The slide switches are also known as “single throw-double pole” (STDP) switches, because only one switch (or throw) exists, but two positions (or poles) are available (a pole is an electrical contact to which the switch can make contact). These switches can be set to output either Vdd (when the actuator is closest to the board’s edge) or GND. The push button switches are also known as “momentary” contact buttons, because they only make contact while they are actively being pressed – they output a GND at rest, and a Vdd only when they are being pressed. The figure below shows typically pushbutton and slide switch circuits used on Digilent boards.
The voltage source, such as a battery, is needed in order to cause the current to flow through the circuit. In addition, there needs to be a conductive path that provides a route for the electricity to flow. Finally, a proper circuit needs a load that consumes the power.
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