Home > Store

Essential Guide to RF and Wireless, The, 2nd Edition

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Essential Guide to RF and Wireless, The, 2nd Edition


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-035465-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-035465-5

The only easy-to-understand guide to the wireless revolution!

  • The easy-to-understand guide to the wireless revolution–fully updated for the latest technologies!
  • New and expanded coverage: broadband fixed wireless, WLANs, wireless Internet, Bluetooth, smart antennas, and more
  • Updated coverage of CDMA, GPS, LMDS, and WLL systems
  • Concepts, terminology, components, and systems–plus new wireless glossary
  • Perfect for marketers, investors, tech writers, PR specialists, and other non-engineers!

There's a wireless revolution underway! With The Essential Guide to RF and Wireless, Second Edition, you can understand it, join it, and help drive it–even if you don't have a technical background.

Leading consultant Carl J. Weisman has thoroughly updated this bestseller to reflect new market realities and breakthrough technologies–from wireless 802.11 LANs to broadband fixed wireless, and beyond. Mr. Weisman covers wireless at every level you need to understand: concepts, terminology, building blocks, and above all, how complete wireless systems actually work. Drawing on his extensive experience training sales professionals, he explains the essence of every key wireless/RF technology–clearly, comprehensibly, and with just the right touch of humor.

  • Spread spectrum and CDMA: how they work and why they're important
  • New! Detailed section on broadband fixed wireless: the new "last mile" solution for residential subscribers
  • New! Satellite Internet delivery
  • New! Smart antenna and superconducting filter technologies and their implications
  • New! Wireless Internet, m-commerce, and Bluetooth
  • Expanded! Global Positioning Systems: technologies and applications
  • Updated! Preview the future of mobile telephony
  • Updated! Wireless LANs and home networking

From its all-new glossary to its extensive collection of charts, diagrams, and photographs, no other wireless/RF book is as accessible or as friendly! Whether you're a sales or marketing pro, customer, investor, tech writer, PR specialist, trade press writer, analyst, planner, or student, here's the up-to-the-minute briefing you've been searching for!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Mobile Telephony: What Makes it Mobile?

Table of Contents



1. Basic Concepts.

Introduction. Vocabulary. RF Basics.

2. RF Behavior.

Loss and Gain. Decibels. Bandwidth. Wideband and Narrowband. RF in the Environment. Match.


3. Basic System Components.

Block Diagrams. Antennas. Amplifiers. Filters. Mixers. Sources. A Quick Review.

4. Other Components.

Switches. Attenuators. Dividers and Combiners. Couplers. Circulators and Isolators. Transformers. Detectors. Phase Shifters. Phase Detectors. Review of Components.

5. Circuits and Signals.

Semiconductors. Circuit Technologies. Modulation. Getting Around.


6. Older Technology.

Broadcasting. Radar. Satellite Communications. Point-to-Point Microwave.

7. Mobile Telephony.

A World of Choices. The Cellular Concept. Underlying Technology. CDMA Explained. Cellular Evolution.

8. The New World of Wireless.

Broadband Fixed Wireless. Wireless Networks. The Mobile Internet. The Bleeding Edge.

Appendix A. Acronyms.
Appendix B. Specifications.
About the Author.



A lot has transpired in the world of RF and wireless since I wrote the first edition of The Essential Guide to RF and Wireless. It seems as though this wonderful technology, which has actually been around quite a long time, has just begun to take off in the last two years. One thing is certain, there is no doubt that our lives will be forever changed by the wireless revolution we are now experiencing.

This book is written for all those who want to understand how this mysterious technology actually works, but did not have the good fortune (?) to get an engineering degree. Toward this end, the book's overriding goal is to simplify RF electronics and wireless technology with analogies, metaphors, and a minimum of mathematics. Many photographs and figures are included to help explain things further. Unlike other books of its kind, however, it takes a distinctly lighthearted approach to the subject by incorporating witticisms and sarcasm, occasionally directed at the book's hypothetical protagonist, the RF engineer. This book is intentionally made humorous because the subject matter is so dry. My feeling is, no matter how brilliantly written or factually correct an introductory book on RF is, if it is too long and boring, you will never get past the first chapter—which is really funny, by the way.

The Essential Guide to RF and Wireless takes an overly simplistic approach to the subject matter. In this vein, it accomplishes two main objectives: it provides a conceptual understanding of RF components and wireless systems, and it exposes you to the main vocabulary used in the industry. You can hardly expect to understand a topic as complex as wireless communications without first learning its lingua franca.

The Essential Guide to RF and Wireless is intended for non-technical people who know absolutely nothing about RF but need to or just want to. For every engineer working in the field of RF, there are many more non-technical people working in the field who can benefit from understanding and speaking RF. They include non-technical managers, sales administrators, distribution specialists, manufacturer's representatives, buyers, marketing and communications personnel, advertising agents, tradeshow booth staffers, executive recruiters, financial analysts, and technical writers. The first edition was especially popular among investment bankers and venture capitalists.

This book can be used three different ways. First, it can be read cover to cover as the book is organized in such a way where each successive chapter builds on the one before it, starting with basic concepts and terminology and ending with the various kinds of wireless systems. Second, each chapter can be read on a stand-alone basis, for those who need to quickly grasp a single subject or concept. Some of the subject matter is repeated in different chapters in an effort to make each chapter understandable by itself. Finally, this book can be used as a reference. The many tables, the Glossary, and Appendices A and B provide quick access to terminology, acronyms, and specifications used in the wireless industry.

Regardless of how you use this book, if you are new to the subject of RF, you should read all of Part 1 (Chapters 1 and 2), as the rest of the book builds on the fundamental concepts and vocabulary introduced there.

Part 2 (Chapters 3, 4, and 5) is primarily intended for those working in the RF and wireless industry, as it covers the underlying technology of an RF system in great detail. All of the important building blocks used to make RF hardware are explained, as are the different methods used to manufacture them. Also covered is the fascinating topic of modulation, which is how ground-based information gets prepared to enter the wireless world.

New items added to Part 2 in the second edition include smart antennas and superconducting filters. Other components new to the second edition are the phase shifter and phase detector (and the role they play in phase modulation). Consequently, a greatly expanded discussion and visual depiction of phase modulation has been added. Also new to the second edition is a discussion of some of the newer semiconductor materials used today.

Finally, Part 3 (Chapters 6, 7, and 8) is where the fun begins. This part of the book gives you an overview of several wireless systems. Chapter 6 discusses some wireless systems that have been around awhile. These are mostly systems with which you are already familiar but probably never knew how they worked. New additions to Chapter 6 include an expanded discussion of GPS as well as an introduction to satellite Internet delivery.

Chapter 7, which is completely rewritten in the second edition, is devoted entirely to mobile telephony. The chapter discusses the different mobile telephone choices worldwide and how they work. There is even a block diagram of a generic digital cellular phone. Because of its importance to the future of mobile telephony, an entire section in Chapter 7 is devoted to the workings of CDMA. The chapter concludes with a discussion about the future of mobile telephony.

Chapter 8, which is new to the second edition, is devoted to all those wireless technologies, systems, and applications that have exploded onto the scene since I published the first edition. These include developments in broadband fixed wireless, wireless networking, and mobile Internet access. The chapter concludes with discussions of leading-edge wireless technologies, wireless security, and health concerns.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide me with feedback on the first edition. While I enjoyed receiving the complimentary feedback more, the critical feedback hopefully contributed to a better second edition.

If you would like to provide me with your feedback on this edition, feel free to contact me at cjweisman@yahoo.com



Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020