If you’re like most designers, you probably want to trim some time out of your already crunched design cycles. Well, here’s a tip for you: add in pre-compliance testing for EMI/EMC.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but doing a few quick emissions tests before sending the device on to the test house could end up saving you both time and money. The simple fact is that like most teams, chances are good you will fail official compliance testing at the test house the first time around. 

Performing basic pre-compliance testing with inexpensive equipment in the lab can help you catch problems early, saving you the time and expense of sending devices through multiple rounds of compliance testing at the test house. There’s no doubt as well that problems identified sooner rather than later in the design cycle are much, much easier to address. 

If you’re like a lot of engineers, you’re probably thinking that’s all well and good, but the equipment I would need is expensive and hard to use. Well, times have changed and that’s simply no longer the case. With modern spectrum analysis software coupled with affordable Tektronix USB-based spectrum analyzers such as the RSA306 or RSA 500/600 Series, performing these checks can be quick and easy.  

How easy? Glad you asked. This video shows you how to perform pass/fail tests using the CISPR, spurious, and spectrum emissions masks in the lab.

A little pre-compliance testing goes a long way to ensuring that you pass EMI/EMC compliance testing at the test house. ZigBee radio testing can also be performed just as easily with the right equipment. Watch the video below to learn how to perform parametric tests such as Modulation Quality, EVM, and set up a Spectrum Emissions Mask covered by the ZigBee standard. 


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