The drive to create a nationwide
700 MHz public safety broadband network finally appears to have
some teeth thanks to its inclusion in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation
Act of 2012. The law reallocates 10 MHz of spectrum in the infamous "D-block" to
public safety, which along with an existing 10 MHz of spectrum currently held by
the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) will create 20 MHz of spectrum dedicated
exclusively to public safety data communications.
Pasternack Introduces New
Line of Low PIM Connectors
Pasternack Enterprises’ high performance
PIM connectors are designed to fit on most commercially available 1/2” corrugated
copper and aluminum cables. Low PIM connectors are available in 7/16 DIN and Type
N series with both male and female interfaces. Pasternack’s custom length assemblies
using these new low PIM connectors are made to order and ship the same day.
The KISS Principle at Work
This story was sent to me via e-mail. I haven't
checked the veracity of it, but even if it's fictitious, it's still funny and makes
a good case for the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle.
Thanks for the Support!
Amplifiers for the commercial & military
markets from DC to 4 GHz. Hybrid construction techniques, utilizing chip and packaged
semiconductors, on thick alumina substrates or PCB materials.
Patent Trolls on Trial?
lawyer Maggie Tamburro, of
IMS ExpertServices, weighs in on the infamous "patent troll,"
a genre of business practice that reportedly costs the U.S. economy up to $29B per
year. To address the problem, Congress recently introduced a bill titled the "Saving
High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes." Ms. Tamburro argues that the
practice is looked upon favorably when it is a large tech company essentially acting
in a manner similar to companies whose raison d'être is solely the exploit the protected
work of others. What think ye?
Measurements for Insights
Innovative Measurements for Greater Insights
by Agilent, Wednesday, August 22, 1:00 PM ET
Many Thanks for Support
by Fairview Microwave
distributor of RF, microwave, wireless & fiber optic passive coaxial components
- compliance screening available. RF cables & connectors, crimp tools, calibration
kits, torque wrenches.
"Humans act less precisely. The certainty
of an absolutely correct outcome can be lower than with computers. But because humans
care about the outcome, they tend to make decisions optimized for survival." - Ken
Bowersox, former Shuttle astronaut, commenting on whether the U.S. space program
should migrate to total robotics rather than manned missions. September 2012
Air & Space
2016 Beloit College
Each August beginning in 1998, Beloit College
has released the "Beloit College Mindset List," which notes how changes in technology,
cultural standards, and world events has altered the attitudes and expectations
of the current crop of college freshmen. Just as the 1998 List addressed the graduating
class of 2002, this year's list focuses on the college graduating class of 2016.
What began as an admonition to the faculty regarding how the world their students
have lived in is radically different from the one they experienced is now a much-anticipated
form of entertainment. Tenured professors might know the source of common terms
RFMD® Commences LTE
Shipments to Samsung
expects to supply the majority of the 3G and 4G power amplifiers in Samsung’s highest
volume smartphones this calendar year.
RFMD already supports multiple feature phones, smartphones and tablets for Samsung
with a broad range of products, including PowerSmart® power platforms, ultra-high
efficiency power amplifiers, and other critical high-performance components.
Thanks to Triad RF Systems
for Their Support!
Tower-mounted amplifiers, Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle (UAV, aka drone) systems, and many standard (30 - 6,500 MHz, up to 200 W)
and custom-designed amplifier subsystems to your specifications. A small, private
company run by serial entrepreneurs.
Sherlock Ohms: Satellite
Station Motors Burning Up
Sherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design
News that features submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and
how they were solved. This one is titled "The Satellite Station Motors Were Burning
Dust Particles Reflecting RF
in the Atmosphere
ARRL contributing editor Stan Horzepa
(WA1LOU) posted an interesting article on the
radio propagation mode known as "dust scatter." He conducted
an experiment to determine whether he could detect a “passive” meteor back-scatter
from the recent (August 12) Perseid meteor shower.
Most of professional technical magazines offer
free subscriptions to qualified peoples (often that just
means you still have a pulse). Advertisers pay according to circulation,
so higher subscription numbers mean higher sales prices for them. A few of the most
useful for us are
Electronic Products, and
Photonics Spectra. There are a couple hundred
magazines and white papers
to choose from.
