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I'm looking for a particular type of switch, however I don't know what it is called.

The switch I'm looking for is actually a bank of switches. When one of the switches is pressed, the others are depressed, such that the circuit is always closed, but each circuit changes the input source. It is the type in this product.

What is this switch called?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds to me like you're looking for a "radio button" \$\endgroup\$ – DerStrom8 Jul 12 '16 at 12:51
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They used to be called radio buttons but a search for those will return all software version for GUI applications.

enter image description here

Figure 1. Interlocking push-button switches. Pressing one button cams the holding bar sideways to release the other buttons.

You will find better results searching for "interlocking push-button switches".

Note: The English word "depress" (in the context of buttons or levers) means the same as "press" so you may cause search confusion. Use "un-press" or "release" instead.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As a native speaker of American English, contextually, "depress" may be used as an antonym for "press" due to folk etymological usage of de– to create a negative form. \$\endgroup\$ – NoahM Jul 12 '16 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ "de-press", maybe, but not "depress". Funk and Wagnalls (American) define it as, verb, "To press down; lower." This matches its use in depression (weather, mood, stocks, etc.). The etymology is Latin dēpressus pressed down, so it's all one word. "Use a word correctly three times and it's yours." (Mark Twain) ;^) \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 12 '16 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't disagree. I'm merely quibbling on the colloquial usage. \$\endgroup\$ – NoahM Jul 12 '16 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ On other news, does this switch match my description? westfloridacomponents.com/SW095APD/… \$\endgroup\$ – NoahM Jul 12 '16 at 17:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ha! It looks like what you are after but rather short on specifications. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 12 '16 at 17:47
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It is called a "gang switch" or "ganged switch" Where the switches are mechanically interlocked to release the activated switch when the next one is pressed. These were once very common in products, but in this modern electronic age, they are antiques. You can still find them as surplus parts, or you could probably have them custom made if you need 100s of thousands of them. But we do those things electronically in the modern age. A whole microcontroller costs less than a single section of those old switches.

enter image description here

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A Multiplexer

I'm not sure I completely follow your question, but it sounds like you have many inputs and one output, and you want to pick one input to feed that output. If so, a multiplexer is the tool for the job.

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If we are talking about the switches themselves, or the switch assembly, then it could be called a 'one of N', or a 'one by N' switch.

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