Questions tagged [electronics]

Questions which involve the properties or applications of individual electronic components.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
18
votes
3answers
5k views

SDR sampling bandwidth - do the bits per sample matter?

I'm looking at data converter chips for a homebrew SDR design, and I see that I can choose not just the sampling frequency, but also the bits per sample. Obviously the sampling frequency has to be ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How does a switching mixer multiply the two signals?

I understand what a mixer does, and when I see it in a block diagram it's obvious what purpose it serves and how it fits in the overall design of the radio. However, when I look at the schematics and ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does “high SWR” damage transmitters, instead of “impedance mismatch”?

In the audio realm, where cable lengths are insignificant compared to the signal wavelength, I would understand an impedance mismatch damaging an amplifier as follows: Take an audio amplifier that ...
10
votes
2answers
222 views

UHF FM power amplifier design without expensive software

I'm designing a small UHF data transceiver for the 70cm band, based on a Silicon Labs EZRadioPro Si4463 IC. Modulation is FM, 12.5kHz channel step. The concept is similar to SiLabs' AN656 application ...
9
votes
3answers
784 views

Why are germanium diodes specified in amateur radio designs?

It's somewhat common to find a schematic that calls for a germanium diode in amateur radio contexts. For example: This is a QSK circuit from the Fldigi manual. And yet, purchasing a germanium diode ...
8
votes
2answers
442 views

Learning RF electronics

I've been studying and building test circuit for actually several YEARS now, so far with no success. It sounds ridiculous but it's true. So I feel like I have a good understanding or RLC circuits, I ...
8
votes
1answer
535 views

Double power-handling ability of RF amplifier output transformer

I want to base the output network for a 500W push-pull HF amplifier on "A 250W Broadband Linear Amplifier" described in Chapter 17 of the 2014 ARRL Handbook. I need advice on whether and/or how the 1:...
7
votes
2answers
257 views

Water cooling a GS-35B in lieu of air cooling?

Does anyone know how to --or have any experience with-- water or oil-cooling the anode? Since forced-air cooling is required, the sound from the blower and the exhaust air would be too noisy for my ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How to determine number of turns for a 1:1 balun?

I would like to make a 1:1 balun with М1000НМ ferrite core (magnetic permeability - 1000) and 1 mm thick copper wire using triple bifilar winding. Unfortunately I didn't manage to find a clear ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

How should this SWR meter's directional coupler work?

I'm wrapping up a "home build" of the MFJ-941EK antenna tuner kit and having trouble getting the wattmeter calibrated. I can't use C4 to get the reflected power reading calibrated down to 0 as is ...
6
votes
7answers
870 views

Is it practical to use a slug-tuned variable inductor in an antenna matcher (aka “antenna tuner”)?

I will soon need an antenna impedance match (aka "antenna tuner"), because I'll initially only have a single antenna for my HF rig (needs to cover 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m). Obviously, in order to ...
6
votes
2answers
404 views

Share wide band antenna with multiple transceivers

I'm trying to incorporate several transceivers on my board design; I need WiFi (2.4 GHz) SatCom (~1.6 GHz) RF (~900 MHz) and GNSS (~1.5 GHz). I need to combine them into one antenna. I found a wide ...
6
votes
2answers
894 views

Feed-through Capacitors

I'm in the "information gathering" phase of a RF Power Meter project and the design I fancy (W7ZOI Power Meter) calls for a feed-through capacitor at the output port. I understand that a feed-through ...
6
votes
1answer
637 views

Do vacuum variable capacitors have higher Q than air variable capacitors?

Do vacuum variable capacitors have higher Q than air variable capacitors? They are not commonly seen in tuners or crystal sets. But they are mentioned as superior to air variables for resonating ...
6
votes
2answers
119 views

Stacked shell inductor — what's its function/use?

I have a device of copper and iron (about 8 kg) which looks like two shell inductors joined so that there is some coupling but high leakage. The windings seem to be identical. Each is a single ...
6
votes
0answers
254 views

Beyond Maximum Stable Gain of a transistor

I was plotting constant-gain circles on the Smith chart the other day for a potentially unstable RF transistor. I recently read on-line that for a potentially unstable transistor the maximum gain ...
5
votes
3answers
251 views

ARRL handbook as a reference for all your radio learning needs?

