Chapter Chatter

Singing the Blues for a Gasket
The following story was transcribed from the 2002 IEEE EMC Society video entitled, “EMC War Stories: A Memorial Tribute to Don Bush, 1942–2001.”
     In 1998, Chad Airy worked at a company that was developing a new generation of MILES gear. In brief, MILES gear (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System), allows soldiers to participate in realistic, “laser tag,” battlefield simulations. Each soldier is equipped with receivers worn on the helmet and upper torso. When any of the worn sensors are “hit”, the soldier becomes
a simulated casualty.
     Chad was called in to review a prototype of the helmet amplifier and receivers. He immediately pointed out the most obviously flaw: the plastic case housing the helmet amplifier. Chad pointed out that the design would very likely fail high level MIL-STD radiated susceptibility testing. Of course, management had decreed that the plastic case was to be used and the design would pass, right? Wrong. After failing miserably, the manager was back in Chad’s office. Mr. Airy suggested that a metallic coating be applied to the plastic case. “That would be too expensive for the quantity we will be producing,” said the manager, “we’ll use a precision die-cast aluminum case instead.

The minimal transfer of bluing from the case to
the cover proved Mr. Airy’s point: a gasket was indeed required.

     A few months later, after the next round of testing, the manager came back to Chad. There was good news and bad news. The good news was that the aluminum case solved the radiated susceptibility failures below 1 GHz. The bad news was that the unit was now failing at 2, 3, 5 and 7 GHz. After a brief investigation, Mr. Airy discovered the culprit, “Where is the gasket for the case cover? You have leaks.” “We don’t need a gasket. That is a precision die-cast aluminum case with screws tightened down on four corners. There are no gaps,” the manager replied. “Well,” said Chad, “without a gasket that case is leaking. Those signals are circulating inside, coupling on to the board and causing failure.” In fact, a quick calculation showed that the lowest frequency of oscillation was at the half wavelength point of 2 GHz, which was equal to the long side of the helmet amplifier case. At that point, he then convinced the manager to at least install a temporary copper tape shield over the board, which caused the unit to pass. Unfortunately, Chad was still not able to convince the manager that a gasket was necessary. In a last attempt to prove the need for a gasket, he fell back on an old machinist trick. “Apply bluing to the contact points on the case. Once the cover is reinstalled, the coloring will show whether gaps in contact exist or not,” suggested Chad. The next day, he received a telling photograph, shown above. The bluing had only transferred partially on two sides. A gasket was most certainly needed.
     The moral of the story, according to Chad, is that “EMC doesn’t listen to management.” It could be further concluded that management doesn’t always listen to engineers who understand EMC.


Alex Barnett (left), EE Senior at IIT, receives the fourth Chicago EMC Society Chapter $1000 scholarship from Treasurer Bob Hofmann.
Jerry Meyerhoff, Chapter Secretary, reports that the Chicago EMC Society Chapter held a 2009 season kick-off meeting on September 16. The event was generously hosted by ETS-Lindgren in Glendale Heights and drew 35 attendees. The evening began with tours of the ETS-Lindgren shielded room assembly facility and revealed many of the behind-the-scenes details of component fabrication and the creation of full installation kits. Participants received personal insights from the ETS-Lindgren experts, covering knife-edge door seams, filters, panels and joint methodologies. A complementary pizza was then enjoyed during the social and networking session. Bob Hofmann, Treasurer & Scholarship Chair, presented the 4th Annual $1,000 award to Alex Barnett, a senior at IIT, Illinois Institute of Technology. Alex was highly recommended by professors and submitted a compelling story of his ongoing interest in high frequency effects and EMC, in hobbies, academics, and intern work assignments, as well as his service to his IEEE student Chapter. The technical presentation was delivered by Wayne Martin, ETS-Lindgren’s Government Sales Manager who has many years of experience in TEMPEST, HEMP and IEMI. He introduced the topic of protecting electronic systems against the possibility of high altitude ballistic missile detonation, which creates a destructive EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse). Wayne used the dramatic video “33 Minutes” by the Heritage Foundation to present the problem of having only 33 minutes to react to the ballistic missile scenario. The Star-Wars or SDI effort was also described, with its current first successes and its five planned deployment phases. Wayne then described the potential outcomes of an EMP event, which would devastate much of the electronic devices and infrastructure we’ve become so dependent upon. In closing, Wayne moderated a spirited discussion, involving many of the attendees, while examining the technical as well as political and business responses to such EMP threats. The Chapter has planned their third annual OktoberFest, to be held jointly with the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Chapter, on October 20. The event will be hosted by ELITE Electronic Engineering, who will also provide traditional ethnic food. The technical presentation on Telematics will be given by Emad Isaac, CTO of Morely Corp. of Woodridge, IL. Additionally, several FVEEAA (Fox Valley Electric Automobile Association) members will be showing their automobiles. Please check the website for more details.

