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)
in Appreciation of
PCB Material World is an independent distributor
and market maker of PCB raw materials. They buy and sell
PCB raw 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!
I 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 Awards (see video).
Soldering at Sea
Mr. 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 circuit.
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...
VGAs for LTE and WCDMA
Skyworks 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.
Cypress Industries, located in Austin, TX,
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.
Circuits (ASC) for Support
ASC 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 is a manufacturer of reliable and
effective inrush current limiting thermistor
solutions. Samples available. Located in Carson City, NV, you can contact them at
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 sought.
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.
Checks in with a LOT
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
of Activities For EuMW
AWR 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
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...
Detection Log Video Amplifier
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.
Used in MIT Electric Race
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 was selected.
Job Fair on October 2,
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 level positions)
- Accounts Receivable Billing Specialist
- Warehouse Shipping & Receiving Clerk
- Calibration Technicians
- SQL Writer
Tracks Multiple Satellites
is pleased to announce its launch of the GM Series Global Navigation Satellite System
(GNSS) receiver module to market. The
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.
Line of GaAs ICs
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
in the iPhone 5s
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...
Frequency RF Power Sensor
announces its new low frequency RF Power Sensor. The new
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.
Samples in a Web Page
Cochran, who has a degree in microbiology and is a certified
dog trainer, 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...
I 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...
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 Artech House.
DeltaNode Antenna Systems
Bird 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.
Regardless 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...
September 25, 2013
IEEE-USA 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 practices.
Where Are the
Thinking Inside the Box to
of a Ph.D.
Steer's Microwave & RF
AWR Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency
EDA software, announces that for a limited time the company will offer a free eBook
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 design software.
with Castle Microwave
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.
(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,
Dilbert 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 throughout.
Data Books and Textbooks
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...
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
Should Have Been Sealed
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
damage 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...
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
Asia Electronics Industry
Design & Development
There is a huge list of free tech magazines
to choose from besides just these.
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...
Appreciation of Their Support
Empower 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. 22, 2013
as with every week, the
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.
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 RF/EMI PCB-level 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 Airplane - Video
normally reserve the radio controlled (R/C) model
news for my AirplanesAndRockets
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
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
of the Common Ground
You 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..."
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.
Solutions in Emerging Markets
Solutions today announced that its highly integrated,
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.
Doodle for September 18
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)...
VCO for 3 to 6 GHz
announces a new RoHS compliant VCO model
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
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
This personal anecdote
is humorous only because I caught my
typo before 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
The Saturday Evening Post
original purpose of this note was to announce a couple post-WWI era
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...
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
RF Cafe's Newest Supporter
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 load cells
are complimented by highly accurate torque transducers, machine calibration systems,
digital indicators, software, and force measurement. Our in-house
recalibration and repair labs support a variety test standards.
Comdel 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.
a Negative Force
Anatoli 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 been properly...
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...
Engineering for Support!
is a premier supplier of RF Systems, Subsystems,
RF Products and Engineering Design Services
designed to customer requirements. They are a turnkey provider for RF and microwave
communication custom designs with full project management and design responsibilities;
taking ownership from the conceptual idea to production.
Those 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.
"If 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