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Avoiding EMI and ESD Problems#

This topic tells you how to avoid faulty camera behavior due to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electrostatic discharge (ESD).

General Information#

Basler dart BCON for LVDS Cameras#

The BCON for LVDS interface uses low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) to transmit image data from the camera to the image processing unit. LVDS is a differential signal transmission standard with two parallel traces for each signal. The voltage change on one trace is always the exact inverse of the other. Their electric fields cancel each other out, resulting in a reduced emission of electromagnetic radiation.

Due to the close proximity of the parallel traces, electric fields can't induce a significant differential voltage. This makes LVDS resistant against such interference. However, this does not apply to electromagnetic interference (EMI), unless the parallel traces are twisted, which is usually not the case for PCB traces and also not for flexible flat cables (FFCs).

Therefore, dart BCON for LVDS cameras are prone to EMI and also electrostatic discharge (ESD). EMI and ESD can cause problems with your camera such as false triggering or can cause the camera to suddenly stop capturing images. EMI and ESD can also have a negative impact on the quality of the image data transmitted by the camera.

Other Basler Cameras#

Basler cameras are frequently installed in industrial environments. These environments often include devices that generate electromagnetic interference (EMI) and may cause electrostatic discharge (ESD). This can lead to operational faults like false triggering or the unplanned stopping of image acquisition. EMI and ESD can also negatively affect the quality of the images transmitted out of the camera.

Guidelines#

To avoid faulty camera behavior due to EMI and ESD, follow these general guidelines:

  • Install the camera as far as possible from devices generating sparks or strong electromagnetic fields.
  • Keep the cable away from unshielded electric motors, transformers, unshielded coils, and electrical devices that employ switching technology.
  • Always use high-quality shielded cables. The use of high-quality cables is one of the best defenses against EMI and ESD.
  • Try to use camera cables that are only as long as necessary and try to run the camera cables and power cables parallel to each other. Avoid coiling camera cables. If the cables are too long, use a meandering path rather then coiling the cables.
  • Attempt to connect all grounds to a single point, e.g., use a single power outlet for the entire system and connect all grounds to the single outlet. This helps to avoid large ground loops. (Large ground loops can be a primary cause of EMI problems.)
  • Use a line filter on the main power supply.
  • Decrease the risk of electrostatic discharge by taking the following measures:
    • Use conductive materials at the point of installation (e.g., floor, workplace).
    • Use suitable clothing (cotton) and shoes.
    • Control the humidity in your environment. Low humidity can cause ESD problems.

The Basler application note Avoiding EMI and ESD in Basler Camera Installations provides more detailed information about avoiding EMI and ESD.