USAF Radar Tech
Greg Bucchieri Checks In
USAF radar tech Greg
Bucchieri just checked in with his service information. Greg
worked on the one-of-a-kind MPN-17 radar that operated simultaneously
on two separate S-band search frequencies in order to reduce ground
clutter in the display. Like the MPN-13/14 that I worked on, it
had a vacuum-tube-based transmitter and receiver.
Thanks Much to PMI
for Renewing Their Support
Monolithics Industries' organization has been setup to design, develop,
manufacture, test, and market complex state-of-the-art hybrid
RF MIC and MMIC components,
supercomponents, and subsystems. Unique products for applications
in space, military, commercial, telecommunications, and consumer
electronics systems in the DC- 40 GHz range are their specialty.
PMI Intros 2 to 18 GHz
Low Noise Amplifier
PE2-30-218-4R0-20-12-SFF-BT is a 2.0 to 18.0 GHz Low Noise
Amplifier that has an integrated bias-tee network on the output
port. This amplifier provides 30 dB of gain while maintaining
a maximum gain flatness of ±2.0 dB max over the operating frequency.
The noise figure is less than 4dB and offers an OP1dB of +20 dBm
minimum and an OIP3 of +30 dBm typical. The amplifier requires
+12 to +15 VDC and the current draw is less than 350 mA.
How to Hire
the Perfect Employee
picture of human brains is not the way I normally prefer to illustrate
a concept, but in this case it works pretty well. Inc magazine
columnist Phil Libin, who is a co-founder of
about a common lament of not just entrepreneurs like himself, but
also of big corporation managers -
a tendency to micromanage underlings. The article is only one
page long so I won't regurgitate everything he wrote other than
to say that in the end, the solution is to always
hire people that can
do the required job better than you can do it yourself. That way
you are not always disappointed at performance because you believe
you could do the job better yourself if only you had the time. That's
great advice. Look at the full-size picture he uses.
February MPD Articles Online
Product Digest has become my favorite trade magazine because at
least for my level of involvement, it seems to have a more consistent
selection of practical application articles. That's not to take
away from the others; it's just a personal choice.
Military Microwave Digest, also the best in class for its specialty,
is an occasional supplement to the monthly mailing of MPD.
BlackBox Models for
Discrete and Integrated Low
by E. Marsan, S. Moreschi,
A. Roy, and V. Tzanakos
Understanding JESD204 and
JESD204B: A Primer,
by Jonathan Harris
Trends and Revenue Aspect
of Semiconductors in
by Aravind Seshagirl
Time for an iPad Ban?
was only a matter of time before someone became a victim of an
iPad assault. A story hit the wires this morning about a firefighter
in NYC beating his wife in the head with an iPad. "When she tried
to escape, he grabbed her by the hair, threw her onto a patio floor
and locked the door, according to published reports." So, we have
a hostage taken and extreme physical violence, all caused by easy
access to a personal electronics device. No doubt the domestic terrorist
had large capacity RAM modules installed. Does anyone really need
more than 16 GBytes of RAM for sport computing? Only someone with
an intent on doing personal harm would need the newest large capacity
128 GByte model. Do iPads imbue owners with a sense of superiority
and invincibility who feel powerful when in possession of one? What
about iPhones, which are easier
to conceal? Why do citizens even need iPads when the Constitution
was written and shared with pen and paper? Lawmakers should immediately
introduce legislation to
ban RAM modules of more than 16 GBytes for iPads and iPhones.
Only law enforcement and the military need more.
McWatts Comic Strip
was an electronics-themed comic that appeared in Popular Electronics
back in the late 1957s. Artist Carl Kohler's main character is a
stereotypical Joe Sixpack electronics hobbyist who always dreams
up unique way to deal with situations. This edition shows
McWatts' way of keeping the kids from using his prized tools
as toys. I was always leaving my poor father's tools laying around
the house and too often in the yard where they would get rained
on and start to rust. If I were him, I would have been harder on
me for repeat offenses.
Antenna Tuning Solutions
Solutions is ramping several antenna tuning products with leading
smartphone manufacturers. Skyworks’ devices are meeting the
market demand for tunable antennas which dramatically improve performance
by increasing data throughput, reducing dropped calls and minimizing
the antenna footprint needed for today’s multiband LTE smartphones.
Antenna tuning and antenna diversity are both key elements to solving
these challenges. Antenna tuning enhances cellular operators’ available
spectrum while antenna diversity is an effective means for improving
RF transmission performance.
Thanks to Innovative Power
has been designing and manufacturing
RF passive components
for more than 25 years for all aspects of commercial and military
applications. Their couplers, combiners, RF resistors, and terminations
incorporate the latest technology in materials available, which
equates to unrivaled product performance. An ISO-registered quality
system assures customers of a reliable supply of components for
their applications. Contact a
engineer today for special requirements.
Why Key Clicks?
shaping is essential in today's crowded communications spectrum.
Spectral masks are precisely defined in order to prevent "spreading"
beyond the allocated frequency ranges at defined power levels. Whenever
anything other than a continuous sinewave is being broadcast, there
is spectral content generated in addition to the fundamental frequency.
A Fourier transform of the waveform reveals which frequencies at
what power levels comprise the waveform. The CW (continuous wave)
signal used by Morse code operators is a pure sinewave (or nearly
so), but there is a spectral problem with it every time the signal
turns on or off because of the square-ish edges involved during
RC networks are used in the transmitter circuits to tame the edges
so that they do not turn on and off so quickly and in doing so reduce
the extraneous frequency content. Author George Grammer argues that
even though the signal could theoretically be made 'clickless' (aka
"chirpless'), there is an auditory benefit to the clicks or chirps
that aids operators listening to high speed code transmissions.
AWR Sponsors and Exhibits
at EDICON 2013
- Many Papers
is a gold sponsor at the
Design Innovations Conference ( EDICON) 2013, which runs from
March 12 -14 in Beijing, China. Together with parent company National
Instruments, AWR will be showcasing at Booth #255 joint hardware/software
solutions, as well as the first update in 2013 of the AWR Design
Environment™, inclusive of Microwave Office®/Analog Office® circuit
design software, Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) system design software,
as well as AXIEM® 3D planar electromagnetic (EM) software and Analyst™
3D finite element method (FEM) EM software.
Skyworks Captures Initial
Solutions today announced that several leading OEMs and smartphone
providers are leveraging the company’s highly customizable, fully
SkyOne™ front-end solution. The SkyOne™ platform, which
integrates all RF and analog content between the transceiver and
antenna, reduces complexity, size and time-to-market for customers
with demanding architectures for advanced mobile applications. Utilizing
Skyworks’ full technology portfolio and advanced multichip module
capabilities including proprietary shielding and packaging, SkyOne™
is the world’s first semiconductor device to condense multiband
power amplifiers and high throw switches along with all associated
filtering, duplexing and control functionality into a single, ultra-compact
A Passive Audio Amplifier
for Your iPhone
Locke has taken a low tech approach to making amplifiers for your
iPad. Rather than build an electronic contraption out of electrical
components and speakers that requires a power source, he 'repurposes'
discarded brass musical instruments for the task - ingenuous,
I must say. Valves and levers are removed and a fancy metal cradle
is attached to the reed port in a manner that positions the mobile
device's speaker directly over the instrument's air intake. Videos
are provided demonstrating the significant amplification afforded
by the arrangement. It's hard to tell whether the full audio range
is amplified sufficiently or if only those frequencies within the
normal playing range are affected. Regardless, these functional
sculptures would make a great conversation piece or even a gift
for a musician friend.
Foil Those Tube Forgers
market electronic components are not just a recent problem.
Long before IC foundries were set up in China, Indonesia, Vietnam,
etc., to produce counterfeit semiconductor components, there were
unscrupulous manufacturers turning out bogus components of all sorts.
