this test file
to before ordering to make sure everything works for you.
*Discount price is extended to anyone who purchased an earlier version.
Proof of purchase required (sometimes I can look up your order to verify). Previous version
purchased under a different company affiliation does not qualify. ** Unlocked version gets you full access to all worksheets
and VBA code. Copyright & non-redistribution rules still apply.
There might be minor differences between the current version of
Wireless System Designer™ and what is shown in these screen captures.
20 Chart Types
Block Diagram Icons
Help | Hints
For more than a decade, RF Cascade
Workbook 2005™ has been the de facto standard for spreadsheet-based RF system cascade
analysis. Wireless System Designer™ is the next phase in the evolution - not just
an upgrade from RFCW2005. If you know how to use Excel and you know anything about
cascaded system calculations, then you know how to use Wireless System Designer™.
This is significantly easier and faster than using the multi-thousand dollar simulators when
a quick system analysis is all that is needed. Hundreds of hours have gone into developing
this tool. Please see Wireless System Designer™ intro video
below for an overview of features.
Mouse-over Comments for Cells
Excel's cell comment feature is use extensively
to provide guidance for Wireless System Designer™ (WSD). The contents of all the
hints - and more - can be found on the "Help" worksheet (click the
tab at the bottom). The "Help" worksheet, cell mouse-
Assistance: Because the price for Wireless System Designer™
is so low, I cannot provide any level of assistance with setup or
operation. After all, you're getting an amazingly feature-filled program for less than an
hour of an engineer's billable time. Reported errors, if any, will be addressed ASAP.
Macros: You must be able to enable macros to run or you cannot use
Wireless System Designer. Please download this test file to
make sure before ordering.
System Requirements: Excel 2007 & Windows 2008 or newer. These
instructions and screenshots were made in Excel 2007, so your screen and menu placements might
be a little different. I verified that everything works fine all the way through Excel 2016.
Help: Here is the complete
Help Page from Wireless System
States copyright law. Unauthorized copying, alteration, or distribution of this spreadsheet
is prohibited by law. As a lawful owner of a Wireless System Designer™ user license,
you are permitted to make modifications for your unique application; however, this workbook
may not be modified and distributed or sold as a new product.
Disclaimer:Wireless System Designer™
is offered AS IS. Your use of Wireless System Designer™ implies you alone accept
responsibility for results obtained through its use, and will hold harmless Kirt Blattenberger,
RF Cafe, and all legal assigns for any losses incurred through its use. Wireless System
Designer™ has been tested very thoroughly, and there are no known problems at the time
of this release. Discrepancies that affect accurate results, if discovered, will be fixed
ASAP and a replacement version will be provided at no cost. Also, any and all User modifications
to Wireless System Designer™ - other than entering values in the provided Unlocked
cells, negates any and all responsibility by RF Cafe for the integrity of the software. Unprotecting
a worksheet negates responsibility by RF Cafe.
over comments, and this web page comprise the totality of documentation for Wireless System
Designer™. There is no separate document available. RF Cascade Workbook
2005™ should also be useful since it extensively documents formulas. Combined,
there is a lot of information about not just how to use WSD, but also how cascaded system
analysis works. RF Cafe is also chock full of
related information, so one way or the other,
Locked vs. Unlocked Cells and VBA Code
The built-in ability of locking cells to prevent
unintentional overwriting of formulas is used in Wireless System Designer™.
Most of the time the protection can be left on. Trust me, even after becoming familiar with
use, you will still find yourself accidently attempting to type into formula cells, and of
course doing so invalidates calculated results. Probably the only time you will need to remove
protection is when inserting or deleting columns or rows. I recommend never Unprotecting any
worksheet since doing so invalidates the integrity as provided. Be sure to reapply Protection
if you decide to Unprotect. See the WSD
Protecting & Unprotecting the Worksheet
Use Excel's Protect Sheet and Unprotect Sheet commands to lock and unlock, respectively,
the cells. Use the Password provided in the e-mail sent to you with the file attached. I will
be glad to provide it to you again with a proof of purchase.
When Protecting the worksheet, be sure to select ALL the check boxes in order to ensure
that the macros will run (click thumbnail above). You might
need to scroll down in the window to access all the check boxes. See
information on the WSD "Help" page.
