the works to my bottle." Any idea what that means? Neither did I.
"You went out just like a Swedish match in a Kansas hurricane..."
Ever heard that saying? Neither had I. I never knew Swedish matches
had a reputation for easily going out. I never knew the swedes made
matches. Evidently the tech jargon in 1935 was a bit different than
today. This story from QST will introduce you to many new terms
short read. The guy in the story looks a lot like the Ham in the
2013 Field Day patch (sans specs).
latest installment of EDN's Tales from the Cube series.
In it, author
Bruce Mainwaring describes his ingenious process for emergency
testing assembled and ready to ship product for a bad inductor.
It involved building an
EM simulation model
for the test implement and then qualifying it with a Kappa analysis
inductor. The action saved his company significant embarrassment.
microwave/RF coaxial connectors, cables, cable assemblies, microwave/RF
antennas and RF accessories. With the experienced R&D engineers &
technicians, active marketing staff, up-to-date production equipment
and measuring instruments, WOKEN designs its own RF / microwave
products for meeting all kinds of requirements demanded by its customers
at communication markets.
has been at the forefront in
navigation automation for many years. They developed some of
the first systems for keeping cars in lines of traffic without the
driver needing to constantly apply brakes or step on the gas (or
battery) pedal. You can find lots of cool videos on their work.
This video shows a new system for automatically parking a car via
a smartphone app. I'm sure somewhere there is a group of lawyers
just salivating at the prospect of lawsuits when someone gets her
legs pinned between cars in the process. Maybe it will just be a
smashed bicycle, or flattened puppy, but you know they can't wait
for an opportunity.
quiz is based on the information presented in
Microstrip Lines and Slotlines, by Ramesh Garg, Inder Bahl,
and Maurizio Bozzi. The book was graciously provided by
House. As with many books used for quizzes, this one will eventually
be made available as prize for the
RF Cafe monthly
These quizzes are also good
fodder for selecting interview questions for applicants and for
brushing up on the basics if you are the interviewee.
P4T-100M2G-50-T-SFF-IN is an absorptive, single pole, four throw
solid-state switch that operates over the 100 MHz to 2.0 GHz
frequency range. The insertion loss is less than 3dB and offers
port to port isolation of over 50 dB. The switching speed is
25 nsec maximum and the rise and fall times are less than 10 nsec.
The control is via four independent TTL lines with Logic "0" being
the low-loss state and Logic "1" being the isolation state. This
switch operates on ±5 VDC
Richard Barker, of Kitmondo, wrote to request a listing on my
(new & used) vendor resource page. Kitmondo is based in
the UK and is "an online marketplace where buyers and sellers of
used business and industrial equipment can find each other and trade
safely." They currently have many pieces of
TE and individual RF components like amplifiers and attenuators.
is a scheme whereby inventors
and other types of startup individuals and groups pitch their plan
to the public and solicit payment of funds with the promise of certain
goods or services when and if the monetary goal is met or exceeded.
If, for instance, I wanted to develop new RF system planning software
and needed, say, $100,000 to produce a beta version, I might promise
$50 donors ('investors') a specially designed T-shirt, $100 donors
an early beta for evaluation and discount on first release, and
$500 donors a full release version.
magazine had as their June edition theme leadership. If nothing
else, the collection of articles proved the old adage about opinions
being like ***holes - everybody has one. There were some worthwhile
tidbits, though, like this quote from Captcha co-founder
Luis Von Ahn: "Competition among investors is good. If you are
talking to one big VC and wind up talking to another, they will
find out. How much that matters is insane."
