View Full Version : Rotary Switches

11-25-2008, 04:33 PM
Hi Guys,

I am looking for dual shaft rotary switches. Momentary centre detent spring return would be great

on-off-on outer shaft
on-off-on inner shaft
momentary on -off

I am building a GPS for the Garmin 500 and seeking the impossible switch

Any ideas



11-26-2008, 01:12 AM
The topic has been discussed not so long ago. Just do a search in the forum on Garmin 500 or Rotary Encoders and you will find them.

Here are 2 threads I remember:



11-26-2008, 03:17 AM
This is the one:

11-27-2008, 10:10 PM
Hi there. I am also looking into building the Garmin 500 for my sim.but an absolute newb when it comes to switches.. what kind of switch is the easiest to find (and hopefully cheapest) that can I wire to possibly a hacked usb game controller?is it even possible to do that? I just want to start out simple and cheap :P


OK I just found out a few facts. And hopefully this would futher explain the problem I have. Currently I am planning on building small panels for my cockpit as I cannot spend as much as I want to without my parents thinking I'm wasting money. So my plan is to use only the default FSX control configuration (I still cant afford FSUIPC - see how budgetly tight I am right now :( ). So from what I have read, hacking old USB controllers would be the cheapest thing I could do. And to add to the good news the Garmin GPS system only involves momentary key presses which I understand should fit perfectly with the controller as it is. Now the only problem at the moment is that I am very much confused regarding rotary switches. I have read somewhere that a rotary switch can be made in to momentory pulse switches in which if I turn it clockwise, one click would emulate a keystroke on the gamepad. And like wise if I turn it counter clock wise,only now it will emulate a different keystroke. Now the burning question I have is that is:

Does such a switch exists?
How hard is it to find them at the local hardware/DIY stores?

If not, would it be possible to change a rotary switch similar to the one found here (http://www.opencockpits.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=10&page=3) (the rotary switch without the mod) and somehow with the help of special wiring techniques give the same outcome as what I intended?

Many thanx.

11-28-2008, 04:07 AM
You need a rotary encoder, not a switch. Look at the one I listed above. Its pretty inexpensive.

11-28-2008, 04:13 AM
Can u explain what an encoder do? I might be wrong but i thought you would need a special board for encoders to work? Please enlighten me thanx.

11-28-2008, 04:19 AM

11-28-2008, 04:36 AM
ok.thanx for that..i'll read up about it right now..there is one more question I need to ask.but i'll read up the wiki page first to see if its covered there or not.

11-28-2008, 04:56 AM
From what I understand, I would need an incremental rotary encoder is that right? :( sorry for me being a bit slow in this electrical department. So if I get myself a rotary encoder, how would I wire the encoder? do u have links to tutorials for this? or could u please guide me.

And just to reconfirm. The picture that was on my link (on previous post) was that an encoder?

11-28-2008, 05:10 AM
The home made unit you linked to is a switch.
I'll look around and see if anyone has posted a tutorial for wiring encoders. But you should be able to find some basic wiring diagrams all over the net for this.

11-28-2008, 05:14 AM
Try this one:

11-28-2008, 05:20 AM
i'll look it up as well.

<del>But could you please explain why an encoder would be advisable to use over a rotary switch?</del> I found out why..:P

Thanx andy for helping me out.

11-28-2008, 01:14 PM
If you are not afraid of some mechanical work: I have some info on my site for building dual rotary encoders. http://www.simprojects.nl/dual_concentric_rotary_encoder.htm
If you are not afraid to do some soldering: The MJOY-16 USB controller works great for these rotaries. Then you can convert the rotary switch actions to keyboard strokes via the MJOYmapper utility.
For really low cost you could use my initial rotary to keyboard press circuit:

11-28-2008, 06:29 PM
Hi Roland! Thanx for the link. I will read it up right now...

P/s: Good job on the website:D


OK I have finished reading up on all the linked pages u gave me. Thanx so much for all your help. I will post any questions if I bump into them. :D