The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome
(or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.
All Featured Product Archive Pages:
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9 | 10 | 11
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Sitting in the waiting room in the local Jeep dealership, waiting for the technicians
to do the annual inspection on the 2011 Patriot, I noticed a 12 volt car battery sitting
on a table. At first I assumed it was just a sales pitch for a new battery, but then
I noticed a bunch of small cables coming from its bottom edge. As you can see in the
photo I took of it, those cables are mobile device charging cords with mating
connectors for Apple, USB, and miniUSB ports. An Internet search did not turn up any
of these things, so maybe Mopar engineers came up with it. Times sure have
changed from when ...
Rohde & Schwarz is offering at no cost a variety
of reference charts (posters) for hanging on your lab or office wall, and some handy-dandy
Guides. In the current age of (seemingly) paperless offices and laboratories, opening
a cardboard package from R&S containing the pictured items caused me to wax nostalgic
over the days when sales reps handed out such materials during workplace meetings and
at trade shows. Wall charts are still fairly easily obtained, but the spiral-bound pocket
guides are more rare. Maybe soon we'll be seeing the resurrection of cardboard slide
rule calculators ...
Mr. Oleg Sakharov, Director of the Center of Telecom.
Technologies, LLC, recently sent me information on the
MLinkPlanner software for performing microwave communications link design. Judging
only from the provided screenshots and the online documentation, MLinkPlanner looks to
be very user friendly and loaded with features. I downloaded the 7-day free trial and
did a quick fictitious link between my house in Erie, PA, and the WBEN AM radio station
in Buffalo, NY. My route is mostly over Lake Erie, so there was not much in the way of
obstructions, other than the curvature of the earth ...
Hyperlinks all around the Internet pointing to
Hittite's infamous Mixer Spurious Product Calculator broke suddenly when Analog Devices
swallowed up Hittite in 2014. The good news is that if you still want to use it, you
can find it as the ADI Mixer-Spur Graphical Representation tool on the ADI website. However,
Marki Microwave now has a much nicer
Spur Calculator that you will want to consider. It provides both a Spur Web format
and a Spectrum Analyzer format for presenting mixer spurious products. The interface
is very user friendly both for the input and the output specification. The Spur Web screen
uses a format pioneered ...
QuickSmith, a creation of Nathan Iyer, has been around
for a long time. It is without a doubt one of the most feature-filled examples of RF design
software around. Nathan recently released a Web-based version of QuickSmith on a GitHub server,
which means it works on any platform with a browser - desktop or mobile. Access is free, and
you can save and reload your design files rather than losing your work once you leave the
website. Being online also means that the latest version is always available. The screenshot
to the right illustrates where to place series and parallel components, and where to access
the sweep ...
You might think the world doesn't need another RF basics
book, but the fact is there are so many new people coming into the field that there is always
room for one more - particular a well-done edition like "RF Basics Handbook"
from Rigol Technologies. The PDF download is free, but you do need to fill out a submission
form. A replication of the table of contents give you an idea of all the topics covered. The
photos and drawings are very good quality. Of course the equipment used in the publication
are representative of Rigol's product line, but that's to be expected ...
Amateur radio operators take note: Heathkit, which
in years past was a prime supplier of homebuilt ham radio gear, has just announced plans to
manufacture its first piece of test equipment in three decades. "Now there's the Heathkit®
HM-1002: Intuitive, intelligent, affordable, accurate measurement. The next-generation
Heathkit® HM-1002 Precision RF Meter™ picks up where our venerable
SWR / wattmeters of yesteryear -- and everyone else's -- stopped. Incredible new features,
yet simple for beginners to assemble and understand. And you can build and maintain it yourself." ...
Dr. Andrei Muller, progenitor of the world's first
3D Smith Chart software program,
has teamed with a handful of able colleagues to release this commercial version of this paradigm-changing
design and analysis tool. 3D Smith Chart enables you to visualize S-parameter data in
ways not possible from the Flatland dweller's perspective that is the traditional 2D Smith
chart. Flatland existed in a plane, and from an observer's perspective a 3-dimensional object
entering the plane from along the Z-axis seemed to appear out of nowhere ...
This back-page advertisement by
Model Rectifier Corporation (aka MRC) appeared
in the January 1972 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. Note the cool collection
of [now] vintage test equipment shown in support of testing
the R/C system. The advertisement shows a rhombic antenna, the Dana 8015 RF frequency counter,
Tektronix 7904 oscilloscope, HP spectrum analyzer, RF communications synthesizer RF generator,
Anritsu precision field strength meter. I was 13 years old at the time, and anxiously watched
for in the mailbox each month ...
RF Cafe visitor Tony C., who is an engineer working
for on of America's great, longtime manufacturers of green farm equipment, sent me a link
to this unique memory IC released by Signetics on April 1, 1973. Being April 1, 2017, it seems
to be an appropriate day to post the Signetics 25120 Fully Encoded, 9046 x N, Random access
Write-Only Memory datasheet that per Wikipedia, "...was created 'as a lark' by Signetics engineer
John G 'Jack' Curtis and was inspired by a fictitious and humorous vacuum tube datasheet from ..."
April 1, 2017
177,000 Coaxial Connector Adapter Combinations from CoaxSol
How many times have you dug through a drawer of
coaxial connector adapters and found
what seemed like every possible combination of TNCs, Ns, SMAs, TNCs, UHFs, SMBs, and
<fill in the blank>s except the one you really need? Sometimes
the reason is simply because all on hand are being used for something else and cannot be 'borrowed'
for your use. Other times it is because the need never existed before. Usually, a quick search
on the Internet will turn up exactly want you want, but for decent a quality adapter you will
pay a stiff price - especially if it is a rare combination of connector types. The truth is,
not often is a combination like QMA-Male-Right-Angle-to-TNC-Female-Bulkhead adapter or
EasyEDA® Online Schematic Capture & PCB Layout
Just as the paperless office, predicted to quickly
become a reality when personal computers were beginning to dominate the workplace and home
in the 1980s, has yet to occur, neither has desktop software for high-end applications totally
replaced online equivalents. Microsoft has made good progress in the last few years in moving
part of their Office suite online, you still need a local copy of Visio, Project, and even
their Visual Studio software development tools if you want to use them. Graphics and video
editing software cannot be used efficiently online. The problem is mostly due to time latency
between user input and software display response. Speed on the host server end is addressable
with pumped up computing power and extra