Preventing equipment damage

In "Ask Donna," November 1995, page 67, Hardinger presents a problem where connections were blown or destroyed by lightning hits even though they were protected by an uninterruptible power supply. Covington`s article, "A misapplication of technology," on page 68, also touches on the same problem.

Jan 1st, 1996

Kevin Kanakos

Peradata Technology Corp.

Lake Grove, NY

In "Ask Donna," November 1995, page 67, Hardinger presents a problem where connections were blown or destroyed by lightning hits even though they were protected by an uninterruptible power supply. Covington`s article, "A misapplication of technology," on page 68, also touches on the same problem.

Two areas should be addressed to prevent local area network equipment damage. First, the building ground system must have solid electronic connections and comply with all codes to minimize ground potential rise. Many problems occur in older buildings where the electrical system was in place before the local area network was installed; when the network continued to grow, problems developed. Covington`s article provides some good suggestions to improve the building ground system, which can minimize the problem but will not eliminate it.

The second part of the solution is to protect the equipment at risk. Several types of data-line surge suppressors can protect the network ports of local area network equipment by diverting the surge energy to the equipment ground before it can damage the equipment; for example, single-port data-line surge suppressors for personal computers or workstations, multiport suppressors for hubs and repeaters, suppressors with wire terminal connections for local area network cables where they enter a building, and distribution panels with integral suppressors for equipment in the wiring closet.

I hope this sheds some light on what is becoming a common problem with large local area networks.

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