Electromagnetic Interference In Data Cabling: Electromagnetic interference is an electromagnetic emission generated by an external source that causes a disturbance in an electrical circuit.
Potential causes of electromagnetic interference include induction, electrostatic coupling, or physical contact with a conductor.
Electromagnetic interference can have numerous negative impacts, such as electrical or electronic malfunctions, the ignition of flammable atmospheres, and the impeded use of the radiofrequency (RF) spectrum.
To avoid such repercussions, consult this guide on how to reduce electromagnetic interference.
Switching To Fiber Optic Cabling
If your network is currently equipped with copper cabling, switching to fiber optic cabling can greatly reduce electromagnetic interference.
Unlike copper cabling, fiber optic cabling is completely immune to electrical interference.
In situations where you are unable to completely change your network’s cabling from copper to fiber optic, media converters are highly beneficial.
Such devices will allow you to connect fiber optic cabling to copper cabling so you can take advantage of the fiber optic cabling’s immunity to electromagnetic interference in areas where you need it most.
Implementing EMI Shielding
Another tip on how to reduce electromagnetic interference is to implement EMI shielding.
Shielding refers to the regulation and reduction of the coupling of radio waves as well as electromagnetic or electrostatic fields.
Essentially, shields use reflections and absorption to confine electrical devices and cables from their environment.
Common EMI shielding methods include solid shields or a braided shield. Generally, solid shields will provide optical EMI noise reduction.
However, they are more difficult to manufacture and implement than a braided shield. While braided shields can improve the flexibility and strength of the cabling, they do not provide complete coverage of the cable.
For maximum protection, consider implementing a combined shield that includes both a solid and braided layer.
Using Twisted Pair Cabling
Using twisted pair wires is one of the easiest ways to reduce electromagnetic interference. By twisting the wires in a cable, the wires are forced closer together, which reduces the loop area and inducted voltage.
In doing so, the currents flow in minimal loop areas, which consequently reduces electromagnetic generation from the pair as well as crosstalk between neighboring pairs.
In addition, twisted pair wires also reject external electromagnetic interference more than a single conductor or an untwisted balanced pair. The more twists per unit length in the wiring, the more effective the twisted pair wire will be at preventing EMI.