you have never paid much attention to the state of the art in telescopes, then you might believe they consist
of either the $99 Tasco jobs in Walmart's toy department or the 200" Hale atop Mount Palomar. You might also think
that objects which emit or reflect light in the visible spectrum are the only things studied. You might not know
radio telescopes have been built to detect frequencies ranging from HF all the way up into cosmic rays. Newer
telescopes search for gravity waves and even neutrino and 'dark matter' pseudo particles. You might not know that
there is a broad selection of optical telescopes for amateur and research grade telescopes and that the line between
amateur and research grade telescopes...
Mountain Technologies releases the new
Planar 808/1 vector network analyzer,
adding to its full size VNA line. CMT makes high performance PC-driven VNAs at an affordable price point without
sacrificing metrological quality. Planar 808/1 is a four port VNA which operates with an external PC, opening
a new range of possibilities for users who need highly accurate multiport instrumentation for lab, production,
or field use. At just 19 pounds, Planar 808/1 is a more mobile and transportable solution than a traditional bench
top unit. This lab quality VNA offers an extensive feature set, multiple data saving options, and is fully programmable
for incorporation in automated applications.
Circuits, with its HQ in Toronto, Canada, and production facilities in China, has emerged as a well known turn-key
PCB assembly service provider. Asian Circuits is known for providing electronic manufacturing services, including
PCB fabrication, components sourcing, and complete electronic assembly. Our online
PCB assembly quote generator
can help you estimate the assembly cost of your PCB project. We cater to customers primarily located in the
U.S. and Canada.
Technologies announces its launch of the self-contained, high-performance
FM GPS receiver
modules. At just 15x13 mm in size, the MediaTek MT3339-based FM Series gives the module fast lock times and
high position accuracy even at low signal levels. Very low power consumption helps maximize runtimes in battery
powered applications, such as positioning and navigation, location tracking, marine, and asset management. Simultaneously
acquires on 66 channels and track on up to 22 channels. The GPS receiver is completely self-contained and only
requires an antenna.
The RF & microwave trade magazines have updated their online articles for October. Here are a few that
might interest you.
- Analyzing the Role of Local
Oscillator Phase Noise in
Reciprocal Mixing, ACS
- 100W High Power Silicon PIN
Diode SPDT Switches,
Riding On the Back of
Measure Vector and Area
with an Oscilloscope X-Y
Display, Arthur Pini
How to Think in dB,
Uncertainties in Spectrum
Analysis, Bob Nelson
EDA Software for
Dr. Stephen Maas
Beyond CMOS Vs. GaAs:
Pick the Right Technology,
before digital communications was widely adopted, there was a great need for
devices / systems. That is to say, low bit error rates (BER) for digital
communications are not the sole
motivation for oscillators with low short-term and long-term stability and low levels of jitter. One obvious need
for precise frequency control is radar, in order for accurate ranging (the second 'R' in
radar) and in the case of Doppler systems, for accurate radial velocity reporting and clutter cancellation.
Those capabilities existed long before digital systems came online. Aside from radar, precise frequency was needed
in order to reduce guard band width between assigned channel assignments, thereby enabling more broadcast stations
(commercial and military) to coexist in an allotted frequency...
Skills Every Founder Needs to Master" is the theme of the November 2013 Inc magazine issue. Topics such
as "How to Do More of What You're Good at and Less of What You're Bad At," "How to Take a Fresh Approach to a
Staid Old Business," and "How to Really Connect with Customers," are typical. I scanned over a few to see what
the entrepreneurial business owners had to say about their experiences that they considered most to be useful.
Then, I arrived at the last one, Tip No.29: How to Be Funny at the Office.
This I had to read. Something just didn't seem right, though, as I progressed through the story. Take this passage
from a Q&A session...
Monolithics Industries (PMI) introduces Model No.
Rev. B, a 0.25 to 8.5 GHz, low noise amplifier with a small signal gain window of +9.0 dB to +13 dB.
The noise figure for this unit is ≤4.5 dB max (valid from 0.5 to 8.5 GHz) and offers an OP1dB of
+16 dB min. The operating voltage is +12VDC and the current draw is 300mA max. The unit is supplied
with removable SMA(F) connectors in our standard PE2 housing.
