Theia RF Architecture

Xtian

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I eagerly await Theia, and I understand R&D takes time. Usually going unappreciated by many who don't understand nor have the patience to wait. I can't contribute to the RF architecture, but I'm definitely happy to be along for the ride!
Christmas is looking Real exciting!
 

Token

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@FlamingHedgehog

The only company ever to do that was Heinkel with the He 162 which was a desperate, last-ditch attempt by the Third Reich to deal with swarms of Allied bombers that were wrecking German cities, rail yards and war production factories. Heinkel used an existing jet engine and actually planned to make the aircraft with a wooden frame as Germany was unable to produce enough structural aluminum.

@fishing66 I agree that @FlamingHedgehog's post is probably a troll, and that the development timeline for Theia has not been excessive, by any standard. The Theia timeline to date does not appear to me to be excessive for a consumer electronic product, and indications are they have been working on this effort for roughly 30'ish months now. And they have done that in a time that includes the last 8 or 9 months of COVID limitations. Anyone trying to imply that Radenso is taking too long has obviously never done anything comparable.

But he is correct, several, many even, jet aircraft have gone from concept to flying prototype in about the same time as Theia has taken, and several in significantly less time. For example, the US P-80 Shooting Star went from concept to first flight in 143 days, the F-84 Thunderjet went from concept (11 Sep, 1944) to delivery of 1st article (28 Feb, 1946) in ~17 months, the F-86 Sabre went from concept selection (May, 1945) to first flight 1 Oct, 1947) in about 29 months, the XF-88 Voodoo (became the F-101) went from concept (mid 1946) to first flight (20 Oct, 1948) in about 28 months, and the F100 Super Sabre went from proposal (Jan 1951) to first flight (25 May, 1953) in about 27 months. And those are just a few examples.

That is, of course, an exceptionally unfair and biased comparison. Jet aircraft are typically the product of very large and long standing companies with established histories of such efforts, spending millions (10's, 100's, even 1000's of millions) on each such efforts, often involving teams of hundreds of people for a single effort. Comparing those efforts to Radenso and Theia is very unfair. I have no idea of the net assets of Radenso, and don't care, but I would bet that the entire value of that company is less than the adjusted contract cost of the first delivery item of the XF-88 effort.

As I understand it this is the first in-house designed Radenso detector, by a small team that was apparently put together for this specific effort, and (assuming they deliver sometime in the next couple months) going from concept to product in ~2.5 years. Since they have already demonstrated a couple of working prototypes, and displayed some final production hardware (the RF section in this thread is, I believe, the production example), in can be argued they are probably at the "roll out" state (aircraft production comparison), even if not delivery or first flight state.

After this is all over, after the first detectors are shipping, I would really like to hear / see a short history from Radenso, if possible. A timeline from concept to first production delivery, including the numbers of people in house involved. We have an in-sight of three or four people involved, I suspect there are a few more that have never been on camera or discussed. Understanding the real number of in-house people and any work (if any) done out of house would be a cool picture of the effort.

By the way, I would like to see this kind of thing for any detector, I just think it is more likely we could get such a picture from Radenso than any other maker.

T!
 
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MikePA

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But he is correct, several, many even, jet aircraft have gone from concept to flying prototype in about the same time as Theia has taken, and several in significantly less time.
I respectfully disagree. Flaming Whatever is not correct, in any sense of the word.

Clearly, Flaming Whatever has never run a project. How fast a product or service can go from concept to delivery is a function of many variables, not the least of which is the total number of man hours available which can be dedicated to the project, not calendar days.
 

DC Fluid

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Comparing war effort plane manufacturing is not a good match for a consumer product.
More like a Boeing jetliner, where there can be no shortcuts or lives sacrificed for sake of production timeline or volume.
More realistically, Theia would be compared to a similar consumer electric device, from scratch by a company that had not done it before, with similar resources available.
I'm sure there are many examples.
Radenso has done a great job and this has been incredible insight into the development process.
Better than just hearing about it like Redline 360c orders now available.
 

Rob at Radenso

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This is not an area I have any strength in.
Being able to accurately eyeball distributed element networks shows an amount of strength. Good analysis of the copper.

