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Click here to read about RF CafeView the YouTube RF Cafe Intro VideoKirt Blattenberger ... single-handedly redefining what an engineering website should be.

Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

5th MOB:
My USAF radar shop

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My daughter Sally's horse riding website

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           - Welcome to the RF Cafe Website -
               "We used to know how to do high-temp electronics when we had vacuum tubes." - Sanjay Limaye

Today in History

Tech Headline News
All the News Fit to Link™

- Archives -

Almost ½ of UK Engineers Considering Change of Job

GloFo Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics

Alcatel-Lucent Bags €1.2B Worth of China Deals

Soundproofing with Quantum Physics

Space Base in New Zealand Picked to Start Private Trips to Orbit

Jitters in Tech World over New Chinese Security Law

Siri Waxes Philosophical When Asked to Divide Zero by Zero

New Silver Fabrication Technology May Hold Key to Electronics Advances (alchemy?)

A Glimpse at the Future of Printed Electronics

Biodegradable Electronics Debut

To Conduct, Or to Insulate? That Is the Question (whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous current flow, or to take up insulation against a sea of electrons, and by opposing end them...)

Army Developing a 'Flying Motorcycle' for Battlefield

LED-Cooling Dielectric Beats Copper in Thermal Conductivity

Two Faces of Pluto Revealed in Color Imagery

CONELRAD Radios from Heathkit

Peregrine Semiconductor Ships
Industry's First True DC Switch

Peregrine Semiconductor Ships Industry's First True DC Switch - RF CafePeregrine Semiconductor Corp., founder of RF SOI (silicon on insulator) and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, announces the availability of the UltraCMOS® PE42020, the industry's first and only RF integrated switch to operate at true DC, zero Hz. This True DC RF switch features high power handling and maintains excellent RF performance and linearity from DC through 8000 MHz. A reliable alternative to problematic mechanical relays and MEMS, the PE42020 is ideal for test-and-measurement and automated-test-equipment applications. "For the first time, an integrated RF switch can operate

PMI Intros 0 to 180° Bi-Phase
Shifter / Modulator

Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) Intros a 0 to 180° Bi-Phase Shifter / ModulatorPMI Model No. PS-90-1020-101F-512 is a 0 to 180° bi-phase modulator / phase shifter operating over a frequency range of 1.0 to 1.12 GHz with a maximum insertion loss of 2.0 dB and VSWR better than 1.7:1. This model provides two phase states, namely 0° and 180° and is controlled via single line TTL. The phase state is switched in 30 nsec or less and can handle input power levels up to +20 dBm CW. DC voltage requirement is +5 and -12 VDC. Package measures1.0" x 1.0" x 0.5". Other frequency ranges available

Free Engineering & Science
White Papers & Magazines

Engineering & Science Magazine Subscriptions, July 2015 - RF CafeMany of these engineering magazines have websites that I visit on a daily basis in search of up-to-the-minute industry headlines. Free subscriptions are offered to qualified applicants. 'Qualified' usually means that you are currently employed in a field related to the primary theme of the magazine, and often you also need to be a decision maker for buying products represented within the pages. If you believe you meet the qualification(s) and can use a subscription to one of these publications, please sign up using the provided hyperlinks, since that way RF Cafe gets credit

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger

Mac's Radio Service Shop: A Little Lightning, July 1948 Radio News

Mac's Radio Service Shop: A Little Lightning, July 1948 Radio News - RF CafeBenjamin Franklin is famous for his kite-flying experiment whereby he 'discovered' not electricity (as many people believe), but that lightning is a form of electricity (most people thought it was a jet of gas). A lesser known fact about Mr. Franklin is that he invented the lightning rod after realizing the electrical nature of lightning. His understanding of electric fields facilitated a implementation whereby hefty iron cabling interconnected a tall, pointed rod installed at the tallest point on a building and a spike driven into the ground. Lightning typically strikes the object that is the shortest distance (in terms of electrical field strength) from it because the discharge can begin at the lowest voltage. The presence of the grounded lightning rod above the highest point on a structure effectively brings that point all the

Properties of Soft Magnetic Materials

Properties of Soft Magnetic Materials - RF CafeAfter recently reading a few articles on ferromagnetic materials for both power supply and RF balun use, I did a little research to find some good sources for information. This table of parameters on common soft magnetic materials is derived from a page in a whitepaper on the Magnetics website. The paper contrasts properties of powdered magnetics, which are composed almost totally of ferrous metal (iron, nickel, cobalt, manganese, et al), versus ferrites, which are a mix of ferrous metal

Mouser & Imahara Launch Home
& Factory Automation Series

Mouser and Imahara Launch New Home and Factory Automation Series to Connect Engineers to the Latest Innovations in Technology - RF CafeMouser Electronics is teaming up with celebrity engineer Grant Imahara and a group of visionaries in the home and factory automation industry, including Insteon, AiroCorp, TE Connectivity, and Factory Automation Systems, to announce an exciting new Home and Factory Automation Series. The new Home and Factory Automation series is part of the Empowering Innovation Together™ program and is available only on It focuses on innovative automation technologies that were once only seen in science fiction movies or TV shows like The Jetsons. It highlights some of the companies that are making these technologies a reality. Filmed on location inside the Insteon smart

