Special Circuit

A student whose Senior Thesis Project (ECE 499) does not involve the design and construction or testing of electronic devices or hardware is required to complete a Special Circuit Project in the ECE 445 lab during the semester they take ECE 499. In addition, students enrolled in ECE 445 who are not undertaking a hardware dominant project are required to complete the special circuit (although this is strongly discouraged and the course staff will work with your team to make sure you have enough hardware in your project to avoid having to complete the special circuit.)

The special circuit is typically posted in the middle of the semester. Once you sign up for the special circuit (see below), you will be assigned a TA, a locker, and a special circuit which generally takes about 12-15 hours to complete. When you have it designed and built, you will give a functional demonstration to your TA, who will then inform the professor who will inform undergraduate advising that your task is complete. You are NOT required to attend any of the classes, reviews, demos, or presentations associate with the ECE 445 class.

Sign up for Spring 2018 is now open

Sign up for the Special Circuit assignment on the Lab Access page. Instructions for completing the special circuit will then be provided in the near future. Please check this page for updates.

RFI Detector

Jamie Brunskill, Tyler Shaw, Kyle Stevens

RFI Detector

Featured Project

Problem Statement:

Radio frequency interference from cell phones disrupts measurements at the radio observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Many visitors do not comply when asked to turn their phones off or put them in airplane mode.


We are planning to design a handheld device that will be able to detect radio frequency interference from cell phones from approximately one meter away. This will allow someone to determine if a phone has been turned off or is in airplane mode.

The device will feature an RF front end consisting of antennas, filters, and matching networks. Multiple receiver chains may be used for different bands if necessary. They will feed into a detection circuit that will determine if the power within a given band is above a certain threshold. This information will be sent to a microcontroller that will provide visual/audible user feedback.

Project Videos