RF Cafe Software

RF Cascade Workbook 2005 - RF Cafe
RF Cascade Workbook

Calculator Workbook
RF Workbench
Smith Chartâ„¢ for Visio
Smith Chartâ„¢ for Excel
RF & EE Symbols Word
RF Stencils for Visio

About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2016
Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger,
 BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

My Hobby Website:
 AirplanesAndRockets.com

Try Using SEARCH
to Find What You Need. 
There are 1,000s of Pages Indexed on RF Cafe !

Electronics World Cover,TOC,and list of posted Popular Electronics articles QST Radio & TV News Radio-Craft Radio-Electronics Short Wave Craft Wireless World About RF Cafe RF Cafe Homepage RF Cafe in Morse Code Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors Engineer Jobs Twitter LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations Engineering Event Calendar RF Engineering Quizzes AN/MPN-14 Radar 5CCG Notable Quotes App Notes Calculators Education Magazines Software,T-Shirts,Coffee Mugs Articles - submitted by RF Cafe visitors Simulators Technical Writings RF Cafe Archives Test Notes RF Cascade Workbook RF Stencils for Visio Shapes for Word Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!

The Great Christmas Card Glitter Conspiracy

The Christmas card industry might be fooling most people, but they ain't foolin' me! This season's level of glitter-shedding cards is at an all-time high, which serves to confirm conclusively what I have suspected for years - the Christmas card companies and the computer companies are in cahoots to see to it that there is plenty of that colorful, electrically conductive material spread around to guarantee it will get sucked into computers with forced-air cooling to land on and short out circuits! That's right, it simply cannot be a coincidence that the sales of notebook and desktop computers rises markedly each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Christmas Greeting Cards Featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang - RF CafeBeing the traditionalist kind of guy that I am, Melanie and I still mail actual Christmas cards every year - and even put hand-written messages in each one - so this time when I marveled over the massive quantity of glitter that covered the dining room table after a writing session, the little light bulb (an incandescent one, not a CFL) went on in my cranium. In a near panic I quickly grabbed a damp rag to collect all the evil little short-circuit-looking-for-a-place-to-happen metal squares before any one of them could work its diabolical deed on my nearby notebook computer.

TQFP package from Wikipedia - RF CafeMy trusty digital caliper measured the smallest chuck of glitter at about 0.22 mm (8.7 mils), and the largest as huge as 0.8 mm. Considering that lead spacing on fine pitch surface mount components like the thin quad flat pack (TQFP) is around 0.4 to 0.8 mm, a single piece of glitter, which might have a non-conductive color layer on its top and bottom surfaces but exposed, conductive edges, could easily bridge the leads and/or unprotected PCB solder pads.

You might think I've gone off my rocker, but each day as we open reciprocated Christmas cards, I have been witnessing levels of glitter everywhere that I had never noticed in previous years. A quick check of the country of origin shows that nearly all were made in China (what isn't these days?). However, given the latest international incident with North Korea and its cyber attack on Sony Pictures, I'm calling for a Congressional investigation into whether a wave of gray market Christmas cards has flooded the market this year.

Sorry to seem like the Grinch, but I feel it's my duty to alert you to potential acts of technological sabotage.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Posted  December 23, 2014