The only easy-to-understand guide to the wireless revolution!
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.
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!
I. FUNDAMENTALS.1. Basic Concepts.
Introduction. Vocabulary. RF Basics.2. RF Behavior.
Loss and Gain. Decibels. Bandwidth. Wideband and Narrowband. RF in the Environment. Match.
II. RF HARDWARE.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.
III. RF SYSTEMS.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.Glossary.
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 chapterwhich 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