Cross-talk square-wave?

W2HX w2hx at
Wed Mar 29 15:06:04 CDT 2017

There are few things that come to mind here. The op seemed to indicate the lines are terminated. If they are not terminated in the characteristic impedance of the source and the transmission line, it is very unlikely he would be seeing nice square waves at either end. The reflections would distort the square wave. Given the reported squareness and that the op indicates terminated line, I do not think impedance mismatch is the issue here. 

I also agree that an induced current in an adjacent line would not be square. So I agree with the op's thoughts that this signal is getting on this line in some other fashion, I don't believe this is an issue of cross talk. However, some pictures of some waveforms would be interesting to see

Eugene W2HX

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Parent Allison via cctalk
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:54 AM
To: Noel Chiappa; General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Cross-talk square-wave?

On Mar 29, 2017, at 9:40 AM, Noel Chiappa via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:

> Hi, a question about generic analog stuff.
> In the process of getting SD cards to work, Dave is seeing square-wave 
> noise on a line. (1V of square wave, with pulses about 400ns long, 
> running at
> 375kHz.) The line runs through a flat cable of modest length, along 
> with other signal-carrying lines. (No, we were not smart, and didn't 
> put ground lines between each pair of signal lines!)


> Could cross-talk cause this kind of noise? We would have thought that 
> you'd only get spikes, associated with the rising and trailing edges 
> of a signal in a parallel wire, not a whole square-wave. During the 
> constant-current period in the middle of the pulse, there shouldn't be 
> any cross-talk? Is there some mechanism I/we don't understand that could do that?
Transmission line theory applies.  Adjacent lines see the electric and magnetic fields nominally seen along transmission lines.  Some would say it this way, you get induction from one line to another based on how those wires are routed and terminated.

Its only 375khz... No, its pulses with rise and fall times in the Nanosecond region with bandwidth of hundreds of Mhz.

> (My guess is there's a leakage path in the circuitry on one end or the 
> other, not cross-talk in the cable, but...)

Nooooo.  You have to treat those wires as transmission lines ( like coaxial cable or parallel pair) for signals.  Its not DC leakage.  You send a pulse (or a train of them) down a transmission line and if the line is not terminated the pulse energy will be reflected rather than absorbed.  Is there is a signal line next to it it will see the resulting fields from the currents flowing.

Add to that your ground for the SD card is remote so there will be a current flowing on that lead as well from circuit ground and the actual ground pin.

This is why people do not remote SD cards (unless someone is forcing it).  Its input looks like a capacitor at the end of a transmission line and incorrectly handled you get reflections and ringing.  Just like backplanes and all sorts of other media.


> Thanks!
> 	Noel

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