Wayne Martin (in green shirt) points out the AC power line filter on a traditional ETS-Lindgren bronze mesh
double shielded enclosure.
Wayne Martin of ETS-Lindgren moderates the open
discussion of EMP threat mitigation issues and techniques after a viewing of the “33 Minutes” video.

Speaker Pay Wee Chong presents the topic “Test of Vehicles and ESA’s According to the Latest EMC Standards” to the Hong Kong Chapter.
Hong Kong
The IEEE Hong Kong EMC Chapter held a successful half-day technical workshop on Automotive EMC at the City University of Hong Kong on 22 August 2009. Mr. Pay Wee Chong of Rohde & Schwarz presented the first topic, “Test of Vehicles and ESA’s According to the Latest EMC Standards.” Next, Mr. Jeffrey Tsang of Teseq Company Limited presented the second topic, “Conducted Immunity Testing on Automotive Electronics: From ISO 7637 to Introduction of Manufacturer Standards.” A demonstration on automotive testing equipment was also performed in the workshop. A total of 63 participants were in attendance. The IEEE Hong Kong EMC Chapter held a successful IEEE EMC Distinguished Lecture at the City University of Hong Kong on 26 September 2009. Prof. Tzong-Lin Wu of National Taiwan University presented the topic, “Power Integrity Design for High Speed Circuit Packages”. A total of 30 participants attended this lecture.

Speaker Jeffrey Tsang (far right) presented the topic “Conducted Immunity Testing of Automotive Electronics: From ISO 7637 to the Introduction of Manufacturer Standards.” Participants were interested in the demonstration of
automotive testing equipment at the Automotive EMC Workshop held at the City University of Hong Kong.

Professor Tzong-Lin Wu presents the topic “Power Integrity Design for High Speed Circuit Packages.” The speakers and the committee members of the Hong Kong EMC Chapter are shown in a group photo taken after the workshop. From left are Stanton Lai, Jacky Tang, Dr. Brian Chan, Dr. Duncan Fung, Pay Wee Chong, Dr. Patrick Wong (Chairman of the Hong Kong EMC Chapter), Jeffrey Tsang, Dr. Peter Leung, Wai Leong, Dr. K C Lee, and Steven Tsang.
Professor Tzong-Lin Wu (left) received a souvenir from the Chairman of the IEEE EMC Hong Kong Chapter,
Dr. Patrick Wong.
Some 30 participants attended the IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecture
at the City University of Hong Kong.

The Huntsville Chapter of the IEEE EMC Society resumed meetings after a short summer break in June and July. They held two great meetings in August and September. The Chapter will be finishing the year off with a business meeting in October and a special meeting in November to coincide with the IEEE EMC Society Board of Directors meeting taking place in Huntsville. The Chapter’s August 13th meeting was held at the ADTRAN Conference center. The presentation was provided by Pieter Seidel of Tektronix and the meal was sponsored by Intertek represented by Michael Lehman. The turnout was fantastic with 49 total attendees, 23 of which were IEEE members. After a brief review of Chapter business by Doug Parker, all were enlightened by the excellent presentation. Mr. Seidel’s presentation was titled, “Using the Real Time Spectrum Analyzer to Identify Intermittent and Interfering Signals.” During the presentation he demonstrated how a Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer (RTSA) can reliably detect and characterize transient RF signals, while also greatly reducing the time taken to identify the source of the problem.

