Lightning has long fascinated the technical community. Ben Franklin studied lightning's electrical nature over 2 centuries ago and Charles P. Steinmetz generated artificial lightning in his General Electric laboratory in the 1920's. Anyone concerned with premises data communications needs to worry about lightning. Few worry enough!
High voltage transients caused by lightning and other electrical disturbances have the easy ability to destroy semiconductor junctions and thus cause equipment failure. A lightning strike in the vicinity of data lines can cause induced ground currents that can also do serious damage.
However, coming right down to it, a lot can be done as far as protection is concerned. In particular, typical leading edge wave-fronts of a lightning strike rise at the rate of 1,000 Volts per microsecond. Adequate protection from this particular lightning threat can be provided by the Model 8022NX Lightning Sponge.
This unit is intended to provide protection to data equipment having 4 wire RS-422 or RS-485 circuits. It can be used to provide protection for factory data networks. It provides protection at data transmission speeds up to 20 MBPS. This unit provides common-mode (line-to-ground) surge protection and differential mode (line-to-line) protection for balanced networks. It has a clamp voltage of 7 V.
The Model 8022NX also has a DIN Rail mounting. DIN Rail is a cabling system that was developed for factory automation and is now available for computer room use. The system is very simple and straightforward. It uses a steel channel called a DIN Rail. The rail has slotted holes for mounting. The Rail is normally mounted in a horizontal position. DIN Rail products are then placed in the Rail by snapping them into place after which the wiring is completed. DIN Rail mounting helps organize the computer room and prevents 'messy cabling' in the factory environment.
It would be a good idea to have a Model 8022NX installed on each end of the transmission line for RS-422/RS-485 data devices found in the premises data communication environment.
The illustration above shows the Model 8022NX in a typical application. The unit is placed just before the Controller on the extreme left but it could also be elsewhere in this network. Space forces us to make the illustration simple. . Notice the designations of 'Earth Ground.' This unit and other similar lightning sponges operate by directing lightning induced currents to 'Earth Ground.' It is important that the Model 22 be grounded properly. This should be done with a wire that is, at least, 12 AWG. Connection to cold water pipes probably provides the best ground. However, make sure that they are metal not plastic. Connection to a plastic pipe doesn't help. Also beware of connecting to a ground stud in a wall which, itself, is not connected to Earth Ground.