An optical encoder is an electromechanical device that uses a light source, light detectors and an optical grating to convert angular position or motion to an electrical signal.

What is an optical encoder?

With optical encoders, a light source shines light onto or through a grating (usually a glass or plastic disk) which is marked so that the light passes through or is blocked. The optical detector(s) sense the light’s passage and generate a corresponding electrical pulse.

Strengths and weaknesses of an optical encoder

High resolution, widely available, high accuracy possibleDelicate, Susceptibly to foreign matter, catastrophic failure modes, limited temperature range (-20 to + 70C)
Connect with Zettlex

Ask a question

Technical support

This website uses cookies to provide you with the best user experience and site functionality, and provides us with enhanced site analytics. By continuing to view this site without changing your web browser settings, you agree to our use of cookies. To learn more, please view our privacy policy.