Greetings from the 2017 International Microwave Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii! This show is a great opportunity to re-connect with fellow RF and wireless professionals, learn about the latest design techniques, and see the newest products being offered at the exhibition. Besser Associates is here at booth #942. The show is always an opportunity to get new ideas and brainstorm for new courses and resources that we can offer on the RF Mentor site.
I've successfully added transmission line elements to the Smith Chart matching web app here on RFMentor.com. These include series, shorted shunt section, and open shunt section. There's a trick you can use to have these transmission line elements use an arbitrary characteristic impedance. The elements adopt the same characteristic impedance as the chart normalization impedance (default is 50 Ohms).
I created a quick Python function to calculate the component values for an impedance match between two real (resistive) terminations using the technique taught in the Introduction to Impedance Matching course. Here is what the code ends up looking like, and it shows how useful Python can be for working as a "quick programmable calculator." In the old days, I might have been tempted to program my old HP48 calculator to crank out the same values. It only took a few minutes to put the code together, which is the beauty of working with Python.
I created a brief video showing what an impedance matching network created using analytical techniques looks like on the Smith Chart. The impedance matching network was created in an exercise that is part of the Introduction to Impedance Matching course.
An early version of the Smith Chart web app is now available to try out. There are a couple of issues that I will be working on initially, such as the frequency entry dialog box appears to be transparent for some reason. I'll also be working on the layout to try and make the various parts of the app fit better on the page. At the moment, the app is only optimized for mouse input and does not respond to touch-based dragging events (to move elements around on the chart).
Back in the mid-1990's, Les Besser and I wrote a series of articles on RF amplifier design for Applied Microwaves and Wireless magazine (unfortunately this magazine is no longer in circulation). Since that time, Les Besser and Rowan Gilmore have written a two-volume textbook on RF circuit design that covers this topic as well as a great deal of background knowledge on working with RF circuits.
One of Marconi's original radio sites lies in the Point Reyes National Seashore about 35 miles across the Golden Gate Bridge to the north of the 2016 IMS show. This site served both trans-Pacific and ship to shore communications companies. Unlike their East Coast counterparts, these sites are located within National Park lands and were therefore not torn town.