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. 623-4136
Mfr. Part No.EC11B202440M
MYR28.88
Each
units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 729-5564
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15242AF
MYR28.76
Each
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8134
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15242AF
MYR23.933
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6318
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220813
MYR6.83
Each (In a Tray of 95)
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8066
Mfr. Part No.EC16B2410408
MYR6.331
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
MYR8.15
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 2 x 2.1 mm, 1.2 mm 0.5mA
RS Stock No. 729-5839
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1220813
MYR10.90
Each
units
12 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4079
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15244A7
MYR29.66
Each
units
15 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 265-1739
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
MYR16.92
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6281
Mfr. Part No.EC10E1220505
MYR2.45
Each (In a Bag of 400)
units
12 Hollow 3.6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole - Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5545
Mfr. Part No.EC10E1220505
MYR3.56
Each
units
12 Hollow 3.6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole - Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6320
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
MYR6.142
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. 172-6354
Mfr. Part No.EC05E1220203
MYR7.068
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
12 Hollow 2 mm Incremental - Bracket Mount, Surface Mount - Not Indexed - 1.5mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5703
Mfr. Part No.EC11EBB24C03
MYR119.52
Each
units
15 Flat (Inner Shaft), Slot (Outer Shaft) 3.5 (Inner Shaft) mm, 6 (Outer Shaft) mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6422
Mfr. Part No.EC11EBB24C03
MYR62.05
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
15 Flat (Inner Shaft), Slot (Outer Shaft) 3.5 (Inner Shaft) mm, 6 (Outer Shaft) mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 265-2906
Mfr. Part No.EC11B1520206
MYR10.72
Each
units
15 Slot - Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm - - 2.1 x 1.8 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8123
Mfr. Part No.EC11B152420G
MYR17.273
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
15 Slot - Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm - - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7622
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1240301
MYR6.673
Each (In a Tray of 125)
units
12 Hollow 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 8.5mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5527
Mfr. Part No.EC05E1220203
MYR13.72
Each
units
12 Hollow 2 mm Incremental - Bracket Mount, Surface Mount - Not Indexed - 1.5mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5794
Mfr. Part No.EC12E1240301
MYR9.16
Each
units
12 Hollow 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 8.5mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -