1996 - 2016
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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These images have been chosen for their uniqueness. Subject matter ranges from historic events, to really cool phenomena in science and engineering, to relevant place, to ingenious contraptions, to interesting products (which now has its own dedicated Featured Product category).
Cool Pic Archive Pages
old-fashioned lab bench work - a breadboard for
measuring nanoamps in a watch crystal. Linear
Crop Circles? Nein. This is an aerial view of the former Bell Labs, on 472 acres in Holmdel, NJ. It is slated for destruction.
Mason Peck of Cornell U. is working on a plan to send many thousands of microchip spacecraft throughout the solar system using the Earth's Lorentz to propel the devices on their way to their targets. Check back in 2030 for progress.
IBM scientists showed a new nano printing technique they developed. The recreation of Robert Fludd's 17th century drawing of the Sun (the alchemists' symbol for gold) was created by precisely placing 20,000 gold particles, each about 60 nanometers in diameter.
circa 2007, taken by Japan's Kaguya spacecraft - reminiscent of the famous Apollo 8
Earthrise photo from
1968. Very cool.
A rocket trailing a thin, grounded copper wire was launched into a thundercloud, triggering a series of lightning bolts that followed the path of the wire. Wind has separated the individual bolts.
Here is the very unique open framework of the National Stadium in Beijing, designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron's.
Here is a scan of RF Cafe's first appearance in Microwaves & RF magazine, in the October 2000 edition. Alan "Pete" Conrad, their Special Projects Editor, who had a few years earlier done me a huge favor by promoting my TxRx Designer software (now RF Workbench), did the review. Thanks to Pete for being a good guy.
photo of the full moon - Mars conjunction (≈3/8°), taken December 23, 2007, captures the northernmost (highest in
the sky) full moon of the year. Earth will pass between Mars and the sun tomorrow. Mars will not come this close
to Earth again until the year 2010.
This has to be the worst case of tin whiskers I have ever seen. This is a 1960s era, tin-coated switch assembly.
Photo #2 on HP's CRT recycling center website. "Items collected by HP, like these cathode ray tubes from monitors, are sent directly to a smelter because they contain mercury bulbs, which are considered hazardous to the environment." Mercury in CRTs? Not. From the EPA site: "The mercury emitted from the generation of power consumed by the CRT during manufacturing and use (7.75 mg), is slightly greater than the entire amount of mercury emissions from the LCD..."
A rebuilt version of Britain's famous Colossus codecracking computer (entered service in 1944) was recently pitted against an amateur cryptographer from Bonn. The German gentleman beat Colossus' time of three hours and 35 minutes for deciphering a message which was originally sent in 1938 using Nazi code.
CREE's outdoor lighting before and after installing white LED arrays in the parking lot fixtures. This is good for visibility, but bad for astronomers who cannot filter discrete spectral lines like those of gaseous light sources.
Comet Holmes is a rare naked-eye visible comet. It is easily seen as what looks like an extra star in Perseus. Binoculars reveal it to be a big smudge - not a star. See my photo.
This is the atrium area of Rohde & Schwarz's new (2005) Technology Center, in Munich, Germany - must be a nice place to work. The building is heated and cooled using a complex underground water system. Still, all that glass area must be very inefficient compared to insulated walls.
These EverLED TR bulbs are drop-in replacements for 4-foot fluorescent bulbs. They feature an array of LEDs and circuitry to convert the normal high supply voltage into regulated DC. EverLED claims a 20% reduction in energy usage, a 10-year life, works in cold environments, does not flicker, is instant on, and has no hazardous chemicals. A bargain at only $149 apiece.