Phased arrays have been used for years in military radars for long range detection of missiles. They’re also widely used in military and commercial aircraft radars and some satellites. These phased arrays are expensive, but today thanks to new technology and higher frequencies, phased arrays are smaller and more affordable making them practical for new wireless devices. This article is an introductory tutorial on this special antenna type you need to know about.
Filters are one of the most important and widely-used circuits in all of radio at any frequency. Understanding how they are specified and used will make you a better electronics designer, whether you build your own or simply buy them from a vendor.
While resistors and capacitors are easily procured and stocked, most RF circuits require inductors in a wide range of very specific values. In most cases, you need to create these yourself. Here are the principles behind inductance and some tricks that I’ve used to make my own inductors.
Electronics as a hobby is unique in that it touches upon just about every other technology or area of potential interest, from photography to cycling. Don’t feel you need to stick with pure electronics. Get out of your comfort zone and explore some of the many related technologies.
A casual observer might think that wireless systems consist primarily of filters connected by the occasional bit of circuit. Block diagrams of transceivers often include as many filters as any other function. This is true at the system level, just as it is at the circuit level — and many circuits behave in a filter-like way, whether intended to be a filter or not! That makes understanding filter basics important for wireless success.
The sine wave is a naturally occurring signal shape in communications and other electronic applications. Many electronic products use signals of the sine wave form. Audio, radio, and power equipment usually generates or processes sine waves. As it turns out, there are literally dozens of ways to generate a sine wave. Here are some popular methods you should be familiar with.
Driving LEDs using the lowest possible pin-count is a common challenge for folks creating projects with microcontrollers. Complementary LED drive, also known as “Charlieplexing”, allows a large number of LEDs to be controlled with a relatively small number of I/O pins. This fun digital LED clock project is a hands-on example of how Charlieplexing can be used to stretch your “pin budget”!
There are lots of circuits for generating high voltages out there, but what about the “gotchas?” Learn how to be safe and smart when working with these potentially dangerous types of projects.
Debugging microcontroller designs can be difficult due to resource limitations that block or curtail access to real time information internally and externally. In this article, I’ll demonstrate both a multiplexed bus protocol analyzer and the 1-Wire Manchester decoder. Combining these logic analyzer decoders with an embedded software Manchester encoder forms a great tool to enhance your debugging and diagnostic skills.
To master the art of electronics, it's important for you to learn the basics. I'm talking Ohms Law, serial and parallel discrete components, and simple signal sources. This might seem self-evident, but since the introduction of the increasingly popular microcontrollers and standard sensors and effectors, it's possible to create electronic devices without ever touching a capacitor or resistor.