Today in Science History -
Other than for DC power supply applications
where you might need to implement current steering and/or redundancy schemes, there
are not too many times when a combination of transistors and/or diodes would be
used for logic circuitry in place of integrated circuits. That has not always been
the case. Early packaged IC blocks were expensive compared to discrete components,
so both hobbyists and professional designers often used a combination of technologies.
Resistor-transistor logic (RTL) and diode-transistor logic (DTL), emitter-coupled,
logic (ECL), and other variations were covered in a 1969 Radio-Electronics
article by titled "How IC's Work: Integrated Circuit Logic Families." This piece
provides a little more insight into the construction of those families and shows
how to construct logical combinations using diodes and NOR gates ...
The January issue of NASA Tech Briefs
magazine has an article titled "3D Printing: The Impact of Post-Processing," which discusses
the common misconception that incorporating 3D printing into a manufacturing process
is a guaranteed time and money saver. In reality, most 3D components require some
post-processing that can be very labor-intensive, which can wipe out any anticipated
savings. Fine modeling skills are often needed for those tasks, meaning good jobs
for people with modeling building skills. A couple months ago Glenn Robb, of
Antenna Test Lab,
published a couple articles on his efforts to 3D-print feed horns. Post-processing
included smoothing the printed layer ridges and painting the surfaces with metallic
paint. 3D printing in most cases still has a long way to go before the ultimate
finished-product output is realized ...
"The prospective peacetime applications of
radar are beyond prediction. Among the more obvious are those relating to navigational
aids and collision prevention. In some of these uses it will be a case of radar
replacing radio." That was 74 years ago when real-world radar was still in its infancy
that futurists were prognosticating on potential uses for radar beyond its use for
the war effort. Just a month after the April issue of QST was published, the war
in Europe ended (V-E Day, May 8, 1945), and four months after that the war in Japan
ended (V-J Day, August 14, 1945). Editor DeSoto would be utterly amazed at just
how widespread radar is today. It not only surveys the airways for commercial, military,
and civilian craft, but also for marine and land traffic, orbiting spacecraft, and
planetary science ...
Rohde & Schwarz is running a new promotion
called "Buy a Scope – Get a Probe!" Purchase an R&S®RTM3000 or an
R&S®RTA4000 and get a probe for free. High-quality measurements require the
right probing solution. With this promotion, customers get a free oscilloscope probe
if they buy an R&S®RTM3000 or R&S®RTA4000 with the R&S®RTM‑PK1 or R&S®RTA-PK1
application bundle. They can choose one of six different probes that are specially
designed for specific applications. Their individual parameters are optimized for
digital protocol decoding applications, power integrity analysis or power electronics
"To better protect the global electronics
and IT supply chain, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking at
solutions that can track and authenticate computer hardware components as they are
manufactured, shipped and assembled around the globe.
Resold and recycled components degrade the reliability and security
of many systems used by the Defense Department. The Pentagon has known about the
problem for decades and in 2012 issued comprehensive guidance to DOD program and
procurement managers to crack down on the problem, with a particular emphasis on
electronic parts and components. However, the increasingly complex nature of the
global supply chain means that even primary government contractors have difficulty ..."
ConductRF is continually innovating and
developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest
Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies
for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision
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iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications
where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable
access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project!
"Scientists at the Harvard A. Paulson School
of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a new way to store light in an
integrated circuit. The integrated photonics platform also allows them to electronically
control the frequency of the light being stored. Scientists believe their new system could
have a vast array of applications including microwave photonics, photonic quantum
information processing, and optical signal processing, to name a few. Scientists
have long hoped to harness microwave signals for such work. Unfortunately, they
had always proven to interact far too weakly with electrons to prove effective.
That's what led scientists to try a different method, using lithium niobate. This
is a material with powerful electro-optic properties ..."
Sam Benzacar, of RF and microwave filter
company Anatech Electronics, has penned this piece titled, "5G
Fact and Fiction" as part of his January newsletter. Sam keeps abreast of all
the latest news in the wireless world, which is not unexpected given his company's
long-time involvement in helping others make their products play well together in
an increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum - both licensed and unlicensed.
The term "5G" is still a relatively fuzzy entity whose definition is still being
constructed by the telecom industry's engineers, marketeers, and the news media.
Also included are a few other topics including Google's high power automotive radar,
5G at this year's CES show, Ford's cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) scheme,
and the Bluetooth SIG push ...
On January 29, at 11 am ET, Rohde & Schwarz's
Reiner Stuhlfauth will present a free webinar titled, "How LTE-A Pro Paves the Way for 5G New Radio." This webinar
provides a technology dive into the LTE-A Pro features, showing the flexibility
and variety of LTE use cases and service scenarios. The features are presented from
the perspective of the 5G service triangle - supporting higher data rates including
LAA, enhanced CA, LWA, MUST and SC-PTM, massive machine type communications including
LTE-M and NB-IoT enhancements and ultra-reliable low latency services such as C-V2X.
LTE-A Pro will play an essential role in 5G deployments. For example, option 3,
the non-standalone (NSA) mode ...
first full moon, known as the Wolf Moon, is the biggest and brightest full moon
of 2019 - a 'supermoon' in modern parlance. It was also a long duration (1
hour and 2 minutes) total lunar eclipse. The technical name for this special combination
is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The moon reached fullness at
00:17 EST and perigee at 14:59 EST on the 21st. The moon is full when the earth
is between the sun and the moon, and the moon is new when it is between the sun
and Earth. The picture below was taken out of my back door, at around 9:30 pm local
time (Erie, PA), at the beginning of the penumbral phase of the eclipse (not apparent
in the photo). The outside temperature was about 5 °F and the wind was howling
pretty good - quite appropriate for this Wolf Moon ...
