RF 101 - Information for the RF Challenged

For those of you with previous RF experience or a good grasp of RF basics, skip this tutorial. Its simplicity will probably insult your intelligence. For those of you delving into the fearsome world of RF for the first time, however, read it fully and with care. When you finish you will have a clearer understanding of how signals are transmitted and received in an RF environment, and perhaps a newfound admiration for the unseen world of wireless intelligence that swirls around us.

This application note goes to great lengths to remove the mysteries of RF. Please don’t mistake the ease with which you may grasp these basic principles for the effort required to actually execute an RF design. Nooo, noooo, kiddies, don’t try this at home. At least not if your job’s on the line. The science of RF is unlike any other area of discipline in electronics. Proficient RF design requires sophisticated test equipment, years of experience, lots of money, and a big smile from above. Fortunately, while actual RF design is quite difficult, understanding basic RF concepts is amazingly straightforward.