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"Stupidity can't be regulated, no matter how good the rules are." - Riley Hollingsworth

Today in History

Tech Headline News

- Archives -

Man Escapes from Jail After Sending Fake Bail Email

Metals Used in High-Tech Products Face Future Supply Risks

Qorvo Boosts Optical BW w/90 nm GaAs pHEMT Process for Next-Gen High-Frequency Amplifiers

Chinese Scientists Mull Power Station in Space

Quantum Computers Could Greatly Accelerate Machine Learning

Online Measurement Takes Another Big Step Forward

Imec Demonstrates 50 GHz Ge Waveguide Electro-Absorption Modulator

New Technology with Potential for Sub-Micron Optical Switches

Stress-Testing LTE Diameter Signaling

Probing the Whole Internet for Weak Spots

Mira Supercomputer Used to Peer Inside High-Temperature Superconductors

Why We Disagree with the IEEE's Patent Policy

Ericsson Launches 5G Collaborations with Universities

World Amateur Radio Day is April 18!

New Answer to "How Long Would It Take You to Fall Through the Earth?" (an example of 'settled science' being wrong)

Newark Electric Company Ad

Newark Electric Company Ad, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeWho among us has not ordered electronic components or hardware from Newark Electronics? Now known officially as "Newark element 14" (silicon?), and before that Newark Electronics, the company began life as Newark Electric Company, as shown in this 1946 advertisement that appeared in Radio-News. In the days before Digi-Key and the Internet, Newark and Allied were the standards for me when ordering stuff in the lab. Weekly long distance phone calls (remember when they were called that?) to Newark were the routine. Unless a project was really hot, standard U.S. Post Office delivery was used since at the time UPS and FedEx were deemed by the bean counters

Beyond the Kite & Key

Beyond the Kite and Key (Ohio U.) - RF CafeJordan O., of Ohio U.'s Russ College of Engineering and Technology, contacted me about their newest infographic titled Beyond the Kite & Key - Amazing Electrical Experiments That Furthered Engineering Innovations. Says Jordan, "While we may not know what the next revolutionary engineering achievement is, the future of engineering truly depends on accomplishments laid out in it’s past. Without Franklin and his kite or Bell and the wire, our modern knowledge of electrical engineering would cease to exist." "The graphic incorporates landmark experiments that sparked electrical engineering progress. It represents a timeline of "

United Screw and Bolt Corp.
Clutch Head Screw Ad

United Screw and Bolt Corporation Advertisement, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeClutch head screws were one of the original 'security' or 'tamper-proof' type fasteners. United Screw and Bolt Corporation undoubtedly hoped their patented design would become the new standard in screw heads and drivers. Clutch head screws are still available today, but many do not include the round shape in the middle of the 'bowtie' shape. Fortunately for Mr. Henry Phillips, his eponymous screw head design, first introduced a decade earlier than when this advertisement appeared in Radio News, won out in the battle to replace the straight slot screw type. Any kind of screw head that captures the driver to prevent it from slipping off the head

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger

Analysis of Radio Interference

Analysis of Radio Interference Phenomena, June 1946 Radio News - RF CafeImage response, harmonic of the IF, direct IF response, harmonics of the oscillator, combination of the IF, heterodyne oscillator radiation, cross modulation within the receiver, cross modulation external to the receiver, same channel beat, adjacent channel beat and monkey chatter are all sources of radio interference addressed in this article that appeared in a 1946 edition of Radio News. I don't know about you, but I've never heard of the term 'monkey chatter.' According to the troubleshooting table it is, "Unintelligible modulation superimposed upon desired station, having the character of 'inverted speech'." Recommendations on how 

Notable Tech Quote

Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh - RF Cafe"The history of science teaches only too plainly the lesson that no single method is absolutely to be relied upon, that sources of error lurk where they are least expected, and that they may escape the notice of the most experienced and conscientious worker." - Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh

'SuperSpeed' USB 10 Gbps
(USB 3.1) w/Agnostic Connector

SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) from the USB-IF - RF CafeHave you seen the new USB 3.1 'SuperSpeed' cables yet? Finally, both ends of the cable can be identical ('Type-C') so you don't need to have a special adapter to connect between dissimilar types. Another bonus is that there is no 'up' and 'down' orientation because the pinouts are symmetrical. In an apparent violation of the law of averages there seems to be a much greater than 50% probability of attempting to plug existing USB connectors in upside down on the first attempt - for either end. To make matters worse, I have mistakenly plugged the squarish end of the peripheral device end into the telephone jack hole

After Class: Subatomic Footprints

After Class, Subatomic Footprints, September 1956 Popular Electronics - RFCafeBy now, most people involved in science and engineering have seen the iconic photos of cosmic rays and other subatomic particles leaving a signature of their presence as streaks in a cloud chamber. Invented by Scottish physicist Charles Wilson, the cloud chamber is a sealed volume containing super-saturated water vapor that can be ionized by energetic particles passing through it. The result is a tell-tale whitish line that can be straight arced, or even a spiral, depending on the nature of the particle. First developed in the early part of the 20th century, many particles predicted by researchers were detected and identified. Many unexpected particles were also encountered that gave physicists reasons to sharpen their pencils and develop new theories to

Narda Intros Remote Analyzer
with System Antennas

Narda Intros Remote Analyzer with System Antennas - RF CafeThe new generation of NRA RX 19” Remote Analyzers from Narda Safety Test Solutions automatically detect and take into account the calibration data of Narda’s own brand of antennas and RF cables, so monitoring and safety measurements in electromagnetic fields can now also be made without the need for conversion calculations. Narda Safety Test Solutions has added the “Antenna Control” option to the RX version of the NRA Remote Analyzer. This allows direct use of all Narda antennas and cables. The antenna factors and calibration data are detected and automatically taken into account by the NRA RX devices, so that the measurement results are

Proposed 6G Cellular Standard

Proposed 6G Cellular Standard Released - RF CafeIn a move reminiscent of Microsoft announcing skipping from Windows 8.1 directly to Windows 10 in order to emphasize the significant step in functionality, the NexGen Mobile Network Alliance circulated a press release detailing plans to skip past the in-process 5G standard (originally slated for a 2020 release date) and proceed with 6G. Unanticipated advances in breakthrough quantum computing algorithms, terabit data rates over dilithium optical cables, and transmutational hypercubic encoding schemes has prompted regulators to abandon work on 5G after hardware manufacturers including both phone and tower equipment companies petitioned the standards body to save them the engineering and production costs that would be involved in supporting what would certainly be a very short term compliance requirement

App Notes for Antenna Design
on PCB w/NI AWR Software

New Application Examples Highlight Antenna Design on PCB Technology Using NI AWR Design Environment Software - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) has released two new antenna design application examples using NI AWR Design Environment™ software titled ‘Design and Simulation of a 2.4 GHz/5.6 GHz WLAN Antenna on PCB Technology’ and ‘Design and Simulation of an ISM Band Antenna on PCB Technology.’ Both application notes were co-authored with Dr. Volker Muehlhaus of Muehlhaus Consulting & Software GmbH

Carl & Jerry:
The Electronic Beach Buggy

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Beach Buggy, September 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeYou can go into Walmart or Radio Shack (though not for much longer) and pick up a pretty decent handheld metal detector for under $100 these days, but in the 1950s even a rudimentary metal detector was a rather large and heavy contraption. So unwieldy were they that most had a belt clip and shoulder straps to help support and manipulate them. That was the situation facing teen electronics aficionados Carl and Jerry as they pondered how to leverage their combined technical prowess to facilitate a thorough combing of the nearby Lake Michigan beach area for treasures of coins, watches, jewelry, cigarette lighters, and other metallic objects given up as lost by weekend seekers

Engineering Career and Job
Hunting Advice for Q1 2015

Sisyphus Monument - RF CafeThe first third of the year is gone now. If one of your New Year's resolutions was to explore alternative career options and you have not even started yet, you had better get going. Sorting through all the friendly advice online, around the office, and at the bowling alley can be rough, so I have taken the liberty of finding a few for you. One article admonishes you not to be a Sisyphus. A sissy-what? If you're not up on Greek mythology, this will educate

