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A Low Cost Approach To Teaching Transmission Line Fundamentals And Impedance Matching

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.54.1 - 9.54.8

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Paper Authors

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David Hata

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Low-Cost Approach to Teaching Transmission Line Fundamentals and Impedance Matching David M. Hata Portland Community College


As part of a NSF-funded Project, Portland Community College has developed a series of low- cost experiments to teach transmission line fundamentals and impedance matching techniques. Using a MFJ-259B SWR Analyzer, experimental exercises to measure reflections coefficients, standing wave ratios, and input impedance have been developed and used in the teaching laboratory. With the addition of a matching unit and simulated load, impedance matching exercises can also be implemented. These laboratory exercises were classroom-tested during Winter Term of 2003 at Portland Community College in a three-credit course entitled MT 240 RF Plasma Systems. This paper describes these experiments.


MT 240 RF Plasma Systems is a three quarter-credit course in an associate of applied science degree program at Portland Community College. The course format consists of two lecture- hours per week and three laboratory-hours per week for eleven weeks. Prerequisites for MT 240 include the study of electric circuits, microchip fabrication, and vacuum technology as well as general chemistry, general physics, and college algebra.

The course content includes classroom presentations on plasma physics, transmission line fundamentals, power delivery and impedance matching, and the manufacturing process of sputtering performed at 13.56 MHz. The laboratory portion of the course provides a hands-on application of concepts and principles presented in the classroom, an essential element in training technicians. Laboratory exercises begin with simple plasma physics studies and culminate in sputtering copper onto glass disks in an argon plasma.

Laboratory exercises in basic plasma physics can be implemented using equipment supplied by scientific supply companies, e.g. Fisher Scientific. Using spectrum tubes filled with various gases and a spectrometer, the optical characteristics of plasmas can be studied. A half-coated florescent tube energized by a high-voltage DC source produces the dark spaces, negative glow, and positive column characteristics of DC plasmas. Using a NE-2 neon lamp provides a low- cost means of studying the I-V curve of a neon-based plasma. All of these experiments cost less than $500 per student station.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hata, D. (2004, June), A Low Cost Approach To Teaching Transmission Line Fundamentals And Impedance Matching Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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