Today in Science History -
Innovative Power Products (IPP), a company
with over 35 years of experience designing and manufacturing RF and microwave passive
components, wants to immediately fill an opening for an
RF/Microwave Design Engineer. The position requires demonstrated success in
the design and test of wide band, high power RF and microwave passive components.
Candidate to be familiar with linear and full-wave EM simulators. Responsibilities
include design, simulation, engineering document release, and prototype test of
new products. He/she will communicate with customers, travel as required to visit
customers or vendors, collaborate with Design and Drafting to satisfy customer requirements.
Train and support technicians on S-parameters, test procedures, troubleshooting,
and documentation of product...
Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) has been around since the early 1930s, as made
apparent by this article in Short Wave Craft magazine. Frequencies, circuits,
and infrastructure equipment have evolved over the years, but fundamentally, landing
an aircraft (airplane, helicopter, dirigible) under 'blind' flying conditions has
not changed. Two precision beams - one in elevation and one in azimuth - broadcast
by ground-based installations are detected by airborne receivers and relative positions
are displayed for the pilot's use in navigation. ILS does not help the pilot fly
the aircraft; it only leads him to the runway threshold. In the past couple decades,
space-based Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment has increasingly been used
to replace ground-based microwave systems...
Teledyne e2v HiRel, part of the Teledyne
Defense Electronics Group, today announced the latest addition to its rapidly expanding
line of RF solutions, a new
RF MMIC Frequency Doubler. Launching Teledyne e2v HiRel's new Frequency Multiplier
product line, this Active Doubler, TDFM001000, is designed for high reliability
signal chain applications in Space. It is particularly well-suited specifically
for satellite transponders, transmit/receive modules, microwave-based communications,
millimeter-wave point-to-point radio, and related processes. The TDFM001000 is a
7.5-25.0 / 15.0-50.0 GHz single ended input (no external balun required) GaAs
The October issue of IEEE's Spectrum magazine
ran an article entitled, "Let
a Thousand Analog Oscillators Sing." It reports on Sam Battle's "KiloDrone"
DIY project consisting of 1,000 analog reverse-avalanche oscillators, each built
with a transistor, capacitor, and resistor. A singe opamp isolates and amplifies
the output of each unit. In his video Mr. Battle explains the project, runs
through the tune-up procedure, and exhibits the final result. According to the story,
only 1.2 A is used from a 12 V DC supply for the entire setup. There are
10 independently tuned oscillators on each rack-mountable panel. A
printed PCB panel (not including components) can be purchased for $52.
Bob Pease would have loved
this guy whose motivation is summarized thusly: "I like the tangibility of analog.
I hate working on computers. I just can't stand looking at screens. I like standing
up and moving around and making things in a physical world."
Since 1996, ISOTEC has designed, developed
and manufactured an extensive line of RF/microwave
connectors, between-series adapters, RF components and filters for wireless
service providers including non-magnetic connectors for quantum computing and MRI
equipments etc. ISOTEC's product line includes low-PIM RF connectors components
such as power dividers and directional couplers. Off-the-shelf and customized products
up to 40 GHz and our low-PIM products can meet -160 dBc with 2 tones and
20 W test. Quick prototyping, advanced in-house testing and high-performance.
Designs that are cost effective practical and repeatable.
When I saw the images in this "Electron
Shadows Map Force Fields" article from a 1949 issue of Radio-Electronics
magazine, the first thing I though of was how as kids back in the 1960s we would
hold magnets against the front of the television cathode ray tube (CRT) to see how
they distorted the picture. If I still had a CRT TV or computer monitor around,
I'd take some photos of it for the sake of those who have never seen what happens.
The difference between that and the images formed here is that the professionals
inserted the object of interest directly in the electron beam, between the cathode
and the fluorescent glass grid. As with the images in the article, magnets of various
shapes created unique responses. If you drag the magnet across the face of the CRT...
"The evolution of military electronics
is marked by an endless series of
measures and countermeasures. The enemy meets an enhancement in U.S. fighter
jet technology with an improvement in its missile-guidance capabilities, forcing
additional innovations from the U.S. The never-ending effort to enhance the effectiveness
of military technology and protect the warfighter on the battlefield propels forward
innovation in the industry. Today, there's a battle underway that is dramatically
expanding the frequency ranges used by the military for communications - soldier-to-soldier,
soldier-to-satellite, aircraft-to-ground, missile-to-target, and more. Whereas military
electronics used to operate in a narrow band of frequencies, today, military design
engineers must protect equipment from damaging signal interference and enemy..."
RF Cafe visitor Kire P. let me know
about a really nice website with lots of information about EMC (electromagnetic
compatibility) and governing industry standards. The
Academy of EMC is a non-profit
based in Switzerland. It has a large variety of downloadable documents covering
(PCBs, cables, enclosures, etc.) for how to assure your products will pass testing
global, EU, U.S. and other
EMC standards, including
compliance marks from
countries and groups. An educational area contains suggestions for books and other
resources. There are also half a dozen articles on the Blog page. Keep in mind
when reviewing any standard that you must go to the source for the most up-to-date
version. Failure to do so can be quite expensive.
