lights. Probably useless ones for show ;/ Going for Millennium Falcon with Serenity look. Not clean like Enterprise.
reminds me of the controls john lithgow worked wth his feet in buckaroo banzai film
Yeah! It DOES!
there is something disturbing and cool about that, kinda like Captain Nemo submarine, or Dr. Frankenstien's lab.
Yeah! Go Jules Verne!
So it takes 24 larger versions of me to make this thing? What can I use this for... Oh, alternating light source! Flick it one way, red, the other way, white light! I'll make a cheaper cardboard version of this when my desk space is clear.
Or like... buy three small ones at Radio Shack for $10.
Radio Shack doesn't exist in my country anymore And besides, it's for aesthetics. I'll use small switches when I want a switchboard.
awesome project! love how it's so low-tech but highly functional.
low-tech was once high-tech, so if its high-tech,then why does it look low-tech?
Exactly, like an old fashion knife switch. I was looking for something durable and dependable that wouldn't die in the middle of a battle. The added perk is the feel and mad scientist look!
IT'S ALIVE!!!!!! ALIVVVVVEEE!!!!!!!!!! ALIVVVE!!!!!!
if u wish to contact me call 111-111-1119 or go to www. I'M AN INSANE SCIENTIST.org
my website will be operational soon and the i... will... RULE THE WORLD!!!!! 's internet
where did u get the podium?
3/4 plywood slapped together
great instructable way to go,go figger those radio shack ops sorry (cell shack ) SPST switches are china @#$% if you know what i mean it used to be a great store but has gone down the drain but did radio shack care about us hell no just the bottom dollar
Nothing says Steampunk or Mad Scientist than gigantic metal switches!!
just a little bit of technicality, the diagram states that there should be 3 bolts per nut, shouldn't it be 3 nuts per bolt? Probably just a typo.
AAAAAAGH, total typo, thanks! Once again, typing at 3 in the morning. I'll fix it asap
Very nice build, it's got a great agricultural look to it. If the contacts have trouble with the load, you could hook it up through some heavy-duty car relays (which would also allow the system to run more dangerous voltages). <br><br>(The dog's a little odd, yes, but nobody ever said it was alive!)<br><br>
Thanks, it does have that look. No problem handling the load, hardest part is just rotating the head of the bolts to align so they come into contact with the 2 tabs at the same time. Even then, all you would do is just rotate the bolts a bit then tighten them up.
I agree this is pretty cool. But I'm a extremely put off by the pic of the mock up burning a pit bull alive, not a good idea to put in kids heads, or some adults. You know some sick person will really do that now, hope you can live with that. Other than that the switch itself is pretty good.
Yeah sorry about that, that is just a little psychological warfare for the opponent. And fyi its not a pit bull, its a Labrador. A little back history: This robot battle was almost 7 months in the making, and through those 7 months we would taunt each other with little quips about what each of our robots was going to do to the other robot in battle. My opponent had to leave his beloved dog daisy with his mom when he moved up here. As the dead line for the battle was looming our taunts began to take over a life of their own. The opponent and I would always do typical &quot;mama Jokes&quot; to each other to break us down a little prior to battle. Mine was &quot;purely joking&quot; that his mom went to bed every night with a bottle of Irish cream (baileys) to drown her sorrows over her son. We told him that in one of these drunken bouts we contacted her and she agreed to mail Daisy up to use, cause her son was missing her so much. If you look closely at the dog model, it is actually a wooden skeleton covered with enough cardboard and hot-glue to pack and average home! You will also find airmail stickers and shipping waivers posted all over the dog. I knew that my opponents main weapon was a flame thrower, so he would have to come through Daisy to get to me. Sorry if it offended you, but it was all in good fun. He was gonna do a pinata of my daughter! just never got around to it
nice instructable and nice switch. i've got a project i'll be working on soon for an interactive robot that i may use something like this. just one thing. its a &quot;double POLE double throw switch&quot; probably just a typo
Whoops, its called typing at 3 in the morning!
lol, really nice switches though. I was wondering do you see any arcing when you make contact?
(millions of people chanting) VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO!!!! love it. the simplicity of these switches is so great.
I'm on it!
Now that's one massive switch! <br> <br>Thought from first glance that the handles &amp; shafts were made from rubber-headed mallets! I guess that would work... <br> <br>Impressive.
Love the looks of this monster
A good writeup, but it's the action shots that put this over the top. Nice job!

About This Instructable




Bio: See some of my work here and as always accepting orders for custom design and fabrication as featured on Discovery Channel, Wired Magazine, Gizmodo, Engadget ... More »
More by iminthebathroom:The Classic Chocolate Lava CakeCreton - Quebecois PatePumpkin Focaccia - Bread machine Cheat
Add instructable to: