Automated Fixtures Elation Platinum LED Spot II - does it use encoders?


Nov 22, 2015
Cambridge, MA
I'm an undergrad mechanical engineering student in a product design class- my team is trying to design a system that would be a plug-in to existing moving head fixtures, and would allow them to automatically track a performer. We bought the Elation Platinum LED Spot II (hasn't arrived yet), and we're in a pinch trying to figure out if it uses encoders on the pan motor and the tilt motor for positional feedback- we need to know for a presentation tomorrow.

One of the product brochures says that the light can do "Automatic pan/tilt position correction," but I don't know if that means it uses an encoder, or if there is some other means it uses to do that correction. Any insight would be appreciated...



Well-Known Member
Jan 1, 2005
North Wales PA
In general on all movers,the answer in no. Most systems use something like a hall effect transistor and small magnet to find the home position during housekeeping at boot, and during reset. From there, the processor tracks the amount of steps the stepper motors take in order to calculate position. The processor will also look to see that it gets a "home" signal whenever passing the home position. There may also be optical or magnetic feedback that movement is taking place, such as a series of holes and an opto-sensor. If you force a stepper motor, you will produce an unexpected voltage and/or current in the driver chip, which may also provide feedback to the processor.
I think what you were looking for was something along the lines of traditional servo, in which there is a monitoring pot that produced a voltage that is proportionate to the position. I haven't seen that in any of the units I have had apart. Not saying it is "never" used, but haven't seen any.
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