The Evaluation Engineering website has
a good article entitled, "RF/Microwave
Switching Adds Flexibility to Diverse Applications" that runs through some state
of the art hardware available for R&D and production test setups. It pitches
products from multiple vendors, so it is not just an infomercial. "Engineers in
industries ranging from telecommunications to military / aerospace need high-performance
RF/microwave switching as part of their test setups. Consequently, vendors are offering
products ranging from individual switches to complete switching systems to meet
customer demand. This report describes the latest available RF / microwave switching
products and the applications they serve..."
A while back I was using the familiar
analogy that relates water pressure, hose diameter, and flow rate to electrical
voltage, resistance, and current, respectively, in an explanation to my daughter
regarding why the water characteristics in her house changed after the well supply
pipe and indoor plumbing changed. The cause, I proposed, was due to an increased
distance between well and house, and the use of the plastic PEX tubing with a smaller
inside diameter than the old copper pipe, respectively. The submersible pump and
holding tank still supply the same 50 psi as before, but since that pressure
now has to force the water through a path inside the house with more resistance
to water flow, the delivery rate to fixtures is now lower. When I hold the contacts
closed on the pump control relay, the most I can get is about 55 psi. Raising
the pressure will require replacing...
Fall has finally arrived! The
equinox occurs today, September 22, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. EDT (13:30 UTC). The
equinox occurs at the same moment worldwide, regardless of local time zone. The
word "equinox" comes from Latin "aequus,"
meaning "equal," and the Latin "nox,"
meaning "night." It marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, which
is coincident with Earth's equatorial plane, as it descends from north to south
(south to north transition marks the vernal equinox). I've never seen this
offered anywhere, but why not "equal day" rather than "equal night?" "Pernox"
means day, which would give us equipernox rather than equinox.
solstice (solstice = sol + stitium ≈ sun stands still) occurs December
21, 5:02 A.M. EST.
Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC)
is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement,
and nuclear research. Founded in 1963, BNC initially developed custom pulse generators.
We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and
stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance.
We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal,
light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in
software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing
I like the tag line RCA chose for this
1951 advertisement pitching their vacuum tubes: "Electron
tube with a military mind." However, what really caught my attention was the
illustration that borrows the "ship in a bottle" theme. A lot of younger people
might have no idea what is being alluded to given easy access to cheaply manufactured
faux examples. Modern manufacturing techniques makes it relatively simple to form
a bottle (especially a plastic one) around a pre-built ship model. The original
technique required preparing much of the model as possible ahead of time, and then
inserting the individual pieces through the narrow bottle neck and performing assembly
using long nosed pliers and/or tweezers. A lot of preparation, patience, and skill
is required to make a fine looking model. Maybe the advertisement creators
stumbled upon this...
This is a great example of how Popular
Electronics and John T. Frye used the "Carl &
Jerry" series to teach some basic electronics design principles through story
telling. The same is true with his long-running "Mac's Service Shop" series of techno-dramas.
In this adventure, the the two teenagers decide to build a tachometer from schematics
they found in a magazine. They debate amongst themselves how the circuits works,
the best way to assemble the circuit, component selection, vibration-tolerant mounting,
and how to properly calibrate the tach to accurately display engine revolutions
per minute (RPM). Being set in 1960, this is one of the first appearances of transistors
in circuits rather than vacuum tubes. Transistors were still very mysterious - and
"Researchers at Empa, the Swiss Federal
Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have succeeded in applying aerogels
to microelectronics: aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively
shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range - and they are
unrivalled in terms of weight. Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic
fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic
components or the transmission of signals. High-frequency electromagnetic fields
can only be shielded with conductive shells that are closed on all sides. Often
thin metal sheets or metallized foils are used for this purpose. However, for many
applications such a shield is too heavy or too poorly adaptable..."
Sometime around late 1977, a year or so
prior to reporting to Lackland Air Force Base for Basic Military Training with plans
to pursue a career in electronics, I began boning up on my admittedly lacking electronics
skills. Having spent the past few years as an electrician, including a couple years
in vocational school, I was familiar enough with the big stuff that could easily
kill me, but I didn't know much about about electronics with its small components
and low voltages. To assist me with my goal, I purchased a couple Heathkit kits
and carefully studied all the information provided, then proceeded to assemble and
test everything. My first project was this
IM−17 Utility Solid-State Voltmeter. It was simple enough for even me to be
successful. Although it was called a voltmeter (AC and DC capability), it also measured
resistance, so technically it was a volt-ohmmeter. I'm not sure why the designers
didn't add a current measuring function...
Rigid-Flex PCBs are boards with 3D design using a combination of flexible and
rigid board technologies, and have characteristics of both soft and hard boards.
Therefore, they can be used in electrical devices with special requirements, such
as connecting a flexible area and a rigid area. Rigid-flex PCBS save the internal
space of electrics, reduce the size, and improve electrical and mechanical performance
of electronic devices. In PCBONLINE, rigid-flex PCB manufacturing and assembly are
operated under strict quality control. The final board thickness ranges from 0.05 mm
to 0.6 mm.