The EMC Blog

- January 31, 2014

Kenneth Wyatt is an independent consultant and specialist in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) design, test and troubleshooting. In The EMC Blog, he discusses issues, trends, EMC design, and product troubleshooting techniques. One specialty is his use of do-it-yourself probes and use of low-cost test equipment and measurement techniques for evaluating EMI issues on the workbench. He's also the coauthor of The EMC Pocket Guide and The RFI Pocket Guide, as well as coauthor for EMI Troubleshooting Cookbook for Product Designers, all published by SciTech Publishing and available on Amazon.

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Aaronia GPS Logger DF antenna

  • 08.24.2015

As mobile communications devices proliferate, the chance for interference to these systems, as well as to television, broadcast radio, and other communication systems increases. One important aspect of EMC is tracking down these interfering signals.Read More...

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Refurbishing the KeyTek MiniZap

  • 08.21.2015

One of the more popular older ESD simulators was the KeyTek MiniZap. While rugged and easy to use, there are two common failures for this model - the NiCad batteries eventually won’t hold a charge and the two variable knobs at the top tend to crack. The knobs are easy to replace with standard set-screw knobs. This article describes how to replace the existing NiCad AA cells with new ones.Read More...

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Review: Signal Hound VSG25A vector signal generator

  • 07.23.2015

Suddenly, we seem to have a plethora of low-cost RF signal generators available for the RF experimenter and EMC engineer. Signal Hound has really raised the bar on these instruments with their new VSG25A vector signal generator, introduced recently at the International Microwave Symposium in Phoenix last May. I was able to get my hands on one to try out for potential EMC test applications.Read More...

GaN technology and the potential for EMI

  • 07.05.2015

While attending DesignCon 2015 last January, I had the chance to hear an interesting keynote presentation by Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion, Inc., speak on the upcoming development in gallium nitride (GaN) technology for high-power switching devices. Because these devices switch at sub-picosecond speeds, there are EMI ramifications. This article evaluates a simple half-bridge DC-DC converter using GaN switching.Read More...

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Review: The Aaronia BicoLOG 30100X and HyperLOG 7060 EMI antennas

  • 07.01.2015

The majority of my work includes troubleshooting and pre-compliance testing for clients and I’m always on the lookout for useful EMI equipment to make my job easier. In this review I'll be trying out the Aaronia BicoLOG 30100X (30 to 1000 MHz active antenna with attached 40 dB preamp) and a HyperLOG 7060 (700 MHz to 6 GHz log-periodic).Read More...

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Beware of hidden antennas!

  • 06.23.2015

There are many causes of radiated emissions and the product designer needs to be able to identify the “hidden antennas” that cause this.Read More...

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Review: The AET USDS spherical harmonic comb generator

  • 06.16.2015

Having been a long-time user of harmonic comb generators, I’ve always admired the concept of Applied Electromagnetic Technology’s spherical harmonic comb generator design. I finally was able to get my hands on one to try out.Read More...

Advanced radiated emissions troubleshooting setups with the Rigol DSA815

  • 05.05.2015

Many product designers and EMI engineers are using the popular Rigol DSA815 spectrum analyzer for EMI troubleshooting and pre-compliance testing. I’d like to demonstrate the instrument settings and measurement features I most commonly use when troubleshooting radiated emissions in the 30 to 1000 MHz region. You’ll find these useful for either near field probing or testing emissions using a nearby EMI antenna. Read More...

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Review: The Red Oak Canyon “RF Pro Touch” RF generator

  • 04.26.2015

This small portable RF generator with very accurate RF output levels incorporates Robert Yarbrough’s model TPI Synthesizer version 4, repackaged with touchscreen control and chargeable battery. Read More...

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Review: The Vectawave VBM2500-3 RF amplifier

  • 04.20.2015

Recently, several of my clients have been requesting help with pre-compliance testing in the 10 to 50 V/m range, well beyond what the simple TPI or Windfreak RF synthesizers alone can muster. So, I’ve been continuing to look for small low-cost RF power amplifiers that can help me achieve these higher power levels.Read More...

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