Pieter Seidel of Tektronix discusses some of the benefits to using a real-time spectrum analyzer during the August EMC Chapter
meeting in Huntsville, Alabama.

Doug Parker (left) of ADTRAN and Mike Broadwell (right) of Tektronix helped the guest speaker setup for a live demonstration.

IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Sergiu Radu of Sun Microsystems,
was the guest speaker during the September EMC Chapter meeting in Huntsville, Alabama.

To encourage IEEE membership, the Huntsville Chapter sets up a tradeshow style membership booth during every Chapter meeting.

     A number of different steps were demonstrated to identify the source of the problem. Live demonstrations were provided during the presentation. Examples were presented to demonstrate how the unique capabilities of a RTSA can be used in a broad range of applications where it is critical to identify intermittent and interfering signals. Mr. Seidel answered questions from the attendees and was available after the meeting to discuss questions in a “one on one”. The Chapter truly appreciates the support of Tektronix and Mr. Seidel in providing this presentation. The Chapter is also very grateful to Intertek (Michael Lehman) for providing a great meal. The September meeting was held at the ADTRAN Conference Center on the 17th. Two presentations were provided by the IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Sergiu Radu of Sun Microsystems. Again, the meeting was well attended, with a total of 56 arriving to learn from Dr. Radu. Of those in attendance, 28 were IEEE members. The first presentation started at 4:30 and was titled “An Overview of Chip Level EMC Problems.” Dr. Radu provided interesting information related to chip level EMC issues. According to Dr. Radu, the CPUs and the VLSI chips are the primary sources of electromagnetic noise in all electronic equipment. Reducing the electromagnetic noise at the source level is usually the best and the most economical solution. The lecture presented typical interference mechanisms associated with CPU/VLSI, as well as mitigation methods at the die-level and package level. Among the aspects discussed were power distribution issues, on-die decoupling, package capacitors, routing aspects, the impact of back-bias and forward-bias, and the impact of die-shrinks on the EMI performance of the VLSI chips. After the end of the first presentation, we took a break for a brief business meeting and to enjoy a meal provided by Amplifier Research and CoilCraft. Rob Rowe represented Amplifier Research and Bob Wood represented CoilCraft. The meeting continued at 6:30 with the second presentation for Dr. Radu. The second presentation was titled, “Engineering Aspects of Electromagnetic Shielding.” During this presentation, Dr. Radu discussed the need for shielding, introduced basic shielding concepts, as well as their practical limitations. Typical engineering problems associated with shielding were discussed. Among the topics discussed were materials, chassis resonances, shielding integrity problems (seams, apertures, and perforation patterns), aperture coupling and shield grounding. Dr. Radu answered questions from the attendees then also made himself available after the meeting to discuss individual’s questions “one on one.” The Chapter appreciates Dr. Radu traveling to Huntsville as part of the Distinguished Lecture program and his support of the IEEE EMC Society Chapters. The Chapter would also like to thank both Amplifier Research and CoilCraft for supporting our Chapter. To see everything going on with the Huntsville Chapter, check out the website at

Hyberbad, India
Madhumita Chakravarti, Chapter Chair of the joint Chapter of IEEE MTT/AP/EMC in Hyderabad, India, reports that a lecture program, “Grounding Fundamentals and Application from Circuit to System,” took place on September 23. The event was arranged in association with the EMI/EMC Centre, Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad. The speaker was Mr. Elya B. Joffe, President, IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society, who has over 25 years of experience in EMC for electronic systems, in particular, on aerospace vehicles. The Chapter Chair, Madhumita Chakravarti, delivered a welcome address to those in attendance. Director RCI, Mr. S. K. Ray, enumerated the importance of proper grounding of circuits and asked all the young scientists of RCI to attend the lecture session and clear the doubts they are facing in designing the circuits and systems. Mr. Elya B. Joffe presented details on grounding fundamentals. Solutions to practical problems on grounding were discussed using real life case-studies. Over two hundred participants, including engineers from different industrial sectors, faculty members from different colleges and scientists registered for the program. The lecture program continued from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. The technical presentation was sincerely appreciated by the attendees.

