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Obsolete Encoders

The encoder is an integral part of industrial manufacturing today, and one obsolete encoder on the shop floor can cripple the manufacturing process . Precise motor control has revolutionized the way we make just about everything in an industrial environment and the position encoder, in many cases, is part of that system.

When they operate properly, they provide us with precisely controlled motor operation. When they fail, they can leave us helpless in a costly situation on the shop floor. However, obsolete encoders open up a new page in the book of down-time.

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Encoder Troubleshooting

Fortunately, encoder problems can be fairly simple to diagnose, sometimes the bigger issue is finding a drop-in replacement for an obsolete encoder in an environment where ever-changing technology and design can phase out, or completely eliminate models from the available parts catalog annually.

For ease of use, accessibility, and available position Encoders, we've been referring individuals to eBay. It almost seems too easy but we've found many encoders available that we thought we'd never find. Even after checking with larger parts houses, we still come back and check here regularly. It is not unusual to find obsolete position encoders in a variety of configurations including both absolute and incremental encoders, rotary shaft encoders, linear encoders, quadrature encoders, and magnetic encoders.

Many of these older encoders are posted for sale as a result of hard times at other manufacturing facilities and in many cases are NOS (new old stock).


obsolete EncodersMachine downtime due to an obsolete encoder is a reality for many. There are options, however, nothing is ever easy. Here is a systematic approach, a simple yet effective method in dealing with a failed component that has likely been phased out by the manufacturer and no longer readily available.

1. Identify your problem... Making a positive identification of the failed component is the crucial first step. Troubleshooting is not a synonym for guess-work. It is a scientific method of determining a problem. There should be no doubt as to the source of the problem. This is determined through testing and not guessing.

2. Check the shelf... That's right, all too many times has a spare component or unit been passed over and found a day late. It sounds simple, but it is always the next step. Don't go looking for something that doesn't need to be found.

3. Check with the manufacturer... A website visit, email, or quick phone call to inquire about a a drop-in replacement is common sense. This step will deliver the bad news if obsolescence is indeed the case.

4. Check eBay... Believe it or not, this has become somewhat of a flea market for old industrial parts. By many, it is still considered to be a website for collectibles and the like, but a quick search can actually reveal a different side to the 'bay. Many private sellers post industrial components as a buy it now type listing, therefore bypassing the auction format all together.

Take a moment and browse the eBay listings since they are always changing...

5. No positive results? explore other options... If your particular encoder is ultimately deemed obsolete and unavailable, you'll need to take the next path of least resistance. This may be upgrade or update your equipment with newer components. The good news is that your machinery or industrial equipment will most likely not need complete re-engineering or a top-to-bottom overhaul to accomodate new components. Adjustments to your system are possible when there is no other choice.


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Styles and Brands

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  • Obsolete British Industrial Encoders
  • Obsolete Stegman Encoders
  • Obsolete Inductosyn Encoders
  • Obsolete Red Lion Encoders
  • Obsolete Renco Encoders
  • Obsolete Heidenhain Encoders

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Search the Classifieds

We also offer free industrial classified ad system complete with a category designed for want ads. We strongly encourage those with individual parts for sale, specifically new or vintage encoders, to list them at OI. Ad creation takes only a few minutes and is free of charge.

Those requiring an odd part or obsolete industrial component can place a want ad just as easily, again, with no charge or fee. The OI ad system is at your disposal. Place want ads here, list your individual parts here, or post a listing for your company here.


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