Sebastian Armstrong – “Rotary Encoder” Binary Number Reader

This “rotary encoder” is an M5TC project intended to illustrate the operation of a basic rotary encoder, a device that outputs a binary number based on a the position of an angle. The precision of the device is based on how many binary digits there are, with 2^n possible position increments. In this case, the bits are scanned from a black and white paper strip using reflective object sensors. The sensor output is amplified and then used to control LEDs to show the number in binary. A microcontroller (Arduino Nano) also shows the number in decimal via a 7 segment display.

Note: The project is currently work in progress. The demo video illustrates the working concept on a breadboard. The final version will be implemented with the sensors mounted overtop a swappable black and white disk. Disks will show various number sequences in binary and illustrate concepts like 2’s complement, gray code, and BCD.

Sebastian Armstrong – EE, 2024 – sharmstrong@umass.edu