-- Technical Headlines --
All the News Fit to Link™
Vintage Tech 'Firsts', Including Apple 1, up for Auction
Google Acquires Kite-Power Generator
New Technique May Open up Era of Atomic-Scale Semiconductor Devices
What 5G Will Be: Crazy-Fast Wireless Tested in NYC
Colour-Mixing Light Device Could Lead to Optical Computing
NIST Asks Industry for Custom Printed Circuit Boards for Laser Stabilization and Control
Model of Sun's Magnetic Field Created
Europe Launches $12B chip Support Campaign
How a Standard is Born: IEEE P1901.2 for Narrowband OFDM PLC
More Emphasis Needed on Recycling and Reuse of Li-ion Batteries
Star Trek into Darkness Gets NFC Promotion at Airports
Walmart Wants to Use Mobile to Transform Retail
Quantum or Not, New Supercomputer Is Certainly Something Else
Welcome to the World of Electric Paint
IEEE-USA Displeased with Weakening of U.S. Worker Provisions in Comprehensive Immigration Bill
Uncontrolled Immigration in Sweden Breeds Riots
Ham Etiquette (or lack thereof)
Often in the letters to the editor section of ARRL's QST magazine there are lamentations about an overwhelming lack of technical knowledge and/or proper etiquette and manners amongst fellow Hams. One contributor commented, "Today, it's hard to distinguish a radio amateur from a CB operator." DX operation (long distance) seems to be the most affected aspect, although the problem is fairly widespread. Most writers blame the problem on the ease with which a license may be obtained these days. Ever since a requirement to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code was removed, ostensibly, the quality of operators has plummeted (my license was earned in the sans code test era). That may be so, but I propose the problem is much deeper - it is societal. Every generation whines...
R&S SMW200A High-End
Complex Multichannel VSG
The new R&S SMW200A high-end vector signal generator from Rohde & Schwarz combines maximum flexibility, outstanding performance and intuitive operation to outperform all comparable solutions available on the market. It is the perfect tool for generating complex, digitally modulated signals of high quality. Thanks to versatile configuration options, its range of applications extends from single-path vector signal generator to multichannel MIMO receiver tester.
Every Sunday I create a crossword puzzle using a word list that I personally created and added to during over a decade of making puzzles. All of the words are related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, etc. There are no numbnut clues about movie stars or clothing designers. Enjoy.
Anatech electronics' May 2013
Newsletter Now Available
Anatech Electronics has published its May 2013 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry events, regulations, and standards. Anatech Electronics' Sam Benzacar invites you to visit them in booth #2710 at the IMS 2013 trade show in Seattle, Washington.
R&S FSW50 Signal and SA
for WB Signals up to 50 GHz
Rohde & Schwarz has increased the frequency range of its high-end R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer to 50 GHz. In conjunction with analysis bandwidths of up to 320 MHz, the new microwave model is perfect for sophisticated R&D measurements and for radar and satellite applications. The new high-end R&S FSW50 signal and spectrum analyzer is ideal in the development, testing, verification and production of transmitters and components such as those used in radar applications and satellite and military communications systems. The analyzer covers the frequency range from 2 Hz through 50 GHz.
Anatech Introduces 4 Filters,
Power Divider, Coupler
This new product announcement month highlights a 913 MHz outdoor cavity BPF, a 2440 MHz cavity BPF, a water-resistant 5350 MHz cavity BPF, a 380 to 2500 MHz 2-way power divider, a 800 to 2500 MHz 8-dB directional coupler, and a 800 MHz LPF. Anatech Electronics' Sam Benzacar invites you to visit them in booth #2710 at the IMS 2013 trade show in Seattle, Washington.
RF Cafe Quiz: High-Frequency
This quiz is based on the information presented in High-Frequency Integrated Circuits, by Rosin Voinigescu (printed by Cambridge University Press). The book is an incredible repository of information that would be an immensely valuable resource for any circuit designer whether dealing with discrete components or laying out an integrated circuit substrate.
10 Tips for a Successful
Yep, this is another Top 10 list for you. I am surprised to see that a 1-page resume still tops these resume writing tip lists, but evidently it is what busy (or not so busy) hiring managers want to see. Most of the bullet points are things like... using bullet points to organize and focus related topics, not mixing font types, etc. One interesting piece of advice is if you are a new grad and do not have intern experience to list DIY projects (related to your field of study, of course).
A couple other resources:
- Job Hunting After 50
- Top Talent Leaving China
for Clearer Skies
- Attracting Recruiters to
Your LinkedIn Profile
AWR Announces Agenda
of Activities for IMS 2013
AWR Corporation is a gold sponsor and will offer a full agenda of activities at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2013 that inform and educate attendees about new ways to use RF/microwave software for circuit and system design. IMS 2013 takes place from June 4 to 7 in Seattle, Washington. In its Booth #330, AWR will showcase software demonstrations of key features in its current product release, v10, as well as a sneak-peek preview of features within its pending v11 release.
PMI Intros 26.5 to 40 GHz
High Power Limiter
Model LM-26G40G-14-20W-292MM is a high power limiter capable of withstanding an input power level of 20 Watts, 440 to 670 nsec Pulse Width, PRF 600 to 900 kHz, 40% Duty Cycle. This model operates in the 26.5 GHz to 40 GHz frequency range. The insertion loss is 4.0 dB maximum, VSWR of 2.0:1 and 250 nsec response time and a typical leakage of +14 dBm. This limiter is packaged in a small 0.50 X 0.50 X 0.22 housing and is supplied with 2.92mm male connectors.