Looking to take up learning understanding everything from basic electronics to how today's wideband radios work, so that I can build my own radio systems (not just ham radios), and talk radio concepts ...
5
votes
2answers
624 views

Is there a best ratio of L to C in a resonant circuit?

When designing a resonant circuit, for example as a local oscillator, the product of $L$ and $C$ determine the resonant frequency according to $$f_{res} = \frac{1}{2\pi \sqrt{L C}}.$$ This means that ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

Are there an MTTF/MTBF/MTTR data on the typical tubes used in the FT-101/TS-520?

I browse ebay.com for used rigs in good condition and approaching my shoe-string and ... There appear to be a decent quantity of boat anchors out there - FT-101, TS-520, TR-4 to name just a few. By ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How to find or derive the maximum safe input power to a receiver?

A number of my RF devices have a specified safe maximum input power, for example: "The maximum RX power of HackRF One is -5 dBm. Exceeding -5 dBm can result in permanent damage!" source "If you look ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Good FM receiver single-chip IC for simple VHF receiver?

Is there an IC out there that implements all, or most all, of a simple FM receiver in the VHF range? I'm interested in doing some experiments with using DTMF over the air for tele-commands and the ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

New to Amateur Radio [closed]

I'm new to radio, and I'm trying to get into the electronics aspect of it. I was wondering if it was at all possible to build your own transmitter, receiver, etc. (basic radio components) as good ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Identification of valve

My favorite receiver used for 40 m AM broadcasts has a cracked valve, but the valve type normally printed on the glass has rubbed away. Can anyone tell me what the numbers for this valve are ? The ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Is it practical to use a magnetic amplifier as an AM modulator in a transmitter?

If I'm building a vacuum tube HF transmitter (say, 40 m band), obviously the simplest mode to build is CW; it's common to key the oscillator input to the final (in order to keep the oscillator running ...
5
votes
2answers
395 views

What is Norton's transform?

This article from Itchen Valley Amateur Radio Club describes an interesting technique called "Norton's transform": This results in a negative capacitor, but in a circuit where there are other ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Adapting an antenna coupler

I've built AA5TB's antenna coupler: I left out C2 because I didn't understand why I would need it - why would I? It works fine without. Unfortunately, when I started tuning for a 5W 20m transceiver, ...
5
votes
0answers
103 views

How to estimate input and output impedance of an amplifier?

I'm trying to figure out how to design power amplifiers which input and output are properly matched to 50 Ohm. My thinking was that the most bullet proofed approach would be to model an amplifier in ...
4
votes
4answers
521 views

Why does an RF Amplifier fail when the SWR is high?

Exactly why does an RF output transistor fail if the SWR is bad ? Is it A because the impedance mismatch between the transmission line and the antenna results in maximum power not being transferred ...
4
votes
3answers
148 views

Design of oscillator

I'm looking for a good tutorial about oscillator design (electronically) for transmitter. The problems with current tutorials are almost all provide only schematics, some explain how it works. But ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What are some equivalents of a BF199 transistor?

I'm planning to build an FM radio receiver using the instructions on http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Crude-FM-Radio/ The schematic uses a BF199 transistor which is marked "obsolete" by ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

In the context of the mixer in my radio, what does balanced and unbalanced mean?

I'm trying to understand how the mixer in a radio actually works, at a physics level. When looking at this article and studying the first schematic I realized I really don't understand what balanced ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Dipole increased CM current using choke balun

My 20 meter inverted vee dipole is fed with 56 feet of 50-ohm coax. The SWR measures 1.2 at the center of the band. According to http://arrl.org/grounding a balanced antenna doesn't need a ground, so ...
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Is using a DDS chip directly a viable way to transmit 2FSK and PSK on HF?

