What Causes RF Interference

The only way to truly combat RFI is to understand it. Knowing what it is and what causes it is the best tool to arm you with. RFI fields are hard to avoid, and this is especially the case in densely populated urban areas. Radio frequency (RF) can be found between audio and below infrared on the EMI spectrum.

The cause of RFI can be put into two separate categories: intentional and unintentional. Radios (AM or FM), TV transmitters, remote controls, cell phones, police radios, microwaves, radar systems, and certain medical equipment, are all major contributors to intentional RFI.  Devices that create electrical sparks produce unintentional RFI.

To reduce RFI, you should:

  • Maintain strong/good connections
  • Only utilize cables that have heavy gauge shields
  • Implement ground Isolators to interrupt signal paths.
  • Use RFI filters to help signal path
  • Do not use grounds that are unnecessary
  • Try to keep cables short
  • Identify the biggest threats

Knowing the levels of RFI that your devices are working around will help you to properly shield your device from intentional and unintentional RFI, but speaking with EMI shielding experts is the best way to fully combat issues of RFI.