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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2016
Kirt Blattenberger,

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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Today in Science History

RF System Analysis Crossword Puzzle for January 15, 2017

RF System Analysis Crossword Puzzle for January 15, 2017 - RF CafeThis week's crossword puzzle has an RF System Analysis theme. Most of the longer words are terms you will find in cascade calculators such as RF Cascade Workbook. Avid cruciverbalists amongst us appreciate that each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in ...

Dividing Networks

Dividing Networks, December 1949 Radio & Television News - RF CafeDividing network is another name for a crossover network used to separate and direct parts of the audio frequency band to specific speakers - bass, midrange, and tweeter, for example. It is the audio equivalent of a diplexer or multiplexer filter in the RF and microwave realm. As with many other aspects of consumer electronics, there was a time when many audiophiles chose to design and/or build their own crossover networks for home-built speakers. Although never really a bona fide audiophile ...

Molybdenum-Disulfide 2D Transistors Go Ballistic

Molybdenum-Disulfide 2D Transistors - RF Cafe"Molybdenum disulfide, a 2-D semiconductor that's just 3 atoms thick, has had a big year. In October, a group of researchers made a 1-nanometer transistor from the material, showing that even if silicon transistors stop shrinking, the new material might provide a path forward. In December, at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, researchers presented work they say shows that molybdenum disulfide not only makes for superlative single transistors ..."

Report Analyzes the Automotive Radar Sensors Market

Report Analyzes the Automotive Radar Sensors Market - RF Cafe"Technavio has published a new report that provides an analysis of the most important trends in the global automotive radar sensors market expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. They have compiled the data for the automotive radar sensors market by using a bottom-up sizing approach. They assimilated the sizes for of the different constituent markets by application. They then further refined the data by applying selective ..."

Understanding Graphene-Semiconductor Schottky Contacts

Understanding Graphene-Semiconductor Schottky Contacts - RF Cafe"Researchers in Singapore, the USA and Italy have been developing a modified model of Schottky contacts between graphene (Gr) and 2D and 3D semiconductors. The model takes better account of the effective 'zero mass' and zero gap (semi-metal) conduction/valence band structure of Gr with approximately linear energy-wavevector relations relations. Metals and semiconductors are usually modeled with quadratic energy-wavevector relations, giving non-zero effective mass. The Gr material was produced by chemical vapor ..."

GaN-on-Silicon for Scalable High Electron Mobility Transistors

GaN-on-Silicon for Scalable High Electron Mobility Transistors - RF Cafe"A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has advanced gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon transistor technology by optimizing the composition of the semiconductor layers that make up the device. Working with industry partners Veeco and IBM, the team created the high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) structure on a 200 mm silicon substrate with a process that will scale to larger industry ..."

Optical Gain for Communications on Silicon

Optical Gain for Communications on Silicon - RF Cafe"42.5 dB of low loss optical gain has been demonstrated in a CMOS waveguide at wavelengths around 1,500nm. Key to the achievement is a parametric amplifier architecture using a silicon nitride waveguide with far higher silicon content than usual – Si7N3. 'We have developed an optical amplifier which is able to amplify light by 17,000 times at the telecommunications wavelength ..."

Pasternack USB-Controlled 25 MHz to 27 GHz PLL Synthesizers

Pasternack Debuts High-Performance USB-Controlled, 25 MHz to 27 GHz PLL Synthesizers - RF CafePasternack has launched a new line of USB-controlled Phase Locked Loop (PLL) frequency synthesizers. These new PLL synthesizers can be useful in applications involving signal generators, benchtop test and measurement, electronic warfare, and microwave radios. Pasternack's six new models of PLL frequency synthesizers cover a broad range of frequency bands from 25 MHz to 27 GHz. The compact and rugged ...

Electronic Warfare for Special-Operations Planes

Electronic Warfare for Special-Operations Planes - RF Cafe"Electronic warfare (EW) experts at BAE Systems will provide RF countermeasures systems to help U.S. special-operations C-130J turboprop aircraft evade and jam enemy radar systems. Officials of the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., announced a $67.7 million order Tuesday to the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Nashua, N.H., to provide radio frequency (RF) countermeasures systems for special operations ..."

Get Rid of Public Speaking Anxiety

Get Rid of Public Speaking Anxiety - RF CafeWho knew the 'left leg shake' was a well-known symptom of Glossophobia? "As a an engineer, there is a good chance that you are an introvert. There is nothing wrong with being soft spoken unless part of your job includes public speaking. You are great at communicating complex ideas, but just not to large groups of people. You get speech anxiety. In the privacy of your dim lit office, your fingers dance across the keyboard and you have no problem expressing yourself. You love what you do, but when the time comes to give ..."

10th Annual Military Radar Summit: February 27 - March 1, 2017

Military Radar Summit 2017 banner - RF CafeDon't miss out on the 10th Annual Military Radar Summit - February 27 through March 1, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. This conference will have an excellent lineup of speakers, workshops, and exhibitors that span the entire spectrum of the military radar community. Recently there has been further improvement on these modern radars which has led to more enhanced performance. Topics covered include:  • Next Generation Radar for Contested Environments  • Upgrades in Military Radar for UAVs  • Transforming the Battlefield Sensor Network  <more>

Google Fiber, Nokia Support 3.7-4.2 GHz for Fixed Wireless

Google Fiber, Nokia Support 3.7-4.2 GHz for Fixed Wireless - RF Cafe"Google Fiber and Nokia are among the stakeholders throwing their support behind a petition by the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC) that seeks to explore ways to facilitate greater terrestrial use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. The FWCC filed a petition with the FCC in October asking regulators to update the rules for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band so that more of the spectrum can be used for terrestrial applications. Not surprisingly, the satellite industry ..."

