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Spreadsheets for System Planning - RF Cafe Forums

The original RF Cafe Forums were shut down in late 2012 due to maintenance issues. Please visit the new and improved RF Cafe Forums that were created in September of 2015. Unlike with the old forums where users registered individually, the new forums use a common User Name and Password so anyone can post without needing to create an account. Please find the current User Name and Password on the RF Cafe homepage. Thanks for your participation.

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 Post subject: Spreadsheets for System Planning
Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:37 pm 
Site Admin
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 701
Location: Erie, PA

As many RF Cafe visitors know, I have provided a series of "RF Cascade Workbook" spreadsheets for performing high-level RF system analysis. The latest version is 2005. I am trying to decide whether to continue the series with a new version, but honestly do not know what additional features would be considered valuable by users. Theoretically, an infinite number of new calculations could be added, but at some point the interface becomes too crowded and navigation difficult. The alternative would be to undertake the significant task of developing an executable software program.

One of the most useful aspects of a spreadsheet is the ability of the user to modify it to either add or delete features to meet his particular needs. Excel has extremely powerful built-in functions and charting capabilities that are laborious to reproduce in software. Excel even has, and I exploit in the "RF Cascade Workbook" series, the ability to error-trap user inputs for data type and range. A disadvantage of spreadsheets, according to some users, is that they do not create as much of a refined presentation for use in reports, etc. I personally like to see spreadsheet work in reports and slideshows because it gives the appearance of a tailored effort. You might not agree.

So, I am creating this poll in hopes of ascertaining your opinion on the usefulness of spreadsheets vs. hard-coded software. Thank you for your time.

- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster

 Post subject:
Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:47 am
Posts: 101
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
I have long used all of your tools to good effect. I recently started using the latest version of RF Cascade Workbook for a new design and it is really great. Yes! By all means, continue the series.

I think what I would like to see is the spur web capablity from RF Workbench (Tx/Rx) on a more modern platform (other than DOS). It still works well but it is kind of slow and difficult to use with other applications - can't copy n' paste, for example. It would be nice to calculate, but perhaps not plot on the spur web, spurs higher than 9th order. I would like to be able to cut and paste all the calculated spurs into a Word document. Also, I would like to be able to have a predicted signal level associated with each spur. This is possible with RF Workbench but it is somewhat tedius to do since you have to manually select which spur to calculate. With the increased computational power of the machines these days, I think those spur levels could possibly be generated automatically without slowing things down too much. I don't think that such a capability would have to be within the same file as RF Cascade Workbook but Excel is a decent platform.

Just my thoughts.


Posted  11/12/2012