Chapter Chatter

An Interesting Product Feature
Many thanks to Michael King for sharing this great story with Chapter Chatter. His story is a prime example of why companies should focus on their core competencies, when at all possible. Michael is a Senior EMC Consultant from Southern California.

In 1969, there were many firsts in systems, especially with the commercialization of integrated circuit devices and technologies that fell out of the NASA space program. Examples were “the first” hand-held scientific calculators (then called electronic slide rules) and the first point-of-sale (POS) terminal systems in retail stores. One very large, very well known, department store chain decided to establish their own computer development department. The aforementioned department store chain was not content to acquire point-of-sales systems from established technology enterprises. One interesting feature of their design approach was to build their POS terminals in wooden cases clad with Formica.


When these systems were deployed, the commercial environment EMC naiveté of systems engineers (who had turned commercial from government systems, where the environment was understood) became instantly revealed! When the “home-brewed” POS computers were deployed alongside traditional cash registers, the POS computers exhibited the fascinating habit of spontaneously and randomly (it would seem) opening the cash drawers. After many difficult months of design-evaluation effort, the design team concluded that transients were causing the “flying open cash drawers.” Evaluation proved that the POS computers demonstrated a high probability to fail ESD thresholds somewhere below a 500 Volt threshold. Furthermore, failure could be caused by an ESD event applied to any conductive structure within a radius of about two meters!

One can just imagine the defense posture of a thief standing before a judge, “Gee, your Honor, I didn't do anything! I walked by and it just offered me its money!” About 2,000 systems were installed before the problem was identified and addressed. Mike only wishes that his evaluation and retrofit fee could have been based on the funds not stolen as a result of the ESD fix.

Boston (Central New England)
The Central New England Chapter has held one meeting since the Summer 2003 issue of Chapter Chatter. The Chapter held its 8th annual joint meeting with the Northeast Product Safety Society on Wednesday, September 24. 35 EMCS and NPSS members and guests attended the traditional joint meeting, which dates back to September 1997. The speaker was Isidor Straus, founder with Jon Curtis of Curtis-Straus, LLC, Littleton, Massachusetts. He was also the speaker for the first of these annual events in September 1997. The topic presented was “PCBs and EMC Noise Suppression.” An overview of major issues included basic emissions mechanisms; emissions mechanisms and models; PCB methods to limit loop area and common mode voltage buildup; transmission lines in PCB design; and coupling (cross-talk noise propagation). Some of the special examples that were illustrated included LAN interface layout with EMI control and ESD precautions. Isidor Straus has been active in the field of regulatory compliance for over 25 years. He is also an editor and frequent contributor to Conformity Magazine. Much of his current work involves correction of EMC design problems and emissions control. Mr. Straus is an IEEE EMC Society member and served as Technical Committee Co-Chair for the 2003 IEEE Symposium on EMC held in Boston on August 18-22. The CNE Chapter’s next meeting will be held on December 4th. The speaker will be a current Distinguished Lecturer of the EMC Society, Professor Michel Ianoz of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland where he teaches EMC as a member of the Electrical Engineering Department. The topic will be “Lightning Electromagnetic Effects.”

From the Chicago Chapter (from left): Ray Klouda, Chapter Chair, Bob Hofmann, resident EMC guru, Tom Braxton, 2005 Symposium Chairman, and Frank Krozel, MiniSymposium Chairman.

Pictured from the Chicago Chapter are David Anthony of X2Y Attenuators (left) and Dennis Stephens of Motorola.

Chicago Chapter members enjoy the first meeting after the summer break. Jack Prawica of DLS Electronic Systems (from left) visited with speaker Jim Muccioli of X2Y Attenuators, Brian Mattson of DLS Electronic Systems, and John Koklys of Motorola at the September meeting.

The Chicago Chapter held its first meeting of the new EMC year in September. The meeting, held at DLS Electronics in Wheeling, was well attended and enjoyed by all. The presenter was Jim Muccioli of X2Y Attenuators. He was joined in the presentation by a few of his local customers. Many thanks to DLS Electronics for graciously hosting and feeding the group!

Dr. Sabath and family visited the famous Nordseewerke GmbH shipyard, which hopefully will host an “EMC in Maritime Applications” Chapter meeting in the near future.

The EUROEM 2004 Steering Committee met in July to discuss the technical theme of their upcoming event.

