Fall 2013

ECEN 4634

Microwave and RF Lab

ECEN 5634

Graduate Microwave and RF Lab

Lecture Section 020

M 4:00-5:15 PM

ECEE 1B32

Lecture Section 020

M 4:00-5:15 PM

ECEE 1B32

Lab Section 021

T 12:00-2:30 PM

ECEE 254A

Lab Section 021

T 9:00-11:30 AM

ECEE 254A




Lab Section 022

Th 9:00-11:30 AM

ECEE 254A

Page last updated 3 December 2013

Contact Info

Instructor: Prof. Edward F. Kuester

Instructor: Prof. Zoya Popović

TA: Parisa Roodaki

Email:
Edward.Kuester@colorado.edu
Zoya.Popovic@colorado.edu parisa.roodaki@gmail.com
Office:
ECOT 248
ECOT 252 ECEE 254
Phone:
303-492-5173
303-492-0374
Office Hours:
M *1:00-2:00, Tu Th *4:30-5:30, W *4:00-5:00
* = Start times are approximate,
depending on when my previous meeting ends
M 1:00-2:00, Tu 2:30-3:30, Th 11:30 -12:30 TBD

   

 Course Information 

Latest Announcements

 Information Links

 Suggested Term Paper Topics 

  

 Software Links 

 Lab Schedule

Prelab Homework Schedule

 Lab Group Assignments

 Lecture Section Schedule

 Previous Announcements

 AWR Tutorials

Latest Announcements

18 September 2013: ECEN 5634 students in the Thursday lab section (022) will make up their labs missed due to the floods on September 12 as follows: "A" groups will make up lab L1 from 12:30-3:00 on Thursday September 19; the "B" group will make up lab L2 from 12:00-2:30 on Thursday September 19. As always, prelab homework is due at the beginning of the lab, but see either of us if your circumstances necessitate an extension.

15 September 2013:
Due to the extensive nature of the flood closures, lab reports for the experiments that were carried out on Tuesday September 10 will now be due on Thursday September 19, and can be turned in during the 9:00 lab section.

12 September 2013: Because of today's campus closure, there will be no lab section meeting at 9:00 today, Arrangements will be made for students in today's section to make up the experiments scheduled for today at a later date. Lab reports for the experiments that were carried out on Tuesday September 10 will now be due on Monday September 16, to be turned in at lecture.

10 September 2013: Please note that beginning on September 24, there will be changes to the membership of a few of the lab groups. Please check Lab Group Assignments to see if your lab group will be changed.

Previous Announcements

Course Information

Notes: In this course, you will study microwave transmission-line, waveguide and antenna structures from the experimental point of view. In the process, you will also become familiar with some of the instruments that permit accurate microwave measurements to be made. No text is used; course notes (including the experiments) are available in PDF form for download here. You must use the username

ecen_4634

and the password given out in class. The file can be read and printed using the free  Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Use only the 2013 version of the notes, and not earlier ones.

Software: For many of the homework problems and lab write-ups, you will need access to a microwave/RF circuit analysis program. The preferred tool for this class is an industry-standard microwave circuit simulator tool from Applied Wave Research (AWR): Microwave Office. AWR has generously allowed our class to obtain free licenses for their CAD tool Microwave Office. Please follow the instructions below to obtain a license for your computer:

  1. Go to https://awrcorp.com/register/customer.aspx?univ

  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 "colorado.edu" 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. I use Linux (Ubuntu), and can successfully run AWR under Virtualbox, and I have reports that it has successfully been run on a Mac using VMware. I have posted the slides from a tutorial on the use of the AWR software that was given as a short course here at CU a few years ago. If you follow along with their examples, you should get a good feel for the software fairly quickly. Not all of these are needed for this course (in fact the last one is more of an advertisement than anything else), but the first several sets should be useful to you.

AWR, Ansoft Designer and 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 (e. g., ECEN 5134), and in addition to the TA office hours, other classes may also use this room for a few hours each week for various purposes. To start with, 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. I hope that self-policing of this policy will work well for everyone. If it does not, I may have to revise it later on.