Wireless Engineering Theme
Crossword for 8/19/2012
For the sake of avid cruciverbalists, each
week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics,
chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name
of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical endeavor (e.g., Lamar).
Vacuum Tube Quiz
There are still a lot of vacuum tube guys
out there who might remember enough about them to score well on this quiz that appeared
in the February 1961 edition of Popular Electronics. My own exposure was mainly
with airport surveillance and precision approach radars while in the USAF. We didn't
have a lot of the fancy special purpose tubes shown here, but I was able to guess
correctly on some of them based on how the tube is constructed and the response
curves. Still, I'm embarrassed to tell you my overall score.
Please Thank KR Electronics
for Supporting RF Cafe
Filters for commercial
and military markets. Custom & standard filters -bandpass, highpass, lowpass,
notch, anti-aliasing, linear phase, fast response, phase matched, absorptive, root &
Microwave Journal Articles
Wireless Sensor Network Challenges and Solutions
by L. Doherty,
J. Simon and T. Watteyne
Antennas, the mmWave Advantage, by Christer Stoij
Tackling Satellite Interference
by Martin Coleman
Thanks to MECA Electronics
for Long-Time Support
RF/Microwave components including fixed attenuators,
directional & hybrid couplers, isolators/circulators, power divider/combiners,
RF Loads, DC blocks, bias Tees and adapters & cables. All RF realms served.
AWR Design Forum 2012
Off to a Successful Start
ADF is an open event at which designers of
microwave and RF circuits and systems such as MMIC, RF PCB and LTE communication
systems can network and share useful information and resources pertinent to high-frequency
design, discuss AWR products and technologies, and collaborate on industry issues
Impressed on Mars
A portion of the tread pattern on the wheels
of NASA/JPL's Curiosity Mars rover consists of a series square and rectangular holes
that according to the Chuck Norris-looking guy on the embedded video (below) serve
as "visual odometry marks." They are arranged in an asymmetric pattern on the rover
that will leave an imprint on the surface of Mars so the onboard cameras can look
at them to determine whether the craft is actually traversing the distance it is
being commanded to move. Less distance between sets of marks are an indication that
slippage is occurring. If that happens and Curiosity cannot correct itself, it will
stop and make a call back home to JPL and await further instructions. The round-trip
call can take anywhere from about 6 minutes to more than 44 minutes, not including
the time needed to formulate a reply. Look more closely at the "visual odometry
marks", however, and you will notice those holes are squares and rectangles that
make up dots and dashes, respectively...
Please Visit Fotofab in
Appreciation of Their Support
Supplier of custom-made
thin metal parts. Chemical etching, metal stamping, RF shielding, or any custom
part made out of metal. RF/EMI shielding, metal stamping, lead frames, filter screens.
Khan Academy: "Learn
Almost Anything for Free"
"Learn almost anything for free." That is
the tag line of the Khan Academy. While the claim is a bit of a stretch, especially
when you need to delve below surface level, they do have over 3,300 videos on everything
from math to physics, finance, and history. According to their website, in August
2004, Sal Khan began remotely tutoring his cousin, Nadia, who was struggling with
unit conversion. Soon, Sal also began tutoring her brothers as well. He became so
popular that he started recording videos and posting them on YouTube. More and more
people kept watching, and Sal has continued to make videos ever since. Khan eventually
drew the attention of Google ($2 million grant) and Bill Gates ($1.5 million grant).
The rest, as the saying goes, is history. RF Cafe visitors might be particularly
interested in subjects like circuit analysis (4 lessons), capacitance, magnetism
(12 lessons), electric motors, electrostatics, Doppler, optics, and fields. You
might also like watching the video lessons on momentum and...
Intros 3 New Cavity Filters
AB743B951 has a center frequency of 743 MHz and a bandwidth
of 6 MHz. The
AB2370B867 has a center frequency of 2370 MHz and 1-dB
bandwidth of 40 MHz. The
AB913B488 water-resistant cavity bandpass filter has a center
frequency of 913 MHz, bandwidth of 20 MHz.
"[People] are not managing their tools; their
tools are managing them. Tools now make the rules, and we struggle to keep up."
- William H. Davidow in the August 2012
Spectrum (IEEE), re accelerated pace at which sophisticated
technology is being introduced into society.
