NEW PRODUCT – Rotary Encoder + Extras – This rotary encoder is the best of the best, its a high quality 24-pulse encoder, with detents and a nice feel. It is panel mountable for placement in a box, or you can plug it into a breadboard (just cut/bend the two mechanical side tabs.) We also include a nice soft-touch knob with an arrow in it, fits perfectly and looks great. This encoder also has a push-button built into it so you can press onto the knob to close a separate switch. One side has a 3 pin connector (ground and two coding pins) and the other side has two pins for a normally-open switch.
Rotary encoders are useful as rotation sensors or selectors and look similar to potentiometers. However they are not like potentiometers at all, so it’s important to realize the difference! These rotary encoders rotate all the way around continuously, and are divided up into 24 ‘segments’. Each segment has a click-y feeling to it, and each movement clockwise or counter-clockwise causes the two switches to open and close. There is no way to know what the current ‘position’ is – instead you would use a microcontroller to count how many ‘clicks’ left or right it has been turned. If you need to detect rotational ‘position’ a potentiometer would be a better choice.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.