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 with a
short read. The guy in the story looks a lot like the Ham in the 2013 Field Day patch (sans
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.
specializes in 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 automobile 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
Artech House. As with many books used for quizzes,
this one will eventually be made available as prize for the
RF Cafe monthly book drawing.
These quizzes are also good fodder for selecting interview questions for
applicants and for brushing up on the basics if you are the interviewee.
Model No. 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
Test Equipment (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
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."
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 have the
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 FBI, 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
word 'transformer' in the title for this article does not refer to a mutual inductance transformer, but an impedance
transformer for 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 a used
digital 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 networking
and 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 AWR Design 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
wireless 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 RF and 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. The 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
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
RF modules, 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
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 free book 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 software 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
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"
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 automotive 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 by 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 Millennial Generation
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 voltage range.
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 today s integrated 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
Engineering is exhibiting its high performance, miniaturized RF products and is also introducing and demonstrating
the latest product entry to the
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 about a
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 of
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
proficiency at defined tasks. Radio proficiency is one such merit badge. In order to earn the
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 and reliability.
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 health 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. Three annoyances are at the top of my list:
* Audio playing automatically
without my permission (I try
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 just to
get you to click
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
Achieving the Lowest
(I worked with these
two guys a while back)
- A Topsy-Turvy World
(state of defense)
- Aerospace &
Test & Measurement
- Crystal Oscillators
Phase Noise Under
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 clothing designers.