Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 1, 2010

Rotary Encoder and Shift Registers Explained

at 5:40 pm. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks

Chris Savage from Savage Circuits goes over the basics of Rotary Encoder and Shift Registers in the second of his new video series called Savage Circuits TV. You can see all three videos here. If you are wondering why there is lots of Parallax gear used in the videos, that is because Chris works for Parallax. ­čÖé

To read more about Rotary Encoders have a look at the Wikipedia page that also have a good example of Gray Code.

To read more about Shift Registers have a look at the All About Circuits page.

“An incremental rotary encoder, also known as a quadrature encoder or a relative rotary encoder, has two outputs called quadrature outputs. They can be either mechanical or optical. In the optical type there are two gray coded tracks, while the mechanical type has two contacts that are actuated by cams on the rotating shaft. The mechanical type requires debouncing and is typically used as digital potentiometers on equipment including consumer devices. Most modern home and car stereos use mechanical rotary encoders for volume. Due to the fact the mechanical switches require debouncing, the mechanical type are limited in the rotational speeds they can handle. The incremental rotary encoder is the most widely used of all rotary encoders due to its low cost: only two sensors are required.”




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3 Responses to “Rotary Encoder and Shift Registers Explained”

  1. svofski Says:

    I did a little video where I used a rotary encoder to move the head of a floppy drive. It’s pretty fun because you don’t need any extra parts. It’s in Russian, but I provided English captions, turn them on in the bottom-right corner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeILJPjSQ_Y

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi svofski,

    Thanks for the video. I didn’t realize that controlling the head stepper in a floppy drive was that simple!

  3. Stereo Hacked into RGB LED Controller - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] RGB LED controller. When he looked inside an old radio to salvage some IR parts he spied a Rotary Encoder, these are a bit tricky to setup for the first time but they are great when you are done. For those […]

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