Marking unauthorized microprocessor and amplifier packages with
an industry-leading brand name and part number is a real problem,
but such practices extend back to the vacuum tube era. This story
from a 1957 edition of Popular Electronics tells the story
of how companies like General Electric and Sylvania dealt with the
A Review of Transmission
Lines as Circuit
Wilfred Jensby wrote an incredibly detailed article for the November
1966 edition of QST that delves deeply into the subject of using
transmission lines as distributed circuit elements. I did a
search on his name, figuring that he likely had other publications
of like sort, but nothing was found. Information contained herein
is similar to what you would expect to find in a Master's level
engineering course textbook or in a $100+ technical book from Artech
House, Cambridge University Press, John Wiley & Sons, etc. The
brain-zapping equations are omitted with only a great, layman-level
discussion of the concepts and some really nice illustrations and
graphs. This is definitely an article you will want to check out
and pass on to colleagues.
The Global Innovation
"The Business School for the World," located in France, has just
released its 5th annual publication of
The Global Innovation Index 2012. The study analyzes a country's
ability to foster invention
and innovation. For the second year in a row, Switzerland lead in
overall innovation performance. The U.S. squeaked into last place
within the top 10, with even Ireland (no disrespect
meant to the Emerald Isle) squarely whooping us. Canada came
in at #12. Of EUR (European) countries
Switzerland leads at #1, the U.S. leads NA
(N. America - real difficult) at #10, Israel tops the NAWA
(North Africa-West Asia) region at
#17, Singapore (#3) leads SEAO (South East
Asia Outlook), Chile (#39) tops the LCN
(Latin America and the Caribbean) region,
and India, #64, rules CSA (Central and Southern
Asia). As usual, I blame the pathetic politicians for utterly
destroying the country's ability to create and produce. Their overbearing
regulations, obsession with 'diversity,' social engineering, national
self-flagellation, and pandering to leeches is killing us.
RFMD Expands Leadership
in RF Power Management
Micro Devices today announced the addition of multiple new products
to RFMD's industry-leading portfolio of
envelope tracking (ET) power management and power amplifier (PA)
solutions. RFMD's ET-based solutions leverage the Company's
leadership in RF power management and cellular PAs to improve system-level
efficiency in high-data rate applications. The new RF solutions
— the RF7389, RF7390, RF7459, RF8081, and RF8085 — comprise ET PMICs,
ET multimode multi-band (MMMB) PAs, and ET ultra-high efficiency
PAs. RFMD's expanding ET product portfolio is compatible with the
leading LTE chipsets and provides full ET compatible coverage of
all FD-LTE and TD-LTE bands.
Analog Devices' ADSimRF v1.7
Devices just announced the release of the latest version of their
ADISimRF applet for calculating cascaded RF component parameters.
It takes typical input values for up to 15 stages and returns typical
cascaded values at the output. As I do with any such program, I
compared its results with those of my RF Cascade Workbook
(RFCW) spreadsheet. The numbers agree
as expected since both use pretty much the same set of well-established
textbook formulas. One difference in the two programs is that ADISimRF
appears to use the standard IP3 (3rd-order
intercept point) cascade formula for calculating P1dB
(1 dB compression point), whereas
RFCW uses Psat (saturated power) instead
since the P1dB formula is only an approximation of widely varying
nonlinear response and might lead to a false sense of security.
RFCW's Psat calculated values simply test what the output power
level for a device would be...
Amateur Radio Quiz: Book ’Em!
or not, this
amateur radio quiz will provide a nice break from the workaday
routine and might even challenge you a bit. Sez the
ARRL: "The great tradition
of self-learning and mutual education is alive and well at the outset
of Amateur Radio’s second century. The success of that tradition
leans heavily on the books -- and now websites -- of amateurs willing
to share their radio know-how with others. This month’s quiz touches
on publications from yesterday and today, in honor of the many authors
from whom we learn."
E- Discovery: 10 Strategic
Steps for Defensible
Every once in a while I receive an e-mail from someone wanting advice
on how to conduct a patent search to determine whether his idea
has already been registered. Many people are sorely disappointed
to learn after putting a lot of work into what is truly an original
idea for them only to discover later that a patent has already been
issued for the concept. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) has some pretty good tools
for research (see "How
to Conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search"), but in order
to be successful you really need to have a proven, methodical strategy
for using those tools. Simply entering a few keywords rarely - if
ever- results in a sufficient effort. Mr. Tino Kyprianou, guest
author for IMS ExpertServices, has written an article titled, "E-
Discovery: 10 Strategic Steps for Defensible Search" that provides
some advice on how to proceed.
February's RF Magazine
Articles Now Available
February's magazine articles are now available online for the
RF industry. Here are a few that look most interesting to me.
High Frequency Electronics:
RF MEMS Switches: High-
Frequency Performance and
(p.32), by Tai Wen
Test & Measurement World:
Engineering Design Tools,
by Casey Hare
Identify the Best Power
Supply for a Test Application,
by J. Niemann, R. Green
RF Characteristics of
Fabricated on Flexible PES,
by Y. Yun, J. Jeong, H.
and N. Jang
Please visit Dong Jin TI in Appreciation of
Jin Technology Innovations is a premier manufacturer of
Cable Assemblies and Components. They are highly recognized
as an RF industry leader in Korea. Dong Jin TI's premium products
offer a competitive price, on-time delivery and best quality in
the industry with No Minimum Order and One Day Delivery. Equivalent
product suggestions with drawings and speciation available to replace
existing items. VSWR reports available on request.
Science & Engineering
Feb. 24, 2013
Sunday I create an
engineering-themed crossword puzzle using a word list that I
personally created and added to during over a decade of making puzzles.
All of the words are related to engineering, science, mathematics,
chemistry, astronomy, etc. There are no numbnut clues about movie
stars or clothing designers. Enjoy.
Hi-Fi: The Guest
series of comics describing the kinds of reactions you might expect
to receive from various people who are visiting your crib and are
introduced to your new stereo setup. Done in a 1959 edition of
Popular Electronics, the scenarios still hold true today,
only now you can extend the equipment type to include your gaming
computer and wide screen television, and add to the distractions
the guy who is dividing his attention between you and his smartphone.
It's too bad you don't see this kind of stuff in newer publications.
Sherlock Ohms: Case of the
Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents
submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how
they were solved. This story titled "The
Subcontractor Zapped the Network" addresses the dangers an unbalanced
3-phase load can cause when the neutral is improperly terminated.
As an electrician
many, many moons ago, I encountered this scenario a couple times
during trouble calls to industrial locations. Also demonstrated
is the all-too-common problem of having mindless drones on staff.
How the Slinky Buckles:
have a need to express every aspect of nature in terms of an equation.
That's a good thing... if not a bit obsessive. The March 2013 edition
of SciAm has an article about "overcurved
rings" such as those in a flat spiral spring; e.g., a
Slinky. If you
cut a full rotation of a Slinky (360°)
and join the ends, you find that it does not lay flat due to
overcurvature, but instead it assumes a
saddle shape. Another familiar example of an overcurved ring
is found in a pop-up tent. Interestingly, the author describes a
method for folding an overcurved ring into a set of three concentric
rings that will lay flat. I immediately recognized it as the method
used to package large bandsaw blades, fan belts, etc. It can take
a bit of noodling to figure out how to get the ring into that configuration
if you don't have instructions. The video below is one I made a
while back demonstrating how to fold a bandsaw blade.
Microelectronics, 2nd Edition, by Behzad Razavi. Wireless communication
has become almost as ubiquitous as electricity, but RF design continues
to challenge engineers and researchers. In the 15 years since the
first edition of this classic text, the demand for higher performance
has led to an explosive growth of RF design techniques. In
RF Microelectronics, 2nd Edition, Behzad Razavi systematically
teaches the fundamentals as well as the state-of-the-art developments
in the analysis and design of
and transceivers. The 2nd edition to reflects today’s RF microelectronics,
covering key topics in far greater detail. At nearly 3x the length
of the first edition, the 2nd edition is an indispensable tome for
both students and practicing engineers.
