Scales with “shielded circuitry” – what does that mean?

Although somewhat complicated-sounding, its actually a simple thing.  Extremely precise neonatal digital scales, along with the full spectrum of diagnostic digital equipment within the confines of a hospital or clinic setting, are often designed to be shielded from high-frequency transmission signals.  Sources of problematic transmissions could, for example, include the ubiquitous “cell-phone repeater stations” (including ones disguised as palm trees), police stations in the neighborhood and media companies such as local news broadcasters.

When high frequency signal transmissions are propogated over the airwaves, there is some chance electrical circuitry in just the right location and circumstances could act as a “mini-antenna”.  This effect could result in adding random “EMF” energy to the important data the device circuitry is supposed to be communicating, causing problems in the operation of the device, such as a neonatal baby scale.  This is the reason many hospitals even ban the usage of cell phones within hospitals, and also why we’re not allowed to use them when aloft in an airliner.

How can this be solved?  By simply enclosing vulnerable cable conductors of electricity inside the device(usually wires bundled together) in a conductive metallic sheath, which is then connected to “ground” (normally the  chassis of the device).  Signal transmissions would then strike the shielding and be “shunt to ground” without having an effect on the wires inside the sheath, or the operation of the device.  

Neonatal scales in particular often mention this “shielding” feature in their design, which is a good thing, and worthwhile to mention.

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