Rotary encoders are electromechanical devices used to convert an angular position (shaft rotation) into a digital signal. The simplest form of rotary encoder uses a slotted wheel with a single LED/photodetector pair to generate pulses as the wheel turns:
Some rotary encoder designs have multiple-bit outputs, with each LED/photodetector pair reading a different “track” of slots in the disk:
In the illustration shown above, identify which LED/photodetector pairs represent the MSB (Most Significant Bit) and LSB (Least Significant Bit) of the binary output. Also, identify which direction the wheel must turn in order to produce an increasing count.
Note: assume that the darkest areas on the illustration represent slots cut through the disk, while the grey areas represent parts of the disk that are opaque.
Absolute rotary encoders often use a code known as Gray code rather than binary, to represent angular position. This code was patented by Frank Gray of Bell Labs in 1953, as a means of reducing errors in rotary encoder output. Examine each of these encoder disks, and determine which one is binary and which one is Gray code:
Assuming that the darkest areas on the illustration represent slots cut through the disk, and the grey areas represent parts of the disk that are opaque, mark the “zero,” “one,” and “two” sectors on each disk.
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