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About RF power

  1. Feb 18, 2012 #1
    I have been reading about RF power and equipment. Can someone explain to me, in very simple language, how it works. I know that RF is a frequency range, and the amplifier obviously amplifies the power. Can you explain the coupling network, and how RF power is generated. Baisically the process of getting and using RF power.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2012 #2
    You have to be more specific. I don't even know what you mean by coupling network. Do you mean the inter circuit from one stage to the other. If so, that is called impedance matching network to get the max power transfer. OR do you mean RF couple line circuit. Those two are totally different things.

    How RF power is generated?!!! What do you mean by this? It start out with some sort of oscillator that generate a frequency and then drive through amplifiers!!!

    Please be more specific in your question, tell us what you have in mind. Your question is almost as broad as " How computer works"!!! Where to even start?
  4. Feb 18, 2012 #3
    Sounds like you are at the "Black Magic" stage of knowledge about RF. Without more technical knowledge much more detailed answers are not really possible.

    RF power is generated by circuits that generate RF electrical signals. Typically called oscillators but they can also be other devices with special names in the microwave band such as magnetrons and klystrons.

    Coupling networks have a broad range of meanings and particular definitions. One type is a transmission line. Another type is a matching filter. Another time is "a wire". It kind of depends on the specifics and context you are thinking of.

    Using RF power depends on what you are trying to do.

    A common use is to generate radio waves which involve connecting an oscillator either directly or through a modulator and amplifier to an antenna. Everything from AM to FM to Radar to Cell Phones to WiFi are just variations on this common structure.

    RF also gets used for other things but the list is long and niche-y. Radio the best known.

    The problem with all this is very general and say almost nothing interesting or profound. You need some math and some more specific application questions or situations to go beyond this.

    Is there a specific technology or system that fascinates/confuses you that you were thinking of??
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  5. Feb 18, 2012 #4


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    That is a really general question.

    RF is just a sinewave with a high frequency. At the transmitting end, it is usually measurable in volts rather than microvolts. RF may or may not have information on it. There are various ways of doing this, but Amplitude modulation and Frequency modulation (AM and FM) are common examples.

    Amplifiers for RF usually use tuned circuits as loads rather than resistors.

    Not sure what you mean by coupling network. This term just means to connect something to something else, often with a tuned circuit, although transformers using ferrite cores are also used.
    These networks are used to isolate circuits from each other while allowing RF to pass between them and also to achieve impedance matching.

    You apparently already have a book about this, so maybe you could read on and if you don't understand something specific, then ask.

    RF usually starts with an oscillator which is arranged to be as stable as possible.
    This oscillator will not normally be on the final output frequency of the transmitter. Mixers are used to get the oscillator output to the final frequency and amplified enough to give the desired power output.

    I always suggest that somone try to get into a hobby level class. It may cost a few dollars, but you need to get the fundamentals sorted out in a logical process.
    Try to find a Radio Amateur club in your area or check with a local Technical College.
  6. Feb 18, 2012 #5
    Thanks guys; Ill be the first to admit I don't know that much about this topic. Just asking out of curiosity. Your answers really helped.
  7. Feb 18, 2012 #6
    Radio waves are generated an alternating electric current is run through an antenna. This creates a perpendicular electric and magnetic field in the antenna, which creates the radio waves. Radio waves propagate at the speed of light (being light themselves). When a radio wave strikes another antenna, it induces an electric current in it, which is then amplified.


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