Windfreak Tech designs, manufactures,
tests and sells high value radio frequency products such as RF Signal Generators, RF Synthesizers, RF Power Detectors, RF Mixers, RF Upconverters and RF downconverters. They develop
high quality, reliable, low cost products to make your life easier. Windfreak Tech is developing high quality, low cost
products to make life easier for RF Engineers and hobbyist. Future products will be more synthesizers, transmitters, receivers
and test equipment. All at low cost. Please note that Windfreak Tech has relocated to Florida.
Continuing to build
momentum and recognition for their "Size Matters" HPA platforms,
Empower RF Systems is hosting live demonstrations of their 1 kW, 20 to 1000 MHz, 5U chassis design
(model 2162) at IMS 2013, Booth 1827. Packaged in a 5U, air cooled chassis and delivering
over 1 kW of output power, three specific models are released (in the frequency ranges of 20 to 500
MHz, 500 to 1000 MHz, and 20 to 1000 MHz), and more on the way based on an amplifier architecture that offers unrivaled
size / power advantages. Specs are guaranteed across full bandwidth and over temperature. Embedded controls and
user access are standard.
I saw a headline on EDN about
Heathkit being back - again. They reappeared a couple years ago with a few small build-it-yourself electronics kits, but
that quickly died out. I immediately went to the Heathkit website and saw its sole content, the U.S. postage stamp with
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) speaking his famous quote,
"Just say the report of my death has been grossly exaggerated." Pretty clever. There are no hyperlinks, just the stamp,
copyright info, and the Heathkit logo. The
had a link to an online survey asking
people what they want to see in the way of kits. In case you don't know the origin of the Twain quote, here is
Bartleby's attribution: "In 1897, Twain was living in
London where a cousin, Dr. Jim Clemens, fell ill. The newspapers, believing Twain was near death, sent reporters to investigate.
Twain made his remark when the correspondent for the Evening Sun told him his death had been reported in New York, and asked
what he should cable in reply." (Bartleby, of "I would prefer not to." fame, was the
scrivener in Melville's eponymous story)
Designs and develops innovative wireless products. They
design and develop products that analyze, measure, control, and communicate. In-house developed customizable, modular wireless
platform, RFOS™ , allows them to
do this better, faster and with less NRE cost. Venture wraps their core embedded wireless capability in full service "spec
to production" product development.
Tales from the Cube is
an occasional feature published by EDN. It is akin to Sherlock Ohms in that readers submit stories of
personal experiences. This is an interesting account of troubleshooting a circuit under extremely pressing conditions -
it might determine whether the maiden flight of the F-117A Nighthawk would happen on schedule. Author
Edward Nauman worked at Lockheed Skunk Works.
Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) usage was an
unknown entity in the day for such projects, so when a specially selected and vetted part ended up having an inherent design
shortcoming, it could really spell disaster for the end user design team. Interestingly, the ensuing discussion by readers
ends up debating the spelling of 'gauge' vs. 'gage.'
transistor (UJT) was originally known as a 'double-base diode' and explains why to this day the terminals are labeled
'E,' 'B1,' and B2.' It is commonly modeled as a diode connected between two resistors, with one resistor being variable.
As the name implies, unlike a bipolar junction transistor (BJT) that is more familiar to most people and has two semiconductor
junctions connected to the base, a UJT has just one junction. As is explained in detail in the article, the net effect of
the UJT's arrangement is a region of negative resistance which makes it good for use as an oscillator. In fact, the relaxation
oscillator was one of the most popular uses of the UJT.
Frequency modulation (FM) was,
is, and shall always be: x(t) = Xc·cos [Ωct + β·sin (Ωmt)], where the carrier is xc(t)
= Xc·cos (Ωct), and the modulating signal is xm(t) = β·sin (Ωmt). Yea verily,
thus sayeth Edwin H. Armstrong. Amen. The methods for generating and degenerating[sic] FM might vary, but the fundamentals
do not vary. Mr. Armstrong developed and patented his system of frequency modulation in the late 1920s and early 1930s,
so when this article appeared in QST in 1939, FM was still fairly new - or even unknown - to most people. Household
radio dials still had only markings for the commercial AM band (520 - 1720 kHz) and, in a few cases, a couple shortwave
bands (also AM). The information presented here is suitable for study by anyone at any time.
You have probably seen the news about asteroid "QE2" (1.5 miles
wide, like the one which eradicated the dinosaurs) that will pass within 3.6 million miles of the Earth on May 31.