DP1203 Series radio-only RF transceiver module is designed for
the wireless transmission of digital data at data rates of up to
152.3 kbps. Operating in the 433, 868 and 915 MHz license-free
ISM frequency bands, this module series is ideal for applications
that require full-control of the radio channels and configuration,
without having to go through the effort and expense of a discrete
RF design. The module has a maximum output power of +15 dBm
and a receiver sensitivity of –111 dBm. This gives the module
a typical line of sight range of 2 to 3 miles at the maximum output
power with typical monopole whip antennas, depending on frequency.
a break and let this week's
engineering-themed crossword puzzle be a Father's Day present
to yourself. All the words are pulled from a hand-built list of
terms, names, and abbreviations that have only to do with science,
mathematics, and engineering. If you want a crossword with names
of movie stars and obscure countries, try the local newspaper. If
you want to exercise your nerd knowledge, this is the one for you.
is an interesting chart from Reuters that shows which countries
highest rate of collecting data from tech companies. Google,
Microsoft, Skype, and Twitter are evidently the top suppliers of
personal data. I'm guessing the U.S. is at the top at least partially
because the tech companies are based in the U.S. and therefore the
NSA, IRS, DHS, and other 3-letter agencies are able to exert
the most influence. Of course what is not shown are countries that
make no pretense of granting citizens a right of personal privacy
such as Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and other Communist
regimes. Our government exploits a populace that actually expects
privacy because the Constitution mandates it. They don't need to
heed no stinking Constitution.
word 'transformer' in the title for this article does not refer
to a mutual inductance transformer, but an impedance transformer
matching transmission lines to antennas (or anything else for
that matter). Author T.A. Gadwa gives examples of impedance-matching
circuits both for when the antenna impedance is lower than the characteristic
impedance of the transmission line and when the antenna impedance
is higher than that of the feed line. "L," "pi," and a couple other
circuit configurations are covered.
the latest adventure of
Sherlock Ohms, Mr. Frank Karkota tells of his experience with
satellite receiver for reception of free-to-air (FTA) programs.
"The receiver worked great, and I mapped hundreds of television
and radio stations on the various satellites. Later, some of the
stations disappeared. Then, more started disappearing, until I couldn't
find any stations. Since my analog receiver still worked, I concluded
that the digital receiver had failed. I opened the receiver and
found that in one corner was the RF section, another corner had
the digital section, and the other side housed the power supply..."
Solutions today announced that it is partnering with SMC Networks,
a leading customer premise equipment manufacturer for multi-service
operators (MSOs), to develop wireless connectivity solutions for
security, monitoring and automation (SMA) applications in the emerging
connected home market. SMC is utilizing Skyworks’ wireless
ZigBee® front-end solutions for security sensors, smoke alarms,
motion detectors and touch pads. “SMC is joining forces with Skyworks
to deliver innovative solutions for the connected home,” said Max
Brogi, vice president of product management at SMC Networks.
the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA software, has finalized
the agendas and opened registration for the summer
Forums (ADF) 2013 being held in
Seoul, Korea on Monday, July 8th and
Tokyo, Japan on Friday, July 12th. The ADF is a free and open
event where designers of microwave and RF circuits and systems such
as MMICs, RF PCBs, and LTE communication systems can network, share
useful information and resources pertinent to high-frequency design,
and collaborate on industry issues and trends.
terms like 'magnetostriction,' mu-metal,' and 'D-ring' arouse your
technostimulus receptors, then this
quiz on magnetics should be just what you've been waiting for.
It appeared in a 1962 edition of Popular electronics, but the principles
therein have not changed since then. I must admit that I had never
given thought to the orientation in which bar magnets should be
stored when in close proximity to each other.
Integrated Circuits, by Rosin Voinigescu. A transistor-level,
design-intensive overview of high speed and high frequency monolithic
integrated circuits for
and broadband systems from 2 GHz to 200 GHz, this
comprehensive text covers high-speed, RF, mm-wave, and optical fibre
circuits using nanoscale CMOS, SiGe BiCMOS, and III-V technologies.
Step-by-step design methodologies, end-of chapter problems, and
practical simulation and design projects are provided, making this
an ideal resource for senior undergraduate and graduate courses
in circuit design. With an emphasis on device-circuit topology interaction
and optimization, it gives circuit designers and students alike
an in-depth understanding of device structures and process limitations
affecting circuit performance. This book is the subject to
RF Cafe Quiz #49.
provides a wide range of high quality
microwave products with quick delivery time at very competitive
low prices. Their products include coaxial connectors and adapters,
circulators, isolators, low noise amplifiers, power amplifiers,
broadband amplifiers, terminations and more, covering the frequency
range of 100 MHz to 110 GHz.
take a moment and vote in this poll. No sign-in-required. Results
are displayed automatically. Thanks!
