Questions tagged [electronics]

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

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18
votes
3answers
4k 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
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
534 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 ...
9
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 ...
8
votes
0answers
144 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
165 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
196 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:...
6
votes
6answers
440 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
628 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
2answers
282 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
153 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
2answers
282 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
189 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
189 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
233 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
1answer
582 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
188 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
2answers
116 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
884 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
2answers
229 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
205 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
4answers
2k 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
104 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
169 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
0answers
66 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
98 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
365 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
1answer
148 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
3answers
68 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
2answers
203 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
116 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
61 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
422 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
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
166 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
48 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
190 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
150 views

How is working on DC high voltages as in a tube radio different from 120VAC?

Suppose that I am familiar with the safety procedures for working on 20 A 120 VAC 60 Hz household lines. What should I be prepared for before working on high voltage DC circuits (say, 800 volts) as ...
2
votes
3answers
150 views

Is double amplitude modulation useful?

If i amplitude modulate an AM carrier with an audio signal, can i then feed that resultant AM waveform into another modulator and amplitude modulate the AM signal to give a signal which is amplitude ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't adding a resistor inline to a 12 V car charger change output voltage

I purchased a baofeng car charger for my little UV5Rv2 HT. It was advertised to work with the radio, so I didn't think much of it. It turns out, all it does is pass my car electrical system voltage ...
2
votes
2answers
516 views

Why does a Class-C non-linear power amp distort SSB but does not distort AM?

Can someone tell me why exactly a transistor non-linear power amplifier will amplify an AM signal without noticeable distortion, but will distort an SSB signal, giving the familiar scratchy sound ...
2
votes
2answers
448 views

What's the difference between a Return Loss Bridge and a Circulator?

From my understanding a return loss bridge basically consists of three terminals: an RF input, a DUT output and a RF output which goes to say a spectrum analyzer; I understand that the RF input signal ...
2
votes
2answers
374 views

Adapting an antenna tuner for use with a panel meter instead of an LED

I'm building NorCal's / W6JJZ's BLT tuner (pdf) for use on 40m/20m with a 5W transmitter. I would like to remove the LED and use a small panel meter instead. I don't have a 1N34A at hand, but I do ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Attenuator Cascaded Connection

PAT1220-C-10DB-T5 is a 10dB attenuator. (This chip is just an example, it could be any other component as well). Can I simply connect 3 of them in series in a PCB design to make my cheap 30dB ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Can an indoor antenna damage unshielded electronics?

I have a 25w radio running through a ~4.5db gain antenna. If I use a 4W HT indoors, I can hear a loud buzzing noise emmanating from my computer speakers. If I used the 25w mobile with the 4.5db gain ...
2
votes
2answers
389 views

Voltage vs. Current Balun for Dipole

I'm a new radio amateur setting up a half-wave 10-meter inverted vee antenna fed by 50 ohm coax. I understand that the inverted vee lowers the normal 72 ohm dipole closer to 50 ohms, so I only need to ...
2
votes
1answer
194 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 ...