Your solution to the waveform is interesting. You
added the capacitor
to fix the problem caused by the 74LS14. The problem is that the
hysteresis of the LS14 is so large that it eats up the phase
margines of the roughly sine/cosine from the optical sensors.
I don't think this is the same problem. Without the capacitors=2C and wit=
the 470R resistors=2C I was getting waveforms
with roughtly 1:1 mark-spac=
ratio=2C and while not exactly in quadrature=2C
pretty darn close. The on=
problem was that every so often (perhaps 1 in
every 10000 pulses)=2C ther=
would be a glitch in one of the waveforms.
It's not supply relateded=2C a=
I couldn't repodcude it by=2C say=2C jiggling
the encoder disk.
But that glitch was taken by the elctronics as a valid pulse which upset=
AAdding the capacitors hasn't noticeably changed the mark:space ratio or=
the phasing. But it's got rid of the
A lot of optical mice use the '14 and the output signals look pretty good=
It looks good as long as you are going one direction. Try one tick
backwards and you'll understand=2C right after the other input has
flipped. You'll get and error count. I won't happen all the time=2
just when it stops in that small window of the cycle.
Now, let's think about this..
Firstly, the time constant of a 470R resitor and 1nF capacitor is
aroundhalf a microsecond. The periods of the quadrature signals are
measured in milliseconds. Therefoe, the capacitor has little effect on
the timing mark:space ratiom,. etc, of these signals. It just removes
very narrow glitches.
There is always a potential probklem when you reverse the direction of
rotation of aquadrature encoder. The simple scheme for getting a clock
and direction signal, shown in an awful lot of books, and used in
some lesser devices, has a bug IMHO. Basically, no matter how perfect the
signals are, you may end up with the direction signal beign in the wrong
state for the first clock pulse. FWIW, the logic in this printer is
considerably more complex, and I don't think it sufferes from this problem.
Your thoguhts are based on the assumption that the output form the
photosensor is sinusoidal. That, I think assumes that the size of the
photosenseor is the same as the slit width in the encoder disk. This is
the case for some good encoders (the HP ones I've worked with, for
example), I don't think it applies here. The output looks more like a
poor square wave -- sloping sides and a long flat high or low section.
This would suggest that the slit is much larger than the sensor. Given
that sort of output waveform, it doesn't really matter where on the edge
you take as the threshold, the transistion time is short compared to the
period of the waveform. So the hysteresis of the comparator doesn't
really make that much difference.
And=2C yes=2C I know a lot of mice use the LS14.
I've even tinkered a
few into working with them in them. Those that have a LM339 or
I'm harldy and expert on mice, but of the ones I've seen :
Modern ones (like the PS/2 mouse I took the dual phototransistor from)
just feed the imputs into some microcontroller thing. I have no idea what
the input characteristics are, and there's no trivial way to measure them
1]. So no idea what the hysteresis is.
 One way to do it would be to feed a pair of quadrtature signals into
the chip with said chip connected to a host expecting a PS/2 mouse, and
adjust the high and low levels of each signal in turn until it just stops
working. Rather more work than I want to do for this :-)
Older ones, which used chips I can recognise, and for whcih I may even
have official schematics/service manuals use some kind of TTL or
4000-series CMOS schmitt trigger chip. I[ve not seen one that doesn't.
The '14 in variosu forms is common. Maybe it is a bad design really
(althohgh as I said, I think that depends on the outputs of the sensors)
but it seems to work well enough.
similar work fine. It should have about 10% or less
feedback. Most LS14s are in the order of 30% or more. Try
the LM339 and resistors.
_If_ I havr problems, then that's what I'll do. So far it seems to be
working fine. I have now alinged the carriage  and it prints as well
as I'd expect a Sparkjet ot print. In other wods it's legible, but
nowhre near letter quality.
 You need to get the axis of the ink cartirdge level with the top of
the paper guide electrode, and a consistent distance from it across the
paper. If the cartridge is far too low, it doens't print at all. If it's
just to lwo, the ink scatters from f the edge of the guide onto the paper
and it looks weird. If its' mucth too high, you get ink depositied o nthe
front of the cartridge, and the printing fades out after a frw lines.
What I did was make a special tool. A 4mm rod (same diameter ad the glss
tube in the ink cartridge) with a point on one end (point on the axis of
the rod, obviously).I fitted that into the carriage in place of the
cartridge (printer power off and casing removed) and adjusted the
position of the carirage rail assembly so that the point was just running
among the top of the elecrode, and just touching a sheet of paper fed
round the platten. On the second attempt, it printed fine....