Alps Alpine's Encoder ComparisonFollow article
Alps Alpine's Encoders
Whereas a potentiometer converts a change in mechanical position into an analog electrical signal, an encoder converts into a digital signal. Encoders, like potentiometers, are used as both position sensors and control devices in a wide range of electrical equipment.
Here we explain encoders as they are employed as control devices.
Types of Encoder
Encoders come in various forms. Alps Alpine supplies contact-type and magnetic rotary encoders.
Code Reading Methods
This section explains the different code reading methods by looking at the differences between the main encoder categories – incremental output and absolute output.
Incremental Output Absolute Output
Whereas incremental encoders are rotated in a continuous motion, absolute encoders are used like a rotary switch to change the position of a control dial.
Encoder Series with Absolute Output
Basic Electrical Characteristics of Encoders
Here we explain the basic electrical characteristics of contact-type rotary encoders.
One pulse is one cycle from On to On.
The number of pulses per revolution
The time lag between rises (or falls) of signal A and signal B pulses
Short, quick oscillations between On and Off at the On–Off switching position, caused by a step or burrs between conducting and insulating materials.
Momentary Off output occurring during the On state.
Slight On output occurring during the Off state.
Types of Encoder Supplied by Alps Alpine
Besides the above incremental and absolute output signals, Alps Alpine encoders, like rotary potentiometers, have variations in shaft type and dimensions.
Structure of Alps Alpine Encoders
The following are typical encoder structures. An excellent feel can be achieved through torque and detents by optimizing flat springs and other parts.
Alps Alpine's Magnetic Encoder
The downside of a contact-type encoder is a shorter operating life than other types.
For that reason, Alps Alpine also supplies a magnetic encoder, the EM11B Series, which achieves both a guaranteed operating life of 1 million cycles and an excellent feel.
For more information, visit the Product Basics section of our website.