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    What is the difference between Differential vs. Single-ended encoders?

    Differential vs. Single-ended measurements encoders?

    A differential voltage is “floating”, meaning that it has no reference to ground. The measurement is taken as the voltage difference between the two wires. The main benefit of a differential measurement is noise rejection, because the noise is added to both wires and can then be filtered out by the common mode rejection of the data acquisition system. Differential measurements should be used if the sensor is in a noisy environment or for sensors with output voltages susceptible to noise interference.

    A single-ended measurement is taken as the voltage difference between a wire and ground. The noise is only on the positive wire, and as a result, it is still measured along with the output voltage from the sensor. Some sensors only have a single output and must be wired into a single-ended channel. A sensor with a differential output can be wired for single-ended by wiring the low side to ground. This is usually done to reduce the number of channels needed to measure the sensors. 

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