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The Dr. Agon Ham Radio Page

(Last Mod: 04 November 2010 18:12:50 )

Who this website is for

Me. That's the bottom line. The motivation behind preparing this site is highly personal - I learn material better when I prepare it for presentation to others, or at least operate from that mindset. Hence the pages here reflect, more than anything else, my attempts to bolster my own understanding of a wide variety of topics. As a result, the topics presented tend to be a bit haphazard, bounce around quite a bit, and are developed in no preplanned order. Having said that, I hope others will find the site useful.

The mindset of this website

As a fairly experienced design engineer, my circuit analysis and design skills are pretty good. Never-the-less, my experience is quite specialized and I have not done much with radio or RF circuits. Like most engineers - even more so since I did not graduate from a traditional electrical engineering program - my exposure to radio frequency circuits focused almost exclusively on the mathematical theory of communication systems and only briefly touched on the actual circuits used to implement those systems. As a result, here I am a degreed and experienced electronics design engineer who couldn't design a simple radio to save my life. Pretty sad. But I have long since come to the conclusion that I am far from alone. Very few EE programs address RF circuits in any detail and I have long come to suspect that it is because very few professors in academia are comfortable or proficient with them - and that this has long been accepted as the norm. For instance, I have lots of text books that show block diagrams of mixers but almost none that show the actual schematics of how a mixer is implemented, let alone discuss how to design a mixer. They are quick to talk about a mixer multiplying two signals together and how this results in the generation of sum and difference frequencies, but virtually none of them ever talk about how a mixer actually accomplishes this beyond it involving a nonlinear device.

So, at last, I have set out to teach myself enough so that I am comfortable with basic (and I do mean basic) radio electronics. My plan is to document much of that effort on this website so that I can get it straight for myself and so that, perhaps, others mind profit from my efforts as well.

What this site is not

This site is not a definitive reference, it is not a tutorial, it is not a repository of tools, it is not a cookbook of circuits, it is not meant to be anything in particular. But, again, I do hope that others find this site useful and, to that end, will strive to make it as complete and coherent as possible - but that will be a very slow process that will have to evolve over a number of years.