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"I do not look upon any system of wireless telegraphy as a serious competitor with our cables." - Sir John Wolfe-Barry

Today in History

Using Fast-Sweep Techniques to Accelerate Spur Searches

Using Fast-Sweep Techniques App Note - RF CafeKeysight Technologies' application note Using Fast-Sweep Techniques to Accelerate Spur Searches discusses the latest advances in signal processing, which enable you to make remarkable improvements in sweep speeds. Implementing a new type of digital RBW filter allows sweep speeds up to 50x faster without compromising amplitude and frequency accuracies. I remember back in the early 1990s while working for Comsat writing spur search software using Visual Basic and a National Instruments HPIB interface card to control an HP8568 spectrum analyzer to test programmable synthesizers for Inmarsat earth station RF modems.

Orbel and Nolato Custom EMI/RFI Solutions at IMS 2016

Orbel and Nolato Experts Partnering to Showcase Custom EMI/RFI Solutions at IMS 2016 - RF CafeOrbel Corporation, designer and manufacturer of custom EMI/RFI shielding, photo-etched precision metal parts and stamping; and Nolato, developer of EMC and thermal management solutions made of conductive silicone rubber, will partner to present a range of products at IMS 2016. In addition to extrusions, molded components, and dispensed gaskets, products on display will include: Board Level Shielding (BLS) ...

Tech News for February 12, 2016

World's 1st 1,000 pF Ceramic Capacitor in 0201 Size

Navy to Double Money for Shipboard Radar Research

Electromechanical Trees Generate Electricity for Self-Powered Sensors

Battery Research Claims 10x Gain

Tesla Will Unveil Its $35k Model 3 on March 31st

Physicists Plan to Seek Higgs Force in Atomic Spectra

Cheap Cubic-Boron Nitride Could Enable Next Gen Smart Grid

Cheap Cubic-Boron Nitride Could Enable Next Gen Smart Grid - RF Cafe"Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU), led by Jay Narayan, have developed a new method for converting hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) directly into cubic-boron nitride (c-BN) that is faster and less expensive than previous processes and promises to make a material that is more viable for high-power electronics, transistors and solid-state devices. Boron nitride (BN) comes in four basic forms. Two of these forms of boron nitride, namely ..."

So You Want to Be an Electrical Engineering Technician?

So You Want to Be an Electrical Engineering Technician?EcoTech Institute has an interesting Infographic titled "So You Want to Be an Electrical Engineering Technician?" (circa 2015) that presents statistics on how many engineering technician jobs are currently in existence in the U.S., what the top industries are that use engineering technicians, and how much one can expect to earn. Way back in the mid 1980s when I was last an electronics technician (prior to earning my BSEE), my highest pay was somewhere around $25k/year. According to the BLS's Inflation Calculator, that is the equivalent to $54k today, which is not too far from EcoTech's reported $57,850 is median for a Tech ...

Transistors Minus Semiconductors

Transistors Minus Semiconductors - RF Cafe"Everybody already knows that semiconductors are quickly approaching the atomic-level at under 5 nanometers, but most proposed solutions are based on variations-on-a-theme, such as going to a different "semiconductor" like graphene. Why not scrap semiconductors, instead, and use tunneling field effect transistors (TFETs)? The answer is that most materials require cryogenic cooling to make TFETs, according to Professor Yoke Khin Yap ..."

Transmission Line Systems for FM & Television Home Receivers

Transmission Line Systems for FM & Television Home Receivers - RF CafeIt is amazing to me how many times I read an article, whether in a vintage magazine like this 1947 issue of Radio News, or a current edition of QST, how when discussing maximum power transfer from a source to a load, the author states merely that the load impedance must equal the source impedance. The fact of the matter is that the source and load impedances must be the complex conjugates of each other in order for maximum power transfer to occur. That is to say that if the source has a complex impedance of R + jX, then the load must have a complex impedance of R - jX (and vice versa) ...

World's Most Accurate Optical Single-Ion Clock

World's Most Accurate Optical Single-Ion Clock - RF Cafe"Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. As early as 1981, Hans Dehmelt, who was to be awarded a Nobel prize later, had already developed the basic notions of how to use an ion kept in a high-frequency trap to build a clock which could attain the - then unbelievably low - relative measurement uncertainty in the range of 1E-18 ..."

USAF '17 Budget: "We Simply Can’t Afford "What We Need

USAF '17 Budget: "We Simply Can't Afford What We Need" - RF Cafe"It's simple: the Air Force 'simply cannot afford' to buy what it needs to buy over the next decade. The emphasis is the Air Force's own, published on its budget website ahead of the official budget release. 'The Air Force is facing a modernization bow wave in critical nuclear and space programs over the next ten years that, under current funding levels, we simply cannot afford,' the statement says. The fiscal 2017 budget request 'restores some capacity in ..."

Windfreak Technologies Launches New Website with E-Commerce

Windfreak Technologies Launches New Website with E-commerce - RF CafeWindfreak Technologies announced today the launch of its new and much-anticipated ecommerce website at Now customers can place orders directly on the website for faster service. Windfreak is a leading provider of low cost, high-quality USB-based RF products. The site's simplified look, enhanced content, and mobile device optimization, allows consumers to better interact with Windfreak Technologies online. The new features include a more attractive design, easier navigation enhancement, faster purchase checkout procedures, and mobile-friendly capabilities ...

