Alternatives to creeping contacts for high frequencies

  • #1
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I anticipate immediately that I am not sure if this is the right place to ask my question, in case I had made a mistake I would migrate willingly into the relevant area.

I have an RF circuit on small PCB board (about 3x2 cm) that moves along a vertical axis in a measuring probe (it serves essentially to capture RF data in the presence of magnetic fields).

Now the point is that for each "quote" reached by the circuit for the point of measurement, it would be advisable to connect an RLC circuit sized appropriately; the moving part remains fixed and that contains a linear coil, the resonant circuits (capacitors and capacitors) would have to be changed.
Given that at each position the frequency response of the entire circuit is fixed, and that can change from a few hundred MHz to a few tens of MHz, it is not conceivable to use a single broadband circuit for the whole excursion.
My idea would be to connect in some way (yes, but which one ??) the PCB to different circuits, cut in frequency based on the chosen odds.
I have no idea how it can be done given the frequencies involved. The power transmitted along the line (adapted to 50 ohms) is of the order of watts or at most a few tens of watts in transmission and microwatt or less in reception; the problem for which I can not see solutions is: how to connect the PCB to the various circuits?
Is it conceivable a kind of controlled switch able to select only one RF channel at a time, without introducing substantial losses?

I had thought about creeping contacts, but here too: how to make them?

Thank you for your attention and I will try to provide further details if my request was not clear.

Best
 
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  • #3
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Ah ah sorry you're right.... Just corrected, my keyboard has been faster than my mind. Hope nobody considered offensive the mistyped
 
  • #4
phinds
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Ah ah sorry you're right.... Just corrected, my keyboard has been faster than my mind. Hope nobody considered offensive the mistyped
No, not offensive. It was clearly a typo and just amusing.
 
  • #5
gneill
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Can you place different LC circuits along the path of the probe and have them inductively couple to an inductor in the probe? As in a transformer, impedance in the load is reflected to the primary. This might allow you to "tune" your probe without physical connections being required.
 
  • #6
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No, it can not be realized in such way: coils as in transformers generate magnetic fields which interact with the static field to be measured.
The coil must be connected electrically with the RF circuits.
 
  • #7
gneill
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Can you change the tuning instead by varying the capacitance? A Varicap comes to mind whereby the capacitance can be selected by altering the DC bias across it. I don't know off hand if there are varicaps with a suitable range for your application, but I do know that they are used in RF tuners.
 
  • #9
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It looks like I can only use capacitors, as in the following general circuit
coil.png

Either the Matching Capacitor and the Tuning Capacitor are elements which I must select depending on the Frequency range.
The L is the coil which moves in the magnetic field which must be connected with different Cm/Ct capacitors.
 

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  • #10
gneill
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  • #11
Averagesupernova
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What do you have as a receiver? I am a bit more confused about this setup than maybe I should be.
 
  • #13
Averagesupernova
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Am I missing something here? It seems the receiver is only interested in 18 MHz. Why concern yourself with other parts of the spectrum?
 
  • #14
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No no.. As I wrote, the schematic and the receiving stage is something like what I have, it is a very simplified version of my instrument.
But the principle is the same.
 
  • #15
Averagesupernova
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So you have a receiver already and just need to couple the signal into it and this is what is in question or do you need help with the whole design, receiver and all?
 
  • #16
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I just need a way to connect the coil to several RLC circuits which resonate at different residencies.
 
  • #17
Averagesupernova
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Then I'd say you need to group up some bandpass and bandstop filters.
 
  • #18
Baluncore
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Maybe if you make and position all your LCR circuits, you can then connect them in series.
Only those near resonance will provide an output so the output of the string will be the sum of all.
No matter what the frequency is, it will produce an output without moving connections.
 
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  • #19
Tom.G
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You could use CMOS switches to switch in the appropriate tuning caps at the receiver. Here is an Application Note on them: https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/5299
And a 23pg tutorial. https://www.analog.com/media/en/training-seminars/tutorials/MT-088.pdf
above found with: https://www.google.com/search?&q=cmos+switch+design

Also look at T/R switches (Transmit/Receive switches), they can handle the transmit power.

For further ideas, look at schematics for Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) transceivers, you are close to the 15 meter band.

Probably one of the Ham radio operators here can supply many more details. Paging @berkeman


Cheers,
Tom
 
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  • #20
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You could use CMOS switches to switch in the appropriate tuning caps at the receiver. Here is an Application Note on them: https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/5299
And a 23pg tutorial. https://www.analog.com/media/en/training-seminars/tutorials/MT-088.pdf
above found with: https://www.google.com/search?&q=cmos+switch+design

Also look at T/R switches (Transmit/Receive switches), they can handle the transmit power.

For further ideas, look at schematics for Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) transceivers, you are close to the 15 meter band.

Probably one of the Ham radio operators here can supply many more details. Paging @berkeman


Cheers,
Tom

Thank you Tom.
About the Analog Switches, I think the main problem arises from the frequency: can 850 MHz @ tens of watts be handled ?
Frequencies and powers delivered are in the range of radio/antenna applications...
T/R switches are interesting...
I will have a look around.

