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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2016
Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger,
 BSEE - KB3UON

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 ...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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"Nonlinear equations [are] fundamental because in nature, curves abound." – Shing-Tung Yau

Today in Science History

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith: Amateur Enforcement to Be Aggressive

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith: Amateur Enforcement to Be Aggressive - RF Cafe"FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith told a standing-room-only audience at the ARRL Pacific Division Convention in October that, despite FCC cutbacks, Amateur Radio enforcement will not be compromised. Smith spoke for nearly an hour and a half on a variety of FCC issues related to Amateur Radio, and the entire presentation is available on YouTube, thanks to Bob Miller, WB6KWT, and his son Robert ..."

Raytheon Tests Directed Energy Weapon on Drones

Raytheon Tests Directed Energy Weapon on Drones - RF Cafe"There are all kinds of creative ways of dealing with rogue drones: Radio jamming. Other drones with nets. Trained eagles. None of these are really designed to handle military drones, however, and large, fast-moving UAVs are still a potential threat, especially if more than one is coming at you at once. It's no surprise that the U.S. Army has been developing solutions for this potential threat— we're not sure what they're working on now, but as of late 2013, Raytheon was successfully testing a long range, high power directed microwave weapon capable of taking out ..."

Germanium Can Take Transistors Where Silicon Can't

Germanium Can Take Transistors Where Silicon Can't - RF Cafe"Nearly 70 years ago, two physicists at Bell Telephone Laboratories—John Bardeen and Walter Brattain—pressed two thin gold contacts into a slab of germanium and made a third contact on the bottom of the slab. The flow of current through this configuration could be used to turn a small signal into a larger one. The result was the first transistor—the amplifier and switch that was, arguably, the greatest invention of the 20th century. Thanks to Moore's Law, the transistor has delivered computers far beyond anything thought ..."

Saelig Cyber Week Sale !

Sealig Cyber Week 2016 Sale - RF CafeSaelig's huge Cyber Week sale runs through Sunday, so don't forget to check them out for great prices on test equipment.

Earth's 'Technosphere' Now Weighs 30 Trillion Tons

Earth's 'Technosphere' Now Weighs 30 Trillion Tons - RF Cafe"The technosphere is a major new phenomenon of this planet – and one that is evolving extraordinarily rapidly" – Professor Mark Williams, University of Leicester. An international team led by University of Leicester geologists has made the first estimate of the sheer size of the physical structure of the planet's technosphere – suggesting that its mass approximates to an enormous 30 trillion tons. The technosphere is comprised of all of the structures ..."

RF/Analog Design Engineer Needed by L3 Telemetry & RF Products

L3 Telemetry & RF Products Needs RF/Analog Design Engineer - RF CafeWe are seeking a talented RF/Analog Design Engineer with a solid understanding of satellite communications systems, with an emphasis on RF and analog designs. The position is in San Diego, California. Relocation assistance is available. Responsible for all aspects of the RF and analog detailed design and development, including: system and module level design and definition, schematic capture, circuit design, derating and Worst Case Analysis (WCA). Estimate task schedules and budgets (BOEs) for programs, proposals and IR&D efforts. Estimate task ...

Navy Sharpens AESA Radar for F-18

Navy Sharpens AESA Radar for F-18 - RF Cafe"Raytheon is being awarded a $9.6M Navy contract to provide engineering technical services and field services for the AN/APG-65/65(V)/73/79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, associated systems, and support equipment in support of the F/A-18, EA-18G, and AV-8B aircraft. Many Navy aircraft use AESA radars because of their superior ability to thwart jamming attempts and reduce the possibility of detection by ..."

RF Engineering Crossword Puzzle for December 4, 2016

RF Engineering Crossword Puzzle for December 4, 2016 - RF CafeTake a break from the daily grind to work this week's RF Engineering-themed crossword puzzle. All the words are pulled from a hand-built list of terms, names, and abbreviations that have only to do with science, mathematics, and engineering. If you want a crossword with names of movie stars and obscure countries, try the local newspaper. Go ahead and print out this page on real paper, grab a pencil or pen, and do it the old fashioned way ...

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, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Anatech has introduced 3 new filter designs: a 4,675 MHz cavity bandpass filter with SMA connectors, a 782/751 MHz surface mount ceramic duplexer filter, and a 987.5 MHz cavity bandpass filter ...

Filter Building Made Easy

Filter Building Made Easy, December 1953 QSTDesigning, building, and tuning low frequency filters is much easier for the person without a professional grade suite of software, fabrication, and test equipment than is RF / microwave frequency filters. Most of my design and integration work has been with system level transmit and receive racks for radar and satellite earth station installations, and typically for prototyping and/or very low quantity production. Accordingly, I used connectorized components cascaded together where each functional block was predefined and tested. I would be handed a system input/output document that specified parameters for gain, phase noise ...

Navy Updates Radar Software on Stealthy Zumwalt

Navy Updates Radar Software on Stealthy Zumwalt - RF Cafe"One of the biggest question marks remaining for the DDG 1000 USS Zumwalt is whether its radar and missile systems will work as redesigned and radar manufacturer Raytheon is wasting no time in making sure its sensor meets U.S. Navy needs. The ship is slated to test and certify its combat system after it arrives later this year in its homeport of San Diego. But Raytheon officials say ..."