That might seem like far, but it is only 15x the distance between Earth and the moon. Anyway, this
Frank and Ernest comic strip appeared
on May 13th and I cut it out to remind me to post it today, on the eve of QE2. QE2, BTW, is a nerd pun on the potential
destruction to Earth that the government's Quantitative
Easing policy might cause.
Digital Front-End in Wireless Communications and Broadcasting: Circuits and Signal
Processing, by Fa-Long Luo. Covering everything from
signal processing algorithms to integrated
circuit design, this complete guide to digital front-end is invaluable for professional engineers and researchers in the
fields of signal processing, wireless communication and circuit design. Showing how theory is translated into practical
technology, it covers all the relevant standards and gives readers the ideal design methodology to manage a rapidly increasing
range of applications. Step-by-step information for designing practical systems is provided, with a systematic presentation
of theory, principles, algorithms, standards and implementation.
Z-Comm announces a new
RoHS compliant VCO model CRO0419A-LF
for P25 mobile radios and basestation equipment. The CRO0419A-LF is designed to operate between at 390 and 440 MHz
within a tuning voltage range of 0.5 to 5 Vdc. This VCO features phase noise of -117 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset
and a typical tuning sensitivity of 17 MHz/V. The robust CRO0419A-LF provides the end user typical output power of
-4.0 dBm into a 50 Ω load while operating off a 5 Vdc supply and drawing 40 mA.
Popular comic strips
(aka 'funnies') in the 1930s and 1940s featured numbskulls, ne'er-do-wells, and simpletons.
There was usually one character in the strip's cast that was smart - at least in a relative way if not absolute. Being
familiar with some of the old comics like Blondie, Barney Google, Krazy Kat, Beetle Bailey, Gasoline Alley, etc., I can
see a definite relationship between the story line of "Entertaining Uncle Oscar" and the comics of the era in this short
piece that appeared in a 1939 edition of the ARRL's QST magazine. As you might guess, the feller named 'Ham' is
the smart one.
NuWaves has published its MayNuWaves has published its May
2013 newsletter. They invite you to meet them at the MTT-S show in Seattle, introduce a new bi-directional RF amplifier
for the L and S bands, and tell a little of what they've been up to.
RF Cafe depends on the generosity of advertisers
to provide me with enough income to subsist on. American Standard Circuits
has been doing so for many years. Please visit their website to see whether they offer anything you can use. The ASC staff
is made up of world class, highly experienced Ph.D. materials scientists, engineers, Six Sigma black belts, and several
Six Sigma green belt candidates undergoing training. ASC has state-of-the-art process control systems.
Anatech Electronics, Inc. has free passes for the 2013 MTT-S IMS show in Seattle Washington.
These passes allow complimentary access to the IMS exhibition floor. We are offering passes on a first come first serve
basis. If you are planning to attend and would like to obtain these passes please contact us as soon as possible. It happens
When you think of printed circuits,
probably what comes to mind is what is really a photo-etched circuit board. In the early days of printed circuits a lot
of the circuits actually were 'printed' on a substrate of some sort. A silkscreen process was often used for low resistance
interconnects and printed inductors, as well as for printed resistors on materials like fiber, plastic, phenolic, and even
(yikes) asbestos board. There is still what is called a thick film screen printing process
used today primarily in military systems, but overwhelmingly the photo etching process is used to generate circuit boards.
In the era of vacuum tubes, it was not uncommon to have grid biasing circuits printed directly on the glass enclosure using
a resistive paint and then trimming for the target resistance by removing excess material. This article shows an example
of a circuit printed on a
December 1950 issue of Radio & Television News ran a series of articles on Navy communications. This was a
mere four years after the end of World War II and right at the beginning days of the Korean War. Communist and fascist
regimes never give the world a moment's rest (some - not me - think just being nice to them will
cause them to be nice in return). Discussed here are issues still relevant to modern outfitting of naval assets with
new or updated
communications equipment. Unlike land-based systems, naval environments impose increased requirements
for ruggedness due to harsh vibration, impact, and corrosion issues. Weight added above the waterline needs to be offset
with weight below the water line to preserve stability. Reliability and personnel training also need to be increased because
being at sea means access to replacement parts, operators, and service technicians are harder to accommodate. The military
people (officer and enlisted) who do the work do so out of dedication and a sense...
Please take a moment to visit Vector Telecom to see
whether they have products useful to you. Vector Telecom has fully instrumented microwave, millimeterwave, & antenna
laboratories and production facilities. Their professional engineers have backgrounds from telecommunications, electronics,
space and aviation industries, with frequencies up to 50 GHz and at globally competitive prices.
