Rotary Switch Wiring Diagram, 3 Pole, 4 Way

The application for which this rotary switch was wired is to switch between one of three stereo audio inputs (GPS, Radio, Cell Phone) to a stereo headset in my motorcycle helmet. The switch allows me to select an input based on the situation: GPS for directions, Radio for entertainment or the Cell to answer an incoming call, all while riding the motorcycle.

After searching the Internet for a source of a 3 Pole, 4 Way rotary switch a source was found in China. Unfortunately, that source nor any other I could find provided a wiring diagram for my specific application. After receiving the switches from the vendor I used a volt meter to determine the wiring diagram, connections, pins for the four positions of the rotary dial. A picture of the back of the switch follows, from the back of the switch, with the tang on the front of the switch on the right (tang not visible in the picture).


The hand-drawn pin-in, out connections based on the position of the rotary dial follows:


All inputs and outputs to the switch are made through 3.5mm female, surface mounted stereo audio jacks. Red, black and green insulated, lightweight wire was used for the jacks, with each jack wired exactly the same (same color wire for specific jack connector). For identification purposes, in the diagram above, a, b and c were used to identify the wire color for a given connection, ‘a’ being red, ‘b’ being black and ‘c’ being green for my purposes. Note that the output from the switch comes from the three connectors in the center, with ‘a’ on the bottom, and ‘b’, ‘c’ on the two upper sides.

There are twelve connectors, pins around the perimeter of the switch that provide four ‘ways’ for the three inside connections to be switched. These are numbered 1-12 for identification purposes, in a clockwise direction. The right column, headed ‘Inputs’ in the diagram identifies the color of wire on each of three audio jacks that will be controlled by that position on the rotary dial. Rotary dial position ‘A’ is open, and represents ‘Off’. Note that this means that connectors 4, 8 and 12 are NOT used on the outer connectors.

As an example, Input B, a single stereo audio jack, will have the red wire soldered to connector, pin 5, the black wire soldered to connector, pin 9 and the green wire soldered to connector, pin 1. Be extremely careful as you solder the wires for Input C and D to their connectors, pins to be sure the correct connectors, pins are selected for each colored wire of those two stereo audio jacks. (A great improvement to the switch would have been identification marks at each connector, pin.)

A picture of the rotary switch with all four stereo audio jacks soldered to the connectors, pins follows:


A ‘black box’ was used to contain the rotary switch and four audio jacks, the five holes drilled around the perimeter of the box, and the rotary switch and jacks carefully positioned inside the black box with each secured on the outside of the box with a knurled nut.


Note that the control knob is positioned on the left so that the left (non-throttle) hand can be used to select the input. The output jack from the switch is at the bottom to be closest to the rider, and attached earbuds.


About justanoldguy

Retired Computer Programmer. Born and Raised in Missouri. Graduated from Missouri School of Mines in 1964. Retired in 2003. Moved to Colorado in 2010. Enjoying good health and 'front range'. Touring frequently on Can-Am Spyder motorcycle. Skiing during the Winter months at Monarch Mountain Ski Area (for free!).
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