EMI-101 Series - Electromagnetic Interference Preface

Preface | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Conclusion

Electromagnetic Interference Preface

Here's a five part series on EMI. The information provided will help you determine which type of EMI you may have and the solutions to fix the interference.

In this five part series, Zippertubing’s engineer Vern will go into great detail on EMI and what you would need to know about EMI, including the signal (field) types, the types of interference you may have, shielding solutions, material types, and material performance comparisons. Prior to digging into each section of this five part series, Vern first gives us a little more information about Electromagnetic Interference and Radio Frequency Interference.

EMI 101: Background - What is Electromagnetic Interference or Radio Frequency Interference?

The terms Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) or Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) are often used to describe the unwanted electronic noise or signals that are generated by the operation of electrical equipment. These unwanted signals are created when electrons flow through the electrical circuits and wiring of any piece of electronics, whether simple or complex. As the electrons move, they conduct the desired signal and/or power through the circuit, which makes an electrical system operate. Unfortunately, the very act of system operation produces undesirable side effects as well. These negative side effects can vary between those that are virtually undetectable to those that are extremely disruptive. They may even cause secondary system damage depending on how the system is designed and how much power is being generated. The negative side effects do not typically disrupt the actual system that is operating (although it is possible), but rather they generally disrupt other sensitive electronic systems that may be operating nearby or even at great distances.

EMI interference problems are much more common today than 20-30 years ago because we are dependent on low voltage signal circuitry, digital electronic systems and computers, rather than the older analog systems that required significantly more power to operate and were less easily impacted.