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KB01101 - Solutions for electrostatic discharge


Subject: Solutions for electrostatic discharge  


Intermittent video performance or sudden loss of video. Toggling power on lights, fans or other electrical equipment directly effects video/audio performance of an AV system. 


Electrostatic Discharge

Electrostatic Discharge, also known as ESD can be a major source of audio/video problems when it relates to AV equipment. With large amounts of data being passed over CAT cables spanning long distances, any change in the voltage or signal being carried from the starting point to the end can result in unwanted effects. While ESD cannot be 100% eliminated, Atlona recommends certain precautions that help minimize the effects of ESD when it pertains to AV equipment:

CAT Cabling

CAT cables come in two common types, Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP). With a UTP cable, there is no shielding over the CAT cable’s twisted pairs and as such the cable is susceptible to outside electromagnetic interference. While these cables are typically more affordable than their STP counterparts and are typically easier to install due to their increased flexibility, they carry a risk of picking up interference if installed too close to other electrical equipment or high-voltage cables. STP cables are better protected from electro-magnetic interference (EMI) as there is a shield that protects the twisted pairs from EMI as long as they are terminated with shielded RJ45 connectors and properly grounded. An STP cable’s shield will need to be soldered onto the metal connectors of the cable which allows the cable to ground itself through its connection with RJ45 ports on AV hardware.

Atlona recommends using Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables with metal RJ45 connectors that are then soldered or crimped to the RJ45 connector. Please use a voltmeter to check the ground wire for continuity by performing a continuity test on each end of the drain wire.

Additional considerations

Please note, running CAT cables near other cables can cause EMI to affect the performance of the signal. Atlona recommends running CAT cables separate of any other high-voltage lines and away from electrical equipment/appliances such as; ceiling fans, refrigerators, power lines, battery chargers and other similar devices. Using surge protectors is always a good idea as well as ensuring that your AV equipment is on the same circuit throughout the installation.

Article ID: KB01101 

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