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On a datasheet for a single pole, multiple contact switch, I see that there are a few contact ratings: non-switching (50VDC, 100mA), switching (5VDC, 100mA) and minimum (20mVDC, 1uA). What are these different specs describing?

If I anticipate my system to draw 3VDC at around 100mA (300mW), am I good to use this switch since it is rated for 500mW or must I obey the current and voltage specs independent of each other?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "If I anticipate my system to draw 3VDC at around 100mA (300mW), am I good to use this switch since it is rated for 500mW ... ?" - By that reasoning, the switch should also be usable for 0.01V 50A (500mW), or 1000V 0.5mA (500mW). Guess what? It ain't ;) \$\endgroup\$ – marcelm Sep 7 '17 at 6:21
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Non switching: You can apply 50VDC with a load current of 100mA as long as you don't change the state of the switch.

Switching: You can switch the load on and off all day with an applied voltage of 5VDC and a load current of 100mA.

Minimum: The applied voltage should exceed 20mVDC and the load current should be at least 1uA in order to guarantee reliable switching.

With an applied voltage of 3VDC and a load current of 100mA you should be fine.

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Yes none of the specs should violated. They are inclusive.

  • The max voltage is due small contact separation for non-switching and small reactive loads reduce the operting voltage to 5V.
  • the min current is minor oxidation
  • the max current is to minimize contact heating.

These low specs also imply no switching large capacitive or inductive (reactive) loads.

Your application appears to be betwwn these limits.

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