5 Ways Signal Noise Can Impact Electrical Equipment

 
CLEVELAND - Feb. 7, 2024 - PRLog -- Accurate data acquisition is often critical in various engineering and technical projects. However, a pervasive yet often-overlooked issue that arises in the system is signal noise. Signal noise can corrupt measurements, hinder communication, and compromise equipment integrity.

Recognizing the Symptoms:
  • Inaccurate Measurements: The presence of noise superimposes itself on your desired signal, akin to static disrupting a radio broadcast. This leads to erroneous readings, potentially jeopardizing the validity of your data and downstream analyses.
  • Communication Disruptions: Data acquisition often relies on reliable communication between devices. Signal noise can disrupt these interconnections, causing data drops, transmission errors, and hindering the flow of critical information.
  • Video and Audio Glitches: Visual artifacts like stripes and bars on displays or audio issues like buzzing and humming can point towards underlying noise problems.
Common Noise Sources:
  • Conducted EMI: This type of interference stems from adjacent equipment and propagates through electrical wiring as unwanted electrical noise.
  • Radiated EMI: Unlike conducted EMI, this noise travels through the air as electromagnetic waves before being coupled into equipment by various mechanisms. Sources like radio towers, and wireless devices can radiate significant EMI.
  • Radio Frequency Interference (RFI): Similar to radiated EMI, but operating at much higher frequencies, RFI often originates from wireless technologies like cell phones and Wi-Fi routers.
  • Ground Loops: These unintended current paths arise due to multiple grounding connections at different points in the system. Acting as antennas, ground loops can pick up ambient noise or induce unwanted currents, ultimately corrupting data and even causing equipment damage.
  • Line Power Quality: Fluctuations and anomalies in the power supply can introduce noise affecting measurements.
Combating Signal Noise:

Fortunately, numerous effective strategies exist to mitigate the impact of signal noise:
  • Proper Grounding: Ensuring each piece of equipment has a dedicated connection to a single, low-impedance ground point is crucial. This establishes a clear and uniform reference potential, minimizing unwanted current paths.
  • Filtering: Targeted filters act as frequency-selective gatekeepers, allowing the desired signal to pass while attenuating specific noise frequencies. Choosing the appropriate filter type hinges on the characteristics of the interfering noise.
  • Isolation Transformers: These devices function as electrical barriers, isolating sensitive equipment from noise-generating sources like power lines or motors.
  • Shielding: Encasing equipment in conductive enclosures, akin to Faraday cages, effectively blocks external electromagnetic fields and radiated EMI from interfering with your measurements.
  • Power Conditioning: In environments with unreliable power, using power conditioners can stabilize voltage fluctuations and filter out noise before it reaches your equipment.
It's best to consult with an engineer to find the right solution for reducing signal noise. The approach depends on your setup and interference severity.

To find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800)-956-4437 or visit us at https://www.dataloggerinc.com

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