I have been trying to understand how to ideally handle the cable shield
on a USB device. (Full Speed USB, in this particular instance.)
As seems to be the case with many signal integrity issues,
contradictory recommendations abound, each with its own unsupported
claims. Even authoritative-sounding sources such as Texas Instruments,
Intel, FTDI, and Cypress Semiconductor seem to disagree on the correct
way to handle the cable shield on USB devices.
Contrary to my initial supposition, the purpose of the USB cable shield
is not to protect the USB data lines from outside interference, but
rather to prevent the USB device from radiating EMI.
Here are some of the options that have been recommended.
Note that (2)series capacitor to pass high frequencies onlyseems to
directly contradict (3)series ferrite bead to block high frequencies
(1) Connect shield directly to signal ground.
connector shell be tied to the ground plane.
Intel. EMI Design Guidelines for USB Components. Sec 5.4 (p. 9).
(2) Connect shield to signal ground through a capacitor.
(Possibly with high-value parallel resistor approximately 1 Mohm.)
FTDI. Debugging FT232BM and FT245BM Designs. Section 3.2 (p. 11).
Steve Kolokowsky & Trevor Davis (Cypress Semiconductor). Common USB Development Mistakes You Dont Have To Make Them All Yourself! Figure 7 (p. 7).
from the ground plane to the shield, turning the USB cable into
an antenna. To limit the USB cable antenna effect, it is
recommended to connect the shield and ground through an RC
filter. Typically, R = 1MΩ and C = 4.7nF in Figure 3-5.
Atmel AVR1017: XMEGA – USB Hardware Design Recommendations. Section 3.3.3 (p. 8).
(3) Connect shield to signal ground through a ferrite bead.
USB connector socket to keep EMI from getting onto the cable
Texas Instruments Application Report. USB 2.0 Board Design and Layout Guidelines. Sec 2.2.4 (p. 3). SPRAAR7 December 2007.
(4) Do not connect cable shield to ground on the device at all.
not connect the shield to their own ground.
Hardware Book. Universal Serial Bus: Shielding.
Whether or not the device has a metal chassis, and the handling
of chassis ground and signal grounds, (as well as how the USB cable
ground is connected to either one) is certainly important as well, but
this isn’t clearly discussed in most of the writings on USB cable shield
The device I’m developing is a bus-powered device which will likely be
in an unshielded plastic enclosure.
Thanks in advance for any bits of wisdom on this topic full of
contradictory information. I recently posted this question on si-list,
and even there I got little in the way of answers.
Locating the source of a signal
Privacy and security is a big topic in today’s society. With the advances made in technology, the commercial and military techniques of the past is suddenly becoming available for everyone.
With almost everything being wireless today anything and anyone can be tracked.
With this in mind I decided to try and track a signal with easy to buy equiptment.
I started with a cheap TV tuner known as RTL-sdr and the the stock/cheap supplied antenna.
Scanning the VHF band I noticed a strong permanent encrypted signal. Judging from the Norwegian frequency plan this looks to belong to either “Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection” or the local police that is known to operate in the same area provides an interesting subject for this exercise. The signal strength was higher than commercial FM radio stations in the area suggesting the transmitter would be very close by.
- RTL-SDR TV dongle (http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr)
- GPS receiver (NMEA or GPSd compatible)
- rtlsdr-scanner (http://eartoearoak.com/software/rtlsdr-scanner)
Using the software and data collecting from a 15 min ride in my car I was able to track the source of the digital signal broadcasting with reasonably accuracy. The signal originates from a modern residential area. For security reasons this test is done with a cheap antenna and a low sampling rate. Enough to show the approximate area, but will not show what building.
|Heatmap overlayed on Google Earth|
Source: HamRadioNow YouTube channel