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Making conducted and radiated emissions measurements

Did you know that 50% of projects fail EMI/EMC testing the first time? Intertek Testing Services reports that roughly half of products fail the initial EMC test due to a failure to apply EMC principles, lack of EMC/EMI knowledge, incorrect applications of EMC regulations, unpredicted interactions among circuit elements, or incorporation of non-compliant modules or subassemblies into the final product.

Performing pre-compliance testing greatly improves the probability of a successful first pass of full EMI compliance testing, saving you time and thousands of dollars. Companies designing products for medical, automotive, military and even multimedia applications, can benefit from investing in a pre-compliance test setup. This page discusses how adding pre-compliance testing to your product development process can accelerate product development and reduce project costs. Learn more about the basics of EMC/EMI testing.

Benefits of pre-compliance testing

If you’re developing a product, you’re making financial, time, and sometimes, an emotional investment in getting the product to market. The last thing you want is to get held up by compliance testing failures. Incorporating a pre-compliance solution into your work processes provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Early identification of potential EMI/EMC issues that may delay time-to-market and increase development costs
  • Reduction of EMI/EMC related costs
  • Increased confidence in your product before you take it to the test house
  • Immediate feedback on the impact of design changes
  • Flexibility to test on your schedule


Good EMC design techniques are not too difficult to implement if they are introduced at the earliest stages of design. If modifications need to be made later in the design to meet EMC requirements, it becomes much harder.

Take the mysteries out of EMI/EMC test setup


A typical radiated test set-up with a Tektronix RSA500 USB spectrum analyzer.

EMI/EMC pre-compliance testing doesn’t have to be hard or excessively time consuming. Based on customer feedback, Tektronix developed next-generation software with ease of use and functionality in mind, to provide pre-compliance testing for radiated and conducted measurements.

Setting up EMI/EMC pre-compliance testing starts with SignalVu-PC. This latest version of SignalVu-PC now comes with an additional option called EMCVu. EMCVu features an easy-to-use setup wizard, built-in standards and accessory setup with push-button selection capabilities. Whether you are setting up an Open-Air Test Site (OATS), or testing in your lab, EMCVu streamlines the capture and removal of ambient noise from your measurements to increase the accuracy of your pre-compliance tests without an anechoic chamber.

To learn more about using EMCVu with real time spectrum analyzers and accessories to perform pre-compliance tests for radiated and conducted emissions, download the application note here.

If you’re interested in trying a free 30-day trial of EMCVu, please click on the button below.

Download 30 day trial

Standards supported by Tektronix EMI/EMC pre-compliance solutions

Tektronix’ EMCVu pre-compliance software supports EMC standards including CISPR, FCC and MIL-STD for many types of devices. To automate testing, EMCVu provides a built-in standards table allowing you to choose the applicable standard for your product and the region it will be sold in. EMCVu also allows you to configure standards not included with the ability to set frequency ranges or limit line tables for your chosen standard.

A quick summary of supported standards is below:

ISM MEDICAL Industrial, scientific and medical equipment CISPR 11 EN 55011 CFR Title 47 Part 18    
Medical electrical apparatus EN 60601-1-2
AUTOMOTIVE Vehicles, boats and internal combustion engines CISPR 12 EN 55012 CFR Title 47 Part 15(*)    
Components and modules on board vehicles CISPR 25 EN 55025      
MULTIMEDIA Sound and TV broadcast receivers CISPR 13 EN 55013 CFR Title 47 Part 15    
Information technology and telecommunications equipment (ITE) CISPR 22 (superseded by EN55032) EN 55022 (superseded by EN55032)
Professional audio/video/multimedia equipment CISPR 32 (replaces CISPR 13 and 22) EN 55032
APPLIANCES Electrical devices, household appliances and tools CISPR 14-1 EN 55014-1 CFR Title 47 Part 15    
LUMINAIRES Fluorescent lamps and luminaires CISPR 15 EN 55015 CFR Title 47 Part 15    
MILITARY Military equipment and systems       MIL-STD-461G DEF-STAN 59-411

A complete pre-compliance solution

To affordably speed you on your way, Tektronix offers a complete EMI/EMC pre-compliance testing solution including software, spectrum analyzers, accessories and EMC near-field probes.

EMC Software

Tektronix EMI/EMC pre-compliance solution starts with SignalVu-PC with EMCVu software. As a plug-in to SignalVu-PC, EMCVu provides a single user interface for all your pre-compliance needs.

Spectrum Analyzers

To provide fast, accurate measurements to assist you in finding EMI/EMC issues quickly, Tektronix offers a full line of affordable Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers. Real-Time Spectrum analyzers provide significant advantages over traditional swept enabling you to capture infrequent EMI bursts.

Download EMI/EMC Test sheet

Troubleshooting tips to speed up debug work


Before you invest the time and money in final product certification testing, you want confidence that your device is ready to go to the test house. When you run into a problem, you want the right tools that allow you to focus on problem areas quickly, identify the cause and take steps to remediate without incurring costly delays.

To efficiently debug, look for a solution that lets you quickly identify areas of concern and provides the level of signal insight that captures intermittent offenders. This is delivered by a combination of hardware and software.

Some of capabilities you should look for in your software solution include:

  • Quasi-Peak detector which lets you bypass non-failures and zero in on frequencies of interest.
  • Harmonic Check which allows you to test only specific harmonics and find where those emissions come from on a board using a near field probe.
  • Harmonic Markers which enables finding emissions at harmonics of a known frequency.
  • Multiple Traces allowing you to compare the Device Under Test (DUT) to Ambient Noise, previous iterations of a Device, etc.
  • Automated or manual multi-failure re-measurement, allowing you to determine if a failure is intermittent or reoccurring.
  • Report multiple measurements in multiple formats in the same user configurable report.

With hardware, Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers make EMI debug much easier. Some of the benefits provided by a real-time spectrum analyzer include:

  • The ability to capture transient and intermittent signals.
  • The ability to debug multiple sources at the same frequency.
  • Instantaneous feedback – traditional swept spectrum analyzers sweeps can take longer and result in failure in capturing important signals.

To learn more on how to use our Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers for emissions pre-compliance testing on our blog here. Additional information on troubleshooting techniques are available in the “Practical EMI Troubleshooting” application note that you can download by clicking on the button below.

Download Appnote

Troubleshooting EMI with mixed domain oscilloscopes

EMI spectrum from near field probe with correlated signal waveform

To root out sources of radiated emissions that lead to EMI issues, it's critical to identify the makeup of the emissions. Next, one must identify the aggressors and the coupling mechanisms. Using a mixed domain oscilloscope like the 4, 5 or 6 Series MSO with Spectrum View, one can capture a synchronized view of spectrums and time domain waveforms for fast identification of the culprits.

  • Any analog channel can be viewed as a waveform, spectrum, or both
  • Plot and trigger on changes in RF frequency or magnitude
  • Spectrums and time domain waveforms are synchronized to correlate RF and time domain events for faster identification of root cause
  • Spectrum controls such as center frequency and RBW are independent of time domain controls, allowing optimization of spectrum and waveform displays