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Today in Science History

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, March 1964 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeIn 1964, when these electronics-themed comics appeared in Radio-Electronics magazine, the world was still in the process of adopting FM radio after decades of owning AM radios. Radio repair shops could install conversion kits in many models of radios (still of the vacuum tube variety, mostly). For that matter in the early days of color TV, conversion kits were available enable pseudo-color from black-and-white (B&W) sets, using a spinning color wheel. This was in the pre-throw-away era when it might have been cheaper to get something repaired or modified than to buy a new model. I grew up toward the end of that era (born 1958). Anyway, the comic from page 58 pokes a bit of fun at the extremes some people expected. The page 94 comic reflect the expectation of soon-to-be-available wrist watches that ran on precision crystals rather than on a much less consistent spring and escapement mechanism. The Hamilton Pulsar, the world's first electronic watch

Australia Debates Going Nuclear

Australia Debates Going Nuclear - RF CafeIMHO, the future for sustainable electric power is nuclear, not solar and wind. IEEE Spectrum (and maybe Australia) seems to agree. "A day after the United States Senate passed legislation on 18 June to develop advanced nuclear technologies, in Australia, opposition leader Peter Dutton promised, if elected, to build seven nuclear plants along the coasts of the island continent. The U.S. legislation passed with a vote of 82-2, but Dutton's proposal brought forth fierce dispute from both federal and state governments, as well as energy experts and supporters of green energy. Though Australia has the world's largest deposits of uranium, it doesn't have any nuclear plants for electricity generation. In fact, its federal and state laws prohibit their construction. What's more, the regional governments of the five states Dutton has earmarked for nuclear plant constructions have all rejected the plan. Several state leaders cited the high costs involved in establishing a nuclear program from zero..."

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks, and more. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

Crane A&E Wideband Converters & Synthesizers for 2-40 GHz

Crane Aerospace & Electronics Releases EAR99 Modular Wideband Converters, Synthesizers for 2-18 and 18-40 GHz - RF CafeCrane Aerospace & Electronics, a segment of Crane Company, has launched mmW-IMA, a family of microwave assembly products. Crane A&E has a strong heritage of delivering proven high performance microwave solutions for over 65 years. Crane A&E's mmW-IMA product family supports 2-18 and 18-40 GHz converters and synthesizers with frequency outputs from 0.5 to 22 GHz and 29/43.56 GHz. These products are SOSA aligned in 3U VPX chassis while exhibiting superior SWaP performance and are designed to support rapidly growing EW, mmWave, space and other defense applications. The mmW-IMA product line is available as EAR99 to support our international customers' needs and can be modified to suit specific customer requirements. "Building on our strong heritage, Crane A&E is introducing a new line of EW/mmWave and space products designed...

Atwater Kent Model 776 Auto Radio

Atwater Kent Model 776 6-Tube Auto Radio Service Data Sheet, June 1936 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis thumbnail image of a Atwater Kent Model 776 Automobile Radio is from the AtwaterKentRadio.com website. You can see from the picture that the entire radio was contained in a single chassis, unlike many models of the day that had the bulky RF electronics mounted behind the dashboard or under a seat, and the listener interface controls mounted separately in the dashboard. Below is the Radio Service Data Sheet as it appeared in a 1936 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. It was one of six such documents that appeared - without any description or alignment information included as is normal with the individual, full page data sheets...

Mac's Service Shop: Electrostatics at Work

Mac's Service Shop: Electrostatics at Work, February 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAnyone who has lived in an area where the humidity gets so low that getting an electrostatic discharge jolt when touching a doorknob or or other isolated metallic object, will appreciate Mac McGregor's discussion with Barney. Appropriately, it appeared in a February issue of Popular Electronics magazine, the setting being Mac's Service Shop's Midwestern location - a prime environment for receiving the annoying zaps. It is a timeless subject for anyone routinely subject to exposed high voltages of any sort - some being more dangerous than others. Most RF Cafe visitors already know that technically, it is the amount of electric current through the body that determines severity of electric shock, not the voltage. However...

Carl & Jerry: How to Haunt a House

Carl & Jerry: How to Haunt a House, February 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeUnlike with the Mac's Service Shop episodes that typically were published in monthly issues that temporally jived with the story setting, the Carl & Jerry plots did not necessarily correspond with the month in which they appeared. For example, the February 1973 "Electrostatics at Work" story begins, "The sparkling cold winter morning lifted the heart but numbed the fingers as Barney sprinted quickly over the squeaking snow from his car to the service shop." To wit, this "How to Haunt a House" story appeared in the February edition of Popular Electronics magazine. I saved it for Halloween. As always, author John Frye mixes technical descriptions with the storyline to lend credibility to the teens' escapades. Modern teenagers...

News Briefs

News Briefs, March 1964 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeAt the time of this "News Briefs" feature in a 1964 Radio-Electronics magazine, satellites were a relatively new phenomenon. Tiros VIII was already, as the nomenclature implies, the eighth in the series of ten so-named weather satellites. Tiros, BTW, stands for Television Infrared Observation Satellites. Tiros VIII was the first to broadcast images to widely dispersed ground stations that used them for preparing local forecasts and reports. It was the beginning of the live satellite images on TV era. In other news, a new type scanning electron microscope was revealed by Westinghouse which could produce images only 15 millionths of an inch in less than a second. A gas laser triode was announced by Bell Telephone Laboratories, whose output could be modulated by a control grid. This was a first step...

THz Waves Supercharged with Magnetics

Terahertz Waves Supercharged with Magnetics - RF Cafe"Positioned between microwaves and infrared light, terahertz waves are key to pioneering advancements in imaging and diagnostic technologies. A recent discovery at Tohoku University of a material that can emit these waves more intensely promises to catalyze significant breakthroughs across a spectrum of industries. Terahertz waves are being intensely studied by researchers around the world seeking to understand the 'terahertz gap.' Terahertz waves have a specific frequency that put them somewhere between microwaves and infrared light..."

Direction Finding with "Ultra Shorts"

Direction Finding with "Ultra Shorts", February 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeAnyone other than a complete novice (Ham pun intended) at radio and antenna work is familiar with the basics types of directional antennas presented here. However, the universe of people knowledgeable about such things was very small in 1935, when this article appeared in Short Wave Craft magazine. An effort to educate operators and designers was really just beginning. The ½-wave dipoles shown here for the transmitter are somewhat directional at 2 dBi, and full-wave square loop antennas for receiving have a gain of around 3 dBi. However, the most significant direction-finding feature of a loop antenna is the comparatively deep null in its radiation pattern in the plane of the wire. That explains why direction-finding equipment, such as those on aircraft, typically use a loop antenna. When maximum precision is needed, Yagi, log periodic, parabolic dish, or other high gain antennas will be used...

Powering Airplanes with Microwaves

Powering Airplanes with Microwaves - RF CafeThis looks like something from a 1970s issue of Popular Science magazine.  "Imagine it's 2050 and you're on a cross-country flight on a new type of airliner, one with no fuel on board. The plane takes off, and you rise above the airport. Instead of climbing to cruising altitude, though, your plane levels out and the engines quiet to a low hum. Is this normal? No one seems to know. Anxious passengers crane their necks to get a better view out their windows. They're all looking for one thing. Then it appears: a massive antenna array on the horizon. It's sending out a powerful beam of electromagnetic radiation pointed at the underside of the plane..."

Windfreak Blog: Antenna Beam Steering

Windfreak Blog: Antenna Beam Steering - RF CafeDavid Goins, founder of and chief engineer for Windfreak Technologies, has written a number of application notes pertaining to the specification and testing of RF and microwave frequency signal generators. His "Antenna Beam Steering" article summarizes how RF signal generators can be an easy tool used to start testing and understanding concepts of phased array antennas and beam steering. Specifically, the SynthHD and SynthHD Pro RF signal generators have dual independent channels that allow independent control of frequency, phase and amplitude on each channel (0.01°, 100 μs switching time). If both channels are set to the same frequency, the phase can be adjusted in fine steps across a full 360 degrees...

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed...

5G's Deep Freeze

5G's Deep Freeze - RF Cafe"It's a dark time for the telecom industry. 5G hasn't provided the ROI that everyone needs. Layoffs are occurring across the board, and Samsung is the latest vendor to reconfigure who's doing what. Samsung Electronics is cutting jobs in its network division, shifting about 700 people out of its 4,000-employee network group and into other departments, according to media reports. The move, made June 17 and reported last week in Business Korea, is in response to the cyclical nature of the global telecom market, which is going though a '5G winter' period that affects the entire industry. The slowdown in 5G spending is pretty well understood across the industry as operators shift into lower gear on the 5G deployment front..."

Quantum Devices / How They Work

Quantum Devices / How They Work, December 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeDecades from now, readers will look back at today's science magazines reporting on topics such as breakthroughs on quantum computing and quantum entanglement the way we now look back at articles from the middle to latter half of the last century, and be amazed at how the understanding and exploitation of various technologies was just getting started. This particular 1963 piece in Electronics World magazine on quantum device is not at all related to the two aforementioned topics; rather, it introduces the concept of discrete (quantum) energy levels of atomic electronic orbitals and how they determine photon absorption and emission. It is a good introduction to or refresher of the phenomenon that relates photon energy to its wavelength via Planck's constant...

Philco Model 59 A.C. Midget Superhet Receiver

Philco Model 59, 4-Tube A.C. Midget Superheterodyne Receiver Radio Service Data Sheet, April 1936 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis Radio Service Data Sheet from a 1936 issue of Radio-Craft magazine covers the Philco Model 59, 4-tube AC Midget superheterodyne receiver. Evidently there were at least three versions of this, a tabletop radio, a compact tabletop model (59C), and an "Owl's Eye" model (59S). I'm not sure what the difference is. Most - if not all - electronics servicemen had subscriptions to these magazines because they were a ready source of not just these service sheets, but because of the extensive articles offering advice on servicing radios and televisions. In fact, many electronics manufacturers had a policy of supplying service data only to bona fide shops. A large list is included at the bottom of the page of similar documents from vintage receiver schematics, troubleshooting tips, and alignment procedures. They were originally published in magazines...

TV Antennas Invite Lightning to Strike

TV Antennas Invite Lightning to Strike, October 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThe Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) has been around for a long time; in fact, it might have been informally founded by Benjamin Franklin ;-) Last year while working on an installation plan for a friend's solar panel array and equipment room, I found lots of useful info on the LPI website for best practices of lightning protection. I was surprised to learn that there was still disagreement among experts as to whether a raised, grounded surface like the metal roof onto which the photovoltaic (PV) arrays are mounted tended to reduce or increase the likelihood of a lightning strike. There are good theoretical arguments on both sides. I tend to think the raised, broad surface decreases the cloud-to-ground potential and disperses the charge across a larger area, thus reducing chance of a strike. There is also disagreement whether the ground for the PV array should be physically connected to the ground...

RCA Advertisement on History of Television

RCA Advertisement on History of Television, June 1945 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIt is the opinion of many historians that in order to better understand the present, you need to know the past. Searching for one's roots in this world is big business. Online family tree type websites are used by thousands of people to research their family histories, and some services don't come cheap. You can even pay someone to dig into your past to assimilate all available information and put it in a bound, printed volume. Here on RF Cafe, I research and post a lot of our profession's past. While the individual topics themselves might not bear significantly on the present, having an insight into the people's mindsets and progression of technology is - or should be - motivating. No, most modern televisions do not process analog signals, use a CRT, have vertical and horizontal hold adjustments, but then not too far in the future most televisions won't be much like they are now...

Tolerance Calculator

Tolerance Calculator, May 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeHere is a type of chart I don't recall seeing before. This Tolerance Calculator Graph makes it very easy to quickly determine the upper and lower extremes of tolerance values for resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc. It was published in a 1963 issue of Electronics World magazine, and can actually be used to find the limits for any number, regardless of units. This is one example of where a physical visual aid can still yield results faster than punching numbers into a calculator, if a number with just a couple significant figures of precision is sufficient...

Denmark Electronics Market

Denmark Electronics Market, December 27, 1965 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeThis is the electronics market prediction for Denmark, circa 1966. It was part of a comprehensive assessment by the editors of Electronics magazine of the state of commercial, military, and consumer electronics at the end of 1965. Unless you can find a news story on the state of the industry, detailed reports must be purchased from research companies like Statista. Their website has a lot of charts on Denmark's current electronics market showing revenue in the consumer electronics segment amounts of US$1,020 million in 2018...

