Conducted RF CDN And calibration adapter
CDN Overview Conducted RF CDNsTesting Using RF CDNsTransient CDNs Setups Using CDNs

Coupling Decoupling Networks

What are Coupling Decoupling Networks (CDNs)?

Coupling Decoupling Network (CDNs) are devices that allow for the injection of disturbances on associated EUT/DUT cabling and subsequently removing it prior to auxiliary equipment.

Coupling Decoupling Networks, commonly called CDNs, serve the purpose of transferring energy or disturbances (coupling) and also removing energy or EMI/noise (decoupling). These are commonly used during EMC immunity testing as a method of injecting noise which the EUT/DUT will be exposed to, then subsequently removing unwanted interference.

The design and capabilities of each network will differ depending upon the application, associated equipment, and underlying standard. The two main advantages of CDNs are:

  • Low uncertainty of applied EMI/stress
  • Decoupling of the auxiliary equipment (AE)

The associated video helps to show the setup of conducted RF CDNs including the calibration with the Teseq NSG 4070 test system

Where CDNs are used

There are a variety of different applications where these type of devices are used, the two most common being conducted RF (continuous) and transient immunity tests. Both types of EMI tests are commonly conducted on a variety of different power and data (signal) lines requiring the use of CDNs during testing.

Conducted RF Testing requirements and frequency ranges

The design of these CDNs differ based upon both application, as mentioned above, and type of line. For most applications, with the exception of power mains transient tests, the networks can be used interchangeably regardless of the manufacturer of the generator. 

The associated image on the left shows many of the common immunity testing and emissions testing applications that use CDNs as well as the associated frequency ranges.

Conducted RF Immunity CDNs

CDNs designed for conducted RF testing are most commonly used for testing to IEC 61000-4-6 and are the preferred injection method. They are also the most efficient injection device used for conducted RF immunity testing. RF CDNs most commonly designed in accordance with IEC 61000-4-6 and have a common mode impedance of 150 Ohms.

alt text

The associated diagram illustrates the concept of how CDNs apply the associated disturbance generated by an RF test system on the associated cabling.

Injection Efficiency

Coupling decoupling networks are the most efficient injection method, as opposed to EM Clamps or BCI Probes providing the highest test levels with least power required. The associated chart illustrates how with both 40 watt and 80 watt power RF amplifiers substantially higher levels are able to be achieved with CDNs.

Conducted RF Testing requirements and frequency ranges

CDN Selection

These networks are cable specific, which can lead to multiple being used during testing. The below diagram references the Teseq CDN guide, which can be accessed by clicking here.

IEC 61000-4-6 Conducted RF CDN selection Rules

These CDNs can be used interchangeably with a variety of test systems allowing for mixing and matching of equipment. The most common manufacturers include:

Types of RF CDNs

The image below illustrates the generic types of RF CDNs required by the standard. These types are also broken down further into subcategories for specific connection/cable types (IE Coaxial, Unscreened, Etc.).The M Type series are often the most commonly used given they are designed for power lines. Three phase M Type CDNs cannot typically be used for single phase EUT/DUT applications despite having enough connections for the associated lines.

RF CDNs categories by Cable type

Selection Guides/Application Notes

The below selection guides and application notes provide information on both purchasing the correct CDNs as well as how to conducted testing.

Testing using RF CDNs

Testing for IEC 61000-4-6 is done using the substitution method regardless of the injection device used. This method uses the calibration data as a main factor in determining the associated level used during testing. The below image illustrates how the adapters and termination load from the calibration are replaced when preforming the test.

Conducted RF test setups for calibration and testing using CDN

CDN Calibration Setup

During the calibration process the RF systems sweeps the associated frequency levels making the necessary adjustments to the test levels to meet the associated test level. Once the level is achieved the data is stored to be used later during the testing process. Additional information on conducted RF immunity testing can be found here.  

The calibration setup for IEC 61000-4-6 using the CDN injection method can be seen to the left.

Conducted RF Testing requirements and frequency ranges
  • 1) Conducted RF Test System (NSG 4070)
  • 2) 100Ω Adapters
  • 3) 6 dB Attenuator
  • 4) Coupling Decoupling Network (CDN)
  • 5) 50 Ω Termination Load

Setup using Modular System

The setup using a modular system for test level calibration will require connections of individual components and is typically controlled with software. The below common calibration setup configurations using external equipment and a Com-Power LISN.