Bench Technician Job
Communications Company is seeking a mature, experienced person with a dynamic personality
and a strong electronics background as a Bench Technician. The ideal candidate will
be FCC licensed, ETA certified, have experience with Motorola XTS, MotoTrbo professional
and commercial series radios...
Challenges for SATCOM
and Techniques for SATCOM by Agilent, Thursday, August 16, 2:00 pm EDT
RFMD Intros 2.7V to 4.4V, 915 MHz Tx/Rx Module
Designed for 868 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz
AMR solutions, RFMD’s new
RF6549 features separate ports for Rx and Tx paths, and two
ports on the output for connecting a diversity solution or a test port. PA section
includes nominal Pout of 28 dBm.
Thanks to Oscilent for Support
is a manufacturer of frequency control products offering design and production expertise
in SAW Filters, quartz crystals, crystal oscillators, crystal filters, and ceramic
The Foundations of Mobile
and Cellular Telephony
On 17 June 1946, a driver in St. Louis pulled
out a handset from under his car’s dashboard, placed a phone call and made history.
It was the first mobile
telephone call, placed on a system inaugurated by Southwestern Bell, one of
AT&T’s local operating companies... (IEEE)
How to Write Efficient Executive Summaries
Hidden Job Market Secrets: What You Need to Know to Find a New Position
in Today’s Job Market
"The Art of Failure Analysis"
For the last few years,
IEEE's International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated
Circuits has held an "Art of Failure Analysis" photo contest. Familiar shapes and
patterns occur regularly in nature at the macro level that can be seen and recognized
by almost anyone; e.g., the Nautilus spiral, the Fibonacci series in plant life,
and fractal structures. It takes a high power optical microscope or even a scanning
electron microscope (SEM) to see those familiar sights in the realm of the very
small. Sometimes, though, the images are downright bazaar and look eerily familiar.
This first-place winner from the 2012 "Art of Failure Analysis" is a good example.
Titled, "People on the Beach," this first-prize-winning SEM image by Infineon's
Lim Saw Sing...
High Voltage CMOS Driver
for PIN Diodes by M/A-COM
M/A-COM Technology Solutions has introduced
a new High Voltage CMOS Driver for PIN diodes for use in military and commercial
radio applications. The
MADR-010574 is designed to work with M/A-COM Tech’s high power
and high voltage PIN diodes. This driver supports series-shunt and all-series diode
designs by biasing four diodes simultaneously.
Semis Other Than Transistors
In March of 1958 when this article appeared
in Popular Electronics, learning of semiconductor devices other than transistors
was usually new to experienced professionals as well as to hobbyists. Vacuum tubes
still dominated electronic products in the day. Companies like General Electric,
Sylvania, and RCA were the pioneers for development of Zener diodes, photodiodes,
SCRs, thyristors, etc. Exotic compounds like selenium, germanium, silicon, and lead
and cadmium sulphides...
Among the Novice Hams:
Pliers of the amateur radio hobby have since
the beginning put forth a lot of effort training fledgling entrants in the realm
of electronics and communications. Up until the latter part of the last century,
there were a number of magazines - Popular Electronics among them - that would regularly
print articles covering the basics of electronics. Other than the ARRL's QST magazine,
it seems maybe Nuts and Volts is the only monthly still in print that you can go
to for such information. I suppose it was inevitable with the emergence and now
domination of the Internet as a source for most knowledge. The Among the Novice
Hams column in Popular Electronics often included short primers on subjects
like the basics of capacitors and inductors...
Positions Now Open
RF Systems has announced positions available for the following areas:
Associate RF Engineer,
L- and S-Band Pulse/Radar RF Engineer
75 Ω BNC HD Connectors
RFMW announces design and sales support for
Radiall’s new BNC HD Connector. The advanced design is available in a wide
variety of colors, and its unique easy grip boot allows for high density integration
without the use of a tool, making this high-definition BNC the best choice for all
Many Thanks to Anatech!
Electronics has been a long-time supporter of RF Cafe. They specialize in RF &
Microwave products specifically built for military, commercial and wireless communications.
RFMD Intros 6-Bit Serial
Digital Step Attenuators
RFSA2654 6-bit digital step attenuators (DSAs) feature high
linearity over their entire 31.5 dB gain control range with excellent step
accuracy in 0.5dB steps. They are programmed via a serial mode control interface.
