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...

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...

Finding the Index on an Incremental Encoder with a DMM

August 10, 2014

Sometimes you don’t have the right tools to do the job. Lets 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 DMM. Well fear not,...

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...

Understanding Incremental Encoder signals

June 29, 2014

Which incremental encoder wires should I use? Channels A & B (Incremental Channels) Use only A (or only B) for an RPM or counting applications where the rotation is either unidirectional, or where you don’t need to know direction. Use A and B together to know direction. After two low...

How to time Optical Encoder commutation channels to a BLDC motor

March 17, 2014

Optical Encoder Brushless DC Motor timing using Back EMF The optical encoders we work with have a set of three Commutation tracks (U,V,W) which correspond to the three phases of the motor (R,S,T). Alignment of the Optical encoder commutation signals to a BLDC motor could be thought of as being...

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