You may also need access to a version of the SPICE circuit analysis program in order to work one or two of the homework problems. Any version is okay, so long as it supports transmission line sections as circuit elements, as well as nonlinear voltage-controlled current sources. Several free versions of SPICE can be found on the Internet. If your version of a particular program does not have its own suitable plotting capability (or if you need to plot versus a variable other than frequency or time), you will have to prepare plots using other software (such as Excel, Gnuplot, Matlab, etc.) which you are going to need anyway for other parts of your lab reports and homework. See Appendix D of the course notes for some tips on the usage of SPICE particularly relevant to this course. Programs in all these categories, and more, can be found at the software links below.

ECEN 5634 students will also need some kind of mathematical numerical analysis software capable of solving matrix equations in more than one unknown (i. e., solving linear systems of equations). Examples of such software are: Mathcad, Matlab, Mathematica, Excel (with the Solver add-in),  Euler , Scilab , XLPlot , etc. I don't care which you use, but you will need to be reasonably self-reliant in its usage, because I am not expert in all such programs.

Lab Rules: The computer room (ECEE 254) and lab room (ECEE 254A) are both used for this class. As students in this class, you will be granted access only to ECEE 254 during the semester via your BuffOne cards. Here are the rules for using this room; access rights may be terminated if you are found in violation of them:

  1. Doors to this room are to remain closed except during class times, TA office hours or other class-related activities.

  2. If you are the last one to leave, you must make sure all lights are turned off, and the door securely closed (you may have to push it closed---air flow from the heating/cooling system sometimes prevents it from closing on its own).

  3. Do not let anyone else into the room on your card access. If others are entitled to use the room, they must enter using their own BuffOne card.

  4. If another class activity is taking place (a help/recitation session, for example), please try not to disrupt that activity. It may be that you will not be able to use a computer at all while this activity is going on, and must wait until it is over to do so.

The laboratory room, ECEE 254A, that we use for this course differs from lab rooms you may have used in other courses. It is NOT an open laboratory. Your BuffOne card does not provide you access to this room, which will only be available for running the lab experiments during designated lab section times. Please read and understand the lab rules. You are responsible for the proper use of the facilities.

Further Reading: If you are curious to learn more about RF and microwave measurements, the following books have been put on reserve at the Engineering, Mathematics and Physics Library:

Course Organization: There will be 11 experiments this semester. You must complete all of these to pass the course. If, with serious reason (medical emergencies qualify, workload from other courses does not) you miss one experiment, there will be make-up labs scheduled near the end of the semester. You must inform me ahead of time if you are going to miss a lab. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your lab section, you will not be allowed to do the lab, and will have to make it up during one of the make-up weeks.

Homework (the "pre-lab") is assigned for each experiment, and 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. See the Prelab Homework Schedule below to determine which assignments you are responsible for. Students will not be allowed to do the lab work (and hence will not get credit for that week's experiment) unless their pre-labs have been handed in at the beginning of the lab session.  The purpose of the homework is to allow you to perform the experiments with some background and insight, rather than by the seat of your pants.

You should also read the assigned sections of the course notes prior to each week's lecture. There is a very limited amount of lecture time available for the many topics we cover in this course, so the lectures cannot go into each one in as much detail as we might wish. Also, some of the material should be a review for you from your previous EM Fields courses. I expect that you will read the notes and review basic EM concepts as needed in order to keep up; I will always be glad to help you with any questions you may have during my office hours since there will not be time for long answers during the lectures. Please feel free to come in for help.

Lab reports are due in lecture the Monday after your lab. Although you carry out the lab experiments in groups of two or three students, 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. These write-ups are the only basis for determining your grade for each lab. Grading of pre-labs and lab reports is as follows:

Please follow this guide to writing good lab reports when you write up your labs. You may discuss your labs with anyone you wish, but you must write up your lab reports and pre-labs yourself. Copying homework or lab reports from someone else (including your lab partners) or letting someone else copy from you is academic dishonesty, and will constitute grounds for failing the class. Please read the information on disabilities, religious observances, standards of behavior and academic integrity.

The final exam for this course is given  on Monday December 16, 2013 from 7:30-10:00 AM in room ECEE 1B32.

FCQs (Faculty Course Questionnaires) are administered online. You should be receiving an email late in the semester with instructions on how to fill out the online form. Information obtained via this questionnaire is very helpful in determining future improvements to the course, so please take the time to complete the form.

