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Isolation vs. Surge Suppression for Serial Communications

 
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mistux
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Isolation vs. Surge Suppression for Serial Communications Reply with quote

Isolation vs. Surge Suppression for Serial Communications
Source: http://www.bb-elec.com

Serial data communications lines can carry damaging electrical transients caused by anything from ground loops to lightning strikes. So where do you deploy isolation, and where do you use surge suppression?

A surge suppressor directs high voltage transients safely to ground. Examples would include the power surges created by lightning strikes. But if the ground line rises, as it does in ground loop situations, you need isolation. Isolators stop transients by converting data signals to either pulses of light or an electrical field, then back again. Data passes through; transients donít. But a sufficiently powerful transient can damage the isolator.

So youíll probably find yourself using both approaches. Where you deploy surge suppression and where you deploy isolation will be a function of the specific application.

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