I'm sitting here with my Raspberry PI and some other equipment that requires digital signal (high/low, enabled/disabled).

But the Pi only has a GPIO so to get it to work I would need a microchip of some sort (guessing)?

I'm fairly new to all this, but like to play around on my breadboard.

Could anyone point me in the right direction here? I need the PI to control a device that operates with digital high/low signal but also "enabled" / "disabled"


GPIO means General Purpose I/O, and that's a digital input or output (though you often can assign an alternative function to it, like I2C signals, or ADC input). Digital outputs can control other devices by using high (logical "1") and low (logical "0") levels.

"enabled/disabled", both with the "d" at the end are terms which usually describe a status, and that will normally be an output of the device.

If it's indeed an input (which usually would be named "enable/disable", without the "d") then it's likely also a logic level input, which you can control with a second GPIO pin.


GPIO is an acronym for general purpose input/output. This means that this pin can be configured to operate in many modes. It can operate as digital output as you want but it can also be routed to some hardware modules inside the processor and act as e.g. PWM output or external interrupt input.

  1. Find a way to setup your GPIO pin as output.
  2. Find a way to control it. Typically set/reset functions. This will force your GPIO pin high and low.

Turn on your GPIO pin will give your around 3.3V at the pin indicating 'High', Turn off your GPIO pin will give your around 0V at the pin indicating 'Low'.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, it's 3.3 V, not 5 V. \$\endgroup\$ – m.Alin Jul 21 '12 at 7:43

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