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Today in History - 1891: English Nobel Prize winner James Chadwick, discoverer of the neutron, was born. 1983: IBM-PC DOS Version 2.1 was released. 1984: English physicist Paul Dirac, who shared a Nobel Prize ...

Tech Headline News

-  Archives -

AMD Plans 7% Layoffs

Chinese Find Number URLs Easier Than Letters

Automation Market Set for Extended Boom Times

Report Details Sequestration's Impact on DOD Contractor Spending (lots of defense budget $$$ diverted to unrelated 'renewable' energy & social programs)

Apply Now for Space Station Ham Radio Contact Opportunities

Building Supply Chains to Rival China

Trying to Live in the Moment (and Not on the Phone)

U.S. Military Stuck in the Ditch

Superheterodyne Image Response (interesting analysis - all for naught per commenter Erickk)

Disney Rendered Big Hero 6 on 55,000-Core Supercomputer

Military GaAs Device Market to Grow at CAGR of 13% to over $0.5B by 2018

Russian 'Smart' Mini-Satellites to Go into Orbit in 2016

Lockheed Makes Breakthrough on Fusion Energy Project

Costly Internet Tax Could Be on the Horizon (it's inevitable)

Simple Way to Build 3-D Materials of the Future

Samsung Makes 7.5 Gbps 5G Speed Claim

Teal Names Big 11 Defense Electronics Companies

Silicon Valley's Biggest Internet Mistake

Smart Meters Can Be Hacked to Cut Power Bills

Free PCB Design Tool Includes 3D Modeling


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TriQuint 5 W SPDT Switch Covers 13 to 19 GHz

TriQuint 5 W SPDT Switch Covers 13 to 19 GHz - RF CafeRFMW announces design and sales support for a Ku-band SPDT switch capable of handling 5 W of RF power. The TriQuint TGS4310 is a SPDT reflective switch fabricated on TriQuint's 0.15 um GaAs production process. Operating from 13 to 19 GHz, the part handles +37 dBm input power with <0.1 dB compression and less than 1.7 dB insertion loss. The TGS4310 is available in a small 1.00 x 2.14 mm die size and requires very little control current allowing for ...

Scanning Electron Microscope for Radio Engineers

New Scanning Electron Microscope Revealed to Radio Engineers, September 1942, Radio Craft - RF CafeTelevision and radio facsimile machine electronics technology was credited for aiding in the development of a new type of scanning electron microscope (SEM) that could image the surface of opaque object to a resolution of 100 Å. The television contribution part of the technology was precisely controlling a raster path for the electron beam. The facsimile part was the knowledge of how to assemble a printed image from streaming data. It is interesting to note that in order for an object to be imaged via SEM, its surface must be electrically conductive. Accordingly, non-metallic ...

Test Equipment Crossword Puzzle

Test Equipment Crossword Puzzle for October 19, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's engineering crossword puzzle has a theme of test equipment. The four longest words are types of test equipment, and a few of the other are as well (or related to test equipment). All the other words are from my hand-selected library of a couple thousand terms related to engineering, science, mathematics, etc. Enjoy!

American Amphenol Tube Socket Wall Chart

American Amphenol Tube Socket Chart, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeEarlier this week I posted a page pointing to the many laboratory wall charts offered by Keysight Technologies. I mentioned how unlike modern charts that are full of color, the old ones were usually a single color or black & white. Here is an example from American Amphenol in the mid 1940s. Something like this would make a really cool decoration for today. I just looked on eBay and didn't see an Amphenol Tube Socket Wall Chart for sale, but that would probably be the bet place to latch on to one eventually. 

Hewlett Packard Archive Website

Hewlett Packard Archive Website - RF CafeWebsite contributor Joe Cahak reminded me of the Hewlett Packard Archive website that is absolutely the go-to source for vintage HP documents. According to the site's owner, Glenn Robb, there are more than 35,000 pages of Hewlett Packard catalogs, Bench Briefs, product manuals, service notes, Watt's Current, price lists, periodicals (Measure and Insight magazines), journals, presentations, HP Test and Measurement News, seminars, application notes, and much more ...

