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Download RF Workbench and launch it directly into DOSBox - RF CafeDownload RF WorkbenchRF Workbench™  -- RF Cascade Analysis
Major Update: Now You Can Launch Directly into DOSBox!!!

I believe I have figured out a way to launch RF Workbench directly into a DOSBox emulator screen, without needing to first install DOSBox, mount a hard drive, and then launch the program file. Instead, simply unzip the "RFWB_DOSBox [unzip into Program Files (x86) folder].zip" file into your "Windows\Program Files (x86)" folder. Then, double-click on the "RFWB-DOSBox-Launch shortcut link" (.lnk) shown highlighted below left. Click one of the "RFWB 4.0" icons to download.

RF Workbench and DOSBox files in folder - RF Cafe

These are all the files in the RFWB_DOSBox [unzip into Program Files (x86) folder].zip file. Unzip the entire folder into your "Windows\Program Files (x86)" folder.

Double-click on the RFWB-DOSBox-Launch shortcut link (.lnk) shown highlighted above.

Here is the DOSBox webpage.

RF Workbench - the world's most downloaded RF Cascade program! - RF Cafe

Quick Tips:

* Close menus and dialog boxes with ESC or right-click mouse.
* Close RFWB using the "Misc/Exit" menu selection.
* Leave DOSBox window without closing it by pressing the Windows keyboard key.
* Close the DOSBox window by typing "Exit" and then hitting the Enter key.

I created RF Workbench back in the early 1990s, before Windows dominated personal computers. Over about two years of coding every night and weekend, I alone wrote every line of Turbo Pascal code. It included features not found in the vast majority of DOS programs, including a fully graphical user interface, drop-down menus, movable windows, extensive error trapping, 3-D graphs, and detailed Help screens. I even wrote the mouse and printer drivers because none were available to me at the time (dial-up bulletin boards were the only resources then - no Internet). My printer driver created true pixel-type outputs even on an old non-graphical pin printer.

Please download the new combination RF Workbook + DOSBox file set to see how far in front of the technology I was back in the day.

Alas, Windows became the standard by around 1995, and even though 16-bit programs would run in 32-bit Windows, people had moved on from DOS software. Now, the 64-bit version of Windows won't even run a 16-bit program - except within a DOS emulator. That is exactly what DOSBox is, and it does a fine job.

Many times over the succeeding decades I have started work on porting the DOS code into Windows, but just don't have the time. Teaching an old dog new tricks is famously hard, and now this old dog is 65 years old, so it will probably never get done. That's why I have been looking for a way to resurrect RF Workbench so its unique features can be enjoyed by everyone. A list of capabilities is shown below.

Click an icon to download RF Workbench only after you have read and agreed to the Shareware terms.

Please be sure you are ordering the correct software:

Refunds Will Not Be Issued

RF Workbench

Shareware Contribution

PayPal Credit Cards Accepted - RF Cafe

RF Workbench - RF Cafe 
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NOTE: If you have Microsoft Excel, then you might be better off using RF Cascade Workbook for the cascade calculations and the filter responses. The results are the same, but the convenient spreadsheet format allows you to use an infinite number or stages all in one file. It does not, however, have the Spur Web feature for calculating mixer spurious products - for that, use RF Workbench.  

System Requirements:   80386, 2 MB RAM, 1 MB Hard Disk, VGA Color Monitor, Mouse, Ability to run native 16-bit source code OR you can use DOSBox emulator (see below - very simple) in 64-bit Windows 10.

Click to view full size System screen shot - RF Cafe  Click to view full size Spur Web screen shot - RF Cafe

 Click to view full size Planning screen shot - RF Cafe

  System Screen    Spur Web© Screen    Planning Screen

Tx/Rx Designer announcement August 1995 QST - RF Cafe

Here is an announcement for Tx/Rx Designer (the original for-sale name of the RF Workbench Shareware) in the August 1995 issue of the ARRL's QST magazine. RF Workbench was originally copyrighted with the USPTO under the name Tx/Rx Designer on 11/28/1994. The "Spur Web" moniker is part of the copyright.

   Click here for FAQ about RF Workbench

   Click here if you are experiencing installation problems

   Click here for example files referenced in the Manual

Component Models
  • Gain Blocks: Gain/Loss, NF, IP2, IP3, P1dB, TC.
  • Mixers: Conv Loss/Gain, NF, IP2, IP3, P1dB, TC, LO Pwr, RF Pwr, Single-Tone 9x9 Spur Table (loadable from file).
  • Filters: fC, BW, fU, fL, N, IL/Gain, Ripple, NF, IP2, IP3, P1dB, TC; {Ideal, Butter, Cheby, Bessel}. Calculates effective noise BW. Calculates 3dB BW for Cheby.
  • Input: Linear sweep or data file.
  • LO: Fund Pwr, 2nd Harm Pwr, fC, BW, fU, fL, Fixed/Tracking.
Graph Screen
  • Plots of amplitude and group delay versus frequency.
  • Dynamic cursor readout.
  • Absolute and relative cursor readout modes.
  • Auto or manual scaling of axis limits.
  • Scale zoom with mouse.
  • Customize plot colors and which plots to view.
  • View a table of calculated values in a window.
Spur Web Screen
  • Unique graphical search method for simple frequency plan determination.
  • Tracking and fixed LO models accommodated.
  • Specify harmonic range to search.
  • Customize in-band and out-of-band colors.
  • In-band spur products listed in table with labels placed on plot.
  • Open spur level calculation window for exact frequency and amplitude.
Planning Screen
  • Up to five stages on one screen.
  • 3-dimensional frequency plan graph with dynamic cursor readout.
  • Two modes: (1) You enter stage parameters and let RF Workbench calculate input/output results or (2) You enter the stage inputs/outputs and let RF Workbench calculate the worst case requirements for each stage that will ensure meeting system specifications.
Auxiliary Windows
  • Cascade Parameter Graph: A 3-D view of how the gain, NF, etc., propagate through the system at each component output.
  • TX/RX Path Budget: Enter transmitter, antenna, free space path, and receiver parameters to calculate power level, SNR, NF, etc. at receiver output.
  • Dynamic Range: Calculate SNR, dynamic range, spurious-free DR, noise power, etc.
  • I/O Conversion: Convert component parameters from input to output, and vice versa.
  • Spur Calculation: Calculate amplitude and frequency values for spur products that include mixer suppression, system gains/losses, and filter responses.


Note: RF Workbench WILL NOT run in any 64-bit version of Windows without an emulator! If you do not use the above method for launching the program, you can still do it the hard way.

Fortunately, DOSBox (free) will allow a DOS screen capture of any RF Workbench screen! It also fixes "The NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction," errors.

When unzipping "rfwb40b.zip", be sure to select the option to re-create the subdirectories.;

Thanks to Mr. Ted Bruce for discovering this method!

Click Here for DOSBox Instructions.


RF Workbench is included in many collections of engineering software, including the Engineering 2000 CD

See where RF Workbench (formerly TxRx Designer) is credited here in an article by Harold H. Kinley, C.E.T.



Posted September 25, 2023
(updated from original post on 5/22/2002)

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