How to Target RFCafe.com for Your Google Ads

Google AdSense - it makes good sense - RF CafeOne aspect of advertising on the RF Cafe website I have not covered is using Google AdSense. The reason is that I never took the time to explore how - or even whether it is possible - to target a specific website for displaying your banner ads. A couple display opportunities have always been provided for Google Ads to display, but the vast majority of advertising on RF Cafe is done via private advertisers. That is, companies deal with me directly and I handle inserting their banner ads into the html page code that randomly selects and displays them. My advertising scheme is what the industry refers to as a "Tenancy Campaign," whereby a flat price per month is paid regardless of number of impressions or clicks. It is the simplest format and has seemed to work well for many companies. With nearly 4 million pageviews per year for RFCafe.com, the average impression rate per banner ad is about 280k per year (in eight locations on each page, with >17k pages)...

National Radio Institute Tats

National Radio Institute, March 1964 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeIn 1967, when this National Radio Institute (NRI) advertisement appeared in Radio-Electronics magazine, allowing tattoos to be visible on people representing a company's interest was almost never done. Harley Davidson might have allowed it, or maybe Old Spice after shave lotion, but certainly not typical from an educational establishment pitching electronics instruction. The dude in this ad has a clearly, intentionally visible "tat" on his right arm. It is no accident because the shirt sleeves are rolled up when they don't need to be, and the right sleeve is up twice as far as the left sleeve. The photographers wanted readers to see it. My interpretation of it is "D. S.," and then some illegible character at the end (maybe "jr"). Any guesses as to what it might be?

Ham Radio News

Strays - Lt. Henry B. Harris Killed in Crash, August 1934 QST - RF CafeYou just never know when your number is going to be called. People who engage in a dangerous activity they love often claim that if they are going to die in an accident, it would preferably be while engaging in that activity. It really sucks to die like Army-Air Force Lt. Henry B. Harris who was an accomplished instrument flight research pilot (and noted Ham radio operator). Rather than expiring in an airplane, he met his end as a passenger in a car that was towing some other pilot in a glider. The story is told in the August 1934 issue of the ARRL's QST magazine...

Men Who Have Made Radio: James C. Maxwell

Men Who Have Made Radio: J. C. Maxwell, May 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeJames Clerk Maxwell's inception of the theory of electromagnetic radiation is compared in this 1930 Radio-Craft magazine article to if Christopher Columbus had conceptualized the existence of America and mapped its features based solely on observations of how the known oceans and land masses interacted. I have always been amazed at the ability of people who formulate entirely new theories of science, finance, medicine, etc., and manage to detail and support their ideas with hard data and mathematics. Einstein did so with relativity, Dalton did so with atomic structure, Darwin did so with evolution, Pasteur did so with germ theory; the list is long. There are lots of geniuses out there, but a relative few change the world...

Storage Chip Has a Near-Infinite Lifespan

Storage Chip Has a Near-Infinite Lifespan - RF Cafe"Chinese scientists say they have developed a groundbreaking material that could give storage chips an almost infinite lifespan. This new type of ferroelectric material could potentially reduce data center costs and have applications in deep-sea exploration or aerospace in the future. Ferroelectric materials are commonly used to make chips for storage and sensing purposes that are critical to artificial intelligence and other hi-tech areas hit by U.S. sanctions, as a tech war plays out between the United States and China..."

Non-Magnetic Coaxial Connectors for DC-40 GHz

Withwave Non-Magnetic Coaxial Connectors for DC to 40 GHz - RF CafeWithwave's Non-Magnetic Coaxial Connectors are widely used in applications that experience strong magnetic field can cause interference or introduce errors such as quantum computing, magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) equipment, the aerospace industry. Constructed of beryllium copper (BeCu) and plating, they features a DC to 40 GHz frequency range and are available in various interface sizes. Applications include quantum computing , military & space, and medical devices (MRI). Withwave is a leading designer and developer of a broad range of RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave test solutions and subsystems with a focus on electromagnetic field...

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed...

