Glossary of Technical Terms

A list of terms and definitions you may find helpful.

Absolute Rotary Encoder

An electromechanical device which converts the angular position into digital data which is retained on the removal of electrical power. Can also be used to determine linear position, and speed/acceleration.

AC [~]

Alternating current.

Alarm Signal

Serves to monitor the shaft encoder for malfunctions, such as glass breakage, short circuit and insufficient line voltage.

Analogue Signal

An output signal which alters continuously.

Axial Loading

Maximum load on the encoders shaft in the axial direction.

Baud Rate

Rate of data transfer (bits per second). Often expressed in Mbaud, i.e. 12 Mbaud.

Bi-directional

Operating in two directions.

Binary

Two logic states (Yes/No), the basis of binary data processing systems.

Binary Code

Code using binary numbering often used for absolute measuring systems.

Bistable Signal

The output signal is present until the reset conditions are met.

Bit

Abbreviation for “Binary Digit” where the logical value is expressed as 0 or 1 to give a yes or no decision.

BLDC

Brushless DC Motor.

Bus

System for communication between several devices through a data line.

Byte

A sequence of 8 bits.

CW or CCW

Clockwise or Counter Clockwise.

Complementary

An electronic circuit with encoder outputs to invert two channels and express a voltage difference between two lines thus removing interference along transmission cables that connect an incremental encoder with its controller.

COR

Count correction.

Counting Rate

See count frequency.

Count Frequency

The number of count pulses per second [Hz].

CSA Approval

Approval by the Canadian Standards Association.

Data Integrity

Correspondence of data with the reality they describe.

DC [=]

Direct current.

DIR

Direction.

Direction BW

BW shaft rotation, viewing the front display, the top of the rotary shaft is going away from the observer.

Direction BZ

BZ shaft rotation, viewing the front display, the top of the rotary shaft is coming towards the observer.

Disable

Blocking of a function.

Duty Cycle [ED]

The ratio of pulse length to non-pulse period, a 40% duty cycle the pulse length is 4/10 and the non-pulse period 6/10 of the total time.

ED

See duty cycle.

EMC

Electromagnetic compatibility.

Gate

See inhibit.

Gray Code

A binary code used with absolute encoders that changes only one data bit per measuring step at a time.

Incremental Rotary Encoder

An electromechanical device which converts the angular position into data (pulses determined by a marked disk). Can also be used to determine linear position, speed & acceleration. Incremental encoders do not retain positional data on removal of power.

INH

Inhibit.

Inhibit

Blocking of the counter input during counting operation.

Interface

The interface is used for communication between the counter and external systems. Count values can be input or output via the interface.

IP

See Protection Class.

Keylock

Blocking of certain keyboard inputs.

Key Reset

The reset button can only be operated by means of a key.

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display. A passive display requiring external light or backlighting to be read.

LED

Light Emitting Diode. An active display lighting up as long as a supply voltage is fed to the device.

LSB

Least Significant Bit.

Monostable Signal

The out signal is active for a defined period.

MSB

Most Significant Bit.

NC

Not connected. Defines unassigned connections in diagrams.

NPN

Transistor input/output circuit implemented with NPN transistor, and thus negative switching.

NV Memory

Non-volatile; electronic non-volatile memory for electronic counters used for value retention in case the supply voltage is interrupted.

OFF Delay Timing (Pneumatic Timers)

The OFF is delayed. The output valve is positive while timing and negative on timeout. Also referred to normally open timing.

ON Delay Timing (Pneumatic Timers)

The ON is delayed. The output valve is negative while timing and positive on timeout. Also referred to normally closed timing.

OUT

Output (preset, zero, signal).

Parallel Interface

Transfer point at which the data is transferred in parallel over several lines.

PNP

Transistor input/output circuit implemented with PNP transistor, and thus positive switching.

PPR

Pulses Per Revolution.

Prescaler

The factor by which the incoming pulses are multiplied.

Preset Counter

Counters with control functions.

PSC

See Prescaler.

Protection Class

An IP rating is a two-figure code number, for example, IP40, the first digit being the degree of protection against the ingress of solids and the second digit being the degree of protection against water.

PVC

Polyvinylchloride, a plastic coating of device cables.

Radial Loading

Maximum load on the encoders shaft in the radial direction.

Reference Pulse

Square wave signal generated by a reference mark, usually only one increment wide to provide an absolute reference for an incremental encoder.

RES

Reset, see reset.

Reset

Resetting of a counter to its initial value.

Resolver

A device for monitoring speed and angular position of an electric motor usually integrated on the rotor-shaft and sometimes known as a motor feedback controller.

Sense

The sense lines (Sense VCC and sense GND) enable measurement of the factual encoder voltage without adulteration by a voltage drop due to supply current and cable resistivity. With that, e.g. supply voltage can automatically be adjusted.

Torque

The application of force acting at a radial distance from a central point causing rotation.

Totalising Counter

A counter which only adds up received pulses without a control function.

TPE

Thermoplastic polyester elastomer, a plastic coating of device cables.

Transmission Ratio

The first number indicates the rotation of the shaft, the second number shows the count value in the display.

Unidirectional

Operating in a single direction.