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. 172-7691
Mfr. Part No.EC11B2024201
TWD182.90
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4120
Mfr. Part No.EC11B2024201
TWD131.00
Each
units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 729-5637
Mfr. Part No.EC11K1525401
TWD153.00
Each
units
15 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 1.6 x 1.9 mm, 2.1 mm, 2.65 x 1.55 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7678
Mfr. Part No.EC11K1525401
TWD80.00
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
15 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 1.6 x 1.9 mm, 2.1 mm, 2.65 x 1.55 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5564
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15242AF
TWD219.00
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. 729-5536
Mfr. Part No.EC05E1220401
TWD100.00
Each
units
12 Hollow 2.2 mm Incremental - Bracket Mount, Surface Mount - Not Indexed - 0.62mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4136
Mfr. Part No.EC11B202440M
TWD148.00
Each
units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-8083
Mfr. Part No.EC05E1220401
TWD46.00
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
units
12 Hollow 2.2 mm Incremental - Bracket Mount, Surface Mount - Not Indexed - 0.62mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4287
Mfr. Part No.EM11B16140A4
TWD857.00
Each
units
16 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm - - 0.7 mm, 1.3 mm, 2.1 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8134
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15242AF
TWD119.00
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. 172-6433
Mfr. Part No.EM11B16140A4
TWD700.00
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
16 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 15mm - - 0.7 mm, 1.3 mm, 2.1 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6281
Mfr. Part No.EC10E1220505
TWD13.00
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
TWD17.00
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. 172-6414
Mfr. Part No.EC1110120201
TWD296.50
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
- Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-6320
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
TWD47.50
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. 172-7664
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15204A3
TWD75.20
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5854
Mfr. Part No.EC12D1524403
TWD58.00
Each
units
15 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 17.5mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 2.1 mm, 2.15 x 2.05 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5703
Mfr. Part No.EC11EBB24C03
TWD872.00
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. 172-8098
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
TWD71.60
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4142
Mfr. Part No.EC11B2020201
TWD175.00
Each
units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -