ECEN 4634/5634, Microwave Lab, Fall 2016


Weekly updates, October 13, 2016:


-          Here is the current version of Lab 6, for your records: Lab 6 - F2016.pdf

-          The midterm is on October 24th in class. It will consist of questions (as the ones at the end of every chapter in the notes) and problems (similar to the ones in your prelabs). Here is a practice midterm to give you an idea:Practice-midterm-4634-5634-F2016.pdf

-          There will be no office hours on the day of the midterm (too late to ask questions).

-          The next two prelabs/labs are CAD only, and you are required to write a paper in IEEE standard format, due October 31st in class:

o   Prelab7-4634-F2016.pdf (undergrads only)

o   Prelab7-8-5634-F2016.pdf (grads only)

o   Sample-Mike'sProject.doc (or download a sample file from the IEEE web page)

-          Here is also a possibly useful tech note on dBs: dBs.pdf


Office hours:

2-4pm Monday (Prof. Popovic) or by appointment

1-3pm Wednesdays  (Prof. Barton) or by appointment

PLEASE do not expect TAs to hold office hours.



Lab manual:  4634-Lectures-Labs.pdf    smith11.pdf







A handy quick tool for impedance matching:


Book chapters from Intro to EM (Popovic) relevant to this class – any other EM book will work as well, e.g. that by Notaros used in ECEN 3410:

Chapter 18 - Transmission Lines.pdf

Chapter 19 - Maxwells Equations.pdf

Chapter 20 - The Skin Effect.pdf

Chapter 21 - Uniform Plane Waves.pdf

Chapter 22 - Reflection and Refraction of Plane Waves.pdf

Chapter 23 - Waveguides and Resonators.pdf

Appendices and Index.pdf


Lab groups: These are the initial ones based on the current roster for all 4634 students (in red) and for most of the 5634.



Tuesday 12:30pm

Thursday 9:30am

Thursday 2pm



Joseph Blake

Jesse Ellison

Myles Foreman

Marcus Kautz

Prathamesh Pednekar

Dawson Chung

Vandana Duff

Sandeep Sarker



Milica Notaros

Thomas Cloud

Richard Smith

William Sear

Chase Kielbasa

Andrew Jones

Audrey Puls

Quang Tang



Conrad Andrews

Sahiti Kandala

Huy Nguyen

Philip Zurek

Shane Verploegh

Quintana Jacob

Dylan Van de Kerkhove Brandon Chavez



Chanci King

Brandon Regensburger

Sreyam Sinha

Jason Vance

Neeth Sonth

Jihoon Kim

Peter Brehm

Matthew Cullen


Past assignments and other material, in order of posting:




General Class Information:


ECEN 4634

Microwave and RF Lab

ECEN 5634

Graduate Microwave and RF Lab


Section 010

M 5:30 – 6:45pm



Section 020

M 5:30 – 6:45pm


Lab Section 011

T 12:30 – 2:30 pm


Lab Section 021

T 12:30 – 2:30 pm




Lab Section 022

Th 9:30 – 11:30am


Lab Section 012

Th 2:00 – 4:30 pm


Lab Section 023

Th 2:00 – 4:30pm



Instructors: Profs. Taylor Barton (ECOT-253) and Zoya Popovic (ECOT-252)


Class organization and rules: 

-          There will be 10 experiments this semester. You must complete all of these to pass the course. There will be a single make-up lab session near the end of the semester only for students that miss a lab for a good reason and who inform me ahead of time.

-          If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for your lab section, you will not be allowed to do the lab, and will have to make it up during the make-up week.

-          A prelab homework is due at the beginning of your lab section each week. Be sure to do the homework appropriate to the lab that your group will be doing each week.

-          You will not be allowed to do the lab work (and hence will not get credit for that week's experiment) unless the pre-lab has been handed in at the beginning of the lab. The pre-labs are designed to help you finish the labs.

-         Lab reports are due in your next lab session (one week after you do the lab).

-          Although you carry out the lab experiments in groups, everyone must turn in their own individual lab report that shows your own understanding of the material. Only the data you took should be the same among reports from the same lab group.

