AADE Filter Design V4.5: A Design and Analysis Tool for Passive Filters

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Here is freeware for the design and analysis of passive filters in both the time and frequency domains. It is easy to use, supports different types of filters, runs on Windows, and has several powerful transformations along with an extensive help file. The AADE Filter Design program was originally commercial but is now free

Anagha P.


AADE Filter Design is simple, basic software that aids circuit designers and students to design filters and analyse several of its parameters in both the time and frequency domains. It is a project written exclusively by Neil Heckt of Almost All Digital Electronics (AADE).

This software has built-in templates for about a dozen common and less common crystal filter types—Butterworth, Chebyshev, elliptic, Bessel, Legendre, linear phase, coupled resonator and crystal ladder. One can select the configuration (whether high-pass, low-pass, band-pass or band-reject) and enter the specifications with which the filter is to be designed. The user can analyse and alter any filter design by entering a schematic and parts list. It is possible to insert a new filter in front of an existing filter or append a new filter at the end. This feature allows the user to create a wide band-pass filter with low-pass/high-pass filter combinations.

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Fig. 1: Main window of AADE Filter Design

There are several other attributes to this program. You can specify the unloaded quality factor (Qu) for inductors and, hence, get response plots corresponding to how these components behave in the real world. The software designs air-wound and toroid coils, and π-type and T-type attenuators. The transformation of design impedance and/or design frequency is possible. The software enables the setting of components to the nearest specified tolerance and nearest standard value. There are three in-built options available for statistical analysis: Monte Carlo, worst case and sensitivity analysis methods. The software has several powerful transformations that enable the user to modify component values, thus making the filter easier to build and align. All files are saved in the *.sch format and you can print the design for analysis.

Filter types
This tool can be used to design and analyse a wide variety of passive filters.

It allows the design of linear filters like Butterworth, Chebyshev, elliptic (Cauer), Bessel, Legendre and linear phase. These filters can be of the high-pass, low-pass, band-pass or band-reject type.

Coupled resonator band-pass filters and crystal ladder band-pass filters are also supported by AADE Filter Design.

Signal processing
The software offers both time domain and frequency domain analysis.

The time domain analysis tools help find out the impulse response, step response, pulse response and tone pulse response (in the case of band-pass filters).

With the frequency domain analyses you can calculate power effective gain, power insertion gain, voltage effective gain, voltage insertion gain, current effective gain, current insertion gain, input and output impedance, group delay, phase, and the return loss of the filter.

System requirements
Operating System. Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows 98.

Screen resolution. At least 800×600 pixels. Recommended setting is a 1024×768 resolution or greater.

Stages of design
Basically, there are five phases or stages in the design and analysis of a passive filter using AADE Filter Design.

Engineering specifications. This is the first stage, in which you select the application you want to perform and specify the parameters. With the help of the computer, you verify (by trial and error) whether the given set of specifications is met by any of the available filter types.

Synthesis. Select the type filter response to be used (Butterworth, Chebyshev, etc). A circuit diagram and parts list is created by the software from the given engineering specifications.

Analysis. The synthesised circuit can be analysed in the frequency and time domains using the different methods provided.

Plotting. The program plots the selected analysis and, hence, the results can be evaluated.

Optimisation. Results will typically be high or low on bandwidth at the first attempt, as viewed on the analyser. You can adjust the parameters of the filter schematic and repeat it as required.

Getting started
RUN the fdinstall.exe file. This opens the set-up window. Go through the procedures and install the software. When the installation is complete, the program can be launched.

The main window would appear as shown in Fig. 1 with an ‘Obligatory Commercial Message’ of AADE’s L/C Meter IIB. This message will appear for the first 10 times you open the program. At the bottom of the window, there is a region with a yellow background where helpful tips are displayed for almost all functions. You can turn it off by unchecking Options > helpline.

If some functions do not work properly after the installation, go to the menu bar: Help > troubleshoot installation. This opens a Help window with the necessary details to help you get to the bottom of the problem.

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