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I want to make a platform that will be turned left & right, with a deck with piano hinge on one end that will tilt up & down from flat to straight up.
Can I use these parts
http://www.bourns.com/data/global/pdfs/enc1j.pdf
to tell how much the platform is turned & elevated with 1 degree control?

I see a bunch of examples here, guess I should get a couple and do some playing.
http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/RotaryEncoders

Goal is to read GPS data, compass heading, and point to calculated position indepedent of weather conditions.
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The Bourns EN series spec sheet says that there are various models available from 25 to 256 cycles per revolution. So even with the highest-resolution model, it isn't quite 1 degree resolution.

The resolution can be improved just by how you detect and process/count the quadrature outputs.

A 256 cycles (often called steps) per rev can be doubled to 512 steps/rev by interrupting on change (both edge transitions) of channel A or doubled again to 1024 steps/rev by interrupting on change of both A and B channels. So resolution of the encoder in not a problem. The mechanical attachment to the hinge pivot maybe a challenge however.


Lefty
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I can probably get by with not quite 1 degree resolution. GM's expanding approach looks straight forward to implement also.
So the idea is I would have some other marker or something that would yield a known starting point, and then start tracking degrees of movement from there?

I think if I split the piano hinge edge and mounted the encoder in line with the hinge pin, that might be a way to go.
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Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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