Elya B. Joffe with officers of the IEEE joint MTT/AP/EMC Chapter in Hyderabad, India.

On October 22, 2009, the Italy EMC Chapter organized one of its periodical technical seminars. Under the sponsorship of the EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer Program, Professor Alistair Duffy (De Montfort University, UK) visited the UAq EMC Laboratory at the University of L’Aquila, Italy. Professor Duffy gave a well received seminar on the “Feature Selective Validation (FSV) Technique” and its application to EMC and Signal Integrity. In the audience were Professor A. Orlandi of the UAq EMC Laboratory, students of the Laboratory and several engineers of TechnoLabs S.p.A., the company that is hosting the Laboratory and the Department of Electrical Engineering since the major earthquake on April 6, 2009 that devastated the School of Engineering. After the seminar, the students had the opportunity to interact with Professor Duffy on FSV and related subjects. The presentation is available at

Alistair Duffy met with members of the Italy EMC Chapter at the UAq EMC Laboratory. Shown from left to right are Leo Raimondo (student); Professors Antonio Orlandi, Alistair Duffy, and Giulio Antonini; with students Francesco De Paulis and Hilmi Nisanci.

Professor Duffy, an IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, gave an interesting presentation on computational electromagnetics in L’Aquila, Italy.

Korea Chapter Chair Prof. Ki-Chai Kim ( reports that EMC Fest 2009 was held in Elysian Gangchon in the Gangwon province for two days, October 16–17, under the sponsorship of the EMC Center ( of RAPA. EMC professionals, industry product developers and EMC engineers in Korea attended the EMC Fest to exchange EMC related information, such as the trend of EMC international standardization, and promote friendship. This is the third time the event has been held since 2007. There were three presentations at the event. First, the EMC regulation professional council in Korea discussed the trend of EMC international standardization, which is being developed by six small councils of CISPR and ITU-T SG4. The presentation also addressed the trend towards enactment and revision of EMC technology standards by major industries. Second, the EMC Center and the Council of EMC presented suppression material and devices for EMC. Third, various cases of EMC design and countermeasure were presented through the technology support of the Professional Corporate Pool of the EMC Center. The 180 participants showed great interest in these presentations. During the event, 14 sponsors supported the exhibition of suppression material and devices. This greatly contributed to the success of the event and the positive responses received from industry, education, research and government. Next year, the Korea Chapter will prepare a more diverse program and try to establish this event as the truly representative EMC conference in Korea.

The EMC Fest 2009 seminar was held in Elysian Gangchon in
the Gangwon province, Korea, from October 16–17, 2009. The
seminar was organized by the Korea EMC Chapter under the
sponsorship of the EMC Center of RAPA.

The EMC Fest 2009 seminar included an exhibition
of products from companies in the EMC materials and
devices field.
The chief of KIEES, Jeong-ki Pack, gave a greeting at the
EMC Fest official dinner.

EMC Fest in Korea also included an athletic event. The participating players included the managing director of the
EMC Center, Sang-ho Choi, Ph.D. (shown in the
center of the first row).

The EMC Fest official dinner was attended by some
180 people, including the managing director of the EMC Center, Sang-ho Choi, the chief of KIEES, Jeong-ki Pack,
and the chairman of the professional committee of
EMC specifications, Hyuckjae Lee.
A greeting at the EMC Fest official dinner was given by the chairman of the professional committee of EMC specifications, Hyuckjae Lee.
John Borchardt of 3M was the featured speaker at the September Oregon/SW Washington Chapter meeting.

Oregon and SW Washington
Alee Langford of Northwest EMC reports that the Oregon and SW Washington Chapter’s Dave Britton of HP attended the Chapter chair training session in Austin during the EMC 2009 symposium. He found it to be very informative and was able to connect with other Chapter chairs. In September, Jon Borchardt of 3M gave a presentation on shielding materials and various products 3M has available to assist in resolving EMI issues. Upcoming events include Agilent Technologies providing our October speaker and conducting some product demonstrations. In November, a paper presented at the 2009 EMC Symposium in Austin written by Ed Blankenship, Dave Arnett and Sidney Chan of HP regarding the elusive correction factor between 3m and 10m radiated emissions tests will be presented to the local Chapter. We will end the year with a Winter Social in December at a restaurant overlooking the Columbia River to enjoy watching the Christmas ships as they pass by.

