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Power Distribution

  1. I am using multiple DC-DC converters to obtain 12V and 5V. Shall I use non-isolated or isolated converter for Arduino's? From what I have read so far, isolated are used when you have inductive loads and you need isolation in between your motor and the signals which are used to control the motor.
  2. Also, Shall I use an opto isolator in between the Arduino and the DC motor,as my Arduino is going to control the DC motor like this:

enter image description here

  1. Also do the use of isloated DC-DC converter eliminate the need of opto-isolators , precisely because the ground terminal is separated?

PS: I know my questions previously were vague and I understand the requirements of this forum. I have tried to take care of it this time and I will appreciate if someone can help me with the confusion here. Thanks

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The use of an isolated supply mandates the use of optoisolators precisely because there is no common ground. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 24 '15 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isolation is pretty silly here. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Jun 24 '15 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MattYoung So you suggest that I shall not use isolated DC-DC converter and also avoid optical isolation in between Arduino signal and the DCmotor/Linearactuator? \$\endgroup\$ – Jaghvi Mehta Jun 24 '15 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Use isolation when you need it, not just because some Arduino site said so. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Jun 24 '15 at 18:58
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If you want a common ground, use a standard non-isolated converter and connect the signal lines normally. If you want an isolated ground, then you need to isolate everything - use an isolated converter and use some sort of isolation for the signal lines, be they optoisolators, relays, digital isolators, etc.

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In General the isolated supplies are used when the need of two different references. If the motor or actuator are working in different reference(Ground/Neutral) or the motor is operating on ac and control is from digital(dc) board, we can go with isolators. If motor and it control are with same reference we can remove isolator and isolated supplies. As general in aurdino sites they specify to use isolators to facilitate the integration of all type of motors.

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