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Cylindrical Rotary Switch?

  1. Sep 13, 2014 #1
    I'm working on a prototype device, and I'm currently figuring out the form factor. On the turn indicator of my car, there is a ring with several positions that will control the lights. I'm thinking that something similar would work well on the handle of my device, and I'm looking to purchase this component to test it out. The problem is I don't know what to call it so I can find one. A rotary switch is a different thing entirely.

    Can anybody help? I'm looking for a rotating cylinder switch with at least 7 positions. What would this be called, and where could I get one?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2014 #2


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    They are still called rotary switches; but of the patented variety.

  4. Sep 13, 2014 #3


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    The buzzwords are "rotary switch dual concentric shafts". You can get pairs of knobs to match the dimensions of the two shafts. If you only want to use the ring as a switch, you could probably lock the top section, e.g. with potting compound or araldite.

    You should be able to get them small enough (e.g. 0.5 in diameter) to fit in the end of a handle.

    Try searching Google images.
  5. Sep 13, 2014 #4


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    Google images ' stalk switch '
  6. Sep 14, 2014 #5
    Thank you all for your replies. It looks like a stalk switch is the whole arm rather than just the ring, and unless I'm reading it wrong, the patent looks like it is for a specific application rather than the device itself.

    I may have to make my own because as AlephZero says, I am really only interested in the outer ring. Or perhaps I'll hunt down a stalk switch in a junk yard, take it apart and paint over the existing markings. ...Now that I type that out, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
  7. Sep 14, 2014 #6


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    Not sure about some of the others but in the past with GM the actual switch is not in the stalk. It is in the steering column. The stalk just manipulates the switches.
  8. Sep 14, 2014 #7


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    The “whole arm” is the “stalk” that sticks out from the steering column trunk. The stalk either contains the switches or has a mechanical linkage to the switches on the steering column. A “stalk switch” is any switch on, or controlled through the stalk.

    If you want only a switch, the second hand parts market sells the entire stalk with the switches because disassembly is unnecessary and not always sensible.
  9. Sep 15, 2014 #8
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