I am particularly impressed with the filtering going on. Every line seems to have filtering in the form of stubs, open, shorted, and parallel. Are the folded stubs on the LO line low pass filters?
Also, am I correct in the application of antiparallel mixers? If so, how does that impact your overall noise figure?
I'm too tied up to do more than duck in briefly at the moment, my apologies. I'll try to drop back in on this thread when I have little more time to talk about the design.

Rob
 

Vancity23

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Thanks for ducking in Rob...
 

Boozehound

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Someone please define "waiting on Theia." My initial interpretation was that it meant that I wouldn't buy any other RD until Theia. But then G2 came out and I have no buyer's remorse. It seems that one can buy any RD and still be waiting on Theia if it's on their buy list. From the BOM to the superb PCB layout this is an all out effort by a group of enthusiasts. It's a must-have. Even if its cost busts me back to <$18 handles of Svedka, Clan MacGregor, and New Amsterdam gin for a bit.
 

CarefulDriver

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I respectfully disagree. Flaming Whatever is not correct, in any sense of the word.

Clearly, Flaming Whatever has never run a project. How fast a product or service can go from concept to delivery is a function of many variables, not the least of which is the total number of man hours available which can be dedicated to the project, not calendar days.
It is correct, but just like @Token said, it cannot be compared to Theia because Theia is consumer product (not war production).
 

Too3zln

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Be easy Swank. Some people aren't on here often.
 

Jon at Radenso

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The story behind that phrase is one borne out of an incredible amount of frustration. Remember, we never intended on becoming an in-house engineering company. We thought we could contract out jobs to third party engineering firms to do good work and keep our overhead low as a small company.

Nope. That's not how things work. Time and time again, we would get work that was.....ok....but not amazing. I mean, it was better than most other stuff out there, but it just wasn't inspiring or as detail oriented as it should have been. And this is from big time vendors! Vendors that contracted to Lockheed, NASA, etc. So one vendor by one vendor, I started firing them and telling them "we could do better work than this ourselves and we're not even an engineering company." We were all just so incredibly sick of having vendors tell us "that is too hard," "that is impossible," etc. Of course, when I did that I had no clue how we would actually do better work or where we would do it (we had no lab). But I just knew that there was another level of effort and excellence beyond what third parties are willing to invest in something they ultimately have no ownership in.

When you are doing six to seven figure contracts with vendors, they go in phases. So Phase 1 has certain deliverables, then you move to Phase 2 with additional funding for more deliverables, Phase 3, etc.

When we were in the middle of that disappointing period before we fired everyone and took 100% control and ownership of every aspect of the design, we overheard a couple employees of one of our vendors joking that management told them "The objective of Phase 1 is to get to Phase 2." Hearing that pissed us off so badly.

In other words, do just enough engineering to coax the client into giving you more funding, but don't solve everything right away. Companies loooove when projects go 5 or 6 phases; by dragging out engineering they get paid more and more money for a product that sometimes never actually works. It's called "a song that never ends."

That is not how our brains work. That mentality makes us sick.

Eventually, we were at a point where we did things 100% in house including the microwave stuff. We went from having nothing to having a fully equipped RF lab including a small chamber, reflow ovens, rework stations, spectrum analyzers, signal generators, hybrid mixers, insane SDRs, TEM cells, 3d printers, laser cutters, and over $100k in annual software licenses alone for RF/EMI simulation. We scrapped basically all of the work that the vendors did and did things our way - the right way.

We are an engineering driven company. The only reason I care about funding is to support quality engineering. Other companies have just enough engineering to support getting funded.

For us, the objective of Phase 1 is engineering excellence.
 
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SwankPeRFection

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👍 @Jon at Radenso If you want something “done” you gotta do it yourself.
Post automatically merged:

On a more technical level... Will both of Theia’s signal intakes be equally sensitive and reactive to signal penetration or will she be like the others and be more sensitive on the rear horn?
 
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Smason

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👍 @Jon at Radenso If you want something “done” you gotta do it yourself.
Post automatically merged:

On a more technical level... Will both of Theia’s signal intakes be equally sensitive and reactive to signal penetration or will she be like the others and be more sensitive on the rear horn?
on a component/path level, it looks identical.
 

