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Thread: Mass grounding

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    1

    Mass grounding

    Don't know if right place to ask, but. . .
    I frequently see DIO boards, say 48 DIO which have screw terminals for 48 wires and a very few screw terminals for ground. Given 48 wire pairs coming into cabinet, how do I neatly ground 48 wires? Seems like they should also supply 48 gnd screw terminals or maybe 24 to gnd 2 wires/terminal, but all such boards seem to leave it up to me to figure out how to ground so many wires without looking like a hair ball of gnd wires twisted together or something. I don't see 24-48, etc ground planes w/ screw terminals as accessories or available at all.

  2. #2
    Sounds like might be to avoid ground loops. A ground loop can happen when you have many different places to ground various parts or different circuits. The graditions in resistance throughout the trace can cause potential differences (even circuit board traces have resistance, especially at high frequency), and those resistance differences between grounding points can introduce instabilities and sometimes feedback. I've never personally had a problem with ground loops but I am given to understand that they are especially troublesome in either high-current or high-frequency applications, and I *think* that ground loops are a probelm in high performance amplifiers as well. I've seen circuit boards that have what's called a "star ground" where instead of using a general ground trace that wanders around the board, or a ground plane, everything is arranged so that a single trace from each section of circuitry has it's own grounding trace that directly leads to a centralized grounding point.
    I don't know if that's the only reason that there would be so few grounding points on your boards, it could be that there is just not enough room on the board or something.
    By the way, for my own education, what is "DIO"?

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2
    DIO = digital input & output.

    Star grounds are essential when dealing with mixed domain analog & digital signals. This isolates digital return currents from analog returns and permits the use of ferrite beads and other filtering techniques to create 'separate' but equal analog and digital grounds.. Also trace routing to reduce crosstalk for low level analog signals is important. I use a star ground in my Auto battery Capacity logger project kit for Jameco. It would suffer severe 'ground bounce' with a meandering ground since up to 10A currents are involved.

  4. #4
    I am given to understand that they are especially troublesome in either high-current or high-frequency applications, and I *think* that ground loops are a probelm in high performance amplifiers as well. I've seen circuit boards that have what's called a "star ground" where instead of using a general ground trace that wanders around the board, or a ground plane, everything is arranged so that a single trace from each section
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  5. #5
    How many circuits are you driving? Are they all going to one circuit or driving different circuits. One ground for each line is ideal but not always necessary.

  6. #6
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