Magnetic pickups are sensors that detect the speed of a moving part, typically in an engine. When objects like gears or shafts with keyways are passed through the sensor’s magnetic field, the field oscillates, which induces in the sensor’s coil an AC voltage to be read by an electrical device such as a counter or oscilloscope.Features of a magnetic pickupA magnetic pickup is a coil that is wound around a magnetised probe. When objects like gear teeth, turbine rotor blades, slotted discs or shafts pass through the probe’s magnetic field, the flux density is modulated, inducing a measurable AC voltage. Magnetic pickups tend to have a high-output voltage that is suitable for use with heavy-duty wiring. They are generally unaffected by dust and dirt, and are sturdier than most other plastic sensors. What can magnetic pickups be used for?Magnetic pickups can be used as parts of speedometers or tachometers, which are integral parts of engines and industrial equipment.