A Portable Thyratron Tester
thyratron is not necessarily a familiar type of vacuum tube
to most RF and microwave electronics practitioners unless they happen
to be involved in radar, imaging (x-ray),
particle accelerators, etc. It is basically a high speed, high current
switch used in pulse forming networks for firing magnetrons
(via a high-voltage transformer). Both
the S-band airport surveillance radar and the X-band precision approach
radar I worked on in the USAF employed thyratrons. The X-band radar
had been modified by the time I came on the scene to use a solid
state thyratron (one of the earliest adaptations),
but the S-band radar still used its original vacuum tube thyratron.
While I don't recall for certain, I believe the thyratron in the
thumbnail image is the one it used. The accompanying ruler is 12"
long to give you an idea of the size. They used to burn out and
have to be replaced...
(personal anecdote included)
Please Visit PCB Material World
Material World is an independent distributor and market maker
of PCB raw materials. They buy and sell
materials such as copper clad laminates, copper foil, drill
backer and entry, among other items. They also buy surplus, obsolete,
and offcut RF copper clad laminates. PCB Material World has been
with RF Cafe since 2009!
The Polyglot Patent Boom
knew that a polyglot was a person who spoke many languages, but
wasn't sure how it applied to patents. According to Merriam-Webster,
the second definition of 'polyglot' is, "a book containing versions
of the same text in several languages." The multilingual person
is definition number one. Scientific American magazine
ran an article titled, "The
Polyglot Patent Boom" that discusses how the number of U.S.
patents awarded to assignees in multiple countries is - and has
been for a while - on the rise. A look at the thumbnail of the stacked
chart included in the article illustrates the phenomenon. It begins
on the left in 1985 and terminates on the right at 2010, and shows
U.S. patents awarded with at least one assignee being a citizen
of China. Orange, red, and purple portions...
believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work." - Ashton
Kutcher re never having had a job below him, at the 2013 Teen Choice
Tales from the Cube:
Soldering at Sea
Steve Gross has a nifty story from his time in the U.S. Navy as
a shipboard electronics technician in this edition of EDN's "Tales
from the Cube." When at sea, access to spare parts is very limited
so you often have to exercise a combination of ingenuity and creativity
(not necessarily mutually inclusive traits)
to get the job done. In his case it was the need to find a suitable
replacement for a
Darlington pair transistor in a piece of specialized test equipment.
With the help of a visiting engineer, he came up with a working
This scenario reminds me of another of my own tales from earlier
days as a technician, but only from the standpoint of constructing
a semiconductor component from pieces of others...
Skyworks Intros Low Noise
VGAs for LTE and
Solutions introduces five highly linear, active bias, low noise
variable gain amplifiers for LTE and WCDMA infrastructure systems.
The SKY65369-11 (832–862 MHz), SKY65370-11
(814–849 MHz), SKY65371-11
(880–915 MHz), SKY65373-11
(1710–1785 MHz) and SKY65374-11
(1850–1915 MHz) receive modules are
fully integrated, high performance devices that combine several
discrete components into a single, easy-to-use solution.
Industries, located in Austin, TX, manufactures
industrial cable assemblies to be as dependable as every part
of the equipment they control. To minimize downtime, maximize ROI
and manage your operations, you need a cabling system that provides
complete control and provides the right data at the right time.
Thanks to American Standard
Inc. has earned a solid reputation as a reliable source for printed
circuit boards. Our focus is to provide PCBs for research and development
as well as production requirements for business today. They have
the unique ability to adjust to the ever changing schedule in business
today, where flexibility is the key to saving your company time
and money in the manufacturing cycle. From prototype to production,
the ASC team will supply a quality product on time. ASC is a reliable
manufacturer that will be serving the electronics industry for many
years to come.
Ametherm Listing Added
is a manufacturer of reliable and effective
limiting thermistor solutions. Samples available. Located in
Carson City, NV, you can contact them at 800-808-2434.
Hollywood Meets Hallicrafters
Dilks reported in the August 2013 edition of QST on his
opportunity of a lifetime when he received a call from a friend
saying that the producers of the film Paranoia needed some really
convincing vintage tube radios as props. John is the author of the
monthly "Vintage Radio" column in the ARRL's flagship publication,
and owns a huge collection of exactly the type of equipment being
is a saga starring Harrison Ford and Liam Hemsworth. Per IMDB, "An
entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying
a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss's
old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage."
