Optical encoders provide different resolutions in one miniature package

Agilent Technologies Inc. recently announced a series of ultra-miniature, high-resolution, three-channel optical incremental encoder modules, intended for general-purpose housed encoder designs as well as integrated motor-encoder assemblies.


Agilent AEDA-3200 Series modular encoders measure just 17-mm diameter by 24-mm long.

Agilent Technologies Inc . recently announced a series of ultra-miniature, high-resolution, three-channel optical incremental encoder modules, intended for general-purpose housed encoder designs as well as integrated motor-encoder assemblies. With Agilent AEDA-3200 Series encoders, developers can produce one design for various encoder resolution options, eliminating different encoder sizes or mounting arrangements. "Interpolation technology" provides the different resolutions in the same encoder form factor.

According to Chong Khin Mien, vice president and GM of Agilent's Motion Control Products Division, machine and motor OEMs and system integrators indicate that they prefer a modular encoder that fits within their own integrated housing. "AEDA-3200 Series of plug-and-play modules meets this demand with a combination of performance, flexibility, and low cost far superior to competitive solutions," he says.

Agilent Technologies’ AEDA-3200 Series uses "transmissive encoder technology" to sense rotary position. The sensor consists of an LED light source, photodetector IC, interpolator IC, and line driver. Outputs consist of two square waves in quadrature plus a gated index pulse as the third channel. Top-down mounting AEDA-3200-T incremental encoders provide resolutions from 2,500 to 20,000 cpr (counts per rev) and an integrated RS-422 differential line driver that allows signal lines up to 1,200 m. The devices operate in a–40 to 125 °C temperature range. A plug-and-play tool eases installation, eliminating misalignment inaccuracies without the need for costly assembly fixtures, says Agilent. (Bottom-up mount version AEDA-3200-B encoders with heights of only 12 mm will be offered by mid-2005.)

AEDA-3200-TBK (7,500 cpr) incremental encoder is the first member of the series available now, priced at $43 each in 5,000-unit quantities. Other encoders, with resolutions of 2,500 to 20,000 cpr, are expected to be available between 4Q04 and 1Q05.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com

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