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ATOM Miniature Encoder System



ATOM Miniature Encoder System

ATOM is the world's first miniature encoder with filtering optics, providing improvements in dirt immunity, signal stability and reliability for linear and rotary applications.

ATOM features a number of other advances that help maintain signal stability, including integral Auto Gain Control and Auto Offset Control, along with a highly reliable IRED light source, making the product suitable for use in applications demanding quality and dependability.

The miniature readhead is available in 2 formats: hi-flex cable output or Flexible-Printed Circuit (FPC) output. .The FPC version helps reduce overall package size, with a reduced Z-height and easy cable routing.

ATOM is available with a range of high-accuracy optical linear and rotary scales, including conventional glass spars, 'unbreakable' stainless steel tape scales and glass discs. Installation has been simplified by an intuitive set-up LED on the readhead that indicates signal level. Optical reference mark phasing and incremental signal optimization can be achieved with the simple press of a button.

ATOM is suitable for use in variety of applications that require compact size, including laser scanners, CMM arms, semiconductor manufacturing, compact linear motors/motion stages, small DDR torque motors, galvanometers and microscope stages.

ATOM - miniaturization without compromise.

ATOM Miniature Encoder System

  • Miniature package:
    8,35mm x 12.7mm x 20.5mm
    (7.3mm x 12.7mm s 20.5mm for FPC version)
  • Highest signal stability and dirt immunity in its class due to filtering optics
  • Long-term stability provided by integral Auto Gain Control and Auto Offset Control
  • Low Sub-Divisional Error (SDE) and jitter
  • Easy installation and diagnostics using the set-up LED on the readhead
  • Fast, simple calibration at the push of a button
  • Auto-phase optical reference mark
  • Available in 20um and 40um scale pitch versions
  • Analogue output direct from the readhead
  • Multiple interpolation options, with resolutions to 1nm
  • Range of high accuracy rotary and linear scales



Operating and electrical specifications

Power Supply 5V +/- 10%

ATOM readhead typically <50 mA
ATOM with ACi typically <100 mA
ATOM with Ri typically <100 mA
ATOM with Ti typically <200 mA
NOTE: Current consumption figures refer to unterminated systems.
For analogue outputs a further 10mA in total will be drawn when terminated with 120R.
For digital outputs a further 25mA per channel pair (eg A+, A-) will be drawn when terminated with 120R.
Power from a 5V dc supply complying with the requirements for SELV or standard IEC BS EN 60950-1.
200 mVpp maximum@frequency up to 500kHz
Temperature Storage
-20°C to +70°C
0°C to +60°C
Humidity Rated up to 40°C, 95% relative humidity (non-condensing)
Sealing Cable variant IP40   Ri interface IP20
FPC variant IP20 (with lid fitted)   Ti interface IP20
Acceleration (scale and readhead) Operating 400m/s2, 3 axes, BS EN 60068-2-27:2009
Shock (scale and readhead) Operating 1000m/s2, 6 ms, 1/2 sine, 3 axes, BS EN 60068-2-27:2009
Vibration Operating 100m/s2max@ 55Hz to 2000Hz, 3 axes BS EN 60068-2-6:2008
FPC readhead 2.3g
Cable 18g/m
Ri 70g
Cable readhead 4g
ACi 4g
Ti 100g
EMC Compliance

Cable Variant

FPC variant and ACi

BS EN 61326-1:2013

Designed as system components and to be compliant with EMC regulations for products of their type. Care must be taken with shielding and grounding arrangements to ensure EMC performance once installed. It is the system integrator’s responsibility to implement, test and prove EMC compliance for the whole machine.

Environmental Compliant with EU Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS)
Readhead Cable 10 core, high flex, EMI screened cable, outside diameter 3.5mm maximum Flex life > 20x106 cycles at 20mm bend radius, maximum length 3m. (Extension cable up to 25m when using Renishaw approved extension cable)
UL recognised
FPC Cable 16 core, 0.5mm pitch, maximum exposed conductor length 2.5mm, maximum length 1m
Connector options

Cable Variants


Interboard connector compatible with the Ri, Ti and ACi (cable variant) interfaces
15 way, D-type connector
16 core, 0.5mm pitch, ,compatible with ACi (FPC variant)
Typical SDE (analogue) 40um version < +/-120nm   20um version <+/-75nm

Readhead Numbering


RTLF Tape Scale

Scale type Length Increments Part Number
(where xxxx is the length in cm)
Head gain setting
40um (high accuracy) 10mm to 90mm 10mm A-9408-xxxx 0
100mm to 10mm 50mm
40um 10mm to 90mm 10mm A-9407-xxxx 0
100mm to 10mm 50mm
20um (high accuracy) 10mm to 90mm 10mm A-9406-xxxx 0
100mm to 10mm 50mm


RCLC glass scale

Length (mm) 20um 40um Head gain setting
18 A-9404-2018 A-9404-4018 1
30 A-9404-2030 A-9404-4030 1
55 A-9404-2055 A-9404-4055 1
80 A-9404-2080 A-9404-4080 1
100 A-9404-2100 A-9404-4100 1
105 A-9404-2105 A-9404-4105 1
130 A-9404-2130 A-9404-4130 1

Interface Numbering


0004 0020 0040 0100 0200 0400 1000 2000 4000 10KD 20KD 20um system 5um 1um 0.5um 0.2um 0.1um 50um 20um 10um 5um 2um 1um 40um system 10um 2um 1um 0.4um 0.2um 0.1um 40um 20um 10um 4um 2um



ATOM Readhead Dimension

*On FPC Variants the Set-up LED cut-out is circular.
Not optical centerline.

Maximum speed 40um system - 20 m/s
20um system - 10 m/s

RTLF Installation


ATOM Miniature RTLF Tape Scale Installation

Technical Specifications

Material Hardened and tempered martensitic stainless steel fitted with a self-adhesive backing tape
Form 0.41mm x 8mm (H x W) (including adhesive)
Scale pitch 20um and 40um
Datum fixing Adhesive datum clamp (A-9585-0028) secured with Loctite®435
Reference mark Auto-phase optical reference mark repeatable to unit of resolution throughout specified speed and temperature range
Customer de-selectable reference marks at 50mm spacing
Reference mark in the center of scale for lengths
Accuracy (At 20°C) 40um (high accuracy)   &emsp +/-5 um/m
40um   &emsp +/-15 um/m
20um   &emsp +/-5 um/m
Coefficient of thermal expansion/td> ~10.6 um/m/°C*
Length 10mm to 90mm in 10mm increments
100mm to 10m in 50mm increments
measuring length = Overall length - 3mm
Mass 12.2g/m

*Substrate coefficient of thermal expansion does not need to match that of the scale.
Maximum recommended axis length 1m for 20um system.

RCLC Installation


ATOM Miniature RCLC Glass Spar Installation

Technical specifications

Material Soda lime glass fitted with a self-adhesive backing tape
Form 1.1mm x 6.35mm (HxW) (including adhesive)
Scale pitch 20um and 40um
Datum fixing Fillet of adhesive (A-9531-0342) on one side of the scale
Reference mark Auto-phase optical reference mark repeatable to unit of resolution throughout specified speed and temperature range
Either mid or one end of travel, determined by orientation of the readhead
Accuracy (at 20°C) ±3um
Coefficient of thermal expansion ~8um/m/°C
Length (mm)
Overall length (L) 18 30 55 80 100 105 130
Measuring length 15 27 52 77 97 102 127
Mass 13.9g/m
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