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  1. #1
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Can you recommend some really thin / low profile Rotary encoders, switches etc

    I am fairly new to all of this and am wondering if there are such things as low profile rotary encoders, rotary switches, dual rotary switches, buttons etc.

    The reason for asking is that I am thinking of using a couple of old LCD screens and placing panels over the top with rotary encoders and buttons and switches to create simple radio stacks, instruments with adjustment etc until funds and time allow me to build proper versions.

    One kind of rotary encoder or it could be a pulse encoder, that I think would be ideal is the sort you get in mouse wheels (ie a really thin square block with a hexagonal centre for a drive shaft). This would be great as

    a) it is thin
    b) I could run one shaft through the centre of another to create dual encoders for things like radio tuning etc.

    ....but I have not been able to find anywhere that sells them yet.

    Obviously if the switches etc are too deep / tall, then it will be like looking through a tunnel at the instruments! Any hints / links etc you can recommend?

    Cheers

    Nik

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Nik

    The two main sources I use are Mouser.com in the US and rapidonline.com in the UK. They both have downloadable catalogues and you can lose many an hour perusing them. Mouser prices are not now so good because of the exchange rate and import tax+vat. Rapidonline have an excellent service but less range

    The encoders you are looking for are Mouser part no. 652-ESD0D-S00-GC0006 . These are shaftless Bourns encoders which will connect ok to the Opencockpits I/O expansion cards. Doubtless there are other options and I am sure that someone else will offer some suggestions

    Regards

    David

    Edit If you have not done so already, check out Ian Sissons site on http://www.737ng.co.uk/ - it is a mine of good information

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  4. #3
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Thanks for the reply...the wording "shaftless" got me thinking "hollow" and after some mouser browsing found exactly what i was after! Often the way...just need to find the right words for the search!

    ... a nice budget version...

    http://www.mouser.com/catalog/636/1555.pdf

    http://www.mouser.com/Search/Refine....8-EC05E1220201

    Now I just need to find that part from a UK supplier and I'm laughing! (assuming I can wire these into my pc).

  5. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Nik

    Glad to prompt the words! Just one bit of caution, think how you are going to connect these to your pc, ie what I/O cards are you going to use as not all encoders are made equal. I suggest that you decide on your I/O interface and then check whether the encoder specs are ok

    Also on Ian Sissons site, amongst others, is a method of using rotary switches to emulate encoders - just a thought

    Regards

    David

  6. #5
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    I/O option

    Hi Guys,
    As far as a choice of I/O goes, I could not recommend the BU0836X card from Leo Bodnar highly enough! It's so easy to use and I think ideal for a novice builder (like me!). I've connected a number of types of switches to it, as well as rotary switches and encoders with no major problems. The only hard part (for me) was soldering the wire to the encoder, but the card requires no soldering at all!

    It's brilliant. As recommended by Ian Sisson too!

    Nigel.
    I can't see the light but I think I found the tunnel...
    www.shamrock075.webs.com

  7. #6
    300+ Forum Addict nax228's Avatar
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    Great.
    I got a CPFlight expansion card (MCPEX1) that I would like to use for the DUs mode switch and the autobrake, Speed ref, N1 set switches.
    Can anyone confirm that this will work via that card with these rotary encoders?
    Also got LCD monitors behind where the panels are.

  8. #7
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    How would you install these?

    As someone who is planning an instrument panel using an LCD behind a panel these appear to be an excellent option. A few questions come to mind:

    - they appear to be intended to be mounted on a PCB ; could they be adapted to fastened to a panel with a wire soldered to the pins which connects to my Bodnar controller board? Perhaps they get mounted on the back of a panel (not sure how??) in line with a hole drilled through the panel, which leads to my next question
    - any suggestions on the type of knob/shaft that you would use to rotate the encoder?
    - from the look of the data sheet I figure you would use the vertical configuration (might be obvious but not to this rookie)?


    Thanks, Dave

  9. #8
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    I think the shafts need to be hexagonal with a little bit of creativity to prevent them falling out. I like the idea as you can put a switch behind it and a spring and have a push button as well. Also, the fact you could feed one shaft through the middle of another to create a nice radio setup where an inner wheel provides fine control and an outer wheel provides large scale movement.

    I have been looking at prices for these components and they seem to be about 77p each, but with a 12.00 shipping charge!

    However, if I buy a bigger quantity (say 100) they are a bit cheaper and I can wangle a deal on shipping, so I may well just go ahead and buy 100 and then sell em off individually and just charge a minimal ammount for postage.

    In the first instance though, I'm trying to blag a couple of samples to see how rugged they are and how well they work and how best to wire them up. Life is 100,000 cycles and 12 detents per revolution. I reckon thats about 1600 flying hours for those flying heavy metal?

    As for mounting, I'm going to rip apart an old mouse and see how they are mounted in there and how these may be adapted. The easiest way would probably be to carefully glue them to the panel, but that could be a pain when you come to replace them.... I'll have a think on that.

    It's all very exciting! Will keep you posted!

  10. #9
    300+ Forum Addict nax228's Avatar
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    For those of you that have a ELFA store in your country, you can get simulare components with lower p&p cost.
    This is a link from the norwegian brand: https://www1.elfa.se/elfa~no_no/b2b/...do?tab=catalog

    Elfa main page with link to the different countries (incl. england):http://www.elfa.se/

    I'm lucky to have a store in my neighbourhood, and been buying some switches for the yoke.

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