Attendees at the Oregon/SW Washington Chapter September meeting included Alee Langford, Art Henderson, Roger McCoy, and Don Anderson (from left). Also attending the September meeting of the Oregon/SW Washington were Chad Stryker, Henry Benitez, and Mark Briggs
(from left).

A technical meeting of the IEEE Pittsburgh EMC Society Chapter was conducted on May 18, 2009 at the Westinghouse Energy Center in Monroeville, PA. Michael Oliver, IEEE EMC Society Chapter Chair, hosted the technical meeting with 64 people in attendance. The meeting started with a social at 6:30 pm prior to a 7:00 pm technical presentation. We had the privilege of having Mr. Elya Joffe as our technical speaker. Elya is the current President of the IEEE EMC Society as well a past EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, an EMC design consultant, a technical author, an iNarte certified EMC and ESD Engineer, and a member of the dB Society. As an introduction, electromagnetic theory is surrounded by mystery and magic, mostly because the mathematics required for solving Maxwell’s equations are messy enough that most of us avoid them at all costs! Never mind solving them, few of us even have a clear perception of what they actually mean. EMC is even worse, often considered black magic! The presentation demystified the very basics of electromagnetic theory - Maxwell’s equations. The presentation provided explanations, in everyday terms and without the need for complex mathematics, the meaning and implication of Maxwell’s equations for the practicing engineer. Some of the basic symbols used in mathematics, such as integration, derivatives, and bizarre vector symbols and their implication, were explained. An example related to the flow of return currents in circuits was used to illustrate the principles described. Through these simple explanations, Maxwell’s equations, we were then able to “see the light”.

The Pittsburgh Chapter meeting attending are captivated by an outstanding presentation by Ella Joffe, President of the IEEE EMC Society. The Pittsburgh Chapter brushes up on their math in a
presentation by Ella Joffe on Maxwell’s equations.
Mike Oliver (left) presents a plaque of appreciation to
Elya Joffe for his May presentation to the Pittsburg Chapter.
In appreciation to Elya Joffe for his May presentation to the Pittsburg Chapter, he is presented with a Pittsburgh Steelers commemorative t-shirt.

Richard Gao Xianke, Secretary of IEEE EMC Singapore Chapter, reported on the recent activities of the Chapter. On 05 August 2009, the IEEE EMC Singapore Chapter held a successful technical seminar in the auditorium of TÜV SÜD PSB Singapore. Mr. Elya B. Joffe, president of the IEEE EMC Society, gave an excellent presentation on the topic of “Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – from the Garbage of Electronics to a Global Intersystem Compatibility”. Thirty-eight participants, mostly from industry, attended the seminar. On 08 September 2009, Professor Marcello D’Amore of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” presented a talk with the title of “Electromagnetic modeling of carbon nanotube interconnects” at the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC). On 25 September 2009, the Singapore EMC Chapter organized an EMC workshop in the regional learning centre of Rohde & Schwarz regional headquarters (Singapore) Pte Ltd. Four distinguished speakers were invited to make presentations. Mr. Volker Janssen from Rohde & Schwarz Germany delivered a talk on “Use of Time Domain Methods for CISPR 16 Compliant EMI Measurements.” Dr. Li Er Ping from A*STAR IHPC Singapore presented “Electromagnetic Compatibility of the High Speed Electronic Packaging and Its Simulation.” Associate Professor See Kye Yak of Nanyang Technological University Singapore gave a talk entitled, “EMI Filter Design using an In-Circuit Measurement Approach.” Finally, Dr. Deng Jun Hong from TÜV SÜD PSB Singapore presented, “The Latest Update of EMC Standards for Information Technology Equipment.” This half-day workshop covered a wide range of topics from fundamental EMC theory to advanced EMC design as well as the latest standards development. The excellent event attracted 38 participants. The visiting professor of A*STAR IHPC, Associate Professor Christophe Fumeaux from the University of Adelaide, Australia, conducted a series of talks on the topics of computational electromagnetics and antennas in September 2009. The EMC Chapter sponsored the IEEE 125th Anniversary Region 10 Student Congress which was held on 16–19 July 2009 at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and sponsored the Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference (APMC) 2009 which is one of the largest technical events in the Asia-Pacific region and will be held December 2009 in Singapore.