John, his son,
and friend Nick England...
Crossword for 9/29/2013
crossword puzzle has an electrical engineering theme with all
the entries being selected from a personally hand-assembled list
of words and clues. Instead of being asked for the names of movie
stars and botanical oddities, you need to know electronics, physics,
chemistry, mathematics, mechanics, and other technical stuff. BTW,
even though the crossword puzzle titles alternate with terms like
'electrical,' 'wireless,' and 'microwave,' they all use the same
dictionary. I only vary titles for SEO purposes.
USAF Radar Tech Mike Skees
Checks in with
a LOT of Info
If you were a radar technician in the U.S. Air Force anytime between
the 1970s and 1990s, you'll probably want to read
Mike Skees' letter.
It is so chock full of names, locations and dates that you will
almost certainly find at least one person you recognize. If your
name is not yet on my list of honored
USAF radar techs, please send
me an e-mail and I'll be glad to add you.
AWR Announces a Full Slate
For EuMW 2013
Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA software,
announces that a full slate of activities will be offering during
EuMW 2013. Select software demonstrations to MicroApps to an
EU User Group Meeting as well as a PA design lunch and learn with
Cree and a Customer Appreciation happy hour with National Instruments
are all in the works. AWR and its parent company of National Instruments
will present seven MicroApps at the EuMW 2013 MicroApps Theater
(Stand #109) throughout the week.
for Determining VSWR
voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR)
is a fairly common and simple operation these days with readily
available and relatively inexpensive test equipment. Inserting a
power meter in series with a signal to measuring the incident and
reflected power, or even simpler, inserting a bidirectional power
coupler in series with the signal and measuring the difference between
the forward and reverse ports is a routine matter for even modestly
equipped laboratories, Ham shacks, or field operations. Simply plug
the two values into the following equation for the answer:
VSWR=(1 + β)/(1-β), where β=√(Prev/Pfwd).
What if all you have is an oscilloscope, then how would you make
the measurement? Actually, the calculation is even simpler...
PMI Intros Successive
Detection Log Video
SDLVA-315M362M Successive Detection Log Video Amplifiers
(SDLVA) offers 65 dB Dynamic Range
over the frequency range of 315 to 362 MHz. This model
offers a fast rise time of 35 nsec maximum and a recovery time
of less than 500 nsec. The unit is temperature compensated
such that log accuracy over temperature remains less than ±2.5 dB
over the full operating temperature range of -33 to +77 °C.
Interface Torque Transducer
Used in MIT
Electric Race Car
SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International,
formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. Conceived
of in 1978 at the University of Houston, the first organized competition
was held at the University of Texas at Austin in 1981 and included
only 6 teams. Since then it’s grown into a major event including
well over 100 teams from all over the world. During development
of the Electric Vehicle, the MIT team faced many challenges including
testing and optimizing their new electric motor powered drive train.
They needed to characterize their motors and turned to the experts
at Interface for help developing an electric motor test stand. After
consulting with an
Interface application engineer, the HRDT (High
Resolution Digital Torque Transducer) with integrated couplings
Advanced Test Equip. Corp.
Job Fair on October
Test Equipment Corp is growing & expanding!! Established in
1981 ATEC is a worldwide Hi-Tech equipment Rental company seeking
energetic individuals to work in a fast pace environment. Open house
will be WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2nd 9:00am to NOON. All positions are
Full-Time perm positions. For more information see our website at
- Inside Sales (Entry level and JR
- Accounts Receivable Billing Specialist
- Warehouse Shipping & Receiving Clerk
- Calibration Technicians
- SQL Writer
Linx's GM Series GNSS Rx
Technologies is pleased to announce its launch of the GM Series
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver module to market.
GM Series GNSS receiver module is an autonomous, high-performance
Global Satellite Navigation System receiver designed for navigation,
asset tracking and positioning applications of all kinds. Based
on the MediaTek chipset, it can simultaneously acquire and track
several satellite constellations. These include the United States
GPS system, Europe’s GALILEO, Russia’s GLONASS and Japan’s QZSS.