"In the 1970s, at the height of the Cold
War, American military planners began to worry about the threat to U.S. warplanes
posed by new, radar-guided missile defenses in the Soviet Union and other nations.
In response, engineers at places like U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin's famous
Skunk Works stepped up work on stealth technology that could shield aircraft from
the prying eyes of enemy radar. This advantage is now under threat. In November
2018, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, China's biggest defense electronics
company, unveiled a prototype radar that it claims can detect stealth aircraft in
flight. The radar uses some of the exotic phenomena of
quantum physics to help reveal planes' locations ..."
Since 1961, MECA
Electronics has designed and manufactured an extensive line of
RF & microwave
components for in-building, satellite, radar, radio, telemetry, mobile radio,
aviation & ATC. Attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators &
circulators, power dividers & combiners, loads, DC blocks, bias-Ts and adapters &
cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone' of high performance wired and air-interfaced
networks such as in-building applications, satellite communications, radar, radio
communications, telemetry applications, mobile radio, aviation & air traffic
Here is a little technology humor to help
easy you into the week ahead. Ironically, the themes of the three
(by three separate artists) represent an evolution of the electronics realm over
the past few decades, although almost certainly not planned by the editors. The
first has to do with a couple TV servicemen installing an antenna, the second is
of an out-of-work TV repairman, and the third is what might be considered a drone
by today's norms. There is a huge list of other comics at the bottom of the page ...
If the history of radar intrigues you, then
you will not want to miss this article titled "Radar:
The Silent Weapon of World War 2," from the October 1945 edition of
Radio News. There are a couple dozen photos of early radar equipment installations
on land, ships, and aircraft. Radar pioneers Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor, Chief Consultant
and Chief Coordinator of Electronics at Naval Research Laboratory, and Leo C. Young
are pictured reminiscing over the "scope" of radar's history beside the first radar
set at the Research Laboratory. In 1922, while experimenting with communications
equipment for the Navy, the two men made the initial discovery of distortion in
radio reception caused by the intrusion of objects between the transmitter and receiver.
Working from this discovery, they and a number of associates made great strides
forward into the vast sphere of scientific fields covered by the word "radar"
today. Do you see the name(s) of anyone you know? ...
There is no shortage of vintage electronics
aficionados who love nothing more than to spend countless hours - and sometimes
dollars - restoring and preserving the memory of the products that appeared along
the evolutionary path leading to modern electronics. David Goodsell documented his
Heathkit EC−1 Analog Computer project on the Nuts &
Volts magazine website. He, as do many hobbyists, even stuffed the cardboard
cases of the original electrolytic capacitors with modern replacements in order
to retain the authentic look. Prices on eBay for some of the vintage equipment has
gotten pretty outrageous. He paid more than $400 for this example ...
RF Superstore, an RF and microwave component
supply outlet created by Pasternack founder Murray Pasternack, announces the
V60-282 Transmitter and
Receiver. They are advanced, highly integrated V-band waveguide modules that
meet the demanding high-speed, low-cost production requirements of today's developers.
These silicon-based 60 GHz waveguide modules utilize the license-free V-band millimeter
wave spectrum of 57 GHz to 64 GHz. Low Cost, Easy Integration The cost-effective
V60-282 and V60-283 SiGe chip-based waveguide modules are easy to integrate. Small
and lightweight, the waveguide modules feature a unique chip to waveguide transition.
Operates in the license-free frequency range of 57 to 64 GHz ...
"Despite limited space within a single mobile
device, one group of researchers has identified a new dual antenna design that could
allow phones to access both LTE and 5G networks. With any transition between old
and new generations of technology, there are compatibility issues. The transition
to 5G wireless communication is no different. One hurdle to be overcome in this
transition involves incorporating, within a single phone, new antennas that can
support the millimeter wavelengths of signals on 5G networks alongside existing
antennas that support the longer wavelengths transmitted by LTE networks. In a new
proof-of-concept study ..."
Rohde & Schwarz develops, produces and
test & measurement, information and communications technology.
Focus is on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications,
monitoring and network testing. Markets serviced are wireless, the automotive industry,
aerospace and defense, industrial electronics, research and education, broadcast
and media network operations, consumer electronics, cybersecurity for business and
governments, communications and security solutions for critical infrastructures
and the armed forces, reconnaissance equipment for homeland and external security,
and much more ...
Each week, for the sake of all avid cruciverbalists
amongst us, I create a new
technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created lexicon
related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc.
You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic
foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone
or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's
theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy ...
In 1988, the National Bureau of Standards
(NBS) was re-named National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) because
a government bureaucrat needed to justify his/her position and the financing to
change all the signs, brochures, and letterhead would be paid for with OPM
(Other People's Money, pronounced like 'opium'). Regardless
of its name, the NBS is charged with establishing, maintaining, and enforcing standard
units of measure for the country, as well as with coordinating standard units with
other countries. It is interesting to read how standards have changed over the years,
and what methods have been suggested for establishing those standards; e.g., the
Ohm (Ω) could have been based on a foot of copper wire weighing 100 grains, an English
mile of No. 16 copper wire ...
"The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), in a bid to address
the increased adoption of Bluetooth mesh networking in Smart Home solutions, has
formed a new Smart Home Subgroup. The announcement follows the decision from a growing
number of market leaders to adopt Bluetooth mesh networking as a strategic communications
protocol for smart home solutions. The new Smart Home Subgroup has been established
to create additional Bluetooth mesh model specifications for smart home and related
applications. Mesh models constitute the application layer of Bluetooth mesh networking
and define the behavior of devices connected to a Bluetooth mesh network. For example,
mesh models define how a Bluetooth mesh light is controlled by a Bluetooth mesh