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RF Productivity: Wireless/Radio System Components

Course 257

  -  On Demand, Besser Associates Online Academy / Rex Frobenius


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This course has been designed for applications, production, manufacturing engineers and technicians as well as other professionals who need to have a solid background in the fundamentals of working with RF and wireless products. This course is part four of a four part program that provides a thorough understanding of RF analytical tools, communications signals, RF devices and test instruments. A basic block diagram of a transmitter/receiver chain forms the backbone of the course outline. Each component is described, and the relative performance parameters defined. Key impairments are introduced as they become relevant to the operation of the system. Basic system calculations are covered.

The course consists of pre-recorded lectures followed by online exercise workbooks. Q&A forums are also available. Students have two months to complete the material. This course is equivalent to 10 hours of classroom training.

This course is intended for registered individual students only. Please contact us for group rates at or 650-949-3300. Recording, copying, or re-transmission of classroom material is prohibited.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • describe the operation of the main components of an RF transceiver system
  • interpret key performance parameters such as P1dB, IP3, noise figure, etc.

Target Audience

Prerequisite: RF Productivity: Analytical Tools, Signals and Propagation, Test Equipment courses or equivalent experience is assumed prior to taking this course.

This program is ideally suited for applications, manufacturing and production engineers or technicians who are new to the RF/wireless field. It is also suitable for those who have been working in the field but who have not had a formal introduction to the key concepts that form the basis of understanding and troubleshooting wireless systems.


Part 4 - System Components

Phase Locked Oscillator
 • principles of operation • phase noise - measurement techniques - impacts of phase noise on sytem performance
 • modulation basics • principles of operation • 1 dB compression point for active devices • output spectrum of upconverter
Power Amplifier
 • principles of operation • 1 dB compression point, saturation • AM to PM distortion • harmonics
 • description of antenna types • dBi, dBd gain parameters
 • common filter types - Butterworth, Chebychev, Gaussian • transfer function • inband loss • match • bandwidth • group delay
Noise and Noise Figure
 • definition of thermal noise • definition of noise figure • techniques for measuring noise figure - Y-factor technique - cold-source
Low Noise Amplifiers
 • principles of operation • noise figure • intermodulation products • S-parameters - input vs. output match • 1 dB compression point
 • principles of operation • image noise from LNA
Intermodulation products
 • how intermodulation products are produced • definition of IP3 • definition of IP2
Overall Receiver Performance
 • typical overall receiver performance • cascaded noise figure, IP3 • SFDR Spur Free Dynamic Range