CEL Announces Discontinued
Line of GaAs
RF Cafe visitor sent me a note about California Eastern Labs (CEL)
shutting down some of their
GaAs IC line of components. If you are a user and need to have
parts for future production and/or repair, then now is the time
to check in with them or your CEL supplier.
in the iPhone 5s
people adopt quite literally the expression 'shooting holes' in
a theory, argument, or claim. That is definitely the case for video
blogger Richard Ryan, who takes aim at (another
firearms expression) an
iPhone 5s with
his Barrett M82A1 50 caliber sniper rifle. I know from experience
performing many teardowns of phones, wireless routers, Bluetooth
devices, etc., that getting the cases open can be challenging -
particularly if your goal is to preserve the integrity of the product
- but Mr. Ryan's method does seem a bit extreme. His tactic is no
more shocking than, say, dropping an iPhone 5 in a kitchen
blender. The approach used by the folks at RCR Wireless, Design
News, and Chipworks...
LadyBug Intros Low
Frequency RF Power Sensor
Technologies announces its new low frequency RF Power Sensor. The
LB559A-LF1 Sensor adds coverage below 100 kHz to LadyBug’s
laboratory accuracy RF and microwave power sensor portfolio. Designed
for calibration, medical and test applications, the new LB559A-LF1
Sensor includes a powerful full featured Windows GUI application.
. Options include a variety of connector options, support for programmatic
measurements, a recorder output, and hardware triggering input and
output. Measurement speed is up to 2,000 measurements per second
and the dynamic range is -55 to +20 dBm.
How to Embed Playable Song
Samples in a
Matt Cochran, who has a degree in microbiology and is a certified
also runs a disk jockey side business. He just wrote to ask for
advice on how to embed playable song sample clips into a web page
so potential customers can listen to music that he has purchased
for playing during his gigs. Embedding an audio or video file is
simple, but doing so without violating a copyright requires finding
a legal, linkable sample file to call from your own page. Amazon.com
is the perfect source. Although there are undoubtedly other, even
better ways of accomplishing the objective, this one I devised is
pretty much bulletproof...
have written in the past that I have always been a huge proponent
of research and development into all sorts of
energy conversion systems,
be they wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, nuclear, hydrocarbon, biomass,
chemical, or whatever. What I oppose and resent is the politicization
of the system where people and groups with agendas
(that often includes schemes for enriching
and empowering themselves and their crones) feed fallacious
and obfuscating data to the public in order to gain acceptance.
The generally tech-ignorant and celebrity-stunned public is sadly
all too willing to fall in line, particularly when convinced
(a simple task) that they are being
cheated by anyone with a little bit more than they have, and therefore
deserve to have that wealth redistributed...
RF Cafe Quiz #53: Chipless
RFID Reader Architecture
quiz is based on the information presented in Chipless RFID
Reader Architecture, by Nemai Chandra Karmakar, Randika V.
Koswatta, Prasanna Kalansuriya, and Rubayet E-Azim.
Some of these books are available
as prizes in the monthly
RF Cafe Giveaway. Graciously provided by
Bird Acquires Distributed
Technologies, a leading provider of
radio frequency based products, systems, and services, today
announced that is has acquired DeltaNode from Scandinavian Health
Ltd. for an undisclosed amount of cash. The transaction was completed
on September 1. Founded in 2005 by a group of engineers with decades
of wireless experience, DeltaNode has since established a strong
presence in Europe, the U.S., and Canada, as a supplier of RF-over-fiber
distributed antenna systems and repeaters designed to enhance the
coverage of commercial wireless and public safety communication
systems. DeltaNode will continue to operate from its facilities
in Stockholm, Sweden.
Lissajous Art Circuits
of whether you call it a Lissajous pattern or 'quadrature
art,' there is a coolness about feeding signals into the X and
Y axes of an oscilloscope and watching the patterns that emerge
on the CRT (or possibly LCD these days)
display. Using static waveshapes can create amazing-enough Etch-A-Sketch
type drawings, but animating the on-screen patterns with time-varying
signals into one or both axes really spiffs up the results. This
short article by Russ Williams on the EDN website presents a few
simple circuits for generating some of the quadrature art examples
shown in the thumbnail below. A solderless breadboard, quad opamp
IC, and a handful of resistors, capacitors, and inductors will get
you started. For test equipment, a simple...
