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Thread: USB isolators

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default USB isolators

    Since an AC voltage spike / grounding loop/ issue took out my Riya Lite and did extensive damage to my laptop, I'm looking at USB isolation. I advise all USB DAC users to do the same.
    There are a number of cheap solution out there that could have been in place to protect my computer equipment.

    I'm looking at these in the euro 40 range:
    http://www.olimex.com/dev/usb-iso.html
    http://electronicsshop.dk/usb_isolat...m?currency=USD
    http://www.circuitsathome.com/measurements/usb-isolator

    there are more expensive $100-200 range solutions but it is unclear what more they have to offer for our application:
    http://www.bb-elec.com/product_family.asp?FamilyId=651
    https://iftools.com/isousb/index.en.php


    any additional thoughts ?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Most (affordable) isolators are only up to 12MBps. Isn't it better to solve the problem at the source (grounding problem) instead of using a workaround that might work?

  3. #3
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    Default

    Welcome back Zoof, I was a bit worried if you still had a comp laying around for use.

    Instead of paying alot:
    There should just be some kind dummy / testing device which checks for ground problems.
    Maybe a single usb Isolator.. which opperates at slower speeds *thus being cheaper*
    If voltage spikes occur then It will for example blink or will enable a red LED.
    Then you can fix it until it has no more spikes.
    Then it's safe to hook it up to a normal usb port.

    *just an idea though*
    Hope it will work.

    SrS is right though, but once you notice you have the problem you are likely too late.

    This might also be very portable, in other words then you can always test an usb device before using it.

  4. #4
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    I agree that the grounding problems need to be resolved.

    However, think of the USB isolator as a safety catch. It may not `need' to be there but you're really happy if it saves your day.

  5. #5
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    Default

    After hearing what happened on LEM i also consider buying one just in case.
    But is there a way to indeed read-out if there are voltage spykes?
    Because then I would always when connecting new usb hardware will connect it to that first and then to the pc

    having alot of valuable and sometimes even rare software on this thing I worked hard for.
    or did in the past.

    And backing that up is .... expensive... and really time consuming.. just way to much

  6. #6
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    Default

    Zoof did know about his grounding problem and used a socket with the ground connection disconnected (if I remember correctly). This worked fine until someone else plugged his laptop psu into the same divider (maybe with a projector connected that got its power from another divider with ground connection). This time it fried the Riya Lite + parts of Zoof’s laptop. If the usb is isolated but the problem still exists it might have destroyed something else.

    If a €40 isolator works perfectly and add some protection then it sounds like money well spend to but if you need to do all kind of tricks and invest a lot of €€€ then wouldn’t it be easier to get a quote for a Riya DAC with Ethernet?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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