- GE Icon Jack Welch Warns
   Which Common Pitfalls Will
   Keep You from Getting
- Want People to Accept Your
   LinkedIn Requests?
- I Switched to a Standing Desk,
   So Now You Should, Too
  (satire and comic relief)  <more> 

Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad

Bell Telephone Laboratories Advertisement, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeI don't know about you, but I really miss the hard-wired POTS (Plain Ordinary Telephone System) days of remote communications. Unless the conversation was with an overseas telco system, there was never a noticeable delay where both parties were constantly either 'stepping' on each other's words or having to consciously wait before speaking to make sure the other guy has finished. Whether it be cellphone-to-cellphone or cellphone-to-VoIP, nearly every conversation is annoying. Sometimes when one party is on the POTS line with either a cell or Internet connection it can go well, but if you want a hassle-free conversation (assuming the person you're talking to is not a PiTA), you

Radium-Radio Receiver

Radium-Radio Receiver, April 1944 Radio Craft - RF Cafe"Necessity is the mother of invention," is a common saying that proves itself to be particularly true in times of war. World War II launched scientists and engineers belonging to both the Axis and the Allied powers into inventive frenzies in their efforts to hasten an end to hostilities; of course each side also wanted to be the victor. We all know how the story ended. Although some countries were not immediately able to capitalize on their countrymen's technical advances, within about a decade normalized relations had been established between former foes, and the exchange of products, services and scientific information proceeded. Some discoveries were deemed too valuable to national security and were therefore not divulged even, in some instances, to friendly nations. Many scientists consider themselves to be

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Pasternack Intros USB µWave
and mmWave Components

Pasternack Introduces Brand New USB Controlled Microwave and Millimeter Wave Components - RF CafePasternack, a leading manufacturer and supplier of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, releases their brand new lines of USB controlled microwave and millimeter wave components which includes amplifiers, attenuators and PIN diode switches. The new components from Pasternack are controlled and powered by a convenient USB 2.0 port with driverless installation, meaning no external power supply is required. The attenuators and PIN diode switches require an easy-to-use downloadable software program which interfaces with any Windows computer. The company is releasing two models each of the amplifiers

McWatts Comic Strip

McWatts Comic Strip, December 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeMcWatts was an electronics-themed comic that appeared in Popular Electronics back in the 1950s. Artist Carl Kohler's main character is a stereotypical Joe Sixpack (actually a Joe McWatts) electronics hobbyist who dreams up unique ways to deal with situations. This edition shows McWatts in a scenario where, presciently enough, he experiences having his radio controlled airplane treated to what modern day 'drone' pilots are experiencing on a more and more frequent basis - being shot down. In this case the hostile fire came from some kids with slingshots. Fast-forward to 2015 and we are now seeing reports of people using shotguns and rifles to down the privacy-invading craft being piloted by unqualified pranksters. Back in the McWatts era, getting 'shot down' was much more likely

Simple Dual Proportional
R/C System

Simple Dual Proportional R/C System, September 1956 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and Rockets (and Telescopes, Cars, Helicopters, Boats)If you are relatively new to radio control (R/C) operation, whether for the latest 'drone' craze (technically multi-rotor aircraft), model cars, model boats, helicopters, or airplanes - or even robots, then you might be interested in discovering a little about the systems which pioneers in the sport had to work with. In the mid 1950s when this article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, multi-rotors and helicopters were not even in the list of model types. As with radios and television sets, before the convenience and performance increase brought about by the advent of solid state components, R/C modelers struggled with vacuum tube equipment, too. If you are old enough to remember needing to re-tune your radio or TV occasionally due to

Your RF Cafe
Progenitor & Webmaster

Click here to read about RF CafeKirt Blattenberger… single-handedly redefining what an engineering website should be.

View the YouTube RF Cafe Intro Video Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

5th MOB: My USAF radar shop

Airplanes and Rockets: My personal hobby website

Equine Kingdom: My daughter Sally's horse riding website