Please Visit Baytems
in Appreciation of
designs and manufactures electronic instruments and systems geared
to the specialized needs of electronics manufacturers for product
testing, product development and research. Their product line includes
MIL-STD-1553 Interface Cards, and
Stabilization Networks. Commercial, aerospace, defense industries
Popular Electronics Builds
Cafe visitor Terry W. recently wrote to me about a topic that
ended up mentioning RCA's vacuum tube voltmeter (VTVM) known as
VoltOhmyst. VTVMs were the era's high-input-impedance multimeter,
before field effect transistors (FETs) came on the scene. The higher
a meter's input impedance, the less it loads the circuit under test.
Any meter connected across a circuit appears as a parallel load
to the source, so the closer it is to an open circuit, the better.
Terry mentioned how the VoltOhmyst was a key component on test benches
of many professionals. You can still buy various models of the VoltOhmyst
Inline Clock Uses
is a different type of digital clock that uses a single digit to
read out the time serially; i.e., if it the new time is 3:51, the
clock first displays a 3, then a second or so later displays a 5,
then finally a 1. Obviously it cannot update the time every second,
but that is not what this kind of timepiece is meant for. It is
purely a conversation piece. What makes this clock, designed and
built by David Christianson, is its electromechanical
display. "The displays make use of a small piece of film and
12 lens systems to project whatever of 12 images you want to provide."
Reportedly, this method was devised in the 1960s and was very expensive
even back then - about $100 per digit. No info is provided about
the exact display used, but it seems any 7-segment display type
can be adapted, even a cheap LED.
Pasternack Intros Line of SMP
Adapters up to 65 GHz
Enterprises' SMP and Mini-SMP, also known as SMPM, are coaxial adapters
capable of converting multiple connector types including SMP, Mini
SMP, SMA, 2.92mm, 2.4mm, 3.5mm and 1.85mm connectors. Frequency
ratings for these
SMP and SMPM microwave adapters range from 18 GHz to 65 GHz
depending on type and style. These new higher frequency SMP and
Mini-SMP versions are compatible and fully mate-able with Corning
Gilbert GPO™ and GPPO™ connectors. Pasternack’s new lines of SMP
adapters and SMPM adapters utilize passivated stainless steel construction
and Beryllium copper (BeCu) designs for the SMP female connectors.
IEEEIEEE JobSite Career Alerts
IEEE's weekly JobSite e-mail just arrived. For those of you who
do not subscribe, here are a few of the most useful items in it.
Are You Meant for
No Textbooks, Just iPads
6 Things You Might Not
Know About Salary
How to Launch a New
Career After 50
men adapt themselves to the world; unreasonable ones don't - therefore
all progress comes from unreasonable men." – George Bernard Shaw
as paraphrased by
Eli Broad in Inc. BTW, GBS, a widely lauded author,
also said, "Assassination is the extreme form of censorship," yet
he was an extreme Fabian Socialist who condoned the extermination
of what he considered useless humans "in a kindly manner"
Engineer Needed by
Corporation has announced an opening for an
RF/Interconnect Design Engineer. As directed by engineering
management, this position is primarily responsible for product design
and development for customer funded programs and new product research
and development. In addition, provides direct support to business
development functions as well as operations on existing products.
PMI Intros 4 to 8 GHz
Low Noise Amplifier
PEC2-60-4G8G-1R75-14-12-SFF is a 4.0 GHz to 8.0 GHz
low noise amplifier that typically provides 60 dB of gain.
The gain flatness is ±1.25 dB maximum with a noise figure is
1.75 dB maximum. This amplifier provides a minimum OP1dB of
+14 dBm. The VSWR is 2.0:1 maximum into 50 ohms impedance
and operates on a single DC supply of +12 to +15 volts with 350 mA
nominal current consumption. This unit is supplied with field removable
SMA female connectors and in our standard PEC2 housing that measures
2.98" x 0.78" x 0.26".
AWR App Note for
new application note, “Using
Analyst™ To Quickly And Accurately Optimize A Chip-Module-Board
Transition,” highlights the unique features of AWR’s
3D finite element method (FEM) EM simulator by demonstrating
the optimization of the transition from a board-to-chip signal path.
The example shows how the ability to access Analyst seamlessly from
within the Microwave Ofﬁce® environment saves time by eliminating
not only the need for the design to be drawn and/or redrawn, but
also provide ready access to additional and powerful features of
a circuit design tool such as tuning and optimization.
Your iPad is the App in This
this miniature foosball game, your
iPad is the app relative
to the physical table frame that it snaps into. Sensors built into
the eight familiar control handles send position and rotation information
to the iPad's interface connector, which the foosball software app
running on the iPad uses to simulate action on a real table. Sensor
technology has made major advances in the last decade. Buy
Classic Match Foosball on Amazon for $99 w/free shipping. I
used to think $99 was a lot to spend on frivolities, but last week
commercials were running for $99 Valentine's Day teddy bears, so
evidently my perceptions are outdated. The company also has a
slot machine for plugging your iPod into.
Beware the Patent Trolls
entities (NPEs), aka
patent trolls, think they're getting a bum rap. Those companies
that buy up patents and then
search to the ends of the Earth for potential cases of infringement
say they are only protecting the original inventors' right to an
exclusive claim to innovation, even though the inventor is no longer
involved. An article by Kris Frieswick in the February 2013 edition
Inc demonstrates otherwise. Frieswick takes the unusually
brave step of naming names of the industry's most notorious abusers.
According to his research the practice cost industry $29B in 2011.
Typically, a troll serves the accused with a notice of infringement
along with proposed settlement terms which could be a license fee
or purchase of the patent. Neither comes cheap. Software, the biggest
target, comprises 74% of all cases even though it represents only
12% of total patents. 90% of the abused surrender without a challenge
and settle out of court. Trolls count on that. Rarely does anyone
threaten to sue a troll, so the business is pretty lucrative with
low risk. The best defense thus far has been to prove existence
of "prior art" on file with the
Patent Office that invalidates
the troll's patent. They usually retreat back under the bridge upon
presentation of that evidence. Here are some related
patent articles on Inc.
Thanks, Applied Computational
designs, develops and sells Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software
tools for RF and microwave engineering applications. ACS's main
product is the
linear circuit simulator and RF Tools products. LINC2 runs
on versions of MS Windows for the PC and compatibles, and is a lower
cost alternative to the high-end design and simulation tools. Visual
System Architect, Filter Pro, Amp Pro, Match, TLine, RF Calculato,
and De-embed are among the available modules.
Electronic News Circa 1958
was a time when "Pong" was a must-play breakthrough bit of futuristic
technology with people waiting in line to give it a try, but now
nobody would invest a quarter to play it in an arcade. Similarly,
believe it or not, people were mesmerized when listening to the
series of "beeps" coming from Sputnik I satellite during its
short life circling the Earth. This item from a 1958 edition of
Popular Electronics shows high school students listening intently
to a tape of Sputnik's broadcast. The same "Electronic News" page
reported on the availability of a special record with calibrated
sounds for helping to calibrate and troubleshoot hi-fi systems,
and also a new low-wattage public address speaker system installed
at Yankee Stadium that needed only 6½ watts per speaker.
Please Welcome "Analyzer
Repair" as a New
Test, who has been an advertiser on RF Cafe since 2010, is now promoting
website. "We absolutely know analyzer repair." BRL Test's in-house
Repair Engineering Group promises low pricing, experienced metrology
technicians (15 years on average) that
includes military PMEL graduates, and parts for repair in stock
to guarantee fast turnaround. Popular spectrum and network analyzers
from Agilent, R&S, Anritsu, HP, and Avantest are among their
to Nicolaus Copernicus
homepage today has an animated tribute to
on this 540th anniversary of his birthday. Only the planets know
to exist in Copernicus's day (out to Jupiter)
are shown orbiting the sun, plus our moon is orbiting Earth. Galileo
had not yet discovered the large large moons of
Jupiter nor had Christiaan Huygens found
Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Right-click in an empty place
on the screen and select View Source to see the immense amount of
code used to generate that animation (turn
word wrap on).
