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'[EE] Small Encoder'
2020\08\16@125403 by Josh Koffman

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a smallish rotary encoder. Think thumbwheel size.
These used to be used on cell phones and old Blackberry models, but
they won't seem to exist as much anymore. Panasonic used to make a
line, but they seem to have been discontinued. There are some options
on AliExpress, but I'd prefer to stick with more repeatable sources if
possible, Digikey and Mouser ideally.

So, I'm looking. This Bourns model is a candidate:

This line has a "bushingless" option, but it seems like that's not
available in the right angle pin configuration.

What I'm trying to do is to add two controls to an existing very
compact project. Going with a standard style encoder would increase
the size of the project significantly, which is not ideal. The current
PCB is only about 65mm x 35mm. It can increase a bit, but I think the
physical size of the encoder is going to be tricky. I don't need a
panel mount bushing, the PCB will be right up against the inside of
the case, and I'd like the control to be as flat as possible. A
threaded bushing will make that a bit deeper than I'd like, so I'd
like the encoder body to be as thin as possible. I'd also like to
avoid rolling my own optical encoder if I can avoid it. Just more
mechanics than I'm prepared for at this point.

I've looked at those thumb-rocker style controls, and I may go that
route, but I like the idea of a rotary control more. I thought about
going with miniature pots, but one control will actually control
several parameters and from a UX perspective I think a control without
end stops makes more sense.

In a pinch I can go for up/down buttons, but if I can come up with a
nice rotary solution that might be nice.

So...any sources I'm missing?


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