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    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Need guidence regarding design tools - RF Cafe Forums

RF Cafe Forums closed its virtual doors in 2012 mainly due to other social media platforms dominating public commenting venues. RF Cafe Forums began sometime around August of 2003 and was quite well-attended for many years. By 2010, Facebook and Twitter were overwhelmingly dominating online personal interaction, and RF Cafe Forums activity dropped off precipitously. Regardless, there are still lots of great posts in the archive that ware worth looking at. Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.

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 Post subject: Need guidence regarding design tools
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:36 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:05 am

Posts: 13

Dear Professionals,

I am third year student of Electronics Engineering.I need your guidence.

I have job offer(Internship leading to Job) from a fortune 500 company(sort of management),But I want to pursue my career in RF field.I want to decline internship offer but I wonder if RF field promise such a good career?

What is salary range of a good RF design engineer?which Rf companies are known to best?

Secondly ,I still have one year before I apply for RF design jobs.In this year I want to practice RF design tools and some design problems.

Can you list some design tools and Design problems ,I should do before I apply for RF design jobs?

My english is poor so apologize my for mistakes.


 Post subject: Re: Need guidence regarding design tools
Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:08 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:07 pm

Posts: 312

Location: London UK

Hi Asim

I started RF antenna modelling using various versions of NEC, like EZNEC. You can play around with simple wire structures and see what happens as you change sizes, spacings and frequency. There are many free sources of this software. It grew out of a DOS version to which a number of people added Windows front-ends.

For circuit simulation, again free I believe, there is APPCAD, which can be downloaded from http://hp.woodshot.com

If you can get hold of a copy of Mathcad, then the following site has a number of Mathcad routines for RF design, including filter synthesis


Hope that helps.


At bottom, life is all about

Sucking in and blowing out.

RF Head
 Post subject: Re: Need guidence regarding design tools
Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:15 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:26 pm

Posts: 17


If possible it's better if you can lay your hands on some actual electronic components and some test kit. You can then build a few things. You will learn a lot more this way. The Ham radio books by Wes howard and the ARRL handbook will provide good support for this.

I am not totally against simulation and in fact do use this approach quite often. There are lots of very nice simulation tools around today at varying prices. Fortunately for you some of the free ones are (in my opinion) as good if not better than some you have to pay for. This opinion is based on my mantra regarding all my RF software that I use....."If I can't click the icon and instantly use the software after having not used it for a few months then its a waste of my time". Here is a list of some software that I found passes this test. Of course you need some basic RF knowledge to use these tools but you don't have a nasty un-intuitive software front end to do battle with:-

(a) Linear RF simulator (general RF stuff like filters and matching, tx lines etc)

RFSIM by hydesign. This is free and you will be very surprised what this free tool can do. I wont bother to try to list its features as there are just too many. Download it and have a play.

(b) Spice simulator (circuits with non linear things in em like transistors and diodes etc)

Simetrix. This is also fee and is actually originally intended for switching power supply stuff. However, you can use if for what you like. It is node limited but for simple circuits you are fine.

(c) Mathcad (anything you like)

Get yourself a copy of this, its cheap and you can write your own applications for all those many and varied RF problems than need to be solved. An obvious application is for PLL simulation. The equations are well known and published all over the place.

(d) 4NEC2 (antennas)

I have just started playing with this. Still getting the hang of it but it seems quite nice so far. This is for simple wire model approximations of antennas.

Hope that helps you

 Post subject: Re: Need guidence regarding design tools
Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:05 am

Posts: 13

One question more

Is it possbile to all All RF designing on my own to do some realprojects on my won (with guidence or under professor) and then apply for RF design jobs that demands independent dedigner that need little guidence?

Posted  11/12/2012

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