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Saturday, June 12, 2010

RFI Gremlins: A Preemptive Strike

On the small boat we run amateur radios, including HF equipment, when on the water. Despite modern radio electronics, HF equipment is very susceptible to RFI (radio frequency interference) generated by all sorts of devices (computers, navigation electronics, refrigerators, etc). With all the modern appliances and electronic doodads that are finding their way onto boats these days, eliminating RFI is a constant battle.

With the PVC conduit, we are making the first strike by wrapping it with copper shielding tape. When connected to a "ground" the foil will contain the RFI "transmitted" from the boats wiring reducing the chance of interference entering the "front end" of the HF radios. This tape, 3M 1183 copper tape, is design especially for this purpose. It is tinned copper, thus resistant to corrosion and can be soldered. And, the adhesive is conductive.

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