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Coding element with integrated limit switch

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #7400269.

An optical encoder. The optical encoder includes a coding element, an emitter, and a detector. The coding element has a track with a track pattern. The track pattern includes a plurality of optically distinguishable sections. The plurality of optically distinguishable sections includes a limit switch section. The emitter generates a light signal incident on the track of the coding element. The detector includes a limit switch photodetector positioned to detect the light signal from the emitter. The detector generates a limit switch output signal in response to the detected light signal above a limit switch threshold at the limit switch photodetector. Embodiments of this type of optical encoder implement limit switches into a single track on the coding element.

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