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Old 01-14-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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Three pole switch


There has just got to be a stupid simple answer to this, but I'm drawing a blank

I want a three pole switch to control an outside light with a motion sensor: Down = off, middle = motion sensor, up = always on. What's the normal way to wire these silly things?

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Old 01-14-2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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Three pole switch


Motion sensor usually have this built into them. You only need an on/off switch.
The ones I have work like this.
Turn them on and they are in motion mode.
From the motion position flick the switch off/on quickly and they come on until turned off. That is why sometimes a power flicker will make them stay on.
Turn off for ten seconds and then back on and motion mode is enabled again.

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Old 01-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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Motion sensor usually have this built into them. You only need an on/off switch.
The ones I have work like this.
Turn them on and they are in motion mode.
From the motion position flick the switch off/on quickly and they come on until turned off.
Brilliant! Probly would have figured that out right after I bought the lights
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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Brilliant! Probly would have figured that out right after I bought the lights
Only if you actually read the instructions.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:50 PM   #5
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Only if you actually read the instructions.
Right on!

gp, you wouldn't have known before hand if you didn't ask.

For the record, what you asked for is a SPDT switch.
Single pole; one pole being switched.
Double throw; one pole with two positions that it can be in.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
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For the record, what you asked for is a SPDT switch.
Single pole; one pole being switched.
Double throw; one pole with two positions that it can be in.
Do they make those in a standard residential configuration? All I could find were the panel mount style.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Three pole switch


When you say "residential configuration" I assume you mean that it can be mounted in a standard wall box. In this case yes, they sure are available.

Thing is they are only available in "spec grade" which is heavy duty commercial grade, and VERY expensive.
I had to buy the exact switch you asked for this summer and it was over $50.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:06 AM   #8
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I had to buy the exact switch you asked for this summer and it was over $50.
Spec grade, fine. $50, yeah, never mind
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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Three pole switch


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Spec grade, fine. $50, yeah, never mind
If it would be me, i'd probably rig it up with low voltage relays and use the low voltage switches that give me the switching ability I am looking for. Use a small low voltage transformer to supply the power to activate the relays and then your done. Although it may be more complicated than it needs to be, I tend to like using the relays a lot with the low voltage control. Plus with latching circuits its easy to control relays from multiple locations.

So it might cost more than 50 bucks, but chances are I already have a lot of the supplies i'd need to build the circuit so its not an up-front cost.

Also, a SPDT switch is not nessecarily a 3 position switch. It would have to be an On-Off-On configuration where it stays in either position one direction or the other and center is off. A standard SPDT switch is a 2 position switch in that it completes a circuit in either position (typically no "off" position).
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:45 AM   #10
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Also, a SPDT switch is not nessecarily a 3 position switch. It would have to be an On-Off-On configuration where it stays in either position one direction or the other and center is off. A standard SPDT switch is a 2 position switch in that it completes a circuit in either position (typically no "off" position).
You are quite correct. I should have been clearer in saying the one I am talking about is a "maintained, center off, SPDT switch".

A lot of electric awnings use a center off, SPDT momentary switch. These you push up or down they they pop back into center position.
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:35 PM   #11
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I've installed a bunch of those 'maintained contact center off SPDT' switches to control evaporative coolers in commercial/industrial buildings.

Center position is off, down is fan only, up is fan and pump. A relay is needed to make this work though.

Rob

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