Dip switch

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Formerly DIP switch (1976)
DIP switch (8-way)
DIP switch on a transmitter for a studio flash system

DIP switches (also jokingly called "mouse piano" ) are small switches that are used, for example, on the motherboard or other circuit boards to make certain basic settings. The abbreviation DIP stands for dual in-line package , i.e. a design with two parallel rows of connections. Their grid dimensions usually correspond to that of simple logic modules, each with the same number of connections in the so-called DIL housing ( dual in-line ), which is why the designation DIL switch is occasionally used. The grid dimensions in the DIP housing are 2.54 mm and in "half-pitch", ie half the grid size, 1.27 mm. DIP switches are produced with 1–12 switching units.

The quality of the switches is influenced by the spring steel construction, tin or gold plating and the seal. Special DIP switches are vibration-proof up to 20G; such requirements are found in cash dispensing terminals, gaming machines, and various industrial applications.

The advantage of a DIP switch over jumpers lies in the self-contained design. This means that it cannot be completely removed from the circuit board like a jumper and lost. The disadvantage compared to the jumper is the higher price.

With the slide switch, depending on the design, there is the option of switching a single contact with a sliding lever or two or more contacts at the same time using a wider sliding lever.

Depending on the version, the DIP switches can either be designed as slide switches (see illustration) or as a type of lever switch. Structurally, the switching lever can consist of a resilient material or the switching element can be hooked into the contact hook. With the lever switch, changeover switches can also be implemented, which can be hung between two adjacent, separate contact hooks.

A DIP switch with slide levers was granted in 1976 as US Patent 4012608.


  • In PCs certain settings such as a can SCSI-ID or an on / off state to be set.
  • On the hand-held transmitter of the garage door drive, the code is set using a DIP switch.
  • DIP switches on arcade machines often allow the operator to change some game settings.

Individual evidence

  1. US Patent 4012608 Miniature switch with substantial wiping action

Web links

Commons : Dip Switches  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files