ECEN 2420, Spring 2016

Electronics for wireless

Instructor: Prof. Zoya Popovic


Weekly update, April 27th, 2016:


·         Congratulations to all (but one) teams on getting their TX/RX to work!

·         The final exam is scheduled on May 4th at 4:30pm. On the final, you will be allowed a sheet with 20 equations. No block diagrams or plots.

·         Here are updated final exam practice questions and problems (these will be updated early next week if I find any errors or omissions, so please check version at the end of filename): PracticeProblems-Final-v2.pdf

·         Here is a chapter on Transmission Lines, and a 2-page derivation and formula writeup: Chapter 18 - Transmission Lines.pdf, Coax-2420.pdf


Extra Credit: Amateur Radio License Test Information


Here is the chart of allowed bands: Hambands_color.pdf

Here are some links for practice tests for the amateur radio licenses:

·         All sorts of information can also be found from CQ magazine at

·         You can also go to the ARRL web site and register to practice questions, they give correct answers immediately:


EXAM – READ carefully if you want to take it:

-          The exam will be held on Thursday, April 28th, 7pm in ECCR 211


1)      The fee is $15.00 per person.  This covers the technician, general, and extra class tests.  As long as a passing grade is made on the previous class test, the person may take the next test for no additional cost.  If one fails a test, one can retest for an additional $15.00.

2)      Each person needs to bring the following to the session:

a.       One form of photo ID is required.  E.g. student ID and driver license. 

b.      Please get a FRN number before the session by going to and registering. Bring the printed form in lieu of the SSN. If you prefer, you can instead bring your SSN.

c.       Think about the address that you want to use for the forms, this will be the permanent address that the FCC will have on file. If you use a school address make sure to update the FCC upon graduation. Failure to keep the FCC informed of your address can lead to license revocation.

d.      Both a pencil and a pen.

e.       Social security number or FRN.

f.       A calculator with nothing stored in the memory (or without memory). A Cell Phone may not be used as a calculator.

3)      The Voluntary Examiner Coordinators will be Don and Angela Baune and Phil O'Kunewick.  Each test must be graded by three persons and they will do it as quickly as possible. Please do not leave the session without knowing your results and if you pass make sure you get your signed copy of the CSCE.


If you do not want to take the exam on Thursday, you can also take it during the regular scheduled local exam, just let me know that you are taking it and inform me of the outcome asap:


Date: May 12 2016

Time: 7:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)

Contact: Philip E. OKunewick  (303) 273-5956

Location: Church of Latter Day Saints (Room 20), 701 W South Boulder Rd, Louisville CO 80027-1130


Unfortuately, the three volunteers are not able to come to CU just for our class twice. They are doing this as a volunteering service and have other jobs.

Previously posted material:





Download LTSpice from here:







HW8-ECEN2420-S2016.pdf  (replaces HW7-part1)






HW11- Even.docx




Instructor:                              Professor Zoya Popovic

                                       ECOT 252

                                                303-492-0374 (O)                  


                        Office hours: M 2-3pm, W 6:15-7:15pm, Th 5-6pm                        

Lectures:        MWF 1 – 2pm

Benson BESC 185


Textbook:       David Rutledge, The Electronics of Radio, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0 521 64645 6 paperback


Undergraduate assistants: Andrew Wylde, Matthew Cullen






Homework (in lab session)


Final exam











Interesting article about the first life-saving radio event in 1909 (before the Titanic): C:\Users\zoya\Desktop\Main\UndergradClasses\ECEN2420-Spring2016\CQD.pdf CQD.pdf

Here are some videos on soldering that are helpful, please watch at least one of them before we do soldering:

A little more about smaller packages/pins :

Here is a soldering writeup that you might find useful: Soldering Guide.pdf

Summary for soldering:


Circuit diagram of the NorCal40A for your convenience: C:\Users\zoya\Desktop\Main\UndergradClasses\ECEN2420-Spring2016\RadioRx-Tx.pdf RadioRx-Tx.pdf

NorCal information about the radio: C:\Users\zoya\Desktop\Main\UndergradClasses\ECEN2420-Spring2016\NorCal 40A 40 meter CW Transceiver.pdf NorCal 40A 40 meter CW Transceiver.pdf



Course Credit: This course satisfies the Sophomore Elective requirement for ECEE. Total 3 credit hours. This means that you should expect to spend about 6 hours per week outside the lecture. 