Parting is Such Sweet Revenge
The 21st century has brought with it new ways
to leave your job. The exit strategies of the recently unemployed have taken a new
tack: social media is proving to be
an outlet for those who decide that they don’t want to go quietly.
Sherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design
News that features submissions from readers about
challenges and how they were solved. This one is titled "Blowing Fuses &
Exploding Circuit Panels."
Analog Devices’ 8- and 16-
Analog Devices introduced two multiplexers,
ADG5207 that are able
to guarantee latch-up prevention in high-voltage industrial applications operating
up to ±22 V.
Thanks to ACS for
ACS designs, develops and
sells Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software tools for RF and microwave engineering
applications. ACS's main product is the
LINC2 linear circuit simulator.
µP-Controlled Router Base
Engineering students at MIT have developed
a hand-held computerized router that can precisely cut out or rout practically any
shape on any size wood (or plastic, foam, whatever) based on a digital map of the
pattern and the work surface. Strips of encoded tape are positioned on the material
and then the router follows the tape. Notice while watching the video that the router
moves around on the base unit. The operator's job is to keep the router near the
center of the base so it doesn't move against a hard stop at the edge of the base.
This type of function is traditionally performed with an
X-Y plotter type system
that automatically moves the bit across the work piece; they can cost tens or hundreds
of thousands of dollars, depending on the size. Depending on your patience and skill,
an entire 4x8-foot sheet of plywood could be handled if desired. I'm guessing this
device, once productized and made in China, will sell low end in Sears for about
PMI Intros Analog Phase
Shifter for 9 to 11 GHz
PS-9G11G-3609-A-SFF is an analog controlled phase shifter that
operates over the 9.0 to 11.0 GHz frequency range. This model utilizes a phase
shift control voltage ranging from ±7.5 V for phase shift of 0-360°
AWR IMS2012 MicroApps
Videos Now on AWR.TV
AWR Corporation has added nine videos of its MicroApps presentations
from the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2012 to its
AWR.TV portal. Tune into the
IMS channel to view the following AWR MicroApps presentations
August T&M World Articles
Test Method Improves PWB Reliability, by Paul Reid
A T&M View of the Higgs Boson Discovery: Pt 3, What They Actually
Measure, by Ransom Stephens
August RFTI Articles
• Low-EMI Printed Circuit Board Design for High Frequency Waveforms
(p.10), by Earl McCune and David Wyskiel
Antenna Current Distribution: the Basis for Modeling and Simulation
(p.22), Gary Breed
The Mirror Technique for Reducing Radiated EMI (p.24), by Arturo
*---- Notice ----*
I will be away from my computer until Friday afternoon (August 10). I apologize
in advance for any delays in responding.
RF Cafe Quiz #45
This quiz is based on the information presented
Handbook of Dielectric and Thermal Properties of Materials at Microwave Frequencies,
by Theodore Anderson. This book is a wealth of information of dielectric characteristics
of biological tissues in plants, animals, as well as for ceramics, soils and minerals.
Particular attention is paid to properties in the ISM frequency bands. Extensive
sources for similar studies are provided.
Engineering & Science News
for August 9, 2012
FCC Asked to Raise Limit on Cell Phone Radiation
Probes Allegation of Supplier's Underage Workers
Telekom Profits Jump 74% as Costs Fall
16-Year-Old New York Boy is the Fastest Texter in America
Semico Cuts 2012 Chip Market Growth Forecast
First Logic Gate Made from Undoped Silicon Nanowires
Seeing the Light with NIST's New Noiseless Optical Amplifier
Now Main Driver of U.S. Smartphone Sales
U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Fell as Sales Plummeted
GreenPeak to Lead the
Smart Home Evolution
GreenPeak Technologies, a leading Smart Home RF communications
semiconductor company, has announced it is expanding its product portfolio and customer
target base. GreenPeak ZigBee chips are already integrated into leading cable industry
set-top boxes to enable power saving and long range RF based connections for remote
controls. Rolling out new radio chips that support the full range of ZigBee
networking technologies including ZigBee Pro, ZigBee IP, RF4CE and ZigBee Green
RF Cafe July Book
Warren G., of Stafford, VA, is the July 2012
winner of RF Cafe's monthly book
drawing. Warren selected The Parameter Space Investigation Method Toolkit,
Graciously provided by Artech House
Forum Request: Guidance Needed for My Future
visitor to the RF Cafe Employment Forum posted a request for assistance: "I'm currently
doing my Master's in Wireless Communications at the University of Southampton. I
will be graduating by the end of September 2012.I was sure of getting a job in the
UK after my course gets over. But due to the VISA regulations in the UK, am afraid
that I wont be able to get a job. So, kindly help me out by giving your suggestions
for the following..."
