Today in Science History -
When I saw this
Hughes Research and Development Laboratories employment ad in a 1955 issue of
Radio & Television News, I wasn't sure how to take it. The text of the ad makes
no reference to the bar graph and the weird drawing. Note the
"bottle" is actually a slide rule. The graph can be interpreted to indicate
that the more education a person has, the less likely he is to have children. If
the typical age of the respondent is in the twenties, then that might reflect
how people still in school to earn a higher degree would not be having children.
It might also show that people with higher degrees focus more on their careers
than on having a family. If you extrapolate the graph backward, does it imply
people with an Associate's degree might average 1.5 children, those with just a
high school diploma have about 1.7 children, and high school dropouts average
maybe 2.0 kids? You have to also assume that most of the people with higher
degrees earned them prior to beginning work or else you would have to ask what
the Ph.D. with 0.9 kids did...
Have I mentioned that my YL, Melanie,
decided she would earn her Amateur radio Technician license? After living in a
household with a bilingual husband (English and Electronics) for nearly 38 years
and having become fairly proficient at ETL (electronics as a third language*),
Melanie decided to earn her Technician license. She has never delved into the
technical aspects of electricity / electronics, but because of hearing me speak
of it (too) often and having proof-read my writings and scanned and OCR'ed more
than a thousand articles from vintage electronics magazines, her gray cells are
permeated with the vocabulary, lingo, jargon, vernacular, slang, and argot of
the realm. Being an expert test taker, she will undoubtedly pass the written
test with flying colors. With much self-restraint, I have avoided offering my
sage advice and knowledge during her studies of the ARRL's Ham Radio License
Manual. The current edition is the 4th, being valid from 2018 through 2022.
Melanie has asked for a little clarification on SWR, decibels and couple other
minor topics, but otherwise has progressed...
"It's amazing how many iconic and forgotten
radio telescopes pop-up in movies, TV shows, and documentaries. The human eye
was our first space image detector. On a beautifully clear night at the Aoraki Mackenzie
International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand with the Milky Way displayed above
us, we can see about 5,000 stars. But to really see - that is, to detect and communicate
into space - a radio telescope is needed. Such devices can receive radio waves from
astronomical sources in the sky and are the main observing instrument used in radio
astronomy. Whereas optical telescopes study the light wave portion of the spectrum,
radio telescopes focus on the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic (EM)
spectrum emitted by almost all astronomical objects..."
the Podcast! Just in time for Halloween, John
T. Frye's teenage sleuths
Carl & Jerry unexpectedly recorded a late-night conversation between two men
where they plot how to dispose of the "body" when death occurred as a result of
prolonged choking. Employing their trademark technical prowess and scheming
ability, the pair sets a trap for the perpetrators and dutifully summon the
authorities as they complete their nefarious act of the night before. Halloween
comes into play because the recordings were made for use in creating sound
effects during the reading of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The
Cask of Amontillado." This story, which appeared in a 1955 issue of Popular
Electronics magazine, is a little dark compared to a typical story...
RIGOL has published a downloadable app note
entitled "Advanced Measurements
with a Vector Network Analyzer." It begins: "In our wireless world the need
of RF component testing is one of a key factors to bring a product to market. Devices
are getting smaller and are containing more and more complex components. It is a
must to have knowledge of complex impedance (or admittance) and reflection / transmission
parameters to bring the most optimum functionality to the RF device. RF components
like filters, resonators, etc. can be calculated according to capacitance and inductive
values. Software simulators can take these values and help fine tune the design.
But at the end of the day, the quality and performance needs to be measured..."
Bittele Electronics, a Toronto-based Turn-key
PCB Assembly firm specializing in prototype and low-to-mid volume printed circuit
board (PCB) manufacturing and assembly, announced today the release of its
Online Ordering Service featuring Live Chat and
Zoom meeting support. This new, state-of-the-art tool allows customers to complete
turnkey PCB assembly orders faster and with up to 25% price discounts. Bittele's
Online Ordering Service enables a customer to complete all steps to complete a PCB
Fabrication and Assembly order in under 20 minutes while qualifying for exclusive
discounts that are automatically applied to the order. Once an online order is placed,
it will be immediately processed and released to Bittele's production team...
