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.
My Hobby Website:
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:
of the many benefits of running a website like RF Cafe is the opportunity to connect with people of diverse
backgrounds, but with something in common - otherwise they would not be visiting. Take
Del Aitchison, for
example. Del contacted me to get some old CAD files translated, and returned the favor by sending me a copy of
his band's (Ferengata) latest CD,
Fire in the Heart. It contains the Internet
hit "Nerd," which, not to make rash judgments,
will probably appeal to a lot of others who visit RF Cafe.
The imaginative minds of fiction writers have long been the impetus for real-world invention, be it underwater exploration vehicles, space flight, or Dick Tracy's video conferencing watch. Australian engineer Paul Gardner-Stevens has realized his fantasy device in the form of a shoe phone - inspired by famous CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart. An embedded voice-dialing cellphone does away with the trademark rotary dial, but it does retain the speaker and microphone in the sole. It also has a Bluetooth headset capability for cases where talking into the show is undesirable - like after stepping in a pile of dog doo.
HHF's new ProMic test probe falls under the category of, "Sure you could easily do it yourself, but will you?" This 50 Ω probe is rated for DC-4 GHz at up to 100 W. Keep in mind, though, that unlike a high-Z RF probe, this one puts an additional 50 Ω in parallel with the circuit impedance. I used to make my own to trace signals through a PCB, not to get accurate level readings (since you cannot). Get the full datasheet, complete with frequency response plots.
is an online resource for calculating power supply circuits for many types of applications. Included are
switch mode power supply, circuit and transformer design, calculation, and simulation for more than 100
circuits and topologies. It provides a virtual laboratory environment for users to wind and place every single
turn of a transformer, drawing from tens of thousands real modeled components on the market. PowerELab calls
it a Result Oriented Design Approach.
For the first time, I have documented confirmation of RF Cascade Workbook running under the Linux OS. RF Cafe visitor Graham has provided extensive data on his experiments with multiple Linux environments and spreadsheet programs. RFCW has been run under all versions of Windows beginning with 95, as well as under the Mac OS, and now Linux. Looks like we've got your covered.
Now this is truly thinking outside the box. The Wind Meter iPhone app measures the volume of the wind on the phone's microphone and converts it into a wind speed reading. Wind Meter supports multiple units of measure including mi/h, knots, km/h, Beaufort, and more. Accuracy is not stated, but user testimonials give it good ratings. For less than a cup of coffee (just 99¢), you can add this handy function to your iPhone. If I had an iPhone, I'd buy it.
time is upon us once again, and here is an opportunity to put your school spirit on full display with an item
nobody else will have - a custom-made quit. Campus Quilt Company takes T-shirts and/or other printed items
with school emblems, slogans, club logos, or just about any printed fabric design to have them create a small
lap quilt or a huge king bed quilt. Pillows available too. This service can be used for other themes as well,
like for company or hobby promotion. Maybe send them all your old 1970s era T-shirts and wax nostalgic.
"Turn out the lights, please, I need to get a WiFi connection." You might be hearing that if this new form of lighting sees widespread adoption. Ceravision's Continuum 2.4 uses a 2.4 GHz source to turn a noble gas into a plasma, which then vaporizes metal halide salts to generate extremely high quality white light. Unlike CFL bulbs that use poisonous Hg as a catalyst, these light sources are safe for your physical health. Of course, if they end up compromising your computer's Internet connection, it could harm your mental health. Ceravision claims the emissions are within regulation limits.
Boasting 6x more efficiency than using a wall charger, a 5-10x improvement in volumetric energy density, and a 20-40x improvement in gravimetric energy density compared to a Li-Ion battery, Lilliputian Systems says its butane-powered mobile device charger is a clear choice for users tired of battery power running out in the middle of a meeting or flight. Approved for use on airlines, these units should be available early next year.
Bionic Man (at least part of him) is finally here. Researchers are working on a wearable lens that augments
the sight of profoundly - but not totally - blind people. This initial version uses a single LED to provide
visual cues. A wireless controller feeds the signal, and eventually the power, to the contact lens.
Eventually, full-color arrays are envisioned (pun intended). Nice. Warning: don't look too closely at this
picture or it could make your eyes water.
My mouse pad is plain gray, but that is because I am too cheap to buy a really cool one. A company called IGC has more than 80 science and engineering design mouse pads to satisfy the technophile nature in you. Colorful circuits, waveforms, 3-D plots, and equations fill the pads. Maybe it is time to toss out that Dell mouse pad or the one with the palm tree on the beach and make your nerd fashion statement. Of course, you could get one of these.
It had to happen sooner or later. The Pomegranate mobile phone must have a really good battery to support all its capabilities: GPS navigation, movie projector, music player, language translator, camera, voice recorder, and get this - a built-in instant coffee brewer and electric razor. This is the Swiss Army Knife of phones. The Pomegranate hearkens from Nova Scotia, of all places. Check it out.