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This paper presents the design of a low cost and portable EMG circuit for signal acquisition and signal processing of surface EMG along with motor control and drive circuitry. The proposed circuitry was successfully tested on a prosthetic arm. The paper discusses various approaches that were tested and highlights the best possible approach. The highlighted approach is best for acquiring a high fidelity EMG signal, increase its SNR and process the signal into a form best suited for motor control via a microcontroller. The paper further discusses the use of various types of surface electrodes and the variety of components that can be used in the circuitry depending upon their availability in the local market and their economic aspect.