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Holiday Movies to Geek out About

These Jeans Will Keep Hackers out of Your Pants

The Machine That Can Crack Almost Any Phone

SEMI Book-to-Bill Goes Positive

Aircraft Laser Weapon Defenses

New Chip Points the Way Beyond Silicon (Ge redux)

1st Store Staffed Entirely by Telepresence Robots Opens in CA

McDonald's Introduces Bluetooth Beacon Offers

Intel Betting on Commodity Chips for Cloud Computing

Winter Solstice Occurs Today at 23:03 UTC (6:03 pm EST, Sunday)

Uber Launches Tesla Model S Service in Los Angeles

Army Installs First Sense-and-Avoid Radar for Drones

NASA E-mails Wrench to Space Station

Limiting Internet Congestion a Key Factor in Net Neutrality Debate

Global Military Radar Market to Grow 2.9% YoY to $8.44B in 2019

Updating Activity Within Europe’s Ecodesign Directive

Army Set to Launch Aerostat for East Coast Missile Defense

New Element 3 (General Class) Question Pool Released

Werbel Microwave Intros
2-18 GHz Directional Coupler

Werbel Microwave Intros 2-18 GHz Directional Coupler - RF CafeNew directional coupler from Werbel Microwave covers 2-18 GHz continuously at 10 ±1.00 dB. Made in the USA from domestic materials. Return loss is specified at -14 dB or better, directivity specified at 15 dB min (up to 12.4 GHz, -12 dB above 12.4 GHz). Ready for immediate production. Order now!

Reader's Digest Model 800-XR
AM/FM Radio + 8-Track Tape

Reader's Digest Model 800-XR AM/FM Radio + 8-Track Tape Player - RF CafeWhile photographing the General Electric 7-4305c clock radio that I posted last week, it occurred to me that I had never posted anything on my Reader's Digest 800-XR stereo system. It is another of my had-since-a-teenager electronic items that still works as well as the day I bought mine in fall of 1975. Self-respecting audiophiles would never admit to having ever owned such a low-end system, but at least at the time it was the best I could afford. The price escapes me, but it was somewhere in the $100 neighborhood. A turntable came with it, but that is long gone now. Since I much prefer listening to over-the-air broadcasts rather than on the Internet, both the AM and FM tuners get a daily workout. A whopping 10 watts per channel stressed the limits of what my parents would tolerate, and

RF Cafe Quiz: Space-Time
Adaptive Processing for Radar

RF Cafe Quiz #64: Space-Time Adaptive Processing for RadarThis quiz is based on the information presented in Space-Time Adaptive Processing for Radar, by J. R. Guerci. Note: Some of these books are available as prizes in the monthly RF Cafe Giveaway "Space-time adaptive processing (STAP) is an exciting technology for advanced radar systems that allows for significant performance enhancements over conventional approaches. Based on a time-tested course taught in industry, government and academia, this second edition reviews basic STAP concepts and methods, placing emphasis on implementation in real-world systems. It addresses the needs of radar engineers who are

How the V-2 Rocket
Was Wirelessly Controlled

How the V-2 Rocket Is Wirelessly Controlled, April 1945 Radio News - RF CafeHere I go again saying how Germany missed an opportunity - twice - to be the world's technical superpower by starting wars that numerically proved it could never win. Scientists and engineers of Deutschland designed and implemented what would be the first wirelessly guided missile for correcting the flight path of the V-2 rocket (the 'V' stood for Vergeltungswaffe, or vengeance weapon). This article from a 1945 edition of Radio News describes how a radio 'cone' was formed by a ground-based transmitter array that caused an airborne guidance system to keep the rocket on course during the boost phase of its flight. Embarrassingly, I don't recall

RF Wizard™
Amplifier Design Software

RF Tool Company Introduces RF Wizard for Amplifier Design - RF CafeRF Wizard creator Gordon Hockey wrote to let me know about his new software for RF amplifier design. "RF Wizard has been created for RF designers, educators, and students to greatly simplify the normally complex tasks associated with RF and microwave amplifier design for specific gain and bandwidth. It also simplifies the design of matching interconnection networks between RF subsystems such as antennas, transmission lines, amplifiers, mixers, etc." Only $39.99!

