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Digital Signals

Analog VS. Digital Signals
Analog VS. Digital Signals
Digital Signals are signals that electrically fluctuate between set voltage levels. A digital binary signal fluctuates between two set voltages. In software, binary signals are generally referred to as a 1 or 0, and translate to the physical world as a low or high voltage. Most digital circuits fluctuate between 0-3.3v or 0-5v; the latter being most popular with hobbyist electronics.

The advantage of digital signals are that they represent a clear “on” or “off” value and are less susceptible to noise than an analog signal. Digital signals can also be transferred over into different mediums easily (optical, relay switches, pneumatics, etc.) - a good example of this is in an opto-isolator circuit.

Digital signals can be used to describe analog values, however they need more bandwidth than the analog equivalent. Microprocessors and computers incorporated into robots rely almost entirely on digital signals and will require an analog to digital converter (ADC) to translate analog values to digital data.

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