Take a look at the RF feedthrough and lightning arresting choke on the feed line on the original
America transmitter in Munich, Germany. Now that is serious stuff. This story from an early Popular Electronics
reports on the extreme lengths to which the Soviet bloc went in order to prevent its countrymen from hearing radio
signals broadcast by the Voice of America and other non-state-approved beacons. Quarter megawatt transmitters
sent messages of freedom that could be picked up by even the most remote crystal sets that didn't have the advantage
of amplification. Ground-wave, sky-wave, and short-wave jamming techniques were employed to ensure the only signal
that could be received was a buzz-saw type noise. Not so long ago, and certainly in 1959, America was viewed as
a beacon of freedom, both figuratively via word-of-mouth and underground newspapers, and literally via high powered...
Cafe contributor Bob Davis has added another vintage radio to his collection - a
75P6U AM/FM tabletop radio. More extensive restoration is planned, but for now just replacing all the electrolytic
and wax-paper type capacitors put the set into working order.
the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry, by T. Smith, D.
Sonnenfeld, and D. Pellow. I've never been one to shy away from a good argument when it comes to bucking against
the ill winds of political correctness. In general, PCness causes the vast majority to suffer for the benefit
of a relative few who often assert their 'rights' (real or imagined) to special privilege
out of spite and/or self-righteousness. The subject of exploitation of the world's poor and desperate to the advantage
of the rest of us bothers my conscience in a conflicted manner. On the one hand I realize that the exploited often
consider their new conditions to be better than what they previously endured, but on the other hand there is a
moral obligation to not rationalize away our complicity in the matter. The most egregious offenders are those
who make a lot of noise about profiting from the misfortunes of said poor while obliviously...
this week's Featured Book, I wanted to find something on wire-wrapping. Although I was not successful at finding
a book currently in publication that is dedicated to wire-wrapping, I
did find a great page on Wikipedia full of information and great high-res pictures. There are plenty more resources
if you do a Google search. Wire wrapping (w/w) used the be a very popular method
for prototyping circuits when DIP and SIP packages dominated the electronics landscape. If done properly where
wraps were placed on posts in order to make changes easier and where care was taken to avoid crosstalk from long
parallel signals runs, w/w was useful at frequencies into the tens of megahertz, even with digital circuits. I
personally have wire-wrapped more than a hundred boards both as engineering prototypes and as deliverable assemblies
for military equipment. A well-done w/w board...
came first, the chicken or the egg? The same can probably be asked of
Google and the government's (NSA, CIA, FBI,
DHS, and various other 3-letter agencies) need for a massive data collection capability that at first glance
has the appearance of a benign private company. Even though Larry Page and Sergey Brin undoubtedly developed and
built Google without any help from the Fed, their current intertwinings with every facet of government from low
level agency personnel all the way up to the prez himself is unquestionable. You don't get that kind of access
and wield such influence without giving up something in return - usually your honor and personal motto
(in this case abandoning "Don't Be Evil"). We have all witnessed hypocrisy on the
part of Google's executives in the form of a pimped-out Boeing 767 aircraft for globe trotting under the guise
of eco-warrioring, along with special landing privileges at military installations. Add to that...
is a search engine for RF & microwave components.
everything RF lists complete catalogs from various RF & microwave component manufacturers and enables
engineers to search through them by specification. There are over 124,463 components listed from more than 281
manufacturers. Download datasheets, request quotes or contact the suppliers for more information via everything RF.
Its Fast & Easy!
- Response (referring to AM/FM) given by Ham radio operator when ask by policeman
in Virginia what type of radio he had installed in his car (hat tip to RF Cafe visitor KA).
Virginia DOT requires that "A vehicle displaying Call Letter License Plates is subject to inspection by DMV or
any police officer to determine if the operator and the vehicle comply with the requirements." You must "Have
operational transmitting and receiving equipment permanently installed in your vehicle." The specific wording
requires Tx AND Rx equipment (AM/FM radio is Rx only and therefore might not qualify),
but that could just be bureaucratic ineptness. Now thieves on the prowl for
mobile rigs know exactly which vehicles
to target for a guaranteed payoff. BTW, I also learned while researching details on...
tutorial should be useful both as an introduction to
fiber optic amplifiers
and for learning more details on them. We believe that even people already having a substantial experience with
fiber amplifiers will find it helpful for deepening the understanding. The focus is on the underlying physics
and the resulting technical consequences; we do not simply treat a fiber amplifier as a “black box”, but rather
look inside. By RP Photonics Consulting GmbH.
couple years ago, Mozilla published an add-on tool called Collusion for monitoring which websites were
tracking your movements around the Internet. A follow-on app named
Lightbeam, with even greater power,
has been released: "Shining a spotlight on online data tracking to help people understand the Web around them."
