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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 EMC issues on the workbench.

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Gaps in return planes - yes or no?

  • 04.19.2014

As a participant during the panel discussion on EMC versus SI at the recent DesignCon 2014, I sensed (along with some in the audience) that there was disagreement as to whether it was OK to cross a gap in the return plane with a high speed, fast-edged, signal. Unfortunately, there was too little time in which to come to an agreement or to illustrate the conditions in which it was OK, or not OK.Read More...

Review: The Physical Basis of EMC

  • 04.11.2014

While rather thin, this book is chock full of very important concepts vital to understanding how to design and troubleshoot products to meet EMC requirements.Read More...

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Using current probes to estimate E-fields

  • 03.25.2014

Current probes are one of my most-used EMI troubleshooting tools, because they may be used to estimate the expected E-field from a product I/O cable.Read More...

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Review: Tecsun PL-360 "EMI" receiver

  • 03.19.2014

The $50 Tecsun PL-360 AM/FM/SW receiver has been out for a while and is considered by the short wave listener (SWL) community as a pretty fair receiver for the size - beating out several other recent models out of China. The guts of the receiver is based upon the Silicon Labs Si4734 DSP IC, which tunes all the major worldwide AM/FM and shortwave bands. It is also quite unique in that it continuously reads out signal strength in dBuV - something that would catch the eye of an EMC engineer! It also displays signal to noise ratio in dB.Read More...

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Review: TTi PSA2702T handheld spectrum analyzer

  • 02.24.2014

About ten years ago, I ran into the Thurlby Thandar Instruments (TTi) PSA2701T and have used it extensively since then. In May 2013, TTi completely redesigned and repackaged this analyzer and released it as the PSA2702T. This is a review of the new model.Read More...

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Harmonic analyzer tool

  • 02.19.2014

Because of their typically fast edge rates, crystal oscillators can generate a large number of high-order harmonics. Here's an analyzer tool that should help identify the sources of harmonics.Read More...

DesignCon 2014 review - part 2

  • 02.06.2014

DesignCon is one of the premier gatherings of signal integrity experts and related vendors focusing on high speed signal transmission in circuit boards and systems. This is Part 2 of a review of DesignCon 2014 from and EMC point of view. Deciding to focus more on the EMC aspects of the conference to see what tidbits I could glean. Here are some of the highlights of the show in "slideshow" format.Read More...

DesignCon 2014 review - part 1

  • 02.04.2014

DesignCon is one of the premier gatherings of signal integrity experts and related vendors focusing on high speed signal transmission in circuit boards and systems. This is a review of DesignCon 2014 from and EMC point of view.Read More...

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Review: Right The First Time - Volume 2

  • 01.24.2014

Many high performance product designs today use clock and data rates of 12 GB/s, or higher, and proper PC board design becomes an imperative for proper functioning of the system. The typical "rules of thumb" we all used for low frequency boards no longer apply. While there are more books available that deal in these Gigabit data rates, I still feel Lee Ritchey’s two books on PC board design are mandatory to include in your library.Read More...

Detecting ESD Events

  • 12.26.2013

If you find your product exhibits random upsets, such as loss of data or unusual circuit resets, it could very well be caused by ESD. This article describes several methods to detect these events.Read More...

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