Protecting Your Sensor’s Signal With The Right Cable

notre dame gargoyleUntil micro-scale wireless technology is perfected, the sensors we use for monitor and control systems will require cables for power and communication. And that means the performance of those systems is dependent on the cables we use.

So why can’t we use the same cables for everything? Why does cable type, or size, or length matter?

Those are valid questions, with important answers. Let’s explore them, shall we?

Application Challenge: Avoiding Electromagnetic Interference

Cable shielding must be connected to ground to have any effect
Here, the cable shield is tied to the case ground by way of the connector. Cable shielding must be connected to ground to work.

Electromagnetic Interference, or EMI, can cause problems in even sophisticated industrial control system when not properly protected. Instrumentation, such as a level sensor or a pressure transducer, can perform erratically, inaccurately, or not at all when exposed to EMI.

Simply put, EMI in an industrial setting is electrical noise that disrupts electrical circuits in instrumentation. These disruptions can range from simple signal degradation to a total loss of sensor...