So… How Do I Get Started With Radio Frequency (RF)?

Exploring the different options available for learning about RF

Almost all the 7.5 Billion people around the world rely on RF in some way, whether it be through their cell phones, an internet connection, or simply listening to the radio! Most people regularly use and rely on RF technology to go about their lives, however, only a very tiny percentage of these people are lucky enough to have an understanding in how RF works. From enjoying a fun and rewarding hobby, to simply figuring out why your Wi-Fi does not reach as far as the kitchen, an understanding of RF has many clear benefits. So for those of us who don’t have this understanding, how should we go about learning?

The Obvious Answer

While not the most exciting option, a good way to learn RF is by studying it. Whether it be taking an online class, or reading a book, these are both good ways to gain a deep understanding in the theoretical workings of RF. Unfortunately, this is not an option for most people. We don’t all have time to get an electrical engineering degree as a prerequisite  before diving into a few good books on the subject of RF. But if you already have a solid background understanding of electrical engineering, and are in pursuit of a complete theoretical understanding of RF, this is a pretty good solution. If this is something that interests you, both reddit and  quora agree that M icrowave Engineering: 4th Edition by David M. Pozar is the book to read if you are interested in learning more about RF, and RF circuit building. 

Now that the obligatory “read a book” recommendation is out of the way, let’s move on to a few other more hands-on methods of learning RF. 

Hands-On Learning

We believe that the absolute best way to learn something is by doing it. This means that if you wish to learn about RF, then you must build a radio! That is easier said than done. While you could always jam components together on a breadboard until you inevitably happen upon something which resembles a radio (we do not recommend this approach as it might take you a couple hundred years), there is no need to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of companies out there who’ve created excellent kits which should help you get started. Below are our recommendations for a few different kits which should help you progress your RF knowledge. We have organized them based on the skill level we believe is needed to build them. 

For The Absolute Beginner

If you are an absolute beginner, then these kits are for you. Whether you are trying to learn about RF for the first time, or are experienced in RF and want to share your knowledge with your children, both of these kits are a good place to start. 

The first kit we believe is perfect for the absolute beginner is the FM Radio Kit by Elenco . Only requiring basic soldering skills, this kit is perfect for anyone who wants to kick-start their...