UFO Landing Site Markers?
evidently buzz-worthy item du jour hit the news wires in the last
couple days. There are many people who's hobby is scanning every
square inch of terra firma
as imaged from space by Google Earth and Street View cameras. I
could not find an official organization they can belong to, but
most would not want to be identified anyway lest the black helicopters
swoop in to snatch them in the middle of the night. Like the mysterious
patterns that were spotted in the Gobi Desert last year, these black
and white patterns show up at U.S. military installations and various
other locations. Reportedly, they were constructed as long ago as
the 1950s for calibrating cameras in high-altitude spy aircraft
like the SR-71 Blackbird and the U-2 Dragon Lady
(not Bono's group).
The Center for Land Use
Interpretation has a collection of aerial images of the bar
codes and some from-the-ground images. For other interesting images,
try the Google
Earth Cool Places website, where people continuously upload
AWR App Note for End-to-End
Design of X-band Analyzer
has just published a new Microwave Office® software application
note titled, “End-to-end
Design and Realization of an X-band Transmission Analyzer Using
AWR Circuit, System, and EM Software.” The note examines the
complete flow and details the design of several critical design
elements for this device, which integrates many RF components on
a single printed circuit board (PCB). Design challenges include
coupling issues between the RX and TX paths, as well as numerous
distributed elements that required EM simulator-based tuning for
Grounding, Shielding, Guarding
is an article on the EDN website that does a quick review of "Understanding
Grounding, Shielding, and Guarding in High-Impedance Applications,"
written by James Niemann. It covers topics like electrostatic coupling,
shielding, safety grounding, and more.
Telemetering - Vital Link
to the Stars
- the remote sensing and reporting of system parameters via radio
link - was just coming of age in the late 1950s when this article
appeared in Popular Electronics. It was the age of space payload
rocket development (as opposed to artillery
and fireworks rockets), high speed jet airliners, and the
Pioneer 1 space probe. There was a great need to collect data
during the developmental and operational engineering project stages
in order to ascertain causes for failures when they occurred and
to know what went right when success triumphed. A pinnacle of the
telemetering era was Pioneer 1, which carried an image
scanning infrared television system to study the Moon's surface
to a resolution of 0.5 degrees, an ionization chamber to measure
radiation in space, a diaphragm/microphone assembly to detect micrometeorites,
a spin-coil magnetometer to measure magnetic fields to...
10th Military Antennas Show
sure to sign up early and make your hotel registration now for
Military Antennas West 2013, being held April 22 - 24, 2013
at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, San Diego, California.
Attendees of IDGA's Military Antennas (West) Summit will have the
first look at up-and-coming technologies and programs, as well as
revamped initiatives , including, but not limited to, electrically
small antennas, conformal wideband antennas, RF distribution systems,
integrated circuits, the Phoenix project, and much more.
Hittite Intros Groundbreaking
Microwave has introduced a complete
Multi-GHz Quantizer chip set that enables quantization of ultra
wideband signals from DC to 18 GHz with excellent linearity
and low noise. This groundbreaking Multi-GHz Quantizer solution
can facilitate unparalleled levels of performance in test and measurement
systems, Bit Error Rate Testers (BERTs), and Pulse Detection Systems
including Pulse Doppler Radars where wideband sampling capability
is a necessity. This combination of ADC and T/H delivers high linearity
of >50 dB SFDR up to 7 GHz and low noise of >40 dB
SNR up to 9 GHz at 1 Vp-p full scale level.
Science & Engineering
Feb. 17, 2013
Sunday I create a crossword puzzle using a word list that I personally
created and added to during over a decade of making puzzles. All
of the words are related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry,
astronomy, etc. There are no numbnut clues about movie stars or
clothing designers. Enjoy.
PMI Intros 500 MHz to 6 GHz
PE2-30-0R56R0-5R0-22-12-SFF is a 500 MHz to 6.0 GHz
low noise amplifier that typically provides 30 dB of gain.
The gain flatness is ±1.0 dB maximum with a noise figure is
5.0 dB typical. This amplifier provides a minimum OP1dB of
+21 dBm. The VSWR is 2.0:1 maximum into 50 ohms impedance
and operates on a single DC supply of +12 to +15 volts with 325 mA
nominal current consumption. This unit is supplied with field removable
SMA female connectors and in our standard PE2 housing that measures
1.08" x 0.71" x 0.29".
Thanks to KR Electronics for
over 35 years KR Electronics has designed and manufactured high
quality filters for the commercial and military markets. KR
Electronics manufactures all filter types (LC, active, lowpass,
highpass, bandpass, bandstop, etc.) and individually synthesizes
filters for special applications. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis
and test methods are used to meet the most challenging specifications.
IEEE-USA Job Resources
Proposes Massive H-1B Increase
"IEEE-USA has been one of the loudest critics in Washington of
the H-1B program for more
than a decade... Companies have far more control over H-1B workers
than they would over an American, creating a powerful economic incentive
for companies to hire an H-1B worker instead of an American.
This is legal under the H-1B program... The H-1B is tailor made
for outsourcers because the visas are totally controlled by companies
and H-1B workers can't easily quit... In 2011, over 50% of all authorized
H-1Bs in several states went to outsourcing companies."
Ways to Keep Your Job
IEEE Member Consultants
Can Now Join a National
RF Front-Ends for Ultra Wideband Radios, by Aminghasem Safarian
and Payam Heydari, comprehensively studies silicon-based distributed
architectures in wideband circuits. The book begins with an introduction
of several transceiver architectures for UWB. The discussion then
focuses on RF front-end of the
UWB radio. First, the design and analysis of a performance-optimized
CMOS distributed LNA is presented. This is followed by design of
novel distributed RF front-ends for UWB IF-receivers
(UWB-DRF). The book continues with
the introduction of a novel distributed direct conversion RF front-end
Microwave has launched a new, highly integrated
HMC6001LP711E Antenna-in-Package (AiP) Silicon Transceiver Chipset
Solution, which is fabricated with silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS
semiconductor process technology and targets 60 GHz applications
such as short range Gbps data links, wireless sensors and test applications.
HMC6000LP711E AiP solution combines a 60 GHz antenna with
HMC6000 transmitter IC while the
HMC6001LP711E AiP solution combines a 60 GHz antenna
HMC6001 receiver IC. Both transceivers are available in 7 x
11 mm QFN plastic packages which support low cost surface mount
PCB assembly and require no experience in handling millimeterwave
500 Injured in Meteor Strike
epic event occurred in Russia last night. A huge meteor passed through
the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, setting off
a shock wave with a force great enough to shatter windows and injure
nearly 500 people. Any living
that might remember the
Tunguska event over Siberia in 1908 must have had a wicked flashback.
There is a good possibility it was a chunk of space rock associated
with asteroid 2012 DA14, due to fly by today this afternoon. There
could be more to come. Earth is a hard hat area today.
Please Visit Amplifier Solutions
Solutions Corporation (ASC) is a designer and manufacturer of
Microwave hybrid amplifiers for the military and commercial
markets. ASC's thick film hybrids utilize GaAs FET, silicon bipolar
transistor and MMIC technologies to achieve low to medium power
output in the 300 kHz to 6 GHz frequency band. Their amplifier
specialties include Low Noise, Wideband, High Power, Low Distortion,
General Purpose, CATV (50 & 75 Ω
versions), and GaN.
The 'Almighty' Federal Circuit?
Patent Policy &
witnesses play a big role in most of the court cases that get reported
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 article is entitled
The 'Almighty' Federal Circuit? Evolving Patent Policy & Jurisprudence,
and asks, in only a slightly rhetorically manner, the question:
"Has the importance of the patent system on the U.S. economy propelled
the Federal Circuit to be, de facto, the most powerful court of
the land?" Author Maggie Tamburro, JD, points out that the
of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established in 1982 under
Article III of the U.S. Constitution (which,
perhaps not coincidently, also addresses acts of treason).
Reportedly, a whopping 34% of the 2010 GDP derived from IP-related
industries. That's an amazing statistic. You will find a lot of
interesting tidbits like this in the article.
AWR Whitepaper on RF System
Wireless RF Links
and correctly predicting cellular, radar, or satellite RF link performance
early in the design cycle has become a key element in product success.
