Considerations when choosing a rotary position sensor

As a designer, you have to make sure that the position sensor you’re choosing can meet your specific needs. This article will help you narrow down your options and choose the best rotary position sensor for your project.

Mechanical features

The diameter and length of the shaft are important considerations when selecting a rotary position sensor. The diameter determines the maximum amount of torque that can be transmitted, while the length affects how much space it takes up in your application. The type of housing material also plays a role: materials like steel or stainless steel offer low conductivity and corrosion resistance but can be heavy; aluminium is lightweight yet still strong enough for most applications; plastic housings are less expensive but often need to be reinforced with metal brackets or plates.

In addition to choosing between different types of housing materials, you’ll want to consider what kind of shaft material you need based on your application’s requirements. 

For instance, if you’re looking for a rugged environment (e.g., harsh chemicals), then stainless steel would be the best choice because it’s durable under pressure and doesn’t corrode easily; however, if your application isn’t particularly demanding from an environmental standpoint, then aluminium may work just fine depending on its strength properties relative to its weight (i e does it bend too easily?). 

A related consideration is what type of seal should go around this shaft: rubber seals are cheap but tend not to last very long; O-rings can withstand higher temperatures than other types due partially due their flexibility but aren’t as durable as others either, so make sure whichever solution works best within these parameters before committing yourself fully!

rotary position sensor

Output signal

The rotary position sensor you select should match your specific needs and requirements. In general, there are three types of output signals: differential, analog and digital. A differential output will send out a binary code (high or low), while an analog output provides a more precise measurement of the angle in degrees. Finally, digital sensors send out pulses through a serial interface such as RS232 or USB that can be read by software to determine the position of the shaft.


There are a few things to consider when selecting a rotary position sensor. First, ask yourself: do you need to measure speed? If so, then you’ll want a different sensor than if your application only requires position measurement. It’s also important to know whether or not there will be any kind of load on the shaft during operation. If there is, this may require higher torque ratings than if no load was present.

Another thing to take into account when selecting your rotary position sensor is what type of voltage it needs to operate with and at what speed range (if applicable). If high accuracy is required, multiple sensors can be used together in order to increase their measurement range without sacrificing overall performance levels as long as they’re chosen carefully enough that they’re compatible with one another!

Environmental considerations

The rotary position sensor can be used in a variety of environments. It is important to consider the following environmental conditions when selecting a rotary position sensor:

  • Temperature: Normal operating temperature range is -4°F (-20°C) to 158°F (70°C).
  • Humidity: 10% to 95%, non-condensing.


When selecting a rotary position sensor, it is important to consider how it will be used and the environment where it will be installed. In addition, there are many mechanical features that can affect the performance of the sensor in different applications. The output signal should be able to meet the requirements of your system based on the type of interface available.