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Dodgy Maxim Components Print E-mail
May 23, 2012 at 06:53 PM

Just had to exchange five MAX485 EIA-485 transceivers, fortunate enough, I usually have some of these as spare parts. But consider this to be a warning - if you order some RS485 breakout boards from China via eBay and they have MAX485 chips on them and look like this:

... they're just about to fail within the next minutes! I got five of these boards and all five boards failed during testing a ┬ÁC based board that's driven by a RS485 bus. And yes, I'm absolutely sure, it's not my own board or testbed that caused this since I measured everything twice, watched out for transients, etc.

The replacement parts have a different product code (MAX485E, 15kV ESD protection) and while the dodgy chips had a CSA subcode, the newer ones are marked with ESA. For now I don't want to blame Maxim, as these parts are most likely mediocre fakes, but we'll see. If the newer ones fail again, I'll switch back to the TI SN75176B I originally ditched, as I wanted something that draws less current.

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