What’s the difference between passive and active devices?

Field Network Q&A

I got a technical manual that explains how to connect field devices in different ways, but I didn't understand the difference between a passive and active output. Could you clarify that?

Expert’s answer :What’s the difference between passive and active devices?

Oh yeah, I used to have the same issue when I started out in the field! Ah, memories. Anyway, to your question.

If a device has a passive output, then you need an external power supply to support it. But if the device is active, then you already have an output signal with the power supply.

For instance, two-wire devices are passive because they need external power to close the loop before you can read the signal. But four-wire devices have different scenarios.

Courtesy of quora

First off, you can see these devices providing a passive or active output. Second off, depending on the transmitter’s feature, you can select whether the device gets active or passive.

Four-wire devices have power supplies separate from the output. So if the output is active, then you have the signal and the power supply. But if the device is passive, then the control system should provide the power to close the loop and send the output.

One more thing – if the device has an active output, the input of the control system should be passive. But if the device is passive, the input should be active to provide power. Make sense? If not, drop me a comment and I’ll help out!

These links will tell you more about analog and HART communication:

HART Communicator 

What does a HART communicator do?

Analog and digital communication

What is the difference between HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus ?

 

Related tags: Active devices Basic English Field Devices Field Network Installation Passive devices Principle Q&A Solutions
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