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Homework Help: What hardware would I need to distribute a binary signal?

  1. Jan 27, 2016 #1
    • Thread moved to the Homework Help forums from the technical forums, so no HH Template is shown.
    I'm designing part of a machine for my final year engineering project and I could use some help figuring out the right parts for a circuit i'm trying to create as part of it.

    Basically what I intend the circuit to do is is have the input to the circuit connected to the computer controlling the machine and the outputs to the circuits as a series of switches. what I intend the circuit to be capable of doing is to accept a binary signal as an input and to then break up the signal and distribute each 0 or 1 to its repective switch e.g. the first binary digit will go to switch 1, the second digit will go to switch 2 and so on. the number the switches recieve will tell it to be on or off.

    it's a fairly simple circuit as far as I can tell but I'm having trouble getting information for the parts I'd need, so any help or suggestions would be apreciated. I did consider using a series of microprocessor chips from hobbyist stores to break up the signal until it was in individual digits but that seems like an over-complicated solution to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2016 #2


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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  4. Jan 27, 2016 #3


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  5. Jan 27, 2016 #4


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    Be sure to evaluate and specify any safety or isolation requirements up front. What sort of loads are being switched? What kind of voltages or currents are involved? Could a hardware fault send damaging or unsafe potentials back through the control chain?
  6. Jan 27, 2016 #5


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    From a very generic prospective you will need some sort of hardware that can interface with the computer (RS232 / usb ).

    Then you will need to extract the data from that signal (discrete digital chips or logic / fpga / micro-controller with compatibility with that com protocol).
    If you do it yourself you will want to dump the data into a register (or memory depending on your system). Svein's link provides some good information on one way to do that.
    Then use that register to drive the switches. Those switches should then interface with larger circuits, to address the concerns that gneill brought up.

    what is your background. If you are a computer engineer and your project is building a board, you might want to implement this with an fgpa or discrete logic. Meaning do it yourself.
    if you're a controls engineer, you might want to just follow meBigGuys advice and buy an off the shelf part that will do it for you. It all depends on the level of effort you want to put in, and the size of your project. For my senior project I build a UAV. while I was capable of designing every little circuit from scratch, it was highly impractical, and much more beneficial to buy off the shelf parts.
  7. Jan 27, 2016 #6


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