How to Speak RF (and Wireless)

Course 187

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This 2 day course will explain the basic principles of RF and wireless telecommunications equipment so that professionals in non-technical jobs can understand what their technical colleagues are talking about. The course begins with a discussion of how voice, video and data communication systems work. Then the eight important vocabulary terms of RF are carefully explained. The key components that make up any RF communication system are then described, and illustrated with hardware examples. The function of base stations and access points are then explained. Multiple access techniques, which allow the maximum number of customers to use a particular system are defined. The cell phone industry, from its start, to its present capability, and on into the future is described. Finally high speed data systems, like 802.11 are explained. Attend this course, and the language of RF and Wireless will no longer be a mystery.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • Speak the vocabulary of RF and Wireless equipment.
  • Understand what their technical colleagues are talking about.
  • Communicate effectively about RF and wireless equipment

Target Audience

Professionals in management, finance, public relations, marketing, personnel, and other non-technical specialties who need to understand their company’s technical goals, project status, and what their technical counterparts are doing.


Absolutely none, except the desire to learn what RF and wireless is all about.


Day One

How Telecommunication Systems Work
 • Telecom signals in time and frequency • Voice signals • Video signals • Digitizing voice and video signals • Data signals • Compression • Error correction
The RF concepts you need
 • Frequency • Wavelength • The electromagnetic spectrum • RF power • dB and dBm made simple • Phase • Impedance • propagation and multipath fading
RF communication systems
 • Block diagram • Functions of each RF part
Transmission lines
 • Waveguide and coax • Microstrip • Mismatches
How each part in the block diagram works
 • Phase locked oscillator • Modulator • Upconverter • Power amplifier • Antennas • Filter • Low Noise Amplifier • Mixer • RF integrated circuits

Day Two

Base stations and access points
Multiple access – How the maximum number of users can be served
 • FDMA, TDMA • CDMA • OFDM, OFDMA • Packet data
Cell phone evolution
 • Then: 1G analog and 2G digital • 3G with voice, video and data capability • LTE
Short range, high data rate systems
 • 802.11