Mr. Elya B. Joffe, President of IEEE EMC Society,
gave a presentation in the auditorium of TÜV SÜD PSB
Singapore on August 5, 2009.
EMC Society President Elya B. Joffe (center) is shown with
Singapore EMC Chapter members, including (from left to right) Mr. Timothy Foo, Professor See Kye Yak, Dr. Deng Jun Hong, and Dr. Chua Eng Kee.
EMC Society President Elya B. Joffe (left) appreciated a speaker gift of a tie with an EMC logo presented by Dr. Deng Jun Hong, Vice-chair of the Singapore EMC Chapter.

Mr. Volker Janssen, from Rohde & Schwarz Germany, gave a presentation at the IEEE EMC Workshop held at the Regional Learning Centre of the Rohde & Schwarz regional headquarters in Singapore on September 25, 2009.

Dr. Li Er Ping, from A*STAR IHPC Singapore, gave a presentation at the IEEE EMC Workshop held at the Regional Learning Centre of Rohde & Schwarz. Associate Professor See Kye Yak, from Nanyang Technological University Singapore, gave a presentation at the IEEE EMC
Workshop held at the Regional Learning Centre of Rohde
& Schwarz.
Dr. Deng Jun Hong from TUV SUD PSB Singapore
gave a presentation at the IEEE EMC Workshop in
Participants listened attentively at the IEEE EMC
Workshop in Singapore.
Participants enjoyed a tea break at the IEEE EMC
Workshop on September 25, 2009.
Participants are shown registering for the IEEE EMC Workshop.
The speakers received an appreciation gift from Singapore Chapter Chair Dr. Liu Enxiao following the IEEE EMC Workshop. Speakers shown from left to right are Dr. Deng Jun Hong, Associate Professor See Kye Yak, Mr. Volker Janssen,
Dr. Li Er Ping, and Dr. Liu Enxiao.


Stephen Colclough spoke about recent developments and
issues related to commercial EMC during the UKRI Chapter meeting in July.

United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
As we are all aware, this year marks the 125th anniversary of the IEEE. In recognition of this anniversary, and the theme of ‘Engineering the Future’, the UKRI Chapter sponsored a special technical event on the “Developments in EMC, and EMC in the Future.” This extraordinary event took place at the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre near St Albans, Hertfordshire, on July 8th. The museum is home to several Mosquito aircraft (one of which provided the backdrop to the meeting) as well as many other de Havilland aircraft including Vampire, Comet, Tiger Moth, Chipmonk, Sea Vixen and part of a Horsa – the World War II wooden troop-carrying glider. With presentations from Steve Hayes (TRaC EMC & Safety), Jim Wood (EMC Compliance), David Ward (MIRA), Stephen Colclough (Samsung) and Richard Turner (Mott MacDonald), we considered recent developments and issues which are currently, and will be impacting, EMC in five different areas. These included: commercial aerospace, military, automotive, commercial and railway. While each industry has its own unique challenges, the common trends are towards technology convergence, introduction of new technology and the proliferation of wireless technologies was a common theme. This was shown quite clearly by Stephen Colclough with the example of a mobile phone – no longer is it just a phone, but it is also a PDA, MP3 player, camera, GPS, Bluetooth and WLAN device. To tie in with the 125th anniversary theme of ‘Engineering the Future’, the meeting concluded with an interesting and thought provoking talk from Tim Williams (Elmac Services), in which by looking at the three main areas of design, testing and standardization he discussed “EMC – the Next 125 Years”. By the time this report is published, the Chapter will have conducted their next event – a series of practical and software based table top demonstrations as part of the EMCUK Conference and Exhibition. More details in the next edition of Chapter Chatter.                                                                                                                                       EMC

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