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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Decoding Incremental Rotary Encoders: Know Your Output Options

Posted by Robert Pasho on Thu, Jun 21, 2012

When it comes to incremental rotary encoders, knowing the differences between the available output types can help you choose the best solution for your particular situation.

The output signals of incremental rotary encoders incorporate two channels to indicate rotation of the encoder shaft plus a zero marker pulse channel. These A and B channels (quadrature) are defined as pulses per revolution (ppr) and define the smallest rotational angular position of the shaft that can be resolved. Since these signals are in quadrature mode, 90 degree phase shift relative to each other, they can also be used to determine the direction of the encoder shaft and multiplied to provide increased resolution. The zero marker pulse channel, Z or 0, is a once-per-revolution pulse that can be used to indicate a zero or home position relative to a single revolution of the encoder.

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Topics: Rotary Encoders, Terminology

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