Binary Data

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Function Nodes can convert data into binary for viewing and performing operations on individual bits of data.

Create the Flow

To create a flow that converts data into binary and can show individual bits of data:

  1. Connect an Inject node, a Function node, and a Debug node as pictured below in the final result:

  2. Double-click the Function node and enter the following lines of code:

    function decimalToBinary (decimal) { // Declares a function, named decimalToBinary, that converts decimal to binary.
        return decimal.toString(2); // Converts decimal into binary by passing in 2 (for base 2) into toString.
    function getBit (number, bit) { // Declares a function to get a single bit from a number.
    	/*  ANDs the number with 00000001 shifted by the bit you want to get. In this example, 
         *  we get the second bit from 3 (0000011 in binary), by ANDing with 00000010 to get the 2nd bit. */
        var bit = number & (1 << bit);
    	/* If we output bit as is, it will show up as "10". The following if statement
         * ensures that our output will just be "1" or "0". */
        if (bit == 0) { 
            return 0;
        return 1;
    var decimal = msg.payload; // Assigns the number from the msg payload to a variable, called decimal.
    var binary = decimalToBinary(decimal); // Stores the result from the decimalToBinary function in a variable, called binary.
    var secondBit = getBit(binary, 1); // Gets the bit in the 1 position (the 2nd bit). The rightmost bit is the 0 position.
    /* Construct a string message with our results and output the message. */
    msg.payload = "decimal: " + decimal + ", binary: " + 
                   binary + ", secondBit: " + secondBit;
    return msg;
  3. Click Done. Double-click the Inject node and select number from the drop-down menu. This example uses 3, but you can enter any number that you wish.

  4. Click Done and Save the flow.
  5. Click the button to the left of the Inject node to view the output in the debug tab at the bottom of the flow screen.