• Unintended Oscillations and Interference Problems

      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 i...
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  • One Solution to Complexity: Focus on the Most Common Measurement Errors

      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 ev...
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  • Voltage and Power Add Differently: Understanding Signal Power Measurement

      The difference can be anything from 0 dB to infinity Most RF engineers are aware that signal measurements are always a combination of the signal in question and any contributions from the measuring device. We u...
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  • The Four Ws of Spurious Emissions

      Refining your design and creating happy customers   Note from Ben Zarlingo: I invite you to read this guest post by Nick Ben, a Keysight engineer. He discusses the what, why, when and where of spurious em...
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  • Spurious Emissions and Spectrum Emission Mask: Improving Difficult Measurements

      Wrestling information from a hostile universe I can’t make a serious case that the universe is actively hostile, but when you’re making spurious and related measurements, it can seem that way. In te...
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  • Adding Information, Part 2: Taming Noise with your Secret Knowledge

      Taking advantage of knowledge your signal analyzer doesn’t have To respect the value of your time and the limits of your patience, I try to keep these posts relatively short and tightly focused. Inevitabl...
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  • Stealing MIMO

      An unacknowledged “borrowing” Few things in technology are completely original, “from the ground up” innovations. Of course, that’s no knock on those who creatively move technology...
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  • Your Signal Analyzer, Unleashed

      Signal analyzers are flexible, upgradable measurement platforms. This infographic has suggestions and reminders of how to maximize the value of yours. Click to enlarge. Learn how to maximize the power and per...
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  • Baseband and IF Sampling

    Originally posted Aug 9, 2016   Different ways to get your signal bits   There’s a long history of synergy and a kind of mutual bootstrapping in the technology of test equipment and the devices it...
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  • Predicting the Technological Future vs. Adapting to It

    Originally posted Jul 8, 2016   GPS and the skill, creativity and imagination of engineers   When it comes to predicting the future, I’m not sure if RF engineers are any better or worse than others&m...
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  • Insidious Measurement Errors

    Originally posted Jun 23, 2016   How to avoid fooling yourself   Some years ago I bought an old building lot for a house, and hired a surveyor because the original lot markers were all gone. It was a tough...
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  • Competition and the Semiconductor Triple-Play

    Originally posted Apr 18, 2016   Get all the signal analyzer performance you pay for   After perusing a pair of new application briefs, I was impressed by the improvements in signal analyzers driven by the...
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  • Spectrum and Network Measurements: A non-eBook

    Originally posted Dec 10, 2014   What is the role of a physical book in an electronic world?   I recently got a copy of the newest edition of Spectrum and Network Measurements by Bob Witte. This is the sec...
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  • A Different View Makes a Different Problem Obvious

    Originally posted Apr 18, 2013   Big clues and little ones In the previous post the signal impairment was confined to a narrow range of frequencies and therefore a frequency-specific error measurement (error vec...
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