Approximate course topic schedule (covered material will be highlighted in blue font):





Reading pages




Introduction and vocabulary for the class

Vocabulary, continued, Resistors


1, 2






Connections of resistors, Capacitors, RC circuits, Thevenin

Diodes, inductors, RL circuit

Homework 1







Phasors, RLC resonant circuits


Homework 2 (series resonant circuit, filter)

 3, 5






Filter design, crystals


Homework 3 in LTSpice (filter)



97 - 114




Transformers, continued

Transistor switches

Homework 2 (series resonant circuit, filter)

6, 8






Transistor amplifiers

Homework 3







Power amplifiers


Homework 4: IF and RF filter sub-boards







Crystal oscillators


Homework 5: TX switch and RF mixer sub-boards







Review (M, W)

Homework 6: TX and RX mixer sub-boards

In-class midterm on Friday, March 11th






Audio circuits

Receiver parameters (noise, dynamic range)

Homework 7: Driver, buffer and power amplifier sub-boards




Spring break, No class March 22



Transmission lines

Homework 8: Amplifier sub-boards, continued






Transmission lines, Antennas and propagation

Homework 9: Amplifier and TX mixer sub-boards






Practice for amateur radio exam

Homework 10: RX mixer and audio amplifier

Sunday, 17th, 2pm: Integration





Review, practice for exams

Finish radio integration





Amateur radio exam

Project presentations



Final exam: May 4th, 4:30 – 7pm





Q: How much time per week do I need to spend on this class?

A. Three hours in lecture and at least six hours outside of class on homework, reading and review. Some of the homework hours will be scheduled in the evenings to make it easier and will be done in teams.


Q: Is there a textbook for the course?

A. Yes. There is a paperback version.


Q: What will I know after the class that I do not know now? 

A. You will know how analog components work and how they are connected into simple and then more complicated circuits.


Q: What does “student participation” mean?

A. Attend all homework lab sessions. Read book in advance and be able to discuss material in class and in homework sessions. There will also be occasional participation assignments.  


Q: What will the homeworks look like?

A. Homeworks will be based on material from the textbook and occasionally from outside reading handouts which will be provided.


Q: What are the lab homeworks about?

A. Building a radio part by part, and then putting it together and demonstrating transmission and reception.



Standard rules:


Policies and Regulations:  The following policies and regulations apply for this course.


Honor Code. All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of the institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the CU Honor Code Council (, 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at


The instructor reserves the right to use anti-plagiarism software to help determine the originality of term papers.


Cell phones and PDAs. Out of respect for the students and instructors as well as to minimize interference to laboratory measurement it is mandatory that cell phones or other devices with annunciators or other disturbing audio capabilities be turned off before entering the classroom or laboratory. Calculators may be used during exams, but personal digital assistants or other devices with communications capabilities are not permitted.


Electronic Communication. Questions on the course material, schedule, or policies may be e-mailed to the instructors at the above-listed addresses. E-mailed questions will be addressed as soon as possible, although given the volume of e-mail received by the instructors a delay of up to several days may occur. All course-related e-mails should include the course number in the subject line.  Voice mailed questions will be handled similarly but with e-mailed responses.


Disability. Students who qualify for accommodations because of a disability should submit to the instructors a letter from CU Disability Services in a timely manner so that needs can be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities.  Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, or .
Religious Observances. Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to reasonably and fairly accommodate all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. Conflicts between scheduled course activities and religious observances should be made known in writing to the instructors at least two weeks in advance of the activity so that alternate arrangements can be made. See full details at .
Discrimination and Harassment. The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment (, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment, and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships applies to all students, staff and faculty.  Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550.  Information about the ODH and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at .