Dr. Heyno Garbe, the chairman of the German Chapter, and Dr. Frank Sabath, the new regional conference coordinator in region 8, met on August 15th. Major topics of this meeting were the future activities of the German Chapter, the organization of the upcoming EUROEM 2004 in Magdeburg, the development of regional events on EMC and the impact of Dr. Sabath’s new position on the work of the German Chapter, particularly the support that will be given by the Chapter to the regional conference coordination committee. As Dr. Sabath invited the German Chapter to organize and host regional events, both Dr. Garbe and Dr. Sabath agreed upon a regional workshop, with a theme of numerical field computation. The workshop, which will headline Dr. Tapan Sakae of Syracuse University, is scheduled to be held on July 12th, 2004 at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany. The second day of the meeting was closed by a visit to the Nordseewerke GmbH shipyard in Emden on August 16th. Various engineering aspects of the design of modern surface and underwater vessels were presented at numerous stations. The broad spectrum of EMC related items impressed the officers of the German Chapter. They asked Dr. H. Hansen, an EMC expert at Nordseewerke, to organize a chapter meeting on EMC aspects of maritime systems, hosted by the Nordseewerke GmbH shipyard. During a meeting of the EUROEM 2004 steering committee (held at Magdeburg), Dr. Garbe congratulated Dr. Nitsch, chair of the EUROEM 2004, on the technical co-sponsorship of the EMC Society. The German Chapter is strongly involved in EUROEM 2004, to be held on July 12 – 16, 2004 at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg. Ten of the thirteen members of the steering committee are members of the German Chapter. In addition, the Chapter is organizing a special session on UWB susceptibility, which will be chaired by Dr. H. Garbe and D. Nitsch.

Professor Dong Il Kim (Korea Maritime University), Chairperson of the Korea EMC Chapter, reports that the Korea Chapter hosted the “2003 Workshop on Antenna Technology.” The workshop was held at the Seoul Education Center on April 25. Included were six presentations covering various aspects of the antenna. Of special interest was Professor K. Kagoshima’s paper titled, “Antenna Technologies for Wireless Networks and Services: Past, Present and Future.” 100 participants attended the workshop which was coordinated by the Korea Electromagnetic Engineering Society (KEES) and the IEEE AP/MTT Korea Chapter. The Korea Chapter also held the “2003 Spring Conference on Microwave/Radio” at the University of Seoul on May 24. Approximately 150 papers presented at the conference covered the various aspects of the electromagnetic field including the active/passive circuits and components, EMI/EMC, antenna, scattering, and so on. Some 300 participants attended this conference, which was also coordinated by KEES and the IEEE AP/MTT Korea Chapter. Plans are currently being made for the Korea Chapter to hold the “2003 KOREA EMC Workshop” at the Seoul Education Center on October 16. This event will be also coordinated by KEES.

A dinner was held to celebrate the success of the Los Angeles and Orange County Chapter seminar. Joining in the celebration are (from left) Rick Mahoney of Aerospace Corporation, speaker James Young, Janet O’Neil who coordinated the seminars held in Los Angeles and San Diego, John O’Brien of WEMS Electronics whose facility is the location of the Los Angeles Chapter’s monthly meetings, and Kanaiya Mahendra of Aerospace Corporation.

Allen Fischer of Fischer Custom Communications (far left) took in some California sunshine during a break in the seminar’s technical program. He is joined by (from left) Bob McKinney, Hugh Oliveto, Rudy Mendiola, and Charles Pollard, all with Boeing Satellite Systems, and Chris Skillens of Raytheon.

Robert Tozier of CKC Labs, Chairman of the Orange County Chapter, enjoyed the buffet held during the reception following the half-day seminar. Attendees could network, eat, drink and watch demos during the one-hour reception!

Ray Adams did double duty at the Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters half-day seminar “How to Improve the Accuracy of EMC Measurements.” Ray is the Los Angeles Chapter Chairman and was one of the seminar speakers. He is shown “warming up” the crowd of some 60 EMC professionals.

Enjoying the ambiance of the “Wine Room” at Café Pierre in Manhattan Beach are (from left) Vince Rodriguez, speaker, Paul Gregory of ETS-Lindgren who coordinated the demonstrations for the seminar, and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Adams.