Course Calendar

August

Monday
Tuesday

Thursday
Friday

26

Lecture 1A (Popović)

27

Lecture 1B/2A (Kuester)

29

Lecture 1B/2A (Kuester)


September

2

NO CLASSES

(Labor Day holiday)

3


5

Lecture 2B (Popović)


9

Lecture 3 (Popović)

10

Lab L1 or L2 (Popović)



12

Lab L1 or L2 (Popović)


16

Lecture 4 (Kuester)

17

Lab L1 or L2
(Popović)

19

Lab L1 or L2
(Popović, Kuester)

23

Lecture 5 (Popović)

24

Lab L3 or L4 (Popović)

26

Lab L3 or L4 (Popović)

30

Lecture 6 (Kuester)




October


1

Lab L3 or L4
(Popović)

3

Lab L3 or L4 (Popović)



7

Lecture 7 (Kuester)
8

Lab L5, L6 or L7 (Kuester)

10

Lab L5, L6 or L7 (Kuester)


14

Lecture 8 (Kuester)

15

Lab L5, L6 or L7
(Kuester)

17

Lab L5, L6 or L7 (Kuester)


21

Midterm Exam
(covers Lectures 1-5 and Labs L1-L7)

22

Make-up labs

24

Make-up labs

28

Lecture 9 (Popović)

29

Lab L8 or L9
(Popović)

31

Lab L8 or L9
(Kuester)

November

4

Lecture 10 (Popović)

5

Lab L8 or L9
(Popović)


7

Lab L8 or L9
(Popović)



11

Lecture 11 (Kuester)

12

Lab L10 or L11
(Kuester and Popović)


14

Lab L10 or L11
(Kuester and Popović)


18

Lecture 12 (Popović)
19

Lab L10 or L11
(Kuester and Popović)


21

Lab L10 or L11
(Kuester and Popović)


25

NO CLASSES


(FALL BREAK)
26

NO CLASSES


(FALL BREAK)
27

NO CLASSES


(FALL BREAK)
28

NO CLASSES


(Thanksgiving holiday)
29

NO CLASSES


(Thanksgiving holiday)

December

2

Review of midterm exam
3

Lab L12
(Kuester)


5

Lab L12
(Kuester)

9

Review for final exam
10

Lab Finals

12

Lab Finals
13

LAST DAY OF CLASSES
16

Final Exam
7:30-10:00 AM





Lecture Schedule

DATE

LECTURE TOPICS

ADVANCE READING ASSIGNMENT

August 26

Lecture 1A: Review of Transmission Lines

Chapter 1

August 27/29
Lecture 1B/2A: Lab Orientation and Network Theory
Chapter 2

September 3/5

Lecture 2B: S-Parameters and Smith Chart

(none)

September 9

Lecture 3: Microwave Power Measurements, Slotted Line Measurements

Chapter 3

September 16

Lecture 4: Multiport Networks

Chapter 4

September 23

Lecture 5: Time-Domain Reflectometry

Chapter 5

September 30

Lecture 6: 6-port Reflectometry; Nonlinear Microwave Circuits

Chapter 6

October 7

Lecture 7: Nonlinear Microwave Circuits (continued); Antennas

Chapter 7

October 14

Lecture 8: Antennas (continued)

(none)

October 21 Mid-Term Exam (covers Labs L1-L7 and Lecture chapters 1-5) (none)

October 28

Lecture 9: Microwave Transistor Amplifiers

Chapter 8

November 4

Lecture 10: Microwave Communication Links

Chapter 9

November 11

Lecture 11: Propagation Effects

Chapter 11

November 18

Lecture 12: Radar Fundamentals

Chapter 10

The schedule of experiments is posted below. Each group of lab partners will either be in an A Group or a B Group---this will be decided in class when lab partners are chosen. You should follow the schedule as posted, making sure to hand in solutions for the appropriate prelab homeworks (see  prelab schedule ).


Lab Group Assignments

Prepare for the experiments each week according to the schedule indicated. Note: if the schedule says "no expt", it means there is no experiment that week, but the lab section will be used for a lecture period, and you should attend. If the schedule says "No Lab", that means you do not have to attend the lab section that week.    

Section

Lab Group

Group Members (9/10-9/19)

Group Members (9/24 and after)

ECEN 4634-021

(A)

Bluem, Reiersen, Wenrick

Bluem, Reiersen, Wenrick

ECEN 4634-021

(A)

Glass, Grimes

Glass, Grimes

ECEN 4634-021

(B)

Pummell, Schilling, Zhong

Pummell, Schilling, Zhong

ECEN 4634-021

(B)

Cooke, Prevacek

Cooke, Prevacek

ECEN 5634-021

(A)

Deodhar, Sonawane, Ursekar

Deodhar, Sonawane, Ursekar

ECEN 5634-021

(B)

Dai, Pradhan

Dai, Pradhan, Shrestha

ECEN 5634-021

(B)

Brukwinski, Garrido Lopez, Stephens

Brukwinski, Garrido Lopez, Stephens

ECEN 5634-022

(A)

Gunn, Joshi

Bangalore Radhakrishna, Gunn, Joshi

ECEN 5634-022

(A)

Bangalore Radhakrishna, Shrestha


ECEN 5634-022

(B)

DeVito, Thompson, Zhang

DeVito, Thompson, Zhang

  Lab Schedule
Please read the experiment description BEFORE you come to lab each week.

Dates

ECEN 4634 A Group Labs

ECEN 4634 B Group Labs

ECEN 5634 A Group Labs

ECEN 5634 B Group Labs

August 27/29

Lab introduction/lecture (no expt)

Lab introduction/lecture (no expt)

Lab introduction/lecture (no expt)

Lab introduction/lecture (no expt)

September 3/5

Lab lecture (no expt)

Lab lecture (no expt)

Lab lecture (no expt)

Lab lecture (no expt)

September 10/12

Experiment L1

Experiment L2

Experiment L1

Experiment L2

September 17/19

Experiment L2

Experiment L1

Experiment L2

Experiment L1

September 24/26

Experiment L4

Experiment L3

Experiment L4

Experiment L3

October 1/3

Experiment L3

Experiment L4

Experiment L3

Experiment L4

October 8/10

Experiment L5

Experiment L7

Experiment L6

Experiment L7

October 15/17

Experiment L7

Experiment L5

Experiment L7

Experiment L6

October 22/24
No Lab No Lab No Lab No Lab
October 29/31 Experiment L9 Experiment L8 Experiment L9 Experiment L8

November 5/7

Experiment L8

Experiment L9

Experiment L8

Experiment L9

November 12/14

Experiment L10

Experiment L11

Experiment L10

Experiment L11

November 19/21

Experiment L11

Experiment L10

Experiment L11

Experiment L10

December 3/5

Experiment L12

Experiment L12

Experiment L12

Experiment L12

December 10/12

Lab finals

Lab finals

Lab finals

Lab finals

Prelab Homework Schedule

You must turn in your prelab homework problems at the beginning of the lab section each week.
Note that Prelab "0"is to be turned in at the beginning of your lab section during the week of September 3, even though you will not be doing an experiment that week.
Grad students should do the "Additional Homework" assignment as well as the "Prelab Homework".
NOTE: Please use AWR Microwave Office (preferred) or Ansoft Designer for all problems that require the use of software, unless only SPICE will work.

Experiment
ECEN 4634/5634 Prelab Homework
ECEN 5634 Additional Homework
"0" (TO BE TURNED IN AT THE LAB SECTION LECTURE on September 5)
Problems 10 and 15 from Lecture 1 (pp. 27-28 of the course notes)
NONE
L1
Problems 8, 11, 13 and 14 from Lecture 1 (pp. 27-28 of the course notes) G1: Do a literature search for articles, books or application notes dealing with the effect of surface roughness on the walls of a waveguide on propagation and attenuation in that waveguide. Summarize your findings in no more than one page.
L2
Problems 3, 7, 9 and 10 from Lecture 2 (p. 50 of the course notes) G2: Problems 14 and 16 from Lecture 2 (pp. 51-52 of the course notes)
L3
Problems 2, 3, 4 and 5 from Lecture 3 (pp. 67-68 of the course notes) G3: Problem 9 from Lecture 3 (p. 69 of the course notes)
L4
Problems 1, 6, 7 and 10 from Lecture 4 (pp. 90-92 of the course notes) G4: Problems 9 and 11 from Lecture 4 (pp. 91-92 of the course notes)
L5
ECEN 4634 only: Problems 6, 7 and 8 from Lecture 3 (pp. 68-69 of the course notes), but for problem 8, use an inductor of known inductance L0 instead of the capacitor.
NA
L6
NA
G6: Problems 16, 17 and 19 from Lecture 4 (pp. 92-93 of the course notes)
L7
Problems 2, 5 and 8 from Lecture 5 (pp. 107-108 of the course notes)
G7: Problem 11 from Lecture 5 (pp. 108-109 of the course notes)
L8
Problems 2, 4 (parts a, b and c only; in part a, note that "DC seep" should be "DC sweep") and 5 from Lecture 6 (pp. 125-130 of the course notes)
G8: Problem 4 (parts d and e) from Lecture 6 (p. 129 of the course notes)
L9
Problems 2, 4, 8 and 9 from Lecture 7 (pp. 142-143 of the course notes)
G9: Supplementary Problem G9
L10
Problem 8 from Lecture 8 (p. 168 of the course notes) and Supplementary Problem U8 (see the specification sheet and .s2p S-parameter file for a bias point of 4V and 40 mA for the ATF33143 pHEMT) G10: Problem 3 from Lecture 8 (p. 168 of the course notes)
L11
Problems 1, 2 and 3 from Lecture 9 (pp. 177-178 of the course notes)
G11: Practice question 6 from Lecture 9 (p. 177 of the course notes)
L12
Problems 2, 3, 4 and 10 from Lecture 10 (pp. 183-186 of the course notes)
G12: Problem 6 from Lecture 10 (p. 184 of the course notes)


Undergraduate vs. Graduate Course Requirements: Undergraduate (ECEN 4634) students do 11 labs and prelabs (including lab L5 but not lab L6). Graduate (ECEN 5634) students do the same labs and prelabs (but including lab L6 instead of lab L5), as well as some additional homework problems. The exams will also contain extra problems for the graduate students. In addition, graduate students will write a term paper on a topic related to RF and microwave measurements. Graduate students are expected to work more independently during the lab sections. Grades for the course will be determined as follows:

Course

Undergraduate
(ECEN 4634)

Graduate
(ECEN 5634)

Homework and Prelabs

20%

20%

Lab Write-ups

25%

20%

Midterm Exam (written)

20%

15%

Term paper

NA

10%

Final Exam (lab portion)

15%

15%

Final Exam (written portion: covers the entire course)

20%

20%

The TA will grade the labs and prelabs; we will grade the exams.We and the TA will be available for questions regarding any aspect of the course during our respective office hours, which we hope will be such that everyone in the course can make use of at least some of them. In any case, you can also see us by appointment at other times, subject to our availability.

Term papers (ECEN 5634 only): Graduate students must each write a term paper on some topic related to RF or microwave measurements. The paper should be written in either MSWord or LaTeX, in IEEE publication format. You should provide your paper electronically to me via email as either a .DOC, .DOCX or .PDF file. Here is a sample file (warts and all) so you can learn the correct format for an engineering technical paper, but keep in mind that this sample is a description of a project (including design, fabrication and measurements) rather than a term paper (which should be a summary of technical literature that you have read about a particular topic). I do not preclude your doing experimental work in connection with this term paper, but this is not required and its presence or absence will not affect your grade on this term paper. The paper should be at least 4 pages, but no more than 10 pages in length, with 6-7 pages as the most desirable length. The term papers are due no later than 5:00 PM Friday, December 13, 2013.

Suggested Term Paper Topics

Solitons on Artificial Transmission Lines with Varactor Diodes Waveguide or Coax Slotted Line Measurements TRL Calibration Standard Design and Implementation (for Microstrip and/or CPW Circuits)
Coupled Transmission Lines/Crosstalk in Transmission Lines Unusual Printed Transmission Lines (Coplanar Waveguide, Coplanar Stripline, Slotline) Dielectric Waveguides
Attenuation Effects in Various Structures Tunable Matching Networks Advanced Time Domain Reflectometry
Periodic Structures: Interdigital, Meander, Comb and other Periodic Transmission Lines Baluns, Hybrid Couplers, etc. Filters
Isolators and Circulators Diplexers and Multiplexers Dual-band Circuits (couplers, antennas etc.)
Oscillators Amplifiers and Repeaters Antenna Design and Measurement
Antenna Arrays Microstrip Patch Antennas Monopulse Antenna Array for Direction Finding
Ranging Radar Radar Jammer using a Mixer Measurement of Permittivity, Permeability and Conductivity
Shielding: Wire Mesh, Metal Boxes, etc. Propagation Effects: Diffraction, Multipath, Clutter, etc. Your own suggestions will be considered, too....

