View Full Version : Toggle switches

19th Nov 2004, 23:39
Toggle switches any old day. To hell with rocker switches.

Onan the Clumsy
20th Nov 2004, 00:07
...with little round knobs on the end too.

Lon More
20th Nov 2004, 00:31
Rockers/Grebos anythings better than Mods

Proudly wearing 35 year old leathers

Lon More: Here before Pontius was a Pilot or Mortus a Rigger

20th Nov 2004, 00:48
Toggle-switches must be high-quality units to function reliably in aircraft. I had three on the microlight and the vibration from taxying shook the little rocking contacts inside the switch body out of alignment so the switches were permanently jammed in their last position. Junked the cheap switches, bought some hideously expensive proper toggle-switches and no further problems.

Moral? You get what you pay for.

Erwin Schroedinger
20th Nov 2004, 06:38
Rocker switches are ambiguous.

Is the raised bit the "on" position, as per a toggler.

Or is the side you push the "on" position, as per.......well the toggler again!


tony draper
20th Nov 2004, 08:10
Toggle switches can be mounted upside down, this can lead to embarrasment in those airyplane thingies.
Give me big hefty backlighted latching highland switches every time.
The wee bulbs can be buggas to replace though.

20th Nov 2004, 09:09
Them backlit push swithches are ok until a bulb (even worse, both bulbs) goes and a pilot tries to change a bulb. I have lost count of the times an a/c has arrived and one of the crew has handed me the constituent parts of the switch.

Temps the Technician

20th Nov 2004, 10:08
Have some toggle switches from an F-4 in me Land Rover; have to pull them to unlock then move them.

Always fun on the MoT when the examiner can't move 'em.:)

20th Nov 2004, 14:29
The finest toggles I’ve come across are those made by OTTO controls, some will cost a few hundred quid just for one.

A personal favourite are the “locking” toggles (as Gainesy describes), where you pull a spring-loaded lever outwards in order to change position (I dread to think what an OTTO locker would set you back).

OTTO make pushbutton and rockers that utilise “gas switching” rated for upwards of 10mil operations, they also supply those pushbuttons you see on F1 steering wheels. You can hit an OTTO with a hammer and it'll still work.

Decent toggles will remain in production for a good while yet - unfortunately the same cannot be said of quality rotary switches, which are becoming scarcer and more costly by the month alas. The day is near whereby only mil / aerospace markets will use rotaries, and that'll be the end of them on any kit without numerous zeros on the end of its price :(

Should add that you can get very snazzy toggles where the end of the lever is made from a translucent material that illuminates.

Erwin Schroedinger
20th Nov 2004, 16:01
The answer is now clear.

Whatever turns you on.


20th Nov 2004, 16:59
And how many of us have been caught out by the great Atlantic divide? Some people think that up is on when all properly developed great apes know that down is on.

Onan the Clumsy
20th Nov 2004, 19:10
If UP is on...what do they do in Australia?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
20th Nov 2004, 19:23
Our venerable Chippy has toggle switches for the mags - and for lots of other functions as well.

Mag switches are 'up' for 'mag live', which is more logical than you may think. When they are 'down' they are 'on', connecting the mag to earth and therefore disabling it. If they are 'up', or physically ripped out of the aeroplane and thrown away, the mag is 'live' enabling the engine to run.

Fail-safe, ya see;)

Also, 'switches up' equates to 'thumbs up', the traditional signal from pilot to swinger that the mags are 'live'.


20th Nov 2004, 20:11
D*mn, wondered why my plane won't go!

Feeton Terrafirma
21st Nov 2004, 00:48
you people are all weird!!!

Rotary switches are best. :cool:

No confusing up n down

if you switch it the wrong way, just keep going and it will be right eventually

Come in left and right handed

and its fun to twirl ya knob (so I'm told)

21st Nov 2004, 12:43
The DC9 had toggles, some of which were 'up for on' and vice versa. The fundamental rule was that 'towards the horizon' was 'on'. Seems very odd in retrospect but it worked and I, for one, cannot remember any practical difficulties!
I still rather like the appearance and feel of automotive toggle switches as used by BMC in the late fifties/early sixties and now cribbed by BMW on the current Mini.