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benz
  Avoiding extra functionality in your circuits A common saying among electrical engineers is that if you want an oscillator, try building an amplifier. This is all too often accurate, and unwanted oscillations in amplifiers can be a problem for designs at almost any frequency, from very low to high. Of course, if you design an oscillator it… (Show more)
benz
  A pre-filter to manage an excess of information In the first two decades of the modern spectrum analyzer—say from the 1960s to the 1980s—it was arguably possible for an RF engineer to know almost everything about making spectrum measurements. One reason: the signals and the analyzers were relatively simple. Signals were generally assumed to be… (Show more)
benz
  When gems turn to coal, engineers get creative Despite their flaws, I have described YIG preselector filters as the gems in microwave signal analyzers. These preselectors solve a problem created when mixers are used to downconvert signals for analysis: The mixers produce multiple outputs from a single input frequency, including the main… (Show more)
benz
  Bring your best engineering game, and use all the measurement tools available The term Internet of Things (IoT) has been around a few years, and sometimes it feels over-hyped. When some folks start musing breathlessly about a near future in which virtually everything will be connected, it feels like they’ve taken the concept a little too far.… (Show more)
benz
  How about “ACA out of detent” Some people of my generation viewed the 1960s race to the Moon as an alternative to a military conflict, with the astronauts as the point of the spear. They were the space equivalents of fighter pilots, doing a more civilized kind of combat. Or maybe they were modern-day cowboys, taming the wildest frontier. I was… (Show more)
benz
  Making other windows seem a little wasteful A proverb that’s perhaps 2,000 years old describes the mills of the gods as “grinding slowly but exceedingly fine.” I’d like to flatter myself that it applies to my thinking on some matters but, alas, the only relevant part appears be the slowness. Witness how long it’s taken me to get back to FFT… (Show more)
benz
  Taking extra care in the lands of the large and the small Recently, I found myself peering at a dial indicator while checking the blade runout on my shiny new 12-inch miter saw. I’m putting up new trim in my house, and the big blade allows me to make some cuts directly on larger assemblies. However, I’m no professional woodworker, so my motto is… (Show more)
benz
  The case of the troublesome garage door opener   Note from Ben: This is the first in a series of guest posts from Jennifer Stark of Keysight. As discussed here earlier, our increasingly crowded RF environment will result in more interference, and a higher likelihood of it causing problems. To stay ahead of them, you’ll need your creativity,… (Show more)
benz
  Engineers that exemplify creativity, and the ability to explain it School is out and some are on holiday. It’s a good time to briefly widen this blog’s technology focus a bit with one of my occasional off-topic wanderings. This time we’ll look at impressive achievements of some engineers of yore, and a couple of enlightening explanations of… (Show more)
benz
  Coherence can make a big difference Sometimes The Fates of Measurement smile upon you, and sometimes they conspire against you. In many cases, however, it’s hard to tell which—if either—is happening. More often, I think, they set little traps or tests for us. These are often subtle, but nonetheless important, especially when you’re trying to… (Show more)
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