Aspects On Selecting RF Shielded Test Enclosures

RF Shield Box| Ranatec

Electronic devices receiving radio frequency signals need to be tested to ensure that they fulfil regulatory and/or commercial requirements. Nowadays, the emission of radio frequency signals has become omnipresent. These can interfere with the test and measurement of devices. This makes protecting these devices from such interference crucial during testing. RF shielded test enclosures is the solution to this problem.

RF shielded test enclosures or RF shield boxes for short are used for various applications such as testing mobile telephones, base station transceivers, wireless semiconductors, WLAN/Bluetooth/ZigBee/WiMax devices and automotive multimedia.

The most important aspects of RF shield boxes when considering which box to acquire are typically:

Shielding Characteristics

That the RF shield box provides sufficient shielding attenuation at different frequencies is of course of paramount importance. At the same time, this is a factor that drives price. It is therefore highly recommended to know the requirements on attenuation to select a box fulfilling your real needs without incurring unnecessary cost.

Price

Provided a box fulfils the shielding requirements, price is typically the most important factor. One major aspect affecting the price is the material used for the box. The two most common materials are stainless steel and copper.

Stainless steel is typically used for boxes used in lab environments unless the requirements on attenuation are very high.

Copper provides a bit higher attenuation but at a cost. Copper also has better resistance to corrosion and oxidation. This makes copper the ideal choice for outdoor environments.

Ease Of Use

That the RF shielded enclosure is easy to use is an aspect that can be easily overlooked when buying, but it can have a real impact on the test process, especially when hundreds (or thousands) of devices shall be tested.

Important considerations here are:

  • Where best to place the RF shield box? If the test equipment is rack mounted, it is typically ideal to also rack mount the box. If the test equipment is on a desktop, then that is likely the best placement for the box as well (provided there is enough space of course).
  • Is it easy to open and close the box? This should ideally be made with one hand to leave the other hand free for handling the test object.
  • Is it easy to interchange the electrical interfaces (USB, LAN, TNC, DSUB9/15). This ensures flexibility with changing requirements.

To select the ideal shield box starts by understanding the requirements on it. The above is intended to help you in this process. Ranatec offers several RF shield boxes with good characteristics covering all cellular and WiFi frequency bands. The shield boxes are rack mountable and easy to operate.