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I want to get a push button that looks cooler than the one that came with my Arduino Starter kit, but I'm not sure if any kind of buttons will just work. The button came with the Starter Kit looks like this:

enter image description here

I went to a local electronics store and they had different kind of buttons. Many of them are way larger than the one that came with the Starter Kit. The button that came with the Starter Kit has 4 leg pins, but I usually use only 2 of them. The buttons I see in the store have a variety of number of pins. Some buttons have 2 pins, some have 4 and some have more than 4. Some buttons are huge and I'm worried that they are not compatible.

I'm new to electronics. How do I determine if a button would work with Arduino? Would something like this one work?

enter image description here

Is there anything I have add or take note of for these buttons to work?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ May I suggest a strategy? When in store, write down the manufacturer and model (part number) of the button. Look up the datasheet online. It will tell you the internal arrangement of the button. Normally closed or normally open. Single pole or double pole. Illuminated or not. How the contacts are connected internally. Pinout. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Oct 22 '13 at 19:22
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In short if your requirement is low voltage (<12v) and low current then most any switch you can buy from a local electronics store should be fine.

However there are lots of different types. Switches that are normally open, then close as you press them. Switches that are the opposite and are normally closed, then open when pressed. Some might latch, some might have multiple positions. As you say in your question there are switches with multiple pairs of connectors ("poles").

We can't easily identify from the photo what type of switch that is. If you post a part number and what you expect the switch to do then somebody can help.

Check out this tutorial from Sparkfun and see if it helps.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I'm actually looking for buttons instead of switches. I doubt they are the same, right? And how can I differentiate a switch from a button visually when at the store? By the way, I have uploaded a picture of the button that came with the Starter Kit to my question. \$\endgroup\$ – xenon Oct 22 '13 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ They are essentially the same thing. Best not to get tied up in terminology but I'd suggest that a button is a type of switch. I'm sure some would disagree! \$\endgroup\$ – David Oct 22 '13 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ he might mean a momentary action button rather than a mechanically latching switch. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Oct 22 '13 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair point. The Sparkfun tutorial should teach him everything he needs to know to come back with a more specific question if necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – David Oct 22 '13 at 20:01

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