POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO A RADIO AND COMPUTER EQUIPMENT VIA USB CONNECTIONS
A voltage surge might propagate through the universal serial bus (USB) connection that is attached to a radio or modem device. Some radio transceivers have a built-in USB sound card device, and rig/modem control through a single USB connection. It is possible that all the USB ports on the personal computer may be damaged, as well as the USB port in the transceiver.
While USB connectivity with modern transceivers is clearly a step forward in station integration, this possibility highlights why isolation between RF and computer equipment is desirable. Implementing proper grounding techniques as well as surge protection on AC mains and RF transmission line systems are of paramount importance.
Optically isolated transient surge protectors are available for USB ports that protect attached USB equipment from transient voltages. An added benefit of these devices is the improved resistance to electromagnetic interference between the transceiver and computer equipment.
The following is a list of commercially available USB surge protectors.
Most applications including radio protection would be satisfied with a full-speed (12 Mbps) USB. These products are generally relatively inexpensive.
HIGH END AUDIO AND MASS DATA TRANSFER APPLICATIONS (EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE, ETC.) NEED A HIGHER SPEED USB2 DEVICE (480MBS):
IF YOUR RADIO CONNECTS TO YOUR COMPUTER VIA RS-232 SERIAL PORT, THERE IS A SOLUTION FOR YOU TOO:
These are not the only products, but just a short list of examples.
NOTICE: RadCommSoft, LLC has no associations with any of these vendors. This list is provided as a courtesy to help to begin your research into what might be appropriate for your station.