1
\$\begingroup\$

Apologies if this isn't the appropriate SE for this question. If not, any pointers to a more appropriate place would be appreciated.

I'm looking to swap out some toggle switches on a R/C controller. I'd like to be able to shop online for the new switches and look at a variety of styles, but I'm confused about the keywords I should use when specifying the size. The switches are the thru-hole panel mount type with with bushing and nut to fasten them.

When looking online some sources don't specify the bushing size, they just specify "miniature", "sub-miniature" or "ultra-miniature" toggle switches. I haven't been able to easily figure out how these classes of switches differ.

I measured a roughly 1/4" hole in my controller, and I've seen a miniature switch say it has a 1/4" bushing, but then a sub-mini switch spec showed a .240" bushing. This seems like such a small difference I'm not sure if that's actually the difference between "mini" and "sub-mini".

So, what do these terms indicate?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Mini switches are now owned by BMW and aren't mini any more. Sub-mini are for use on mini subs, and Ultra-mini are ... um... I can't thing of a humorous definition for these - someone help me out here? \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Dec 19 '14 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ The company "C&K" have been my go to brand for switches and switch catalogues. They like cryptic part numbers but likely also have mini and sub-mini type of range names that have do direct reference to specifications except some value on a sub will be less, it is anybodies guess which one. \$\endgroup\$ – KalleMP Feb 24 '18 at 17:53
2
\$\begingroup\$

Names like "mini" and "sub-mini" are marketing terms with no engineering definition. They go all the way back to the days of valves (vacuum tubes), when anything smaller than the "typical" size was called "miniature". Then people wanted smaller still, hence "sub-miniature", and so on. The terms seem to have lost their meaning over the years, especially now that we have surface-mount parts.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is likely to be the difference? If a given source has a "mini" line of switches and a "sub-mini" line of switches. What parts are likely to be different (looking at the specs it's clear that it isn't the mounting hole required). Why would I buy one vs the other? \$\endgroup\$ – kbyrd Dec 19 '14 at 17:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @kbyrd There's no general rule. You'll have to look at the data sheets and/or drawings of the parts and figure out which one(s) are the right size for your needs. Maybe, the sub-mini ones will be smaller than the miniature ones, but maybe not! Choose them based on current and voltage ratings as well as size and shape. Higher current ratings will mean bigger terminals. Higher voltage ratings wil put the terminals further apart (in general). \$\endgroup\$ – John Honniball Dec 19 '14 at 22:32
2
\$\begingroup\$

These terms can differ by manufacturer. The only way to be sure of what you're getting is to open data sheets and look at the drawings.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Uggg. I found at least one manufacturer that shows a 1/4" hole required for both their sub-mini and mini lines so I figured there must be some other difference and I just didn't know what it was. \$\endgroup\$ – kbyrd Dec 19 '14 at 0:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.