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November 22, 2017
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What's new on Microwaves101?

As is always the case, we've been busy adding plenty of new features to Microwaves101. We ain't been slack, Cap'n Walker!

With Halloween coming up fast, there may still be time to get your Pennywise costume from Amazon Prime.  Meanwhile, "It's" time to see what's new on Microwaves101 for October 2017!

  • In the rare class of three-way planar power combiners, there are few that offer ideal performance.  We have posted two such designs. Note that we are presenting them as equal split, but all it takes is a little optimization to make them meet your requirements for unequal distribution.  In some cases you care about phase of the outputs of power dividers (like in power combining) but there are lots of applications where you don't care.  For example, in a monopulse radar receiver, you will need to distribute local oscillator power to Sum, Delta Az and Delta El signal paths, and the relative phases don't matter.
  • We have a new page on a three-way rat-race combiner.  It was patented in 1981 by ITT (part of Harris today), we could not find any published reference to it.  The inventor did not recognize that it is a rat-race, but it surely is. It is the result of feeding the sum port of two identical power dividers and overlaying them so that they share one side. The three outputs are all in-phase but unfortunately are not located on the same side of the network so it might be difficult to use as a power combiner.  You could also argue that it is related to a Gysel combiner.
  • We also have a page on a three-way branchline hybrid coupler.  We found it in a Nokia patent from 1992, which seems like it is about to expire but we are not here to offer legal advice.  Nokia did not recognize it as a type of branchline coupler, but it is an obvious cousin. The outputs are in quadrature, conveniently all located on one side of the network.
  • We now have a page on chicken dots.  Chicken dots are used by engineers that are "chicken" that their design might not meet specs.   In this analog world, a wise engineer should always include knobs to turn that to tweak performance on first-pass efforts. Chicken dots are small rectangles of metal that are printed close to microstrip circuits, that can be connected to the network using wirebonds or other methods. On our new page we show how chicken dots can be used to tune out effects of wirebonds, and we also examine the possibility that you can put too many dots on a design.
  • Here's a new engineering portmanteau: viacitor.  Combining "via" and "capacitor", it is a bad day when you find viacitors while taking final-front-side data on your wafer.
  • Meanwhile, on our discussion board, people are talking  power divider theoretical bandwidth limitations.  If you are interested in making homemade radar, we have a new thread on that.   Here's a conversation about jamming drones.  Please join our discussions, or ask your own question!

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Author: Unknown Editor
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