Magnetic position sensor replaces potentiometers

8th September 2014
Nat Bowers

Simplifying the process of replacing a traditional potentiometer with a more reliable contactless alternative, ams has announced a magnetic rotary position sensor. The AS5600 features a ratiometric output which mirrors the output of a potentiometer, meaning that potentiometer users do not need to change the application code running on their MCU when they replace it with a design based on an AS5600.

The AS5600 provides precise 12-bit resolution over a full 0-360° rotation and is capable of measuring angular displacement in any application currently using a potentiometer, including rotary knobs and dials. When paired with a low-cost two-pole magnet, engineers can implement an angle-measurement system at a similar cost to that of a mid-range potentiometer.

Proprietary differential sensing technology provides high immunity from stray magnetic fields, while the contactless sensing method offers superior reliability to a potentiometer’s contacting method. The magnetic position sensor senses rotary motion by measuring changes in the magnetic field generated by the paired magnet. This method is unaffected by dust, dirt, humidity, moisture or vibration, which tend to distort or disable a potentiometer’s measurement operations.

Enabling the device to rival the low power consumption of a potentiometer, the AS5600 implements four power-saving modes and automatically switches to the lowest power mode after one minute of inactivity. Once in this mode, it scans for movement ten times a second and instantly switches to a user-selected power mode upon detecting movement. The magnetic rotary position sensor draws just 1.5mA (maximum) in the lowest power mode.

Alfred Binder, Business Line Manager, Position Sensors, ams, commented: "Potentiometers are known to be vulnerable to early failure in industrial and consumer applications because of contamination by dirt or humidity. With the introduction of the AS5600, it is now simple to replace a potentiometer with a reliable contactless alternative that offers high resolution, low power consumption and immunity to contamination."

Featured products

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news