Budget Friendly Linear Encoders

Do they exist? Are they any good? Any creative solutions for measuring linear travel?


Check out the String Potentiometer from AndyMark. If you have a 3D Printer you can get it even cheaper.


I was literally about to post that. We have not actually used them, but they are exactly what we would use if we needed to measure something like this (say for the height of our climber).

If you’re crafty you can get the data out of most cheap Chinese digital calipers. They also have scale versions without caliper jaws.


Are you willing to share? I have some scrapped out units I recovered from the dumpster.




Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

One of the ones I salvaged is 8" long and the other is 24" long. They would be great for making DRO’s. I think someone broke the battery contacts in both of them.

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For short range you can use slide potentiometers. I see them for as cheap as $13 for 6 on Amazon.
I really like string pots for rough and ready linear. As long as you don’t tear out the cable they work great!

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