Since the complete worksheet occupies nearly
900 rows, a convenient drop-down menu is provided to move up and down the page. Information
necessary for the navigation to function is in the cell behind the menu, so if you accidently
overwrite the cells, navigation no longer works (keep Protection turned
Hiding and Unhiding Columns
Rather than deleting and/or adding component stage columns,
it is much simpler to Hide and/or Unhide columns. Doing so retains all the information without
having to go through all the steps needed for deleting and/or adding columns. All the input
and calculated is retained and included in the overall output, but the Hidden stage columns
are not included in the charts. Hiding component stage columns can be a good way to exclude
unneeded plots from the charts without requiring you to delete/add data series - which is
itself a pain to do.
System Cascade Charts
Charts are pre-configured for plotting all calculated
cascade parameters. Auto-scaling of the axes is the default, but you can change all aspects
of the chart formats per Excel standard. Select chart to display using drop-down menu.
These four top-level overall system parameters
are used for many calculations. Be sure to define them along with the individual stage component
Build System Block Diagram
Build your system block diagram using the provided
images or make your own. Click on the "Icons" tab at the bottom of the page to access and
copy the desired icon (58x32 pixels), then paste it into the block diagram. Use Excel's standard
Objects alignment and spacing tools for a perfect layout.
Specify Component Parameters
Enter each stage's nominal and tolerance values. Error
checking is provided for exceeding power or gain limits (see below), no negative noise figure
(NF), making sure NF is equal to absolute value of a negative gain component, etc. Errors
are reported in the "Status" cells. Two rows f user-defined cells are provided for formulas
along with a "User Defined" chart that displays the cell data.
Set Limits on Gain and Power Input Values
Set maximum values for stage component input parameters.
These values are used for Data Validation in the input parameter cells. This results in a
limit where the charts auto-scale, since entering a null value of, say +999 dBm for IP3
will render its affect utterly unnoticeable by the system, the IP3 chart will auto-scale to
+1000 dBm or more while the IP3 level in your actual system might be a maximum of +50 dBm.
The useful data would then be crunched almost entirely at the bottom 5% of the chart. Of course
you can always go in and manually scale the chart axis minimum and maximum values as desired
if you do use +999 dBm as the null value. This just keeps things reasonable in case you
prefer to let the charts auto-scale. Besides, +100 dBm is good enough in most instances.
Specify Lower and Upper Frequency Sweep Limits for Filter Calculations
Enter the lower and upper frequency range for calculating
the system response inclusive of filters and frequency conversion stages. 175 equally spaced
frequency steps are calculated for all stages. Depending on your system, you might want to
do sweeps across the entire input band of concern, then do narrower sweeps that will provide
finer detail within your smaller filter bandwidths.
Note: the Lower frequency cannot be zero (0) because of the
logarithmic horizontal chart scale. The smallest value permitted is 10-12,
which is small enough to include 1 Hz even when the Upper frequency is 1 THz.
Every stage can contain a frequency-dependent component
which can be an actual filter or a model of the frequency response of an amplifier, cable,
coupler, etc. WSD checks to make sure all required inputs are present and alerts you if they
are not. For example, if you select a bandpass filter and do not enter a lower frequency or
if you use a Chebyshev and do not enter a ripple value (or if you enter invalid values, like
lower frequency greater than upper frequency).
Frequency Translation (Mixers | Modulators) Specifications
As with the filter specifications, every stage can
have a frequency translation. That means there is no limit to the number of frequency conversions
your system can have, although from a practical standpoint you will probably never have more
than three. WSD checks to make sure all required inputs are present and alerts you if they
Frequency-Dependent Power Levels
Frequency-dependent power levels based on filter responses
and frequency translations are calculated separately from the other system cascade calculations
(NF, IP2, IP3, etc.). Along with the filter response, all nominal stage component gains are
included. Results are plotted in the "Frequency Response" ("Signal Power vs. Frequency") chart.
These frequency-dependent gains and power levels are not used in any of other cascade
calculations (NF, IP2, IP3, etc.). Note that frequency and power levels presented this matrix
are actually calculated in cells below Row 540, but are done this way to conveniently place
power levels next to their associated frequencies while making data selection for the chart
simpler (take my word for it).
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB.
Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference
material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet
was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used
on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.