Time to relax! John Whitney and Rodger Gensel of Amplifier Research join Gene Taylor of Altamont Technical Services (from left) at the Los Angeles and Orange County Chapter dinner. Gene handled the registration for the seminars in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Los Angeles and Orange County
What started out over dinner as a complaint about the problems associated with EMC measurements became the event “How to Improve the Accuracy of EMC Measurements.” This half-day seminar on September 25, held at the Marriott Hotel in Manhattan Beach, was organized by the Los Angeles and Orange County EMC Chapters and featured four speakers, including Los Angeles Chapter Chair Ray Adams of Boeing Satellite Systems. The seminar began after lunch with a kick off presentation by Rodger Gensel of Amplifier Research who spoke on RF Conducted and Transient Disturbance Testing. Next, Ray Adams spoke on the topic Radiated Susceptibility/Immunity. Vince Rodriguez of ETS-Lindgren then addressed Reverberation Chamber Test Methodologies and finally, James Young of Rohde & Schwarz discussed Radiated Emissions. Robert Tozier of CKC Labs, Chair of the Orange County Chapter, was on hand to present attendees with “official” certificates of completion. A reception was held following the seminar with the speakers each conducting demonstrations of the material presented. Attendees were treated to heavy appetizers and drinks courtesy of Amplifier Research, ETS-Lindgren, Rohde & Schwarz, and Altamont Technical Sales. This provided a wonderful opportunity to informally visit with the speakers, view demonstrations and enjoy good food and drink while waiting out the notorious Los Angeles traffic. Those in attendance agreed the seminar was not only thought provoking, but provided practical tips and techniques for conducting accurate EMC measurements. Over 60 chapter members and guests attended the seminar.

Melbourne Chapter Chair Chris Maginsky (right) welcomes EMC Society member Joe Marcoux to the September meeting.

The Melbourne EMC Chapter listens to some “EMC War Stories,” courtesy of a video provided by the EMC Society.

On September 24, the Melbourne EMC Chapter hosted a technical meeting at the Indian River Brewing Company in Melbourne, Florida. Chris Maginsky of Northrop Grumman, this year’s EMC Chapter Chair, kicked-off the meeting by welcoming the guests to dinner. After everyone had their fill of pizza and cold drinks, the guests participated in a technical forum. The catalyst for the discussion, and the highlight of the meeting, was a viewing of the excellent video, “EMC War Stories”. This video, produced by the IEEE EMC Society, included interesting and entertaining EMC tales as told by some renowned EMC engineers. Special thanks go to Dick Ford for doing a great job putting the video together. After viewing the video, the meeting guests took turns discussing their own EMC war stories; not surprisingly, almost everyone had at least one! This meeting was a fun addition to the Melbourne Chapter’s 2003 activities, and we’re already planning ways to make 2004 another great year.


On September 16, a packed house of 64 members and guests attended a double-header meeting with two great presentations. The first was by Professor Ru-Shan Chen entitled “Precondition Techniques in Computational Electromagnetics.” Professor Chen hails from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology. Professor Wan-Chun Tang also of the Nanjing University of Science and Technology delivered the second half of the double-header. Professor Wan-Chun’s presentation was entitled “Microwave Integrated Circuit CAD Using Fuzzy Electromagnetics.” On September 26, another large group gathered to hear Bin-Fa He, Senior Engineer, give a presentation on “Antenna Measurement Techniques.” The same evening, Professor Xiao-Wei Zhu spoke to the large turnout about the broadband linearization techniques of an RF power amplifier. Both presentations were well received and enjoyed by all who attended.

Oregon-Southwest Washington
Dave Britton, the Vice Chair of the Oregon and SW Washington Chapter, reports that the Chapter has established a great meeting schedule for the coming season, including:

  • 29 September, 2003 – Chris Kendall of CKC Labs
  • 29 October, 2003 – Varuzhan Kocharyn from Northwest EMC
  • 19 November 2003 – Franz Gisin from Sanmina Corp.
  • December, 2003 – Holiday Social at TBD
  • 20 January, 2004 – Road trip to the Seattle Chapter Colloquium
  • 25 February, 2004 – TBD
  • 24 March, 2004 – TBD
  • 27 April, 2004 – C.W. Lam from Apple Computer
  • 26 May, 2004 – TBD

On August 3, the incoming and outgoing officers of the local EMC Chapter and the Product Safety Technical Committee (PSTC) had a joint picnic. All enjoyed good fun and food. For details on the above meetings and to RSVP, check our website at:


Harry Gaul of General Dynamics Decision Systems highlights the need to bond the digital return plane with screws to the chassis at multiple points around the periphery of the PC board at the Phoenix Chapter meeting.


