(325) 942-1140 Office/Fax

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Contact: Ted Langmack




July 1, 2002


To:       Teletoad Services Customers

Subject: Microwave and Basic RF Training Course Outline



This proposal addresses your request for a synopsis or course outline for a microwave radio training course. I will be preparing a custom created course expressly for your technical staff that will address many major areas of R.F. theory. While in development, I will ask you and your staff for input as to course content and course length. I understand the difficult nature of your system demands and the special needs of your technical staff. I can perform this course several ways and address the job requirements of your staff.


This course will be designed to be taught in field location with one or two local technicians doing the study and alignments on radios within their system. It will also be applicable to a group session with multiple students at one location. The method of choice will be yours.


In most manufacturing courses for a specific product, the student will receive excellent theory and hands on testing experiences on that particular transmission device. The student is expected to meet a basic set of prerequisites before being admitted to the course and the manufacturer course will not address any system level theory. Our course will include such topics as "reliable" input power, grounding and lightning protection, test equipment and its use, basic antenna system theory, path propagation theory, path alignment, cabling and wiring requirements, DSX testing and requirements, and of course the radio equipment. The radio theory will be of a nature that can allow the student to apply his knowledge to any brand or any band of microwave assembly.


The course outline offered here as a constructive device. I will undoubtedly make some additions or changes as the course develops and your input will be incorporated into your final product. I will construct this course around a 36-hour presentation (4.5 days) or a more comprehensive 9 day course.







Basic Microwave Theory


I.               Introduction

a.     Student introduction

b.     Course outline

c.      Why do we need radio communications

d.     Advantages of radio

e.      Disadvantages of radio

f.      System planning and technology usage for increased system reliability

g.     ESD - Handling of static sensitive components


II.              Reliable Power for a Reliable Transmission System

a.      Redundancy

b.      Quiet Power

c.       Battery Plants

d.      Alarm and Control


III.           Basic Radio Theory

a.      Electromagnetic Radiation (R.F. Energy)

b.      Specifications

c.       Basic transmitters

d.      Circulator Theory

e.       R.F. Filters

f.       Analog Radio Transmission (History)

g.      Digital Radio Transmission (History)

h.      Types of R.F. Modulation, Overhead, alarm and control, Alarm logging systems

i.       Local Oscillators and Frequency Measurements

j.       Spectrum Occupancy

k.      Slope Measurements

l.       R.F. Power Measurements

m.     APC

n.      The infamous "Carrier Null"

o.      Alarm Detection and Switching Circuits

p.      Receivers

q.      Demodulators

r.       Crystal control or AFC control

s.       Receiver Sensitivity

t.       Group Delay

u.      Automatic and manual adaptive equalizers

v.      ASE (Automatic Slope Equalizers)

w.     Receive Signal Levels, AGC Curves, Threshold and Fade Margin

x.      Bit Error Rate Performance Tests

y.      Alarm and Control (CLA function and "Silent Outage"

z.       Block and Level Drawings


IV.           Test Equipment Requirements and Usage

a.      Test equipment requirements of the manufacturer of your radio gear

b.      Your measurements are only as good as your test equipment allow

c.       Calibration needs

d.      Cords and Adapters

e.       Impedance Matching

f.       D.C. power measurement and noise measurement

g.      Basic R.F. Measurements

h.      Spectral Analysis

i.       Performance Testing

j.       Reliability Measurements

k.      Error Rate Testers

l.       Waveshape and amplitude testing

m.     The powerful Oscilloscope

n.      Test equipment limitations and learning to identify them

o.      Using test equipment to its maximum potential

p.      Caring for your test equipment


V.             Classroom Hands on Test Equipment Instruction

a.      The Volt/Ohmeter and its Full range of uses

b.      The Oscilloscope "Eye opening Measurements, basic controls, inputs, sync, etc.

c.       The R.F. Machines: Power Meter, Frequency Counter, sweepers, etc.

d.      The Spectrum Analyzer

e.       Digital performance testers

f.       Demultiplexing measurements

g.      Good Old Analog Measurements in a Digital World


VI.           Classroom Hands on Alignment Session on Demonstration Radio Equipment

a. Where to start. Creating a test plan    

b.      D.C. Power checks - Alarm test

c.       R.F. Power Checks - Alarm set - Power output check a top of "STACK"

d.      Local Oscillator and output Frequency Test - Lock Alarm check

e.       Spectral Tests - Spectrum Occupancy, Slope, and other applicable tests

f.       Intermediate Frequency (I.F. testing) if required

g.      I and Q level checks if required

h.      Carrier Null Tests required of some radios

i.       Receiver Signal Level checks - RSL and signal loss alarm check

j.       Receive spectral tests - R.F. Slope, I.F. Slope, I and Q levels, etc.

k.      Receiver Local Oscillator checks and alignment - alarm lock check

l.       AGC Curve, Threshold Test, Alarm check, and switchover test

m.     Error Rate Testing and alarm checks

n.      Orderwire and alarms systems

o.      Alarm logging systems


VII.      Grounding Considerations and Lightning Protection      

a.      The importance of a good common grounding system and how to verify it.

b.      Personnel protection

c.       Equipment protection

d.      Fire protection

e.       Antenna system grounding, tower grounds, external site bonds, ground bars, and lightning

f.       Common Sense


VIII.     Over the Hop tests and System level Testing and Troubleshooting

a.      A warning about "Loopback" testing

b.      Directionalizing the problem

c.       Real world "In-Service" Testing to isolate low bit rate problems

d.      T-1 Rate Testing

e.       DS-3 or Sonet level Testing

f.       Cabling requirements, common problems, T-1 analysis, DS-3 Analysis,

g.      The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly………The BNC connector

h.      How to work on a Non-Redundant Radio System without creating TOO MUCH OUTAGE.

i.       When to call the manufacturer or your friendly neighborhood consultant.

j.       Find the trouble before it causes outage…….NOT MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

k.      Getting "Pro-Active" … Not just a "Buzz word"





IX.           The R.F. Path (basic informational)

a.      Basic introduction and propagation theory

b.      Antenna systems, gain, free space loss, transmission lines and loss

c.       Pressurization, silicone grease, and water.

d.      Fading and other impairments to the transmitted signal

e.       Recognizing flat fades, dispersive fades, notching, and blackouts

f.       Precision Path Alignment, uptilting, clearances, feedhorns

g.      Return loss and Reflectometer testing

h.      What to do about excessive outage due to fading

i.       Who ya Gonna Call??? (Where to go with path problems.)

j.       A word about comparative troubleshooting



X.             Technical Resources

a.      What information do I need to work on microwave systems

b.      Where do I get it

c.       Does the company have to pay for it

d.      Additional Training Courses

e.       Self Training, "Secrets Hidden in Books"

f.       Use the "Experts"



Course documents, reference material and training literature were obtained from the following sources.


1.              Alcatel technical manuals and "Engineering Considerations"

2.              Hewlett-Packard (Agilent)

3.              TTC Training (Acterna)

4.              Selected "White Papers" from R.U. Laine Harris Microwave Corporation

5.              Lenkurt "Demodulators"

6.              Communication Network Test & Measurement Handbook by Clyde F. Coombs, Jr.

7.              Lenkurt Electric "Engineering Considerations for Microwave"

8.              T-COM Corporation on Demultiplexing Test Equipment



Ted Langmack, Teletoad Services Telecommunications Consultant and a past system trainer for the GTE System will administer this course.