BCD, or Binary-Coded Decimal, is quite common in electronic systems that need to have some sort of numeric value displayed. You will find that this is especially true in a system that does not contain any microprocessors. When you use BCD, it is possible to change the data for display quite easily. It will treat each of the digits separately and as a special sub-circuit. It makes things far easier than using pure binary. Using only binary would require far more complexity. With simple calculations and numeric values in play, many are still choosing to utilize this method. Even some devices that do contain the microprocessors are choosing to use BCD. Some personal computers and even old models of the PS 3 use this method.
Decimal output coding is going to use simple decimals rather than the binary system. The numbers in one of these devices will go from 0 – 9. The hexadecimal output coding is a bit more complex, but it is still relatively easy compared to other methods. Here, you will have 16 different numerals and letters. The numerals go from 0 to 9, and the letters from A to F. In some cases, you will be able to find switches that go from 0 to 15. These are used as a slightly more complex form of input for the device. The thumbwheel switch is going to work just as the other, options do, and it is easy to switch the numerals and letters.
It is also a good idea to understand what it means when you put in different numbers. What are the different effects that this is going to have on the device? For example, different codes in a device have different values. Anyone who is working with one of these thumbwheel switches should know what the different numerals account for on the wheel as well as how they can affect things with the device.
In some types of thumbwheel switches, it is also possible to add stoppers. The stoppers are going to limit the range of the thumbwheel, which might be handy in some circumstances. Of example, you could have a switch that has a stopper that is only going to allow numbers 0 through 5, or another that only allows you to use 6 to 9. This can help to simplify some processes. Of course, before you choose switches that have stoppers, you will want to consider the full needs of your device as well as which of the switches is going to be the better option.