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. 172-8123
Mfr. Part No.EC11B152420G
$5.675
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
15 Slot - Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm - - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5703
Mfr. Part No.EC11EBB24C03
$22.20
Each
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. 172-8124
Mfr. Part No.SRGPWJ0200
$3.30
Each (In a Tray of 200)
units
16 Hollow 18.5 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole - Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.55 mm, 2.5 x 1.6 mm -
RS Stock No. 167-3572
Mfr. Part No.ECW0J-B24-AC0006L
BrandBourns
$5.71
Each (In a Tray of 45)
units
6 Plain with Slot 6.35 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Panel Mount 19mm Not Indexed 120rpm 9mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7760
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4225F-S0024
BrandBourns
$2.44
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave - 25mm Not Indexed 60rpm 7mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4657
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4225F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.90
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave - 25mm Not Indexed 60rpm 7mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5836
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420801
$2.24
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 2.1 x 2 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 136-1846
Mfr. Part No.DPL12SV2424A25K3
$7.018
Each (In a Box of 1000)
units
24 Knurl 6.8 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 1.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7669
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244G1
$3.54
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. 172-8042
Mfr. Part No.EC12E24204A9
$1.12
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 663-3230
Mfr. Part No.DPL12SV2424A25K3
$9.91
Each
units
24 Knurl 6.8 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 1.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7736
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4115F-S0018
BrandBourns
$2.34
Each
units
18 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 2.6 x 1.8 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5804
Mfr. Part No.EC12E24204A9
$1.46
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4649
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4115F-S0018
BrandBourns
$1.90
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
18 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5589
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244G1
$6.08
Each
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 2.6 x 1.5 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8065
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420801
$1.68
Each (In a Tray of 95)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 789-9557
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4225F-N0024
BrandBourns
$2.36
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5628
Mfr. Part No.EC11K0925401
$6.44
Each
units
9 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 2.1 mm, 1.6 x 1.9 mm, 2.65 x 1.55 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6386
Mfr. Part No.EC11K0925401
$5.118
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
9 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 2.1 mm, 1.6 x 1.9 mm, 2.65 x 1.55 mm -
RS Stock No. 167-3625
Mfr. Part No.EAW0J-B24-AE0128L
BrandBourns
$9.974
Each (In a Tray of 45)
units
128 Plain with Slot 6.35 mm Absolute Digital Bracket Mount 19.05mm Not Indexed 120rpm 9mm -
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