Espresso Engineering Workbook™ v7.1.2024

Espresso Engineering Workbook™ v7.1.2024 - RF CafeThe newest addition to RF Cafe's spreadsheet (Excel) based engineering and science calculator - Espresso Engineering Workbook™ (click to download) is a functional Smith Chart that plots a series of user-defined impedance points. RF Cafe Espresso Engineering Workbook™ is provided at no cost, compliments of my generous sponsors. The original calculators are included, but with a vastly expanded and improved user interface. Error-trapped user input cells help prevent entry of invalid values. An extensive use of Visual Basic for Applications functions now do most of the heavy lifting with calculations, and facilitates a wide user-selectable choice of units for voltage, frequency, speed, temperature, power, wavelength, weight, etc. In fact, a full page of units conversion calculators is included. A particularly handy feature is the ability to specify the the number of significant digits to display. Drop-down menus are provided for convenience...

Here Is Your Chance to Get Noticed!

25th Anniversary - RF Cafe

Get Your Custom-Designed RF Cafe Gear!

Custom-Designed RF-Themed Cups, T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks (Cafe Press) - RF CafeThis assortment of custom-designed themes by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins, Purses, Sweatshirts, Baseball Caps, and more, all sporting my amazingly clever "RF Engineers - We Are the World's Matchmakers" Smith chart design. These would make excellent gifts for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company events or as rewards for excellent service. My graphic has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please be sure to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. I only make a couple bucks on each sale - the rest goes to Cafe Press. It's a great way to help support RF Cafe. Thanks...

Mac's Radio Service Shop: TV and the Little Guy

Mac's Radio Service Shop: TV and the Little Guy, April 1951 Radio & Television News - RF Cafe"Unfortunately, good technical ability and good business ability do not always grow naturally on the same figurative tree." That line by "Mac," (Mac McGregor) is all too true for lot of us, and I definitely include myself as part of "us." I have often paraphrased the line by Dr. McCoy on Star Trek as, "Dammit, Jim, I'm an engineer, not a salesman." Part of the reason RF Cafe has pretty much remained at the same level of income over the years is due to my unwillingness to make performance guarantees to anyone in return for pay - other than to not do anything intentional that will harm them. My advertisers choose to do so based on RF Cafe's reputation for unbiased (mostly) presentation of information and abstention from the form of political correctness that sacrifices efforts of hard working people to spare the fragile feelings of slothful ad/or insidious and/or jealous actors. More than one accomplished businessman has advised me that being more aggressive would pay big dividends...

Radio Waves & Life

Radio Waves & Life, September 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafePrior to the advent of high power microwave transmitters like the kind used in radar systems, not a lot of research was put into how exposure by the general public to the radio waves might affect health and well being. There was plenty of experimentation and development regarding use of electromagnetic energy for medical and industrial purposes, but those applications were within isolated areas with controlled access of personnel. This "Radio Waves & Life" article in a 1960 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine reported on the relatively new science. Little did the author know that half a century later, human exposure to radio waves, particularly in the cellular and WiFi bands, would be the subject of intense scrutiny. He would probably also be shocked to learn that in early 2024, the Department of Health and Human Services' National Toxicology Program (NTP) cancelled any further investigations into radiation exposure...

War Assets Administration

War Assets Administration, April 1947 Radio News - RF CafeAfter World War II had been won, the War Assets Administration made good on the government's promise to reward citizens for performing their patriotic civil duty whereby they participated in the collection of recyclable material made of plastic, glass, rubber, metal, and cloth. Magazines and newspapers had frequent coverage of bottle, metal, and tire drives showing children pulling Radio Flyer wagons loaded to overflowing with such items gathered from trash piles and soliciting neighborhood residents for anything that could be spared. Waste of precious resources was a thing of shame. "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without" was the slogan de jour. Ham radio operators contributed mightily to the war effort by donating and/or selling meters, tubes, transformers...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt was a lot of work, but I finally finished a version of the "RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols"" that works well with Microsoft Office™ programs Word™, Excel™, and Power Point™. This is an equivalent of the extensive set of amplifier, mixer, filter, switch, connector, waveguide, digital, analog, antenna, and other commonly used symbols for system block diagrams and schematics created for Visio™. Each of the 1,000+ symbols was exported individually from Visio in the EMF file format, then imported into Word on a Drawing Canvas. The EMF format allows an image to be scaled up or down without becoming pixelated, so all the shapes can be resized in a document and still look good. The imported symbols can also be UnGrouped into their original constituent parts for editing...

