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"Engineers operate at the interface between science and society." - Gordon Brown

Today in Science History

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Pushing the Boundaries of Magnet Design

Law Needs to Credit Inventive Computers in Patents

MARS-Amateur Radio Interoperability Exercise to Test 'Very Bad Day' Scenario

Stop Messing Around, Ofcom, and Do Your Job

Postal Worker Dumps Piles of Mail Woods (at least he didn't stage shoot-out)

Radio Amateurs in India Monitoring 'Highly Suspicious' VHF Communications

Frequency Comb Traps and Cools Atoms

What's Behind Samsung's Phone Fires?

What's Behind Samsung's Phone Fires? - RF Cafe"There's never a good time for a corporation to get a black eye, but now is a particularly bad time for Korea's Samsung. The company's recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and its shutdown of sales and production also call attention to its recent recalls of other, unrelated products. 'What was remarkable here was that this was the world’s leading company for batteries and for consumer electronics, ..."

Salaries Rise, Gaps Widen for EEs per IEEE Survey

Salaries Rise, Gaps Widen for EEs per IEEE Survey - RF Cafe
"Last year was a good year for most, but not all electrical engineers. Salaries for EEs rose 3.85% on average in 2015, but gender and racial gaps in salaries widened, according to an annual survey published this week by the IEEE. EEs earned a median pre-tax income of $138,285 last year including base salary, commissions, bonuses and net self-employment. Strip away overtime pay, profit sharing, and other supplemental earnings, and the 2015 figure drops to $135,000, up from $130,000 in 2014 ..."

Global RF Power Amplifier Market to Grow at 14%

Global RF Power Amplifier Market to Grow at 14% - RF Cafe"In a new market research analysis, Technavio have predicted that the global power amplifier market will grow steadily over the next four years and will post an impressive CAGR of almost 14% thru 2020. This analysis identifies the emergence of next generation wireless networks as one of the primary growth factors for this market. The growing popularity of mobile communication devices and next-generation wireless networks such as 3G, 4G, and 5G has resulted in an increase in network traffic ..."

Albert Einstein Quote on "Spooky Action at a Distance"

Albert Einstein quote on "Spook Action at a Distance" - RF cafe"I cannot seriously believe in it because the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance." - Albert Einstein, on quantum theory, in a letter to Max Born, on March 3, 1947 ...

Anatech Electronics Intros 3 New Filter Designs

Anatech Electronics Intros 3 New Filter Designs - RF CafeAnatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense. Anatech has introduced 3 new filter designs: a 4000-8000 MHz stripline bandpass filter with SMA connectors, a 105-115 MHz user tunable VHF filter with SMA connectors, and an 2037.5 MHz Wi-Fi cavity bandpass filter with N connectors. Custom design are ...

Russian Kills Drone 1/2-Mile Away Using Microwaves

Russian Kills Drone 1/2-Mile Away Using Microwaves - RF CafeRussian officials have unveiled a 'microwave gun' that can disable an unmanned drone and even a missile from up to 0.6 miles (1km) away. The first sample of the weapon has been revealed following a secretive Russian Defense Ministry exhibition. The 'death ray' will be used to target enemy drones and apparently deactivates the radios of UAVs and warheads, causing them ...

Ultra-Thin Ferroelectric Material for Next-Gen Electronics

Ultra-Thin Ferroelectric Material for Next-Generation Electronics - RF Cafe"Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated the potential of a new, thin-film ferroelectric material that could improve the performance of next-generation sensors and semi-conductors. 'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer ..."

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IEEE Wants to Collaborate with 3GPP on 5G

IEEE Wants to Collaborate with 3GPP on 5G - RF Cafe"The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802) wants to collaborate with the 3GPP toward support of IMT-2020 and next-generation networks, according to a letter to 3GPP from the chairman of the IEEE 802 Local and Metropolitan Area Network Standards Committee (LMSC). IEEE 802 LMSC Chairman Paul Nikolich sent a letter to 3GPP PCG Chair Zhiqin Wang with a detailed proposal on how the two groups could work together. “We propose some collaborative approaches and request the 3GPP Project ..."

Novel Materials Used to Build Smallest Transistor

Novel Materials Used to Build Smallest Transistor - RF Cafe"In the quest for faster and more powerful computers and consumer electronics, big advances come in small packages. The high-performance, silicon-based transistors that control today's electronic devices have been getting smaller and smaller, allowing those devices to perform faster while consuming less power. But even silicon has its limits, so researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and elsewhere are looking for better-performing alternatives ..."

Silicon Monoxide Passivation for Gallium Nitride Transistors

Silicon Monoxide Passivation for Gallium Nitride Transistors - RF Cafe"Shandong University in China and University of Manchester in the UK have reported room-temperature thermal-evaporation silicon monoxide (SiO) passivation for aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) barrier high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs). The passivation reduced leakage currents and increased breakdown voltages compared with unpassivated and silicon nitride (SiNx) passivated devices ..."

T-Rays 'Speed up' Computer Memory by 1000x

T-Rays 'Speed up' Computer Memory by 1000x - RF Cafe"Scientists have found a way to significantly improve computer performance. They propose the use of the so-called T-waves, or terahertz radiation as a means of resetting computer memory cells. This process is several thousand times faster than magnetic-field-induced switching. Together with their colleagues from Germany and the Netherlands, scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have found a way to significantly improve computer performance. In their ..."

