Sensor and transmitter output types

Industrial sensors or transmitters utilize several types of signal outputs, which can be broken down into two categories: Analog and Digital

Analog

Analog outputs can then be based on a variety of different schemes, depending on the requirements of the use case.  Commonly these transmitters output a varying current or voltage.  These sensors are cheap and ubiquitous, and have been in use in industrial environments for as long as 50 years.

Samsara caters for these different types of output with the IM Series of sensors:

  • IM31 accepts variable DC current input
  • IM32 accepts variable DC voltage input
  • IM33 accepts discrete DC voltage input

Digital

Digital outputs tend to be for specialized use cases, such as those that require very high bandwidth or need to interface with another digital system.  These sensors may use protocols like HART, BACnet or Ethernet to communicate.