Reduce Uncertainty with an RF Recorder

Reduce Uncertainty with an RF Recorder In engineering, uncertainty has always been a terrible monster. In fact, the entire field of test and measurement exists to eliminate it wherever possible. Despite this never-ending quest, some portions of RF system design remain plagued by guesswork and rules of thumb. We’re not here to postulate but to reduce uncertainty. Predicting real world … Read More

The Evolution of RF Signal-Observation Tools

The Evolution of RF Signal-Observation Tools This article appeared in Microwaves and RF and Electronic Design and has been published here with permission. Tools used to visualize RF signals have evolved over time from the spectrum analyzer to today’s RF recorders. However, each era’s tools have had limitations. This article shows how the modern approach builds on the best aspects … Read More

That Time When RF Recording Saved HDTV in the United States

December 1999. I’m sitting in Alexandria, VA in the world’s premiere laboratory for High Definition TV (HDTV) testing. The team of Japanese engineers has just left. The Korean engineering team is scheduled to arrive the next day. And this stupid little set-top-box can’t receive any HDTV signals. The TV screen is full of errors. The box works perfectly when it’s … Read More

Dinosaur Bones and Wireless Signals

The American Museum of Natural History is known for its iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex, the centerpiece of the museum’s Hall of Dinosaurs. As visitors stare up at this magnificent skeleton, they see this 4-foot-long jaw studded with its 6-inch teeth and could imagine this creature chasing its prey across the plains of Texas millions of years ago.  (Don’t worry, we’ll get … Read More

RF Recorders are the Ultimate Scout

In designing a wireless system, certain assumptions about the propagation path are generally made. Idealized models are often used as a baseline to model the path even if they don’t necessarily represent the real world. Seasoned engineers understand that the real world is more complex than that. When the ideal world meets the real world in the field, the sleepless … Read More

RF Recorders Turn an Expense into an Investment

Field tests are expensive—and not just in a monetary sense. Sure, you’ll rack up thousands of dollars a day in equipment rental expenses, vehicle rentals, airfare, hotel costs, meals, etc…that’s obvious. But field tests also drain your company’s most valuable assets: the engineers. Here’s how RF recorders can be your best ally in RF record and playback: Field Tests Limitations … Read More

Repeatability and Reproducibility: Whose Problem is it Anyway?

Perhaps it’s a cliché, but today’s systems are becoming more and more complex, and intermittent problems more and more frequent. Repeatability and reproducibility have become major issues. The good news is, repeatability and sanity can be restored. RF Recorders Bring Repeatability and Sanity Back to the Table Have you found yourself asking how your team can fix an issue that … Read More

About those Specs…

It’s easy to write specs on a datasheet. Product engineers might feel a little queasy about some of the specs claimed on their own product’s datasheet, but marketing and sales folks almost never do.  Unfortunately, when it comes to real-world RF performance, there often are no real specs or benchmarks in the datasheets–just unsubstantiated claims. Whose device or product can … Read More

Capture the Moment of Truth with an RF Recorder

Field tests are the moment of truth. Testing can reveal answers to crucial questions. Did we successfully transport the bits from the input of the transmitter to the output of the receiver? What is the probability that the bits are error-free? What happens when it rains? What if a plane flies through the propagation path? What about atmospheric ducting? What … Read More