A Few Great RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for January 2017

A Few Great RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for January 2017 - RF CafeThis latest collection of articles from our industry's magazine publishers with a mix of topics including one of my favorite: grounding. Items move onto and off of all homepages quickly, so even if you visit Microwave & RF, Microwave Journal, Microwave Product Digest, High Frequency Electronics, et al ...

Properly Ground Your Circuits
Free Software Shows Radar
Near-Field Scanning: Useful
    or Misleading?  <more>

Transistor Circuitry: Characteristics and Operating Considerations

Transistor Circuitry, December 1953 QST - RF CafeTransistor basics have not changed since they were first introduced to the market around 1953. The first available transistors used germanium substrates, and then in 1954 Texas Instruments introduced the first commercial silicon transistor. The hybrid pi equivalent circuit for a PN junction transistor used in modern circuit simulators has many more 'virtual' components in it that allow for high frequency and nonlinear operation modeling, but for audio and AM type that operates entirely within the linear region ...

Mechanically Based Antennas Enable Underwater Radio Transmissions

Mechanically Based Antennas Enable Underwater Radio Transmissions - RF Cafe"When you think about it, wireless communication seems nothing short of magic, it is a brilliant, reality-anchored application of physics and engineering in which radio signals travel from a transmitter to a receiver in the form of electric and magnetic fields woven into fast-as-light electromagnetic waves. However, that very same physics imposes some strict limits, including ones that frustrate the Department of Defense. Key among these is that radio frequency signals hit veritable and literal walls when they encounter materials like water ..."

The Loudness Control

The Loudness Control, December 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeRaise your hand if your old stereo system had a "Loudness" control, but you never really knew what it did - other than change the loudness (my hand is up). Author Rudolph Jacobs addresses the subject in a technical manner - Fletcher-Munson curves and all - in this 1963 edition of Electronics World magazine. In a nutshell, in case you don't feel like reading the entire article, Loudness compensates for the difference in perceived sound intensity level across the audio frequency spectrum as the reference level is varied ...

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

CubeSat-Carrying Experimental Japanese Rocket Launch Scrubbed

UK Regulator Ofcom No Longer Listing Unassigned Amateur Radio Call Signs

Canada Revises Amateur Radio Service Requirements

Want to Grow AM Radio? Follow These 5 Steps

China Launches New Electronic Intelligence Naval Ship

Is Wi-Fi Bad for Our Health?

Verizon Has Deployed Fixed 5G Gear in 10+ U.S. Cities

ZTE to Cut 3,000 Jobs

Verizon Kills 2-Year Contracts and Smartphone Subsidies

Semiconductor Discs Could Boost Night Vision

Semiconductor Discs Could Boost Night Vision - RF Cafe"A new method of fabricating nanoscale optical crystals capable of converting infrared to visible light has been developed by researchers in Australia, China and Italy. The new technique allows the crystals to be placed onto glass and could lead to improvements in holographic imaging – and even the development of improved night-vision goggles. Second-harmonic generation, or frequency doubling, is an optical process whereby two photons with the same frequency ..."

Graphene-Girded Interconnects Could Enable Next Gen Chips

Graphene-Girded Interconnects Could Enable Next Gen Chips - RF Cafe"Most of the celebration and hand wringing over Moore's law focuses on the ever-shrinking silicon transistor. But increasingly researchers are focusing on another critical part of the infrastructure: the copper wires that connect individual transistors into complex circuits. At the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco in December, researchers described the coming problems for copper interconnects, and debated ways of getting around them. One approach studied by a group led by ..."

A Transistor That Can Be Stretched 2x Its Length

A Transistor That Can Be Stretched 2x Its Length - RF Cafe"An international team of researchers has developed a transistor that can be stretched to twice its length and still maintain most of its conductivity. As the group notes in their paper published in the journal Science, such a transistor could prove very useful in the design of wearable electronic devices, particularly those affixed directly to the skin. As the researchers note, use of transistors in bendable ..."

Engineering Career Articles for January 2017

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for January 2017 - RF CafeIf one of your New Years' resolutions was to finally, seriously look for a new job, now is the time to start. There is reason to hope that this year will be the beginning of a new era of manufacturing in America, so there should be a wave of openings for manufacturing, test, and quality control engineering specialists. Not that doing the design and R&D ...

How to Talk About Your
   Soul-Sucking Job While You Look
   for a Better One (love that title!)
Get Your Resume Ready for
   a Job Search
What You Can Do to Get
    Promoted in 2017,  <more>

Time-Shifted PN Codes for CW LIDAR, RADAR, and SONAR

Time-Shifted PN Codes for CW LIDAR, RADAR, and SONAR - RF Cafe"NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a waveform processing technique to eliminate signal noise resulting from sources of interference (scatterers) that can degrade continuous wave (CW) lidar return data. The algorithm was developed to enable CW lidar measurement of atmospheric gas concentrations as part of NASA's Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS) program, but can be used to test any chemical species ..."

General Electric Germanium Transistor Advertisement

General Electric Germanium Transistor Advertisement, November 1953 QST - RF Cafe"If you're not using transistors already, chances are you'll consider them for amplifiers and oscillators in future circuits." So says the line in an advertisement for General Electric vacuum-sealed transistors in a 1953 edition of QST magazine. To say the claim was prescient is an understatement. A lot of people resisted the switch to transistors for many years - especially hobbyists who had grown accustomed to working with vacuum tubes. Maybe GE figured pitching the newfangled devices as being "vacuum-sealed" would help the ...

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