Reading the angle of a shooter

Hello. I’m trying to put together a variable angle shooter. I’d like to measure the angle, and adjust the mechanism driving the shooter’s tilt accordingly. I’ve heard of something called a potentiometer, but I don’t know what they are or what they look like or how they work.

Can anyone offer guidance as to what I should use? Suggestions, part numbers, that sort of thing? I program in labview by the way.

Unfortunately the design team hasn’t settled on the actuator for the mechanism’s tilt, so I can’t provide more info on that right now.



A potentiometer is used for analog reading. A potentiometer increases in resistance as it is rotated if it is placed on the axis of rotation then as it turns/changes angle the potentiometer it will output different voltages that the robo rio can read.

Another option is to use a gyro scope which measure the rotation of things and outputs a digital signal to the robo rio

A third option is to use a encoder on the motor that changes the angle amusing you use a motor

And final you can use a camera and vision processing and the reflective tape on the tower high goal to find your angle.

A potentiometer is a variable resistor controlled usually by rotating a shaft. You’ve seen them, I’m sure - old style volume control knobs are potentiometers. You can get them at radio shack or just about any on-line electronics parts store. Go for a linear taper potentiometer (not logarithmic, which are meant for audio controls) with a top end resistance of 10k to 100k ohms. Much lower resistance will draw more current than needed, and too high will begin to lose some of the range to the internal resistance of the analog I/O port. Most potentiometers with less than a one-turn range have the brush (moving piece) on the central terminal. From an analog I/O port, wire ground to one end terminal, 5V to the other end terminal, and the input to the brush.

Here’s an examplefor less than a dollar (before shipping).

Thank you both!