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Development of Low-Cost Radio Frequency Test Equipment

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Topics Related to Telecommunications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.496.1 - 22.496.21



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Paper Authors


James O. Everly University of Cincinnati

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James O. Everly is an Associate Professor in Electronic and Computing Systems at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. He received a B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from The Ohio State University in 1969 and 1970, respectively. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio. He is a member of the IEEE Cincinnati Section, and in 1997 he received the IEEE Professional Achievement Award. He has held several research and management positions in industry working for such companies as Battelle's Columbus Laboratories, Rockwell International, and Claspan Corporation. He joined the University of Cincinnati in 1985.

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Xuefu Zhou University of Cincinnati

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Xuefu Zhou received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 2002 and 2006, respectively, both from the University of Cincinnati where he joined the faculty as an assistant professor in September 2005 and became an associate professor in September 2010. From July 1995 to August 2000, he worked as a R&D Engineer, then Senior Engineer and Project Manager in the industry designing and developing distributed computer control systems, real-time embedded systems for various process controls. He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ASEE.

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Development of Low-Cost Radio Frequency Test Equipment Supporting Laboratory Testing of RF Communications ProjectsThis paper describes the construction of low-cost radio frequency test equipment used tosupport a senior level Project Based Learning course in Radio FrequencyCommunications offered to Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology students.High quality commercial equipment is difficult to obtain and often limits laboratoryactivities. The author presents low-cost, easy to construct, test equipment thatcircumvents this difficulty. A goal of the course is for students to development andexecutes a set of test procedures that extract the performance characteristics of a HighFrequency communications receiver. Parameters such as minimum discernable signal,blocking dynamic range, and third-order intermodulation intercept point are measured. Asecondary goal is to introduce students to the use of a project journal to record ideas,data, test results, and experiences through the project. To date, student feedback on thelaboratory activities have been very positive and a representative selection of studentcomments is included in the paper.

Everly, J. O., & Zhou, X. (2011, June), Development of Low-Cost Radio Frequency Test Equipment Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17777

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