The Rochelle-Salt Crystal Reproducer

The Rochelle-Salt Crystal Reproducer, July 1932 Radio-Craft - RF CafePotassium sodium tartrate (Rochelle salt) was used in commercial speakers for a while in place of electromagnetic driver coils. The relatively large mechanical deformation produced when subject to an electric field made them attractive as coil alternatives because a separate energization circuit was not required. The drawback, at least early on, was unavailability of crystals large enough to drive anything other than a headphone size speaker cone. This article tells of the time when a process was created to grow large crystals from a seed, similar to how silicon, gallium-arsenide, and other modern semiconductors are grown

Modern Batteries

Modern Batteries, October 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeAs with most things of consumer, commercial, and industrial nature, the battery - more correctly 'cell' - science has come a long way in a relatively short time. Alessandro Volta invented the eponymous voltaic pile in 1799; it consisted of zinc and copper electrodes immersed in a sulfuric acid electrolyte, thereby being a wet cell. The first dry cell was the zinc-carbon type invented by Guiseppe Zamboni (not the guy who invented the ice rink resurfacer) in 1812. Rechargeable dry cells of the NiCad variety hit the scene in 1899. Then, it wasn't until 1991 - a century later - that Sony commercialized the Li-Ion cell (and varieties thereof) that now dominates portable electronic markets. By

NI AWR Professors in Partnership e-Book
RF Electronics: Design and Simulation

NI AWR Professors in Partnership Portal Adds 2015 e-Book Edition of RF Electronics: Design and Simulation - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) announces that a new 2015 edition of the eBook, RF Electronics: Design and Simulation, is now available free of charge to students, graduates, professors and industry professionals through its Professors in Partnership web portal. The Professors in Partnership program is designed to provide engineering students, faculty and graduates with access to ongoing microwave and RF educational content that enhances and promotes the use of NI AWR software solutions through e-books, textbooks, and

Saelig Introduces Versatile Dual Channel
13.6GHz Microwave Signal Generator

Saelig Introduces Versatile Dual Channel 13.6 GHz Microwave Signal Generator - RF CafeSaelig Company announces the SynthHD Dual-Channel RF Signal Generator, an innovative, highly portable device that brings low cost to precision microwave signal generation. The SynthHD is a compact software-tunable, dual channel RF signal generator which can be controlled by a Windows or Linux PC via its USB port, or run as a standalone generator. The SynthHD allows frequency stepping to better than 0.1 Hz on each channel, and control of the relative phase between channels to less than a millidegree and amplitude to 0.01 dB, producing up to +22 dBm of power per channel. The SynthHD's dual independent

BeRex Intros Low Noise Discrete FET
for Wireless Applications

BeRex Intros Low Noise Discrete FET for Wireless Applications - RF CafeBeRex, a leading provider of high performance GaAs pHEMT products, today announces the immediate availability of the BCL016B-343, a discrete ultra-low noise GaAs pHEMT, in an industry standard SOT-343 SMT package, for L through C band applications (DC to 8,000 MHz). It is ideal for use in highly noise sensitive designs such as front-end amplifiers for Wi-Fi, WLAN, GPS and radar up to 8 GHz in frequency. Operating at just 2 V (5 V maximum) the BCL016B-343 provides a remarkably low NF of 0.2 dB with a high Associated Gain of 18 dB and a flat OIP3 of 21 dBm at 2.4 GHz. At 5.8 GHz the NF is still only 0.4 dB

Skyworks Launches
"How Wireless Works" Video

Skyworks How Wireless Works - RF CafeSkyworks is pleased to announce the launch of "How Wireless Works" – a short, animated video explaining what happens each time we use our smartphones, tablets or other wireless device. Wireless connectivity is everywhere and an integral part of our daily lives. Yet very few understand how it all works. This non-technical video is fun, informative and created for those who want to simply understand what enables all those seamless connections. This 4:02 minute production is a great way to introduce your friends and family to the wonderful world of wireless communications

Congrats to June Book Drawing
Winner Mendez A. !!!

Electronic Warfare Receivers and Receiving Systems - RF CafeCongratulations to June 2015 Book Drawing winner Mendez A., of Lansdale, PA. Mendez wisely selected Electronic Warfare Receivers, and Receiving Systems, by Richard A. Poisel. Each month I randomly choose one or two names from the list of people who have ordered my modest array of software products like RF Stencils for Visio, RF & EE Symbols for Word, and RF Cascade Workbook. Most of the books are graciously provided by Artech House and Cambridge University Press, but occasionally McGraw Hill or a private publisher like Explore RF will sponsor the drawing.