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Single Ended versus Differential Inputs



Most data acquisition systems provide both a single ended and a differential input connection. The one difference between the two types of configuration is the common connection (low level ground).


a)      A single ended input measures the voltage between the input channel high and low level ground common to all the inputs. This type of configuration allows for the DAQ system to support more channels but is susceptible to noise from the common ground connection.


b)      A differential input measures the voltage between two individual inputs within a common mode range. The measurement is independent of the low level ground which makes it more immune to noise. The reason for this is that the noise source is present on both signal leads and when in differential mode only the difference between the two leads is measured.     


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