Microwave has launched several new, highly integrated I/Q upconverter
and downconverter products which cover the licensed 38 GHz
and 42 GHz bands in microwave radios for cellular backhaul
radio links. The
HMC6787ALC5A and the
HMC6146BLC5A are GaAs MMIC I/Q variable gain upconverters which
form a competitive and cost-effective microwave radio transmitter
solution which has been designed to meet or exceed all of the performance
criteria required for modern high capacity QAM microwave radios.
HMC6787ALC5A operates from 37 to 40 GHz and provides a
small signal conversion gain of 10 dB with 17 dBc of sideband
rejection, and 13 dB of gain control.
people were reluctant to approach the theoretical aspect of electronics
as it applied to circuit design and analysis, QST
(the ARRL's monthly publication) included
equations and explanations in many of their project building articles.
Occasionally, an article was published that dealt specifically with
how to use simple mathematics for
electronics calculations. In the July 1944 edition is the third
installation of at least a four-part tutorial that covers resistance
and reactance, amplifier biasing oscillators, feedback circuits,
etc. I do not have Part I from the May 1944 edition or Part IV
from the August 1944 edition, but if you want to send me those editions,
I'll be glad to scan and post them.
PRISM program has been in the headlines lately because of its omnipotent,
omnipresent purpose of recording every possible form of electronic
communication into, out of, and within the U.S. Per the Constitution's
4th Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue,
but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to
be seized." What part of that is difficult to understand? If such
blatant disregard for the law is deemed necessary to protect the
country, why didn't it prevent the Benghazi, Ft. Hood, and Boston
Marathon terrorist attacks? The government had ample info on record
about all three but ignored it for political correctness reasons.
Surely they knew the Benghazi attack was not due to "an offensive
video" prior to selling the lie to the public. Yet, when it comes
to targeting specific political groups, the IRS seems to know all
it needs to manipulate national elections.
Think you're safe from PRISM,
et al, since you've done nothing wrong? Watch who you offend - if
not today then tomorrow when control changes hands.
Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of wireless products
such as radio frequency
announces a distribution agreement with
DComponents Corporation, a global electronics distributor with
a strong presence worldwide that provides catalog distribution catering
to design engineers, engineering students, research labs and Original
Equipment Manufacturers. DComponents Corporation will sell and support
Linx modules, connectors and
Antenna Factor antennas.
is a quick course on how to point antennas for over-the-horizon
(DX) reception, and, if you also happen
to have a license to transmit, for broadcasting. It covers how to
determine the shortest
straight-line path by stretching a string around a globe
(remember those spherical maps that used to
be a mainstay of every household and schoolroom?) and using
a protractor (a what?) to get the angle.
Author Edward Noll uses a simple 1/2-wave dipole antenna radiation
pattern as an example of how directivity is affected by frequency
(relative to the fundamental).
magnification is only useful to the point where resolution is limited
by the wavelength of light representing the object under observation.
Astronomer William Dawes first provided a means of quantification
based on an ability to visually resolve closely spaced stars. Known
as the Dawes Limit, a value of 4.56/D arc seconds was empirically
determined (D is aperture of instrument in inches). A theoretical
upper limit to magnification of any optical system with perfect
optics is around 2,000. The
electron microscope removed that resolving limit by shooting
a stream of electrons with radii much less than the wavelength of
visible light, and measuring its reflection. Images are necessarily
in 'false color' because we cannot perceive the real wavelength/color
of the surface revealed by the electron beam.
month I select someone to receive a
from those provided by Artech House or Cambridge University Press.
