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A Practical Guide to RF and Microwave PCB Design


Benjamin Jordan

 3min 38sec

This is a session for embedded engineers and PCB designers who have never done RF board layout but are curious and want to have a go at it. It is not for experienced microwave engineers. This practical workshop will introduce (or reintroduce) basic math associated with the topic, but the goal is to be practical and intuitive, not theoretical and esoteric. We will visualize the elements available and build and test using desktop prototyping gear.
The class is broken into two sessions (morning and afternoon). Session 1: Back to basics electromagnetic recap; transmission lines – what you need to know; EM and T-line visualizations; PCB materials and conductors for RF and microwave. Session 2: Essential transmission line evaluation skills (VSWR, S-parameters, basic simulation and visualization); introduction to the Smith chart, and how to match impedance; practical design exercise with introduction to the VNA; using the desktop CNC to mill practical prototypes (and tips to mill with accuracy); introduction to PCB antenna types.

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