How Do Absolute Encoders Work?

Programmable parameters

Counting direction

The output value can either increase or decrease when the shaft is turned clockwise (viewed from shaft side).


The parameter resolution is used to program the desired number of steps per revolution. The desired resolution must not exceed the resolution of the hardware.

Total resolution

This parameter is used to program the desired number of measuring units over the total measuring range. This value must not exceed the total physical resolution of the absolute rotary encoder. Revolutions <4096 are programmable with a combination of the parameters ‘resolution/revolution’ and "total resolution".

Gearing factor

The gearing factor is directly adjustable by the input of desired measuring steps per physical measuring step. With this, very low resolutions (<1/revolution) can be programmed.


The preset value is the desired position value, of a particular physical position of the axis. The actual position value is set to the desired position value by this parameter.


A special mode is available for the commissioning phase of the equipment. This makes it possible to change parameters while the encoder is transferring data. For continuous operation another mode is available, in which the parameters are protected against unintentional changes.


The velocity of the shaft is displayed. Partially the basis for the displaying velocity can be chosen. (e.g. turns/minute).

Software limit switches function

If the position value exceeds or falls below these limit switches, a bit in the output word is set.

Zero point displacement

The zero point is shifted by the entered value. (The setting of the preset value also influences the zero point displacement).