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RF Shielding Glass???

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October 6, 2003 8:26:13 PM

I'd like to mod my case with a window, but there's one huge problem for me: Acrylic windows don't shield RF. Since I have an indoor amplified TV antenna I absolutely <i>cannot</i> create in-house interference without pissing off the family. :o 

So does anyone know of the existence of any RF-shielding glass that could be substituted for a typical acrylic panel? Where could I get it and what would be the expected costs?

Thanks.

<pre><A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030905" target="_new"><font color=black>People don't understand how hard being a dark god can be. - Hastur</font color=black></A></pre><p>

More about : shielding glass

Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
October 6, 2003 9:13:42 PM

You can get glass with a conductive coating which is transmissive in the visible band, but it will cost you. You would just need to ensure good electrical contact with the rest of the case (ie conductive mounting glue) in order to get the shielding you paid for.

For a single project like a modded case it might not be so expensive as to be prohibitive.
October 7, 2003 5:08:27 AM

And i know there is at least one windowed case on the market with a decorative but EM shielding window.
Kingwin cases? i cant remember
it uses concentric square patterns of metal film IIRC.

<b>I am not a AMD fanboy.
I am not a Via fanboy.
I am not a ATI fanboy.
I AM a performance fanboy.
And a low price fanboy. :smile:
Regards,
Mr no integrity coward.</b>
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October 8, 2003 2:09:16 PM

Any suggestions on where I'd be able to buy glass like this from? (And do you know of any documentation that proves that it works?)

The conductive part is easy I think ... I could probably just JB Weld it to the steel case directly. I'd have to figure out something to glue as a trim around that though for beautification and protection, but in comparison the trim is probably the easy part. :) 

<pre><A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030905" target="_new"><font color=black>People don't understand how hard being a dark god can be. - Hastur</font color=black></A></pre><p>
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
October 8, 2003 8:22:52 PM

http://www.pgo-online.com/

Here is an example of a company that sells this kind of thing. Look under "coatings" (a link on the main page), and about half way down that page is a link to specs for a coating which is conductive, yet transmissive in the visible spectrum.

The specs for the material should give an indication of it's quality. In matters of emissions, the only way to know for sure where you are at is through expensive testing. Ideally you should test before mods to get a baseline and afterward mods to see where you end up. As I mentioned though testing can be very costly.

I can tell you as a barcode scanner designer, this is one of our tricks. Due to cost it's normally viewed as a bandaid to be used when all else fails.

Farrady cage is the word for the day. A Farraday cage is what you want, and would be trying to maintain by replacing the side panel with conductive coated glass. I bet there is a large amount of info available on the net if one were to do a search.

PS you can also purchase conductive adhesives...loctite comes to mind but there are many
October 10, 2003 4:31:23 AM

LOL thats nutty.

DUAL p90's...wow.

<b>I am not a AMD fanboy.
I am not a Via fanboy.
I am not a ATI fanboy.
I AM a performance fanboy.
And a low price fanboy. :smile:
Regards,
Mr no integrity coward.</b>
October 10, 2003 1:50:39 PM

Quote:
Hey Silver,

I put XP Pro on my Dual P-90. I can play Half-Life on it in addition to Quake II. It took 4 hours to upgrade it from W2K.

**ROFL** Hey ... wait ... I think I've run HL on my P133. I'm trying to remember now... Yeah. That's right. I couldn't actually beat the game until I got my Celeron 500 box to replace the dead P133 because that last few levels were just so jumpy that I couldn't time the low-grav leaps and frankly it was just too low of a frame rate to be enjoyable anyway. :\ I was exstatic when I got the Celeron 500 and it suddenly became playable. :)  And smooth.

Though it was no where near as smooth as when I tried it out on my new P4 2.6C a couple of weeks ago. I darn near couldn't install it though because I'd had the CD in one of those big books-o-CDs and luckily eventually managed to find the original CD case ... and more importantly the CD key on the back ... in a big pile of boxes down in the basement. CD keys suck. They should at least be printed on the actual CD. :( 

But damn, that's still pretty cool. XP Pro on a dual P-90. Who else could possibly claim that?

<pre><A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030905" target="_new"><font color=black>People don't understand how hard being a dark god can be. - Hastur</font color=black></A></pre><p>
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
October 10, 2003 11:31:14 PM

Of course. No sweat. You'll have to let us know how it turns out.
October 16, 2003 4:53:43 PM

I was thinking about this post the other day, as many of you continue to Email me about RF/EMI and windows.

I was looking at the new Thermaltake catalog and I came across this new window that is on VM3000A Skull series cases that features what Thermaltake is calling, "Honeycomb EMI Shielding".

While you are still able to look inside the case, it has a "honeycomb" effect to the look of the window. According to the documentation, it provides "Full EMI Shielding".

Since we don't have an EMI test lab here, I can't say one way or the other how well it works, but what I can say is that we have received the case and you can look for it in the fall case review.

Here is a link to the case on the Thermaltake web site:

http://www.thermaltake.com/xaserCase/vm3000/vm3000a.htm

At any rate, I figured that this might add to our discussion of this topic.
October 17, 2003 2:33:35 AM

Interesting yes, but a damn hard test to setup properly to get reproducable results.

