everything RF recently interviewed Ing. Zdeněk Hradecký, the Owner and Managing Director of RFspin, a company focused on the development and sale of special broadband measurement antennas. He completed his Engineering and Ph.D. in Radioelectronics from Czech Technical University in Prague where he has also been a faculty of Electrical Engineering. He has been the Managing Director at RFspin since the company’s inception in 2003.
Q. Can you give us a brief history of RF Spin? When was the company founded and what was the objective?
Zdeněk Hradecký: RFspin was founded in 2003 by technical university faculty members, with the goal of transferring our research ideas to business success. Since 2015, the company has had only one owner and we have made great progress. In 2018, we built our own production facility with a lot of technological manufacturing equipment. This greatly supports our research and development, and sales experience. During our time on the market, we have become well-known for our quality broadband measurement antennas and customized design.
Q. What products does RF Spin develop?
Zdeněk Hradecký: Our core business is built on broadband measurement antennas, especially double ridged and quad ridged horn antennas, which we constantly improve and redesign according to the latest technological capabilities and the high demands of our customers.
Q. What differentiates RFspin from other Waveguide Component Manufacturers?
Zdeněk Hradecký: We have achieved much better parameters than our competitors, such as impedance matching, radiation patterns, gain, and frequency ranges reaching the highest levels.
We also have our own production facility, which is a huge advantage since we can control the entire process from design through manufacturing.
Each antenna is measured, and detailed results are shown in our unique Antenna Portal, guaranteeing our customers that all our antennas meet the given parameters.
Q. Do you develop standard products or custom products? What is the typical turnaround time for the development of a custom product?
Zdeněk Hradecký: We have our standard product line, which is mostly measurement antennas. We also create customized designs for companies at the top of their sectors, as well as small and medium businesses. Generally, the % breakdown is 75/25, but of course, that can change year to year.
Our turnaround time for custom designs naturally depends on the complicated nature of the customer request, but 3 months is typical.
Q. Can you tell us about the custom product development process that you use?
Zdeněk Hradecký: Upon receiving the customer request, we assess whether it can be done successfully. We then discuss the parameters of the customer’s needs, their timeline, and the NRE costs.
Once that is agreed upon, we begin designing the antenna or system. Then the simulated data is sent to the customer for approval. Once approved, we begin manufacturing in our own production facility. The product is then tested by us and sent to the customer for their own testing. When they are satisfied with the results, full manufacturing can begin.
Q. Do you have the catalog products in stock? Where can users buy these products? Who are your global distribution partners?
Zdeněk Hradecký: We try to have most of our products in stock, and if not then the delivery time is about 6 weeks. Our distributor network is global, and if there is no local sales representative, then of course potential customers can contact us directly through our website, RFspin.com
Q. What market segments do you target and which segment drives the most business for you? Do you see this changing over the next few years?
Zdeněk Hradecký: Our antennas are used in a wide variety of sectors, including defense, automotive, aviation, education and telecommunications. Currently, 5G telecommunications and 6G development are our fastest-growing businesses. In the near future, we see this trend continuing. Applications combining RF and optics are now making a big leap. In this direction, RFspin has been working together with the University of Prague on the development of Radio-Over-Fiber for several years. We have succeeded in developing a truly cutting-edge device that is capable of transmitting an RF signal over a single optical fiber in both directions. The whole device is fully configurable and the customer can define what parameters it should have.
Q. What is the Antenna Portal? What made you develop this? How can customers use this?
Zdeněk Hradecký: Our Antenna Portal is a unique service for our customers. Each antenna comes with its own special code to allow access to the internet portal, where they can
- find general information about their antenna
- download calibration certificate and report
- download detailed test results dataset in MS Excel
Q. What is the USX – Universal Substrate Box? Can you tell us more about this?
Zdeněk Hradecký: The USX can be briefly described as a quick and easy way to get connectorized µW and mmW modules. It is quite versatile, as well as robust and shielded.
It is prepared for anyone who designs and creates RF components, such as dividers, amplifiers, filters, etc. Here are the basic points:
- Assemble your µW or mmW circuit into a low-cost connectorized and screened module in several minutes
- Use any SMA, 3.5mm, 2.9mm or 2.4mm panel connectors
- Install all needed powering or controlling feed-throughs
- Use RF substrates with thicknesses ranging from 0.2 to 1.2mm
- All of this in one low-cost universal kit, max. 4 or 6 connectors
Q. What are some new and interesting products you are working on? What is the 3-year product roadmap for RFspin?
Zdeněk Hradecký: Our newest product is the high-gain broadband horn antenna DRH0844 with excellent impedance matching. The frequency band limit is pushed to the edge. Here the bandwidth is from 8 GHz up to 44 GHz. VSWR avg. only 1.2. This is especially useful for 5G measurements. At the same time, we are working hard to cover all our antennas for outdoor use. The first units have already been sent to customers for testing.
Our plan is to continue our high-quality production and design, in keeping with the latest in RF technology.
Click here to learn more about RFspin and its products.