These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Now there is a fine Latin phrase that is oft repeated. Although it is hard to imagine anyone not knowing what it
means, the common translation is, “Let the buyer beware.” The admonition applies not just to the paying of cash
for a product, but also to the accepting of or assuming that information is accurate as presented. The universal
warning to not believe anything you read on the Internet is gross overkill, but a healthy dose of skepticism is
definitely in order when researching data that will be used in the critical projects. Verification is mandatory.
Trust but verify.
On rare occasions while collecting data for inclusion RF Cafe, I have run across
websites, printed material and software that, upon cross-checking, have proven to be inaccurate. Filter equations
are a good example. Without citing specific names, titles or URLs, I will tell you that there are many instances
of incorrect transfer functions for denormalized transfer functions – particularly bandpass and bandstop. I have
discovered inconsistencies in college textbooks, websites and even in software. Inductance and capacitance
calculations are another area where with little effort, one can locate numerous different equations for the same
calculation. These differences I write of are not just due to rounding errors in constants or multipliers; many
times the errors are due to misplaced parentheses or a plus sign where a minus sign should be. Such little
mistakes can produce results that have the potential to doom a design attempt if not caught in time. Most
publishers, I have to believe, are very conscientious about cross-checking their work since not only is their
reputation on the line, but they sincerely would never want to mislead anybody.
Unfortunately, there are
too many websites that are composed primarily of pages copied directly from other people’s work. This often leads
to the perpetuation of erroneous information. I have run across many instances of exact copies of RF Cafe web
pages (as well as of other website authors’ work), some so blatant that the thieves were too lazy (or dumb) to
remove the list of keywords that include “RF Cafe.” Many of my original graphics are replicated on other websites.
To my knowledge, RF Cafe has no unauthorized versions of anyone else’s material of any sort. Visitors are
encouraged to report any suspected instances.
Mea Culpa. That is another familiar Latin term whose
translation is not as well known. It means, “I am culpable.” Basically, it is an admission of guilt. Here is my
mea culpa. Over the six-year span of RF Cafe’s powerful online existence, there have been a few instances where
visitors have written to notify me of erroneous data on the website. To the best of my recollection, most of the
discrepancies have been things like misplaced decimal points in tables of data. All claims of errors are
researched and corrected if found to be justified. Usually the person who notifies me is right, and I appreciate
the feedback. As time permits, I review the pages on RF Cafe to look for undiscovered problems with text,
equations and images. Again, you are encouraged to report any suspected oversights.
When corrections are
made, I place a notice on the page, as with the “Drill
Sizes – Numbered” page. An example of something other than a misplaced decimal point is on the “Inverse
Trigonometric Identities” page. Most people are cordial in reporting the errors. In the case of the Trig
Identities error, the reporter pretty much lambasted me for all the high school students I have probably misguided
due to sloppy proofreading. I will try to do better. Fortunately, the
Mars Climate Orbiter crash in
1999, caused by an incorrect conversion between English and metric units, predated RF Cafe so I will hereby
absolve myself any responsibility for that misadventure.