These 10 Sci-Fi Novels are Perfect for Engineering Minds

These 10 Sci-Fi Novels are Perfect for Engineering Minds  - RF Cafe"These novels and short stories look to meld the mechanical with humanity. Some delve into the moral issues surrounding technological advances; others appeal to the spirit of innovation and the power of smart people. We know not everyone enjoys reading or even has time for it. So for your convenience, we've sorted these books by word count from least to most. 'The Cold Equations' by Tom Godwin (10,095 words) Barton ..."

Mac's Service Shop: Worth of his Hire

Mac's Service Shop: Worth of His Hire, May 1961 Electronics World - RF Cafe"You don't see any doctors handing out any free diagnoses, do you?," asked Barney, rhetorically, when discussing with Mac the expectation of many customers for them to troubleshoot an electronics appliance to determine what the cost would be to restore it to working order. An article is cited from a trade magazine where a customer refused to pay a repair estimate fee even though he decided not to get the work done. It is the age-old lament about people who expect you to perform work for them at no cost, but would never consider plying their trade for someone ...

Mjölnir's Secret: Microwave Oven Magnets - Who Knew?

Mjölnir's Secret: Microwave Oven Magnets - Who Knew? - RF Cafe Video for EngineersThe secret of Mjölnir, Thor's hammer, has finally been revealed. As it turns out, being found 'worthy' of lifting Mjölnir requires having the right thumbprint. Well, at least inventor / maker Allen Pan's version of the hammer does. The July/August issue of Popular Science ran an article on Pan's cleverly converted toy Mjölnir wherein he buried four lead-acid batteries to power a scrounged microwave oven transformer for duty as an electromagnet. An Arduino Uno-driven sensor detects Pan's unique thumbprint and disables ...

Morse Code in Memorial Art Museum

Morse Code in Memorial Art Museum - RF CafeThe November 2016 issue f ARRL' QST magazine (p20) had picture of Jackie Ferrara's brick walkway at the U. of Rochester in NY. Inlaid along its border are dark contrasting bricks representing dots and dashed in Morse code that spell out its own name, "Path of Colors," as well as "Memorial Art Gallery," and the colors of the rainbow. Pretty cool. There is no mention of whether Ms. Ferrara was inspired by a Ham or maybe is a Ham herself. A short video shows parts her work ...

Skyworks Announces LNA FEM for GPS Applications

Skyworks Announces LNA FEM for GPS Applications - RF CafeSkyworks is pleased to introduce the SKY65903-11, a new low-noise amplifier, front-end module with integrated pre- and post- filters for GPS receiver applications. This 1559-1606 MHz high performance module is idea for global positioning and navigation satellite systems in end products such as fitness/activity trackers, watches, pet trackers, smartphones and tablets. The device features high linearity, excellent gain, and a low noise figure for improved signal-to-noise ratio. Integrated pre- and post-filters ...

Tolerance Calculator Graph

Tolerance Calculator Graph, May 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeHere is a type of chart I don't recall seeing before. This Tolerance Calculator Graph makes it very easy to quickly determine the upper and lower extremes of tolerance values for resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc. It can actually be used to find the limits for any number, regardless of units. This is one example of where a physical visual aid can still yield results faster than punching numbers into a calculator.

Heathkit Most Reliable Clock™ Kit

Heathkit Most Reliable Clock Kit - RF CafeHeathkit produced a broad spectrum of electronics kits that covered a broad spectrum of technologies, from simple digital clocks to amateur radio transceivers, AM/FM radios, and even color televisions. Cheap offshore manufacturing made building your own equipment more expensive than buying a factory model, spelling the end of Heathkit. A resurgence of the DIY mindset and a new cadre of enthusiastic 'builders' has motivated Heathkit to begin resurrecting some of their most popular kits, albeit with updated components. The Most Reliable Clock™ is their newest release, and will appeal to Hams with its 'One-touch perpetual ID timer.' It has other very unique features as well. Check it out ...

Decibel Tutorial: dB and dBm vs. Gain and Milliwatts

Decibel Tutorial: dB and dBm vs. Gain and Milliwatts - RF CafeBy RF Cafe - The concept of a decibel (dB) is understandably difficult and confusing for someone just being introduced to it. Combining specifications for gain, power, and voltage (and current, but not so often) that mix dB, dBm, dBW, watts, milliwatts, voltage, millivolts, etc., often requires converting back and forth between linear values and decibel values. This brief tutorial will help to clarify the difference between working with decibels and working with linear values. Anxiety Alert: Using decibels involves working with logarithms. Logarithms (logs) were first conceived of in the early 1600s by Scottish mathematician John Napier, as a tool for simplifying ...

Ugly Year for Tech Layoffs, and It's Going to Get Worse

Ugly Year for Tech Layoffs, and It's Going to Get Worse - R FCafe"Early this year, analyst Trip Chowdhry from Global Equities Research predicted that the tech world was going to see big layoffs in 2016—some 330,000 in all at major tech companies. At the time, these numbers seemed way over the top. Then IBM started slashing jobs in March—and continued to wield the ax over and over as the year progressed. Yahoo began layoffs of some 15 percent of its employees in February. Intel announced in April that it would lay off 12,000 this year. So, was Chowdhry right? ..."

Lockheed to Build Long Range TPS-77 USAF Radar

Lockheed to Build Long Range TPS-77 USAF Radar - RF Cafe"U.S. Air Force air-surveillance experts are asking Lockheed Martin Corp. to build and install a long-range gap-filler radar system at Hanscom Air Force base, Massachusetts, northwest of Boston. Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base announced a potential $41.7 million contract Thursday to the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Syracuse, N.Y., for gap-filler radar at Hanscom. Gap-filler radar supplements the coverage of the principal air-defense, air surveillance, and air-traffic-control radar ..."

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