A dual inline package switch (DIP switch) is a set of a manual electrical switch setup to hold configurations and select the interrupt request (IRQ). DIP switches used in place of jumper blocks. Most motherboards have several DIP switches or a single bank of DIP switches. Commonly, DIP switches helpful to hold configuration settings. DIP switch is an alternative to jumper blocks. Their main advantage is that they are quicker to change and there are no parts to lose.
Normally DIP switch present on motherboards, expansion cards or auxiliary cards. They consist of tiny rectangular components that contain parallel rows of terminals (terminal pins) and a connecting mechanism to the circuit board. Programmable chips on a computer and extra self-configuration hardware have drastically eliminated the need for DIP switches. The trend is for settings open through a software control panel, allowing for easier and more convenient changes.
DIP switches originally used to select the IRQ and memory addresses for ISA PC cards; they are available on printed circuit boards but were also used to store settings in many arcade games and set security codes in garage door openers and wireless telephones.
There are many types of DIP switches. Two of the most common are:
- Slide and Rocker Actuator DIP Switches: These are typical on/off switches with an SPST (single-pole, single-throw) contacts. They have a one-bit binary value with a standard ASCII character.
- Rotary DIP Switch: This DIP switch has several electrical contacts which rotate and align. The switches may be small or large and provide a selection of switching combinations.
Less common DIP switches are SPDT (double pole single throw), DPST (double pole single throw), DPDT (double pole double throw) MPST (multiple-pole, single-throw) and MTSP (multiple-throw, single-pole) DIP switches.