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Shaft Encoder

Project date: started July 2007.

I am building a rotary encoder (or shaft encoder) for a robotic project. This is a device that digitally measures an angle of rotation. Or, if you configure it so that it stretches out a length of line like a tape mesure, it can measure distance.

First, I needed some gray code patterns on plastic.

Having those, I printed a 7-bit version (that's all the precision I need for my project) on a transparency at FedEx/Kinko's ($0.75US per copy), and cut it out with scissors.

Then I cut out a plastic disk (using my Bosch jigsaw) to match the size of the overlay

Then I peeled off the protective blue covering and placed the overlay on top

My next step is to build the optical encoder overlay for the disk.


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