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A rotary encoder replaces a rotary potentiometer, while providing a long live due to no wiper degrading the substrate.

How can I replace a linear potentiometer (a "fader") with something following the same fashion ?

Background :

I have a certain appliance that has DSP equalization internally. I can change the coefficients via i2c. I want to keep the usual "equalizer" visual and feeling, by using pots, but, in order to get something more modern, i wanted to replace the usual linear slider analog pots for linear encoders, read them using a microcontroller and send the values via i2c.

Everything is on a box and from outside you cannot tell that everything is being done inside a dsp digitally. It looks and feels like a old school equalizer...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You can go for linear absolute encoder(pretty hard to find though). Or you can build one yourself. \$\endgroup\$ – ammar.cma Apr 12 '17 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ found nothing, but linear encoders that are too big and costly to replace a simple linear potentiometer... \$\endgroup\$ – Jorge Aldo Apr 12 '17 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Quadrature Linear Encoders? Or you can do Inductive/Capacitive as well. \$\endgroup\$ – ammar.cma Apr 12 '17 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ nothing that readily replaces a potentiometer \$\endgroup\$ – Jorge Aldo Apr 12 '17 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Linear position encoders (common in printers, but can also be used in digital faders, typically optical but may also be Hall-effect) are a good choice if you want to preserve the traditional feel of a fader. Otherwise you could do a linear capacitive touch element (much more robust, but no physical slider element). \$\endgroup\$ – uint128_t Apr 12 '17 at 16:21
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Encoders are not plug in replacements for pots. If you go with this approach, you will have plenty of embedded work to do.

US digital sells linear encoder strips: http://www.usdigital.com/products/encoders/incremental/linear/LIN. You can use any of their encoder readers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah, after searching a lot i think i will keep the analog pots... \$\endgroup\$ – Jorge Aldo Apr 12 '17 at 17:16
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The only linear encoder I know is a LVDT - Linear Variable Differential Transformer. These are AC-excited devices giving a signal proportional to a linear displacement, but they are complex and expensive - gross overkill in my opinion.

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After some more research (From a comment by uint128_t) I found this :

MagnetoPot

I believe i can hack something by using a small magnet on a slider that traverses over this device. It is still not digital, but at least I believe the durability should be orders of magnitude greater than traditional pots. I am answering just to let other know if in the future they find this question with the same problem.

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