ECEN 2420, Spring 2017

Electronics for wireless

Instructors: Prof. Dimitra Psychogiou and Zoya Popovic


Weekly update, April 25th, 2017:


-        Receiver testing: HW16-ECEN2420-S2017.pdf

-        Transmitter testing: HW15-ECEN2420-S2017.pdf

-        The final exam will have the same format as the midterm, with a few extra questions and problems. Here are updated practice problems for the final exam: PracticeProblems-2420-S2017-v1.pdf

-        Extra credit and participation credit, due May 1, in class.

o   amateur radio license exam (need to pass at least technician level) – details below. 10% extra credit if you pass the technician test and take the general test on April 24th.

o   Up to 10% extra credit for ONE of the following projects: ExtraCredit-ECEN2420-S2017.pdf, Hambands_color.pdf.


Grading with extra credit



Homework (in lab session)


Final exam (written part)




Participation in lab and final radio demo


Passed Technician License exam + taken General exam


One or more of the extra credit projects

Up to 10%


100%  / up to 120%


Information for Amateur Radio Test:

The test will take place on Monday, April 24th, 7pm in 1B-32. Please arrive by 6:45pm.

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:


1)     The fee is $15.00 per person, please bring cash.  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. You can instead bring your SSN, but the administrators really do not like to deal with this for privacy reasons.

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.      FRN number.

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.



Previously posted material: RadioRx-Tx.pdf; NorCal 40A 40 meter CW Transceiver.pdf







LTSpice tutorial: LTspice tutorial.pdf












Download LTSpice from here:

-        Lab team list: ECEN2420-Team-List.pdf




·       Interesting article about the first life-saving radio event in 1909 (before the Titanic): C:\Users\zoya\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\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:


Basic class information:

Lectures:        Mondays 4 – 5pm in 1B-32

Labs:              Monday and Wednesday, noon-2pm, in circuits lab

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

Undergraduate assistants:

Megan Robinson, Office Hours: Wednesday 11-noon

Samantha Williams, Office Hours: Friday 3-4pm

Graduate TAs: Caitlyn Cooke (filters), Dubari Borah (Spice), Philip Zureck (transformer and switches), Myles Foreman and Jason Vance (TX amp), Shane Verploegh (VFO)



Prof. Dimitra Psychogiou



Office hours: Wednesday 2-4pm

Prof. Zoya Popovic

ECOT 252


Office hours: Wednesday after class

                        Thursday 1:30- 2:30pm

                        Friday 1-2pm

                        (here until 4pm if you need me)



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








RLC resonant circuits


Homework 2 (RC circuits)

 3, 5






Filters, continued

Homework 3 (Series resonant circuit filter)

Homework 4 (Parallel resonant circuit)



97 - 114




Crystal filters


Homework 5 (Harmonic filter)

6, 8






Transistors, Transistor switches

Homework 6 (IF crystal filter)






Transistor amplifiers

Homework 7 (Tuned transformer)






Transistor amplifiers,


Homework 8 (Transmit and Receive switch)






In-class midterm on Monday, March 13th

Power amplifier

Homework 9 (Transmit amplifier, start)


Extra notes




Homework 10 (Transmit amplifier, finish)


204-213, 219-225


Spring break, No classes March 27-31




Homework 11 (VFO)






Transmission lines

Audio circuits

Homework 12 (audio amp)






Finish transmission lines, Practice for amateur radio exam

Homework 13 (TX and RX mixer)





Antennas and propagation

Amateur radio exam

Homework 14 (product detector, BFO)

Homework 15(transmitter chain)





Review for final exam

Radio demos



Final exam: May 9th, 7:30 – 10pm





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

A. One hour in lecture, 4 hours in lab and at least 4 hours outside of class on homework, reading and review.

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. 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 labs about?

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

Q. Will we build the entire radio (with >200 parts) at once?

A: No, there are 8 separate small circuit boards that can be separately tested before they are inserted into a motherboard. These make up the following separate labs:

1.     Measure diode detector and get used to equipment, battery (2 lab sessions)

2.     Harmonic filter (1 lab session)

3.     IF filter (2)

4.     Switches (2)

5.     Transformers (1)

6.     Buffer, driver, filter, PA (3)

7.     VFO (2)

8.     AGC (2)

9.     Mixer, receive (1)

10.  Mixer, transmit (1)

11.  Mixer, BFO (2)




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 .