Network connecting laptop to PC and grounding issue ?!?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Skybuck Flying, May 16, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    As you might now by now I am investigating grounding issue's ;)

    The ammount of issue's with it is already staggering ! ;) =D

    My latest question/wonderings is about laptops.

    Laptops can either work without power cords/on batteries... or with power
    cords even non-grounded power cords.

    My first question is:

    What if a battery-powered-laptop is connected to a PC via an ethernet cable
    and the laptop has a small defect... for example the laptop fell onto the
    ground and has slight issue's.

    Or perhaps it has a small leaking current by design.

    Could this cause a PC from getting damaged even if the PC is grounded ?! ;)

    I would guess not because the motherboard clips on the ethernet ports are
    touching the case... so perhaps any additional current/volts which might
    travel via ethernet are immediatly transferred onto chasis and into ground

    Or perhaps ethernet is not designed for situations like this and
    volts/ampere will directly go into motherboard and damage stuff ?!?

    Same question could also be asked for cable modems and such.

    Skybuck Flying, May 16, 2011
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  2. Skybuck Flying

    Paul Guest

    Ethernet is galvanically isolated. The Ethernet interface uses tiny transformers,
    and the Ethernet differential pairs run through a transformer. By doing so, it
    eliminates issues with potential difference between equipment ground.

    The Ethernet transformers are housed in a plastic chip. In this schematic,
    you can see the transformer package for the Ethernet, on the right hand side.

    This is what the plastic package with the transformers looks like physically.

    A gigabit Ethernet interface, has more transformers inside the plastic
    chip, than a 10/100BT interface would use.

    Paul, May 16, 2011
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