Interstellar Communication

Interstellar Communication, September 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen Radio-Electronics magazine owner-editor Hugo Gernsback wrote this Interstellar Communications article in 1960, his mention of "hundreds of billions of stars flung throughout the vastness of space" with "hundreds of millions of planets similar to our own earth which orbit around stars like our own sun" was based on a known universe significantly smaller than the one we now know. Once the Hubble Space Telescope's optics were corrected in 1993, our view of the universe grew by many orders of magnitude. Earth-based and space-based telescopes have improved significantly since then, especially their cameras, along with post-processing of images, to where the extents of our observable universe extends to nearly the edge of the Big Bang. Additionally, whereas no exoplanets had been observed in 1960, a few thousand are now documented, many of which are considered "Goldilocks Planets," believed to have Earth-like environments. Regarding intelligent, sentient...

Withwave High-Speed, High-Density Multicoax Cable Assembly

Withwave High-Speed, High-Density Multicoax Cable Assembly - RF CafeWithwave is a leading designer and developer of a broad range of RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave test solutions and subsystems with a focus on electromagnetic field analysis and signal processing. Withwave's High-Speed, High-Density Multicoax Cable Assemblies (WMX series) provides a wide range of multiple coax connectors and flexible cable assemblies with a choice of 20, 40, 50, 67 & 100 GHz configurations based on precisions and superior high frequency cabling solutions. Vertical Mount and Edge Mount options. The WMX series is an excellent signal integrity solution for bench-top and automated test equipment to meet increasing demands of the semiconductor and optical test industries...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeBanner Ads are rotated in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 17,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. Your Banner Ads are displayed on average 280,000 times per year! New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be...

Design Problems of Tuning Dials

Design Problems of Tuning Dials, September 1935 Radio-Craft - RF CafeWe tend to take for granted "standards" that have been in place and working well ever since they were instituted long ago. Some - maybe most - standards evolve over time with user preferences driving the end result; they tend to continue evolving. Examples include keyboard layout, advertising and product color selection, and test instrument front panel configurations. Other standards are driven by technology improvements. More and more often it seems, standards are being set by industry groups that want to assure interoperability and exchangeability amongst products and users. Often this kind of standard is driven by government imposed regulations. Wireless communications is a prime instance of the latter. This article is an example of a combination of standards motivators since it considers user experience preferences with scientific research to determine how best to implement a radio tuning dial. This was done nearly a century ago when a large...

Werbel 0.5-18 GHz 2-Way Power Splitter

2-Way Power Splitter for 0.5 to 18 GHz - RF CafeWerbel Microwave's WM2PD-0.5-18-S is a wideband 2-way in-line power splitter covering the continuous bandwidth of 500 MHz to 18 GHz in a compact enclosure measuring 4.75 x 1.00 x 0.50 inches. The device is RoHS compliant but may be ordered specially with lead solder for military applications. The wide bandwidth covers many of the military radio letter octave bands in one unit. High isolation between outputs of 20 dB typical. Connectors are stainless steel for high durability. One product covers the upper band of UHF, L-band, S-band, C band, X-band and Ku-band. Our unique design, assembled and tested in USA...

Many Thanks to Amplifier Solutions Corporation for Continued Support!

Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) - RF CafeAmplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) is a manufacturer of amplifiers for commercial & military markets. ASC designs and manufactures hybrid, surface mount flange, open carrier and connectorized amplifiers for low, medium and high power applications using Gallium Nitride (GaN), Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Silicon (Si) transistor technologies. ASC's thick film designs operate in the frequency range of 300 kHz to 6 GHz. ASC offers thin film designs that operate up to 20 GHz. ASC is located in an 8,000 sq.ft. facility in the town of Telford, PA. We offer excellent customer support and take pride in the ability to quickly react to evolving system design requirements.

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks, and more. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, December 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeIf today's electronics magazines had comics in them (which they generally do not), the themes might often include people glued to their cellphones, monster size flat screen TVs, sentient "smart" devices in every realm of existence, etc. In the 1960s when these three comics appeared in Radio-Electronics magazine, amongst the most popular topics were television repair scenarios (griping about charges, owners trying to fix their own sets, frustration at malfunctioning sets), sophisticated stereo equipment, women's lack of understanding about electronic things, and TV antenna installations. Being very familiar with trends from the early days of electronics up through today, I can usually "get" what's happening in the comics, but sometimes I'm left wondering. The page 98 and page 112 comics are obvious enough. My guess is the gag on the page 129 comic is not just that the repairman is waylaid with having to repair all those TVs, but that the manager wanted to only pay for one on-site service charge. See the huge list of comics at the bottom for other examples.

