Having looked around for a suitable buffer amplifier design for my DDS generator I decided to go down the MMIC route as they are high gain and wide band – perfect for my application and the component count is kept to a minimum. I costed the materials and it worked out more expensive than an off the shelf MMIC mounted on a PCB, here is the device I have opted to use:
I paid £7 per unit including postage from EBay, from a UK based supplier, I required 4 units so saved me a load of time messing about making the PCB and soldering all the parts to it – yes one could say that is rather lazy and I could have lashed it up copper island style etc etc however I value my time to do other parts of the project which require PCB etching and lots of soldering, such as the IF stages.
Cost breakdown if I bought the parts for self-assembly for a single module:
- MMIC x1 £3.99
- SMA Female x2 £3.95
- PCB x1 £5 (Copper clad FR4, drill bit ware, chemical ware, cutting etc)
- Passives x6 £1
- Total: £13.94
So almost double the cost of the off the shelf module – I highly recommend using modules where possible as it saves time and money, both precious commodities in my world.
These are due to arrive this coming weekend so will post test results.