PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: Advantages of more ADC bits
From: Brett Nordgren brett3nt@.............
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2009 23:38:59 -0500


The main advantage of more bits is the *possibility* of greater 
sensitivity.  Very weak signals will appear to be less 'stairstep'-like.

When properly set up, the sensor voltage output should clip at the same 
level as the max A/D count.  That means that with a 24-bit A/D, each bit 
represents a much smaller signal than you would get with a 16-bit 
device.  However, everything depends on the noise level of the sensor and 
of the site, and only the best require the sensitivity available from 24 
bits.  The microseism, instrument and cultural noise level at most amateur 
sites would very likely not justify the additional sensitivity of a 24-bit 

BTW, most 24-bit digitizers actually achieve something less than 24, 
depending on the sampling rate.


At 07:57 PM 2/6/2009 -0800, you wrote:
>Hello All,
>I have been considering what advantage the amateur seismologist might see 
>if making an upgrade to more bits in the A/D converter.
>First, some background.  If any of this is incorrect,  please offer 


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