Rotary Encoder Replacement for the uBITX Transceiver

In previous posts I have discussed the reliability issues with the cheap rotary encoder supplied with the uBITX kit.

Cleaning the contacts with a switch cleaner/lubricant provided a temporary fix for the noisey contacts on the rotary encoder. However, the improvement was short lived. I decided to replace the encoder with one from a reputable manufacturer.
I read somewhere on the internet that the stock rotary encoder supplied with the uBITX kit produces around 24 pulses per revolution. Searching the internet for a ‘branded’ alternative, the closest I could find had a resolution of 18 pulses per revolution. This would give a similar tuning rate to the original without having to modify the software. Unfortunately I could not easily get hold of the (threaded) panel-mounting version from UK suppliers, so I settled for a PCB-mounted encoder manufactured by ALPS (part number EC11E183440C). This has no detents, which is an essential requirement in this application. Most encoders for sale are the detent type. Some folks claim that these can be modified to remove the detents, but I have not tried this myself.
I mounted the encoder on a small piece of Veroboard (stripboard) and use M3 spacers to mount it under the panel of the radio. The photo shows the new rotary encoder assembly next to the original panel-mounted part. 
uBITX rotary encoders

In Use
The new rotary encoder works smoothly, with a stiffer feel than the original part. There is no noticeable difference in the tuning rate. Several weeks after installation, it is still working reliably.

I recommend modifying the uBITX to include some filtering and provide adequate wetting current. This will help prevent problems with contact bounce. This was covered in an earlier post:

Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. Views expressed in my posts are my own and not of my employer. The information provided comes with no warranty. I cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites. Any practical work you undertake is done at your own risk. Please make health and safety your number one priority.