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- RF Cafe Homepage -
RF, Microwave, Wireless, Cellular, Radar, Satellite, & Analog Engineering

Today in History -  1821: Hermann von Helmholtz, who experimented with physiology, optics, electrodynamics, mathematics, and meteorology, and inventor of the Helmholtz coil, was born. 1842... more

-- Tech Headline News --

Cellphone Addiction 'An Increasingly Realistic Possibility'

Fuji Xerox Printer Comes to Your Desk with Documents

Why Some Liquids are 'Fragile' and Others Are 'Strong'

"Ham Video" Transmitter May Be Tested During ARISS Contact with German School

4G Coverage Reaches 75% of UK Population

Growing Smartphone Usage Provides New Testing Opportunities

10 Tips on Being a Consultant

CSR Rejects Microchip Bid, Shares Soar

A Sad Desk Microwave for Your Sad Desk Lunch (read comment about 'what next?')

UKube-1 Satellite Using FUNcube-2 For Downlink Workaround

China Telecom 1H Mobile Revenue Surges, Subscribers Fall

How Harvard's 1,024 Robot Swarm Does What It Does

China Has Supersonic Submarine in the Works

Scientists Zap Diamond with Laser to Record Quantum Behavior

Superabsorption of Light Beyond Limits of Classical Physics

Radar Principles (Part 1)

Radar Principles - Part 1, April 1945 Radio Craft - RF CafeThis first of a two-part "Radar Principles" article by British engineer and researcher Dr. R.L. Smith-Rose. Dr. Smith-Rose explains the basics of radio detection and ranging using simple illustrations and calculation examples. When these articles were written, radar had recently been credited with playing a major role in helping the Allies successfully wage war against aggressive Axis powers that were ravaging London and other European cities with air attacks comprised of both manned and unmanned vehicles. While the principles of radar were somewhat familiar to people...

Aviat Networks Needs
Director of Systems & Services

Aviat Networks Looking for a Director of Systems & Services, North America - RF CafeThanks to our 50 years of industry experience, Aviat Networks knows microwave transmission better than anyone, and now we are delivering the next generation of LTE proven microwave networking solutions that bring together high performance radio transmission and smart network evolution to all-IP. Aviat has an opening for a Systems & Services Networks Director, responsible for developing and executing a services strategy that supports the existing customer business and the sector's growth strategy. Please see description for details if interested...

Thanks Again to Parsec
Technologies for Support!

PTA1.5M-9 Active GPS GNSS AntennaParsec specializes in embedded passive and active antenna modules for GPS, GNSS, M2M, IoT (Internet-of-Things) and LTE. Parsec also has a full line of high performance, LNA ICs for wireless and mobile markets. Parsec's offerings significantly improve system performance and signal integrity with high efficiency embedded antennas using smaller ground planes, higher gain, and higher IP3 performance while insuring low noise and excellent Rx abilities.

TriQuint High-Linearity, Low-
Noise Gain Blocks in Die Form

TriQuint High-Linearity, Low-Noise Gain Blocks in Die Form - RF CafeRFMW, Ltd. announces design and sales support for four new high-linearity, low noise gain blocks from TriQuint. Offered as DIE, they target hybrid assembly designs requiring the highest level of performance unencumbered by package parasitics. All devices cover applications from 0.05 to 4 GHz such as commercial and military radar receivers, EW, communication LNA designs and general purpose LNA designs needing highly linear amplifiers...

New Round of Magazine
Articles for 8/29/2014

RF & Microwave Magazne Articles for 8/29/2014 - RF CafeAfter you've turned off all the lab equipment and are sitting around waiting for the 3-day Labor Day weekend to start, kill some time with a couple of these new articles.