MPDevice (MPD) has become a trustworthy
and reliable company in the global RF market as a manufacturer of
passive RF devices. Included
are attenuators and terminations, coaxial connectors, adapters, and cable assemblies,
DC blocks, surge arrestors, power combiner / dividers, and directional couplers.
The Korean Telecommunication market is now entering into the era of hyperconnected
society. With continuous enhancement in R&D capabilities and quality control,
MPD will continue in an effort to become the No. 1 technologically innovative
company with a focus on the emerging 5G marketplace.
Here is a quick
Hi−Fi Quiz for all you audiophiles out there. Although it appeared in a 1955
issue of Radio & Television News magazine, save for question #10 all
of Q's and A's still apply to today's equipment. Even that one can be easily guessed.
Q4 might seem a bit foreign, but think of the "groove" type as applying to 78, 45,
or 33-1/3 rpm platters and you'll do OK. Question #7 could be a baffler (pun intended
- you'll see how) were it not for one obviously invalid option that it takes an
RF guy (or gal) to recognize its inanity. Good luck. BTW, I missed Q1, but should
have known better.
Res-Net Microwave has a complete line of
precision RF & microwave
components including attenuators, terminations, resistors, and diode detectors
for commercial, military, and space applications. Products range from the small
flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power attenuators and/or terminations
at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo etch and laser trim capability.
The company is a leader in development and production of the films required for
these type of RF/microwave components. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website
to see how they can help with your current project.
"Failure is an integral part of the engineering
experience. It is so common that it has become an expectation and even affectionately
referred to as Murphy's Law: 'Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.' It has
been stated that the great American inventor Thomas Edison was once asked by a reporter
how it felt to fail 700 times in the creation of the light bulb. His response: 'I
have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that
those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work,
I will find the way that will work.' Henry Petroski, the famous American engineer
failure analysis, wrote the following in his book, To Engineer Is Human: The
Role of Failure in Successful Design: 'I believe that the concept of failure..."
Development of the
cavity magnetron during World War II helped change the destiny of Allied
forces through using high frequency radar with enough power to detect distant targets
while using frequencies which were out of the normal detection bands of Axis forces'
receivers. Most equipment at the time could not operate efficiently (or at all)
above a few hundred MHz. It was considered a top-level secret with great concern
that the technology not fall into the hands of German and Japanese scientists. According
to this early post-war advertisement in a 1945 issue of Radio News, Bell
Labs was totally consumed by the development of magnetrons, and was relieved to
finally be able to boast of its critical role now that the war was over...
RIGOL Technologies is transforming the Test
and Measurement Industry. Our premium line of products includes digital and mixed
signal oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, function / arbitrary waveform generators,
programmable power supplies and loads, digital multimeters, data acquisition systems,
and application software. Our test solutions combine uncompromised product performance,
quality, and advanced product features; all delivered at extremely attractive price
points. This combination provides our customers with unprecedented value for their
investment, reduces their overall cost of test, and helps speed time to completion
of their designs or projects.
Times Microwave Systems, a pioneering brand
in innovative RF and microwave interconnect assemblies, cables and connector design,
announces the addition of a new
1/2" plenum RF cable to its product line. The LPA-500 LLPL air-dielectric corrugated
plenum cable is a low-loss, plenum listed (type CMP) coaxial cable. Available now,
its design offers excellent intermodulation performance, and can be used as feedlines
within buildings to support distributed antenna systems (DAS); public safety communications
systems; RF backbone interconnects within plenum airspaces; and additional applications.
The LPA-500 LLPL is an affordable option that provides the quality and performance
for which Times is universally recognized. The new 1/2" plenum RF cable...
Withwave manufactures an extensive line of
metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch,
board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a
fully automated 4-port vector
network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors,
attenuators, terminations, DC blocks, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner.
