I'm looking for a common "wireless gadget" with a rotary encoder that can be accessed by an Arduino. Background: I need a portable rotary encoder to create a simple way to control model railway locomotives. The only one I have found so far is a wireless mouse where the scroll wheel can be easily used as rotary encoder.

But they usually are using USB on the PC side which is not that easy to handle by Arduino. Does anybody knows about other common "wireless gadgets"?


That sounds like a candidate for building your own. It shouldn't be too hard.

There's plenty of low-cost Arduino-compatible wireless modules available. My choice for this would probably be the nRF24L01 - dirt cheap, reasonable range, well supported.

Attach that to an Arduino Mini or Arduino Nano (for instance) and connect a rotary encoder of your choice. Write the sketch.

Add another nRF24L01 to your main Arduino to receive whatever you send.

Due to the way the nRF24L01 works you could quite easily have a number of remote modules talking to the Arduino through the same channel. I'm sure you could think of other things you could do with that wireless channel :)

  • Excellent solution. I was about to post a similar answer when I saw yours. +1
    – dda
    Nov 21 '15 at 4:53

In addition to @Majenko,

If your device is going to talk to a PC/Laptop (or cellphone!), then HC05 or HC06 bluetooth serial module may be a better fit. You will still need to write software to receive the data, but you won't need another Arduino at the other end.

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