RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2022
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 ...
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Way back in the late 1980s, freshly out of engineering school, I was working as an RF engineer at the General Electric Aerospace Electronics Division (GEASD) in Utica, NY. I was tasked with designing a small switched filter/amplifier for part of an airborne electronic countermeasures system. At the time, I was new to the RF design world, even though I had spent a lot of years working on RF systems. So, I set about researching components from MIL-qualified vendors.
Watkins Johnson, Narda, Amplifonix, and many other companies published really nice catalogs in those days that were chock full of application note. Most app notes are found today on the Internet rather than in data books, which is of course not only more convenient, but saves a lot of cost for printing and distributing. Up until the mid-to-late 1990s, manufacturer's catalogs were actually used rather than just being tossed into the recycle bin when they arrive in the mail.
As anyone who has been in the RF business for a while knows, jokes are always made about how anything and everything can - and will - affect the performance of high frequency circuits if proper precautions are not taken. Statements like, "Gain will be 10 dB nominal, with variations depending on the time of day, stock market levels, and the phase of the moon." Well, the engineers at Watkins Johnson actually managed to pull off getting a gag plot into the 1989 catalog for their WJ-G1/SMG1 voltage-controlled attenuator. It is shown below. Do you remember seeing it?
Also, don't forget the Signetics 25120 Fully Encoded, 9046 n N, Random Access Write-Only Memory datasheet. While you're wasting time, you might as well see the "slightly tentative data" for WEMAC- The One Zed Two Zed Vacuum Tube that was purportedly the inspiration for the Signetics 25120.
Posted September 15, 2015
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.
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