Russian Army to Get Advanced Stealth Drone Hunting Radar

Russian Army to Get Advanced Stealth Drone Hunting Radar - RF Cafe"The Zavod Electromash plant in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has created a unique stealth robotic system capable of detecting unmanned aerial vehicles, Zavod Electromash spokesman Valery Pyatkin told Sputnik. In an interview with Sputnik, Valery Pyatkin, spokesman for the Nizhny Novgorod-based Zavod Electromash plant, said that they had developed an advanced stealth robotic system capable of detecting reconnaissance and attack drones. The mobile optical-radar, non-emitting complex is due to enter service at ..."

Kenyon Transformer Holiday Message

Kenyon Transformer Holiday Message, January 1941 QST - RF CafeThe Christmas holiday season is here officially now that Thanksgiving is over. When deciding which articles from vintage electronic magazines to post, I always try to pick a few that pertain to specific holidays, like Christmas, Independence Day, Halloween, etc. Many companies ran advertisements - often full-page - in QST, Radio News, Electronics World, etc. Here is one by the Kenton Transformer Company, of New York, New York. Interestingly, it alludes to the military buildup ...

Room Temp ‘Ice-Wires’ Have Potential for Proton Electronics

Room Temp ‘Ice-wires’ Have Potential for Proton Electronics - RF CafeConfining water inside carbon nanotubes changes its physical properties so much that it can be solid at 100°C. This discovery, while not fully understood, could lead to new advances in nanoelectronics. One of the few scientific facts that everybody knows is that water freezes at 0°C and boils at 100°C. One of the unusual properties of water is it is a very good conductor of protons: 10 times better than conventional conductive materials ..."

Tech Industry Headlines

- Archive -

Samsung Electronics Considers Split as Investor Pressure Builds

UK Snoopers Law Creates Security Nightmare

130,000 U.S. Navy Sailors Hacked

Black Polycrystalline Diamond Transistors with High Breakdown

Sedentary Lifestyle May Impair Academic Performance

Tech Volunteers Heed the Call

UK Radio Amateur Receives Sir Arthur Clarke Award

2017 Defense Bill Heads to Vote

$5 PoisonTap Tool Easily Breaks into Locked PCs

USAF Expands Computer Chip Nanoelectronics

Chernobyl New Safe Confinement in Final Construction Stage

Chernobyl New Safe Confinement in Final Construction Stage - RF CafeHard to believe it happened 30 years ago in 1986! "The construction of the New Safe Confinement at Chernobyl is entering its final stage. The giant structure has been erected over the past four years in a secure area near the damaged reactor in two pieces which are about to be joined together. Meanwhile, a sophisticated ventilation system which will keep the structure corrosion-free during its lifespan is being installed, a technological building as the ..."

Reactance Chart from the October 1952 Radio & Television News

Reactance Chart, October 1952 Radio & Television News Article - RF CafeAs I have said before, there is no such thing as too many reactance charts. This one appeared in a 1952 issue of Radio & Television News. If you do a lot of experimenting with circuit design, then having a chart like this one handy can save a lot of time compared to punching numbers into a calculator. A quick scan of the chart give you a useful overview of where your component value lies within the realm of operating frequency. Smartphone apps and computer programs are nice for calculating exact values, but when you're futzing around with optimizing ...

Master Bond Electrically Conductive Adhesives - Whitepapers

Master Bond Electrically Conductive Adhesives - RF CafeMaster Bond has been around a long time - since 1976 in fact (the year I graduated from high school- yikes!). I remember using their products for electrical assemblies when building U.S. Navy equipment at Westinghouse Oceanic Division in Annapolis, Maryland, during the 1980s. They have many nice white papers, including ones on both electrically conductive and electrically insulative epoxies. "Versatile Epoxy Compounds for Electronic Applications" is an overview of various types and uses.

Powerline Carrier (PLC) Gigabit Home Networking - a Bane to Ham Radio

Powerline Carrier (PLC) Gigabit Home Networking: a Bane to Ham Radio - RF CafeNo mention is made in the article regarding an ongoing battle waged by the Ham radio community against companies who thus far have been unable to conform to unintentional radiation issues that wreak havoc with radio signals. "Nowadays, power line communications (PLC) has become a well-understood and established technology that enables data transfer over your existing electrical cabling; yet, it's a technology that's not ordinarily associated with extending your home network in hard-to-reach ..."

December Youngsters on the Air Event Set

December Youngsters on the Air Event Set - RF Cafe"The annual Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) event takes place during the entire month of December, with YOTA stations attempting to contact many other young radio amateurs around the world. The event offers an excellent opportunity for get radio amateurs in their teens and early 20s to get together on the air. 'The idea of this is to show the Amateur Radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters to be active within the hobby,' said International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 ..."

The Yagi Antenna

The Yagi, October 1952 Radio & Television News Article - RF CafeThe Yagi–Uda antenna (usually referred to as a Yagi), is a relatively simple to construct multielement structure consisting of a combination of driven (director) and reflective (reflector) diploes. Careful phasing of the configuration results in a directional radiation pattern that is use often for long distance (DX) and direction finding work. It is also useful in a dense signal environment where there is a need to exclude received signals not emanating from a preferred source. Common (or what used to be) rooftop television antennas were of the Yagi type ...

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