Lab Final Exam Schedule (TBD)

Each student will take the lab portion of the final exam in room ECEE 254A during the 30 minute time period listed in the table below.
You will also be allowed an extra 15 minutes after the measurements are complete to write up your results and finish any computations that are needed.
The exam will consist of two measurements and some questions about each one.
Please show up promptly, since you only have your designated half hour during which to complete the measurements portion of this exam.

Time

Students (Tuesday December 10)

Students (Thursday December 12)

9:00-9:30

Brukwinski, Dai
Bangalore Radhakrishna, DeVito

9:30-10:00

Deodhar, Garrido Lopez
Gunn, Joshi

10:00-10:30

Pradhan, Shrestha
Thompson, Zhang

10:30-11:00

Sonawane, Stephens

11:00-11:30

Ursekar, Momen Roodaki




12:00-12:30
Bluem, Cooke

12:30-1:00
Glass, Grimes

1:00-1:30

Prevacek, Pummell

1:30-2:00
Reiersen, Schilling

2:00-2:30

Wenrick, Zhong

SOFTWARE

AppCAD

Free from Hewlett-Packard. Their Website description: "AppCAD is an easy-to-use program that provides you with a unique suite of RF design tools and computerized Application Notes to make your wireless design job faster and easier. AppCAD's unique, interactive approach makes engineering calculations quick and easy for many RF, microwave, and wireless applications. AppCAD is useful for the design and analysis of many circuits, signals, and systems using products from discrete transistors and diodes to Silicon and GaAs integrated circuits. The keyword for AppCAD is easy- no circuit files, no manuals - just quick and easy." It is still available, although no longer supported.

AWR Software Download

LTSpice IV

Free Windows high performance SPICE simulator, schematic capture and waveform viewer. Primarily intended for applications using the company's switching regulators, it is a very good general-purpose SPICE program, including transmission-line circuit elements.

OrCAD Demo Software

Free feature-limited circuit design software for Windows from Cadence. The OrCAD Demo software includes demo versions of the following tools: OrCAD Capture, OrCAD Capture CIS Option, PSpice® A/D, PSpice AA, OrCAD PCB Editor and SPECCTRA® for OrCAD.

PUFF

Puff is an MS-DOS program for computer aided design and analysis of RF circuits. It was originally developed at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) by the research group of Prof. David Rutledge. You can freely download a copy of this program without a manual. More information is available at the Caltech website.

Qucs

Quite Universal Circuit Simulator; an open source circuit simulator with graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI is based on Qt® by Trolltech®. The software aims to support all kinds of circuit simulation types, e.g. DC, AC, S-parameter, Harmonic Balance analysis, noise analysis, etc. It is available natively for GNU/Linux, but is also ported to many other platforms: MacOS, Windows, Solaris, NetBSD, FreeBSD, etc. Long-term ambitions are grand, but even now it has quite respectable capabilities, including native support for microstrip and coplanar waveguide and some of their junctions and other discontinuities. Documentation is not quite as complete as could be desired at this stage, however.

atlc - Arbitrary Transmission Line Calculator

From their website: "Transmission lines, including directional couplers, of arbitrary cross section and an arbitrary number of dielectrics can be analysed with atlc. The impedance Z0 of a two-conductor transmission line, as well as the odd-mode, even-mode, differential mode and common mode impedances of a directional coupler can all be computed with atlc. Tools to both analyse and synthesise directional couplers are available." atlc is primarily a UNIX or linux program, but ports to many other OSs have been made.

Fabian Kung's Home Page

Presents two useful Windows software programs for microwave and RF modeling. Windows FDTD 1.10 Software is Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) software by F. Kung for printed circuit board (PCB) modeling. "This software can model propagation of electromagnetic wave in a three-dimensional PCB structure, with lump components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and bipolar junction transistors. Sinusoidal and pulse voltage sources model are also included. The software runs on Windows platform (Win95 and above), and requires minimum 64 MByte RAM. Included with this version are utilities to view the output data and to draw the model." Windows Smith Chart/Impedance Matching Tool (1.15) is a simple and intuitive tool for viewing an impedance value in Smith chart. "The latest version also allows the user to perform L, T, Pi and single stub transmission line network interactive impedance matching/transformation. It is a versatile tool, which can be used to teach engineers and students on transmission line and impedance matching theory."

