[?] Looking for information on RF matching using S-parameters.

The matching examples in Bowick's book are pretty much timeless when it comes to narrowband, passive matching networks. By "more recent," what sort of information are you looking for?

I'm not really aware of that many programs that specifically address matching that also happen to be particularly inexpensive. Many people just use the freebie SPICE simulators to tweak matching circuits. Other programs might be something like PUFF or "whatever that program is that comes with Experimental Methods in RF Design that's kinda similar to PUFF" (both of these are free). WinSmith can be useful (and it really does seem aimed more at teaching than necessarily making any production designs), but it's actually rather spendy IMO ($149!) for what you get (I have a copy myself that came with Noble Publishing's re-print of Smith's "Electronic Application of the Smith Chart," -- they now have a slightly different bundle for $199 at

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which I suppose isn't that horribly spendy... although I very much suspect Randy Rhea has a MUCH nicer car than I do...)

Fancy programs such as Eagleware's Genesys and Agilent's ADS can design fancy matching networks (i.e., wideband) automatically, but these programs are not even close to being within a hobbyist's budget (think 5 digits...).

You might want to check out Agilent's application note, "S-Parameter Design" (AN154) (free on the web).

Again, what exactly are you trying to do?

---Joel Kolstad

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Joel Kolstad
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It's been a good few years since I last encountered S-parameters.

I now need to try and refresh my ageing memory about how to use them to calculate networks for matching the input and output of some Agilent RF transistors to 50 ohm lines at UHF frequencies.

I already have the Sams book 'RF Circuit Design' by Chris Bowick which is quite useful, but I was wondering if anyone in this NG can recommend any other, more recent (on-line ?) sources of information or maybe some inexpensive matching design programs that might help to make my re- learning job a bit easier. I'm really looking for a 'KISS' solution and not a sophisticated (or hugely expensive) CAD design program that requires hours and hours of reading and hands-on learning time before anything of use can be produced.

TIA - Dave

...now waiting to see who asks what 'KISS' stands for ;-)

David C.Chapman - Chartered Engineer. FIEE. ( snipped-for-privacy@minda.co.uk)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHAPMAN ASSOCIATES is a Consultancy offering practical expertise and design skills in the fields of counter-surveillance, electronic protection and security. Visit our Web site at

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David Chapman

My RF class used the second edition of _Microwave Engineering_ by Pozar, which was published in 1998

If you only need a narrowband match, you could just use a Smith chart and maybe a couple of spreadsheets to do all the calculations you need. Can't get much simpler than that. Well, actually you could ditch the spreadsheet, too, then it would be really simple. ;-)

Note that I took a class which covered this stuff, but I have never tried to design a reactive matching network in real-life.


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You might take a look at:

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Which has "A Collection of Smith Chart Resources"

The HP (Agilent) ones are good. And I recognize several other good ones as well.


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