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. 623-4237
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
$4.59
Each
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-8098
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
$3.343
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-6320
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
$2.018
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
$6.72
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7664
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15204A3
$3.33
Each (In a Tray of 120)
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. 729-5561
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15204A3
$3.96
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
$2.091
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
$2.95
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 2 x 2.1 mm, 1.2 mm 0.5mA
RS Stock No. 172-6318
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220813
$0.876
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
$2.84
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. 729-5545
Mfr. Part No.EC10E1220505
$1.02
Each
units
12 Hollow 3.6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole - Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6281
Mfr. Part No.EC10E1220505
$0.651
Each (In a Bag of 400)
units
12 Hollow 3.6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole - Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5577
Mfr. Part No.EC11E1830401
$4.26
Each
units
18 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 2.6 x 1.5 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7665
Mfr. Part No.EC11E1830401
$4.571
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
18 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4293
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244C0
$20.98
Each
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm - - 2.6 x 1.5 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6400
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244C0
$8.261
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm - - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6303
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220401
$1.381
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
12 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4186
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220401
$3.73
Each
units
12 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-6422
Mfr. Part No.EC11EBB24C03
$18.70
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
15 Flat (Inner Shaft), Slot (Outer Shaft) 3.5 (Inner Shaft) mm, 6 (Outer Shaft) mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5924
Mfr. Part No.SRGPWJ0200
$3.65
Each
units
16 Hollow 18.5 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole - Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.5 x 1.6 mm, 2.55 mm -