There are all kinds of those digital angle finders, usually hooked up to woodworking tools.
I've been waiting for one of you smart guys to find the right electronic gizmo. Ideally, at least on my style of lathe, it should be able to integrate the sensor into the middle area now occupied by cast iron. The T-slot area is off limits & outside of that is running out of room or intersects other important features. The tool post underside could be modified with some kind of sub plate or recessed if it was a simple magnet.
How does one interpret those Ali documents in terms of measurement accuracy? 1-deg? 0,1 deg? Depends on radius? Even if the lathe compound was a more difficult future project, I see value in the gadget for angular indexing without the breaking out the rotary table. Like a chuck rotating on a dedicated plate mounted to mill table. Or upright spin indexer (although the pin system does offer some degree of positioning as is).
Unfortunately what we want is something like a pancake, most of the encoders are more cylindrical cannister form factor. And that about all I know LOL.
Looking forward to the resultsI think what @jcdammeyer suggested is pancake!
I ordered a few different kinds from Ali to play with. But here is a photo of one of them.
View attachment 35175
In my current thinking the sensor sits flat on top of the compound locating post. The magnet is diametral (N-S is across the diameter not across the cylinder). In my mind, the magnet sits inside the post recess in the compound itself on top of the sensor (like a two layer pancake). They say it can tolerate a 3mm spacing.
IF I can make it work with my Ditron, I will be thrilled. If not, then an Arduino and a display will work with some programming.
I confess that I find it difficult to believe that it can be accurate enough to work really well but they claim 14 bit resolution (16,384 units) which should yield less than 2 minutes of angle assuming everything else is perfect. Which it won't be, but if I just pick a bigger (easier) interval out of my butt, it should easily do tenths of a degree. Plenty good enough for me - IF IT WORKS.
It might be interesting to put one of those on the dividing head for use on the mill…...
OK, I did that on my new iPad so maybe we don't know each other yet.....The link won't load Dave. But the question isn't really will it read a Quadrature encoder. The question is "Can a given quadrature input be configured to display the output in degrees 0.0° to 359.9°?"
My dividing head will mechanically read in finer increments than 14 bit could provide.
But yes, it might be interesting in the sense that it would be WAAAAY faster than using a divider system and setting the DRO for intervals is easy peasy (assuming it will do that).
Yeah, I have the same ugly deal. But I just realized it's a near-perfect opportunity to add a vernier scale to it - nice straight lines at appropriate, if variable spacing could do 5 divisions of each degree pretty easily. I might try that.
O KOOK, I did that on my new iPad so maybe we don't know each other yet.....
Let's try the link again: TouchDRO Quadrature Encoder Info
A quote from the page:
"Quadrature [incremental] encoders come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and sensor types. The two types most commonly in digital readout systems are linear encoders (such as glass and magnetic DRO scales) and various rotary encoders."
OK, you're getting into math that is not my expertise.......
I figured it would be easier to do with the DRO even if it's just: increment -> zero ->increment -> zero etc..