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Jim Wachtel

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How can spending an extra 4% on your servo drive be a wise decision?  To easily prevent total failure of your expensive servo drive and the resulting production downtown-time, that’s how!

Encoders are commonly used to command a servo, and encoders can be purchased with many types of outputs.  For higher resolution encoder applications, it is important to consider the frequency of the encoder pulses when your machine is running at its maximum speed.

For high speed and high resolution, it is typical to use an encoder with differential line driver type outputs which are typically capable of output frequencies around 4 MHz.  A differential line driver output will usually operate on 5 volts; however, this is not always the case. It is important to understand the output voltage of the encoder you are using, and make sure that it is compatible with the servo drive inputs being used.

While many servo drives can accept a differential line driver type signal and have dedicated inputs for these types of signals, you must be careful because differential line driver inputs are typically limited to 5-volt signals.

To avoid problems, when ordering a new encoder, be sure to check that the output signals are rated at no more than 5-volts. It is important that you are aware that some encoders will output a voltage equal to the power supply that the encoder is wired to which might be as high as 24-to 30-volts. Do not assume that the outputs of the encoder are limited to 5-volts.

But what if you already have an encoder installed, or in-stock that outputs too high a voltage? Or what if you are retrofitting a machine and you are unsure what the encoder output is? There is an easy to use, low-cost device that will ensure you will not have a problem.

Wago has a simple Din Rail mounted, very slim, and simple-to-wire, DC-DC converter which will convert your 24-volt power into a clean, safe 5-volt supply for your encoder. With this DC-DC converter from Wago, you can rest assured that you will not damage your servo drive encoder inputs by introducing too high a voltage. How’s that for a quick, easy, and low-cost solution?

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