Perhaps the most interesting
aspect of this chart is the animated way in which it changes shape when you click the "Show Industries" button. As technology
and human capability increases over time, our expectations increase for more sophisticated and entertaining presentations
U.S. corporation effective tax rates. Those to the left
of the mean line paid the least. Circle size indicates total earnings. So, a big circle to the left indicates big revenue
and low taxes paid. Apple is one of the largest circles with $135B earnings and a 14% tax rate. Amazon, at $5.5B, paid 6%.
Google paid 17% on $56B. Warren Buffet's company paid 23% on $96B. On the other side of the line lies Exxon Mobile at 37%
on $395B earnings. Pharma giant Pfizer paid 43% on $63B, Chevron paid 39% on $220B. As a group, Utilities and IT companies
paid the least while energy and insurance paid the most. In the light of the current IRS scandal, an interesting dimension
to add to the chart would be donations by corporate chieftains to political parties. BTW, my effective
tax rate for 2012 was 37%
(Fed alone was 26%).
While this article is
directed at amateur radio operators who want to explore working in the microwave bands, it is good fodder for anyone who
wants a fundamental introduction to waveguides, resonant cavities, distributed elements, and atmospheric propagation. If
that describes you, and particularly if you have formulaphobia, then start reading. Even though the article appeared in
a 1952 issue of Radio & Television News, the list of frequency band allocations are not much different than
today so the information is useful.
is a concept that has existed about since the time commercial broadcast TV first came on the scene. Known as "Boxoffice Television,"
it used a "Picture-caster" to scramble the picture so that a subscriber needed a rented descrambler in order to view the
program. A rented key (physical, not digital) was used to turn the box on and off. The signal went out over a standard local
broadcast tower or even over coaxial line. Channels 2 through 13 were it for the day.
Tolga Latif, CEO of Linx Technologies, has received the
Service Member Patriot
Award sponsored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). This award recognizes supervisors and bosses
nominated by an employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve for support provided directly to the nominating Service
Member. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support the ‘Citizen Warriors’ through a wide-range of measures including
flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.
"Four score and seven years
ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that
all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived
and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion
of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether
fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can
not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did
here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus
far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we
here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth
of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -
President Abraham Lincoln
"Luck is what happens when
preparation meets opportunity." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 BC - A.D. 65 (thanks to Ted B.)
Every 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. This is a special
puzzle in honor of Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) in the USA.
Isolink, a subsidiary of
Skyworks Solutions, is pleased to offer a new dual channel, radiation-tolerant, hermetic surface mounted
phototransistor optocoupler that is designed for
high-reliability military and medical applications requiring optical isolation in gamma, neutron and proton radiation environments
with high current transfer ratio and low saturation Vce. Each optocoupler channel consists of a light emitting diode
and NPN silicon phototransistor that is electrically isolated but optically coupled inside a hermetic 8-pin leadless chip
Most people today under 30 years old
have probably never seen the mechanics or electronics inside their many personal devices. Everything is so miniaturized
and optimized that if something does go wrong, there is little chance of the owner repairing it. Instead, the phone, television,
stereo, microwave oven, whatever, gets thrown away and a relatively cheap (compared to paying for
a repair) replacement is purchased (or stolen). Besides, if the item was more than
two years old, it was on the verge of obsolescence anyway. Up until around the early to mid 1980s you had a fair chance
of being able to repair an electronic circuit if trouble arose because at least with commercial products
circuit boards were usually 1- or 2-sided and the components still had leads protruding from the sides of the packages.
A $10 Radio Shack soldering iron and some solder wick was sufficient...
Trak Microwave, a division of Smiths Interconnect,
has an opening for a
Engineer. The Sales Engineer provides sales management and technical support in pursuit and capture of new product development
and recurring business opportunities. For over 50 years, Trak Microwave has delivered reliability and performance to every
mission. Trak Microwave designs and manufactures a diverse range of RF and microwave integrated assemblies, subsystems,
components and time and frequency systems for defense, space and commercial applications worldwide.
Z-Comm announces a new RoHS compliant VCO model
USSP1325-LF in the L-band. The
USSP1325-LF operates at 1250 to 1400 MHz with a tuning voltage range of 0.5 to 4.5 Vdc. This miniaturized VCO
features phase noise of -100 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset while operating off a 5 Vdc supply and typically drawing
only 25 mA of current. The USSP1325-LF provides the end user an output power of 3±3 dBm into a 50 Ω load
while operating over the industrial temperature range of -40 to 85 º C. 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.
Rohde & Schwarz has
increased the frequency range of its high-end R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer to 50 GHz. In conjunction with
analysis bandwidths of up to 320 MHz, the new microwave model is perfect for sophisticated R&D measurements and
for radar and satellite applications. The new high-end R&S
FSW50 signal and spectrum analyzer is ideal in the development, testing, verification and production
of transmitters and components such as those used in radar applications and satellite and military communications systems.
The analyzer covers the frequency range from 2 Hz through 50 GHz.
This new product announcement
month highlights a 913 MHz outdoor cavity BPF, a 2440 MHz cavity BPF, a water-resistant 5350 MHz cavity BPF, a 380 to 2500
MHz 2-way power divider, a 800 to 2500 MHz 8-dB directional coupler, and a 800 MHz LPF.
Anatech Electronics' Sam Benzacar invites you to visit
them in booth #2710 at the IMS 2013 trade show in Seattle, Washington.
Symmetricom is a world leader in precise
time solutions. The company generates, distributes and applies precise time for the communications, aerospace/defense, IT
infrastructure and metrology industries. As an
R&D Hardware Engineer,
you will be designing and developing leading edge timing solutions, and supporting production for a variety of precision
frequency source applications in the space, defense, and avionics industries. In particular, you will be the responsible
Project Engineer for various precision Rubidium and crystal oscillator projects at the component and sub-system level involving
synthesized reference sources. The detailed responsibilities include
This quiz is based on the information
presented in High-Frequency
Integrated Circuits, by Rosin Voinigescu (printed by
Cambridge University Press). The book is an incredible
repository of information that would be an immensely valuable resource for any circuit designer whether dealing with discrete
components or laying out an integrated circuit substrate.
When I read about
Iconumerator, the first thing that came to mind was the video of the Rockwell Retro Encabulator and General
Electric's Turboencabulator. As it turns out, the Du Mont device is real. This article from a 1955 issue of Radio
Electronics discusses a new type of oscillator-amplifier that works on the principle of
microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (maser). It used ammonia as a masing medium.
Masers were quickly applied to commercial broadcast systems, to military communications systems, and in laboratories. The
state of the art has of course advanced far beyond the relatively crude apparatus shown here, but it is always good to have
a working knowledge of the technology's history.
Please take a moment
and vote in this poll. No sign-in-required. Results are displayed automatically. Thanks!
Yep, this is another Top 10 list for you.
I am surprised to see that a 1-page resume still tops these
resume writing tip lists, but evidently it is what busy (or not so busy)
hiring managers want to see. Most of the bullet points
are things like... using bullet points to organize and focus related topics, not mixing font types, etc. One interesting
piece of advice is if you are a new grad and do not have intern experience to list DIY projects (related
to your field of study, of course).
A couple other resources:
Job Hunting After 50
Top Talent Leaving China
for Clearer Skies
Attracting Recruiters to
Your LinkedIn Profile
Handbook of RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers, by John L. B. Walker. Whether
you are an RF transistor designer,
an amplifier designer or a system designer, this is your one-stop guide to RF and microwave transistor power amplifiers.
A team of expert authors brings you up to speed on every topic, including: devices (Si LDMOS and VDMOS, GaAs FETs, GaN HEMTs),
circuit and amplifier design (discrete, hybrid and monolithic), CAD, thermal design, reliability, and system applications
/ requirements for RF and microwave transistor amplifiers. Covering state-of-the-art developments and emphasizing practical
communications applications, this is the complete professional reference on the subject.
AWR Corporation is a gold sponsor
and will offer a full agenda of activities at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2013 that inform and educate attendees
about new ways to use RF/microwave software for circuit and system design. IMS 2013 takes place from June 4 to 7 in Seattle,
Washington. In its Booth #330, AWR will showcase software demonstrations of key features in its current product release,
v10, as well as a sneak-peek preview of features within its pending v11 release.
acoustical tiles are not exactly the stuff of RF engineering, their properties and their effects on sound
waves are analogous to RF absorbers and their effects on electromagnetic waves. Reflections that cause multipath reception
of signals that contain the same information but are out of phase and unequal in amplitude to the primary (direct) path
seldom combine to enhance the overall signal-to-noise ratio, so placing absorbent material in the surrounding environment
is necessary to improve signal quality. This article from Popular Electronics goes through the process of outfitting an
area with acoustical tiles and give some empirical test data from before and after.
is a high power limiter capable of withstanding an input power level of 20 Watts, 440 to 670 nsec Pulse Width, PRF
600 to 900 kHz, 40% Duty Cycle. This model operates in the 26.5 GHz to 40 GHz frequency range. The insertion
loss is 4.0 dB maximum, VSWR of 2.0:1 and 250 nsec response time and a typical leakage of +14 dBm. This limiter
is packaged in a small 0.50 X 0.50 X 0.22 housing and is supplied with 2.92mm male connectors.
