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Wed Dec 12 16:22:22 2007
LC filter for the RF-AM monitor circuit
In the LC configuration (see attached schematic) the resonant frequency is tuned to one of the peak of our RF-AM monitor and it is amplified by a factor equal to the Q of the filter. As I wrote in one of the last elog entries, we would like amplifications of about 10-30 dB in order to have negligible couplings. Such values are obtained only with small capacitances (few or less pF). The drawback is relatively large inductance (uH or more) which has inevitably low Self Resonant Frequencies (SRF - the resonant frequencies of the RLC circuit usually associated with an actual inductor - ~ MHz). Even before, one limit is also the input impedance of the RF amplifier. Quality factors > 1 require megaohms, far from the 50 ohms in the MiniCircuit amplifiers Iím using now. So, if we plan to use these even for the final design of the circuit, we have to abandon the LC configuration.
For this same reason the only way I could get the expected responses from my several test boards was with a 10 megaohm input probe (see attachment for the measurement with and without probe). Assuming that impedance, I found these as the best trade-offs between the attenuation requirements and the values of the inductors for respectively the peaks at 33, 66,133, 166,199 MHz:
26uH, 6.6u, 20u, 73u, 16u
If we could find inductor with these values and high SRF the configuration should work. The problem is I couldnít find any. Above a few uH they all seem to have SRF ~ MHz.
That is why I switched to the Butterworth. This should work despite the input impedance of the amplifier and with much smaller inductances. I made a totally new test circuit, with surface mount components. I think I still have to fix some things in the measurements but (this time I got rid of the simulator I was using earlier and designed a new configuration with new values from the Horowitzís tables) it seems I have the expected peaks. More soon.