-          Grading of pre-labs and lab reports is as follows: 10 – complete and all correct; 8-9 – complete and mostly correct; 5-7 – complete but some errors; 3-4 – complete but mostly wrong; and 0-2 – incomplete or wrong.

-          There will be a 1-hour written and a 20-minute lab oral final exam. The lab oral exams will be during the last week of labs.


Recommended textbook: Pozar.

Additional material will be provided when needed.

Background text (free): Introductory Electromagnetics, Popovic and Popovic, on ECEN3400 web page, and Electromagnetics by B. Notaros.

Some other good books will be kept in our offices and you can borrow them for a few hours if you wish.


Software:  In this class we will use an industry-standard   circuit simulator tool from National Instruments Applied Wave Research (AWR): Microwave Office. NI/AWR has generously allowed our class to obtain free licenses. Please follow the instructions below to obtain a license for your computer:

  1. Go to
  2. If for some reason you have previously already registered on the AWR website, you will use the same account to get the software.
  3. If you have not previously registered, the license generation will send you an email with the account login information.
  4. You will then obtain a license file with a link to the software download area.

If you are asked for a faculty contact name, use "Prof. Zoya Popović". It is probably best if you download from an on-campus location, or use a VPN. The domain "" is added to the system so you should not have any problems, but please let me know as soon as possible if you have trouble downloading the software. The AWR software runs on the Windows OS. If you run another OS, you will have to run it in a virtual machine.


AWR and some other EM/RF/microwave software have been installed on four computers in the outer lab (room ECEE 254) for use by students in this course. These computers are shared with other classes, and in addition to the TA office hours, other classes may also use this room for a few hours each week for various purposes. Use of these computers will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and you may not leave a computer running your program without being present yourself.


Grading (preliminary)



(ECEN 4634)

(ECEN 5634)

Homework and Prelabs



Lab Write-ups



Midterm Exam (written)



Practicum (lab exam)



Final Exam (written portion: covers the entire course)



*Note that the total is 110%, and the grade is based on 100% (built-in curve)


Copying other students’ work, or letting other students copy your work is considered dishonest and if proven will result in an F in the course.  


Below is the class and homework schedule for the semester. It will be updated as needed, so please check periodically.



Class Topics


Week 1


Introduction and review

Network Analysis and calibration 

HW1 assigned.

Come to your assigned lab time; we will use the lab times to finish review

Week 2

Aug. 29

Power measurements

No labs this week, lectures in Tu/Th pm lab sessions

Homework 1 due Friday.

Week 3

Sept. 5

No class on Sept. 5 (Labor Day)

Labs held on Sept. 6 and 8th

Lab 1: Artificial transmission line

Lab 2: Network analyzer basics

Week 4

Sept. 12

Transmission lines in time domain and TDR 

Lab 1 and Lab 2

Week 5

Sept. 19

Multiport networks

Lab 3: Power measurements

Lab 4: TDR using a network analyzer

Week 6

Sept. 26


Lab 3 and Lab 4

Week 7

Oct. 3

Finish oscillators and start amplifiers

Lab 5: Gunn diode

Lab 6: Multiport networks

Week 8

Oct. 10


Lab 5 and Lab 6


Week 9

Oct. 17

Antennas and propagation

Lab 7: CAD Lab using AWR

Lab 8: CAD lab, only grad students

Week 10

Oct. 24

Midterm, in class

Make-up labs

Week 11

Oct. 31

Mixers and superhet    


Lab 9: Antennas

Lab 10: Amplifiers

Week 12

Nov. 7

Radar fundamentals

Lab 9 and Lab 10

Week 13

Nov. 14 

Topic on demand 

Lab 11: Superheterodyne link

Lab 12: Radar

Week 14

Nov. 21

Thanksgiving and Fall Break

Week 15

Nov. 28

Topic on demand 

Lab 11 and Lab 12

Week 16

Dec. 5


Practicum, during lab times

Final Exam

December 12th, 7:30-10pm



Policies and Regulations: 


This course strives to provide the student with a variety of specific learning outcomes. These include the student outcomes identified by ABET, and adhered to by the ECEE department, related to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program.  The specific Student Outcomes can be found here:


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 .