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
£0.954
Each (In a Tray of 120)
Units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4237
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
£1.06
Each
Units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-8066
Mfr. Part No.EC16B2410408
£1.16
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
£1.53
Each
Units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 2 x 2.1 mm, 1.2 mm 0.5mA
RS Stock No. 265-1739
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
£2.51
Each
Units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6320
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
£0.897
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. 167-5385
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220K-S0024
BrandBourns
£0.98
Each (In a Bag of 75)
Units
24 Knurl 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm - 60rpm 1mm -
RS Stock No. 781-6830
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220K-S0024
BrandBourns
£1.25
Each
Units
24 Knurl 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm - 60rpm 1mm -
RS Stock No. 263-2918
Mfr. Part No.EAW0J-B24-AE0128L
BrandBourns
£6.65
Each
Units
128 Plain with Slot 6.35 mm Absolute Digital Bracket Mount 19.05mm Not Indexed 120rpm 9mm -
RS Stock No. 167-3625
Mfr. Part No.EAW0J-B24-AE0128L
BrandBourns
£5.341
Each (In a Tray of 45)
Units
128 Plain with Slot 6.35 mm Absolute Digital Bracket Mount 19.05mm Not Indexed 120rpm 9mm -
RS Stock No. 714-2693
Mfr. Part No.AEAT-6012-A06
BrandBroadcom
£22.07
Each
Units
- Plain 6 mm Absolute - - 8.5mm - 12000rpm 0.13mm -
RS Stock No. 189-4750
Mfr. Part No.AEAT-6012-A06
BrandBroadcom
£16.84
Each (In a Tube of 280)
Units
1024 (Positions) - 6 mm Absolute - Screw Mount 8.5mm - 12000rpm 17mm 20mA
RS Stock No. 623-4136
Mfr. Part No.EC11B202440M
£4.26
Each
Units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 167-4659
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
£0.951
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. 737-7767
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
£1.22
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. 729-5924
Mfr. Part No.SRGPWJ0200
£3.40
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 -
RS Stock No. 172-8124
Mfr. Part No.SRGPWJ0200
£1.236
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. 172-8047
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420404
£0.525
Each (In a Tray of 120)
Units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4221
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420404
£1.00
Each
Units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 167-4650
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4015F-S0024
BrandBourns
£0.968
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 -
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