Fast Field Solvers

Freeware Windows software for the solution of Maxwell's equations and extraction of circuit parasites (inductance and capacitance), thanks to which equivalent circuits can be derived for simulation of EM behavior of a 3D structure with SPICE-like simulators. Common usages include the analysis of connectors, strip lines, IC packages, ram cells, etc.

FEMM Finite Element Method Magnetics

Freeware. From the reference manual: "FEMM is a suite of programs for solving low frequency electromagnetic problems on two-dimensional planar and axisymmetric domains. The program currently addresses linear/nonlinear magnetostatic problems, linear/nonlinear time harmonic magnetic problems, and linear electrostatic problems." FEMM is a Windows program, useful for getting numerical solutions of fields and line parameters for TEM and quasi-TEM modes on transmission lines, among many possible applications.

MMTL - Multilayer Multiconductor Transmission Line Electromagnetic Modeling Tools

Freeware tool for generating transmission parameters and SPICE models from descriptions of electronics interconnect (transmission line) dimensions and materials properties.

TX-Line Transmission Line Calculator

TX-Line is a free, easy-to-use, Windows-based interactive transmission line calculator from AWR. It can be used for the analysis and synthesis of transmission line structures. TX-Line enables users to enter either physical characteristics or electrical characteristics for common transmission media such as: microstrip, stripline, coplanar waveguide, grounded coplanar WG and slotline. TX-Line has an easy-to-use interactive graphical user interface and runs on Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/etc.

4NEC2

A freeware windows program for analyzing the properties of wire antennas, including input impedance and radiation patterns.

Euler

A freeware numerical mathematics program similar in many ways to Matlab. It is available for Windows, Linux, Unix and OS/2 (this latter is no longer maintained). May be worth a look, though I haven't really used it myself.

Gnuplot

A portable command-line driven interactive data and function plotting utility for UNIX, IBM OS/2, MS Windows, DOS, Macintosh, VMS, Atari (!) and many other platforms. The software is copyrighted but freely distributed (i. e., you don't have to pay for it). It was originally intended as to allow scientists and students to visualize mathematical functions and data. It does this job pretty well, but has grown to support many non-interactive uses, including web scripting and integration as a plotting engine for third-party applications like Octave. Gnuplot supports many types of plots in either 2D and 3D. It can draw using lines, points, boxes, contours, vector fields, surfaces, and various associated text. It also supports various specialized plot types. Gnuplot supports many different types of output: interactive screen terminals (with mouse and hotkey functionality), direct output to pen plotters or modern printers (including postscript and many color devices), and output to many types of file (eps, fig, jpeg, LaTeX, metafont, pbm, pdf, png, postscript, svg, ...).

Scilab

A free mathematical software package for various Unix flavors and for Windows, somewhat more advanced in capabilities than Euler. From its website: "Scilab is a scientific software package for numerical computations in a user-friendly environment. It features:

I have used it only sparingly myself.

Engauge Digitizer

"This open source, digitizing software converts an image file showing a graph or map, into numbers. The image file can come from a scanner, digital camera or screenshot. The numbers can be read on the screen, and written or copied to a spreadsheet." Very handy for comparing your own calculations with those someone else has previously published only in the form of a graph.

XLPlot

Windows Freeware. From the website: "XLPlot is a program to create graphs for MS-Windows 98, 2000, XP and Vista. XLPlot accepts ASCII data on a spreadsheet and it outputs a vector drawing. The primary purpose of XLPlot is to create a figure rapidly. It is ideal for for use at high school, as the path from data in one or more spreadsheet columns to the final figure is short (just a few mouse clicks) and easy to grasp. It contains basic statistical functions, such as Student's t-test and linear correlation of two sets of data (two columns in a spreadsheet). XLPlot has a number of built-in functions that can be fitted to the data in columns on a spreadsheet or to a curve in a graph. The user can easily add fitting functions of his own design." It is a modest piece of software that does a surprising number of tasks well.


INFORMATION

Smith Chart Links

Various links containing information about the Smith chart, as well as Postscript and PDF files of the chart.

Impedance Matching

Various links containing information about impedance matching, including some Smith chart tools. Many of the links are to MathCAD files.

