A tachometer is a device used for measuring the speed of a moving body or substance (from Greek: tachos = speed, metron = measure). The most common form of the tachometer is one that measures the speed of a rotating shaft, as in an engine or other machine. The readout is traditionally in the form of an analog dial, but digital displays are increasingly common.

There are many applications for rotary pulse generators (also known as incremental encoders, tachs, tachometers) throughout industry. Phoenix America Inc. manufactures a wide range of electrical and mechanical configurations to satisfy the installation requirements of your application. These units typically mount to the non-drive end of AC and DC motors for speed feedback applications and in some cases directly to roll shafts for instrumentation.

The distinction between tachometers and encoders has blurred. Most industrial vendors and customers use: tach, tachometer, digital tachometer, encoder, and incremental encoder interchangeably. Some may use the term tachometer to refer to a heavier duty encoder; Phoenix America Inc. uses the terms encoder and tachometer interchangeably, generally reserves the term ‘tachometer’ for low resolution magnetic encoder devices.

The original distinction between tachometers and encoders was that tachometers were used for velocity indication and control only, and could not provide position nor direction of rotation information.

Only the (older) DC/analog tachogenerator style of tachometer has this limitation; all modern tachometers have quadrature outputs which are used for velocity, position, and direction measurements, making them effectively encoders.

Phoenix America Inc. tachometer experience is decades in breadth. The Phoenix America Inc. low resolution, low cost packages are available in resolution up to 256 counts per revolution in the most efficient packaging options.

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