Symmetricom Looking for an
R&D Hardware Engineer
Symmetricom is a world leader in precise time solutions. The company generates, distributes and applies precise time for the communications, aerospace/defense, IT infrastructure and metrology industries. As an R&D Hardware Engineer, you will be designing and developing leading edge timing solutions, and supporting production for a variety of precision frequency source applications in the space, defense, and avionics industries. In particular, you will be the responsible Project Engineer for various precision Rubidium and crystal oscillator projects at the component and sub-system level involving synthesized reference sources. The detailed responsibilities include...
RF Cafe PollPlease take a moment and vote in this poll. No sign-in-required. Results are displayed automatically. Thanks! See current.
Started May 22, 2013
Acoustical Tile - A New
While acoustical tiles are not exactly the stuff of RF engineering, their properties and their effects on sound waves are analogous to RF absorbers and their effects on electromagnetic waves. Reflections that cause multipath reception of signals that contain the same information but are out of phase and unequal in amplitude to the primary (direct) path seldom combine to enhance the overall signal-to-noise ratio, so placing absorbent material in the surrounding environment is necessary to improve signal quality. This article from Popular Electronics goes through the process of outfitting an area with acoustical tiles and give some empirical test data from before and after.
Made by Monkeys:
The Messed-Up RF Generator
Made by Monkeys is a regular feature of Design News. Readers submit stories of instances of what they consider to be terrible product design. Some of the stories are good, but generally I like Sherlock Ohms and Tales from the Cube articles better because they concentrate on troubleshooting rather than complaining. This particular episode belongs in the Sherlock or Tales category rather than Monkeys. In fact, "The Messed-Up RF Generator" experience is just the opposite in nature of something made by monkeys. Read it and see what I mean.
"The world is run by 'C' students." - Anon. Bush and Clinton were both 'C' students. We have no idea what Obama's GPA was because his records are sealed, but we're assured by the media he is an absolute genius.
Google's White Spaces
There are not many technical realms where Google engineers have not either entered or created. Wireless connectivity is key to their continued dominance in the information domain, so they understandably have a vested interest in the "white space" spectrum debate. White space comprises portions of the electromagnetic spectrum where bands are either unlicensed or where licensed bands are or will be up for grabs. An example of the former is the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band, and an example of the latter is some parts of the broadcast television band that is being vacated in areas. Google is working with the FCC to build a real-time database of what they term "dynamic spectrum" in order to provide useful information to both users and providers. A separate database is available for fixed and mobile spectrum. Enter your location of interest and the map zooms into that region. For instance, in my town of Erie, Pennsylvania, there are 21 channels available as of January...
When I read about Du Mont's Iconumerator, the first thing that came to mind was the video of the Rockwell Retro Encabulator and General Electric's Turboencabulator. As it turns out, the Du Mont device is real. This article from a 1955 issue of Radio Electronics discusses a new type of oscillator-amplifier that works on the principle of microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (maser). It used ammonia as a masing medium. Masers were quickly applied to commercial broadcast systems, to military communications systems, and in laboratories. The state of the art has of course advanced far beyond the relatively crude apparatus shown here, but it is always good to have a working knowledge of the technology's history.
Please Support RF Cafe
Handbook of RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers, by John L. B. Walker. Whether you are an RF transistor designer, an amplifier designer or a system designer, this is your one-stop guide to RF and microwave transistor power amplifiers. A team of expert authors brings you up to speed on every topic, including: devices (Si LDMOS and VDMOS, GaAs FETs, GaN HEMTs), circuit and amplifier design (discrete, hybrid and monolithic), CAD, thermal design, reliability, and system applications / requirements for RF and microwave transistor amplifiers. Covering state-of-the-art developments and emphasizing practical communications applications, this is the complete professional reference on the subject.
Become a Patent Agent
An article on the IEEE website pitches a career as a patent research agent, which might be a particularly attractive notion in this lousy engineering job environment we now experience. A law degree is not required for many positions. The average salary range for a patent agent is between $52k and $143k, with a median of almost $90k. One of the first steps in exploring the possibility is to download the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). Once you are prepared, you pay the required fee and take the exam. I did not see anything that addresses what your chances of being hired are if you pass, or whether you would need to reside in Washington, D.C.
Quick and Easy "Lawrence"
Slide Rule Instruction Book
Slide rules were an enigma and a thing to be feared to most people even in the days when handheld digital calculators had not entered the scene. The rows of numbers generally look nothing like a simple, familiar ruler, and the sliding window thingy with the thin line sent kids and adults alike running for the tall grass for cover. As with most things not too complicated, learning to use the slide rule can be mastered with a little instruction. You don't necessarily need to understand logarithms and trigonometry functions, but it certainly helps if you also want to understand how the device works. It is the same thing as not needing to know how your Casio digital calculator works in order for it to be useful. If you do an Internet search for instructions on slide rule usage, there is no shortage of documents. This one from Lawrence I believe does a particularly good job because it is filled with examples of the most common types of mathematical operations, including powers and roots...