New RF & Microwave Magazine Articles

New RF & Microwave Magazine Articles (10/16/2014) - RF CafeIt's time for another round of RF & microwave articles from our industry's top tier magazines. Happy reading.

Slot Antenna Tames 3 Wireless Bands
   W. Maowen, C. Jianzhong, P. Wenjuan

DARPA's Mobile Hotspot Program Drives E-Band
    Performance Benchmarks,
    J. Chandler, R.W. Steagall

Cut the Defense Budget? Sure, No Worries,
    Barry Manz

Measurement of an Active Radar Module in a
    Compact Antenna Test Range, H. Shakhtour,
    D. Heberling, K. Noujeim, F. Gerhardes, P. Knott

Advantages of Propagation Path Replication for
    Radar Range Testing, J. Mazzochette

Digital Technology is Removing the RF-to-Digital
    Divide, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions,
    Tektronix Inc.

Coldest & Hottest Theoretical Temperatures

Coldest and Hottest Possible Absolute Temperatures - RF CafeWhat are the coldest and hottest absolute temperatures possible according to theory? Answering the 'coldest' part of the question is objective and therefore easy: Absolute zero = 0 K = -273.15 °C = −459.67 °F. The 'hottest' part of the question, sometimes referred to as 'absolute hot,' is harder. Most people who deal with such things consider the highest possible temperature to be the Planck temperature = 1.416785(71)x1032 K. A lesser cited value is the Hagedorn temperature ...

Bird Statistical RF Power Sensor for Digital Waveforms

Bird Intros Model 7022 Statistical Power Sensor - RF CafeBird Technologies, a leading provider of RF components, subsystems, test equipment, and services, today introduced the Model 7022 Statistical RF Power Sensor, the only thruline RF power measurement device that provides the statistical analysis capability required to accurately characterize the RF power characteristics of any digitally-modulated signal employed in wireless communications systems. Bird's Model 7022 ...

Dynamic Soaring and Pumped Laser Systems

Dynamic Soaring and Pumped Laser Systems - RF CafeYou have heard of the pumped laser and maser. Here is a new type of pumped energy system: the vaser. 'Laser' is an acronym for 'light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,' and 'maser' is an acronym for 'microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.' I coined the term 'vaser' after reading an article in the June 2014 edition of Model Aviation about a relatively new form of radio controlled model sailplane sport - dynamic soaring - that, using a specially developed technique to exploit geography and prevailing winds, produces aircraft speeds of more than 400 miles per hour. Per my definition ...

Featured Book: Electronic Troubleshooting

Electronic Troubleshooting - RF Cafe Featured BookElectronic Troubleshooting, 2014, by Daniel Tomal, Aram Agajanian. The Most Complete, Current Guide to Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical and Electronic Devices. "If it's electronic, and there is troubleshooting to be done, then this is the book to reach for!" - Dr. Simon Monk. Fully updated for the latest technologies, devices, test instruments, and problem-solving methods, the new edition of this practical resource provides you with the comprehensive information you need to troubleshoot today's electrical and electronic equipment. Inside you'll find new and ...


Tech Comics from Keysight (cum Agilent cum HP)

Tech Comics from Keysight (cum Agilent cum HP) - RF CafeWhile researching lab wall charts last week, I happened upon a large collection of electronics-related comics on the Keysight website. They are clever puns on familiar engineering themes, professionally drawn by artist Rand Kruback, and very colorful. Permission for usage, presumably with proper attribution to the source, is granted "For your lectures or in your labs." Screen savers are somewhat passé these days, but if you are one who still sports such things, you can download ...

