actuator digital signal

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actuator digital signal

Postby PeterM » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:29 pm

I understand a digital signal waveform i.e. on or off, for a sensor giving out a digital signal, but how do you explain the waveform of an actuator[digital signal] which is earth controlled. Is the timebase classed as the drop down to earth,i.e. actuator on, because the normal digital signal with a supply of 5volts is the on time and the drop down is the off time . Hope you understand.
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Postby Autonerdz » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:05 pm

Hi Peter,

Not sure I understand but I'll give it a shot.

The on time of a ground controlled actuator would be the time the signal spends low. (Duty Cycle neg) For example, to measure a ground controlled injector pulse width, you would place the rulers framing the time the injector voltage is low on the control side. This would include the peak section and the hold or pulse width modulation section, if any.

Keep in mind that often a higher frequency ground controlled solenoid waveform may appear as a sawtooth pattern, rather than a square wave, as a result of inductive reactance. Solenoids will also exhibit an inductive kick, which can be over a hundred volts, so be sure to use an attenuator when your not sure what this voltage might be.

Tom Roberts
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THE PicoScope Automotive Authority
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