Britain

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Yeah I doesn't get more Bada$$ than that. Super stoked that Rob is going to do some explaining as well! Thanks to Jon and the whole Radenso team for taking a massive risk. After that explanation I'm amazed they can get it to us for 1k or less. I hope this thing lives up to the incredible claims and make you all a lot of $$$$$$! Sounds like your team can start bidding those government contracts.
 

Boozehound

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The story behind that phrase is one borne out of an incredible amount of frustration. Remember, we never intended on becoming an in-house engineering company. We thought we could contract out jobs to third party engineering firms to do good work and keep our overhead low as a small company.

Nope. That's not how things work. Time and time again, we would get work that was.....ok....but not amazing. I mean, it was better than most other stuff out there, but it just wasn't inspiring or as detail oriented as it should have been. And this is from big time vendors! Vendors that contracted to Lockheed, NASA, etc. So one vendor by one vendor, I started firing them and telling them "we could do better work than this ourselves and we're not even an engineering company." We were all just so incredibly sick of having vendors tell us "that is too hard," "that is impossible," etc. Of course, when I did that I had no clue how we would actually do better work or where we would do it (we had no lab). But I just knew that there was another level of effort and excellence beyond what third parties are willing to invest in something they ultimately have no ownership in.

When you are doing six to seven figure contracts with vendors, they go in phases. So Phase 1 has certain deliverables, then you move to Phase 2 with additional funding for more deliverables, Phase 3, etc.

When we were in the middle of that disappointing period before we fired everyone and took 100% control and ownership of every aspect of the design, we overheard a couple employees of one of our vendors joking that management told them "The objective of Phase 1 is to get to Phase 2." Hearing that pissed us off so badly.

In other words, do just enough engineering to coax the client into giving you more funding, but don't solve everything right away. Companies loooove when projects go 5 or 6 phases; by dragging out engineering they get paid more and more money for a product that sometimes never actually works. It's called "a song that never ends."

That is not how our brains work. That mentality makes us sick.

Eventually, we were at a point where we did things 100% in house including the microwave stuff. We went from having nothing to having a fully equipped RF lab including a small chamber, reflow ovens, rework stations, spectrum analyzers, signal generators, hybrid mixers, insane SDRs, TEM cells, 3d printers, laser cutters, and over $100k in annual software licenses alone for RF/EMI simulation. We scrapped basically all of the work that the vendors did and did things our way - the right way.

We are an engineering driven company. The only reason I care about funding is to support quality engineering. Other companies have just enough engineering to support getting funded.

For us, the objective of Phase 1 is engineering excellence.
Thank you for that mentality. This nation once took pride in Engineering. So often now it's just the quick buck. Do the least amount to put out a product. Your insistence on doing it the best way you can is what convinced me to pay somewhere around a grand for a RD from a company I'd never even heard of. This from a VR diehard. You have an opportunity to develop a bunch of new customers and keep them for decades. I'm raising my glass to the success of your team.
 

Nine_C1

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👍 @Jon at Radenso If you want something “done” you gotta do it yourself.
Post automatically merged:

On a more technical level... Will both of Theia’s signal intakes be equally sensitive and reactive to signal penetration or will she be like the others and be more sensitive on the rear horn?

Not a bad question.

In fact I am curious to know which one is the Front horn via the picture.

They appear symmetrical in component composition but not symmetrical in the microstrip path. Being English, it's natural to assume the horn on the left is the front as we read left to right...…..and it's preserving a straight shot into the LNA.

However, there are 4x mitered bends before the mixer from the left horn and only 2x mitered bends before the mixer from the right horn. And even more interesting is there appears to be a somewhat unnecessary bend added between the mixer and IF filter from the left horn.

So bending the microstrip adds capacitance and delays (albeit minimized by the mitered bends)...….still not optimal unless there is a specific purpose to doing so.

So from that perspective, I would assume the Microstrip from the right horn is a more optimal design having 3 fewer bends between the horn and IF filter. However, it's quite possible that the first bend before the LNA from the right horn is of more critical concern being it occurs before the incoming signal is amplified?

It may be these bends are of little to no consequence as far as losses or perhaps specifically done this way to balance the gain from each horn into the I/Q detector.

And are those three dots perforations I see in the microstrip from the left horn???:eek:

@Rob at Radenso ?

PS...…ever consider using the "sharktooth" variant?:science:
 
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