Formulas & Data:
- Electronics
- Mathematics
- Physics
- RF & Microwaves

Parts Vendors:
- all hand-selected

- Amateur Radio
- Vintage Articles:
- Electronics World
- Popular Electronics
- Radio & TV News
- Radio Craft
- Short Wave Craft
- Wireless World

- Events Calendar
RF Cafe Homepage
Copyright 1999-2015   •−•  ••−•    −•−•  •−  ••−•  •   "RF Cafe" in Morse Code  >> Listen to It <<
- EW & Radar Handbook
- Quizzes       - Software
- App Notes
- Calculators
- Advertise on RF Cafe
- About RF Cafe™
- RF Cafe Shirts & Mugs
- RF Cafe Archives
RF Cafe Book Contest
- RF Cafe on Visit RF Cafe on Facebook Visit RF Cafe on Twitter Visit RF Cafe on LinkedIn
- Tech Humor
- Forums Archive
- Job Board
- Donate to RF Cafe
- Kirt's Cogitations
Custom Search
More than 10,000 searchable pages indexed.
Greetings: There is so much good stuff on RF Cafe that there is no way to list or link to all of it here. Please use the Search box or the Site Map to find what you want - there is a good chance I have it here. Thanks!

Applying SWR to Circuit Efficiency - RF Cafe Forums

Because of the high maintenance needed to monitor and filter spammers from the RF Cafe Forums, I decided that it would be best to just archive the pages to make all the good information posted in the past available for review. It is unfortunate that the scumbags of the world ruin an otherwise useful venue for people wanting to exchanged useful ideas and views. It seems that the more formal social media like Facebook pretty much dominate this kind of venue anymore anyway, so if you would like to post something on RF Cafe's Facebook page, please do.

Below are all of the forum threads, including all the responses to the original posts.

Post subject: Applying SWR to Circuit Efficiency
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:27 pm

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Understanding and applying SWR measurements.

I am matching two circuits to a 50Ohm load at 915MHz, using a vector network analyzer. My matching network is a shunt capacitor followed by series inductor, a standard L-matching network. Both circuits have the same topology but use a different diode. While matching the circuits, I also record SWR and use this for efficiency calculations.

After the circuits are matched, I connect each to an RF signal generator (50Ohm impedance) which is set to 915MHz, 10dBm and then measure the output voltage of my circuit. Voltage is taken across a load resistor.

One of my goals is to calculate the circuit efficiency. I calculate efficiency as the output power of the circuit divided by input power to the circuit. Input power is set by the signal generator and output power is calculated by V^2 over R (my load). I am also interested in output voltage (and hence output power) alone. So I have two measures for how to rate my circuits, efficiency and output power.

What I have seen is that a circuit with lower output voltage but high SWR seems to be more efficient than a circuit with higher output voltage but low SWR. When looking at efficiency with SWR applied I am confused by the results. I apply SWR to Pin as a reduction of this value. SWR tells me that the input power to the circuit is the incident power (10dBm) minus the reflected power. I am confident that this part of my calculation is correct. Here is some data from my tests:

Circuit 1
SWR, Pin, Pout, Eff w/o SWR, Eff w/ SWR
3.00, 10dBm, 8.09dBm, 64.5%, 86.0%

Circuit 2
SWR, Pin, Pout, Eff w/o SWR, Eff w/ SWR
1.35, 10dBm, 8.78dBm, 75.5%, 77.2%

What does it mean that Circuit 1 can operate more efficiently (when applying the SWR) but have a lower output voltage than the second circuit? Does it make sense that I should be able to increase the efficiency of Circuit 2 while maintaining the low SWR? If I could do this, then the output power/voltage should increase.

The efficiency calculations that do not account for SWR make sense to me but the other calculations do not. Circuit 1 may have a higher efficiency but the power of my source still needs to be 10dBm for this to happen, it is not like I can reduce the power with a better match (lower SWR) and have the same efficiency.

Any thoughts?
Thank you,


Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:44 am

are you measuring SWR at Pin =10dBm or based on small signal measurement?



Post subject: Efficiency
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:47 pm


What kind of circuit are you working with?

You mention a diode: is this a frequency multiplier, a parametric amplifier, or some other circuit?

Nonlinear circuits do not work the same as linear circuits.

Good Luck!

Posted  11/12/2012

Your RF Cafe
Progenitor & Webmaster

Click here to read about RF CafeKirt Blattenberger… single-handedly redefining what an engineering website should be.

View the YouTube RF Cafe Intro Video Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

5th MOB: My USAF radar shop

Airplanes and Rockets: My personal hobby website

Equine Kingdom: My daughter Sally's horse riding website