Mechanical Rotary Encoders

Mechanical rotary encoders, also called shaft encoders, are electro-mechanical devices that convert the angular motions (movement around fixed points) of rotary shafts into either analogue or digital signals.

What are mechanical rotary encoders used for?

Applications that require precision shaft rotation (movement around a specific point) make use of mechanical rotary encoders.

These include industrial control machinery in factories, rotating radar platforms in satellite structures or computer input devices like trackballs and mice.


Types of mechanical rotary encoders

Absolute encoders:

  • have tracking functions to determine specific shaft positioning points in industrial equipment like CNC machines, lathes and bore machines.
  • maintain positioning data even when power is cut from the system. When the system is switched on again it begins operating from the point where it stopped previously.


Incremental (relative) encoders:

  • record deviations in shaft position points over certain time frames. With each new time frame after power is cut and switched on again the encoder starts recording from a predetermined reference and measures the distance between the previous point and the current point.

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Description Price Pulses Per Revolution Shaft Style Shaft Diameter Encoder Reading Encoder Signal Mounting Type Shaft Length Index Output Maximum Operating Speed Mounting Hole Diameter Current Rating
RS Stock No. 172-8098
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
$3.493
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4237
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
$5.78
Each
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 167-4650
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4015F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.67
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7739
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4015F-S0024
BrandBourns
$3.17
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4656
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0012
BrandBourns
$1.67
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave - 20mm Not Indexed 60rpm 7mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7758
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0012
BrandBourns
$3.02
Each
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave - 20mm Not Indexed 60rpm 7mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7767
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
$3.73
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4659
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.67
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6320
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
$1.934
Each (In a Tray of 60)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 265-1739
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
$7.17
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5561
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15204A3
$6.02
Each
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8066
Mfr. Part No.EC16B2410408
$1.941
Each (In a Tray of 60)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 265-1723
Mfr. Part No.EC16B2410408
$3.25
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm 0.5mA
RS Stock No. 167-4653
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4215F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.73
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7748
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4215F-S0024
BrandBourns
$3.41
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7773
Mfr. Part No.PEC12R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
$2.13
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 9mm Not Indexed 100rpm 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4660
Mfr. Part No.PEC12R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.25
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed 100rpm 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6318
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220813
$2.42
Each (In a Tray of 95)
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5839
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220813
$4.85
Each
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 189-4750
Mfr. Part No.AEAT-6012-A06
BrandBroadcom
$31.54
Each (In a Tube of 280)
units
1024 (Positions) - 6 mm Absolute - Screw Mount 8.5mm - 12000rpm 17mm 20mA