Looking for others with experience using micro switches as wheel encoders for t

I recently purchased the "Boe-Bot Digital Encoder Kit" and am very pleased with it.

It appears to me that a micro switch would come close to providing the same feed-back as the optical interupter. Does anyone have articles on using micro switches as wheel encoders with the new Boe-Bot wheels?

I purchased a set of micro switches·to start experimenting with and will share what I learn.


  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited October 2004 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    The big difference between Encoder's and a micro-switch is switch-bounce.
    The Encoder's will have no bounce. The micro-switch will 'bounce' for a
    few milliseconds.

    When you're trying to read the edges of the encoder signal, to know when
    your wheel has turned a certain amount, debouncing the micro-switch
    becomes a pain. It may even limit the maximum speed you can go,
    if you are going to keep up with tracking the wheel position.

    Just a thought.
  • edited October 2004 Posts: 206Vote Up0Vote Down
    The code that came with the "Boe-Bot Digital Encoder Kit" only looks to see it the state has changed since the last status check. The code does not watch for the instant that the state changes.

    I am going to assume that a simple RC debounce circuit will make the status clean enough.

    Thanks for bringing this up.
  • edited October 2004 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Sure. I don't know how repeatable the mechanical switch-point will be. If it moves around a lot, it may throw off your wheel movement measurement. Otherwise, why not give it a shot?
  • edited October 2004 Posts: 206Vote Up0Vote Down
    The wheel does have alot of play in and out. It is probably not a good idea to try to run the switch arm directly on the side of the wheel, perpendicular to it.

    I quess that I am going to look for some type of a cam to fasten to the inside of the wheel. The cam action will be on the edge and not on the side.
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering
    edited October 2004 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    To elaborate on Allan's comparison, the Parallax Encoder is optical, and therefore not subject to "wear."· The Micro-Switches are mechanical, and thus have a "MTBF" rating for contact lifetime.· Depending on how often the switches are closed (Which will affect resolution), the switches could wear out pretty quickly.· I'm sure Tracy Allan could do the math!· tongue.gif

    Chris Savage

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