Richardson RFPD Intros Two
New Converters from ADI
AD5686RBCPZ-RL7, a member of ADI's nanoDAC+® family, is a low
power, quad, 16-bit buffered voltage output DAC. It includes a 2.5 V, 2 ppm/°C internal
reference (enabled by default) and a gain select pin giving a full-scale output
of 2.5 V (gain = 1) or 5 V (gain = 2). The
AD7988-5BRMZRL7 is a 16-bit, successive approximation, analog-to-digital
converters (ADC) that operates from a single power supply, VDD. The device offers
500kSPS throughput and is a low power, 16-bit sampling ADC with a versatile serial
Expert witnesses play a big role in most -
if not all - of the court cases that get reported here. IMS ExpertServices is a
law firm specializing in expert witnesses. Every month or so they send me an article
about specific court cases that could be of interest to RF Cafe visitors. This particular
installment is titled, "To
Testify or Not to Testify: Re-Designating An Expert Witness?," and deals with
a rather ironic turn of events in a medical case, but the outcome could affect even
patent and copyright infringement cases, particularly given the reported low incidence
of precedence in these matters.
Job Hunting Tips from the IEEE
The Secret to Articulating Your Value
• Why You Didn’t Get the Interview
• Economic Strains Are Having Little Impact On Tech Job Opportunities
In The Asia-Pacific
M/A-COM GaN HEMT Pulsed Power Transistor
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Announces New
GaN HEMT Pulsed Power Transistor. The
MAGX-002735-040L00 is a gold metalized, internally matched,
GaN on SiC, RF power transistor that exhibits excellent performance when operated
at +50 V, class AB operation, 40 W peak output, using a 300 µs pulse and 10% duty
cycle pulsed signal. Leveraging state of the art wafer fabrication processes, the
transistor provides high gain, efficiency, bandwidth, and ruggedness over a wide
bandwidth for today’s demanding needs.
Measurement Challenges of 160 MHz 802.11ac MIMO
Addressing Measurement Challenges of 160 MHz 802.11ac MIMO,
by Agilent, Thursday, August 9, 1:00 PM EDT. With the latest incarnation of Wi-Fi,
or 802.11ac, designers are leveraging signal frequencies, modulation bandwidths,
spatial demultiplexing and modulation schemes to meet the throughput needs of 802.11ac.
This has posed several challenges for test equipment vendors as they try to meet
the stringent demands of 160 MHz bandwidths, MIMO streams, 256 QAM all at frequencies
of 5.8 GHz.
Hittite's MMIC LNA Covers
0.3-3 GHz, Only 4.5 sq.mm
HMC374SC70E is a high dynamic range pHEMT MMIC LNA which delivers
1.6 dB noise figure, +34 dBm output IP3 and 14 dB small signal gain at 900 MHz.
With saturated output power up to +19 dBm and output IP3 to +36 dBm, the HMC374SC70E
is also ideal for driving the LO port of high linearity mixers and for transmitter
Engineering & Science News
for August 8, 2012
Revenues Expected to Grow 8x by 2016
National NFC Service to Go Live in Singapore This Month
Explore the Upper Reaches of the Amateur Radio Spectrum
in the ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest
Apple Patent Trial: Samsung Scrutinized iPhone to Improve
Galaxy UI (will this set precedent
for teardowns & reverse engineering efforts?)
• India Can Monitor BlackBerry Without Codes
Our Edisons are Alive and Well at NIWeek 2012
Nuclear Generator Powers Curiosity Mars Mission
Discordant Bits and Single Photons Boost Quantum Power
Gov't Motors (GM) Outsources $559M Advertising Deal
(imagine Dinah Shore singing "See the UK in