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i just bought a 6p dpdt switch.can i make it work on a dc or only ac power supply? Answered

i just bought a 6p dpdt switch.can i make it work on a dc or only ac power supply?thanks for the help!

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seandogue (author)2009-09-07

Discrete switches, although routinely labeled for AC use, may normally also be used for DC. you cannot however, use a 400V DC voltage thru a 120VAC rated switch, since it exceeds the voltage rating.

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cons11 (author)seandogue2009-09-07

i think i misplaced my switch somewhere so i can't take pictures of it.i read some markings on it. here are the numbers i have seen on the switch 2A 120VAC 5A 240VAC i forgot to say guys that i will be using this for a PC fan that uses the USB connection as the power supply. I tried wiring it based on what i have seen from various sites and none of them worked(from jumpers to almost all sorts of wiring). thanks for the help... is it true that it wont work because i have low voltage as compared to the ratings on the switch as what my girlfriend said?

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Re-design (author)cons112009-09-08

What is a "6p dpdt" switch. I've never heard of this that I remember?

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cons11 (author)Re-design2009-09-09

6p dpdt means "6 poles double pole-double throw"

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Re-design (author)cons112009-09-11

I think you can have a 6pdt or a dpdt but not a 6pdpdt switch. The "pole" refers to how many lines the switch can control.

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cons11 (author)Re-design2009-09-12

i have seen a 6p dpdt in google.what i have in the label from the electronic store is true.maybe you haven't encountered this that's why you're not familiar about it.besides the electronic store which i bought the switch is way older than me,so i think that they are in the business for a long time.

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seandogue (author)cons112009-09-08

Ok. a 5V fan. You should have no problems using the switch. Your gf is wrong. As Steve says, the ratings are maximums..

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steveastrouk (author)cons112009-09-08

No your girl friend is absolutely wrong, but you'll be a brave man to tell her.... Those numbers are ABSOLUTE limits on the CURRENT it can carry at those voltages. So no more than 5A and no more than 240V

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steveastrouk (author)2009-09-07

Be careful of the current rating - DC ratings are always LOWER than AC, Are you going to be switching motors or what ?

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seandogue (author)steveastrouk2009-09-07

I should have been more thorough...

As long as your voltage stays under 28VDC, a large portion of commercial 120/240VAC switches are rated at or near the AC value for DC operation. However Higher DC voltages will cause arcing during the switching operation and will cause premature failure of the switch either by burning out the contacts or by fusing them, so when using high voltages, the allowable current drops significantly. It's typical to derate based on the parameters that have to be met in an installation.

If this is for a coilgun, you probably should;dn't be using a switch to fire them directly anyway. Instead consider a semiconductor switch like a FET, SCR, Thyristor, or IGBT.

Her's a link that's worth reading http://www.aeroelectric.com/articles/Switch_Ratings.pdf

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cons11 (author)seandogue2009-09-09

thanks for the reference pdf file...i highly appreciate the text.

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arkie (author)2009-09-07

If you're using DC, the switch may arc at high current. This will burn out the contacts. Try to find the DC specs for that model switch.

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