Probably one of the Ham radio operators here can supply many more details. Paging @berkeman

Do you mean can I ask directly to Mr. Berkeman?
 
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  • #21
Tom.G
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About the Analog Switches, I think the main problem arises from the frequency: can 850 MHz @ tens of watts be handled ?
Frequencies and powers delivered are in the range of radio/antenna applications...
T/R switches are interesting...
I will have a look around.
From you brief description, I had the impression the signal of interest was the 18MHz low power receive signal.
Moderately available Analog Switches are available for use up to 1GHz, I don't know their power rating but I suspect tens of watts would be hard to find.

T/R switches are used to switch an antenna from Transmitter to Receiver. Although more costly than a simple Analog Switch, they have the power rating needed and could be used in place of the Analog Switches if needed.


Do you mean can I ask directly to Mr. Berkeman?
You could, by finding his home page here on PF and sending him a Private Message. However our preferred method is to have most technical discussions in public so others can benefit too. The way I referenced berkemen in my post triggered an automatic notification to him that he was mentioned. (you noticed his reference was in Blue? that indicates that a notification was triggered. you can contact him by clicking on that link, click on 'Information', click on 'Start a Conversation'.)

It often takes people a few days to respond to these references, life gets in the way sometimes; or they may be gathering information.

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #22
Averagesupernova
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Are there specific multiple frequencies of interest or would it be anything across the spectrum you have defined and anything in between?
 
  • #23
Baluncore
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Given that at each position the frequency response of the entire circuit is fixed, and that can change from a few hundred MHz to a few tens of MHz, it is not conceivable to use a single broadband circuit for the whole excursion.
The vague nature of the description suggests to me that you do not understand the physics of what you are trying to do, or the available solutions.

The dimensions of the equipment is small in wavelengths so moving the detector will probably not make much difference in signal strength. Do you use a coupling loop to sense the RF?

If the RF probe you use is a log-amplifier, then you will need to tune the front-end or think again. But if it was a direct digital down-converter, based on quadrature mixing with a low-pass filter, you could select the frequency band of interest without any need to tune the RF, then use a log converter on the output.

Any tuned circuits that remain in the field will ring like bells if/when struck by a transmit pulse.

Without a better understanding of the system we will not be able to see the obvious solution.
So what exactly is special about the line you move the detector along?
 
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  • #24
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From you brief description, I had the impression the signal of interest was the 18MHz low power receive signal.

18 MHz is an intermediate frequency which is used for subsequent elaboration of signal. The response picked up by the coil is the same of the frequency transmitter (that's why resonance).

Moderately available Analog Switches are available for use up to 1GHz, I don't know their power rating but I suspect tens of watts would be hard to find.
T/R switches are used to switch an antenna from Transmitter to Receiver. Although more costly than a simple Analog Switch, they have the power rating needed and could be used in place of the Analog Switches if needed.

I see


You could, by finding his home page here on PF and sending him a Private Message. However our preferred method is to have most technical discussions in public so others can benefit too. The way I referenced berkemen in my post triggered an automatic notification to him that he was mentioned. (you noticed his reference was in Blue? that indicates that a notification was triggered. you can contact him by clicking on that link, click on 'Information', click on 'Start a Conversation'.)

It often takes people a few days to respond to these references, life gets in the way sometimes; or they may be gathering information.

Cheers,
Tom

Thank you again, Tom!
 
  • #25
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The vague nature of the description suggests to me that you do not understand the physics of what you are trying to do, or the available solutions.

Thank you for your comments but for the purposes of defining the problem it makes no sense to describe all the devices involved in the project.
To make this discussion productive, it is sufficient to focus on the type of problem posed: how to make an efficient electrical connection given the frequencies involved for a coil that moves in a magnetic field and requires resonant RLC circuits cut on specific frequencies.

Here they are a fairly simple lessons even to those who do not know NMR / MRI

The dimensions of the equipment is small in wavelengths so moving the detector will probably not make much difference in signal strength. Do you use a coupling loop to sense the RF?

The Larmor Frequency is dependent from the magnetic field.

According with the theory, when placed in a magnetic field of strength B, a particle with a net spin can absorb a photon, of frequency ν.
That frequency depends on the gyromagnetic ratio γ of the particle. As known, ν = γB , being B the magnetic field.
For 1H nucleus ν = 42.58 MHz / Tesla. Since the field strength B varies with the position, the frequency varies accordingly, even for a small movement of the detector.


If the RF probe you use is a log-amplifier, then you will need to tune the front-end or think again. But if it was a direct digital down-converter, based on quadrature mixing with a low-pass filter, you could select the frequency band of interest without any need to tune the RF, then use a log converter on the output. Any tuned circuits that remain in the field will ring like bells if/when struck by a transmit pulse.
Without a better understanding of the system we will not be able to see the obvious solution.

The AMP is a wide-band RF amplifier operating in linear class AB (N-MOSFET) that provides hundreds peak RF power over a frequency range 6-500 MHz for any combination of pulse width and duty cycle up to 100ms and 10%.

So what exactly is special about the line you move the detector along?

Sorry, I don't understand clearly your question.
I don't know what add more...
 

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