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Support Forum » Simple switch question

January 16, 2012
by dvdsnyd
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Hi guys, I just recently got involved with electronics and the Nerdkit. I wanted to mount everything to a small piece of aircraft plywood so that things would hopefully be a bit more solid. Also I wanted to add a switch between the circuit and the battery. I went to Radioshack and picked out one that looked like it would work. Sorry I don't have the box/details of it. But will explain it the best I can. It is a simple sliding switch with 2 poles. It almost looked like it had a third, but it is cut off. It came this way. I found a picture on Google and attempted to embed it(Sorry first time posting) I just want this to be a simple on/off I ASSUMED that the circuit would be OFF when the switch was on the side with the missing pole and on when the switch was over both poles. However, when I wired it up It was opposite. It also seemed to drain my battery as well. I may have left it on..but I don't believe I did. I wired it in a way that the ground wire was attached to the middle pole. My question/request is if someone could explain to me what is going on? It seemed pretty straightforward, and maybe it is. I am guessing I overlooked something. Thanks in advance. Look forward to looking and tapping into the wealth of knowledge here! David

google picture

Remember, the switch I have only has 2 poles, unlike the one in the picture. Otherwise it is almost identical.

January 16, 2012
by Rick_S
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With a switch like you pictured, if you wanted to use it as an on/off, you would attach the red wire from your battery to the center tab, then attach a wire from one of the outer tabs to your NerdKit where the red wire would go. Depending on the switch, the position to make it on may be different but a switch like the one above would typically connect the center tab to the outer one that the slider is over.

Hope that helps,


January 17, 2012
by dvdsnyd
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alt image text Thanks for the help Rick!

This is a picture better representing what I have. I took out my multimeter before I went to work and it was definitely drawing voltage when it was off(When it was wired with ground hooked to the middle pole) This would explain the dead battery. So you think that my error is in the wiring. I will look into it more today and switch it around. Would I still want the positive lead to be connected to the middle pole? Also, Is there any basic rules/hints when using a multimeter? Thanks again,


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