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These items: https://www.parktool.com/product/dial-indicator-gauge-set-for-ts-2-2-and-ts-2-truing-stands-ts-2di are mechanical gauges with roller tips that are intended to measure deviations from true in bicycle rims.

What is this kind of instrument called in general?

In particular, what are good keywords to look for devices like this the output of which can be read electronically?

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In machine shops, the purely mechanical types are called dial indicators. For ones that can be read electronically, the classic ones are called LVDT's or Linear Variable Displacement Transducers. There are many types of these in use today as what are called proximity sensors which measure gap widths or clearances without having to touch the object being measured.

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  • $\begingroup$ A quick search for "digital dial indicator" or "digital dial test indicator," (two different devices) also displays the electronic versions, many of which have data lead connections for external electronic recording purposes. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Jan 11 '18 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ it's been a long since I had to buy one! when I was still employed, I made position transducers by disassembling old-school computer mice and gearing up the encoder wheel shafts. cheaper than the electronic gauges but a lot less accurate... $\endgroup$ Jan 11 '18 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, apparently suppliers are calling these “indicators” and aren’t using any terms that would be more specific. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 '18 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ best of luck to you with your project! $\endgroup$ Jan 12 '18 at 2:11

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