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Author Topic: RF Shielding and Waterproofing an HT?  (Read 1292 times)
KC2NLT
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Posts: 103




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« on: September 03, 2017, 07:36:08 PM »

I have a portable handheld radio that I am looking to waterproof and at the same time, shield from EMI/RFI.

Has anyone come across a project like that? Or, do you have any suggestions?

I was thinking that the two main problems would be sealing the tuning dial at the top, the keypad and LCD from waterleaks.

The other issue is the EMI shielding. I could pot with epoxy the circuit boards and controller boards and then spray them with RFI shielding spray.

Any constructive thoughts, concerns, opinions or input would be welcome.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 6490




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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 08:50:46 PM »

What you are proposing is an engineering nightmare!  The chances of waterproofing an HT that has not been designed to be waterproof would be as close to impossible as you can get!

As for EMI shielding.....especially after "potting" is questionable as well.  The amount of shielding provided by the spray is questionable when you consider you have no idea of the strength of the EMI signal.

Then you have the effect of the shielding spray on performance and the potting on the cooling of components.

My solution would be to have two HTs.....one to use and one sealed in a paint type of can.

Or you can spend big bucks on a military grade HT, if you can find one.

Personally, I think the EMI and waterproofing of your HT will be the least of your worries or problems in the case of EMI exposure.
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KC9NVP
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Posts: 215




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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 04:18:34 AM »

I agree with K8AXW, that water proofing and EMI/RFI shielding after the radio is manufactured will be a nightmare and you most likely would not like the results.  There are varying degrees of water proofing, are looking to protect the radio from a drop in several feet of water or water splashing on it.  Depending on the degree of protection, it would start with the redesign of the case to include o-ring seals between the two halves of the case, around shaft of controls/buttons and any item that passes thru the case.

The EMI/RFI shielding would also depend on the range of frequencies you want to prevent from impacting/entering the electronic circuits as this will have an impact on the type of material used to provide the shielding.

In the short term, you would be better off to purchase some sealable plastic bags of such size to fit your radio for water proofing and a metal box with a good lid to case seal to protect against EMI/RFI.  Of course if you do place a radio into such a storage method, remember to remove the batteries from the radio to prevent damage from leaking battery fluid otherwise you may find at a later date, a damage radio.

 Good luck,

73,
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K7KBN
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Posts: 3490




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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 03:39:41 PM »

How do you plan to listen to anything?  You have to have an antenna of some sort, and RF (and any EMI) will use that means of getting past the potting and "anti-whatever" spray.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
KC2NLT
Member

Posts: 103




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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 06:06:56 PM »

My intention was to simply shield the circuit boards inside the radio from nearby RF interference and waterproof the radio.

Think along the lines of the old Yaesu VX-7R that was waterproof and the plastic SDRplay RSP2 which has an RF shielding layer inside the enclosure.

(They also have the SDRplay RSP2 Pro with an enclosure made of aluminum to provide shielding)

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