IEEE today's engineer
September 25, 2013
Today's Engineer Online is a monthly Web publication devoted to
the issues affecting U.S.
IEEE members' careers,
such as professionalism, management skills, engineering performance,
engineering skills and competencies, product development practices,
project management issues, innovation and entrepreneurship, business
Where Are the Tech Jobs?
Managers: Prepare and
Thinking Inside the Box to
21st Century Engineering
Wyoming Recognizes Value
of a Ph.D.
Free Excerpt of Michael
Steer's Microwave &
Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA software,
announces that for a limited time the company will offer a free
eBook download of
Chapter 18, “Wideband Amplifiers,” from the new second edition
of engineering professor Michael Steer's textbook, Microwave &
RF Design: A Systems Approach. The eBook excerpt download also contains
embedded video tutorials of Professor Steer demonstrating key principles
of design as they pertain to the wideband amplifier case study contained
within its pages. This second edition is a comprehensive treatment
of RF and microwave design for advanced undergraduate and graduate
students (as well as professionals).
A key feature of this new edition is the introduction of real-world
case studies developed with AWR’s popular Microwave Office® circuit
NuWaves Expands Int'l Sales
Microwave in UK
Engineering, an international
Radio Frequency (RF) and Embedded Systems
solutions provider, announced today that the company has added Castle
Microwave as an authorized representative of its commercial off-the-shelf
(COTS) products and design services
for the United Kingdom and Ireland. "As a specialist electronics
distributor in the UK and Ireland for over 30 years, Castle Microwave
has an impressive track record and a large sales and service footprint,"
said Jeff Wells, President and CEO of NuWaves Engineering.
432-Mc. Solar Patrol
(and its predecessor NACA), and private
and public operators have been monitoring solar events in the optical
realm for many decades while attempting to correlate terrestrial
phenomena with it. Auroral light displays in the extreme polar regions
have long been known to be caused by solar flare and
coronal mass ejections (CME). With
the advent of radio, the electrical nature of the upper atmosphere
became evident when static and long range propagation affected long
range communications. Extreme CME activity eventually was associated
with behavior of the electrical power grid; indeed, massive blackouts
and brownouts are to blame for many. Last but not least came concern
for sun-sourced electrons regarding satellites. More than one 'bird'
has been smoked by the sun's ejecta. This November, on Thanksgiving
Day, actually, comet ISON...
2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert, by Scott Adams. This special slipcased
collection - weighing in at more than ten pounds with 600 pages
and featuring almost 4,000 strips - takes readers behind the scenes
and into the early days of Scott Adams' life pre-Dilbert and on
to the success that followed when Dilbert became an internationally
syndicated sensation. Divided into five different epochs, Dilbert
2.0 gives readers a glance at some of Adams's earliest strips, like
those created for Playboy, and a peek at an abundance of special
content ranging from numerous rejection letters to Adams' first
cartooning check, and more. Adams personally selected the material
for this collection and offers original comments and humorous asides
Huge Resource for Vintage
Data Books and
was not all that long ago when virtually everything you bought was
NOT designed to be thrown away when it broke. Back when ICs, resistors,
and capacitors had wire leads and cases were held together with
straight-slot and Phillips head screws rather than the microminiature
'security' type screws, it was possible for the able and willing
repairman to troubleshoot and repair a device or appliance. Now,
in a world that bombards us with admonitions against not being green,
practically everything is meant to be thrown away after use - from
cellphones and televisions to clothing and the vast quantity of
cardboard and Styrofoam packaging that contains our disposable goods.
For those of us who lived during the aforementioned times and/or
those who dabble in vintage electronics either for hobby or for
career necessity, access to
can sometimes mean the difference...
economics is the theory that when consumers don't spend sufficiently,
in the opinion of the government, then the government should seize
their money and spend it for them." - Steve Forbes
Apple, Samsung Daubert Docs
ExpertServices periodically sends out e-mails that highlight recent
key court cases that can significantly affect the effectiveness
of expert testimony, both for the plaintiff and for the defendant.
