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. 167-4660
Mfr. Part No.PEC12R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.363
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. 729-5836
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420801
$3.75
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. 729-5725
Mfr. Part No.EC11J0925403
$9.55
Each
units
9 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Surface Mount 20mm Not Indexed - 1.3 x 1.8 mm, 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 781-6815
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4215F-S0012
BrandBourns
$4.41
Each
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm - 60rpm 1mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5678
Mfr. Part No.EC11E152U402
$19.29
Each
units
15 Knurl 9 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 26.4mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7764
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4230F-S0024
BrandBourns
$3.14
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 30mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 789-9490
Mfr. Part No.EMS22A50-D28-LT6
BrandBourns
$75.29
Each
units
1024 (Position) Plain 3.17 mm Absolute Digital Square Wave Through Hole 22.23mm Not Indexed 10000rpm 10.67mm -
RS Stock No. 737-7758
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0012
BrandBourns
$3.24
Each
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave - 20mm Not Indexed 60rpm 7mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5606
Mfr. Part No.EC11E18244A5
$7.68
Each
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. 167-5382
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4215F-S0012
BrandBourns
$2.10
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm - 60rpm 1mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8065
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420801
$2.599
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. 167-4651
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4215K-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.90
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
24 Knurl 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 714-0234
Mfr. Part No.AEAT-6010-A06
BrandBroadcom
$50.16
Each
units
- Plain 6 mm Absolute - Screw Mount 8.5mm Not Indexed 12000rpm 0.13mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4659
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0024
BrandBourns
$1.90
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. 172-7669
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244G1
$5.45
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. 167-5430
Mfr. Part No.EMS22A50-D28-LT6
BrandBourns
$52.692
Each (In a Box of 42)
units
1024 (Position) Plain 3.17 mm Absolute Digital Square Wave Through Hole 22.23mm Not Indexed 10000rpm 10.67mm -
RS Stock No. 167-4656
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4220F-S0012
BrandBourns
$1.90
Each (In a Bag of 75)
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave - 20mm Not Indexed 60rpm 7mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5589
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244G1
$8.48
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. 789-9541
Mfr. Part No.PEC11R-4215K-N0024
BrandBourns
$3.19
Each
units
24 Knurl 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm Indexed 60rpm 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5867
Mfr. Part No.EC12D1524406
$2.93
Each
units
15 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 17.5mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 2.1 mm, 2.15 x 2.05 mm -