The switch excels in harsh environments and offers excellent tactile feedback for portable, mobile and other space-constrained devices

By Heather Hamilton, contributing

Elma Electronic recently revealed the multi-function MR50
½-inch rotary switch for harsh environments. Suited for space-constrained handheld
and mobile devices, the rotary switch offers precision selection with as many
as 16 selector positions, which provide great tactile feedback even when the
user is wearing gloves.

The switches are best suited for
applications that require rugged components such as avionics, military
(communications and cockpit controls), and transportation-related devices. Elma
claims the MR50 is the only ruggedized ½-inch rotary switch not subject to ITAR
controls, since it is manufactured in Europe where ITAR registration does not
apply to its rugged series of switches and encoders.

The switch consists of a zinc
die-cast housing with nickel plating, solid gold contacts, and a stainless-steel
shaft. Users have the option of an IP68 front-panel sealing. Rotational life is
20,000 minimum.

With switching torques selectable
at 3 Ncm or 6 Ncm, the switches are highly customizable, while remaining cost
effective, even in small quantities, said Elma. Customers can choose round or
D-shaft configurations and can also customize the shaft length. Standard switch
configurations include 10, 12, and 16 positions, with shorting or non-shorting
contact arrangements.

The company also boasts
competitive lead times, and an operating temperature range of -45°C to 85°C
(IEC 60068-2-14). The series meets humidity, vibration, and shock to
MIL-STD-202G standards. A 1-pole version is available now with 2- and 3-pole
versions to follow. A datasheet and 3D model can be found here.