<b>I am not a AMD fanboy.
I am not a Via fanboy.
I am not a ATI fanboy.
I AM a performance fanboy.
And a low price fanboy. :smile:
Regards,
Mr no integrity coward.</b>
October 17, 2003 3:56:49 PM

Wow. That looks like a pretty sweet case! It'll probably cost me an arm, a leg, and my soul though. :(  And I can't help but be baffled by it's extensive use of 80mm fans. :\

That fall case review sounds great though! I can't wait. I hope that case reviews get larger at THG. I love them. :) 

Back to the window though... I'd rather just have that honeycombed window in my own case. Oh well. By the time I save up enough money for modding my case how I'd like maybe a good honeycombed mod kit will be out there. :) 

I'm allowed to be hopeful... right? :\

Actually, maybe painting a normal acrylic window with a EM layer wouldn't be so bad. I just don't have a good workshop set up for anything like that yet so I'm kind of hesitant. Well, plus I'm not entirely sure how I'd go making the conductive layer between the window and the case. :\

I have to wonder though... I mean if this honeycomb concept works why wouldn't an aluminum screen mesh or even chickenwire work? :\

Here's a crazy thought: Get some of that aluminum screen mesh for fixing damaged window screens in your home from a local hardware store. Get a standard window mod kit. Cut the mesh out to be four inches larger than the window on each side. Then fold the excess mesh back in along the main piece. Mount the kit with the mesh pressed against the window on the inside of the case. Then when the window is mounted bend the excess mesh around the rubber on the inside of the case. Then just JB Weld the mesh to the inside of the panel. Viola, a no fuss, no muss mostly transparent conductive screen on the inside of the window.

If honeycombing the window works I don't see why that wouldn't. :\ For some reason that sounds too easy to work though. It'd be nice if someone who had an EMI testing facility would prove mods like this.

I wonder if I could buy a replacement side panel from Antec. I'd be a lot more inclined to mod my case if I knew I could easily revert back in case the EM shielded window didn't work. I'll email Antec. Hopefully they're on the ball. I'll let you folks know. :) 

Gee, now that's a ramble of a post! **ROFL**

<A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20031017" target="_new">Then what's your poison of choice?
Soymilk. I was raised on the stuff.
Ah. What's it made of?
Soy.
Is that soy as in soylent green?</A>
October 17, 2003 7:08:51 PM

Quote:
I wonder if I could buy a replacement side panel from Antec. I'd be a lot more inclined to mod my case if I knew I could easily revert back in case the EM shielded window didn't work. I'll email Antec. Hopefully they're on the ball. I'll let you folks know. :) 

Here is Antec's response. (Which was pretty quick.)

Quote:
<font color=purple>You can order the side panel for $14.95 plus shipping by calling us at the toll free number below.
 
Regards,
Tiffany Ellsworth
47900 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538
888-542-6832
510-770-1288 fax
<font color=blue>www.antec-inc.com <http://www.antec-inc.com&gt;</font color=blue></font color=purple>

So it looks like you can order a replacement side panel. :)  Cool.

<A HREF="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20031017" target="_new">Then what's your poison of choice?
Soymilk. I was raised on the stuff.
Ah. What's it made of?
Soy.
Is that soy as in soylent green?</A>
October 18, 2003 11:37:19 AM

I bought a new case with a window side panel this weekend. Looks really cool but I am concerned about RF getting in and out of the case. So I would need some kind of shielding. I'm thinking of buying a couple of air filters and take the aluminum sheet from it to create my shield onto the plexi-glass. Since the circles are too big I would have to use the second sheet to overlap the holes. It would create an interesting pattern when lights inside the case shine through. Also you could paint one mesh and then overlap the other screen to create a interesting design.

Hopefully I can find some kind of a honeycomb screen at Home Depot. If not screens from the air filters will do.

Least with air filters it's cheap and available everywhere. Just pull the aluminum screen from the filter.

Only thing I have to make sure is good conductive contact to the side panel otherwise it won't do it's job.

I wish there is a company that makes specially designed conductive side panels with pictures or art.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
October 18, 2003 4:02:13 PM

A wire mesh could work, the tighter the mesh the better. If I remember right the mesh size indicates the frequency response of the shield. You still have to ensure good electrical contact around the edges. Another thing to watch out for: many of the wire meshs you'll find at the local hardware store will have a plasticky coating for corrosion resistance, and that's obviously not ideal for making good electrica/magnetic contact. You might look for a galvanized steel mesh. A tight chicken wire might be interesting.

In general a Ferrous material would work better than an aluminum material. Ferrous materials are much better at stopping magnetic fields than aluminum. Aluminum and Iron do well at blocking electric fields, so having aluminum is better than nothing at all.

There are many adhesives of silicone , epoxy etc. with enhanced emi properties available that you could use around the edge to create the contact necessary between the case and the mesh. Loctite makes a bunch of adhesives that could fit the bill.

There is also an extensive emi gasket industry thriving and waiting for your inquiries. I cold see using a plexiglass painted with emi paint, or covered with a wire mesh, one of the emi gaskets sandwiched between the case and glass, and having the whole works bolted to the case panel.

Edit: when I say "the tighter the mesh the better" in the first paragraph, I'm referring to hole size. The smaller the holes in the mesh are the better. This is why a coating on glass is good because it is continuous so you can get better shielding than with a mesh. The tradeoff for a coating is finding the "tightest" pitch mesh you can stand to use.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by knewton on 10/18/03 09:15 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
October 18, 2003 4:10:40 PM

Another thought came to mind.

An ohmeter would be the perfect tool for testing the worthiness of the various meshes you come across. Obviously you would be looking for consistent(no intermitent contact would be as good) low restiance contact between different locations on the mesh.
October 18, 2003 8:34:26 PM

Just finished my project. I couldn't find the right kind of mesh at my local Home Depot store so I decided to go ahead and basically cover up the plexi-glass with flash aluminum sheet inside the case. The side panel comes with a lighted cooling fan I made use of it.

Until I find some honeycomed mesh sheet this is a perfect solution for me and it's reversable. It gave my black case very industrial look.

Just be very careful when cutting the aluminum sheet since the edges are very sharp.
October 24, 2003 10:57:40 PM

Anybody have any luck finding a sheet of honeycombed EMI shield?


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