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RF lab set up...

  1. Jul 3, 2015 #1
    Dear everyone...

    I am trying to set up a RF lab at home to help me do DSP projects with very low frequency, as low as possible.

    Anyone who has experiences about RF lab, please give me some ideals and what machines from basic to advance will be needed for the lab?

    Thank you,

    Nate Duong.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2015 #2
    When I had an RF lab, it contained about $150k worth of signal generators, power meters, digital oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and an arbitrary waveform generator. Your budget is likely smaller than that. What is your budget and what capabilities do you want? If your frequencies are low enough, you can do a lot with a digital scope (or ADC plug in) and a couple inexpensive signal sources. The higher your frequencies go, the more expensive things get.
  4. Jul 3, 2015 #3
    Perhaps this would do better in the EE forum?

    Welcome Nate.

    It might help to know what you are trying to do. Are you planning on doing audio work? Perhaps radio or microwave work? This matters because equipment costs go up with frequency. A 100 MHz scope is much cheaper than a 50 GHz scope for example. ($500 vs. $50,000) What you need depends on what frequency your working with. And with signal processing you will typically be oversampling your signal by a lot, so we likely need more specifics.

    One of the FAQs in the EE forum lists test equipment people like.
  5. Jul 3, 2015 #4

    Actually, I'll have more projects in the future to do, because I am a active person, I have no background about RF and antenna, just for DSP. The job market in current usually to require all of them (RF, antenna, DSP), so I could be spent more money ($300k could be in my pocket) to support myself for the career (like investment).

    If I have amount that money, Could you please provide me more detail information for the machines good enough for the lab, Dr Courtney?

    p/s: I mentioned the frequency as low as possible (can be heart beat).

    Thank you so much, Dr Courtney.


    Nate Duong.
  6. Jul 3, 2015 #5

    thank you for responding me fast,

    we have finger print, eye scanner to access in the building, I am trying to do "heart beat", that is why I need to buy any machine to measure very low frequencies,

    My budget is about 300K$, so please give me more detail what machines should be good and enough for my lab?

    Thank you very much, Jeff.


    Nate Duong.
  7. Jul 4, 2015 #6
    I'm sorry, I can't help you much. I signed a non-disclosure agreement with this company which invested heavily in R&D on this application. While I might help with equipment selection, I'm afraid my selections might be biased by knowing the mistakes we made in our R&D effort. Perhaps you could contact the company for technology transfer and save yourself some trouble. Otherwise you could post this on the Electrical Engineering forum next door. I'm sure many people would give input.
  8. Jul 17, 2015 #7
    Nate, you need an idea of what you want to measure. Some rf imaging that lets you see heartbeat is mm. Very very high frequency.
  9. Jul 20, 2015 #8


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    Impressive! :smile:
  10. Jul 20, 2015 #9


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    Science Advisor

    No kidding, Things have really improved since the ADSID and ACOUSID sensor days.
  11. Jul 20, 2015 #10
  12. Jul 23, 2015 #11


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    It worries me, a little, that you say you have very little RF knowledge but are considering such a high personal investment. I don't know the specifics of what RF measurements your plan to do but there could be a high risk associated with your plan. Could you not get a more certain return on your money by sticking to what you know best? If and when you need some expertise, you could perhaps farm out those parts of a project to someone who already has the knowledge. Or, perhaps you could invest some of your money on a suitable course of education in RF.
    I know that's a gloom and doom reply but I feel it needed to be said.
  13. Jul 26, 2015 #12
    you are right when you said the best way to invest myself is having an education for RF, but I need the lab to be done so study and practice will be in the parallel, that should help me learn fast and understanding on RF.

    Thank you for your advise.

    Best regards.
    Nate Duong.
  14. Jul 26, 2015 #13

    Thank you very much, for your suggestions,
  15. Jul 26, 2015 #14


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    Training at the same time as working is what a lot of people have to do these days and there are a number of good on-line courses (I believe) which would help you. You must expect some pretty hard work, though!! Keeping in touch with PF would be a good idea as it is a well moderated forum and you are unlikely to be getting bad advice.
    Best wishes in your endeavour.
  16. Jul 27, 2015 #15
    yes, I will keep in touch with PF, especially I will keep in touch with you for more RF experience
    Thank you again, Andrew
    Best regards, '
    Nate Duong.
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