The requirements of today’s complex, high performance wireless devices
are driving designers to assess critical measurements long before
manufacturing begins. A new white paper from AWR, "Understanding
and Correctly Predicting Critical Metrics for Wireless RF Links,"
highlights the advantages of using Visual System Simulator™ (VSS)
RF system simulation software for detailed insight into the full
performance of an RF link in next- generation wireless products.
know what they say: Applied physicists are from Venus; Theoretical
physicists wonder why it spins in the other direction." - Dr. Larry
Fleinhardt, from NUMB3RS "Sacrifice"
RF Cafe Makes the Top 100
Cafe is in the news again. This note was received yesterday: "I'm
contacting you because
Cafe is featured on the list of
100 Top Resources for Electrical Engineers that we published
ElectricalEngineeringSchools.org Our readership is
mostly composed of aspiring students of electrical engineering.
We compiled this list to show them the best in projects, companies,
and general engineering advice. Your site has great articles for
someone whose goal is to study electrical engineering!" Look waaaaaay
down near the bottom at #33 (out of 34) in the "Engineering" section
to find RF Cafe. Evidently, I have a lot of work to do ;-)
concept of a
field effect transistor (FET) has been around in theory for
a long time*, but manufacturable devices arrived in designers' labs
not until the early 1960s. This article from the October 1966 edition
of QST magazine gives a good introduction to the physics of a basic
FET as well as the junction FET (JFET) and the insulated gate FET
(IGFET), all of which are still in widespread use today. What you
learn about them here is applicable today. In fact, I swear some
of the drawings are the same ones that appeared in my college semiconductor
physics text books (admittedly from the late
1980s, so not too much of a surprise).
Yagi vs. Quad
is a story of one Ham's experience in determining how the performance
Yagi antenna compared to his identically configured
(number of elements, height off of the ground,
etc.) cubical quad antenna. His location was a farm field
in Tennessee, back in the mid 1960s, so there was really not much
in the way of obstacles to perturb signals arriving at one antenna
versus the other, except of course when the direction of operation
happened to have the antennas in line with each other. Both antennas
were tuned for optimal performance at 14.22 MHz, which is in
the high frequency (HF) band.
DS Series Encoder/Decoder IC from Linx makes it simple to add
a robust serial protocol with the ease of DIP switch addressing.
The DS lets users set up to 1,022 unique addresses for reliable
communication between devices, similar to older Holtek® products,
but with a stable serial protocol. Testing shows greater than 2x
range increase in reliable, stable communication over the Holtek®
protocol, with the DS Series device in serial protocol mode. The
market exit by Holtek® from the DIP switch device market has left
many customers in a lurch – Linx is here to help you out.
VE2EK-9Q1EK Ham Shack
A Homebrewer's Paradise
Schleger, United Nations Director of Snr Broadcast Technologies
in 9Q (Democratic Republic of Congo),
has quite an impressive homebrew setup that you will want to see.
His equipment assemblies remind me a lot of the many
builds I've done over the years for various systems for radars,
satellite earth stations, and land radio systems. If you're a builder
at heart, you will appreciate Georges' handiwork. Few things beat
the satisfaction of connecting a bunch of filters, amplifiers, attenuators,
couplers, and cables together and then making measurements to test
RF CAD Drafter Needed
by SEA COM CORP
COM CORP, a manufacturer of marine and land mobile communications
equipment, has an opening for an RF CAD drafter on a contract basis.
PADS and Altium experience required. RF experience necessary. Request
occasional visits to the factory. Immediate work available
for long term projects. Self-employed Contractor desired.
Thanks for Putting RF Cafe
notice from LinkedIn came in my e-mail this morning. According to
RF Cafe's LinkedIn profile is in the top 10% viewed in2012.
Thanks to everyone who has viewed it. It's nice to be up that high
in the ranking, but being in the top 10% of 200 million members
means being in the company of 20 million others. The
U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are 7.1 billion people in
the world today (includes every man, woman,
and child), so that works out to 1 of every 350 people in
the world being in LinkedIn's top 10%. While not particularly impressive
from that perspective, as compared to my home state of Pennsylvania's
population of 13 million, it makes RF Cafe unique! This is a good
illustration of how
can be manipulated to draw false conclusions.
Hittite PLL with Integrated
VCO for MIMO
Microwave has launched the
HMC835LP6GE, a wideband fractional-N PLL with integrated VCO
that generates continuous fractional frequencies between 33 MHz
and 4100 MHz. Targeted at the cellular infrastructure market,
HMC835LP6GE features industry leading PLL & VCO phase noise
performance with a PLL figure of merit of -230 dBc/Hz in integer
mode, and -227 dBc/Hz in fractional mode, and typical VCO phase
noise of -134 dBc/Hz at 4 GHz output frequency and 1 MHz
offset. Along with industry leading phase noise performance, the
HMC835LP6GE includes advanced features demanded by modern LTE
MIMO radio architectures.
An Amateur Application
of Modern Filter
term "modern" in the title of any book or article never has set
right with me because it is utterly ambiguous about the era to which
"modern" refers. Sure, it sounds good at the time, but when applied
to this 1966 QST article, "modern" should be replaced with "four-decade-old."
However, in this case the content is still relevant even thought
it was written so long ago (or else I
would not be reproducing it here). It may well have been
most people's first exposure to
elliptical (Cauer) filters.
As you might expect, the rigorous, headache-inducing mathematics
is omitted, but the article does give an example of implementing
an audio frequency bandpass filter by cascading a lowpass filter
and a highpass filter. If you are familiar with filter design, you
know that because of phasing and inband impedance mismatch issues
you cannot simply butt the two together to yield an equivalent bandpass
filter. In fact, the author found it necessary to insert a 13 dB
attenuator between them in order to get acceptable performance.
Tutorial for Conducting
a Patent Search
conducting a patent application search for the
nCap Technology product which was posted just a few moments
ago, it occurred to me that a lot of people have never searched
for a patent. If you have an idea you believe needs to be protected
by a patent, one of the first things you need to do is determine
whether your invention has already been claimed. Another scenario
that necessitates a
is when designing a new product to make sure a patent holder cannot
file a n infringement claim against you, and then sue to either
prevent its use altogether or to require a royalty payment
(you have no control over the $$$ amount).
I know an engineer whose company is essentially being held hostage
to the tune of several hundreds of dollars per unit shipped because
of just such an infringement claim. The USPTO has a well-done video
tutorial for first-time patent investigators.. You could potentially
save yourself a lot of grief by learning to do patent searches.
PMI Intros 700 to 1300 MHz
SDLVA-0R71R3-75-CD-1 is a Successive Detection Log Video Amplifier
that operates over the 700 to 1300 MHz frequency range. This
model has a Dynamic Range of 75 dB, a log slope of 40 mV/dB
and a nominal video bandwidth of 20 MHz. The log linearity
is ±1.2 dB typical from -65 to +5 dBm input power levels
and a typical TSS of -70 dBm. The limited IF Output is +5 dBm
typical. This model offers very fast rise times of 9nsec and
fall times of 25 nsec typically. Other frequency ranges available.
Spray WiFi Hot Spots
me check the calendar. Nope, it's not April 1st. This item on Wired
magazine's website reports a spray-on antenna product that, according
to inventor Chamtech
Enterprises, works near miracles on almost any antenna within
its operational frequency (no details
at this point). Tests have been conducted at 50 MHz
(underwater communications) 100 MHz
(aircraft VHF), 2 GHz
(iPhone), and 2-5 GHz
(microwave RFID tag). What is so magic
about the spray?
a recent press release, "Chamtech's patented
nCap Technology is a breakthrough in
antenna technology, replacing
or enhancing traditional antennas to improve signal range, data
rate, and battery life of devices relying upon antenna technology."