Glen Gassaway reports that the Phoenix Chapter had very good attendance at the September 25 meeting held at Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant in Tempe! The meeting room was filled to capacity as usual. The social hour consisted of the traditional war-stories as everyone sat down together for another great Mexican food dinner. Harry Gaul brought the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. As those in attendance introduced themselves, they realized that we had a very good representation of many companies around the Valley. Harry made the formal announcement that we won the IEEE EMC Chapter-of-the-Year Award at the Boston symposium. Harry specifically pointed out that, while we all work to make the chapter a rousing success, we owe a lot to Terry Donohoe, our first chapter chairman (thanks Terry!). Once the commotion subsided, it was time for Glen to introduce Harry as the featured speaker of the evening. The presentation title was “EMC Design Considerations for PCB Layout” or, in more basic terms, “PCB Layout for Dummies!” Harry presented a very practical approach to EMC design for PC boards. The agenda included component placement, grounding, proper use of bypass caps, transmission line theory, clock and digital line filtering, trace spacing, optimum PCB stack-up and auto routing techniques. In addition to signal integrity issues, proper PC layout is necessary to meet regulatory requirements (such as FCC/CE Mark or DO-160). Component placement issues include partitioning, separation of noisy versus susceptible components and minimization of clock trace lengths. Harry also covered grounding philosophies of single point grounds and multi-point grounds. Hybrid grounds were discussed. Also mentioned was the proper placement of bypass caps; do you place them near VCC or GND? Of course, the answer is: it depends! The methods in which one could calculate the transmission line impedance given board type and trace physical dimensions were discussed, in addition to the proper termination of clock and high speed digital line traces. The book entitled “High Speed Signal Propagation: Advanced Black Magic” by Howard Johnson was recommended as an excellent source of digital PC board design. Trace placement, separation and PCB stack-up were all discussed at length. Various example stack-ups were given for 6, 8 and 10 layer boards. The considerations given to the use of auto routers included identifying the threat signals, performing manual routing on them, protecting them using the ‘protect’ feature and then allowing the auto router to complete the task. In concluding the talk, Harry said that we should follow Todd Hubing’s four important points: 1) Keep loop areas small, 2) Don’t locate circuitry between connectors, 3) Control transmission rise times in digital circuits and 4) Never (or almost never) put gaps in solid ground planes! The audience was very attentive and interactive and several comments were elicited throughout the presentation. The most engaging comment was: “EMI Engineers should have the duty and the right to beat the #&%! out of digital designers that don’t follow these rules.” That comment brought the house down! The presentation materials from this meeting as well as announcements for future meetings are available on the Phoenix EMC Chapter Web site at


EMCS Distinguished Lecturer Michel Ianoz gave a presentation to the new Romania Chapter in March.

Several engineers, professors and students are shown in Bucharest for the series of lectures given by Professor Michel Ianoz in March.

On March 24, the new Romanian EMC Chapter enjoyed an important event! Professor Michel Ianoz, EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, gave EMC lectures to a good turnout of 24 engineers, professors and students in Bucharest. Since being formed in late 2002, the Romanian EMC Chapter and its Chairman, Professor A. Marinescu, have tried to initiate interesting activities for its members. This has taken place in spite of financial difficulties, which can make travel from one town to another a problem for Romanian IEEE EMC Society members. The lectures on March 24 were organized at the Faculty of Electrotechnics of the University “Politechnica” of Bucharest. This was the first time a lecture was delivered to the Romanian EMC Chapter by a Distinguished Lecturer. Professor M. Ianoz presented two lectures. His morning presentation was entitled, “EMC problems related to transient phenomena in the power network substations” and his afternoon presentation was entitled, “Biological effects of electromagnetic fields.” The cities of Bucharest and Craiova are strong centers of the electric power industry and the lecture subject was chosen taking into account this aspect. Among those who attended was Professor Gleb Dragan, a member of the Romanian Academy of Science, the founder of EMC activity in Romania. Very exciting discussions took place, not only during the lectures, but also during the lunch break. Two days later on March 26, Professor Ianoz presented again the lecture on “Biological effects of electromagnetic fields” at the University “Gh. Asachi” in the town of Lassy. 26 were in attendance, most being students and not current IEEE members. In Lassy, the lecture was also followed by very exciting discussions, as the subject matter is very controversial. Attendees agreed that even if there is currently no definite scientific evidence that the fields are or are not harmful to health, the EMC community should keep abreast of the latest research developments. The Romanian EMC Chapter has 21 members, largely concentrated in the capital Bucharest, and in four industrial and university centers Craiova, Brasov, Timisoara and Cluj. In this context, the organization of the lectures with the support of the EMC Society and ACER (Romanian EMC Association) was an event that contributed to an increase in interest in this field. Various activities have increased EMC interest in Romania. First, Professor A. Marinescu is also Executive President of ACER (Romanian EMC Association) a professional association of 118 members founded in 1997 as a non - governmental, non - profit association having its headquarters at ICMET Craiova. Next, the building of an EMC accredited test laboratory in Craiova at ICMET (Research, Development and Testing - National Institute for Electrical Engineering) has heightened the awareness of EMC here. Also, the formation of an EMC Educational Unit with a GTEM cell and various test equipment at the University “Politechnica” in Bucharest has also contributed to the increase in EMC activity. The field of EMC in Romania has developed in the last ten years with a view to joining the European Union.