An article on the IEEE website pitches a career as a patent research agent, which
might be a particularly attractive notion in this lousy engineering job environment we now experience. A law degree is not
required for many positions. The average salary range for a patent agent
is between $52k and $143k, with a median of almost $90k. One of the first steps in exploring the possibility is to download
the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO)
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure
(MPEP). Once you are prepared, you pay the required fee and take the exam. I did not see anything
that addresses what your chances of being hired are if you pass, or whether you would need to reside in Washington, D.C.
Often in the letters to the editor section of ARRL's QST magazine there are lamentations
about an overwhelming lack of technical knowledge and/or proper etiquette and manners amongst fellow Hams. One contributor
commented, "Today, it's hard to distinguish a radio amateur from a CB operator." DX operation (long
distance) seems to be the most affected aspect, although the problem is fairly widespread. Most writers blame the
problem on the ease with which a license may be obtained these days. Ever since a requirement to demonstrate proficiency
in Morse code was removed, ostensibly, the quality of operators has plummeted (my license was earned
in the sans code test era). That may be so, but I propose the problem is much deeper - it is societal. Every generation
Made by Monkeys is a regular feature of
Design News. Readers submit stories of instances of what they consider to be
terrible product design. Some of the stories are good,
but generally I like Sherlock Ohms and Tales from the Cube articles better because they concentrate on
troubleshooting rather than complaining. This particular episode belongs in the Sherlock or Tales category rather than Monkeys.
In fact, "The Messed-Up
RF Generator" experience is just the opposite in nature of something made by monkeys. Read it and see what I mean.
The new R&S
SMW200A high-end vector signal generator
from Rohde & Schwarz combines maximum flexibility, outstanding performance and intuitive operation to outperform all
comparable solutions available on the market. It is the perfect tool for generating complex, digitally modulated signals
of high quality. Thanks to versatile configuration options, its range of applications extends from single-path vector signal
generator to multichannel MIMO receiver tester.
Rohde & Schwarz is
one of the world's leading manufacturers of test & measurement,
communications and broadcasting equipment. They have just joined with my other highly appreciated advertisers to help deliver
RF Cafe content to you. Vector network analyzers (VNA), communications and spectrum analyzers,
signal generators, and o-scopes (DSO), power supplies are among their offerings. Please visit
Slide rules were an enigma and a thing to
be feared to most people even in the days when handheld digital calculators had not entered the scene. The rows of numbers
generally look nothing like a simple, familiar ruler, and the sliding window thingy with the thin line sent kids and adults
alike running for the tall grass for cover. As with most things not too complicated, learning to use the
slide rule can be mastered with
a little instruction. You don't necessarily need to understand logarithms and trigonometry functions, but it certainly helps
if you also want to understand how the device works. It is the same thing as not needing to know how your Casio digital
calculator works in order for it to be useful. If you do an Internet search for instructions on slide rule usage, there
is no shortage of documents. This one from Lawrence I believe does a particularly good job because it is filled with examples
of the most common types of mathematical operations, including powers and roots...
"The world is run by 'C' students." - Anon. Bush
and Clinton were both 'C' students. We have no idea what Obama's GPA was because his records are sealed, but we're assured
by the media he is an absolute genius.
If you have been a bit fuzzy on how
spectrum auctions work
(or don't work, per author Mitchell Lazarus), then this article might be worth perusing. A
brief history on the pre-auction days and how the system worked then, versus the government-manipulated environment now
in effect. In its ever-increasing mission to extract money from productive enterprises, the
FCC has caused an enormous waste of available spectrum. Rather
than creating an electromagnetic platonic utopia, it has largely mucked up the works. The same type of bureaucrats will
soon be running our health care.
Every 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.
Anatech Electronics has published its May 2013 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits
about relevant industry events, regulations, and standards. Anatech Electronics' Sam Benzacar invites you to visit them
in booth #2710 at the IMS 2013 trade show in Seattle, Washington.
