Control Shaft Encoders

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Introduction:

I ordered a Grayhill control knob encoder for a lighting control project but found that the device was unsuited for the application (mostly it was noisy and it was a bit hard to turn). So I ordered a Panasonic one. It was unsuitable for a different reason. So I decided to investigate the market. The results became an article in Circuit Cellar issue #250 (May 2011) . A few interesting facts were uncovered and I found that data sheets for these devices were all over the place in their usefulness.

The line-up:

Here's a photo, similar to the one in the article, of all the devices I investigated. The table below the photo gives lots of detail. Note that the first 7 were obtained from Digi-Key and the last 7 from Mouser.

IndexManufact-
urer
Manuf. p/no# of detentsPPRNominal sizeCodes/ detentNotes
[1] Grayhill 25LB10-Q 36 9 1 inch 1 Acoustically noisy!
[2] Panasonic EVE-GA1F1724B 24 24 12 mm 4
[3] CUI ACZ16NBR1E-15KQA1-24C 24 24 16 mm 4
[4] Bourns 3315C-001-006L 0 6 9 mm 0 All plastic housing
[5] CTS 288T232R161A1 0 4 16 mm 0
[6] CTS 288T232R161A2 16 4 16 mm 1 Same as #5, with detents
[7] CTS 290VAA5F201A1 0 20 9 mm 0 PPR not verified
[8] Mountain Switch 101-5437-EV 24 12 10 mm 2
(HH, LL)
Cheapest (sub $1)
[9] ALPS EC11B15202AA 30 15 11 mm 2
(HH, LL)
Appears similar to #10 and #12
[10] Piher CI-11C0-V1Y22-HF4CF 30 15 11 mm 2
(HL, LH)
[11] Alpha-
Taiwan
RE130F-40-20F-12P 12 12 12 mm 4 Appears similar to #9 and #12
[12] BI EN11-VNB1AQ15 20 20 11 mm 4 Cheap, appears similar to #9 and #10
[13] BI EN12-VN20AF20 0 24 12 mm 0 Cheap
[14] BI EN16-V22AF15 24 24 16 mm 4 Cheap, appears to be form, fit and function same as #3

Findings: