Rotary off-on switch for mains power? - diyAudio
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Old 25th January 2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Rotary off-on switch for mains power?

I am building an amp and like the symmetry of having the volume knob on one end of the amp, and hoping to use a rotary switch for turning the amp off and on, on the other end. I have no experience with rotary switches, and was curious if any 2 pole, 2 position switch with a proper voltage rating would be suitable to this application? I was also curious if there are any disadvantages or risks in using a rotary switch for mains power? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 25th January 2016, 04:45 PM   #2
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Nowadays you will be hard pushed to purchase switches like the old TV switches.
Plenty of industrial types; Rotary Switches | RS Components
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Old 25th January 2016, 04:52 PM   #3
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Rotary switches are usually not specified for mains power, unless you use an industrial device. Or use a power relay... and protect the contacts of the rotary switch with VDR or correct RC network.
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Old 25th January 2016, 04:52 PM   #4
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Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but is there any reason an industrial switched would not be suited for home use, or audio application?
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Old 25th January 2016, 04:55 PM   #5
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What about HS13X NKK Switches | Mouser
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Old 25th January 2016, 05:09 PM   #6
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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A lot depends on the transformer you intend to switch. Large toroids can generate significant arcing as the contacts close and open.

You could always use a small switch to control a triac and so do it that way. Have a look at the PSU in Nelson Pass's A75 which does just that.
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Old 25th January 2016, 07:35 PM   #7
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The switch will be wired to a 9v 5va transformer powering a soft start circuit for a much larger 45v 800va transformer. Would a triac still be necessary in addition to the soft start?
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Old 25th January 2016, 07:41 PM   #8
Awh is offline Awh  United Kingdom
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how about RMS1016 | Rotary Switch, 2 Way, Solder | Lorlin

4A 250v ac
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Old 25th January 2016, 08:00 PM   #9
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Both the lorlin and nkk switches look like they could work, I've come across a few other ones too that claim to be rated for mains voltage. I guess I'm curious if it would still be wise to take additional measures to protect the contacts from arcing, such as using a triac, or relay, and protecting the contacts with varistors. The pass a75 idea looks really solid, but i was just hoping to get away with something a bit simpler if possible. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far though.
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Old 25th January 2016, 08:40 PM   #10
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I'm using an esp p39 for the soft start, which I've already constructed by the way.
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