This appears to be the patent application:
Techniques for Conductive Particle Based Material Used for at Least
One of Propagation, Emission and Absorption of Electromagnetic Radiation,
Nortec RF Launches RF/μwave
Wireless and Military
RF has launched its new RF and Microwave line of products serving
the wireless and military needs. Some of the newly introduced products
are the high power, broadband 0.7-2.7 GHz, and 0.8-2.2 GHz,
75 W mismatch tolerant power
These combiners can withstand 180 degree phase mismatch and 0 to
full power mismatch at the input ports. Nortec also introduced the
newly designed high power bandpass filter, 0.8-2.2 GHz, with
maximum insertion loss of 1.0 dB in the pass band and at least
20 dB rejection up to 11 GHz. Other new products developed
by Nortec are 8W,
purpose amplifiers spanning 60-500 MHz and directional and
hybrid couplers up to 3 GHz and up to 200 W power handling
Hittite's Low Power 8-Bit
450/900 MSPS ADC's
Microwave has introduced the
HMCAD1512, a 2/1 channel 8-bit ADC sampling at 450/900
HMCAD1512 is ideal for point-to-point microwave links and digital
HMCAD1512 contains two ADCs that can be interleaved by the user
to act as a single channel or two channels. At full speed operation,
HMCAD1512 delivers an SNR of 49 dBFS when applied with
an input signal of 170 MHz. Total power dissipation at full
speed operation is only 650 mW, including I/O. This performance
to power ratio makes the part a perfect choice for low power high
performance devices, including handheld and portable test equipment.
PMI Intros 20 to 40 GHz
Low Noise Amplifier
PE2-28-20R040R0-5R5-18-12-SFF is a 20 GHz to 40 GHz
low noise amplifier that typically provides 28dB of gain. The gain
flatness is ±2.5 dB maximum and ±1.5 dB typical with a
noise figure is 5.5 dB typical. This amplifier provides a minimum
OP1dB of +15 dBm minimum. The VSWR is 2.3:1 into 50 ohms
impedance and operates on a single DC supply of +12 to +15 volts
with 350 mA nominal current consumption.
Thanks to MECA Electronics
for Their Long-Time
1961, MECA has designed and manufactured an extensive line of RF/Microwave
components with industry leading performance including
Directional & Hybrid Couplers,
Cables. MECA serves all areas of the RF and Microwave industries
including world class network providers and supporting supply chain
infrastructure, and has long been the “backbone” of high performance
wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications,
satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry
applications, mobile radio, aviation & air traffic communications.
QSL from Sputnik
confirmation of having made a contact (QSL in ham-speak) with a
radio operator behind the communist Iron Curtain was a real achievement
during most of the 20th century. Russian and Chinese citizens were
routinely imprisoned for such activity, and if you did manage to
elicit a response to your CQ (request for contact), there was a
good chance it was with a government propagandist posing as a civilian.
Sputnik 1 was put in orbit on October 4, 1957, a whole
new realm of DXing (long distance communication) opened up by providing
satellite relay paths. Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial
satellite, broadcast a series of pulses at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz
that were tracked and reported by both professional and amateur
radio operators. Vital data was learned based on the time and strength
of signals that allowed scientists to ascertain the physics of upper
atmosphere characteristics. Not wanting to give the impression that
the assistance of the rest of the world's capitalist pigs was needed
or wanted (although it definitely was), virtually no acknowledgement
was forthcoming from Radio Moscow...
Webinar: Technology Trends
for Radar Systems
Free Webinar: Technology Trends for Radar Systems, by MWJ and Rohde &
Schwarz, February 12, 12:00 pm EST.
Caution! A video
ad that has nothing to do with the webinar will start playing automatically.
This is the last webinar I will post from MWJ because of the ongoing
Is Friday's Asteroid Approach
know there's a
150-foot-wide meteor due to scream by within 17,200 miles of
the Earth on Friday, February 15, that will pass inside the orbits
satellites, right? Well, maybe this is the "possible future"
that Griffin envisions at the very end of Men in Black 3 (MIB3)
for the scenario where Agent K forgets to leave a tip. I'm
just say'n it's possible.
media moron ask Bill Nye the Science Guy if the meteor is due
to global warming - pathetic!
Electrical Engineering Crossword - February
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., Hedy Lamar). This
particular puzzle has lots of abbreviations and acronyms.
Micro 3-D Printer Makes
Dust Mite Size Spacehip
with most things, once a physical entity or concept has been produced
there is always the 'need' to build one on the macro scale and on
the micro scale. Here we have a 150-mm-long spaceship that was built
Nanoscribe GmbH using a 3-D laser photolithography printer.
A scanning electron micrograph was needed to capture a picture of
the model due to its smallness. It took about 50 seconds to create
the model out of a photosensitive powder (a video captures the process).
Of course the purpose of the exercise is not to be able to create
spaceships the size of a dust mite, but to demonstrate the capability
using an object that the public will be familiar with and impressed
by. A micro-size
model of a fountain pen just wouldn't cut it.
Good Magazine Articles
from February Issues
Here are a few articles that should be of interest. I try to
avoid including articles that are mainly advertisements for a company's
Microwaves & RF:
White-Space Comms Will
Kickstart the "Internet of
Things", by Paul Whytock
Low-Power Receiver Serves
Multiple Wireless Standards,
by K. Fu, X. Guo,
Y. Tu, C. Liu, J. McGeehan
Metamaterials Form Mini
Bandstop Filters, by
N. Benmostefa, M. Meliani,
H. Ouslimani, M. Feham
Test & Measurement:
Engineering Design Tools,
by Casey Hare
Top 10 Companies College
Grads Want to Work For
another survey is out of the most desirable companies to work for
according to college types. This one is from AfterCollege.com, "the
Network for College Students and Grads." They all claim that.
Here are the results:
My personal #1 would be NASA, then NSA at #2.
Engineering Handbook Vol 2: Microwave Circuits, Antennas and
Propagation, by B. Smith and M.H. Carpentier. The
Microwave Engineering Handbook provides the only complete reference
available on microwave engineering. All entries in the handbook
are written by experts in the area, bringing together an unrivalled
collection of expertise on microwave technology. It covers all of
the major circuit types used in microwave systems and also covers
antennas and propagation, an area vital to microwave systems. The
emphasis is on fundamental principles and practical hardware, providing
a wealth of information for engineers and system designers.
are a few more
electronics conundrums with which to exercise the old noodle.
These are puzzlers from a 1959 Popular Electronics magazine, but
at least one of them (#4) will likely prove to be a real stickler
unless you have seen a similar resistor mesh problem before. There
are no tube circuits to use as an excuse for not getting them -
just resistors, batteries, switches, meters, a motor, and a couple
light bulbs. All four would be fair game to present to an interviewee
to see where he/she stands on basic circuit analysis.
Iran Airs Flight Footage of
all the fundamental changing going on in the country, it's easy
to forget about any one particular significant event. Iran just
sent a reminder about their commandeering of our most advanced RQ-170
Sentinel stealth technology drone in December of 2011.
Revolutionary Guard controllers were able to simply usurp control
and guide the craft to a perfect landing on their airstrip. Evidently
just as with the highly classified stealth helicopter than went
down during the Bin Laden assassination mission and ended up in
a Chinese military hangar for dissection, the drone capture is no
big deal either. I wait with bated breath to see what we yield to
IEEE JobSite Career Alerts
IEEE's weekly JobSite e-mail just arrived. For those of you who
do not subscribe, here are a few of the most useful items in it.
How to Find a Job When
Employers Who Haven't
Dream Jobs 2013
Why You Should Go out of
Your Way to Find an
Awesome Peer Mentor
5 Ways You Can Improve
Your Image to Impress,
Attract Success and Attain
Professor Venus Flytrap
Teaches the Bohr
anyone out there other than me remember watching
WKRP in Cincinnati? Here is a video clip of DJ Venus Flytrap
teaching a lesson on the atomic model to a street thug in a way
he can understand. Unfortunately, he's using the outdated Bohr model
with electrons orbiting the nucleus, but hey, Bohr's work got chemistry
through the middle of the 20th century. With the extreme level of
ignorance these days in the general public, maybe PBS should
broadcast an entire series on science and mathematics using Venus'
method. Maybe they could call it "Essential Science and Math for
Dummies - and Yes, We're Talking About You."
NMIC Ships 10,000th Aluminum
Spreader for GaN
Materials International Corp. (NMIC) today announced that it has
shipped its 10,000th
aluminum diamond metal matrix composite heat spreader for use
in GaN RF power transistors and MMICs. The achievement is a significant
milestone for acceptance of NMIC’s aluminum diamond MMCs and for
manufacturers of defense and commercial RF power amplifiers who
must dissipate the heat generated by high-power-density GaN devices.