Modular Test Level Calibration Setup

Calibration Adapters

The 50 Ohm to 150 Ohm adapters provide the 100 Ohm impedance required for IEC 61000-4-6 and are often called just 100 Ohm adapters. The shorting bars provide the connections from the CDN to the adapters and are typically purchased with the associated network. Shorting adapters, also called mating adapters, corresponding the line configuration on the network and cannot typically be used interchangeably. 

The 100Ω (50 to 150Ω) adapters can be purchased from both Com-power as well as Fischer Custom Communications.

Common CDN Calibration setup

The associated image shows how the shorting and 50 Ohm to 150 Ohm adapters are connected to the CDN.

  • 1) Shorting Adapter 5 Lines
  • 2) Associated 5 Line CDN
  • 3) 50 to 150Ohm Adapters
  • 4) Shorting adapter connected

Transient Immunity CDNs

The most common transient pulses that require coupling decoupling networks are combination wave surge (IEC 61000-4-5) and electrical fast transients(EFT)/Burst (IEC 61000-4-4). The requirements for CDNs are different for both and surges require special consideration given the pulse line sync requirements.

Automatic & Manual Couplers 

Schematic CDN for single phase surge

Both automatic and manual couplers are commonly used for surge testing for power mains testing above 16amps three phase equipment. Typically below 16 Amp single phase applications the CDNs are built into the systems. 

As the names imply automatic CDNs provide adjustments up to a given threshold and coupling configuration, whereas manual couplers require adjustment to meet the same criteria. Often the manual systems do not offer different threshold selection severely limiting the capabilities to a much smaller subset of current options.

Combination Wave Surge CDNs

Power Mains:

Surge degree pulses on sine

Surge generators use CDNs partly as a method to inject the transients directly onto different types of lines, most commonly power mains. Given the phase angle requirements at the output of the CDN of 0, 90, 180, 270 degrees (IEC 61000-4-5)[1] it is crucial that line synchronization is maintained. 

Communication between the generator with the corresponding CDN allows for the pulse to be placed on the selected phase angle. This is a unique requirement of the surge testing and the image show how the placement could potential look on a typical AC mains sine wave.

Dataline Coupling:

Data Line CDNs by cable type

EFT/Burst CDNs

Electrical fast transients (EFT) are commonly tested to IEC 61000-4-4 which includes both data and power mains line testing. This type of EMI event is often called burst as well, given the fast repetition of quick pulses. This series of pulses doesn't have phase angle requirements, allowing for mixing and matching of equipment. 

It is common to see both surge and EFT capabilities in the same CDNs allowing for an easy solution for testing both. This is most typically seen with automatic CDNs allowing for time effective testing rather then swapping out couplers and disconnecting the equipment under test. 

Capacitive Coupling Clamps (CCLs)

CCLs provide an excellent means by which to couple EFT/Burst pulses onto data or communication without concerns of matching cable types. These devices can typically be used interchangeable so long as the correct connection is made with the associated transient generator. Coupling clamps only couple the pulses onto the data lines and do not provide any decoupling capabilities. 


What is a power CDN
Electrical Fast Transient (EFT) testing is a conducted immunity test designed to subject an EUT to a series of fast rise time and duration pulses to ensure compliance and meet product reliability requirements.
What is a CDN used for in EMC?
Within EMC EFT is a conducted immunity test designed to simulate a series of fast pulses, commonly called bursts, to evaluate the impact on the function of the EUT.

Additional Resources


1 comment


This article is a great resource for people who are looking for some useful information about new devices. If you’re involved in technology, you will undoubtedly want to check out websites that are very helpful when it comes to finding useful information about what equipment or appliances are capable of doing best at different tasks.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Rental CDNs

EM Test CDN M2/3 - Front SideEM Test CDN M2/3 - Side
EM Test CDN M2/3 - Rent RF CDN 250VAC/16A
  • RF CDN 2/3 AC/DC supply lines
  • Compliant to IEC 61000-4-6 
Teseq CDN HSS-2 - Side TopTeseq CDN HSS-2 - Back Side Top
Teseq CDN HSS-2 - Rent Symmetrical High-Speed Data CDN
  • Ethernet/Unshielded Symmetrical High-Speed CDN
  • Ideal for Use With NSG 3060/3040 Test System
  • Complianet to IEC/EN 61000-4-5 up to 2kV