- Precision Validation of Radar
   System Performance in the
   Field, W. Yu
- Why Are Oscilloscope Probe
   Amps at the Tip?, A. Pini
   & L. Jacobs
- Selecting an RF Power Meter
   or Sensor (p.54), LadyBug
- Match Impedances When
   Making Measurements,
   S. Sandler
- On-Site Testing of Lightning
   Protection Devices, K. Rand
- Next Generation
   Communications for Next
   Generation Satellites,
    N. Kundtz
- Analyzing Active
   Cancellation Stealth,
   X. Sheng & X. Yuanming

Choosing Your Crossovers

Choosing Your Crossovers, October 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeAudio crossover networks have the same fundamental mission as RF multiplexer filters in radio systems, which is to separate and steer specific bands of frequencies into two or more signal paths. While simple in concept, implementation in hardware can be a major challenge depending on requirements for channel separation, feedthrough, phase and group delay, amplitude equalization, distortion, and other factors. This article discusses some of the decisions used by crossover network designers when considering where to make band breaks, while leaving actual circuit design rules to other authors. I built a set of custom speakers many moons ago and went through the frustrating process...

Envelope Tracking
Power Amplifiers

Envelope Tracking Power Amplifiers - RF CafeEnvelope Tracking Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications, by Zhancang Wang. Envelope tracking technology is seen as the most promising efficiency enhancement technology for RF PA for 4G and beyond wireless communications. More and more organizations are investing and researching on this topic with huge potential academic and commercial values. This is the first book on the market to give complete introduction, theory, and design considerations on envelope tracking for wireless communications...

Notable Tech Quote
Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison Notable Quote (wikipedia image) - RF Cafe"It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or threes years ago was thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere." - Thomas A. Edison, New York World, November 17, 1895. This, from the man who reportedly tried more than 1,000 different materials for his incandescent light bulb before arriving at a coil of carbon filament.

Job/Career Headlines
for August 25, 2014

The 3 Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With (LinkedIn photo) - RF CafeLinkedIn's CEO Jeff Weiner hit a home run with his recent post titled The 3 Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With. The article's content is undeniably interesting, but I guarantee the fame factor is based on the Venn diagram that he created. It's simple and sure to get a chuckle out of you. Here are a few more useful articles:

 Running an Effective
      Long-Distance Job
—  5 Ways New Grads Can
      Get a Boost up the
      Corporate Ladder
 Fired at 50? Now What?
 How to Answer the 'Tell Me
      About Yourself' Interview
      Question  <more...>

National Schools Radio TV
& Electronics Training Ad

National Schools Radio Television & Electronics Training Ad, September 1945, Radio Craft - RF Cafe It wasn't all that long ago that deadlines for magazine printing cycles were measured in months - unlike today where electronics on-demand printing has cut lead times to weeks and even days. Accordingly, this National Schools advertisement pitching 'after the war' training in electronics servicing that appeared in the September 1945 edition of Radio Craft was likely designed and submitted two or three months ahead of the publication month (e.g., in June or July). How could they be so sure that their scarce advertising dollars wouldn't be wasted? Simple. By that time, entire country seemed to have a sense that World War II would come to an end soon since Hitler's, Mussolini's, Tojo's...

Substitution Jigs Speed Service

Substitution Jigs Speed Service, October 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeSure, you do it all the time, but at some point either someone suggested and/or showed you how to clip substitute components into a circuit in place of a suspected bad component while troubleshooting or maybe during the design or tuning process. Miniature circuits of today pretty much rule out using alligator clips to patch in a part, but sometimes it is possible to use miniature J clip leads or even pin probes to make the connection long enough to take a measurement. Since I do a fair amount of circuit work on other-than-RF applications, I often find myself using short insulated, stranded wires with mini alligator clips on each end to make connections.

Carl & Jerry:
Therry and the Pirates

Carl & Jerry: Therry and the Pirates, April 1961 Popular Electronics - RF CafeYou can still buy from Moog today the same sort of Theremin that was described in this 1961 Carl & Jerry episode. Ever the early adopters of breaking technology, the teenagers exploit the motion-sensitive feature of the Theremin in hopes of improving Carl's basketball game. As usual the boys, in mock dialog, describe the Theremin's operational theory for the benefit of readers not familiar with the musical instrument. They do not, however, mention that the device is named after its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. Read on to discover how a Theremin strapped to Jerry's back...

Precision Steering
at 18,000 M.P.H.

