Four Way Switching Explained

Four Way Switching Explained

Four Way Switching Explained
Four Way Switching Explained

In telecommunication, a four-wire circuit is a two-way circuit using two paths so arranged that the respective signals are transmitted in one direction only by one path and in the other direction by the other path. The four-wire circuit gets its name from the fact that is uses four conductors to create two complete electrical circuits, one for each direction. The two separate circuits (channels) allow full-duplex operation with low crosstalk.
In telephony a four-wire circuit was historically used to transport and switch baseband audio signals in the phone company telephone exchange before the advent of digital modulation and the electronic switching system eliminated baseband audio from the telco plant except for the local loop. 
The local loop is a two-wire circuit for one reason only: to save copper. Using half the number of copper wire conductors per circuit means that the infrastructure cost for wiring each circuit is halved. Although a lower quality circuit, the local loop allows full duplex operation by using a telephone hybrid to keep near and far voice levels equivalent.

As the public switched telephone network expanded in size and scope, using many individual wires inside the telco plant became so impractical and labor-intensive that in-office and inter-office signal wiring progressed to high bandwidth coaxial cable (still a popular interconnection method in the 21st century, used with the Lucent 5ESS Class-5 telephone switch to present day), microwave radio relay and ultimately fiber-optic communication for high speed trunk circuits. 
As the use of the personal computer increased at the end of the 20th century, four-wire circuits saw renewed growth for corporate local loop service for use in dedicated line service for computer modems to interconnect connect company computer networks and to connect networks to an Internet service provider for Internet connectivity before commodity DSL and cable modem connectivity was widely available.

[1][2] The most common type of switch is an electromechanical device consisting of one or more sets of movable electrical contacts connected to external circuits. When a pair of contacts is touching current can pass between them, while when the contacts are separated no current can flow.

Switches are made in many different configurations; they may have multiple sets of contacts controlled by the same knob or actuator, and the contacts may operate simultaneously, sequentially, or alternately. A switch may be operated manually, for example, a light switch or a keyboard button, or may function as a sensing element to sense the position of a machine part, liquid level, pressure, or temperature, such as a thermostat. 
Many specialized forms exist, such as the toggle switch, rotary switch, mercury switch, pushbutton switch, reversing switch, relay, and circuit breaker. A common use is control of lighting, where multiple switches may be wired into one circuit to allow convenient control of light fixtures. Switches in high-powered circuits must have special construction to prevent destructive arcing when they are opened.

How to wire 4 way intermediate light switch

in this video we explain how four way intermediate switching works to connect a light fitting which is controlled with three or more light switches. We look at the EU colour coding wires and explain the different ways to connect the lighting circuit.

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