Author Topic: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design  (Read 1618 times)

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Online Just_another_Dave

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Hi, my name is David and I’m an electronics and control engineer and this is my first post in this forum. For the last three years I’ve been working as a power electronics designer in a research centre, but now that I’ve ended my master degree and after having designed some coils for wireless power supply applications I’m interested in learning to design RF circuits. Therefore, I’ve been looking for books that cover both designing PCB antennas and their required matching networks, as in the research center where I work nobody knows about those topics. Additionally, during my bachelor degree the basic fundamentals of antennas and transmission lines where partially covered in a completely theoretical way in a subject about electromagnetism that I took (I still keep my notes and the book that they recommended us, Engineering Electromagnetics by W. Hayt, explains how to use a Smith chart).
Regarding antenna design, I’ve found some posts in EE forums recommending Antenna Theory: Analysis and Theory by C. Balanis and the ARRL Antenna Book, yet none of them seem to cover matching networks and RF filters. For that reason, I’d like to ask you if you know about any book that covers the basics of all these topics as Fundamentals of Power Electronics by R. Erickson does in Power Electronics (or which ones do you think that might be better for starting designing RF circuits).
I’m not sure if I should post this in the Beginners or RF section, so please forgive me if this is not the most adequate one for this request
 

Online fourfathom

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 05:51:56 pm »
How basic do you want it?  The ARRL Handbook will give you a decent hands-on introduction to filters and matching networks: http://www.arrl.org/shop/ARRL-Handbook-2021-Softcover
This isn't university-level math, but a reasonable way to get your bearings. 

"RF Circuit Design" by Bowick looks like a good, somewhat more technical choice: https://www.amazon.com/RF-Circuit-Design-Christopher-Bowick/dp/0750685182
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 06:02:56 pm by fourfathom »
 

Online Just_another_Dave

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 09:11:56 pm »
I was looking for one with deep enough explanations to understand what I’m doing without being too advanced for someone that comes from the low frequency world, like an introductory university-level book. ARRL books seemed a good choice for a hands-on introduction, which is great for being able to start building projects in my free time, but I would prefer something more technical.
Thanks for your recommendations. The one written by Bowick seems to be what I was looking for
 


Online Just_another_Dave

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2021, 10:42:34 pm »
That’s a really nice topic. Thanks for for pointing out it
 

Offline hagster

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2021, 10:56:02 pm »
RF circuits and Antennas are really two distinct things.

For antennas, I recommend antennatheory.com

For RF circuits, I recommend microwave101 encyclopedia. Lots of good stuff.

Both are good and accurate.

There is no substitute for hands on practice.
 

Online Just_another_Dave

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2021, 09:16:43 am »
Thanks, I’ll check them

Regarding hands-on practice, my plan is to start by designing a sub-GHz PCB Antenna. However, having a good reference book has proven to be quite useful for avoiding just following datasheets in the past
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2021, 02:51:19 pm »
for practial stuff on basic waveguide look at microwave theory and measurements by a.l. lance, it will allow you to identify most components in a system and get a feel for what it does
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2021, 03:47:40 pm »
All the topics you listed ( filters, impedance matching, embedded antennas) remain heavily theoretical, not much you can do "by eye". If you want it practical the best way would be get a set of software tools for design and simulation and test equipment such as a VNA. I think you can safely forget about designing this stuff on a piece of paper, unless you are determined to _study_ the process.
In terms of books , for filters: A.Zverev, Handbook of Filter Synthesis. For impedance stuff try Agilent's "Impedance Measurements Handbook".
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Online Just_another_Dave

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Re: Presentation and question about books for getting started in RF design
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2021, 11:30:46 pm »
Thanks for your answers and book recommendations, I’ll check them.

I have access to both VNAs and FEA simulators (ANSYS) as I work designing power converters and we use them for measuring their stability and designing the required magnetic components. However, I’m interested in the theoretical fundamentals of those topics as they can be also useful for improving the wireless chargers I sometimes have to design (we usually model them as a coreless transformer, but they are quite similar to a high power NFC Antenna with a switching frequency between hundreds of kilohertzs and some megahertzs)
 

Offline humbertomcneary

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The implementation itself isn't that hard. It will be even more challenging to present correctly and beautifully. I think you should prepare well to show your entire design in all its glory. U need to read carefully a few articles on properly preparing a presentation, in what format, and what should be the material itself. For me, presenting something is not as difficult as it used to be. Now I have started using guides such as school presentation ideas, which give me an idea, and I create my work. Now I'm not even afraid; I have confidence in myself after such guides. I advise you to prepare yourself well.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 03:38:02 am by humbertomcneary »
 

Offline miken

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If you want a hardcore theory book, the classic is by Ramo, Whinnery, and Van Duzer. But maybe you'd want to go through something friendlier like Griffiths E&M first.
 

Offline Neganur

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Balanis is good for antenna, and general RF I'd recommend Pozar.
Either way, it's dry material and Pozar does sometimes skip math steps, so all other sources (youtube, EDx, university course PDF etc) are good supplements because it can be quite tough without instruction.

Specific theory for antenna types, perhaps from Volakis.

There is also a very good two-volume book by some Greek professor whose name currently eludes me... but it has great matlab code and examples with complete calculations.
(edit: Orfanidis   https://www.ece.rutgers.edu/~orfanidi/ewa/  )

I also have the ARRL handbook but I never found myself using it for learning fundamentals. I would like to classify it as a 'cookbook' and collection of very specific HAM stuff and sometimes someone's article is related to what you're looking to design. Not bad but more 'practical' and less 'scientific'.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 06:41:38 am by Neganur »
 

Online Just_another_Dave

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Thanks, I’m currently watching an antena theory course that my university recently uploaded to YouTube. In case someone is interested, you can find it here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8bSwVy8_IcPzLTEZPbSAQr4OnAHf4VNs . However, it is just in Spanish.

In case you don’t speak that language, hackaday is also uploading one in English (right now just the first week is available): https://hackaday.io/course/178490-introduction-to-antenna-basics
 

Offline jonpaul

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For the old refs see the MIT Radiation Lab Series  with tubes but the basics are still the same.

The classic is 1946 Principles Of Radar MIT Radar  ed was Skolnick.

The old ARRL handbooks are cheap at the ham fleas.

Enjoy,

Jon

Jean-Paul (EE 1968, the Internet Dinosaur)
 

Offline vk3yedotcom

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If you can get it, Experimental Methods for RF Design is good. Also the older Solid State Design for the Radio Amateur. Both ARRL publications.
NEW! Ham Radio Get Started: Your success in amateur radio. One of 8 ebooks available on amateur radio topics. Details at  https://books.vk3ye.com
 


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