Vintage Radio Schematics & Parts Lists

Vintage Radio Schematics & Parts Lists - RF CafeHere are another half dozen sets of schematics and parts lists for vintage radio sets. These are being posted for the sake of the relatively few hobbyists who still take on the challenge of restoring these old relics of yesteryear. I've finally resumed work on my Crosley 03CB console cabinet radio. My nostrils are filled with 70+ year old walnut wood dust from doing the final sanding in preparation for staining and polyurethaning.

I Have a Few Questions About Ebola

I Have a Few Questions About Ebola - RF CafeI listen to a fair amount of radio and read news headlines throughout the day, so I have heard and read a lot about the lurking Ebola epidemic. Like most RF Cafe visitors, I am at least as informed on topics like viruses as the average citizen of the world. We know that there is no 'cure' for a virus per se, just a possibility that it can be subdued by disrupting its ability to replicate. Unlike bacteria which are cellular and have their own support system, viruses require the metabolic mechanisms of a host in order to ...

Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service

Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeYou will not find the name Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mentioned anywhere in this WWII era story reporting on the activities of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, but it was then and is now a branch of the CIA. Per the CIA website "For nearly 70 years, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) monitored the world's airwaves and other news outlets, transcribing and translating selected contents into English and in the process creating a multi-million page historical archive of the global news media." Equally surprising is that the BBC ...

Inventor Testimony in Patent Litigation

Regression Analysis in Litigation, by IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeAttorney Joshua Fruchter, Esq., has posted an article that made me think about how to a large extent the practice of law is a lot like writing HTML code for a web page. Think of a lawyer as a programmer who writes his HTML code to produce a specific output for a specific input. Codified law is analogous to the HTML specification as published by the W3C. The judge and/or jury is equivalent to the browser creator. As we all are painfully aware, even relatively simple web page code can end up displaying vastly differently on not just browsers from various manufacturers (Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari, ... 

Ten Years of Transistors

Ten Years of Transistors, May 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeDid I ever tell the story about a manager I had at a major defense electronics firm who thought he could make an NPN transistor by wiring two diodes in series with the anodes tied together? He reasoned that since a bipolar junction transistor consisted of three alternating layers of n-type and p-type silicon, the device could be affected per his scheme. That was in the mid 1980s when I was still a technician (working diligently on my BSEE degree at night). Needless to say the engineers who worked under him were not too impressed with ...

5&10¢ Worth of Job and Career Headlines

5&10 Cents Worth of Job and Career Headlines, October 15, 2014 - RF CafeThe numbers 5 and 10 were prominent in today's search for career enhancement articles so I decided to make it this week's theme in regard to the value of advice offered. 5¢ today buys what 2¢ bought in 1980, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator, and 10¢ is the equivalent of 2¢ in 1970. The idiom about "adding my two cents worth" of opinion or advice goes way back to Biblical times, but the Inflation Calculator ...

- 5 Types of Bosses and How to Deal with Them

- 10 Things We Hate About Bad 'Leaders' <more...>

MECA Intros Compact 100 Watt Low PIM Terminations

MECA Electronics Intros Compact 100 Watt Low PIM Terminations - RF CafeMECA Electronics' new compact 100 watt low PIM terminations feature industry leading PIM performance of -160 to -165 dBc, typ., all while handling full rated power to +85°C. All of the terminations cover 0.698 – 2.700 GHz frequency bands in 7/16 DIN, Type N, and 4.1/9.5 (mini-DIN) connectors, VSWR = 1.10:1 typical / 1.20:1 minimum. All in a compact package of 8.5" x 3.0".

Regression Analysis in Litigation

Regression Analysis in Litigation, by IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeThis article by Joshua Fruchter, writing for IMS ExpertServices, tells a tale of an unexpected action by a judge that, based on his own understanding of regression analysis, disqualified the works of a hired mathematical 'expert' apparently because of multiple errors and omissions in the calculations. The defendant is one you will recognize from their publication of technical books and college textbooks: McGraw-Hill (Construction). Mr. Frutcher has been publishing a lot of great articles lately that RF Cafe visitors would find interesting; I'll be posting another by him soon.

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