They are often books I have used to create
quizzes. How to enter? Either
buy one of my inexpensive
offerings or send me an e-mail. This month's winner, Bogdan V.,
selected Introduction to
RF Design Using EM Simulators (Artech
House), by Hiroaki and Yoshie Kogure, and James Rautio. "Richly
illustrated, this resource provides novice engineers and engineering
students with a solid introduction to the use of EM simulation in
RF design. This book describes exactly how microwave and high-speed
digital circuits operate, offering practitioners clear troubleshooting
guidance for their work with these circuits. DVD is included."
one of the reasons we can't sell a telecom switch in most countries,
for instance." -
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, on news
of NSA's ubiquitous
PRISM spy program that coerces companies into complying with
demands for user data. (what
a difference 5 years makes - video)
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.
Laser Systems has introduced a new and improved data accessory named
“Pinpoint Capture™” for the popular
Laser Microgage industrial measuring and alignment system. Pinpoint
Capture™ allows operators to quickly grab measurement readings,
on the fly, from as many as four remote laser receivers to analyze
the alignment and performance of their production machinery and
industrial equipment. The software is a powerful, Windows-based
application that quickly records incoming readings, displays results
and enables added control.
noise diodes are fairly inexpensive these days and are widely used
for measuring noise figure of systems and for generating specific
signal-to-noise ratios when testing receiver performance. This article
from a 1967 edition of QST describes a method for using a
'hot resistor,' aka 'monode,' as a noise reference source. When
the temperature (T) and the resistance (R) is known, a noise power
can be calculated with a precision limited by the precision of the
T and R measurements. The tungsten filament of a pilot lamp is used
as the resistor.
I have just forgotten, I never remember seeing the
math term Ff
(pronounced "eff-sub-eff") prior to
the other night while reading an article on dark matter. Now that
I know, I'll be sure to use it in my writing somewhere. Highlight
the following text to see what it stands for if you don't already
know. "Ff = Fudge factor"
Established in 1979, Reactel is
an industry leader in the design and manufacture of
RF and microwave
filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer a line of
filters covering DC-50 GHz. The latest in CAD/CAM methods and
equipment in all design and manufacturing processes are used along
with a machine shop complete using CNCs, which gives the ability
to produce long production runs quickly and economically. The testing
department is equipped with the latest in Agilent network analyzers
offering quick, dependable, and accurate measurements.
have no idea why this quiz is titled what it is. LSI stands for
"Large Scale Integration" and is generally applied to integrated
circuits, not discrete components. The quiz's creator has come up
with 17 questions, only the first of which has anything to do with
LSI circuits. The other 16 are on topics like capacitor plate spacing,
magnetorestrictive material, and coaxial cable. I realize that
LSI attempts to minimize the number of external components necessary
by absorbing them into the IC, but I'm just not sure what that has
to do with whether a submarine can communication via SHF while submerged.
Solutions today announced that an increasing number of its products
are enabling telematics and infotainment systems in the
market. Telematics is the term used to describe the integrated
use of computers and electronic technology in automobiles for wireless
communication applications such as cell phones, the Internet and
GPS receivers. Skyworks’ industry-leading SOI switching technology
is already being utilized by global car manufacturers for seamless
low noise and broadband handoffs between audio, Blu-ray/DVD, navigation,
cell phone and vehicle security display inputs.
today being the 69th anniversary (June 6, 1944) of the D-Day invasion
of Normandy on the coast of France, I thought posting this advertisement
Hallicrafters from the July 1944 edition of QST would be apropos.
This issue of the magazine probably arrived in ARRL member's mailboxes
within a few weeks of the miraculously successful invasion of Omaha
Beach, Utah Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach, and Sword Beach. When
you consider that in those days - and also not so long ago for that
matter - the lead time for going to the printing presses was measured
in months, the fact that this ad made the final cut for the next
month's issue (July) is noteworthy.
Hence, I duly make note.
month the IEEE JobSite sends out an e-mail with a few helpful hints
and stories regarding job
hunting. Even though the stock market is soaring, employment
is not, so you can probably use any help available to find a new
job - whether you are currently employed or unemployed.
