Dr. David Ricketts

Dr. David Ricketts

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Phone: 919-513-7361
Instructor Website

ECE 524 Radio System Design

3 Credit Hours

Introduction to communication theory and radio system design. Design and analysis of radio systems, such as heterodyne transceivers, and effects of noise and nonlinearity. Design and analysis of radio circuits: amplifiers, filters, mixers, baluns, and other transmission line and discrete circuits. Students will learn to design, build and test a cell phone radio by hand. Radio can be made at home.



Microelectronics (NC State 302) OR

Electromagnetic Fields (NC State 303)

Course Objectives

  • Learn modulation methods for analog and digital radios
  • Learn signal processing techniques (as they are used in analog circuits) for bandwidth and itnerference rejection
  • Learn how to simulate modern radios at the system level
  • Learn how RF components operate and are designed, including transmission line circuits
  • Learn how to design, simulate, build and test exemplar RF circuits (mixer, amplifier, power combiner, etc)
  • Learn how to construct a fully hand made 950 MHz digital radio

Course Requirements

  • 60-90 min of lecture per week
  • Weekly short quizzes (15%)
  • Weekly HW for 1st half of semester (15%)
  • Two exams 1st half of semester (10% each)
  • Weekly labs (virtual) done using software on your home computer. Labs are done with instructor virtually. (25%)
  • Final project is to design/simulated a 950 MHz digital radio from scratch (25%)


None Required

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review the minimum computer specifications that NC State University and Engineering Online recommend.

Cadence AWR Microwave Office. Licenses for 6 months is free and can be installed on PC or mac with PC emulation

Updated: 10/31/2022