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I need to attach a rotary encoder to an arduino. The rotary encoder has 3 metal prongs that I need to attach wires to.

This picture explains exactly what I need:

enter image description here

What type of wire attachment is that? What should I search for to buy?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd usually call it "solder the wires to the pins" and then "heatshrink the joints" ... \$\endgroup\$ – brhans Mar 17 '16 at 17:39
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Those wires have been soldered to the pins of the encoder. Then each solder joint has been protected by a short length of heat-shrink tubing.

So you want to search for a soldering iron, solder, and heat-shrink tubing. The heat-shrink can be activated by placing it against the tip of the soldering iron, but much better results are produced by getting a heat gun, which produces a stream of hot air.

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It looks like the wires are soldered to the encoder's pins, and the solder joint is covered with heat-shrink tubing. The wires used in the photo are probably the one-pin jumper wires used with plastic breadboards.

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