I have many transducers which all have single-ended signal outputs. I hook them up to a single-ended DAQ board. A board with 16 single-ended inputs. The DAQ bard is currently set to single-ended configuration, but can also be set to a differential-ended configuration.

For noise reduction I'm considering to use the DAQ board in differential ended mode.

As far as I know, a differential signal outputs SIGNAL LO and SIGNAL HI electrically floating with respect to ANALOG GROUND.

I some confusion and have the following questions:

1-) Do I need to buy new transducers which output differential signals if I were to use a differential-ended data acquisition board?

2) If so, is there an alternative way to convert a single-ended signal to a differential-ended one?

3-) If I use a differential-ended data acquisition board with single-ended signals without common grounds would it be also OK to reduce the noise?

edit: I think there are transducers which output mirrored signals as SIGNAL LO and SIGNAL HI. And there is also Differential Connection of single-ended transducers which has Signal and GND. This is the source of my confusion.


1 Answer 1


1) You should have differential signals with respect to the same reference point if you would like to use differential input.

2) You can convert single ended signal to differential signal in simple way, like this Single ended to differential. This is the easiest and simplest way, there is also other ways.

3)I am not sure how would your data acquisition board with differential inputs treat single ended signals without common grounds.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Foe differential signals, the transducers should output mirrored signals right? \$\endgroup\$
    – user16307
    Apr 1, 2016 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ When they are mirrored that will give you better noise reduction (voltage difference would be bigger and SNR would be better), but this one approach would also give you pretty good results. You have two signals in respect to same ground and at the receiving side they are subtracted ( so noise that is involved on both lines are again annuled). \$\endgroup\$
    – Haris778
    Apr 1, 2016 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes so differential daq should be done with these kind of sensors right? Not with single ended sensors? \$\endgroup\$
    – user16307
    Apr 1, 2016 at 9:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes or convert single ended to differential. \$\endgroup\$
    – Haris778
    Apr 1, 2016 at 9:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok and all the diff signals should share the same reference ground right? Should this ref point be earthed as well? \$\endgroup\$
    – user16307
    Apr 1, 2016 at 9:25

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