You probably remember seeing headlines last year for "The Trial
of the Century" involving Apple and Samsung. It turns out in the
aftermath that the judge ordered public disclosure of financial
records from both parties - against the protestations of both. A
superior court ruled, after the
had been done of course, that the judge overstepped her authority.
It happens way too often from the benches of all levels. My question
is whether the wronged parties are able to sue the judge and/or
governing body for incompetence? Do the judges enjoy self-awarded
unconstitutional protection against retribution? Attorney Robert
Ambrogi weighs in on the situation...
Free White Papers and Tech
Well, to be honest they're not completely free. You do need to
fill out an application, so some of your time is required. Otherwise,
though, the publishers pay the cost.
EE Times Europe
Design & Development
There is a huge list of
magazines to choose from besides just these.
How Our Commies
Defame America Abroad
McCarthy is a name widely recognized for his efforts in the
1950s to expose Communist sympathizers in the United States, be
they common citizens or holders of high office. His exploits were
routinely dismissed as folly and he was accused of "finding a Commie
behind every rock." The derisive term 'McCarthyism' was used to
describe anyone exhibiting supposedly paranoid obsession with investigating
suspected wrong-doing. After many decades of successful application
of the charge to shut people up (like calling
someone a racist today), a misfortune befell its libelants.
In 1995, the Venona papers (secret messages
between Moscow and its U.S. agents decrypted by our government),
data from Soviet archives and executive-session transcripts of Senate
committees were finally opened after a 50-year ban. The information
showed that McCarthy was justified in his suspicions after all.
This article, which I ran across while looking for interesting old
stories and advertisements relating to radio and electronics...
Please Visit Empower RF in
of Their Support
RF Systems is a global leader in
RF power amplifier
solutions that are critical to defense, commercial, and industrial
market applications. With origins in the design of broadband and
band-specific SSPAs, Empower continues to advance the science of
RF power amplification to produce the toughest, most efficient and
cost-effective solutions in the industry. Their priority is to design
and deliver high quality, innovative products which solve customer
systems and business requirements.
Crossword for Sept.
week, as with every week, the
RF Cafe crossword puzzle uses only words from a custom-built
(by me) dictionary of only terms from
engineering, mathematics, chemistry, science, physics, aerospace,
electronics, mechanics, astronomy, maritime, sci-fi, and related
fields and persons affiliated therewith. No numbnut clues for Hollywierd
actors, fashion designers, psychics, remote villages, etc., will
ever be found. You can get those from the newspaper and practically
all online crossword puzzle websites.
Many Thanks to 3Gmetalworx
has been helping deliver this website to you since 2008. Since 1994,
leading wireless electronics companies have relied on 3Gmetalworx
to deliver cutting edge solutions for advanced
shielding requirements. From prototyping and design services
to JIT manufacturing, 3Gmetalworx provides a seamless service pathway
supporting entire product lifecycle with
basic shielding cans,
single-cavity shield sets,
and multi-cavity shield sets.
R/C Aircraft Carrier Launches
normally reserve the radio controlled (R/C)
model news for my
hobby website, but this is so cool that I know the many former and
current military members who visit RF Cafe will appreciate it. For
that matter, so will a lot of non-military members. Here is a video
of a very large scale R/C model of the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier
being used as a launch platform for a radio controlled T-38 model
airplane. Adding to the cool factor is the use of an R/C tugboat
for pushing the aircraft carrier away from the docks before it gets
underway. Per the YouTube website description, "Our 13-foot
USS Kitty Hawk replica launches her planes to the beach in this
RapidNadion adventure. Some aircraft never make it off the deck,
and others crash into the drink due to Kitty Hawk's prototype catapult
September 2013 Newsletter
Electronics has published its September 2013 newsletter. As always,
it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry
events, regulations, and standards. This month
Sam Benzacar writes about Wi-Fi encryption, the Land Mobile
market, and a new study by the FCC on radio interference. He also
has a short piece titled, "And They Said Someday We Wouldn't Need
Filters" (BTW, Anatech makes filters).