Dr. Michel Ianoz, IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, gave a presentation to the St. Petersburg Chapter.

IEEE President Michael Adler, 2001 IEEE President Joel Snyder, Saint-Petersburg BT/CAS/COM Chapter Chair Dmitry Tkachenko, IEEE Russia (Northwest) Section Vice Chair Alexander Mikerov, and EMC Coordinator of the AES/IE/C/EMC/PE Joint Chapter, Alexander Worshevsky, (from left) are shown during the 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology in St. Petersburg.

The Plenary Session of the 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology featured young specialists Anton Worshevsky, Peter Worshevsky, and Alexey Agofonov (from left).

Beautiful participants celebrate the success of the 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology in St. Petersburg.

Elya Joffe is shown during the City Tour near the Admiralty in St. Petersburg. Mr. Joffe is the “Angel” for the St. Petersburg Chapter.

Vice-Chairman of the symposium, Pavel Asovich, is shown during the St. Petersburg conference banquet.

Saint Petersburg (Russia)

Dr. Alexander Worshevsky from the IEEE Saint Petersburg (Russia) AES/IE/C/EMC/PE Joint Chapter reported on the 2003 activities of the Chapter. A new IEEE Section was formed on February 13 in Russia. The IEEE Russia (Northwest) Section encompasses 156 Members, (including eight Senior Members and 36 student members), eight Chapters and the Student Branch. The chapter is especially proud that the Chairman of the AES/ IE/C/EMC/PE Joint Chapter, Professor Alexander Mikerov, was elected as Vice Chair of the IEEE Russia (Northwest) Section. The Saint-Petersburg AES/IE/C/ EMC/PE Joint Chapter organized the Annual Scientific Conference of IEEE members on June 11. 17 papers, presented in English, were published in the Proceedings 2003 of the St. Petersburg Chapter. The innovative and future looking direction was evident in the exciting video and audio presentation of Professor Alexander Gelman (Communication Society Vice-Chair) about the fabulous perspectives of a global communications development. Dr. Michel Ianoz, EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer and Honorary Professor of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland gave excellent lectures for IEEE members and EMC specialists on September 11-12 on the topics: “EMC problems related to transient phenomena in the power network substations” and “Protection concepts and protection solutions for lines, cables, and circuits submitted to disturbance electromagnetic fields.” The 21 participants asked many questions. They discussed some technical solutions (for example, cable grounding) and agreed upon the importance of the topics for the EMC practice. Michael Alder, the 2003 IEEE President and Joel Snyder, the 2001 IEEE President, visited the Saint Petersburg Chapter on September 13-18. They met with AES/IE/C/EMC/PE Joint Chapter Chair Professor Alexander Mikerov and other Saint-Petersburg IEEE members. Mr. Alder and Mr. Snyder were in attendance at the opening session of the 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology. The IEEE President and Past President held a meeting with the IEEE Section Conference Committee devoted to the potential of future IEEE international conferences in St. Petersburg. They encouraged the IEEE Societies to sponsor such future symposia in Russia. The 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology was held in Saint Petersburg on September 16-19, co-sponsored by the IEEE Saint Petersburg AES/IE/C/EMC/PE Joint Chapter. The venue of the symposium was the Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”. The Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University, Scientific and Technical Society of Radio Engineering, Radio Research and Development Institute and “Diskon-center” organized the event. IEEE members from Israel, Japan, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany were also members of the organizing and program committees. Professor V. Kutuzov was the chair of the organizing committee and chairman of the symposium. Official languages were English and Russian. Translation was organized at every session. EMC 2003 was dedicated to the 300-year anniversary of Saint Petersburg. Peter the Great founded the city in 1703. Leaders of many countries participated in the anniversary event in June 2003. Here are some statistics from the EMC Symposium 2003 in Saint Petersburg:

  • International participants: 23
  • Local participants: 98
  • Plenary session (meeting): 1
  • Topical Sessions: 12
  • Total number of sessions: 19
  • Total number of published papers: 138
  • Number of oral paper presentations: 116

The presentation of ‘distance education’ with virtual EMC labs by Professor L. Kechiev was one of the most interesting paper presentations at the educational sessions. Sessions on test equipment and certification led participants to a long discussion about the improvement of EMC requirements and the present practice of EMC standardization. The Biological Effects session was interesting for all participants. Professor N. Korovkin and colleagues presented several papers about new investigation methods in EMC such as fractal analysis and genetic method. Attendees came from Belorus, Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Switzerland. The tourist program included a city tour, a cruise over the river Neva, a visit to the Peterhof palace and famous fountains, situated 25 km from the city, and an excursion to the Hermitage Museum. In their spare time, participants could choose from more than 20 art museums, 11 palaces and parks, 28 literature, music and theatre museums, 32 technical museums, 11 army and navy museums, and many historical, cultural places of interest and exhibitions. In the evening, they could also visit more than 20 theatres. It was a very hard choice! The Organizing Committee has already begun work on the 2005 Saint Petersburg EMC Symposium. Volunteers are invited to sign-up and help. Elya Joffe, our EMC Chapter “Angel”, and Vice-President for Conferences and Symposia of the IEEE EMC Society, also visited Saint Petersburg on September 15-20, and participated in the 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology. In the session on EMC Education, Elya presented a lecture on the principle of “Path of Least Inductance” as a basis for understanding grounding at high frequencies. The presentation was made in front of a forum of EMC lecturers and specialists from universities and institutes. More than 20 participants agreed that Elya's lecture was the best example of a student education lecture (the example being how to give a lecture on this basic concept). His combination of color pictures, nonstandard ideas and a good presentation with humor provided excellent results.


Following the seminar in San Diego, the speakers conducted a demonstration of the material presented. James Young (far left) is happy to provide a demonstration to the chapter members, including Rolando Velbis of Hitachi Home Electronics (far right).

Mark Frankfurth of Cymer, Chairman of the San Diego Chapter (center), with the speakers from the seminar “How to Improve the Accuracy of EMC Measurements” including (from left) Rodger Gensel of Amplifier Research, Vince Rodriguez of ETS-Lindgren, James Young of Rohde & Schwarz, and Ray Adams of Boeing Satellite Systems.

A raffle was held upon the conclusion of the San Diego Chapter seminar and all attendees received certificates of completion. Paul Rostek of Teradata proudly shows his certificate, while Mark Frankfurth, Dave Bernardin, IEEE San Diego Section Chairman, and John Whitney of Amplifier Research (from left) celebrate John’s win of a Fry’s gift certificate.

Ray Adams (left) and Vince Rodriguez set up a demonstration table prior to the start of the San Diego Chapter half-day seminar.

San Diego
The San Diego EMC Chapter presented “How to Improve the Accuracy of EMC Measurements,” a half-day technical seminar on September 23 at the Wyndham Hotel. The seminar featured several speakers, including Los Angeles Chapter Chair Ray Adams of Boeing Satellite Systems. In fact, it was Chair Ray Adams that conceived the technical program and who volunteered to take “the show on the road” to his sister EMC chapter in San Diego. (In reality, Mr. Adams was looking for a venue to do a dress rehearsal of the seminar before it was presented to the “real” audience, his chapter, in Los Angeles two days later!) The seminar began after lunch with a kick off presentation by Rodger Gensel of Amplifier Research who spoke on RF Conducted and Transient Disturbance Testing. Next, Ray Adams spoke on the topic Radiated Susceptibility/Immunity. Vince Rodriguez of ETS-Lindgren then addressed Wireless EMC and finally, James Young of Rohde & Schwarz discussed Radiated Emissions. Mark Frankfurth of Cymer Corporation, Chair of the San Diego Chapter, was on hand to present attendees with “official” certificates of completion. Also present was the IEEE San Diego Section Chair, Dave Bernardin of Hewlett Packard. Dave was the immediate past chair of the San Diego EMC Chapter and has moved on to bigger and better IEEE volunteer work! A reception was held following the seminar with the speakers each conducting demonstrations of the material presented. Attendees were treated to heavy appetizers and drinks courtesy of Amplifier Research, ETS-Lindgren, Rohde & Schwarz, and Altamont Technical Sales. This provided a wonderful opportunity to informally visit with the speakers, view demonstrations and enjoy good food and drink. Unfortunately, the hotel did not yet have its liquor license so the “drink” was brought in from the neighborhood Costco. Over 70 chapter members and guests attended the seminar.

