Category Archives: Seminars

Review: IEEE EMC Symposium 2012

The annual International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility was held in Pittsburg this year. As ever, I captured the event photographically, with the help of team members Tom Fagan, Jerry Ramie and Richard Georgarian. Although, tough at times, I also tried sitting in on several technical sessions, as well as meeting with a number of vendors. Here’s a quick synopsis, but for more detail, please check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the full report in The EMC Blog at Test & Measurement World.

The convention center in Pittsburgh is huge – so much so, that I’m sure I ended up walking a couple miles a day during the week there. Fortunately, I was able to rest occasionally in the volunteers office, which was situated near the middle of activity.

There were several new products of note. Dutch Microwave Absorber Solutions (DMAS) has introduced a high performance and environmentally friendly polystyrene microwave absorber that will cover the frequency range 30 MHz to 40 GHz. EM Software and Systems, inc., was there demoing their electromagnetics simulation software called FEKO. It’s useful for modeling antennas, radar cross-section, RFID, SAR, EMC, etc. Gauss Instruments was demoing their new wide-bandwidth (up to 162.5 MHz at a time) time domain EMI analyzer, the TDEMI 40G, which measures from 10 Hz to 40 GHz. Dudley Kay, from SCITECH Publishing, Inc., was there with a number of technical books for sale. He was also actively looking for EMC-related authors.

The convention center offered a nice aerial view of the vendor area.

As far as the technical sessions, Henry Ott again moderated the popular EMC Basics workshop on Monday, which was very well attended. I was also a part of a half-day workshop, “EMC Consultant’s Toolkit”, which was the best-attended session on Friday. We covered lots of business aspects and pitfalls of working as an independent consultants, providing the attendees with a host of knowledge to consider. I also included a short presentation on low-cost tools and equipment when you’re just starting out. We wrapped up with a panel discussion shown below.

The EMC Consultant’s Toolkit workshop had the highest attendance during the Friday workshop sessions. Shown are presenters (L-R) Jerry Meyerhoff (moderator), Bill Kimmel, Lee Hill, Kenneth Wyatt and Patrick André. Photo by Richard Georgarian.

The hardware experiments are always a popular event and this year was no exception, as we had several excellent presenters. One of my favorites is Dr. Tom Van Doren, who gave a couple demos; one on cable shielding and one on magnetic (low-frequency) shielding materials. I presented a new one on the effect of a high-frequency trace over a split return plane and showed how the result generated high levels of common-mode harmonics in attached cables.

Here I am demonstrating common-mode emissions generated by a high frequency trace over a gap in the return plane. Photo by Richard Georgarian.

The youth program was run by Amy Pinchuk this year and sixteen kids got to build shortwave receiver kits, as well as hear about ham radio from ARRL RFI expert, Ed Hare, along with a presentation on mobile electronic devices and why EMC is important for proper operation, by ETS-Lindgren engineer, Garth D’Abreu. They also had a nice tour of the vendor area.

After-hours social events scheduled included a really cool welcome reception at the nearby John Heinz History Center. Heinz was an avid collector of early memorabilia from Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, in particular. The Wednesday Gala was a dinner cruise along the rivers bordering Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh, “city of bridges”. Photo by Tom Fagan.

I guess that’s a wrap until next year, where it will be held in Denver, August 5-9, 2013. For more info, click here. Hope to see you all next year.

EMC Essentials seminar May 15-16 (Gaithersburg, MD)

Teaching the EMC Essentials seminar in Colorado.

Attention East Coast EEs: I’d like to announce our next EMC Essentials course will be held in Gaithersburg, MD, this coming May 15-16th.

These courses provide participants with the tools for recognizing EMC issues with any proposed high-speed design. What makes our seminars special is that the teaching is at a very practical level with just enough theory for understanding. Several demos of the basic principles will be included. In addition, participants will learn several unique and low-cost ways to test and troubleshoot prototypes well before product qualification testing. By understanding the basic EMC design principles and performing early testing, designers will have a much higher probability of compliance at the prototype stage.

More details here…

Spring 2012 EMC Seminar Schedule

Public Seminar Schedule
We’re continuing to work on our 2012 public seminar schedule. Of course, I’m available to book your in-house seminars as you require!

EMC Design and Troubleshooting Workshop (2 days) – Longmont, CO, March 20-21, 2012
Hosted by EMC Integrity Inc., 1736 Vista Dr., Longmont, CO
Details: $1,295. Includes seminar notes, lunch and snacks.

Download brochure

EMC Design and Troubleshooting Workshop (2 days) – Gaithersburg, MD, May 15-16, 2012 
Hosted by Washington Labs, 7560 Lindbergh Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Details: $TBD. Includes seminar notes, lunch and snacks.

Download brochure – will be available soon…

Seminar Content:

Day 1: EMC Theory (Part 1) – Attendees will be introduced to units of measurement, time and frequency domain, differential and common mode currents, radiated emissions, ESD, PC board layout and shielding/bonding. Day 1 is crucial to understanding the Day 2 presentation, as it will also include demonstrations of many of the basic principles.

Day 2: EMC Theory (Part 2), plus Bench Top Measurements and Troubleshooting – We’ll continue with ESD and system design, followed up with practical tools and techniques that can be used for pre-compliance measurements as well as troubleshooting EMC problems in a more formal setting. We will include the popular “Top Ten EMC Issues” and will demonstrate several probing and analysis techniques that will identify EMC issues quickly. Several case studies will also be described.

Troubleshooting Radiated Emissions Article Published

I published an article, Troubleshooting Radiated Emissions – Three Case Studies, in InCompliance Magazine (October 2011). You can get a copy by clicking the link above.

EMC Seminar – Gaithersburg, MD

I’ll be presenting a 2-day seminar near Boston, “EMC Design and Troubleshooting”, Oct. 27-28, 2010. Further details are at: This will primarily be oriented towards product designers. I’ll be bringing along several interesting demos.

New EMC Seminar

I recently developed a brand new seminar, “EMC Troubleshooting & Pre-Compliance Testing”. This one-day seminar may be given in-house to your design and/or test staff. I’ve posted an outline for this seminar under “Courses”. Please contact me for additional details or questions.