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger

IBM Intros 400 Gb/s
Analog-to-Digital Converter

IBM Intros 400 Gb/s Analog-to-Digital Converter - RF CafeRadar and satellite engineers have been wishing for / dreaming about the possibility of digitizing RF signals right at the antenna without the need for analog down conversion. Doing so eliminates the increased cost and reduced reliability associated with a larger component count. It is the ultimate in software defined radio (SDR). The IC from IBM Research and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has as its first planned application is the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope installation in Australia and South Africa.

Pasternack Introduces New
RF Combiners up to 6 GHz

Pasternack Introduces New RF Combiners Operating up to 6 GHz - RF CafePasternack Enterprises introduces a completely new line of broadband RF power combiners. The broad bandwidth of these new combiners makes them the perfect complement to systems using components such as power amplifiers, antenna feeds, attenuators and switches. A special area of usage for these power combiners is in combining individual power amplifiers together into a large power block in an amplifier system. The new RF power combiners from Pasternack are offered in the popular 2-way

RF & Microwave Reading
for December 18, 2014

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for December 18, 2014 - RF CafeThere's that IoT (Internet of Things) buzz phrase again. Perhaps it is getting tiresome because even after being around for about two years, almost nobody really knows what it refers to. Many never remember even having heard of it. Have you? Do you know what is means? Join the crowd. IPV6 was created to handle all the billions and billions of connected appliances and wearable devices we'll all own and/or wear in near future. This first article in Microwave Journal presents a brief introduction to IoT, in case you care.

- Internet of Things Focus,
   M. Ouzillou, R. Yu
- The Evolution of Harmonic
   Load Pull, Dr. I. Tsironis
- Software-Designed Instrument
   Revolution (p.22) B. Driver,
                       V. Fernandez
- Simulate and Test Chirped
   Radar - It's Not Just for the
   Military Anymore, F. Raffaeli,
                 T. Nguyen  <more>

ET Industries Intros
10-50 GHz Power Divider

ET Industries Intros 10-50 GHz Power Divider - RF CafeET Industries is a leader in the design of high frequency, wideband Power Dividers. Model D-1050-2 is a 2 way power divider spanning 10-50 GHz. The maximum insertion loss is less than 1.80 dB. Amplitude balance is 0.5db maximum and phase balance is 5 degrees maximum. The minimum isolation is 16 dB and VSWR is 1.70:1 maximum. Connectors are 2.4 mm female. Housing size is 1.15" x 1.06" x 0.5".

Anatech Electronics'
December 2014 Newsletter

Anatech Electronics Newsletter for December 2014 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its December 2014 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar looks into his crystal ball and dares to predict the RF / microwave market's future for defense, the wireless industry, the Internet of Things (IoT), Wi-Fi, and industry, medical, and scientific applications in 2015. Sam has been in the business of designing and selling filters for all these industries for a long

Notable Tech Quote

War Comes, January 1942 QST - RF Cafe"...Nature is no respecter of military emergencies." - K.B. Warner, W1EH, in the January 1942 issue of QST magazine, regarding the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) decree suspending indefinitely all amateur radio activities in the U.S. following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Read the complete "War Comes!" article.

Empower RF Systems Intros
1-3 GHz, 1 kW Power Amplifier

Empower RF Systems Intros 1-3 GHz, 1 kW Power Amplifier - RF CafeEmpower is pleased to be releasing additional, industry leading power amplifier models that compliment the frequency coverage and power level "footprint" of our next generation, high power PA product family. Model 2170, covering 1 to 3 GHz and delivering 1 kW of broadband output power in a 5U, air cooled chassis is our latest market release. Offering unrivaled size / power advantages and building on a design architecture that has been a catalyst for technology upgrades from customers with diverse requirements from multiple markets, Model 2170 provides excellent performance for