As with Collusion, Lightbeam gives you a picture of all the websites that are notified of your presence on your
targeted website. For instance, when you evaluate RF Cafe using Lightbeam, you will discover that Google
and DoubleClick (a Google subsidiary) are notified in order to serve pay-per-click
banner advertisements. I depend on them to generate revenue for putting food on my table and a roof over my head.
To be honest, I have no idea what happens after Google checks in, other than being fairly confident that the NSA
is also notified as they are for every click, e-mail, or phone call you make anywhere...
week's crossword puzzle was constructed
specially for the good folks in the engineering department of Brigham Young University (BYU). Event planner J.M.
wrote to request the use of a crossword, and in response I created one for them. If you have a similar need, I
will be glad to do the same for your group if I have the time. Enjoy.
Corp. is the leading designer and manufacturer of
RF Shielding and EMI/RFI Isolation Products
for printed circuit boards and electronic enclosures. Orbel also specializes in thin gauge photo etched metal
parts and precision metal stampings made from a wide variety of material options. We manage every aspect
of metal stamping from design, prototyping, short to medium runs and high volume stamping.
has developed a new line of
wideband RF signal generators that have a USB interface. Their initial products include two models: 25-6000 MHz
and 25-3000 MHz, both featuring USB for control / power and both having a +13 dBm maximum
output power with phase noise of -106 dBc/Hz @100 kHz offset @250-1000 MHz. As with most USB test
instruments, the size is kept small (about the size of a deck of cards) by having
the user interface reside in software installed on the user's computer. An Ethernet interface will be available
in the near future. Spartant is a
3dea Technologies company.
today's throw-away society, most people would never consider attempting to
a speaker if it were to develop a tear or a puncture. Why should you bother when a replacement is so inexpensive?
Well, there are several reasons you might want to affect the repair yourself. First, the speaker might be integrated
into the system in such a manner that replacing it would be difficult or even impossible. Second, some speakers
are actually pretty darn expensive, especially large diameter models and high quality models regardless of size.
Third, a replacement might not be available, as with a vintage radio or television. Fourth, maybe you just want
the challenge and satisfaction of repairing the speaker rather than adding its bulk to a landfill...
is pleased to be once again conducting a "live" demonstration of an ultra broadband (20
to 1000 MHz), high power (1 kW CW)
amplifier platform which is housed
in an industry leading 5U chassis. The fact that we are controlling this amplifier through a wireless connection
and highlighting diagnostics and remote control features through an iPad is equally impressive and, we believe,
also industry leading. Our live demonstrations throughout 2013 have been well received and, for us, a serious
validation of the next generation amplifier platforms we have designed...
has issued a newsletter highlighting some of the new items introduced at
European Microwave Week. It is the largest event for the RF & Microwave Industry in Europe. This year,
2013, it was held in Nuremberg, Germany from the 6-11 October. There were over 200 companies that took part in
Industries is a world leader in designing and manufacturing of passive
RF components and application specific test systems. These
components include attenuators, RF switches, and specialized test systems for use in the cellular, telecom, OEM
test equipment, medical, automotive, defense, and automated test systems markets. Application specific designs
are the cornerstone of JFW's continuous technical advances in RF components
technology and measuring techniques advance, the time eventually comes when continuing to use old methods not
only doesn't make sense, but can actually harm your reputation by providing data that cannot be duplicated by
customers who long ago adopted the new ways. Orwill Hawkins, of LadyBug Technologies, has written a white paper
describing how to make accurate, repeatable peak and
pulse power measurements
on waveforms using the precision of modern instruments that provide a graphical view of the entity being investigated.
USB power meters provide an inexpensive means of obtaining high quality measurements and the benefits of a graphical
display environment (on your computer) at a relatively low cost. I particularly like
the use of the word 'mesial' in describing the midpoint of a pulse's rising and falling edges.
Cahak, of Sunshine Design Engineering Services, has published yet another paper in his series on making RF test
measurements. This article will cover a recent test experience that utilized some thinking about the test fixture,
the bias requirements and the device mounting and special calibration offsets needed to
de-embed the test fixture response from the device response within the test fixture. The device also had to
have bias on several ports simultaneously. We had to establish a "reference plane" within the fixture, from which
we can use the Vector Network Analyzer's Port Extension or Phase Offset to dial out the distance from our 1 port
calibration reference plane to the point of short reference within the fixture. With this phase offset compensation
we can then measure the device capacitance of the part...
