AMP Hexadecimal Switch

NOTE FROM DAVID: This page is obsolete. This item isn’t available anymore.

AMP hexadecimal (16-position) rotary switches can be purchased from All Electronics for $0.50 (fifty cents) each. The All Electronics item number is RDIP-16. The AMP part number is #54792-1.

AMP hexadecimal (16-position) rotary DIP switch, #54792-1

AMP hexadecimal (16-position) rotary DIP switch, #54792-1

One of the features of this switch is that it fits into a standard breadboard or 16-pin socket / carrier.

The force required to turn the dial causes the switch to pop out of a breadboard unless you hold down on the top while turning. And the position of the dial requires the switch to placed on the edge of a board. However, when soldered onto a lower board of a robot, neither of the issues are significant. In fact, the location of the dial can be an advantage over dipswitches depending on the design needs.

The dial of the AMP 54792-1 switch

The dial of the AMP 54792-1 switch

The switch actuator is adjusted with a flat-head-screw-driver-slotted dial at one end. That is to say, you set the number by turning the dial with a screwdriver.

I use this switch on a number of projects in the place of dipswitches where I need to represent a number. It’s easier to read and set a dial that contains numbers than trying to calculate (in my head) the binary value of four switches.

Sample schematic for AMP hexadecimal rotary switch

Sample schematic for AMP hexadecimal rotary switch

Above is a sample circuit that turns on LEDs to represent the dial’s numeric value in binary. Note that although a human sees a number on the face of this switch, the circuit or microcontroller sees four individual on/off switches. The value is digital, not analog like a potentiometer or variable resistor.

The LEDs in the schematic receive either +5 volts or ground. Because the four internal switches are SPDT (single-pole, double-throw), no pull-up resistors are necessary to connect the output of the switch to an integrated circuit chip or a microcontroller. The chip receives true high or low logic.