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If you’re building electronic hardware or devices intended for public use, you’ll need to pass a certification of some sort that verifies your device is within the electromagnetic interference (EMI) guidelines established by your country. Without this certification your device will legally never make it to market. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the overarching engineering concerned with managing and maintaining EMI in electronics development.

A Signal Hound Device in EMC Testing

EMC testing our own devices in a professional compliance facility

So you have two choices: you can build your device while crossing your fingers, hoping that your device passes formal EMC testing procedures during final certification. Or, you can use tools like a real time spectrum analyzer and associated software to monitor output during development in order to maintain proper EMI in preparation for final certification. Obviously it makes sense to build the device while monitoring EMI so you have a good idea that the device will pass formal inspection, saving both time and money in the hardware development process.

In the following series of blog posts we’re going to look into the practice of EMI management and EMC precompliance testing, and how it can be accomplished with a real time spectrum analyzer. With the electronics industry in heavy growth mode right now (Internet of Things hardware, the “Maker” movement, and rampant consumer and specialized hardware development), it’s good to know there are affordable and easy-to-use tools available to help make the electronics development process more efficient.

All posts in this series