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Frequency response

  1. Apr 6, 2014 #1
    I'm doing my best to understand signals and systems. So I will give an example of what I'm talking about. you have a pressure transducer that has a 24vdc power supply and a voltage of 0-5vdc to measure the change in pressure, with the 0-5vdc connected to an analog to digital converter. With the analog to digital converter connected to a computer. Control systems use input frequencies to generate an output frequency. Is the analog to digital converter generating a sinusoidal input wave so the computer can generate a sinusoidal output? Pressure transducers can be bought with frequency outputs that rid the need of an analog to digital converter. Frequency will never be the same in a real system due to temperature or whatever else.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2014 #2


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    You need to separate the types of input sensors and their signals from the actual control system and the outputs needed. The needed electrical encoding method (voltage, current, frequency,etc...) of the value of a transducer varies with the application, precision and the working environment. In a modern digital control system that value is converted to a digital representation of the measurement. That measurement is used with possibly many other inputs and possible feedback from outputs to create a control function that generates a digital representation of desired outputs that is converted to the desired electrical signal(ac/dc, voltage, current, frequency,etc...).

    Most of the quality transducers with a frequency output will also provide a reference signal to provide a timebase for signal measurements along with Transducer Calibration Data.
  4. Apr 6, 2014 #3


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    Your question is confusing. Control systems use input "signals" to generate output "signals". The nature of the signals vary with the application (the input sources and the controlled devices). You need to be more specific regarding your situation/requirements.

    Some sort of "signal to digital" converter is always required if you want to implement the control algorithm in the digital domain (in a processor?). And you need to convert the output from the processor into a signal suitable for the controlled device.
  5. Apr 6, 2014 #4

    jim hardy

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    I sense that you have not yet slowed down your thinking to one step at a time, you want to go straight to an answer without the requisite plodding through. That's no way to figure things out.

    Okay, the transducer does not "have" a voltage of 0-5vdc, it produces one.
    First you had a pressure that you wished to measure.
    You used a transducer to produce an electrical signal that is proportional to that pressure.
    That's step one.

    okay, computers only deal with numbers so you placed an A/D there to convert the 0-5 volts into a number for the computer.
    That's step two.

    Okay, so the A/D is correctly interfaced to the computer.
    That's step three.

    Say what ? That's an unfounded assumption.
    Control systems measure something and try to keep it within prescribed limits.
    In steps one through three you established a basis to measure pressure with a computer.
    Step four should be to go back and re-examine your concept of a control system.

    No, that's not what A/D's do. They convert voltage into computer words.

    Some computers can read frequency directly in as a digital word, so that's another way to turn pressure into something a computer can work with.

    That's a mental trick we use to avoid plodding through homework problems "Ohh this is just senseless and i dont want to deal with it.."

    I assume you have taken a course in computer programming? Remember how hard it was to slow down and plod through your first programs, "one line at a time"? Incompatible with today's instant gratification culture...

    but it's nothing new - look what Laviosier wrote years ago:
    Not bad for 1789, eh ?

    Maybe you need to revisit what is frequency.
    It is the repetition rate of anything that is reasonably repetitive.
    The frequency of moonrises is roughly one every 24 hours 50 minutes
    the frequency of a piano string at middle C is about 261 vibrations per second

    this is not meant to insult you, but to get you to think logically instead of thrashing about.

    Lavoisier continued:
    What then is frequency response?
    It is how something, maybe a car suspension system or a loudspeaker or a control system or your ear responds to a stimulus. Usually we specify that stimulus as a sine wave , or a spectrum of sinewaves .


    the image won't link, so check the site..

    hope this helps.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  6. Apr 7, 2014 #5

    jim hardy

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    oops image finally showed up. Thanks and a tip of the hat to centerpoint audio.....
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