RCA Victor Model M-70 Auto
Radio Service Data Sheet

RCA Victor Model M-70 2-Unit Auto-Radio (Chassis No. RC-394) Radio Service Data Sheet, August 1939 Radio Craft - RF CafeThis Radio Service Data Sheet is from the series published by Radio-Craft magazine in the 1920s and 1930s. I am posting them for the benefit of people who restore those vintage models to working order. It is still possible to buy Sam's Photofacts packages that include schematics and alignment data, but these info sheets fill the gap for ones either not available, or for someone needing to get a feeling for what he/she is up against before making a full commitment to the task

NIST Builds LEGO Watt Balance
to Measure Planck's Constant

NIST physicists build a watt balance using LEGO blocks to measure Planck’s constant - RF CafeLEGO blocks have been used to model everything from ancient Roman ruins to famous people to turbine jet engines. Robots, Babbage's difference machine, and 3-D printers have been made from them. LEGO has reaped a much-deserved windfall in profits the last couple decades as artists and techies have adopted the inexpensive plastic building units for use in professional qualify presentations and objects. Now, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a practical Watt balance instrument from LEGOs that measures Planck's constant. The full paper is available on Cornell University's arXiv.org (pronounced "archive")website.

Z-Comm Intros Low Noise VCO
for Low Cost Basestations

Z-Comm Intros Low Noise VCO for Low Cost Basestations - RF CafeZ-Communications, Inc. announces a new RoHS compliant VCO model CRO2273B-LF. The CRO2273B-LF operates at 2265 to 2280 MHz with a tuning voltage range of 0.5 to 4.5 Vdc. This high performance VCO features a spectrally clean signal of -115 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and covers the band with a typical tuning sensitivity of 4 MHz/V. The CRO2273B-LF is designed to deliver +3 dBm of nominal output power into a 50Ω load while operating off a 5 Vdc supply and drawing typically 20 mA of current. This low noise

Nothing Says "It's Christmas"
Like an Iotatronized LED Tree

Velleman MK130 3D Xmas Tree - RF CafeFor a mere $10 you can own this iotatronized, blinking LED Christmas tree for wow your co-workers. It comes as a kit and needs a 9V iotatron battery to act as both the power supply and a weighted base. Velleman has a lot of simple, inexpensive, build it yourself electronic kits. Hurry - there are only seven shopping days left 'til Christmas!

Transistor Invention
Announced 67 Years Ago Today

Transistor Trends: 67th Birthday, May 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeIf you are reading this, then chances are you owe a part of your livelihood to three gentlemen by the names of Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley. On this day 66 years ago the trio announced their discovery of a gain producing semiconductor device that they dubbed a 'transistor' due to its dual nature as a transconductance amplifier and a variable resistance. This article by magazine editor Hugo Gernsback, in celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the transistor, mentions that somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 million of the little miracle components would be sold that year. The microprocessor in the device you are using to read this contains more than a billion. By comparison, the 'primitive' year-2000-vintage Intel Pentium 4 itself integrated

America's Next Great Industry
- Television - Is Ready

America's Next Great Industry - Television - is Ready, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeBy 1945 everyone of importance in the electronics industry was blowing the figurative horn of television. The country would transform from "a chicken in every pot" to "a TV in every living room" (OK, I just made that up). The NTSC had set the standards for transmission, but hardware implementation was by no means agreed upon. If my memory is correct, there were still some manufacturers clinging to the mechanical spinning disc with a projection screen rather than using electronic circuits and a CRT. Entire industries - not only electronics - were bursting at the seams in anticipation of the war ending and being allowed

Wright Brothers Crossword

Wright Brothers Crossword Puzzle for December 14, 2014 - RF Cafe111 years ago this week (December 17, 1903), Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic first flight whereby a human and aircraft took off and flew under its own power. The Wright Flyer, piloted by Orville, took off from rails on a dune at Kill Devil Hills, NC, and Wright Flyer crossword - RF Caferemained airborne for 120 feet before landing on the beach below. The location was chosen for the orographic lift generated by the ocean winds blowing up the sandy slopes. This week's crossword commemorates the event by incorporating many relevant terms and clues. Enjoy!