Precision Steering at 18,000 M.P.H., September 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeThese days, I'm always a bit hesitant to publish or do Internet research on items mentioning chemical compounds any more toxic than rubbing alcohol. This article reports on early plans of the Vanguard satellite launch platform for America's first orbiting satellites. Although the main focus is on the electronic steering and stabilization systems, it mentions the fuel composition of nitric acid and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine. That's probably enough to cause a federal agent to come knocking on my door... or at least put me on some sort of surveillance list. Less exotic fuels like LOX (not to be confused with the fish used on bagels), kerosene...

IMS2014 Student Design
Contest Winners Awarded

IMS2014 Student Design Contest Winners Awarded NI AWR Design Environment Licenses - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) awarded the first-, second- and third-place winning teams of the IMS2014 Student Design Contest for High-efficiency Power Amplifier and High-sensitivity Radar complementary one-year licenses of NI AWR Design Environment™ software.

Thanks Once Again to Anatech
for Their Support!

Anatech Electronics RF & Microwave FiltersAnatech Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of RF and microwave filters at frequencies up to 40 GHz, as well as power dividers, directional couplers, and many other product types. We specialize in standard and custom designs for commercial wireless, public safety, satcom, and defense applications, and we can meet stringent military environmental specifications.

Delta Intros New 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN
Series of Low PIM Connectors

Delta Electronics Introduces New 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN Series of Low PIM Connectors - RF CafeDelta's 4.1 / 9.5 Mini DIN series of coaxial connectors are designed to meet the growing demands of today’s high performance mobile communications systems. Mechanically similar to the 7/16 series, the 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN's 30% smaller size and reduced weight, allow increased package density and flexibility in system design. Delta offers a wide range of standard 4.1 / 9.5 Mini DIN configurations including: male and female...

PMI Receives
ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Planar Monolithics (PMI)Planar Monolithics Industries, Inc. (PMI) announced that they have received their ISO 9001:2008 certification for their Quality Management System. With the recent successful completion of the audit at the El Dorado Hills, CA facility, now all three PMI facilities, including both facilities located in Frederick, MD, are ISO certified. ISO 9001:2008 certification is a prestigious certification requiring companies to meet the complex and demanding documentation, quality system and continuous process improvement requirements.

Please Thank Test Equipment
Connection for Support

Test Equipment ConnectionTest Equipment Connection Corporation is your single source test & measurement solution. We offer over 300 test equipment manufacturers including Agilent, Tektronix, Anritsu, Test Equipment ConnectionRohde & Schwarz, Advantest and Fluke, plus thousands of New, Used, Second Hand, and Refurbished test equipment products. We buy and sell bench top, general-purpose test and measurement equipment. $2M is budgeted each month for the purchase of surplus equipment.

"Sweater Girls" Are Really
in Demand at This Plant

"Sweater Girls" Are Really in Demand at This Plant, November 1944 Radio Craft - RF Cafe"He no sooner gets alone with a sweater girl than he's trying to pull the wool over her eyes." That's a really old joke that only old guys remember. 'Sweater girl' was a term used to describe... how do I properly put it?... Dolly Parton types (you know, having a good singing voice Winking Smiley - RF Cafe). Anyway, I thought you might need to be apprised of the origin of the term to appreciate the title of this article from a 1944 edition of Radio Craft. You're welcome.

A Ham in the Making

A Ham in the Making, October 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is a little more tech comic artistry from Bill Hutchinson. Bill created a lot of work for Popular Electronics over the years in addition to his semi-regular Hobnobbing with Harbaugh series. One of the comics mentions an operator being referred to as a 'lid.' In Hamdom, the term means a person who is incompetent or stupid. The history of 'lid' is apparently uncertain (as is 'Ham') per many sources I checked, but two explanations seem the most feasible to me. The first is that in the olden days of land telegraphy, less skilled Morse code operators supposedly placed the lid of a tobacco...

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RF Cascade Workbook is a very extensive system cascaded component Excel workbook that includes the standard Gain, NF, IP2, IP3, Psat calculations, input & output VSWR, noise BW, min/max tolerance, DC power cauculations, graphing of all RF parameters, and has a graphical block diagram tool. An extensive User's Guide is also included. - Only $35.
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