How to Calculate Pulses Per Degree for an Incremental Encoder
March 2, 2016
When using an incremental rotary encoder, you often have to know how many pulses there are per degree of rotation. This is a very straightforward math problem.
Pulses per Degree = Number of encoder pulses per rotation/Number of degrees in a circle
For a 5,000 line count incremental encoder we divide 5000/360 to get 13.89 pulses per degree of rotation.
Calculating Degrees of Rotation per Pulse for an Incremental Encoder
If you want to find out how many mechanical degrees of rotation there are for one pulse, you would do the problem the other way:
Degrees per Pulse = Number of degrees in a circle/Number of encoder pulses per rotation
For a 5,000 line count incremental rotary encoder we divide 360 by 5000 to get 0.072 degrees of rotation per pulse.
This means that there are 0.072 Mechanical Degrees of rotation for every incremental encoder pulse.
This calculation is often useful if you have a counter totalizing incremental encoder pulses over a given distance or rotation.