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Tech Job Market Hot for the Near Future

• Chipmakers Apply for U.S. License to Sell to Huawei

• UK Space Agency Unveils £1M Space Junk Projects

• Ericsson Demonstrates 1st Live C Band Network with 5.4 Gbps Throughput

• Air Force Shocks Defense Sector with Secret Jet Fighter

Mobile Deployable Communications Conference in January 2021

• Verizon to Deploy Indoor 5G mmWave Sites

• U.S. Space Force Detected Space Based Infrared System Missile Attack

• Emerging Countries to Have Faster than Expected 5G Adoption Rate

IPP Needs an RF/Microwave Design Engineer

Innovative Power Products Needs an RF/Microwave Design Engineer - RF CafeInnovative 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...

Planes Can Land in Fog! Thanks to Short Waves

Planes Can Land in Fog! Thanks to Short Waves, December 1931/January 1932 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeThe 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 Intros 25 GHz Frequency Doubler

Teledyne e2v HiRel Expands RF Line with New 25 GHz Frequency Doubler - RF CafeTeledyne 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 MMIC doubler...

KiloDrone: Intense Sound of 1,000 Analog Oscillators

KiloDrone Intense Sound of 1,000 Analog Oscillators - RF CafeThe 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."

Many Thanks to ISOTEC for Continued Support!

ISOTEC Corporation - RF CafeSince 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.

Electron Shadows Map Force Fields

Electron Shadows Map Force Fields, December 1949 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen 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...

DC to Daylight Microwave Absorbers Shield the Warfighter

DC to Daylight Microwave Absorbers Shield the Warfighter - RF Cafe"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..."

Academy of EMC Standards Documents

Academy of EMC Standards Documents - RF CafeRF 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 EMC guidelines (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.

RF/Microwave Switching Adds Flexibility to Diverse Applications

RF/Microwave Switching Adds Flexibility to Diverse Applications - RF CafeThe 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..."

Radio Amateur Course - How the Vacuum Tube Works

Radio Amateur Course - How the Vacuum Tube Work, October 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeA 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...

1st Day of Autumn in Northern Hemisphere

Autumnal Equinox Northern Hemisphere 2020 - RF CafeFall has finally arrived! The autumnal 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. The winter solstice (solstice = sol + stitium ≈ sun stands still) occurs December 21, 5:02 A.M. EST.

Many Thanks to Berkeley Nucleonics for Continued Support!

Berkeley Nucleonics Corp - RF CafeBerkeley 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 procedures.

RCA Electron Tubes

RCA Electron Tubes, November 1951 Radio & Television News - RF CafeI 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...

Carl & Jerry: Tussle with a Tachometer

Carl & Jerry: Tussle with a Tachometer, July 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis 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 even detested...

Aerogels Protect Against Electromagnetic Interference

Aerogels Protect Against Electromagnetic Interference - RF Cafe"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..."

Heathkit IM-17 Utility Solid-State Voltmeter

Heathkit IM-17 Utility Solid-State Voltmeter - RF Cafe Cool ProductSometime 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...

PCBONLINE Introduces Rigid-Flex PCBs

PCBONLINE Introduces Rigid-Flex PCBs - RF CafePCBONLINE's 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.

Qorvo / Custom MMIC CMD242K4 GaAs Distributed Amplifier - RF Cafe MPDevice microwave devices - RF Cafe
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Copyright: 1996 - 2024
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    Kirt Blattenberger,
    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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