How to Repair a Rotary Optical Encoder How to Repair a Rotary Optical Encoder

What You'll Need

If you are looking for a way to repair your rotary optical encoder, then  there are some basic tools which you can use to get the job done. In order to work out the problem with the encoder, you will first need to perform some brief troubleshooting techniques, so that you can put your finger on exactly what is wrong. Once you have done this, you can then do your bets to repair the rotary optical encoder. This will need some basic car repair tools and a few hours of your time.

Step 1 - Troubleshooting the Encoder

If you are having a problem with your rotary optical encoder, then you are probably well aware of what is causing it, and where those problems come from. On the other hand, a random series of problems may cause the car owner to look at the machine in great puzzlement, unsure of what to do in order to fix the machine. Test the optical section of your encoder, then look at the wiring which connects this to the mechanical part, and then look for signs that the device is no longer working, and needs to be replaced.

Step 2 - Cleaning the Optical Head

One of the commonest problems with the rotary optical encoder is dirt attaching itself to the encoder head. If you are having problems with the reception of information from the encoder, then this is probably the cause. Go into the underside of the car, and locate the optical head. Using your screwdriver, remove it from the car, and take it to your garage. There, wipe it over with a soft cloth, and ensure that there is nothing permanent on the lens, such as a scratch, before replacing.

Step 3 - Checking the Mechanical Parts

The optical encoder has mechanical parts, just like any other encoder, and this can also be affected by dirt and grit. The computations of the device are very sensitive, and so anything landing on the mechanism, such as minute particles of road grit, or sand, can lodge in the mechanism and stop it from working. If this is the case, then you will need to remove the mechanism, and check all of the moving parts by pushing through them with a pointed tool, such as the end of a screwdriver. You should be able to knock out any grit, dust or even plant matter that has become lodged in the encoder.

Step 4 - Checking the Wiring

As the rotary optical encoder is also an electronic device, you should check that the wiring is not damaged in some way. Look for signs of loose wires, or even corroded wires. Pay particular attention to blackened wires or connections, as this indicates that that there is something wrong, either with the power supply, or the conducting element. If you find any loose wires, reattach them using a soldering iron.


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