Wednesday, November 17, 2004

 

Celerity Broadband Analyzer

Today (Nov. 17,2004), I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Aeroflex / Celerity on the operation of their CS65040 Broadband Signal Recorder and Generator. This presentation was located at Oak Ridge National Lab's Extreme Measurement Communications Center (EMC2) .

The CS65040 is an amazing instrument. It can down convert a 120 MHz slice of the RF band, and sample it at 400 MSps for a couple of seconds. This sampled data can be displayed as a conventional spectrum analyzer, as a digital oscilloscope, or as a demodulated signal. The signal file can be modified by any signal analysis package such as Matlab and can then be replayed by the instrument at the original frequency or at some other center frequency.

The presentation was marred by a bad case of "demo-itis" but this does not take away from the capability that the instrument has and the myriad ways in which it can help in the development of new wireless products.

Oak Ridge National Lab

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Sunday, November 14, 2004

 

Toshiba RF Chip Wears Many Hats

I have a new article coming soon. It will be an installment of "Build Something RF" and feature the Toshiba TB31262F chip. This is an RF transceiver chip used in many 900 MHz analog cordless telephones but it has many uses far beyond the cordless telephone. I like it because it has full duplex capability (can transmit and receive simultaneously), needs few external active components, and is very flexible.


Its flexibility is the key to its use for the non-telephone applications. It gets this flexibility by having I/O pins for almost every stage of its analog signal processing. Using these is a simple matter of placing the correct passive components between the stages.

You can check out the TB31262F data sheet at

TB31262F.pdf

Saturday, October 30, 2004

 

ZigBee is HOT!

In today's wireless world, there are a zillion different standards and protocols. One of the key challenges is finding a standard that can apply to a product that is to be used in different markets -- in most cases, the product designed for the North American market must be completely redesigned on a different frequency before it can be marketed in Europe, and again for the Asian Pacific market. ZigBee™ is a open global standard for reliable, cost-effective, low power wireless applications based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, and looks to be the best way available now to help fix this situation. The first ZigBee™ devices are expected in early 2005.

The name ZigBee™ comes from the domestic honeybee, which uses a zig-zag type of dance to communicate important information to other hive members. This communications dance (the "ZigBee Principle") is what engineers are trying to emulate with this protocol -- a bunch of separate, simple organisms that join to together to tackle complex tasks. Besides, it's a catchy name, at least the equal to its rival Bluetooth!

We at Pegasus Technologies are in the process of designing a 2.4 GHz ZigBee™ module, and as a result have done a lot of research on this topic. Some of the stuff we have found is here. Happy hunting!

ZigBee™ is a trademark of the ZigBee Alliance

 

Welcome to the SSS Blog!

I would like to welcome you to the new Spread Spectrum Scene Blog. I hope to share day-to-day observations on the RF electronics design field with you and also post some articles that are available at

Spread Spectrum Scene Online



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