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SparkFun Rotary Encoder Breakout - Illuminated (RG/RGB)

This is a clever little breakout board for both the RGB and R/G illuminated rotary encoders. On one side, it breaks out all of the RGB pins to standard, breadboard friendly, 0.1" headers. Turn it over and it has a footprint for the R/G version! Simply solder an encoder down to the board and you're ready to add illuminated input to your next project.

SparkFun Rotary Encoder Breakout - Illuminated (RG/RGB) Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Can I use this encoder with this board?

  • Is there a simple schematic i can use to wire this to an arduino. I will be using the encoder is was designed for.

  • This is a great board for the RGB encoder. It makes it very easy to make all of the connections to the encoder. In addition, I found another non-advertised feature with this board.

    After the RGB encoder and the three leads (A, C, B) are connected there are three holes still open just above where the three wires are soldered into the board. I was able to insert .01 mfd capacitors between A and C and B and C and solder them into the board. These capacitors suppress the wiping noise that can occur when rotating the encoder. I discovered the noise with an oscilloscope while trying to determine why I was getting erratic counting of encoder pulses while testing several different sketches from the Arduino Playground.

    Some of the sketches were software de-bouncing the switches, but even that was not 100% effective. After I installed the two capacitors the encoder works flawlessly. Therefore if you are having problems getting encoders to count without errors adding two small bypass capacitors: one between (B to C ) and the other between (A to C) should resolve your issue. After I installed the capacitors, I did not observe any noise on the oscilloscope trace.

  • Just a thought: if you wind up doing another rev of this board, it might be worth including through-hole footprints for debouncing caps on the A and B terminals, in case the user would like to add them. From the .brd file it looks like you could fit a CAP-PTH-SMALL package on each side of JP1.

  • Do you need to use resistors for the LEDs

    • For most applications: yes, you'd want to pick resistors based on the driving voltage - there are no resistors on the board itself. If you need to know what resistor to use, find the forward voltage and current ratings for the LEDs in the appropriate encoder's datasheet, and hit it with some math (or online LED resistor calculator).

  • This is a handy board, but why is it dual purpose? It's either going to be soldered to an RG or an RGB encoder, but never both. Why not make two specific purpose BOBs? They could be smaller, cheaper, fit in a breadboard easier, and only have one set of labels (I keep getting myself confused as to whether I should read the labels on the top of the board or the bottom).

  • File this under "you can't please everyone." While the pins now line up, the board is too wide for an average sized breadboard (5+5 pins) -- it covers 9 of the 10 pin rows.

    • Heh, this is true. The 3-4 rows under the breakout board should still be usable though. It requires a little planning ahead - wiring before you lay the board down - but it's not too painful.

  • Are the breakouts on either side of the board still not lined up? I had some of the RG breakouts, and it was a little irritating that the pins were not lined up so it can't sit in a breadboard straight.

    • Sorry about the last board! This time all of the holes line up, and the board is breadboard compatible.

      • You are right that this board fits on a breadboard. However, it is too long, so that only one side (either [GND, SW, R, R] OR [A C B]) can be connected using jumper wires next to the breakout board. So, unfortunately it is useless on a breadboard.

        • The rows under the breakout board should still be usable, though. Just have to plan ahead, and lay some wires down before plugging the board in.

          • This would work I guess, but I consider it not very user friendly. For a next revision I propose to place the breakout pins to the left and right (not top and bottom) of the breakout board. Then it can be used in "landscape" orientation and jumper wires can be easily used.

            The breakout board for the rotary encoder RG is better in this sense (jumper wires can be used on both sides), except that the breakout pins are not properly lined up.

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