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25 Feb 2015


The LT®3042 is a high performance low dropout linear regulator featuring LTC’s ultralow noise and ultrahigh PSRR architecture for powering noise sensitive RF applications. Designed as a precision current reference followed by a high performance voltage buffer, the LT3042 can be easily paralleled to further reduce noise, increase output current and spread heat on the PCB.

The device supplies 200mA at a typical 350mV dropout voltage. Operating quiescent current is nominally 2mA and drops to <<1μA in shutdown. The LT3042’s wide output voltage range (0V to 15V) while maintaining unitygain operation provides virtually constant output noise, PSRR, bandwidth and load regulation, regardless of the programmed output voltage. Additionally, the regulator features programmable current limit, fast start-up capability and programmable power good to indicate output voltage regulation.

LT3042 – 20V, 200mA, Ultralow Noise, Ultrahigh PSRR RF Linear Regulator - [Link]

21 Feb 2015

Teardown, Analysis & Part-Salvage from an HP 70001A Series Optical Microwave Analyzer - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


The UltraCMOS® PE42020 Integrates RF, Digital and Analog Functions in a Monolithic Die to Preserve Signal Integrity From DC to 8 GHz

Peregrine Semiconductor announces the availability of the UltraCMOS® PE42020, the industry’s first and only RF integrated switch to operate at true DC, zero Hz. This True DC RF switch features high power handling and maintains excellent RF performance and linearity from DC through 8000 MHz. A reliable alternative to problematic mechanical relays and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), the PE42020 is ideal for test-and-measurement (T&M) and automated-test-equipment (ATE) applications.

“For the first time, an integrated RF switch can operate at DC and truly cover the signal over the entire frequency spectrum,” says Kinana Hussain, Peregrine’s senior manager of marketing. “Until now, only mechanical relays and MEMS switches allowed DC pass through, and these products are plagued with reliability issues and lack of integration. Today’s release of the UltraCMOS PE42020 is another example of Peregrine solving the RF industry’s biggest challenges.”

Peregrine Semiconductor Ships Industry’s First True DC Switch - [Link]

12 Feb 2015


by Tim @ timleland.com:

Have you ever wanted to wirelessly control power outlets from your phone? You could buy a Belkin WeMo Switch for over $40 for 1 outlet or build your own with 5 outlets for under $35 if you already own a Raspberry Pi. Hopefully this post will guide you in the right direction.

Wireless Power Outlets RF from Raspberry Pi - [Link]

22 Jan 2015


With a focus on the 2.4 GHz RF application area, Holtek is delighted to announce its new I/O Type Full Speed USB Flash MCU, the BC68FB540. This device forms one of a series of new generation 8-bit Flash USB RF MCUs. The 2.4 GHz RF Transceiver includes the features of low power consumption, high performance and high noise immunity characteristics and has a data rate of up to 2 MBPS.

The BC68FB540 is compatible with the USB 2.0 specification and has an operating voltage of 2.2 V to 5.5 V, and with an operating temperature of –40 °C to +85 °C it meets with industrial specifications. The RF circuitry derives its system clock from an externally connected 16 MHz crystal while the MCU system clock is derived from a fully internal 12 MHz HIRC oscillator.

Holtek New BC68FB540 2.4GHz Full Speed USB Flash Type RF TRX MCU - [Link]

13 Jan 2015


Limpkin wrote this blog article about his tiny NFC Reader with a TRF7970A build, and he will be giving a few of them away:

The main components are:
– the USB-enabled ATMega32U4
– a connector for the NRF24L01
– a Lithium-Ion battery charger
– an NFC transceiver
– a proximity sensor
The main idea of this platform is to read NFC tags while keeping its power consumption low. The microcontroller is communicating with the NFC transceiver so you can use the platform as a standalone device or computer peripheral.
You could therefore control a switch (using the expansion header), send the tag data via RF (using a NRF24L01 you’d connect) or simply have the ATMega32U4 forward the read/write commands sent from your computer. The original idea was to support libnfc.

Tiny NFC reader with a TRF7970A - [Link]

4 Dec 2014


by hforsten.com:

I’ve for some time now wanted to do more RF design. Although I have taken some RF design courses, I haven’t actually made a single RF design before. But you can’t learn without doing and inspired by the MIT coffee can radar designed by Gregory Charvat, I figured that building a radar should be a doable project that would offer some challenge while also having some real world use.

The simplest radar is a continuous wave Doppler radar, which continuously transmit a constant frequency signal. This signal reflects from a moving target and Doppler shift causes reflected signal to change frequency. This reflected signal is then received and mixed with the transmitted signal. Mixer product is the difference of the frequencies which is proportional to the speed of the target. This kind of radar is very simple to make, in fact there are even some children’s toys. Unfortunately it can’t detect the range of the target and isn’t that exiting.

6 GHz frequency modulated radar - [Link]

14 Nov 2014


by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

In the world of electronic components, there are many devices out there that do their job well and reliably, but are almost never heard of – even though they may be vital to equipment that plays a role in our technology-driven lives. The radio frequency (RF) circulator is just such a device: it has simply done its job as a nondescript box of gubbins buried in radio communications systems, quietly directing radio frequency signals to the places they should go. Now researchers at the University of Texas have given the RF circulator a makeover. Not only is the new prototype smaller, lighter, and cheaper, it’s also claimed to be easily adapted to different frequencies on the fly, which is something the old style circulator cannot do.

New RF circulator to run rings around old technology - [Link]

10 Nov 2014


RaysHobby build a project called RFToy:

it’s an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board for interfacing with radio frequency (RF) modules, such as the popular 433/315MHz transmitter/receiver, and the nRF24L01 transceiver. The RFToy has a built-in ATmega328, USB-serial converter (CH340G), 128×64 OLED display, three buttons, and a coin battery holder. Programming is done in Arduino through the on-board mini-USB port. It has three sets of pin headers to directly fit RF modules, and an audio jack to output RF receiver signals to a computer’s sound card. Using RFToy you can build a variety of projects involving RF modules, such as remote control and wireless sensors.


Introducing RFToy, an Arduino-compatible gadget for radio frequency modules - [Link]

3 Nov 2014


by Bill Schweber @ digikey.com:

With very few exceptions, every electronic circuit needs an oscillator, also referred to as a clock, clock generator, or timing circuit. Its role is to provide the “heartbeat” for the processor, memory functions, communications ports, A/D and D/A converters (if any) and many other functions. In non-critical, low-budget situations such as $10 mass-market electronic thermometers, this clock may be made from a simple resistor/capacitor (RC) oscillator. However, for the vast majority of situations which are more critical, the oscillator is based on a quartz crystal (Figure 1). This is a mature (80+ years) and highly effective technology which can support of wide range of frequencies from kHz to hundreds of MHz, with performance spanning fairly good to excellent, depending on the crystal cut, fabrication, packaging, and other considerations.

MEMS Oscillators Challenge Quartz Crystals in RF Applications - [Link]





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