Magnetic Spin Waves Brought Under Control to Enable Nanocircuits

Magnetic Spin Waves Brought Under Control to Enable Nanocircuits - RF Cafe"The spin wave remains trapped in the domain wall, which is formed in the middle between the differently oriented magnetizations. Researchers at the HZDR could thus control its propagation purposefully. But the more tightly electronic circuits are packed together, the more heat they produce, making them more likely to fail. Now an alternative to using electronic charge carriers for information processing is being developed, in the form of magnetic spin waves. These are faster than electronic ..."

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics February 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThe February 1947 issue of Radio News only had two electronics-themed comics. Many months have up to half a dozen comics. Maybe the winter blues had set in with the magazine's illustrators. The first comic is a tad bit prescient in that it depicts a robber running past a television store and seeing a TV in the front display window showing a real-time video of the cop chasing him. That was way before there was a video surveillance camera on every street corner. I haven't discovered a vintage magazine yet with someone taking a 'selfie.' There is a growing list ...

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 2016

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 11, 2016 - RF CafeIncluded in this month's collection of interesting RF and microwave engineering articles is RF Cafe advertiser Windfreak Technologies, maker of, among other things, USB-controlled signal generators, with an article featured in Microwave Product Digest about those devices. If you have never been involved in defense contracting and manufacturing, you cannot appreciate the figurative 'hoops' that need to be jumped through ...

Diamond Days: Inside the IET's Jubilee Scholarship Programme

Diamond Days: Inside the IET's Jubilee Scholarship Programme - RF Cafe"There aren't too many professions that marry creativity with the prospect of making a real change to the world but as an engineer you'll have opportunities to do just that. Just ask Ceri Linton, an engineering student at Durham U. and recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, a programme that for the past four years has been providing beneficiaries with at least £1,000 per academic year. By way of a recap, the Institution of Engineering and Technologys Diamond ..."

e2v and Peregrine Sign Reseller Agreement

e2v and Peregrine Sign Reseller Agreement - RF Cafee2v, global leader in the high-reliability semiconductor market, and Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, have signed a strategic reseller agreement. Effective today, e2v will be the sole provider of Peregrine's high-reliability ICs for the worldwide space market. This strategic RF relationship combines Peregrine's expertise and proven track record in high-reliability RF and power management products with ...

'Snow Rollers' Witnessed in Erie, Pennsylvania?

'Snow Rollers' Witnessed in Erie, Pennsylvania? - RF CafeLast month when I noticed a couple small snowballs in our back yard here in Erie, PA, I remarked to Melanie that the squirrels must have been having a little fun the previous night. There were no foot tracks of any sort to betray the mischief maker, so it seemed like the neatly made snowballs must have come from nowhere. They could not have fallen from the sky, though, because there were clear ruts in the snow leading up to them. I took a couple photos and promptly forgot about them.Then, a couple days ago there was a news story ...

Tech Headlines for February 11, 2016

Final GPS II Satellite Goes into Orbit as Air Force Readies for GPS III

Army and Air Force MARS Communications Exercise Set for February 12

U.S. House Subcommittee to Consider Amateur Radio Parity Act

New Thin Film Transistor May Lead to Flexible Devices

G teases 'Always-On' Display for G5 Phone

Army Aviation Budget Plunges Earthward

Cognitive Radio: Interoperability Through Waveform Reconfiguration

Cognitive Radio: Interoperability Through Waveform Reconfiguration - RF CafeCognitive Radio: Interoperability Through Waveform Reconfiguration, by Leszek Lechowicz and Mieczyslaw M. Kokar. In the span of a century, radio technology advanced from spark transmitters, through analog radios based on vacuum tubes to solid state radios to finally software defined radios where most of the transmit and receive functionalities are implemented as programs running on specialized microprocessors. In recent years, cognitive radio emerged, which combines a software-defined ...

Schematics and Parts Lists for Vintage Vacuum Tube Radio Models

Emerson Models 501, 502, 504 Schematic & Parts List, November 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThese are the schematics and parts list for vintage Emerson vacuum tube radio models 501, 502, and 504; Crosley model 56TD-W; and Arvin model 140P as they appeared in the November 1947 issue of Radio News magazine. I scan and post these for the benefit of hobbyists and historians seeking such information. As time goes by, there is less and less likelihood that records of these relics from yesteryear's archives will be made available. As with all historical information, it takes someone with a personal interest in preserving the memories in order to fulfill the mission ...

Injectable Radios to Broadcast from Inside the Body

Injectable Radios to Broadcast from Inside the Body - RF Cafe"Implantable medical devices usually have to trade smarts for size. Pacemakers and other active devices with processors on board are typically about a cubic centimeter in size, and must be implanted surgically. Smaller implantable electronics tend to be passive, lacking computing smarts and the ability to actively broadcast signals, says David Blaauw, a professor of electrical engineer and computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor ..."

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