MPATI - Its Problems & Solutions

MPATI - Its Problems & Solutions, May 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeAlthough you wouldn't know it from the title, this is actually another of John T. Frye's "Mac's Radio Service Shop" stories. MPATI stands for "Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction," and was a pre-satellite-era system for broadcasting educational programming to areas that otherwise did not experience good quality over-the-air reception. It appeared in the May 1963 issue of Electronics World magazine. DC-6 airplanes were outfitted with a transmitter and a hydraulically stabilized antenna, and would fly for many hours at a time to provide rural areas with classroom instruction via TV. Purdue University, in Indiana, played a key role in the program. MPATI is a obvious spin-off of the Stratovision system experimented with by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and The Glenn L. Martin Company in the mid 1940s...

Do You Know Your Bipolar Transistors?

Do You Know Your Bipolar Transistors? (Part 3), October 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeMr. Lothar Stern, of Motorola Semi, published a 3-part series on transistor theory in Popular Electronics magazine in 1973. This is part 3. Part 1 introduced the basics of the bipolar transistor, and Part 2 addressed transistor circuit configurations - common emitter, common gate, common collector, Darlington, differential - as well as presenting gain equations and delving a bit into the physical construction of the semiconductor elements. Finally, the author talks about the newest processes in use at the time and what was available for low power and high power RF applications. In 1973, high power semiconductors were just pushing past the 100 MHz barrier. Gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN) were still in university and corporate laboratories being prepared...

Mathematical Puzzles, 1990 OFA

Mathematical Puzzles, 1990 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF CafeThe 1990 edition of the Old Farmer's Almanac (OFA) had a pretty good set of "Old and New Mathematical Puzzles." Up until around the late 1960s, some of the puzzles were very esoteric, often requiring one be privy to certain standards or norms. Some were downright weird. Beginning around 2005, the OFA editors sometimes omitted the puzzles altogether or only included simple ones, so as not to harm anyone's feelings if he/she couldn't figure it out (seriously). Puzzles are rated for difficulty levels 1 through 5, with 5 being the hardest. Solutions are provided for up through difficulty level 4. Sometimes, difficulty level 5 problems are harder because they require a lot of guesses and iterations to arrive at a solution...

Exodus AMP2030D-LC 1-6 GHz, 600 W SSPA

Exodus AMP2030D-LC 1 to 6 GHz, 600 W (400 W P1dB) SSPA - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. We are pleased to announce the Exodus Model AMP2030D-LC, ideal for broadband EMI-Lab, Comm. and EW applications. Class A/AB linear design for all modulations & industry standards. Covers 1.0 to 6.0 GHz, producing 600 W minimum, 400 W P1dB and 58 dB minimum gain. Excellent flatness, optional monitoring parameters for Forward/Reflected power, VSWR, voltage, current and temperature sensing for superb reliability and ruggedness. Integrated in our compact 10U chassis weighing approximately 50 kg...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeBanner Ads are rotated in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 17,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. Your Banner Ads are displayed on average 280,000 times per year! New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be...

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Nuclear Radiation & Detection

Nuclear Radiation & Detection, December 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeParts 1 and 2 of this series covered the theory of nuclear physics and laboratory investigation devices. This final installation talks about commercially available test instruments for detecting and measuring nuclear radiation levels. My introduction to Geiger counters was in the old The Adventures of Superman television show where they were used by villains to verify that their stash of Kryptonite would be sufficient to disable our superhero. I could not find anywhere whether Kryptonite's emission type is alpha particles (helium nucleus; i.e., 2 protons and 2 neutrons), beta particles (electron), gamma rays (electromagnetic waves), or some other form. Multiple designs of detectors are used based on radiation type and strength to be measured...