Mastering the Art of Giving a Job Reference
How Veteran HR Professionals Really Feel about Job Seekers from
1 in 10 Young People Losing out on Jobs Because of Pics and Comments
on Social Media
Solutions today unveiled a portfolio of LNAs that provide best-in-class
noise figure, a critical component to boosting weak incoming signals
for today’s 4G wireless infrastructure as well as diverse broad
market systems including GPS, broadband, military and satellite
communications. OEMs can now leverage a single Skyworks LNA
to address all cellular, ISM and military bands, enabling unconditional
stability and simple band specific external matching across a wide
mere sight of a
Nixie tube evokes passion and nostalgia in the hearts and minds
of vintage electronics aficionados. For the uninitiated, Nixie tubes
were one of the most successful early numeric display formats. They
had wire filaments shaped in the form of numerals 0 through 9, stacked
front-to-back inside a vacuum tube enclosure. Rather than the filament
(wire) doing the glowing, the neon
gas (plus traces of others) fluoresces
(glows) in the vicinity of the wire.
7-segment LED displays had not yet hit the commercial market when
this story was published in 1970, so even though the numeric display
uses vacuum tubes (Nixie) the power
supply, counter, and display driver circuits use semiconductors
rather than vacuum tubes.
of CMOS Operational Amplifiers, by Rasoul Dehghani. CMOS
op amps are one of the most important building blocks in many of
circuits. This cutting-edge volume provides you with an analytical
method for designing CMOS Op Amp circuits, placing emphasis on the
practical aspects of the design process. This unique book takes
an in-depth look at CMOS differential amplifiers, explaining how
they are the main part of all Op Amps. Complete chapters dedicated
to the critical issues of CMOS output stages, fully differential
Op Amps, and CMOS reference generators.
Engineering is exhibiting its high performance, miniaturized RF
products and is also introducing and demonstrating the latest product
entry to the
NuPower™ product line of small, lightweight, and power-efficient
RF PA modules – an S- & C-band power amplifier – at the 2013
IMS hosted by the MTT-S. The NuPower™ S- & C-band PA joins
a growing line of high-performance RF PA modules that cover VHF,
UHF, L-band, S-band, and C-band frequencies in miniature and ruggedized
packages as small as 1.3 cubic inches. The PA accepts delivers at
least 15 watts of saturated power across 2500-6000 MHz.
are filled every day with new, radical applications for the rapidly
advancing 3D printer phenomenon.
3D-printed prototypes for developmental models have been around
for a few years now, but the paradigm is changing to include finished
products. Just as you can send a file for a printed circuit board
that you design to a vendor for rapid turn-around fabrication, you
can now ship a
3D CAD file
to companies that will print your object.
enclosures, statues, even wearable clothing can be turned out as
single or multiple components for assembly. Last week a story appeared
3D-printed airway being used to save a baby's life. Available
material media and step resolution is not yet advanced enough to
make a metal ball bearing, but it will get there. The May 2013 edition
Smithsonian magazine has a good article on the state
of the art.
announces a new RoHS compliant VCO model
V950ME36-LF in the C-band. This octave tuning VCO operates at
5120 to 6120 MHz with a tuning voltage range of 0 to 22 Vdc
and provides better than 1.1:1 tuning linearity. This high performance
VCO features a spectrally clean signal of -87 dBc/Hz @ 100 kHz
offset and a typical tuning sensitivity of 51 MHz/V. The V950ME36-LF
is designed to deliver 0 dBm of output power into a 50 Ω
load while operating off a 5 Vdc supply and drawing typically 22 mA
Boy Scouts of America was formed in 1910 in conjunction with The
Boy Scouts Association in the UK. Per their 2007 website statement,
"The aim of the Association is to promote the development of young
people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and
spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and
as members of their local, national and international communities."
Part of being a Boy Scout is earning merit badges by performing
certain community services and by demonstrating proficiency at defined
tasks. Radio proficiency is one such merit badge. In order to earn
Radio merit badge, along with certain other projects the Boy
Scout must participate in either Amateur Radio, Broadcast Radio,
or Shortwave Listening...
