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RF Design Basics

RF Design Basics

RF Design Basics

I am an electronics engineer with great practical circuit knowledge. I would like to learn more about the world of RF, antenna design, receiver (super het) and transmitter design.

If am after some good books that will lead me in the right direction in the long term, starting from basics...

Prefered books would be anything that dosnt centre around Math only...


RE: RF Design Basics

Slightly off topic, but I highly recommend Howard Johnson's book "High-speed Digital Design, a Handbook of Black Magic".  Not only is it a great reference, but it will give you a smooth transition from what you currently know into the world of high-frequency signals.  I feel it's best to understand how to avoid inadvertantly making an antenna out of a standard trace before actually designing an antenna.  That way you can more easily separate what portion of your circuit is the true transmitter/receiver rather than simply what portion you THINK it is.


RE: RF Design Basics

David M. Pozar for antenna books, he has a few good ones and also sells software.

RE: RF Design Basics

For a introduction to RF try: The ARRL Handbook for radio amateurs published by the Amateur Radio Relay League. A new edition is published every year. Another book which assumes electronics ability and is a good reference is RF Circuit Design by Chris Bowick.

RE: RF Design Basics

Get "RF Design Guide - Systems, Circuits and Equations" by Peter Vizmuller.  Alot of very valuable practical stuff in there.  Will definitely get you going.

Also look at "RF Circuit Design" by Chris Bowick.  This also a good practical book that will introduce you to circuit impedance matching, resonators and some amplifier stuff.

RE: RF Design Basics

I saw a book at a bookstore the other day and spent some time looking at it. It's now on my "to-buy" list. It appears to be excellent for the engineer with circuit experience who is now getting into RF, or as a reference for the RF engineer. There is math, but it's the really needed math as opposed to the heavy theoretical stuff of a normal textbook. It also takes the reader through a number of decision/tradeoff design steps for doing a design such as a power amplifier or LNA.

The book is Radio Frequency and Microwave Electronics Illustrated  by Matthew M. Radmanesh. 864 pages, lots of illustrations, published Dec 2000 by Prentice Hall. Cost is around $98.

RE: RF Design Basics


I'm reading "Electromagnetics Explained: A Handbook for Wireless/RF, EMC, and High-Speed Electronics", by Ron Schmitt.  Published by Newnes (an "imprint" of Elsevier Science).  ISBN 0-7506-7403-2.  US Library of Congress number TK7816.S349 2002.  Currently retails on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble for around US$25.00 to US$35.00.  It is part of the EDN (Electronic Design News) Series for Design Engineers.



As the title would suggest, Schmitt's book explains the rudiments of electromagnetic theory quite nicely and doesn't get into very much math at all, as there are many other books available that emphasize math over intuitive explanations.  I would complement his book with some of the ARRL publications that emphasize practical matters of circuit construction, testing, and operation.  See http://www.arrl.org for more info on that.

Of course, if your interests are more particular (Bluetooth, Zigbee, spread spectrum, commercial broadcast, etc.) then I would look into more specialized publications from publishers like Tab, IEEE, or Artech House, in addition to doing web searches on those topics.

Good luck,


RE: RF Design Basics

Since you say "Starting with basics", and don't want it all Math, might I suggest some of the antenna tomes published by the ARRL.  (www.arrl.org).  A copy of the ARRL Radio Amateurs Handbook would be a good beginning text for superhet theory as well.

AS an engineer working in Public Broadcasting, I get to work with students in electrical engineering.

a couple of years ago, I had a student approach me and ask if I could teach him about Vacuum tubes.  It seems that many of the EE students are interested in the Digital circuitry and not the analog.  The Proffessors seem to think Valve theory has gone the way of the buggy-whip socket.

I loaned the student a copy of the ARRL handbook and an Eimac care and feeding of power tubes pamphlet.

Good Luck.  RF can be tons of fun.

I remain,
The Ol' Soldering Gunslinger

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