Special test fixtures for calibration and multicoax cable assemblies. Frequency
ranges from DC through 110 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they
can help your project succeed.
Contrary to the scenario presented in this
light-hearted mockery of housewives attempting to assemble some electronics kits,
there were actually many women during the height of the radio and television age
who were quite adept at handling soldering irons and test equipment. In fact, the
case could be made that, given the 1947 appearance of this "Housewives
and Television" piece in Radio-Craft magazine, women of the post-wartime industrial
period were probably the most experienced and adept assemblers of electronics equipment.
After all, it was Rosie the Riveter who built airplanes, ships, and tanks while
Sally the Solderer built the bulk of the tens of thousands of radios, radars, sonars,
medical and test instruments, vacuum tubes, amplifiers, and other electronics while
Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture
of RF and microwave filters,
diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer the generally known tubular, LC, cavity,
and waveguide designs, as well as state of the art high performance suspended substrate
models. Through a continuous process of research and development, they have established
a full line of filters of filters of all types - lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop,
diplexer, and more. Established in 1979. Please contact Reactel today to see how
they might help your project.
"In 1999, the Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail
received the Nobel Prize for measuring the speed at which molecules change their
shape. He founded femtochemistry using ultrashort laser flashes: the formation and
breakup of chemical bonds occurs in the realm of femtoseconds. Now, atomic physicists
at Goethe University in Professor Reinhard Dörner's team have for the first time
studied a process that is shorter than femtoseconds by magnitudes. They measured
how long it takes for a photon to cross a hydrogen molecule: about 247
for the average bond length of the molecule. This is the shortest timespan..."
It seems most of the articles we see on the
attenuator pads are based on signal reduction in terms of decibels for units
of power. Although it is a simple matter to convert power decibels to voltage decibels,
it would be more convenient if you are working with voltage to have formulas and
tables of values based on voltage ratios. This article does just that. As a reminder,
the decibel representation of a ratio is always 10 * log10 (x). If
you have a voltage ratio of V1/V2 = 0.5, then 10 * log10 (0.5) = -3.01 dB.
If you have a power ratio of P1/P2 = 0.5, then 10 * log10 (0.5) = -3.01 dB.
Does that mean that -3.01 dB of voltage attenuation is the same as 3.01 dB
of power attenuation? Confusingly, no. Let's say for the sake of simplicity that
you have 1 V across a 1 Ω resistor...
Nokomis Inc., is a high technology research
and development company located just south of Pittsburgh, PA. Nokomis does cutting-edge
technology work for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other Government Agencies.
We rank in the top 3 for entities under 300 employees in the state of Pennsylvania
for the number of R&D contracts we typically win yearly. The candidate should
be comfortable executing on and potentially leading multiple projects. This position
requires a multi-disciplined
Engineer, capable of solving complex technical problems and providing innovative
solutions in the areas of Electrical Engineering and the part, board and system
level to develop the most sensitive Radio Frequency (RF) systems on the planet.
Candidates with specialized experience in digital design, analog design mixed signal
design or RF design will be considered as each of these disciplines is required.
The ideal candidate will have an understanding of and experience with digital, analog,
mixed signal and RF systems...
Exodus Advanced Communications is a multinational
RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial
and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. Power amplifiers ranging
from 10 kHz to 51 GHz with various output power levels and noise figure
ranges, we fully support custom designs and manufacturing requirements for both
small and large volume levels. decades of combined experience in the RF field for
numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC
and various commercial projects with all designing and manufacturing of our HPA,
MPA, and LNA products in-house.
It's about time for a little joviality so
here are the three
technology-themed comics which appeared in the November 1953 issue of Radio-Electronics
magazine. They cover a wide range of situations experienced by electronics types
back in the day, including the fickleness of customers, an exaggeration of an explorer's
unexpected discovery deep in a jungle, and the frustrated indignation of a parts
supplier by the selective memory of a serviceman in need of replacement components.