Sherlock Ohms: The Case
of the Common Ground
have probably heard the old (erroneous)
adage, "Ground is ground the world around." That might have been
true prior to the advent of electronics, but it certainly isn't
so anymore. Even in the vacuum tube days it wasn't so. Once frequencies
get high enough that reactance rivals resistance for dominance,
you can forget about simple grounding concepts for anything other
than providing a measure of safety against electrical shock. This
latest installment of EDN's Sherlock Ohms series is an account by
John Lombard on his experience in, "Looking
for Common Ground." He begins, "The term 'ground' should be
used more carefully. In our equipment, we distinguish between ground
and DC common for good reason. Ground refers to chassis or safety
ground to take errant AC voltage..."
Radio Physics Course
is a brief primer on mutual inductance between inductors
Mutual inductance is your circuit's friend if you want it to
occur, as with a transformer, or it can be your circuit's mortal
enemy if you don't want it to occur, as when two inductors 'talk'
to each other unintentionally because of proximity and relative
orientation. One form of mutual inductance not mentioned here but
of utmost importance to radio is that existing between elements
in a directional antenna like a Yagi or log periodic configuration.
Skyworks Ramps GPS/GNSS
Solutions in Emerging
Solutions today announced that its highly integrated,
low noise amplifier front-end modules are being leveraged by
various OEMs to enable GPS and GNSS in smartphones, tablets and
other mobile devices in emerging markets. Skyworks' modules
offer high linearity, excellent gain and an integrated filter, providing
manufacturers with cost-effective, high performance solutions in
a compact footprint. These devices are also the first semiconductors
to support China's BeiDou navigation satellite system
(BDS), China's second-generation system
that is enabling GPS in consumer platforms.
Foucault Pendulum Google
Doodle for September
doodle for today is an animation that shows the current time according
to pegs that have been knocked down by a swinging pendulum, in commemoration
of Jean Bernard Léon Foucault's birthday on September 18, 1819.
It is very cool. After watching its motion over a period of many
minutes, the update appears to occur only when the web page is refreshed,
rather than with real-time action. I also noticed what looks like
an error in the displayed position of the pendulum on the near side
of the peg array that is illustrated in the screen capture below.
Unless the pendulum has just been released, it is impossible for
the path to lie between two standing pegs. The pendulum bob's path
should never pass between two standing pegs unless it had just been
initially released. Probably most widely seen Foucault Pendulum
is (or was)...
Z-Comm Intros Octave Tuning
VCO for 3 to
announces a new RoHS compliant VCO model
V600ME45-LF ideal for satellite communication applications.
The V600ME45-LF operates from 3 to 6 GHz with a tuning voltage
range of 0-24 Vdc. This octave tuning VCO features a typical
phase noise of -103 dBc/Hz @ 100 kHz offset and an average
tuning sensitivity of 147 MHz/V. The
V600ME45-LF is designed to deliver a typical output power of
6 dBm into a 50 ohm load while operating from a 12 Vdc
supply and drawing only 24 mA. Second harmonic suppression
better than -12 dBc.
Bane of the Inept
personal anecdote is humorous only because I caught my
it was too late to correct it. Whenever an advertiser makes a payment,
I always try to remember to send a thank-you note to let him or
her know that payment has been received. The standard e-mail Subject
line I use is something like, "RF Cafe: Payment Received - Thanks!"
Hunt-and-peckers like me (yeah, intentional
self-deprecation) bear the burden of having to look at the
computer keyboard most of the time whilst typing. Somehow, even
with decades of sitting in front of a computer for hours on most
days, the neurons never quite fully connected between my fingers
and the word processing region of my brain. Last week I was typing
the Subject line for one of the aforementioned e-mail genres while
a Windows system file update was occurring in the background. Maybe
it doesn't happen on Macs, but on PCs...
USAF Recruitment Ads in
The Saturday Evening
original purpose of this note was to announce a couple post-WWI
U.S. Air Force recruitment posters that I ran across in
Saturday Evening Post magazines of the day, but I got side-tracked.
There is a plethora of old posters available for viewing on the
Internet, but I haven't seen these two, which are particularly directed
toward flight officers. Except maybe for a C-130, you probably won't
see any propeller-driven aircraft in today's USAF material. In fact,
it was while I was looking for contemporary recruitment posters
to test that hunch that I ran across an entire section of regulations
governing the proper - and only official - method of construction
the USAF's new (relatively) wings symbol. The official U.S. Air
Force "signature" consists of...
