I was casually watching Mike tear down a spectrum analyser (13:30 is the relevant part, 16:50 is the awesome part), and he came across what he aptly described as "weird messed up alien voodoo black magic stuff":

High Frequency Voodoo

As a layman, I can only nod in agreement with his description. Do we have any sufficiently experienced alien-voodooologists around to explain what this madness is all about?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Are we looking at the wiggly bits to the left, or the triangular bits to the right (or both)? \$\endgroup\$
    – OrangeDog
    Dec 18, 2013 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another question about similar weird stuff electronics.stackexchange.com/q/33369/3552 \$\endgroup\$
    – sharptooth
    Dec 19, 2013 at 8:22

2 Answers 2


I think this blog post answers your question pretty well :)

Demystifying RF Circuit Design – The art of Voodoo

In short, the 3 main components illustrated are:

  • hair-pin type band-pass filter
  • distributed element low-pass filter (regularly-spaced rectangles 'dumbells')
  • series LC resonator (the radial stubs off one side of the trace)

See the referring page for details about how they work, and which-is-which.

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Right answer, but little more than a link. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil Frost
    Dec 18, 2013 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NewAlexandria's edits made it better ;) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 19, 2013 at 0:20

This is actually something I stumbled apon not that long ago. Here is what it is.

Distributed element filter - WikiPedia

It has examples almost identical to those in the video.


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