This optical encoder (widely available on eBay or Aliexpress in black or silver) has been used by some constructors as a replacement to the standard mechanical encoder supplied with the µBITx kit. It is a 100ppr encoder (whereas the one supplied with the µBITx is 24PPR) so may not work perfectly with either the default firmware supplied by HF Signals or Ian Lee KD8CEC firmware (i.e. you may need to experiment with the code for generating the VFO).
With the detent mechanism removed to allow free turning the encoder gives a very smooth tuning action. With the encoder able to spin freely the protruding crank handle will always come to rest in the down position so it too has to be removed.
The main complaint with these encoders is the detent feature. To remove the detent, here are the instructions from Robert GM4CID:
Remove the knob handle, then, using a heat gun or hair dryer heat the silver knob insert to soften the adhesive and carefully pry off that silver insert to reveal retaining screws that can be removed. The mechanism will now come apart and you can remove the detent. Replace everything but not the handle.