Review: Spectrum and Network Measurements (2nd Edition)

-December 22, 2014

With the increasing implementation of wireless (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee) and many other wireless protocols, it’s increasingly important for product designers to feel competent in using spectrum analyzers. Those who are dealing with high speed data or serial I/O will also need to know how to set up and use network analyzers to evaluate transmission lines and power distribution networks (PDNs).

Spectrum and Network Measurements, by Robert Witte, is destined to become a classic work on the subject. If you are a new RF or EMI engineer, or are a product designer incorporating wireless into your designs, and you’re not quite sure how to use or optimally set up a spectrum or network analyzer, then this is the book for you!

Just recently republished as a second edition, Robert Witte, has completely updated his Spectrum and Network Measurements text to include information on the latest digital-based analyzers and has included topics on real time analysis and today’s digital wireless measurements. Most chapters have been thoroughly updated.

While the book discusses the internal architecture of the measurement instruments, the real focus of the book remains how to measure the frequency domain nature of signals and systems propagating through circuits.

Concepts such as Fourier analysis, transmission lines, s-parameters are important for understanding the new wireless and high speed digital technology. The book has plenty of examples, including the mathematical principles for concepts, such as resolution bandwidth, video filtering, and various detection modes of AM, FM, and digital signals. While not delving deeply into these subjects, there are plenty of references listed for those who wish to dig further. The book is a good balance of theory, measurement concepts and practical examples.

Brief content with major topics:

Chapter 1 - Introduction to spectrum and network measurements
Chapter 2 - Use of Decibels, gain/loss calculations
Chapter 3 - Fourier theory, transforms of various signals
Chapter 4 - Fast Fourier transform (FFT) analyzers, windowing, real-time bandwidth
Chapter 5 - Swept spectrum analyzers, resolution bandwidth, types of detectors
Chapter 6 - Modulation measurements, AM, FM, digital, quadrature
Chapter 7 - Distortion measurements, harmonic and intermodulation distortion
Chapter 8 - Noise and noise measurements, power spectral density, equivalent noise bandwidth
Chapter 9 - Pulse measurements, pulse spectrum, pulsed RF
Chapter 10 - Averaging and filtering, pre- and post-detection filtering, RMS average
Chapter 11 - Transmission lines, theory and measurement errors
Chapter 12 - Measurement connections, loading effect, high-Z probes, dividers/splitters
Chapter 13 - Two-port networks, impedance, admittance, hybrid, and s-parameters
Chapter 14 - Network analyzers, vector network analyzers, directional bridges/couplers
Chapter 15 - Vector network measurements, linear phase, group delay, normalization
Chapter 16 - EMC measurements, radiated emissions, EMI detectors, troubleshooting
Chapter 17 - Analyzer performance and specifications, dynamic range
Appendix A - Two-port vector error correction

This book would have been a great help when I was just starting out my career as an EMC engineer. Now that many of the products my clients are working on include high speed digital serial data and various wireless protocols, this new update becomes even more valuable. Considering the content, the $75 retail price seems a good buy for an engineering text. Highly recommended.

Full disclosure: I helped edit the first edition of this book back in 2004 and provided some images and helped edit the chapter on EMC Measurements for this second edition.

For more:

U.S. distributor (Stylus Publishing)

International distributor (The IET)


Robert Witte’s measurements web site

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