Orders for NMIC’s aluminum diamond MMCs have continuously increased
as tests by GaN device, power amplifier, and system manufacturers
have validated the benefits of the technology and as NMIC has optimized
its processes so that it adds minimally to the cost of each device.
College Fund vs. KickStarter
like reading comic strips just for the fun of it. Many of the newer
ones are too political or have nasty characters, but some do a pretty
good job of addressing today's societal concerns in a humorously
clever way without insulting the audience.
Moderately Confused™, by Jeff Stahler, is one of
them. In this one from February 5, the son is asking his parents
if they would prefer to invest in his
project rather than in a college fund. In an age where less than
half of college graduates are getting jobs in their chosen fields
of study, and where payback on exorbitantly high college costs could
take a lifetime, rethinking the direction Junior should take might
be a worthwhile exercise. A lot of people end up much happier in
pursuing a dream/idea early on rather than starting out with
four years of college then being at the mercy of the corporate world.
Not everyone would succeed in a start-up venture while going to
the School of Hard Knocks rather than to a university, but then
most aren't succeeding after graduating nowadays, either. Our daughter
Sally, a straight-A student in college, elected to get Associates'
degrees in business and logistics, then start a
school instead of pursuing Bachelor's degree. She has never
regretted the decision.
Thanks to JQL Electronics
Electronics is a leading manufacturer of
ferrite isolators & circulators, directional couplers,
power divider/combiners, ceramic filters, power transformers,
waveguide to coax adapters, and power supplies. In addition
to their design capability, JQL has strong production capability
to deliver its products. Lead time is among the shortest in the
Pasternack Releases Line of
Enterprises introduces their new line of 50 Watt
medium power attenuators. This innovative line of medium power
attenuators offers one of the most comprehensive selections of RF
connector combinations available, thus eliminating the need for
coaxial adapters or custom cable jumpers to change connector types.
The new medium power 50 Watt attenuators from Pasternack Enterprises
can be ordered with any combination of passivated stainless steel
SMA, TNC and N connectors as well as silver plated brass 7/16 DIN
connectors. Pasternack medium power RF attenuators operate from
DC to 18 GHz depending on connector configuration.
Antenna Design Automation
Design Automation with Scripting and Parameterized EM Analysis,
by MWJ and Agilent, February 7, 1:00 PM ET. Full-wave 3D EM software
is an indispensable tool for designing RF antenna structures. However,
complex array-based antennas can be cumbersome to set up and analyze
in traditional EM software tools. Agilent EMPro has integrated Python
based scripting that provides the user the ability to automate geometry
creation, simulation and data analysis. This, combined with parameterization
of key design variables can greatly accelerate the development process.
This webcast will illustrate the advantages of scripting and parameterization
by considering the example of an MxN element Microstrip Phased Array
YL New & Views
in amateur-ese stands for "young lady." It refers to any ham operator
of the female gender regardless of age. I don't know how many women
were Hams in 1966 when this article appeared in QST, but according
to Communities of the Air: Introducing Radio to the World,
author Susan M. Squier, by 2003 women made up 40% of new amateur
radio license applicants. Judging by amateur radio club rosters
and field day events, YLs don't make up anywhere near 40% of the
Ham population, but maybe they just tend to shun
public light. A 2008 presentation on the YL Radio Website estimated
15% in 2000. I searched around the Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL),
American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) websites for current statistics but could not find
anything specifically about the percentage split between males and
NuWaves Selected to Provide
Engineering announced today that two of its module-level RF products,
the Multi-Octave RF
ConvertaWave2™ Downconverter, have been selected by ViaSat Inc.
to be embedded in the company’s VRG-1000 RF Signal Environment Generator
product line. NuWaves’
MORF accepts a range of intermediate frequency (IF) signals
and delivers a user selectable RF output between 2 and 3000 MHz
for RF transmission. On the RF receiver side, NuWaves’
ConvertaWave2 accepts an RF signal from 200 to 2500 MHz
and delivers a bandwidth-filtered IF of 70 MHz, ready for baseband
processing. Both modules are compact, offer highly precise tuning
resolution, and provide superior out-of-band interference rejection.
“We are very proud that ViaSat selected these commercial-off-the-shelf
products to serve as key RF subsystems in their RF signal environment
generator products,” said Jeff Wells, President and CEO of NuWaves
SynRF for Matlab Circuit
HF-Technik GmbH is offering their Matlab-based circuit analysis
tools as a free download. From their website; "SynRF
allows you to perform the synthesis of RF circuits in seconds.SynRF
calculates the element values and illustrates the transfer function
over frequency. This gives you the information of the bandwidth
of the circuits." SynRF supports the calculation of more than 50
circuit types including various attenuators, impedance transformers
from lumped and distributed elements, phase shifters, resistive
and reactive power dividers, couplers, transmission lines, transmission-line-based
inductors and capacitors, even and odd mode blockers, baluns, lumped
and distributed resonators, band pass filters, and a diplex filter.
The price is definitely right.
Webinar: The Effects of
Jamming on GPS/GNSS
Interference & Spoofing: Origins, Effects and Mitigations for
the Military and Civil Communities, by MWJ and Rohde & Schwarz,
February 6, 2013, 1:00 PM ET. Overview: After a review of GPS signal
structures and current satellite constellation status, this webinar
provides a tutorial examination of how interference affects GPS
signal reception. In particular, interrelations between jammer spectrum
and GPS signal spectrum are explored. The Betz equation for computing
cross coupling between an interference source and a spread spectrum
signal is introduced in the context of GPS signals and the role
of signal and jammer RF propagation is considered.
CAUTION: A video ad will
probably start playing - tell MWJ to stop this annoying practice!
2850 to 3050 MHz
announces a new RoHS compliant VCO model in the S-band. The
SMV2950A-LF operates at 2850 to 3050 MHz with a tuning
voltage range of 0 to 2.5 Vdc. This compact VCO features phase
noise of -85 dBc/Hz @10 kHz offset while operating off
a 3.0 Vdc supply and typically drawing 15 mA of current.
SMV2950A-LF provides the end user typical output power of 3±3 dBm
into a 50 Ω load while operating over the industrial temperature
range of -40 to 85 ºC. This robust VCO suppresses the second
harmonic to better than -15 dBc and covers the frequency range
with a tuning linearity of better than 1.1:1.
is good practice to occasionally rehash old topics for two reasons.
One is that there are always new people coming to the website and
have not seen the information before (at least
not here). The second is because most people, especially
RF Cafe visitors,
experience information overload just about every day so a lot of
unused data gets pushed off the bottom of the memory stack. Although
a bit self-serving, I want to remind you - or inform you for the
first time as the case may be - about the really useful
WayBack Machine (borrowed from Mr. Peabody's
WABAC machine) at archive.org. There, you have a good
chance of finding long-gone web pages. Paul van Oorschot, of
just found the long ago disappearing article titled
Near Field vs. Far Field from the equally mysteriously disappearing
Conformity magazine website.
Are You a Skeuomorphist?
(skeuomorpher in today's vernacular)
American's David Pogue wrote an article titled "Out
with the Real*," which laments the continued widespread use
of skeuomorphs in software. According to Dictionary.com a
skeuomorph is "an ornament or design on an object copied
from a form of the object when made from another material or by
other techniques." Familiar examples include animated book pages
on e-readers that appear to be turning like a physical book, the
desktop wastebasket icon, and clickable buttons for options. He
argues that such an attachment to the past holds back progression
toward the future. In a sense he's correct insofar as a new generation
of people who do not really need to transition from a non-computer
world to a computer-centric world - the technology is now introduced
almost at birth these days. Entirely new software interface strategies
can be designed that more effectively assist the user with operations
if the old crutches are abandoned. Human evolution is spinning its
wheels, so to speak (dang, I just skeuomorped).
