Rotary DIPs are, we think, underutilized for configuration settings. They’re really easy to use: intuitive and self-documenting! And CUI has a wide range of all types of rotary DIPs that will work with any enclosure or PCB layout.
OK to start out, lets first cover DIP switches and even jumpers, so we can explain how they differ from Rotary DIPs. The DIP in DIP Switch doesn’t mean “drop down”, it stands for Dual In-Line Package because the switches are lined up sorta like the pins in a chip. They have 0.1 inch spacing, which makes them really easy to add to perf boards or breadboards. Instead of multiple individual SPST switches for configuration you just have all of them in a neat row with labels down the side and usually an indicator of which way the switch nub goes for the two sides to be connected (ON).
DIP switches are used a lot, often on motherboards or control boards to configure settings. If you remember building computers with ISA cards, you probably vaguely recall using jumper pins or DIP switches to set IRQ numbers or SCSI Bus IDs.
Even though most computers and accessories don’t use DIPs to get set up anymore, we spotted some DIP switches in service manuals, like this one for a water filter system.
Digi-Key stocks CUI DIP switches in all sizes and configurations should you wish to use the stacked-style ones. There are fat ones, skinny ones, through hole, SMT, vertical, right angle, and my favorite – Piano Style!
For some purposes, having a multi-pack DIP switch with a bunch of individual nubs makes sense. But if you’re using the DIP switches to select unique addresses or configuration settings, you may find it’s easier to swap out for a rotary DIP. These have the same number of switches, but connect one side together as a ‘common’ pin (there’s actually 2 common pins and they’re usually in the center), and then have a binary code output for the switches on the remaining 4 pins. You basically get all the benefits of having a 4-switch DIP but without having to train your users or technicians how to read binary code. It can also be a lot easier to add or subtract one, and easier on fingernails to boot! On the microcontroller or microcomputer side, you’ll need 4 input pins and pull-ups/downs to read the selection.
Much like the long-style DIPs, Digi-Key stocks CUI Rotary DIP switches in all sizes and configurations. There are skinny ones, tall ones, right angle or horizontal, 1-to-10 or 1-to-16, SMT or thru-hole, and ones with in-set actuators or ones with finger-friendly knobs. We’re particularly fond of the pink hue some of these come in, very chic!
All of the CUI Rotary DIP switches are in stock and available right now for purchase from Digi-Key. Change your solder jumpers, pin jumpers or non-rotary DIP out for one of these and your users with thank you (their fingernails will too!) Pick up one of the options available for your product and you’ll get these selector switches in hand next day for quick integration into your design.
See this part on Digi-Key at https://www.digikey.com/short/43f9br