Java Applet Tutorials on Transmission Lines

Some Java applets that are useful in reviewing concepts from transmission lines (and other areas of EM).

AWR Software Tutorials

A YouTube video tutorial on Microwave Office (thanks to Aaron for coming across this)

Slides from a short course tutorial on AWR software:
Outline Environment Linear Simulation Nonlinear Simulation Harmonic Balance Introduction to Layout Schematic Layout EM Simulation Interconnect Aware Design

Microwaves 101

From their web site: "We're building a practical web resource covering the fundamental principles of microwave design, just for microwave engineers like you. Here you'll find:

The content on Microwaves101 is intended to be the following mix: Useful microwave information - 75%, Humor and assorted foolishness - 20%, Historical stuff - 15%, The remainder of 5% is stuff we've misplaced... We are here to help. If you can't get a response on the message board, send a question directly to the Unknown Editor. In-line content provided by vendors is intended to be useful technical information, not cheesy product releases."

Quick Guide to Ansoft Designer SV

Although Ansoft no longer provides its free student version of Ansoft Designer SV, here is an introduction to it for simple circuits.

A Little Longer Introduction to Ansoft Designer

A somewhat more extended Introduction to Ansoft Designer for simple circuits.

Tutorial on the Use of Ansoft Designer SV

Here is a guided introduction to the use of version 2.0 through a series of examples. It should still have some relevance to the full version.

Time-Domain Simulation with Ansoft Designer

Tips for time-domain simulations in Ansoft Designer.

Coaxial Connector Information

Information collected from a variety of sources about RF and microwave coaxial connectors.

Instructions for Circuit Etching

Instructions for etching planar microwave circuit boards.

Agilent Interactive Model for S-Parameter Techniques

Agilent (né Hewlett-Packard) Application Note 95-1, "S-Parameter Techniques for Faster, More Accurate Network Design", discusses S-parameter techniques for designing networks used in amplifiers and oscillators. The basic theory behind using S-parameters to characterize any two-port network is presented, and the measurements of s-parameters for a transistor are summarized. Examples of using S-parameters to optimize amplifier and oscillator performance are presented and the optimization of the power gain of a narrow-band amplifier is used to illustrate the use of S-parameters and the Smith Chart in network design. This application note is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format and is bundled with QuickTime animations. It is available for download for all major computing environments. There is also an interactive JavaTM model that illustrates basic techniques for using S-parameters in network design.

Article on TDR

An article by David J. Dascher entitled "Measuring Parasitic Capacitance and Inductance Using TDR" from the Hewlett-Packard Journal. The article discusses TDR for transmission lines that have inductive or capacitive loads (in PDF, so Acrobat Reader or something similar is needed to view it).

S-Parameter Stuff

A collection of links to S-parameter related things (including the HP item above), courtesy of Spread Spectrum Scene magazine.

Network Analyzer Usage Tips

Some useful hints on operation of network analyzers.

Previous Announcements



3 September 2013: This week, students should come to the lab section on Thursday, September 5 at EITHER 9:00 AM or 2:00 PM. The lab sections on Tuesday, September 3 will not meet, and students in those sections should attend one of the Thursday meeting times.

27 August 2013: This week and next week (August 27 and 29, September 3 and 5) there will be no lab experiments. Instead, come to room ECEE 254 for lectures at the times indicated as follows.

Students should come to the lab section on EITHER Tuesday, August 27 at 12:00 PM, or Thursday, August 29 at 9:00 AM. The lab section at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, August 27 will not meet, and students in that section should attend one of the other two lab sections.

The schedule for the lab sections on September 3 and 5 will be determined by survey of the class, and posted here when finalized.

26 August 2013: The course notes and experiment descriptions are not sold in the bookstore; instead they are available for download in PDF form here. The username
ecen_4634
must be used, along with the password supplied in class. Use only the 2013 version of the notes, and not earlier ones, as significant changes have been made from earlier versions. Please do not waste paper needlessly: print the file only if you need to, and only those pages you really need hard copies of. Note also that only a few pages are not in black and white; use color printing only for the few pages that actually have color. Try to refer to the notes on your computer whenever possible. Note that use of WiFi and cell phones in the lab room (ECEE 254A) is prohibited, so I will have hard copies of the lab descriptions available for use there while you do the experiments. The PDF file can (of course) be read and printed using the free  Adobe Acrobat Reader software.