Bert Chan from Foundry Networks addresses the Santa Clara Chapter on the technical program activities at the Boston Symposium.

Jerry Ramie, Mike Kriege and others listen to Bert Chan’s presentation.

The Steering Committee for the 2004 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Santa Clara is hard at work planning for the big event next summer!

Santa Clara Valley
Darryl Ray reports the Santa Clara Valley chapter took June through August off from the monthly meetings for a well-deserved summer recess. Monthly meetings resumed in September with the annual chapter social. The social was held at Applied Materials in Santa Clara, California. The 31 attendees enjoyed food and drinks while engaging in lively discussions. Bert Chan from Foundry Networks presented the highlights from the Boston symposium at the meeting. Bert is on the technical program committee for the 2004 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Santa Clara and he outlined several ideas for the workshops and technical sessions aiming to focus on the basics in order to help the EMC practitioner perform his or her job. Speaking of EMC 2004, the Steering Committee has been going full throttle this summer planning the Santa Clara symposium. Monthly meetings are held at Apple Computer in Cupertino, California. The committee is aiming to put on an excellent symposium. The call for papers ends October 15. Start dropping hints to your boss now and we hope to see you in Santa Clara next August!

Seattle Chapter Chairman Pat André addresses the crowd at the September Chapter meeting.

Chris Kendall of CKC Labs, EMCS Distinguished Lecturer, gave an entertaining and educational presentation to the Seattle Chapter in September.

The Seattle EMC Chapter took the summer months off and resumed activity with their September 30 meeting held at CKC Labs in Redmond, Washington. EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, Chris Kendall of CKC Labs, was the featured speaker. Chapter Chairman Pat André of André Consulting opened the meeting by sharing fond memories of his early days in EMC when he worked for Chris Kendall. Chris’s presentation was notable for his “professor” quality presentation style, his thorough knowledge of the subject matter, and his witty humor. Some 23 people attended his presentation entitled “EMC Design Considerations for Military Systems Utilizing High Speed Commercial Interfaces Such As USB, Firewire, 100 BaseT, DVI, and SERDES”. The topic was originally focused on military and aerospace applications of these interfaces. However, since most of the attendees were interested in the commercial application of data interfaces, Mr. Kendall quickly changed direction and spoke to the audience’s needs. With many whiteboard illustrations and humorous stories of past EMI issues, Mr. Kendall was able to communicate many concepts for us to use. While the presentation at just under two hours was longer than the typical monthly meeting presentation, the hardy chapter members hung on to every word, and even stayed longer to ask questions! All present appreciated Chris’s visit to the Pacific Northwest. The Chapter looks forward to an exciting line up of speakers for its October and November meetings, time off for the holidays in December, and an excellent one day tutorial and exhibition on January 20, 2004 called “The Bruce Lee EMC Show” with industry gurus, Bruce Archambeault of IBM and Lee Hill of Silent Solutions, being the head line speakers. Check out Seattle EMC Chapter activities on the Seattle Section website at Please visit us if you happen to be in the Seattle area when a Chapter meeting is held.

Janet O’Neil and Clayton Paul flank Risaburo Sato (center) at the Boston EMC Symposium. Dr. Sato is the chair of the Sendai EMC Chapter.

Dr. Sato (left) receives an IEEE EMCS award for “Chapter of the Year” presented by Todd Hubing, President of the EMC Society, at the Boston EMC Symposium.

The Sendai chapter was very lucky to receive the “Chapter of the Year Award” at the 2003 IEEE Symposium on EMC in Boston last August. At the Awards Luncheon, our Chapter Chair Professor Sato received the award with great pleasure and honor. The Sendai Chapter was formed in 2001 and consists of 33 members. They hold a couple of regular and technical meetings every year. The current main target of their activities is to make a successful start of the symposium, EMC’04/Sendai ( The Sendai Chapter members sincerely hope that many people will come to Sendai next June to share their academic and technical knowledge and to enjoy the natural environment and various historic places in the area.

