[eagle] U-band receiver changes to reduce EMI and improve thermal regulation

John B. Stephensen kd6ozh at comcast.net
Fri Jun 29 21:23:31 PDT 2007

For the next version of the 70 cm receiver, I'm thinking of an arrangement where the CAN bus exits out of the opposite side of the module from the RF and IF. Does this create any problems in the wiring harness?

The CAN-DO module would be mounted on a small PCB containing most of the power supply circuitry. This PCB would contain the switcher that generates 7 VDC for the receiver and some of the linear regulators. It would be mounted at one end of the module and be heat-sinked.

The RF circuitry would be mounted on a separate PCB at the other end of the module. This allows all RF and IF coax connectors to mount on this PCB and attach directly to the connector mounting bracket. It also eliminates the flying lead for the frequency reference input. The power dissipation would be limited so that it doesn't need to be heat-sinked. This protects the SAW filters from rapid temperature excursions and keeps them above -30 C at all times.

The two PCBs would be connected with a cable carrying DC power and the signals being monitored. Each PCB would have filtering for power and the signals being monitored by the IHU. The interconnect cable would travel through a common-mode choke using high-permiability ferrite. 

If necessary for thermal reasons, the RF amplifier and first mixer would go on a third PCB with a heat sink. LO and IF would connect to the second PCB via 2 coax cables. Once the new requirements document is approved, the power dissipation can be calculated for each of the 3 PCBs and a thermal analysis would determine whether 2 or 3 PCBs are needed and how far apart they should be.

Unless more problems are found during testing of the current version of the receiver, the circuitry would be same as now, except that an MCU is added to initialize the PLLs and the second mixer and second IF amplifiers are changed to devices that dissipate less power in line with the new requirements document. Bob has expressed some interest in Peregrine PLLs that can have the frequency hard wired so they could be inserted instead of adding the MCU.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Louis McFadin 
  To: juan-rivera at sbcglobal.net 
  Cc: Dave Black (Work) ; Dave Black (Home) ; David Smith ; eagle at amsat.org ; Samsonoff at Mac. Com ; Juan.Rivera (Work) 
  Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2007 02:36 UTC
  Subject: [eagle] Re: CAN-Do EMI - Let's Get Going on This!

  Why not think out of the box, Put the Can Do module outside the box, perhaps on top of the module.
  I think that is a more likely solution  than re building the Can-do module.

  Lou McFadin


  w5did at mac.com

  On Jun 29, 2007, at 10:25 PM, Juan Rivera wrote:


    I'm sorry to pick on you, but you seem like a good guy to complain to...

    I seem to be having a problem stimulating a discussion.  After saying that I
    though the CAN-Do power supply needed to be completely scrapped and replaced
    with one running at around 1 MHz I expected to be buried in email, but I've
    only received one message referring to this so far, and it wasn't from
    anyone working on CAN-Do.

    The CAN-Do module is unique in that it is going to be an integral component
    INSIDE of every payload, so any deficiencies it may have are going to have a
    large impact.  

    Let me restate my finding so far:

    There are 4 categories of EMI and the CAN-Do module / 70 cm Receiver
    combination is experiencing all four.  They break down into radiated and
    conducted emissions and susceptibility, and they are generally referred to
    by a two-letter designation - RE, RS, CE, and CS.

    RE and RS go together - the CAN-Do module's switching power supply inductor
    radiates the 5 kHz switching noise out the back directly towards the
    receiver (RE.)  The Receiver's VCO's are both very sensitive to EMI and are
    impacted by the CAN-Do module if they are within 4-1/2 inches of the
    inductor (RS.)  I've had to move the CAN-Do module off of the receiver PCB
    and interconnect it with a ribbon cable to deal with this problem.  The good
    news is that I am fairly confident that It can be fixed by going to a
    two-compartment chassis, with a bulkhead separating the CAN-Do module from
    the analog Receiver to provide shielding.  The bad news is that I think this
    means we need a milled module chassis.

    CE and CS also go together, and this is the real problem I see since you
    can't fix conducted EMI with a shielded enclosure.  It requires filtering.
    The CAN-Do module is trashing the DC input from the power source and also
    feeding noisy power to the Receiver.  The outgoing noise is the bigger
    concern because it will add to the CS problems for everything connected to
    the power source.  In the other direction, the switched power from the
    CAN-Do module shows up in the IF output as 5 kHz spurs.  Moving the CAN-Do
    module physically away from the Receiver only dealt with the RE/RS issue.  I
    had to bypass the CAN-Do module and run clean power directly from the lab
    bench supply to deal with the CE/CS problem.  This means that there is no
    current monitoring and no power control.

    The 5 kHz switching frequency is bad for two reasons - it makes filtering
    this noise a much larger problem than it needs to be, and the impact is more
    severe since it is putting spurs all over the passband of the IF at 5 kHz

    If you sit back and think about the impact of a dozen noisy power supplies
    all feeding EMI back to the common power source where they all mix together
    and make their way back to each payload, it starts to look nasty.  All these
    supplies will be drifting around and beating with each other to produce sum
    and difference noise on the power bus.  5 kHz noise is hard enough to get
    rid of but what if there are difference components at a few hundred Hz?  How
    can you design a filter when you won't know what to expect until you hook
    everything up and turn it on?  And by then you're out of time.

    I'm not making this stuff up.  People I know have run into this exact
    problem before and the result was very bad.

    A while ago Howard Long made a suggestion that I think has great potential.
    Here's what he had to say:

    ...in the original SDX PSU design I had in San Francisco last year is an
    SMPS using the LM2672 device. These can be fitted with an AC coupled SYNC
    signal to override the internal default SMPS frequency. I selected 375kHz
    for my unit (6MHz divided by 16) to ensure its harmonics were outside the
    10.7MHz IF passband. If the external SYNC fails the internal SMPS oscillator
    takes over.

    My Suggestions:

    1) Revise the CAN-Do module to move the switching frequency up as far as
    possible to move spurs out of the passband of sensitive analog circuitry,
    and to ease the burden on EMI filtering.
    2) The power and grounds must be filtered in both directions to minimize CE
    back to the power source and to the payload.
    3) The switching inductor should be a shielded to reduce RE inside the
    module chassis.
    4) A power supply capable of synching to a master oscillator should be
    strongly considered.

    This topic needs to be elevated to the top of the queue.  The EMI
    environment surrounding the CAN-Do module impacts the design of the next
    revision of the 70 cm Receiver, and also directly impacts the chassis
    design.  What do we need to do to get going on this?


    Juan - WA6HTP  

    Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
    Eagle at amsat.org


  Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
  Eagle at amsat.org
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