Electronics > Beginners

Looking for an inexpensive encoder for a quilting sewing machine


First, thanks for any help. I “think” I know what I am doing so that makes me really dangerous.  hahaha

I am working on a quilting machine. I am missing some parts, encoders.  I am looking for the right encoders.  Link 2 below shows what it “should be”.
Why I need encoders, theory of operation is the quicker or slower you move the sewing machine the needle keeps time. Link 1 show how it operates.  Move fast the needle moves fast, move slow and the needle moves slow, Stop moving the needle stops.  This is old school stuff, about 2013.  I am sure it started out with an old ball mouse…hahaha.  If you ever took one apart it had two spinning wheels with slits.  I think this because the plug uses an old PS2 plug going to two encoders that mount on X&Y.  The sewing machine I have, has a box on it with a PS2 female plug.  It uses two encodes, X&Y and uses both to figure out speed.

Linkes 2-4 are samples.  I believe I need the black ones (2each X&Y), links 2&3.
Link 4 is to a Facebook guy that was making and selling and seems to be out of business but I can almost see numbers on the back of it.  I am sure it is a knock-off of what I have.

Looking for a price better that $100 to 170 each. 

Link 1.) https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1890265164765173?ref=search&referral_code=null&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A5501edd0-a9d1-4951-9718-622df15814bd
Link 2.)
Link 3.)
Link 4.)

The facebook guy appears to have used the discontinued US Digital E4P-360-187 encoder.  See https://www.casa.co.nz/electrics/sensors/Encoders/Miniature%20Optical%20Kit%20Encoder%20-%20E4P.htm
N.B the datasheet says there's a 360 cycle/rev model but the casa nz page only goes up to 300 cycles/rev.  The -187 codes  the shaft dia in thou. so 3/16", though as you'd be making the whole assembly you could use just about any shaft dia.  Its obviously the one with a single-ended (4 pin) interface. 

You'd need to match the interface voltage and type, and the cycles per rev.  If you are making your own mounting brackets and arms (3D priint?), nothing else really matters.

I am not sure a  E4P-360-187 will work.  Everyting I've seen, my controler uses only three wires?  Could it run on 5v, ground, and signal A.  It doesn't need to know which way it is turning, just that it is turning.

Would like to find a cheap source of the USDigtail part?  For the price they are getting I could replace the whole kit.

The only why to find out is to test?  Order two 360 versions.  Of course it will take 30days...

If you are willing to do some extra work making a circuit board and adding a magnet to the motor shaft, I would recommend a hall effect encoder.  I've used this one before.  It's sort of amazing you can get the resolution out of these things that you actually can.  It can output quadrature with an index, PWM, or SPI digital position.  It also has absolution position which is pretty cool. 


Its possible to use a quadrature encoder with only one channel connected when you only want to read the shaft speed, and don't care about direction.   Its not recommended for any positioning application as vibration or noise pickup with the encoder position close to a pulse edge can cause the output to pulse unexpectedly when the shaft is supposed to be stopped, causing  the position count to increment.  However it would seem that the cable harness for your application uses this misguided way of hooking up encoders even though a six pin mini-DIN has enough pins for two quadrature encoders, sharing power and ground.   

If you decide to continue trying to do this on the cheap rather than biting the bullet and buying genuine OEM parts, your next problem will be to find or figure out the mini-Din pinout . . .


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