Southeastern Michigan
On September 17, EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Bruce Archambeault presented “Reducing Emissions Through PCB Layout and Effective Power/Ground Plane Decoupling.” There were 44 attendees at this meeting held at the University of Michigan Dearborn (UMD) Campus, which included several people who had attended the SAE EMI Standards Committee meeting held there just prior to the chapter meeting. Mark Steffka, Adjunct Lecturer of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMD, was our host for the meeting, held in the Professional Education Center. Don Yordy, local representative from CMP, provided the pizza, chips and refreshments for the attendees. Chapter Chair Scott Lytle was the presiding officer at the meeting. Dr. Archambeault discussed real-world examples of measurements, as well as computer simulations, which were used to demonstrate the optimal decoupling strategy. Successful routing of all these signals often requires some of the standard EMC “rules” to be violated. However, not all of these EMC rules are equal, that is, some are more important than others. Many graphs were presented summarizing the various experiments conducted to illustrate the effects of decoupling capacitors on multi layer printed circuit boards. A copy of the presentation slides may be viewed at Dr. Archambeault is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He received his BSEE degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1977 and his MSEE degree from Northeastern University in 1981. He received his PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 1997. His doctoral research was in the area of computational electromagnetics applied to real-world EMC problems.

Curt Sponberg, chair of the local Twin Cities Chapter, addresses the 40 or so attendees at the annual “EMC Event.”

Bruce Archambeault demonstrates his “Grounding Myths” to the attentive Twin Cities Chapter at their noon meeting held on September 16 in a suburb of Minneapolis.

Members of the 2002 IEEE International Symposium on EMC local planning committee received their certificates of appreciation at the Twin Cities Chapter meeting, including (from left) Curt Sponberg and Joel Peltier of Medtronic, John Maas of IBM, Greg Lawrence of United Defense, Brodie Pedersen of Nonin, and Phil Tuckner of TUV America.

Bruce Archambeault (left) and Curt Sponberg are shown in front of the world-famous Mermaid restaurant - bowling alley - conference center - hotel - bar complex.

Twin Cities
On September 16, 45 members and guests gathered for a lunch meeting to hear EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer Bruce Archambeault give his “Grounding Myths” presentation. The audience was attentive and Bruce’s presentation was well received. On Monday, September 22 the annual EMC Event was held featuring several technical sessions. Over 50 people attended. Although this event has traditionally been set-up by private parties, the local EMC chapter provided technical cooperation. Members of the planning committee for the 2002 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Minneapolis received certificates of appreciation for all of their hard work and dedication. Honored for their efforts were Curt Sponberg and Joel Peltier of Medtronic, John Maas of IBM, Greg Lawrence of United Defense, Brodie Pedersen of Nonin, and Phil Tuckner of TUV America.

Bob Edwards of Westinghouse gave a presentation to the UK-Ireland Chapter at Didcot, complete with a train balloon on the ceiling.

Some of the UK-Ireland Chapter guys are “on the right track” at Didcot.

Bob Plowman of Rolls Royce and Tony Swainson a consultant (foreground left to right), inspect a train undergoing restoration in an engine shed following the UK-Ireland Chapter meeting.

UK and Republic of Ireland
The Chapter has gone from one success to another since it was re-launched early in 1999. Some four to six meetings are held each year. These include technical presentations on topics of current interest and, where possible, venues are selected which have a broad appeal and can offer some more general interest after the technical business. This year the first meeting in March was on the theme of shielding and grounding and was hosted by TECAN Components Ltd at Portland in Dorset. After the buffet lunch, there was a fascinating conducted tour of Tecan’s facility in Weymouth, Dorset. In June, a meeting on the theme of automotive EMC was hosted by MIRA at Nuneaton in Warwickshire. A live vehicle test was featured after the technical presentations. Both meetings were well attended and the technical presentations were of great interest. In September, a meeting on “EMC Measurement Techniques and Railway EMC” inspired an excellent crop of technical papers. The venue was the Didcot Railway Centre, which is the home of the Great Western Society. A guided tour of the centre was provided and everyone reveled in the beautifully restored steam engines and rolling stock. There were also carefully preserved station buildings and tracks from the very earliest times. The enthusiasm was such that it was obvious that many EMC engineers long for the days of steam when EMC had not even been born. EMC

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