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rotary encoder to serial count help

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Allen, Nov 10, 2003.

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  1. Allen

    Allen Guest


    I'm trying to find a rotary encoder that will produce a count at a
    serial port (rather then a pulse) on a PC to use as a variable in
    Macromedia Director. The count will be coming from a hand wheel and
    the pulses per rotation can be pretty course.

    I have little / no experience of doing this but my research has
    brought me to this company:

    I have asked the sales reps which would be the best encoder for me but
    they have only come forwards with questions I don't have the answer
    to, or even understand. What I would like is just some guidance as to
    which encoder would best suit my purpose, possibly from either this
    company or somewhere else if there is a another place.

    Unless afore someone has a better suggestion that is as contained I
    refer you to my second paragraph.

    It is part of an art project and as such I'm working on a budget but
    if needs be I might be able to divert some money from other aspects of

    I hope someone can help me.

    Thanks in advance and best wishes.

  2. Save your money.
    Use a mouse!...
    Mice have optical encoders allready built in, and processors to read the
    quadrature data, and maintain a 'count'. Serial versions can be under $5.
    Dismantle a serial mouse, and connect the encoder shaft from one channel to
    your handwheel. The cost of even a basic encoder/processor to convert the
    data will be many times what even a high quality mouse will cost.
    If you want to go 'DIY', then code to make a PIC generate a count from an
    incremental encoder, is on the MicroChip website, including demo
    applications to make this behave as a mouse (I wonder why!...). Similar code
    is available for other processors like the Atmel.

    Best Wishes
  3. Ross Mac

    Ross Mac Guest

    You said the counts would need to come from a handwheel but not how many
    counts. So here is a suggestion based on what givens there are here. I know
    in the past I made an encoder out of a vane sensor or a proximity sensor
    with appropriate slots cut into the wheel for optical and gear teeth perhaps
    for the proximity switch. Using a sinking sensor (NPN) you should get an
    output pulse equal in voltage to the sensor supply and equal in duration to
    your handwheel speed and notching on the wheel.........hope this helps and
    good luck on your project....Ross
  4. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    I've used the encoders and counters from US Digital
    with success in the past, although I have no specific experience with
    their encoder-to-RS232 products.

    That said, look at for one
    example that may do what you need. There are other, similar, devices
    from their Products page.
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