If 2 Switches are Arranged Together are They Ganged Together?


Postby deejayw » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:28 am

Dim memories of my training in the 70's suggests to me that if 2+ switches were mechanically arranged to be operated simultaneously, they were said to be 'ganged' together. A switching device with only one operating 'handle' which internally operated 2 poles could therefore be described as 2 gang (3 poles/3 gang etc). Within this stricter definition, gang may considered synonymous with pole. A switch plate with, for example, 3 single pole switches intended to be operated independently, whilst collectively having 3 poles, has no 'gangs' at all ! I read on this site (and elsewhere) however that the word gang is used to describe the number of 'handles' on a back plate ! Since these 'handles' are not 'ganged' or designed to be operated simultaneously, I think the word 'gang' is being misused or has morphed like 'dongle'. Am I wrong ?
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Postby ericmark » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:41 pm

We have to use the wording used in the regulations so two switches operating together are referred to as linked or poles. Gang does not appear in the regulations.

There are some odd phrases until this year for example there were four classes of person ordinary, electrical instructed, electrical skilled, and electrical competent the latter was the highest and has just been removed as a definition showing amount of skill.

There are many false uses of words for example again way refers to the options so a cooker could have an oven selector switch which is 12 way but simple two position switches are either on/off or two way. Even if there are 12 switches to switch the same lamp it still two way switching.

So the grid switch has module width and where three modules are fitted it would be three gang. However with 6 switches they are not all in line so I personally would not call it a 6 gang switch but 6 module switch as we tend to consider 3 gang as where all switches can be switched together because of their physical location.
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Postby deejayw » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:41 pm

These sometimes inexplicable changes of definition make concise explanations more complicated than desirable ! It is odd that with an electronics background starting from DC theory up, I consider myself 'electrically skilled' but since I have little or no knowledge of 'the regs', I cannot describe myself as 'electrically competent' ! The context of 'gang' that I remember originally is in power distribution where, for example, three huge independent phase contactors would operate together by means of an insulated physical bridge. These may also be described collectively as a ganged 3 pole, 1 way/throw switch. The word may not appear in 'the regs' but it frequently occurs in the sales description of switches, no names, no pack drill. I suppose that being a grandad, I'm expected to be out of date ! :-)
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Postby ericmark » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:26 pm

There is a massive problem with the lighting industry for some reason manufacturers seem to use words completely wrong and I have no idea why. Some examples.
Low Voltage is defined as 50 ~ 1000 vac but I have seem many lamps labelled low voltage when in fact they are extra low voltage i.e. less than 50vac.

An AC switched mode voltage regulated power supply labelled as an electronic transformer.

A DC switch mode voltage regulated power supply called a driver when a driver is a current regulated device.

The phrase electronic ballast seems to cover both switch mode controlled high frequency units which have voltage regulation built in and also a simple wire wound ballast with an electronic starter built in.

Lumen is a real problem with three different standards some measure each LED and add the results together, some measure to combined output which is normally less and some wait an hour before measuring the latter a requirement for vehicle lamps.

English is an odd language there was a TV advert for a program which pointed out change of use. Awful being a good thing as full of awe which is near reverse of today's meaning. Decimate to kill one in ten a very precise word but now used to mean get read of near everything. The jolly miller of the dee was blithe and gay this had nothing to do with his Deleted tendencies and to comb ones hair is to attend to ones toilet.

The USA have both retained old English and swapped meanings so we have tended to encompass both. We understand what a fender, hood, and trunk are but they don't understand bumper, bonnet, and boot. I worked at one time on Chevrolet and trying to work out what they called a track rod end was a real problem. A track rod is called a push/pull bar.

On the Falklands I heard then talking about a Hogget yet they have no pigs in the end I realised it was a female sheep which was fertile but had not yet born young. It was an English word but I had never heard it. But they did not understand bovine.

I am sure you ken what I mean. English is a live language and unlike near every other language the dictionary is made showing common use of the word. Most others the seats of learning tell the populate what the word should mean.

I still can't understand were plug top comes from? To me it's a plug. The very end grates on me and I met a Scotsman who genuinely thought you can have worst, worster and worstest!
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