Build a powerful bi-directional 2.4 GHz amplifier for less than $100

Would you want to add a bi-directional 2.4GHz amplifier to your proxim Symphony for less than $100? If you nodded your head, pay attention to this project, which will benefit you in the long run…

Okay, the meaning for bi-directional means you can mount the amplifier at the antenna, which helps overcome any cable loss. In addition to it, the amplifier also can automatically switch between receive and transmit modes.

Some of the components you needed:

  • RF Micro Devices (RF2126 1 watt 8-pin PSOP 2.4 GHz amp IC)
  • HFA3424 2.4 GHz – 2.5 GHz low noise amp (also an 8-pin PSOP device)
  • RF1K49093 8-pin PSOP power MOFSET
  • Some 1/32 inch, double-sized one-ounce copper-clad FR-4 circuit board

First thing first, you must make the circuit board for the amp. To help you here, use those rub-on things from Radio Shack (#276-1490) to layout the pattern. The 1 mm wide traces are nearly perfect for 50-ohm strip lines 4.34 er, 1/32 inch FR-4 board material. Remember to leave large areas for the components that require some grounding process, and remove all the copper around the paths for a smoother RF energy flowing.

2.4 GHz amplifier

After you’ve finished with the circuit board, try to drill and solder all the ground. Start the grounding with the small surface-mount capacitors, resistors, etc., and then the more significant components. You only solder the IC at the end, which protects the IC from any extended damage. [read]

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