Blog: Using Imaging Equipment to Locate Issues

Axiom Test Equipment Blog: Using Imaging Equipment to Locate Issues - RF CafeTranscat | Axiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rental company has published a new blog post that covers how thermal imagers can be used to detect temperature overloads in electrical and mechanical equipment, and what to look for when selecting the one for your project. Electronic performance is affected by temperature, with heat sources inside and outside a device or system. High-power amplifiers exhibit rises in temperature from the heat of semiconductors and must be equipped with cooling for safety and longevity. Other electronic designs can suffer performance degradations when placed too close to heat sources or even when exposed to sunlight. Fortunately, the temperatures of electronic equipment can be measured quickly and accurately without making physical contact, with the aid of IR...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built symbols, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Symbols available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size drawing page templates (or can use your own). Symbols are provided for equipment racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics. Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing...

What's Your EQ?

What's Your EQ?, March 1964 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeSeeing a reader name of Qutaiba Bassim El-Dhuwaib would not seem unusual in one of today's technical magazines, but having it appear in a 1964 issue of Radio-Electronics was definitely a rarity. Such was the case with this first "Black Box" circuit challenge submitted by the aforementioned subscriber. I took a WAG at the answer and got it right, but without considering the theory behind it. Fortunately, Mr. El-Dhuwaib provides that gory detail for us. It is a pretty clever scheme for effecting a phase shift while not affecting the magnitude. The second mystery circuit requires being familiar with types of meter movements commonly used in DC and AC voltmeters. Having begun in the craft prior to the advent of digital multimeters (that includes me) helps. Such circuits were probably more intuitive to designers in the days of analog...

ARRL Still Fighting Systems Disruption

ARRL Still Fighting Systems Disruption - RF CafeBack in May, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the world's largest amateur radio organization, reported a major service disruption. Not a lot of information has been divulged, but it appears to involve member and processing information. Even the phone system was down for a while. Several services, such as Logbook of The World® and the ARRL Learning Center, were affected, as well as mailing of hard-copy magazine editions (which indicates member addresses might have been involved). Per the ARRL: "On or around May 12, 2024, ARRL was the victim of a sophisticated network attack by a malicious international cyber group. ARRL immediately involved the FBI and engaged with third party experts to investigate. This serious incident was extensive and categorized by the FBI as “unique,” compromising network devices, servers, cloud-based systems, and PCs. ARRL management quickly established an incident response team. This has led to an extensive effort to contain and remediate the networks, restore servers, and staff are beginning the testing of applications and interfaces to ensure proper operation."

The Declaration of Independence

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...

Controlling Electronics with Light

Controlling Electronics with Light - RF Cafe"Researchers have successfully manipulated the structural properties of magnetite using light-induced phase transitions. This technique uncovered hidden phases of magnetite, paving the way for new approaches to material manipulation in electronics. 'Some time ago, we showed that it is possible to induce an inverse phase transition in magnetite,' says physicist Fabrizio Carbone at EPFL. 'It's as if you took water and you could turn it into ice by putting energy into it with a laser. This is counterintuitive as normally to freeze water you cool it down, i.e. remove energy from it.' The study discovered that using specific light wavelengths for photoexcitation the system can drive magnetite..."

Temwell ½-Price July Filter Sale

Temwell ½-Price July Filter Sale - RF CafeTEMWELL Corporation is a worldwide expert and company in designing & manufacturing RF helical bandpass filters since 1994. For the entire month of July, you will receive a discount of 50% off all filters! We have designed and built up over 5000 completed spec sheets online for displaying all our excellent capability. Furthermore, in order to satisfy more RF engineers and develop projects all over the world, our engineers have designed diplexers and duplexers for 5G, VHF, UHF, TETRA cavity duplexers, helix cavity diplexers, LTE low PIM diplexers, and coaxial duplexers ...

Space Stations and Ball Lightning

News Briefs, December 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen I think of the first space station, what comes to mind is the Russian Salyut 1 (c1971), and then America's Skylab (c1973). This "News Briefs" feature in the December 1960 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine claims there was an earlier space station - the Courier. OK, NASA might have called it a space station, but it wasn't a manned space station like the aforementioned were. It launched in early October of that year. Courier 1B (its full designation) was the world's first active repeater satellite, which could receive a message (text, image, voice, or data), store it, then transmit it later. A few details regarding its operation are provided. Also in the news was research into using "ball lightning" as a weapon. That's right, shoot a ball of searing hot plasma toward the enemy to obliterate it - or at least scare the bejeebers...

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