Featured Book of the Week
RFID Reader Architecture, by Nemai Chandra Karmakar. In the
era of information communication technology , RFID has been going
through tremendous development. RFID technology has the potential
of replacing barcodes due to its large information carrying capacity,
flexibility in operations, and applications. The deployment of RFID
has been hindered by its cost. However, with the advent of low powered
ICs, energy scavenging techniques, and low-cost chipless tags, RFID
technology has achieved significant development. This book addresses
the new reader architecture, presents fundamentals of chipless RFID
systems, and covers protocols. Published by
Please Welcome Interface
RF Cafe's Newest
has been the trusted world leader in force measurement for half
a century - from grams to millions of pounds, in hundreds of configurations.
We are the preeminent supplier to companies such as Boeing, Airbus,
NASA, Ford, GM, NIST and thousands of measurement labs. Our
are complimented by highly accurate torque transducers, machine
digital indicators, software, and force measurement. Our in-house
recalibration and repair labs support a variety test standards.
Thanks to Comdel for
has been supporting RF Cafe for five years. Comdel designs and manufactures
RF and DC power
supplies and process instruments for the semiconductor, solar
cell/photovoltaics, flat panel, and industrial heating industries.
Comdel products are in use worldwide by the industry’s major equipment
and IC fab manufacturers. Please consider them for your design needs.
When Protons Are
a Negative Force
Bugorski has the distinction of being the only person known
to have placed part of his body in the path of a high energy proton
particle beam ...and lived. At the time, he was working as a researcher
at Russia's Institute for High Energy Physics, on the U-70 synchrotron.
While troubleshooting a malfunctioning piece of equipment on 13
July 1978, he stuck his head directly in the path of the proton
beam. Mr. Bugorski reported that he saw a flash "brighter than a
thousand suns," but did not feel any pain. The scenario reminds
me of the story I've told before about a guy I worked with in the
USAF who inadvertently put is head in front of a transmitting S-band
radar antenna feed horn and reported hearing a loud hum in his ears.
In both cases safety interlocking mechanisms were believed to have
Alternative Fuel Vehicles -
cars are good business for electrical and electronics engineers
from a multitude of standpoints, and since they are being imposed
upon us - ready or not - it might be a good idea to figure out how
you can position yourself to benefit from them career-wise. Power
generation and distribution engineering has always been a well-paying,
challenging aspect of electrical engineering. Control systems, battery
management, brushless motors, navigation systems
(including collision avoidance and self-navigation),
and vehicle power and signal distribution are all technical realms
needed to make an electric vehicle fleet viable. All are in their
infancy relative to automobiles built for internal combustion engines.
Many IC vendors are already designing products specifically to address
needs of electric vehicles. As an increasing number of electric-only
cars (compared to Prius types whose gasoline
engine charges the battery) are put into primary service,
the nation's grid is going to feel the stress. In fact, our electricity
generation and distribution system is already under severe stress
and it is only through impression, near super-human efforts of planners
and engineers that blackouts...
Many Thanks to NuWaves
Engineering for Support!
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Amateur Radio Stations
of you who are not particularly interested in
old electronic equipment will please indulge those of us who
are. I post these articles occasionally to remind people of from
whence we have come. Whether you are an amateur radio operator or
just a cellphone user, appreciation is due to the pioneers who took
the metaphorical arrows for us so that we may enjoy the micro-size,
low cost, high quality communications available today. The full-height
equipment racks in the photos were standard fare in the 1930s for
long distance (DX) shortwave operators
- often only for CW (Morse code). "User
serviceable parts inside' was the rule rather than the exception.
As much as I like waxing nostalgic over tube-based hardware of yesteryear,
I am quite grateful to be typing this note on a computer keyboard
and not on a massive teletype machine.
Notable Tech Quote
you have a truly new idea, you don't have to worry about people
stealing it. You will have to pound it into their heads." -
John A. O'Keefe, assistant chief of the Theoretical Division
at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center from 1958-1974.