Of course if that new software paradigm is taken too far, we will
need to start applying skeuomorphisms
to physical objects to make them simpler to use for the person who
has lived his life on a computer since the time mom and dad gave
him an iPhone-shaped pacifier to teethe on.
*SciAm stupidly uses different titles
for print vs. online articles.
PMI Intros 900 to 930 MHz,
PS-360-900M930M-6-SFF is a 900 MHz to 930 MHz, 6-BIT
digitally controlled phase shifter having a LSB of 5.6 degrees.
The insertion loss is 7 dB typical, 7.5 dB maximum with
a typical VSWR of 2.0:1. This is a high speed phase shifter that
can switch from one phase state to the next in typically 250 nsec.
This model will operate at input power levels up to +14 dBm
CW and operates on a DC power supply of ±15 VDC. The housing
measures 2.0" x 2.1" x 0.5" and is painted gray. Other frequency
ranges are available.
Please Visit Coaxial Dynamics
Dynamics has been a leading manufacturer of precision equipment
for the measurement and termination of RF power for over 30 years.
Their equipment is used by engineers and technicians in a wide variety
of applications throughout the world, and they have sales offices
all over the world to serve your needs. Coaxial Dynamics'
wattmeters appear in the ARRL's monthly QST magazine.
Microwave has been added to the RF Cafe
They are a manufacturer of drop-in and connectorized hybrids &
couplers, combiners & dividers, filters & diplexers, isolators &
circulators, coaxial & optical attenuators & adaptors, terminations,
surge protection, delay lines, connectors, cable & cable assemblies,
laser diodes, and custom assemblies. 978-772-3767 | Devens, MA
Everything You Ever Wanted
to Know About
spending a while perusing Paul van Oorschot's
website, I can say with a high degree of confidence that if there
is anything you need to know about resistors, you will find the
answer there. If it is the fundamentals you're after like power
dissipation, resistance tolerance, stray inductance and capacitance,
law applies, Paul's got you covered. How about package configurations,
color codes and alphanumeric markings? Yep, that's on the website
as well. So also is info on resistor compositions (metal film, metal
oxide, carbon, et al), resistor physical configurations (fixed,
variable, thermistor, magneto resistor, others), and applications
(heating, current limiting, voltage division), and even schematic
symbols for each. Oh, and did I mention all of the instructional
videos? It is probably no exaggeration to say that if you cannot
find the information you need about resistors here, you're not going
to find it anywhere.
Nitronex Has a Senior Product
Product Engineer (ENG13001),
Location: Durham, NC, Department: Engineering.
Basic Function: Senior level experienced engineer to assist
in the development and design of MMIC RF and Microwave products.
This position will drive MMICs and discrete devices from design
engineering to production release. This includes product characterization,
datasheet creation, application board development, automated test
development, statistical analysis and specification definition.
Experience: 5 to 10 years RF product development experience with
at least four years in product engineering, applications or design
field developing RF semiconductor products.
every direction around him, he will rely on other people's knowledge.
The bad news is that this engineer will never know all of engineering;
the good news is that he doesn't have to. The world doesn't work
that way anymore." –
Robert Lucky, January 2013 Spectrum
Many Thanks to RF Dude
Consulting for Support
is always the first person I refer people to when I get a call looking
for an RF/microwave circuit and system designer. Says Lance, "When
for a project you receive design and analysis services in the realm
of applied research and development. We appreciate the big
picture and choose to operate where we can do our best work for
you. Our operation has extremely low overhead which allows
us to be very responsive and efficient. Experience is in medium
volume production where 'design for manufacturing,' 'design for
test,' and overall solution cost have been very important." Please
see Lance's resume
page for more details.
Patent Term Calculator
Compliments of the
United States Patent and Trademark Office does not calculate expiration
dates for patents. In response to patent owner and public inquiry,
the USPTO is providing a downloadable
patent term calculator in Excel format as a resource to help
the public estimate the expiration date of a patent. The
can be used to estimate the expiration dates of utility, plant,
or design patents. The calculator contains prompts to enter
specific information related to the patent in order to help in estimating
Wireless Crossword Puzzle
February 3, 2013
Wireless Engineering-themed crossword puzzle in the bathroom
at your own risk; it's going to take a while. The words are not
real hard, but there are 413 of them. It has been a while since
I made one this large. If you insist on indulging your habit against
my admonishment, you'd better have some Prep H on-hand
(truly bathroom humor).
You're Not Very Smart After All
A Space Odyssey, released in 1968 and based at least in part
on Arthur C. Clarke's 1948 novel The Sentinel, was more
than just a science fiction movie. It was a reflection
on the public's and even some of the scientific community's trepidation
over the potential power of run-amok computers to be used for or
even themselves commit evil (e.g, HAL 9000). Fear of the unknown
is nothing new. Noted mathematicians and computer scientists quoted
in this 1950 article from
The Saturday Evening Post worry about robots
(aka computers) "going insane" or being
used by the likes of Hitler and Stalin to dominate the world with
totalitarian rule. Others, however, have a more optimistic outlook:
"The men who build the robots do not share these terrors. Far from
destroying jobs, they testify, they will create new ones by the
hundreds of thousands, just as the industrial revolution eventually
did. Moreover, most of the robot builders would make book that in
time 'thinking machinery' will bring about a happier, healthier
civilization than any known heretofore. What the odds on Utopia...
Skyworks Does TI Reference
Design for Smart
Solutions has secured a reference design with Texas Instruments
Incorporated (TI) for smart energy, industrial and networking applications
including electric/gas/water meters, street lighting, telematic
and tracking systems. Skyworks' highly integrated, power efficient
front-end solutions are in volume production and compatible with
single-chip transceivers for wireless systems requiring high performance
at low power and voltage. "TI is delighted to be collaborating with
Skyworks to develop a new reference design using TI's sub-1 GHz
RF performance line transceiver and Skyworks' front-end solutions,"
said Terje Lassen of TI.
January 2013 Book Drawing
C. of Ballwin, MO, is a winner of the
January 2013 book drawing.
Jim selected The Micro-Doppler Effect in Radar, by Victor
C. Chen. Graciously provided by
Spread Spectrum Comms
by Another Name
(Random Access and Correlation for Extended Performance), was an
early form of
frequency hopping spread spectrum (HFSS) devised by the Martin
Company (now Lockheed-Martin). It was used for secure voice communications
and worked by sampling speech in small 'slices' and then transmitting
each slice modulated onto a carrier whose frequency was determined
by a predetermined sequence of center frequencies. A receiver with
a matching sequence key would then decode the speech and, with appropriate
filtering, reassemble it into its original content. President John
F. Kennedy had such systems at his disposal whether on the road
or in the Oval Office. General Electric (GE) had a different idea
it dubbed 'Phantom' that spread the signal over a very wide bandwidth.
Today, we refer to it as Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS).
Not to be outdone, Hughes Aircraft...
Please Visit DCH Systems in Appreciation of
Systems designs and manufactures high power military wireless networking
amplifiers and RF systems. Their products provide range extension,
higher data rates, and increased performance in both legacy and
next-generation commercial and military UAV data/video links and
also networks based on 802.11, WiMAX, LTE, and proprietary standards.
See their line of Mil-Spec RF products:
Antennas, by S. Drabowitch, A. Papiernik, Hugh Griffiths, J. Encinas,
and B.L. Smith. A complete and rigorous treatment of design principles
for modern antennas, including chapters on signal theory and signal
processing antennas, radar and polarimetry. Contains significant
new material on antennas for mobile communications to supply a complete
picture of antennas for
modern radio communications
applications. Says a reviewer, "This is an excellent book both technically
and because it gives a 'fresh' European perspective on modern antenna
engineering written by practicing antenna designers."
vida RF Magazine Ad
in hard economic time like the entire world is experiencing now,
it is necessary to continue advertising campaigns in order to capture
as large a piece of the consumer pie as possible. I offer my advertisers
an opportunity to have their magazine ads posted here since they
are able to present more information than can be accommodated on
one of the many Product
Vendor pages on RF Cafe. The newest addition was supplied by
a manufacturer of RF cables, and many types of RF / microwave components
like coupler, attenuators, and baluns.