Grove - Optical Rotary Encoder(TCUT1600X01)

The Grove - Optical Rotary Encoder(TCUT1600X01) is a transmissive sensor that includes an infrared emitter and two phototransistor detectors. Usually, the infrared emitter emits infrared rays, the phototransistor detectors receives the infrared rays, then the phototransistor is turned on, both of the output is High, the on-board LED indicators light up. When there is an obstacle blocking, the phototransistor can not receive the infrared rays, so the phototransistor will be turned off and both of the output will be Low, the on-board LED indicators fade away.

You can use this sensor as a rotary encoder to detect the speed or rotation, and thanks to the two phototransistor detectors, you even can detect the rotation direction.


  • Double phototransistor detectors, can determine the direction of rotation
  • On-board LED indicators
  • Grove Interface


Item Value
Operating voltage 3.3V / 5V
Operating temperature -40°C to +105°C
Storage temperature Range -40°C to +125°C
Emitter wavelength 950 nm
Gap 3 mm
Interface Digital


  • Automotive optical sensors
  • Accurate position sensor for encoder
  • Sensor for motion, speed, and direction
  • Sensor for “turn and push” encoding

Hardware Overview

Pin Map



The typical voltage of TCUT1600X01 is 5V, so we use the MP3120 current mode step-up converter to provide a stable 5V. The input of MP3120 ranges from 0.8V to 5V, so you can use this module with your Arduino both in 3.3V and 5V.

When the phototransistor detectors receive the infrared signal, the output should be High, and when the obstacle blocks the infrared, the OUT1 and OUIT2 should be Low. However due to the leakage current, it won't be 0V. The leakage voltage varies with the input voltage.

Mechanical Drawing

Directional Detection


Thanks to the two phototransistor detectors, we can detect the moving direction. If the obstacle moves from the left to right, The output states change should be 11 → 01 → 00 → 10; in the same way, if the obstacle moves from the right to left, it should be 11 → 10 → 00 →01.

Platforms Supported

Arduino Raspberry Pi


The platforms mentioned above as supported is/are an indication of the module's software or theoritical compatibility. We only provide software library or code examples for Arduino platform in most cases. It is not possible to provide software library / demo code for all possible MCU platforms. Hence, users have to write their own software library.

Getting Started

Play With Arduino


Materials required

Seeeduino V4.2 Base Shield Grove - Optical Rotary Encoder
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1 Please plug the USB cable gently, otherwise you may damage the port. Please use the USB cable with 4 wires inside, the 2 wires cable can't transfer data. If you are not sure about the wire you have, you can click here to buy

2 Each Grove module comes with a Grove cable when you buy. In case you lose the Grove cable, you can click here to buy.

  • Step 1. Connect the Grove - Optical Rotary Encoder to the D5 port of the Base Shield.

  • Step 2. Plug Grove - Base Shield into Seeeduino.

  • Step 3. Connect Seeeduino to PC via a USB cable.


If we don't have Grove Base Shield, We also can directly connect this module to Seeeduino as below.

Seeeduino Grove - Optical Rotary Encoder
5V Red
GND Black
D6 White
D5 Yellow



If this is the first time you work with Arduino, we strongly recommend you to see Getting Started with Arduino before the start.

  • Step 1. Install the Encoder Library in the Arduino IDE. You can find this library by the following path: Sketch→Include Library→Manage Libraries

Then search for the encoder in the pop-up window. Find the Encoder by Paul Stoffregen, choose the Version1.4.1, then click Install.

When the library is installed you will see INSTALLED, click Close then.

Thanks for Paul for his splendid library.

  • Step 2. Restart the Arduino IDE. Open the example, you can open it in the following three ways:

    1. Open it directly in the Arduino IDE via the path: File → Examples → Encoder → Basic.

    2. Open it in your computer by click the Basic.pde which you can find in the xxxx\Arduino\libraries\Encoder\examples\Basic, XXXX is the location you installed the Arduino IDE.

    3. Or, you can just click the icon in upper right corner of the code block to copy the following code into a new sketch in the Arduino IDE.

/* Encoder Library - Basic Example
 * http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_libs_Encoder.html
 * This example code is in the public domain.

#include <Encoder.h>

// Change these two numbers to the pins connected to your encoder.
//   Best Performance: both pins have interrupt capability
//   Good Performance: only the first pin has interrupt capability
//   Low Performance:  neither pin has interrupt capability
Encoder myEnc(5, 6);
//   avoid using pins with LEDs attached

void setup() {
  Serial.println("Basic Encoder Test:");

long oldPosition  = -999;

void loop() {
  long newPosition = myEnc.read();
  if (newPosition != oldPosition) {
    oldPosition = newPosition;


You can change two numbers to the pins connected to your encoder, for the Best Performance: both pins have interrupt capability, so you can change the code line 13 into Encoder myEnc(2, 3);, meanwhile, you should connect this sensor to the D2 of the baseshield.

  • Step 4. Upload the demo. If you do not know how to upload the code, please check How to upload code.

  • Step 5. Open the Serial Monitor of Arduino IDE by click Tool-> Serial Monitor. Or tap the Ctrl+Shift+M key at the same time. Set the baud rate to 9600.


If every thing goes well, you will get the result. When you move the obstacle from left to right, the count value will increase by 1; when you move the obstacle from right to left, the count value will be decremented by 1.

Basic Encoder Test:

Schematic Online Viewer



This is the introduction Video of this product, simple demos, you can have a try.

Tech Support

Please do not hesitate to submit the issue into our forum.