Reverse Polarity

Written by Kevin Little
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Reverse polarity is one nightmarish error associated with setting up electronic systems. This error is due to the incorrect connection of wires in AC or DC units. This mistake is a common one, so many products are now designed to limit the occurrence of such faulty wiring.

Even so, the mishaps associated with such mix-ups are quite serious in nature. This situation can lead to irrevocable damage to circuits and circuit boards. Even some of the features included by manufacturers to stem the number of occurrences of this problem can lead to malfunction of electronic systems, so one must be careful when purchasing equipment that includes such "precautions."

The Good Side of Reverse Polarity

Reverse polarity can be used in an advantageous manner when dealing with RF systems. Recent FCC guidelines prohibit the connection of devices that have greatly divergent power properties without the use of an adapter. Of course, when those guidelines were first issued, such adapters weren't even in production!

Designers got work and came up with "reverse polarity connectors." These items are, despite the name, not harmful to RF systems. Rather, they are a great help to those who wish to connect components like antennas to receivers that are not necessarily equipped to handle such strong input signals. These units, far from disabling a circuit, make certain RF connections possible--quite a feat for a once-dangerous operation.

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