Using Rocker Switches to control Linear Actuators

In this example we wire up a DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) rocker switch with a Firgelli Classic linear actuator and a 12V power source from a Firgelli 12V DC Battery.

Components

Note: When choosing the rocker switch ensure you choose the suitable type for your application, either sustaining or momentary. Sustaining means that when you press the switch, the button will stay in its position until you manually press the switch back in the opposite direction or to its center OFF position. Momentary means the switch will spring back to the center position wen you let go. In Either case you do not need to worry about driving the Actuator too far because the internal limit switches of the Actuator will stop it in either direction regardless. 

Wiring

Make the connections as shown in the diagram below. Either use spade connectors to connect to the switch or solder directly, always insulate with heat shrink tubing or electrical tape to avoid short circuits. Toggling the switch in one direction will extend the actuator and toggling in the other direction will retract the actuator

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Moving Multiple Actuators

Sometimes you may want to move multiple actuators with the same switch. To achieve this attach the wires of a second Firgelli linear actuator to points “A” and “B” in the diagram above. Please be aware that the power supply recommended above is only rated for 5A, as such it is only safe to run one actuator from it. When driving multiple actuators we instead recommend using a 12V 30A power supply.

Important: Just because two linear actuators are wired to the same power supply does not mean that they will run in synchronous with each other. There are several reasons for this and several methods to ensure your actuators do all move at the same speed with each other. Please see our dedicated tutorial on this topic:

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