Technologies designs and manufactures solid state
broadband linear RF
power amplifiers for commercial, military, medical and industrial
applications. RF amplifiers range 10 kHz to 3 GHz in frequency
and power levels exceeding 1 kW.
Standard products can be
quickly modified to your specific requirements. Full custom requests
are welcome. Our team of RF Engineers have over 20 years in the
field and are dedicated to providing the best in value, performance
take a moment and vote in this poll. No sign-in-required. Results
are displayed automatically. Thanks!
Microwave announces a line of
RF variable/step attenuators that can be used to adjust the
power signal level continuously or by step within certain frequency
range. They can also to adjust the test system's power as inset
attenuator. Attenuation ranges from 0 to 120 dB with step sizes
as small as 1 dB are available at frequencies up to 3 GHz.
Power handling of 2 W to 30 W, with N, SMA or BNC
connectors. These parts can work at operating
could be the first year of crippling
care insurance costs, but major changes begin next year. Per
the Department of the Treasury's new document, "Shared
Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage,"
the 'Affordable' health care act is projecting the following mandatory
plans for all people (see page 56 for examples):
Single w/no dependents = $5,000, Married w/dependents = $20,000.
Those numbers are straight from the IRS document. Your employer
pays it or passes some or all of it on to you. Low income and Illegals
(both strong voting bases) will pay
nothing or else get subsidies. You cannot opt out. Remember, the
IRS is in charge of collection. Redistribution and reparations are
here, folks. Whom should we who will be paying the bill thank for
this - anyone you know?
entire RF Cafe staff (that would be Melanie
and me) are required to undergo firearms proficiency training
twice per year. We just completed the spring 2013 qualification.
Included are 380, 9mm, and .38 special handguns, and a 20GA shotgun
and brand spanking new 30-30 lever action from Henry Repeating Arms.
The 30-30 is like what was used to win and tame the wild west. The
first 5 rounds for both of us at 50 yds. clustered within an 6 in.
diameter - sans scope.
I make decisions on what and how to post on RF Cafe, part of my
strategy is to not do what I hate about other websites.
are at the top of my list:
* Audio playing automatically
without my permission
never to link
to pages that
initiate audio automatically)
* Full-page ads with or without
a countdown timer
* Short articles being broken
into multiple pages
get you to click more
You will know RF Cafe is under different management the day you
see any of those things happen here.
rely on our early customers to identify issues like this for us."
- Fisker Automotive representative to IEEE
Spectrum's John Voelcker during demo drive when the $106k Karma
electric car put itself to sleep while recovering from a fault.
Now that's bad karma.
Every month I peruse our industry's leading magazines for good
articles that cover topics pertinent to they typical RF Cafe visitor.
Here are a few of the latest.
Design Solution for
Achieving the Lowest
Possible Receiver Noise
Figure (I worked with these
two guys a while back)
A Topsy-Turvy World
Aerospace & Defense and
Test & Measurement
Crystal Oscillators – Low
Phase Noise Under Vibration
Identifying Emission Sources
networks are probably the most common types of
impedance matching networks not just for antennas, but for a
relatively narrowband load. Determining the required values for
the network is relatively simple using well-established equations.
Knowing how to use a Smith Chart makes the job even easier. This
article from a 1966 edition of QST presents the equation
approach. If you have access to the May 2013 edition of QST,
there is a complimentary article on L networks that uses the free
Smith Chart cross-platform Java software called SimSmith. If you
want to do a little complex number math, try the 1966 approach.
Solutions, Inc. has introduced a miniature 0402 PIN diode for attenuator
and transmit / receive switching applications. The
SMP1302-040LF is a small form factor, low profile, discrete
surface mount technology packaged solution that is ideal for the
handset, WLAN, CATV/Satcom, land mobile radio and infrastructure
markets. This diode offers very low insertion loss, good isolation,
low inductance and fast switching in a very small package.
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