RF Engineering

AM NRSC Measurements 

Jeremy Ruck revisits the importance of these required measurements for AM stations

RF Engineering: Modern Modulation Techniques 

Examining AM, FM, and QAM

We Ponder an All-Digital AM Future 

No doubt as an engineer you have experienced the “buzz saw” on the AM band from adjacent facilities, particularly at night, or been charged with running your station in digital.

Demystifying Impedance Language 

A discussion to demystify some of the elusive language consulting engineers tend to use.

FCC Looks to Update RF Exposure Rules 

After a decade of discussion, some changes have been implemented.

The Vertical Radiator: How it Works 

Jeremy Ruck overviews the basics of AM towers.

Tower Safety Review 

Although station personnel do not always have the same level of exposure as our friends who work at the heights, you are nevertheless exposed.

Standards of FM Allocation and Interference 

The simple view of interference meaning overlapping signal contours tends to overstate the area of potential interference. Jeremy Ruck explains.

Alternate Propagation Models 

While the FCC designed its pattern modeling method to be reasonably accurate over a fairly broad slice of circumstances in the United States, it tends to fall apart in situations in which terrain is abnormally smooth or cases where a particular propagation path has some fairly significant undulations.

Testing Antennas with a Network Analyzer 

Network analyzers come in two flavors: scalar and vector. Jeremy Ruck explains their use.

Selecting an FM Antenna 

Regardless of which antenna you select, the best quality antenna you can afford should be chosen as this is the last item in your transmission chain, and the last point over which you have control of your signal.

AM Tuning Networks 

The L network is the simplest of the impedance transformation networks, and is the basis for the more complex T, Pi and other types of networks.

Update on LPFM Rules 

The connection between LPFM and translators is a result of the necessary implementation of certain provisions of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 (LCRA).

Prior Coordination for STLs 

No doubt, you have received frequency coordination notices. These notices form one side of the coordination process. It's up to you to follow through to avoid potential interference.

Translator Rules Revisited 

Some important events relating to translators warrant some attention.

Understanding Tee Networks 

The tee network seems almost magical as it has the ability to transform between almost any two complex impedances using only reactive elements.

Directional Antenna Basics 

Jeremy Ruck reviews the basics of directional antenna arrays.

Disaster Recovery 

It is prudent to create and maintain a plan for disaster recovery at your facilities, which includes maintaining a strong working relationship with your consulting engineer.

RF Safety 

FCC rules, IEEE and NCRP standards are designed to reduce the potential for human danger.

Tower Maintenance 

First and foremost in any tower maintenance program is to build a solid relationship with a tower crew; and you get what you pay for. Jeremy Ruck explains.

Method of Moment Proofs 

At the heart of the moment method proof is a computer model using an appropriate software package, however, the moment method proof, is not applicable in all cases or array designs.

Translators Today 

FM translator service, since its inception in the very early 1970s, has been subjected to several major technical overhauls.

Calculating STL Fade Margin 

Understanding the mechanics of your RF program delivery system, and maintaining a keen grasp of the associated fade margin can go a long way to diagnosing the rare, but ultimately problematic impact path failure can have.

Smith Chart Basics 

One good working definition of the Smith chart is that it is simply a graphical calculator for normalized impedance and associated RF parameters.

Transmission Line Maintenance 

The bottom line is that without maintenance, transmission line will ultimately fail. The good news is that with regular and periodic inspections, the likelihood of unplanned failures is greatly reduced.

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