Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) released a new version of its popular ADIsimRF design tool:
The free design tool is the software accompaniment to ADI’s complete portfolio of RF-to-digital functional blocks, allowing engineers to model RF signal chains using devices from across ADI’s RF IC and data converter portfolio. ADIsimRF Version 1.7 adds a number of new device models along with enhanced support for inter-stage mismatch calculations. The design tool provides calculations for the most important parameters within an RF signal chain, including cascaded gain, noise figure, IP3, P1dB, and total power consumption. The ADIsimRF design tool contains embedded data from many of ADI’s RF ICs and data converters, which designers can easily access using pull-down menus to assist in component selection.
Analog Devices releases free version of RF design tool - [Link]
by Dave Rishavy & Tomas Berghall:
The one piece of gear that’s essential for EMC troubleshooting is a spectrum analyzer. You can buy a decent portable for about $10k or used ones go for $1k to $5k if you don’t mind the 30 to 80 pounds of weight or the initial investment. This article reviews several models that cost under $2,000.
Compare low-cost spectrum analyzers - [Link]
Glenn Morita writes:
The difference between insignificant noise and significant noise is the degree to which the noise affects the operation of the circuit in question.
For example, a switching power supply has a significant amount of output voltage ripple at 3 MHz. If the circuit it is powering has a bandwidth of only a few hertz, such as a temperature sensor, this ripple may be of no consequence. On the other hand, if the same switching power supply powers an RF phase-locked loop (PLL), the result could be quite different.
Understanding the sources of noise, their spectral characteristics, noise reduction strategies, and the sensitivity of the circuits in question to this noise is crucial to successfully designing a robust system.
This application note also attempts to clarify the difference between power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) and internally generated noise, and describes how to apply the data sheet specifications for each parameter.
Noise Sources in Low Dropout (LDO) Regulators - [Link]
This is a TV transmitter to generate a stream containing four TV programs and broadcasts it on a frequency in the DTT standard.
Ideal for stacking in an antenna system, audiovisual channels generated on-site or from other sources like a decoder for satellite television.
With this project you can make a small local TV station that has up to four TV channels. You can also integrate into a system into other existing TV signals that will be transmited on a desired RF channel. It’s ideal for exclusive cable installations for a condominium, a hotel, company premises or public place.
This merges 1 to 4 television channels in one stream of output that is ready to be transmitted on air (with the help of a linear RF) or injected in a localized cable TV circuit.
Using DTT to create your own TV transmitter - [Link]
The Protocol Analyzer is a small tool that can catch, analyze and decode “slow” pulse based protocols. Typical examples are IR-Remotes or RF-Remotes. It uses the microphone input to read the signals. Since this is almost always available with drivers across operating systems, this tool works without any specific drivers on Windows, Linux and OSX. [via]
Protocol Analyzer can decode a number of standard protocols such as the infrared protocols: RC5, RC6, Pioneer, JVC, Nexa,X10, Pronto (See here for details of which) but the primary task of Protocol Analyzer is to aid in decoding new protocols. It behaves like a combination of an oscilloscope and a logic analyzer specifically aimed at analyzing digital protocols via the microphone input.
Protocol analyzer for IR and RF - [Link]
Operating on power harvested from an NFC reader’s RF field, the AS3953 NFiC near field communication interface chip requires no external power source and at most one external component (a capacitor). According to the manufacturer, the device enables full bi-directional NFC capability at a total cost less than half that of a typical NFC reader implementation.
The AS3953 is fully compliant with NFC Forum specifications (NFCIP-1 target at 106 kbps) and the ISO 14443A standard (up to 848 kbps, to Level 4), making it suitable for use in contactless smart cards and as an NFC Forum-compatible interface tag, and it can establish instant communication with any NFC-enabled phone in close proximity (less than 10 cm). [via]
NFC Interface Chip Harvests Power From RF Field - [Link]
The RFD900 is a high performance 900MHz, ISM band radio modem covering the 902 – 928 MHz frequency band. It is designed for long range serial communications applications requiring best in class radio link performance.
- Long range >40km depending on antennas and GCS setup
- 2 x RP-SMA RF connectors, diversity switched.
- 1 Watt (+30dBm) transmit power.
- Transmit low pass filter.
- > 20dB Low noise amplifier.
- RX SAW filter.
- Passive front end band pass filter.
- Open source firmware / tools, field upgradeable, easy to configure.
- Small, light weight.
- Compatible with 3DR / Hope-RF radio modules.
- License free use in Australia, Canada, USA, NZ.
RFDesign RFD900 open source RF modem - [Link]
This project goes through the process of designing and building a simple RF transmitter and RF receiver pair that operate at 27 MHz. Only basic parts like 555 timers and 2N2222 transistors are used to make the modules, so it’s generic but fun.
The wireless modem you’ve been waiting for. Works with Arduino & other micros. Open source mesh networking base. FCC Certified. Cheap. Eric Gnoske writes:
So who’s behind RadioBlocks? A group of engineers who have worked on many aspects of low-power radio devices. A group of engineers who time & time again saw customers coming to us with similar requests, but with no way for us to easily fill them. So we created RadioBlocks to allow people to easily drop a radio link into their project, hence “RadioBlocks” – A simple to use radio building block.
Sure there are lots of radio boards out there. Most have two modes: super-simple serial-port replacement mode, and complex full network mode. Neither of those are useful – most people want to send some data between some devices. They need more than serial-port replacement, but the full network mode is too much hassle. Then many of those radio devices are just too expensive – are you really going to drop $30 or $40 on a single radio node, then buy extra hardware so you can attach sensors? Good luck with that!
RadioBlock: Simple Radio for Arduino or any Embedded System - [Link]
Dorji Applied Technology from China builds different types of RF modules that can be easily incorporated in designing wireless data loggers, sensor network, telemetry and other wireless applications.
Some of their RF modules have an additional preprogrammed microcontroller that allows direct interface of selected analog and digital sensors to the module. This means you don’t need any external MCU or to write codes for these sensors. In this tutorial, Raj from Embedded Lab talks about their DRF5150S and DRF4432S RF modules which are very versatile and easy to use for wireless sensor applications. For illustrative purpose, Raj shows how to put them together to construct a simple wireless sensor application where data from a remote sensor are received and displayed on a PC, without using any external microcontrollers.
Wireless sensor applications using Dorji’f DRF5150S and DRf4432S modules - [Link]