EMC Testing & Troubleshooting

Within the engineering world, people often underestimate the value of good testing engineers. A good testing engineer will make sure a test lab is up-to-standard, test set-ups are correct, test procedure is strictly followed against testing standards, and most important of all, who can also support troubleshooting and get down to the bottom of an existing problem.

When it comes to EMC engineering, testing is perhaps one of the most important aspects. We often say “In EMC, we deal with problems in the MHz range and we fix them in millimetres.” When it comes to high frequency radio frequency signals, parasitic parameters of testing equipment and test set-up becomes very important. For instance, do you know that a ‘500 MHz high impedance’ probe doesn’t necessarily mean it can pick up signal at 500 MHz accurately? It might even fail to measure signals at 100 MHz level, since at this frequency level, the parasitic capacitance of the probe tips becomes dominant path for the signal to travel.

There are many testing standards for different industries, what do these standards mean? To what extent do these tests achieve in terms of the product’s performance? Are any of these tests related? Can we achieve cost-effective tests by our in-house test set-up? All these questions will be answered in this section.

Testing is also the first step towards troubleshooting. Once a problem is traced to its root cause by testing, troubleshooting becomes easier. Without the right test set-up, troubleshooting is simply a wild goose chase.

Testing

Paper: Structure Resonance Amplifies RF Noise

Paper: A Low-cost Bulk Current Injection Test Set-up

Paper: A Capacitively Coupled Pin Injection Method-An Alternative to BCI Test

Paper: A Home Made Balanced Voltage Probe

Video: Pre-compliance Conducted Emission EMC Test – Set-up, Scan and Results

Video: A Capacitively Coupled Pin Injection Immunity Test Method – An Alternative to BCI

Paper and Video: Fixing and Protecting the RF Input of A Spectrum Analyzer

Paper and video: Measuring the Impedance vs Frequency Curve of A Ceramic Capacitor

Video: Measuring Capacitor Array Frequency response