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TACT Switch (Tactile switch) classification

TACT Switches, also known as tactile switches, are an essential component in electronic devices. They are mechanical switches that have a spring and dome that when depressed provide tactile feedback to the user. TACT switches are classified based on specific characteristics that determine their usage and suitability in a particular device.

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The first classification is based on the actuation force required to activate the switch. This force rating is measured in grams and indicates how much pressure is required to push the button. Tact switches can be classified as low force, medium force, or high force switches. Low force switches require the least amount of pressure, making them suitable for applications where the user requires a light touch, such as in a TV remote control. Medium to high force switches require more pressure and are typically used in devices where greater force is necessary, such as in industrial equipment or medical devices.

The second classification is based on the size of the switch. TACT switches come in a wide range of sizes, including miniature, sub-miniature, and ultra-miniature. Miniature switches are usually used in small electronic devices like mobile phones and computer mice. Whereas, sub-miniature switches are often used in larger electronic devices that need a more robust switch, such as televisions and sound systems. Ultra-miniature switches are typically used in small devices such as hearing aids, microphones, and remote sensors.

The third classification is based on the type of termination that the switch uses. The termination is the connection point that the switch has to be soldered onto a printed circuit board (PCB). TACT switches can be classified as through-hole or surface mount. Through-hole switches have pins that pass through the PCB, which are then soldered in place. Surface mount switches are soldered directly to the PCB, eliminating the need for pins. Surface mount switches are becoming more popular as electronic devices become smaller and more compact.

The fourth classification is based on the number of poles and throws that the switch has. A pole is the number of separate, independent circuits that a switch can handle simultaneously, and a throw is the number of positions a switch can adopt. TACT switches can be classified as single pole, single throw (SPST), double pole, single throw (DPST), or double pole, double throw (DPDT). Single pole, single throw switches are the most basic type and are used in simple circuits that require on/off functionality. DPST and DPDT switches are used in more complicated circuits where multiple functions are required.

The final classification is based on the type of actuation mechanism the switch uses. TACT switches can be classified as push-button, slide, rocker, or rotary switches. Push-button switches are the most common and are the type that most people are familiar with. They are often used in electronic devices such as calculators and keyboards. Slide switches are typically used in devices such as mobile phones and cameras, where the user needs to toggle between different modes. Rocker switches are used for larger industrial equipment, such as power tools and motors. Finally, rotary switches are used in devices such as audio mixing consoles.


In conclusion, TACT switches are an essential component in electronic devices, and their classification based on specific characteristics is critical in determining their suitability for a particular device. They are classified based on the actuation force required, size, termination, poles and throws, and the type of actuation mechanism used. Understanding these classifications can help electronic designers in selecting the appropriate TACT switch for their application, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.


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