# What does unipolar and bipolar look like?

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by FocusedWolf, Oct 11, 2008.

1. ### FocusedWolf Thread Starter New Member

Oct 11, 2008
3
0
Ok this must be the dumbest question ever.

What is the difference between bipolar and unipolar?

I'm not sure if unipolar is only the top half of the waves, or is the DC bias offset so the lowest point of the graph is 0 instead of some negative amplitude.

This is for a lab where we're writing assembly to control a Digitial to analog chip (and watching the output on the O-scope). The labmanual says to generate:
A Square Wave (both unipolar and bipolar)
A Sawtooth Wave (both unipolar and bipolar)
A Sine Wave (bipolar only)

Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
2. ### mik3 Senior Member

Feb 4, 2008
4,846
63
A unipolar wave is one which does not change polarity with time, it does not matter if it is biased or not.

A bipolar is one which changes polarity with time, like a sine wave.

3. ### FocusedWolf Thread Starter New Member

Oct 11, 2008
3
0
So, if bias doesn't matter, and i was to make a unipolar square wave... then do i only create voltages for the O-scope with one polarity (lets say positive only, like the top half), and just don't create any negative voltages so all that's seen on the scope is " - - - " ?

Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
4. ### mik3 Senior Member

Feb 4, 2008
4,846
63
Yes, your signals are correct labeled as unipolars or bipolars.

Oct 11, 2008
3
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Ok thankyou