There are not many technical realms where Google
engineers have not either entered or created. Wireless connectivity is key to their continued dominance in the information
domain, so they understandably have a vested interest in the "white space" spectrum debate. White
space comprises portions of the electromagnetic spectrum where bands are either unlicensed or where licensed bands are or
will be up for grabs. An example of the former is the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band, and an example of the latter is some parts
of the broadcast television band that is being vacated in areas. Google is working with the FCC to build a real-time database
of what they term "dynamic spectrum" in order to provide useful information to both users and providers. A separate database
is available for fixed and mobile spectrum. Enter your location of interest and the map zooms into that region. For instance,
in my town of Erie, Pennsylvania, there are 21 channels available as of January...
Innovative Power Products has 25 years of experience
designing & manufacturing RF passive components. Our couplers,
combiners, resistors, and terminations incorporate the latest technology in materials available, which equates to unrivaled
product performance. We're proud that our RF resistors, terminations and 90 degree hybrid drop-in couplers are RoHS compliant
This is a different kind of
venture capital story. Tables are turned in this story where,
rather than the company founders desperately chasing after investors with deep pockets, the investors pursue a highly successful
startup. Qualtrics is a data collection and analytics company that grew from a father and son basement operation
in 2002 to $48M in sales in 2012. They boast such clients as Barnes & Noble and Zappos. Ryan Smith, the son, decided
in 2009 to chum the investment waters and was overwhelmed with responses (I'm not going to call the
VCs sharks... not here, anyway). This short article in Inc. magazine recounts his selection process. The old adage
about everyone loving a winner rings true here.
Here is a 1950s
vintage electronics crossword puzzle by Arthur L. Branch. Unlike the weekly crosswords from RF Cafe that uses
only relevant technical words, this one fills in with common words when necessary. It's still a good puzzle, though.
Here are a few white papers that might interest you if you are a circuit or system designer. Some require you to fill
in a form for access.
Determination of Capacitor
Life as a Function of
Operating Voltage & Temp
- Weight Reduction and Space
Savings in Wire and Cable
Design and Their
Contribution to Aerospace
Design and Efficiency
What They Didn't Teach You
in Engineering School About
- Techniques for Precise
in the Field
- Techniques for Precise Cable
and Antenna Measurements
in the Field
The latest entry in the case journal of the renowned
Sherlock Ohms is titled "What's the Time?" It is indicative of what happens when the
government decides to try an experiment without
letting the entities that rely on them know what is going on.
The national and international
spectrum usage has continued to undergo a constant
cadence of change. These changes necessitate the need to continue to evolve your awareness of valuable spectrum allocation
information. As evidenced recently in the U.S.: Analog TV has mostly gone quiet and been replaced with Digital TV;
the LORAN-C navigation system has been shut down; new GPS satellites and frequencies provide coverage to Smartphones;
and the National Wireless Initiative is looking to actively refarm and commercialize over 500 MHz of spectrum for commercial
high-speed wireless services. Please click to get the latest Spectrum Allocations Poster from Rohde & Schwarz.
During my many years as
an RF applications engineer with a well-known RFIC manufacturer, I did a lot of competitive analysis work that involved
doing teardowns on products like cellphone PAs, Wi-Fi transceivers, FEMs, SAW filters, and even entire commercial products
like cellphones and Bluetooth devices. During the process, I learned a lot about how to identify components with no external
markings and how to check for copyright infringements. Most of the work I did myself, but occasionally outside assistance
was required to do x-rays, decapping of ICs, etc. One company that we solicited to provide overall industry state of the
art info was Prismark.
Their reports were always excellent and full of data that is nearly impossible to obtain otherwise. Their
annual reports are something you or your marketing
and engineering managers would be interested in seeing. The reports are not cheap, but could pay for themselves many time
over. (No, I do not receive any compensation for my endorsement)
Skyworks Solutions introduced
groundbreaking RF switching technology
that is enabling early adopters to implement carrier aggregation solutions. Carrier aggregation allows mobile service providers
to combine spectrum and increase data rate throughput by utilizing two or more bands simultaneously instead of the single
band method used currently, thereby giving consumers an enriched data experience regardless of location. Skyworks'
devices support standardized inputs to popular industry chipsets (MIPI RFFE compatible) and
address both transmit and receive switching paths. "Skyworks' carrier aggregation switching solutions, which are compliant
to tier-one, carrier-driven specifications, offer dedicated receive diversity functionality to accompany the primary antenna-switch