I'm thinking of building an HF transmitter for data (AX.25 or PSK31). Rather than using an IF stage, I'm thinking of generating the RF frequencies (or phases) directly with a Direct Digital Synthesis ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Would a switched RF attenuator be (a)symmetric?

I picked up this 0-80 dB switched RF attenuator at a flea market, with no part number or other useful markings other than the knob settings. I've tested it and confirmed that it works, but there's one ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

what are the alternatives to LM387 and SA602AN?

I am building a 20 Mhz RF receiver out of the NASA radio JOVE instruction manual and they have recommended the use of LM387 as an audio amplifier. SA602AN as mixer IC:
3
votes
2answers
219 views

What are the advantages for a receiver that uses an IF compared to direct conversion?

What are the advantages for a receiver that uses an IF compared to direct conversion ?
3
votes
3answers
454 views

Why is coax loss logarithmic?

With DC hookup wire, losses are directly proportional to length. If the resistance of 100m of wire is 10 ohms then the resistance of 200m of wire will be 20 ohms. But we measure coax loss in decibels ...
3
votes
3answers
96 views

What causes an AF amplifier to make popping sounds in a superheterodyne receiver?

Recently I've made a simple single IF superheterodyne SSB receiver for 40 meter band. The schematic is available here [PDF]. VFO and BFO are based on Si5351, the AF amplifier is LM386. It works OK but ...
3
votes
1answer
384 views

Series resonant circuit, how to calculate voltage across the capacitor?

This is question a3i3-1 from the practice questions in the book "amateur radio Exam Secrets": A series resonant circuit has 10V peak across it when at resonance. At that frequency the resistance of ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Is this “floating” output single-ended or differential and against GND or VCC?

I'm looking at a simple FM transmitter output (see picture). It is from the collector of a transistor and it goes through a DC blocking capacitor before the antenna would be connected. The entire ...
3
votes
3answers
83 views

Conventional or electron current

I’m reading a radio theory book, Radio Theory Handbook by Ron Bertrand VK2DQ, which suggests that electron flow (ie current flowing from negative to positive) is used in radio theory and design. In ...
3
votes
3answers
132 views

Switching 450 Ω window line

I have a very old Harvey Wells Z-Match antenna tuner (transmatch) with two outputs on the back for 450 Ω window line. One output is for “medium frequency” and works for 75 and 40 meters. The other ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Looking for origins of a crystal filter schematic used in uBITX

Here is a crystal filter used in uBITX transceiver: I've never seen such a topology in any other transceiver and decided to invest some time in exploring it. Turned out it's quite interesting. Eight ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What is unique about a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)?

What is so special about a low noise amplifier? If I were to design an amplifier, I would always design an amplifier with low noise anyway. Why is it emphasised as being “Low Noise”? What are the ...
3
votes
2answers
780 views

Can anyone please suggest a substitute for the BFY51 transistor?

I have to replace a faulty BFY51 Transistor. I could not find one in the market since they have been discontinued. What is a suitable replacement?
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Building an IQ mixer using an in-phase LO splitter

There are many examples of IQ mixers on the internet; all use 90 degree hybrids to split the LO to the mixers with the outputs being combined in-phase. I'm curious, could both mixers be fed an in-...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

How can i adjust the IF strip in a single conversion SSB receiver which has a product detector?

I have an analog 27 MHz transceiver which i am planning to convert to 10 m. The radio is an AM / SSB unit with a single conversion superhet receiver with an IF of 7.8 MHz using a crystal filter. This ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Basic Signal Detector using MOSFETs

I am trying to design and build a basic signal detector using MOSFETs because they are more compact than resistors, capacitors, and inductors. I was wondering if anyone here has any suggestions on how ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Inductors for Impedance Matching

I need to impedance match an IF mixer circuit to a 10.7MHz crystal filter. One of the inductors was calculated to be 44 $\mu$H. So I need a relatively large value inductance in a small package to fit ...
3
votes
0answers
115 views

What is an expected IF level of SA612?

I tried to use SA612 as a frequency mixer. Since it's a Gilbert cell, it has a high input impedance. Thus I added a pair of transformers as "Experimental Methods in RF Design" book suggests: ...