And we make it worse by called a hopefully equipotential plane (layer) on a PC board the "ground plane" when it is not a true Ground unless it is connected to Earth (which is relatively uncommon--excuse me, I should say,"unusual").
Max, you should always provide a picture to properly illustrate the concept of "ground." Here's one innovative approach to providing an "earth ground." (Maybe the dirt has magic electrical properties?)
I was always taught that since electric current is defined as "the flow of electric charge through a medium", you shouldn't say "current flow" because then you effectively have "flow flow" ... but I can never break myself of the habit of saying "the current flows..."
I was lucky enough a few years ago to see a presentation by Bruce Archambeault on EMC and signal integrity. I think he put it best - "Ground is where you grow potatoes. Current flows back to a source through a return path. Many times that path is not what you intended."
-- Sloppy terminology here will lead to sloppy thinking and subsequent problems.
I agree. Just recently we reviewed some circuit designs that had a power source using another power source's "ground" line for a return. At least, that's what it looked like according to the names of all the sources and returns. The meeting ended with a "We have to look into this". More confusion and wasted time.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by