The Benefits of a High-Quality Hardened Enclosure over an RF-Shielded Box

Posted by Enconnex Team on January 14, 2021

Do a Google search of “RF-shielded box,” and you’ll find a number of products for sale. These enclosures enable interference-free testing of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, ZigBee, and other wireless applications. Designed for tabletop use, they range in size from a few inches on each side to a couple of feet.

An RF-shielded box might work well enough if you need to test one wireless device. Simply choose an enclosure that blocks the right frequencies for your particular application and place the device inside.

However, if you’re testing an operating system or application across a variety of devices, an RF-shielded box isn’t going to work very well. Real device testing requires many versions of the physical devices and for mobile applications, you might need to test hundreds or even thousands of devices to ensure compatibility. You need an enclosure that allows for dense installation of wireless devices, eliminates interference and provides device cooling.


What Is an RF-Shielded Box?

As the name implies, an RF-shielded box is an enclosure made of metal and lined with material that absorbs RF signals. The door to the box is fitted with a special gasket to prevent RF leakage. Some boxes are closed manually while others use hydraulics.

The box will typically have multiple network connectors and antennas to enable the testing of various types of network protocols. Some units can be configured using interchangeable I/O connector plates.


Why You Need an RF-Shielded Enclosure

While a tabletop RF-shielded box can be useful for proofs of concept and similar use cases, an RF-shielded enclosure is an essential tool for real device testing. Best-in-class units will have the capacity to accommodate hundreds of wireless devices, along with computing, storage, networking, and power resources.

A high-quality RF-shielded cabinet will be hardened for security, and have integrated cooling to dissipate the heat generated by the wireless devices and IT equipment. It will also be customizable to meet specific testing requirements and data center configurations.


DefenseShield™  EMC Hardened Enclosure from Enconnex

The Enconnex DefenseShield Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Hardened Enclosure is the ideal solution for real device testing. DefenseShield can support up to 1,000 mobile devices in a single rack for testing websites, applications, and cybersecurity threats. It can also be used to test routers, cellular appliances, IoT devices, or other wireless communication hardware.

The most significant benefit of the Enconnex RF-shielded enclosure is scalability. It allows testing to scale from an R&D lab with a handful of devices in a single enclosure to a data center with thousands of devices across as many racks as needed. Each enclosure remains isolated. It’s standard 23.62” x 51.31” (600mm x 1303mm) footprint and 42U height makes it easy to integrate into any data center environment.

DefenseShield can support up to 1,500 pounds (680kg) of static load and up to 1,000 pounds (453kg) of dynamic load. Yet the cabinet itself is lightweight — just 375 pounds (170kg) — so it can be installed virtually anywhere.  It includes 10 fans that move air at the rate of 235 cubic feet per minute, providing more than 10kW of cooling. Both the roof and floor can be equipped with an optional power filter and I/O panel.

Real device testing requires more than an RF-shielded box. Contact Enconnex to discuss how DefenseShield can deliver the performance, efficiency, and scalability you need.


Posted by Enconnex Team on January 14, 2021

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