Christmastime Engineering
Crossword Puzzle

Christmastime Engineering Crossword Puzzle for December 21, 2014 - RF CafeIt's hard to believe, but Christmas day is almost here again! This is the first time in 8 years that Melanie and I have lived less than a 9 hour drive from the kids (30 minutes now), so the season has lasted more than just a couple days for us. Here is my traditional Christmas crossword puzzle for your enjoyment while you are waiting for the boss to give the word to leave early on Christmas Eve day. Except for a handful of season-specific words and clues, the rest are all engineering and science related, as always. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Sage Career Advice

Engineering Career News & Tips for December 19, 2014 (openclipart.org) - RF CafeFor a lot of people this will be the last work day of the year as we head into the final weekend before Christmas. If you have been thinking about finding a different means of income in 2015, or just want to make your current situation better, rest assured there is plenty of advice for you on how to do either. Rules, methods, and expectations have changed considerably in the last few years, especially as benefits packages have changed in a lot of cases in order to align with ever-changing government regulations. Good luck in whatever your plans happen to be. Here are a few contemporary articles to assist you in your endeavors.

- How to Throw a Great Office
   Holiday Party
- Surprising Health Problems
   that Come from Working
   Too Hard
- Mistakes Job Seekers Just
   Can't Make   <more>

Skyworks Intros Varactor Diode
for Auto, Consumer, Defense

Skyworks Introduces Varactor Diode for Automotive, Consumer, Defense, and Infrastructure - RF CafeSkyworks Solutions introduces a hyperabrupt junction tuning varactor diode for automotive, consumer, defense, and infrastructure markets. The SMV1275-079LF offers high capacitance ratio and low series resistance ideal for low phase noise, UHF, and VHF voltage-controlled oscillators, voltage-tuned phase shifters, tunable bandpass filters, and microwave tuners (at frequencies up to and above 2.5 GHz). The new diode is offered in a small 1.5 x 0.7 x 0.5 mm package.

Army Radio Communications

Army Radio Communications, May 1945 Radio Craft - RF Cafe

Seamless integration of wireless communications with wired communications has not always been a yawn in technical strategy discussions. It has really only been since the early 1990s with the introduction of ubiquitous cellphone systems that someone on a wireless device could connect directly with a wired (i.e., landline) contact and not need an intermediary operator to facilitate. Some military systems, the Inmarsat system and a few other proprietary systems were available, but not to the public at large. This article reports on some of the Army's early attempts at implementing wireless-to-wired communications. Unlike present day systems that rely heavily

Court-Appointed Experts:
The Future of Litigation?

Court-Appointed Experts: The Future of Litigation? IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeThe good folks at IMS ExpertServices have published an interesting short article highlighting the increasingly difficult technical issues being brought before courts in intellectual property (IP) cases, Court-Appointed Experts: The Future of Litigation? - RF Cafeand an inability by judges to render informed opinions based on evidence presented. Attorney Ryan Thompson addresses the issue in a case involving Silk Road and its use of Bitcoin payments to remain 'under the radar' of law enforcement for nearly two years. While there are some amazingly intelligent jurists in the courts, expecting any one person to possess enough knowledge of both law and the subject at hand (a circuit design, software code, a rocket engine fuel injector, an automotive braking

Sally, the Service Maid:
The Case of the Crystal Pickup

Sally, the Service Maid - The Case of the Crystal Pickup, November 1944 Radio Craft - RF Cafe"Sally, the Service Maid" was a relatively short-lived feature in Radio Craft magazine. It began in early 1944 to bring deserved attention to the women who were left to run their husband's or brother's or son's electronics service shops while they were overseas securing the blessings of liberty for mankind. The sagas involved our heroine, Sally, confidently and impressively attacking malfunctioning electronic equipment in the stead of her father Gus Mason, who had volunteered his services as an instructor of electronics for the military. Unlike in past episodes where she tackled complex radio circuits for dashing military emissaries bringing equipment to her shop, this

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