1996 - 2016
BSEE - KB3UON
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 WYSIWYG ...
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Diode detectors, discriminators, and limiters cover a very wide range of circuit configurations that perform functions like demodulating communications signal and signaling the presence of signals. Early detectors were implemented using vacuum tubes, but of course modern versions use silicon, germanium, GaAs, and other kinds of semiconductor compounds. Peak detectors, average detectors, video detectors, and others are built out of anything from standard PN junction silicon diodes to more elaborate constructions like Schottky, Gunn, and Esaki tunnel diodes.
Discriminators typically consist of a differentiator followed by an envelope detector, as with an FM radio. In general, it is a device that converts a property of an input signal, such as frequency or phase, into an amplitude variation, depending on how the signal differs from a standard or reference signal. Whereas a detector can be made of a single diode, resistor and capacitor, a discriminator is usually a more complex circuit.
Limiters are designed to prevent signals from exceeding a predetermined level, either to prevent damage to the following circuits, or to prevent signal degradation beyond a defined amount.
Advanced Control Components (now Cobham Signal &
| 408-541-9226 | Sunnyvale, CA
(now Teledyne Cougar)
| 408-941-8399 | San Jose, CA
Micronetics (now Mercury Systems)
| 301-662-5019 | Frederick, MD
Technology (now MTI-Milliren Technologies)
| 203-380-9800 | Stratford, CT
Res-Net Microwave | 727-536-7861 | Largo, FL
Microwave Solutions Ltd