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The idea for using hard disks came to my mind after hackaday featured Gijs Gieskes Analog HD
First I tried to use signals from the hd motor, but soon found out that I need a far better resolution. After some experiments I went on with laser cut encoder wheels and IR-sensors from old mice.
IR-LEDs and Sensors are taken from old computer mice.
The size of the resistors depends on the LEDs and sensors, just try till it works. I'm using:
R12 & R13 = 680 Ohm
R14 - R17 = 10K Ohm
My software is using the Arduino Encoder library
To work best each Encoder should have one arduino pin with interrupt (here: 18 & 19 on arduino mega 2560)