Finding the RPM of an Optical Encoder using an Oscilloscope

January 9, 2016

  We only need to measure one of the incremental channels in order to calculate the RPM of an optical encoder. Using an oscilloscope to measure the period of one incremental channel A cycle. We will need to find the frequency of the incremental signal. Keep in mind that converting...

Why Do my Optical Encoder Signals Look this Way?

August 12, 2015

I received an email from a customer who was seeing “not symmetrical” optical encoder signals/data channels on optical encoders we shipped to them. Hi Jim, The data channels are not symmetrical and there appears to be something superimposed on the index. Attached are pictures. Can I return these for your...

Rotary Optical Encoder Calculator

March 18, 2015

Encoder Resolution, RPM & Frequency Calculator We just added an online calculator that provides a way to calculate RPM, Frequency, or line count (optical encoder resolution) by entering in the other two variables. Leave the third field empty (do not enter zero). Use to solve for Frequency, Line Count or...

Why Can’t I See My Optical Encoder Output Signals?

October 21, 2014

Why Do My Incremental Encoder Signals Disappear? Today I was called to the production floor after one of the test Technicians noticed that the encoder signals disappeared from the oscilloscope when they ran the encoders “unloaded”. I asked one of the techs if the encoders being tested were of the...

Finding the Index Pulse of an Incremental Encoder

October 1, 2014

The index pulse, often also called “Z” or “Marker pulse”, of an optical incremental encoder is a once per revolution digital pulse that is used for homing or count verification of incremental signals. In the QD145 and QD200 series of encoders, the index pulse fires when the mark on the...

Brushless Motors vs Brush Motors, What’s the Difference?

August 27, 2014

What’s the difference between a brushless motor with a commutating encoder and a brush motor? Well, the brushes of course. And, without brushes – the need for a commutating encoder for current carrying. Yeah, but what does that mean? The principle behind the internal working of both a brushless DC...

Finding the Index on an Incremental Encoder with a Digital Multimeter (DMM)

August 10, 2014

Sometimes you don’t have the right tools to do the job. Let’s say you needed to identify where the index pulse was firing on your incremental encoder, but you left your oscilloscope in your other jacket pocket, and now all you have on hand is a Digital Multimeter (DMM). Well...

Quantum Devices Optical Encoder Black/White Wire

August 2, 2014

What’s with this Black-White Wire? Quantum devices QR145 and QR200 Optical Encoders feature an extra black & white striped wire that serves as an alternate grounding connection for the encoder. This wire is intended to be used in situations where the encoder flex mount is not case grounded. The Black/White...

Optical Encoder Waveform Triggering

July 28, 2014

Seeing Encoder Quadrature with a Two-Channel Scope I received an e-mail from a customer concerned about the “out of control” optical encoder signals he was seeing on his Oscilloscope. The photo below shows the type of signal he was seeing: The encoder in question was a 10,000 Line Count optical...

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