Corporation has launched a fully redesigned AWR.TV
portal directly from within its main website framework to enhance the viewing experience of AWR’s hundreds of
demos and tutorial videos. The new AWR.TV platform now supports multiple platforms for ready viewing on mobile
devices such as iPads, iPhones, and Android handsets/tablets. Recently added additions to the AWR.TV platform
include AWR’s nine MicroApps presentations from IMS 2013.
the car is parked in a dark remote spot it is better to do the job where the car is. This is because auto burglary
is a lesser crime than stealing the whole damn car." That remark was made by a 'former' thief who ostensibly gave
up a life of crime after spending nearly two decades in the slammer for various infractions of the law. One of
his specialties was breaking into cars to
steal radios - AM, FM, CB, Ham, or
whatever was available. Mr. X volunteered his insight for the benefit of QST readers who might want to take
proactive steps to help minimize the chance of being a victim.
source for RF Front Ends, transceivers and amplifier systems that just plain work! Solutions for integrating high
performance HPAs into sophisticated RF subsystems and systems without sacrificing efficiency and linearity. Please
remember that DCH Systems
merged with Triad RF Systems earlier this year.
Solutions announced that its industry leading wireless connectivity FEMs are being leveraged by Broadcom for use
in several of the company’s
5G WiFi solutions, enabling some of the fastest download speeds available in access points, routers, DSL/cable
gateways, PCs, smartphones and tablets. Skyworks' complete 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11a/g/n/ac solutions integrate
the power amplifier, filter, power detector, T/R switch, diplexer and associated matching in an ultra-compact
form factor, delivering all the essential functionality from the output of the SOC to the antenna.
the Golden Age of Radio (admittedly a subjective term), electronics innovators were
generally as likely to be hobbyists (amateurs) as they were to be professionals with
college degrees. In fact, according to this open letter from Eugene F. McDonald, president of
Zenith Radio Corporation, in 1939,
his company recognized the fact that most of their best ideas came from amateur radio operators, and that their
engineering staff was populated overwhelmingly with Hams. Accordingly, the letter was a solicitation to amateurs
to submit their ideas to the company to give designers not just valuable technical information gleaned from real-world
experimentation (aka the School of Hard Knocks) but also insight into what type of
equipment the Ham world would like to have made available for sale. Wouldn't it be great to still see the foundational
I admit that the Hams in Space organizational patch
caught my eye and that's why I'm writing about it. Their little ploy worked on me mainly because of its vintage
design motif, but I'll be honest and admit there might have been another reason as well. "Hams In Space
is one of the KD0HKD.COM Satellite Web Sites where you can learn how the Hams in Space Team can come
to your Amateur Radio Club Meeting, Hamfest, or Event to provide a presentation on FM Amateur Radio Satellites!"
Model No. P1T-9D25G-90-T-SFF
is a high speed, solid state, single pole single throw switch capable of switching within 20 ns. The frequency
range is 9.25 GHz (±30 MHz) with >90 dB of isolation.
is still a mainstay for generating Office-compatible engineering block diagrams and schematics. Its ability to
be programmed for automation makes it even more valuable to the code-writing guru.
Microsoft Visio 2003 Inside Out covers all the ins and outs that you'll need to know to exploit
its powers and to learn clever tricks for usage. "This supremely organized reference packs hundreds of timesaving
solutions, troubleshooting tips, and workarounds all in concise, fast-answer format. It’s all muscle and no fluff.
Discover the best and fastest ways to perform everyday tasks, and challenge yourself to new levels of Visio mastery!"
you happen to be a fan of the M*A*S*H television series from the 1970s, then undoubtedly you are familiar with
Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger's multiple mentions of his old neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio haunts - some manufactured
and some real. His Toledo Mud Hens ball team, for instance, is real. Uncle Abdul (Klinger
is of Lebanese-American descent) and his original wife Laverne Esposito (from the
Hungarian side of Toledo) were obviously fictional; however, it was because of Laverne that Klinger was
introduced to Tony Packo's
Cafe - a real place. The Hungarian style hot dogs from Tony Packo's were tops according to Max.
In fact, his mention on the television show launched Tony Packo's to stardom and to being a highly prized
tourist destination. On Feb. 24, 1976, Jamie Farr (Klinger) put Tony Packo's on the
Palmer has a good piece on the Design News website titled "How
to Be a 'Doctor of Engineering' Without Going to Grad School" about how, according to input from his son who
is in medical school, the diagnosis technique being taught to aspiring doctors is similar to the troubleshooting
technique used by (in Dave's case) mechanical engineers to get to the root of problems that are reported by customers.
