Encoders Troubleshooting

Problem: No output

Solution: No output may be a result of various factors. Steps can be taken to ensure the proper functionality of the encoder. No mechanical movement results in any signal being output from the encoder. To correct this issue, observe if the encoder is rotating. Verify all wring between the encoder and the driver/controller is correct and the appropriate voltage supply is used. Having loose connections or improper voltage supply may not allow the encoder to function properly. Finally, ensure the correct signal type (e.g. open collector, pull-up, line driver or push-pull) is being used for your application. If the problem persists, swap encoders, if possible, to determine if the encoder is the issue.


Problem: Unable to find index pulse

Solution: The index pulse, or reference marker, is a once per revolution output of an encoder and is best found using an oscilloscope. Verify all the wiring between the encoder and the driver/controller is correct and the appropriate voltage supply is used. If that does not solve the issue, try lowering the RPM of the motor, as the driver/controller may not be able to identify the index pulse at very high RPM values.


Problem: Count output indicates incorrect direction

Solution: If the count output indicates an incorrect direction then check for the wire configuration. See if any wires are reversed. If they are reversed, simply swap wires.


NOTE: If your application is using index, reversing the wire configuration causes the reference alignment to also change. If so, please make the appropriate changes to your application.


Problem: Encoder is not rotating

Solution: When encoders are exposed in open environments, dust and debris particles may accumulate around the shaft. Simply clean the exposed area and ensure that there are not objects obstructing the encoder from rotating.


Problem: Noise Interference

Solution: To improve the noise immunity of encoders it is strongly advised that no other electrical equipment be nearby or be kept at a fair distance. Encoder cables should also be shielded and proper wires should be grounded to minimize electrical noise.


Problem: Distorted or incorrect output

Solution: Distorted or incorrect output can be any combination of loose wiring connections, encoder output not compatible with driver/controller, electrical noise or improper alignment. Check for wire connections, compatibility issues with the encoder and the driver/controller, alignment of the encoder and the shaft to solve this issue.


PLEASE NOTE: Technical assistance regarding its Encoder line, as well as all the products manufactured or distributed by Anaheim Automation, is available at no charge. This assistance is offered to help the customer in choosing Anaheim Automation products for a specific application. However, any selection, quotation, or application suggestion for an Encoder, or any other product, offered from Anaheim Automation's staff, its' representatives or distributors, are only to assist the customer. In all cases, determination of fitness of the custom Encoder in a specific system design is solely the customers' responsibility. While every effort is made to offer solid advice regarding the Encoder product line, as well as other motion control products, and to produce technical data and illustrations accurately, such advice and documents are for reference only, and subject to change without notice.

Problem: Gearbox Becomes Hot
Solution: The exterior temperature of the gearbox may become hot due to several reasons. Please refer to the following information, take the necessary steps to solve this issue. If the gearbox temperature is excessive, please consult the manufacturer.

1. Ambient temperature is above advised level - If the ambient temperature is too high, it may diminish the efficiency of the gearbox. Install a cooling fan or move the application to a more viable location.

2. Proper ventilation - Proper ventilation is necessary, not only for the gearbox but for all electrical/mechanical equipment to function properly. Ensure that there is adequate air flow in the area of the equipment to allow for system cooling.

3. Improper shaft alignment - The first step is to check the alignment of the input shaft of the motor to the gearbox. It is necessary that the input shaft of the motor be aligned with the gearbox to ensure the proper use of the gearbox.

4. Overload - Decrease the load of the gearbox and observe if the temperature lowers. If not, your application may require a larger gearbox model.

5. Lubrication – Poor lubrication for the bearings and gears. Consult with the manufacturer regarding warranty information.

6. Improperly mounted bearings - Reassembly may be required of the gearbox. Consult with the manufacturer regarding warranty information.

Problem: Loud/Vibration Noise
Solution: Loud or vibration noises can be due to many different sources discussed in this section.

1. Improper installation - Improper installation may be a result of loose bolts or misalignment between the motor and gearbox. Tightening loose bolts and aligning the motor and gearbox may solve the issue of excessive noise.

2. Input speed too high - Lowering the input speed may help reduce the noise.

3. Overload - Decreasing the load may help reduce the noise. If not, a larger-sized model gearbox will be required.

4. Worn or damaged bearings - Worn or damaged bearings may need to be replaced. Consult with the manufacturer regarding warranty information.

5. Lubrication - Gears/bearings need to be properly lubricated for cohesiveness. Consult with the manufacturer regarding warranty information.

Problem: Input/Output Shafts Do Not Rotate
Solution: Before going through the below instructions, ensure the motor shaft rotates to isolate any problem with the motor or gearbox.

1. Proper installation - Ensure that all bolts connecting the motor to the gearbox are securely fastened.

2. Gear teeth are worn - Need to replace worn gears. Consult your dealer for warranty information.

3. Gears in locked position - Gears may need to be replaced due to wear and tear. Another possibility would be that a foreign object may need to be removed from within the gearbox, causing the gears to be in the locked position. Consult your dealer for warranty information.

Problem: Gear Teeth Wear
Solution: Wear and tear on gearboxes is natural occurrences. Proper use and system maintenance can help extend their lifetime of the gearbox.

1. Proper installation - Ensure that all bolts connecting the motor and the gearbox are securely fastened.

2. Excessive load - Wear and tear on the gear is caused by contact with other gears. Reducing the load will lower the tension the gears make with one another. If a higher load is required, using a larger gearbox may be necessary.

3. Input speed too high - Lowering the input speed may help reduce the amount of wear and tear on the gears.

4. Ambient temperature is above the advised level - If the ambient temperature is too high, it may diminish the efficiency of the gearbox. Installing a cooling fan, or moving the application to a more viable location may resolve this application.

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