Keep Your Data Communications Running

What you can’t see can hurt your serial communications,
so let’s do a quick scan of your system to see if it’s good
enough to jump over these critical hurdles:

Surges/Spikes

Surges or spikes are fast, short duration electrical transients in the electric potential of a circuit. They are typically caused by lightning strikes and power outages. Sudden surges can cause damage to sensitive electronic devices. To overcome this problem, surge protectors can be used to protect the serial device from being damaged.

Use surge protectors to prevent damage from surges/spikes

ESD

(Electrostatic Discharge)

ESD (electrostatic discharge) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electric short, or dielectric breakdown. The sudden, spectacular electric sparks that are created by ESD might damage sensitive electronic devices, and for this reason using antistatic devices is crucial.

Use an isolatorto avoid ESD

Ground Loops

The ground line of many electrical systems is connected to ground to prevent system operators from getting electric shocks when they operate the equipment. However, when ground voltages differ between connected devices, the disturbance caused by ground loops flowing through the ground lines can affect the entire system. To overcome this problem, optical isolation is used to eliminate ground loops by effectively preventing any connection between the data line and ground at either end of the line.

Use isolation supported models to avoid ground loops

Distance Limitation

The voltage levels used to encode serial communication data get weaker as the serial cable gets longer. For standard serial ports, RS-422/RS-485 repeaters are the best solution to overcome this limitation. By using differential voltage lines for data and control signals, RS-422/RS-485 repeaters can extend the communication distance up to 1200 meters (4,000 feet), with each pair of repeaters able to handle up to 32 serial devices.

Use RS-422/RS-485 repeaters to overcome distance limitation

EMI

(Electromagnetic Interference)

EMI (electromagnetic Interference) is a common type of electrical noise caused by any object that generates rapidly changing electrical currents, such as an electric circuit, the sun, or the northern lights. What’s worse, EMI may interrupt or limit the effective performance of the circuit and cause data loss. Fortunately, since fiber-optic cables send signals using light instead of an electric current, your signals can be transmitted through EMI-heavy areas where electric signals would otherwise be blocked. What’s more, fiber-optic cables can also eliminate spark hazards since they don’t carry an electric current, making fiber-optics an ideal solution for chemical plants and oil refineries, where one tiny spark could cause a huge explosion.

Use serial-to-fiber converters to avoid EMI