Doctors, at least during their training phase, use a four-step process termed "differential diagnosis." The doctor
first notes symptoms and medical history, then considers possible causes for the malady, then prioritizes the
list according to likelihood, and finally tests his conclusions by applying diagnosis and curative techniques.
The parallel to electronic as well as mechanical troubleshooting...
advertising has hit a new low in the last few months. I have been noticing that every time I use the Firefox browser
that ads are constantly popping up as the cursor
is moved around the screen - even on the RF Cafe website -- which does not have and never has had popup ads. The
screen capture below shows what I was seeing on my own website (RF Cafe)! I am NOT
responsible for any popups that you might get, and neither are any of my advertisers. A Google search about the
issue turned up many complaints about the same type of thing, primarily on Firefox. It turns out that an add-in,
which must have been installed stealthily with an upgrade, was responsible. I don't visit questionable websites,
so there is little chance it was picked up in that manner unless...
Photonics Consulting GmbH has published a tutorial "that can serve as an introduction to fiber optics; i.e., for
learning basic of fiber optics,
but it also helps to improve the understanding for people who already have a substantial experience with optical
fibers. The focus is on the physics of wave propagation and its technical consequences. We do not go into mathematical
details, but rather try to create an intuitive understanding of the operation principles – often by demonstrating
certain effects with numerical simulations. The simulation and design software RP Fiber Power of RP Photonics
is an excellent tool for such purposes and has been extensively used for this tutorial."
[App Note page link]
the mid-'90s, when downsizing was the dominant trend in business, Dilbert took off." - Scott Adams
Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of
RF and microwave filters at frequencies up to 40 GHz,
as well as power dividers, directional couplers, and many other product types. We specialize in standard and custom
designs for commercial wireless, public safety, satcom, and defense applications, and we can meet stringent military
course if you listen to any of the
old-time radio broadcasts
on the Internet, they are recorded version of shows made long ago. However, back in the day those shows were first
performed live in front of microphones and recorded in a broadcast studio. With a cast of two or three or even
more, the actors would voice their lines with as much talent and effort as those performing for movies. The crew
usually included a group of people responsible for creating background sound effects like horses running, car
horns tooting, airplanes buzzing by, and dogs barking. All was done real-time with split-second timing required
to pull it off and sound convincing. Radio audiences were unaware of all the work required as they sat intently
listening to the Adventures of the Lone Ranger and The Shadow. Behind the scenes were dozens
of engineers and technicians tending local radio broadcasting equipment and all-important telephone lines used
accurate, reliable, and useful
measurements of RF power in the forward (transmission) and reverse
(reflection) directions requires careful selection of test devices and detection
equipment. LadyBug Technologies has produced a white paper describing a method for performing reflection and transmission
measurements using a power sensor and a directional coupler. It includes a discussion on coupler directivity and
impedance match as a factor in measurement accuracy.
Sunday I create a crossword puzzle using
a word list that I personally created and added to during over a decade of making puzzles. All of the words are
related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, etc. There are no numbnut clues about movie
stars or clothing designers. Enjoy.
has been commonly used in capacitors since long before I came on the electronics scene. Its widespread use in
electronic and electrical components was first adopted in Europe in the 1920s, and then later became popular in
the U.S. where scientists improved its characteristics and lowered its cost to where it could be found just about
anywhere current flowed. In its present form, polystyrene can be easily bent, cut, turned, polished, melted, drilled
and tapped - truly a versatile material. This article provides a brief introduction to polystyrene.
circuits seem simple enough intuitively, at least for simple systems. It is easy, though, for someone not
comfortable with algebraic manipulations to arrive at the wrong conclusion for how a given feedback constant figures
into the calculation. Such was the case with an article published in the ARRL's QST magazine, when many
readers wrote to the author accusing him of making an erroneous claim regarding using feedback to cancel out an
unwanted harmonic in an amplifier. The criticism turned out being justified. Here is a statement of the error
and an explanation of the proper approach which was printed a couple months later.
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has a very useful website set up for finding
information about who owns spectrum licenses around the country, and what spectrum is available in your county.
The Spectrum Dashboard has four primary methods for searching
spectrum in the United States. You can use the dashboard to find out how spectrum is being used and by whom. There
is an interactive allocation chart like the big wall charts that the magazines used to give away, only the nice
thing about this one is that it never goes out of date. Of course the flip side is that if you wanted to research
the historical band allocations you would need to look elsewhere. From the main page you may perform the
following searches. Be aware that the map does not display where the frequencies are licensed or being used...