RF & Microwave Crossword
August 31, 2014
week's crossword puzzle, like last week's
crossword puzzle, and all the weeks before that, was custom
made by me and contains only words and clues pertaining to science
and engineering. Print it out and take it to your next diversity
in the workplace meeting so you can honestly say you got some mental
stimulation out of it. Enjoy!
National Schools Radio TV
wasn't all that long ago that deadlines for magazine printing cycles
were measured in months - unlike today where electronics on-demand
printing has cut lead times to weeks and even days. Accordingly,
this National Schools advertisement pitching 'after the war' training
in electronics servicing that appeared in the September 1945 edition
of Radio Craft was likely designed and submitted two or three months
ahead of the publication month (e.g., in June
or July). How could they be so sure that their scarce advertising
dollars wouldn't be wasted? Simple. By that time, the entire country
seemed to have a sense that World War II would come to an end
soon since Hitler's, Mussolini's, Tojo's...
New Round of Magazine
Articles for 8/29/2014
you've turned off all the lab equipment and are sitting around waiting
for the 3-day Labor Day weekend to start, kill some time with a
couple of these new articles.
Precision Validation of Radar
System Performance in the
Field, W. Yu
Why Are Oscilloscope Probe
Amps at the Tip?, A. Pini
& L. Jacobs
Selecting an RF Power Meter
or Sensor (p.54), LadyBug
Match Impedances When
On-Site Testing of Lightning
Protection Devices, K. Rand
Communications for Next
X. Sheng & X. Yuanming
Substitution Jigs Speed Service
you do it all the time, but at some point either someone suggested
and/or showed you how to clip
substitute components into a circuit in place of a suspected
bad component while troubleshooting or maybe during the design or
tuning process. Miniature circuits of today pretty much rule out
using alligator clips to patch in a part, but sometimes it is possible
to use miniature J clip leads or even pin probes to make the connection
long enough to take a measurement. Since I do a fair amount of circuit
work on other-than-RF applications, I often find myself using short
insulated, stranded wires with mini alligator clips on each end
to make connections.
Thanks Once Again to Anatech
Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range
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 environmental specifications.
Delta Intros New 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN
of Low PIM Connectors
/ 9.5 Mini DIN series of coaxial connectors are designed to
meet the growing demands of today’s high performance mobile communications
systems. Mechanically similar to the 7/16 series, the 4.1/9.5 Mini
DIN's 30% smaller size and reduced weight, allow increased package
density and flexibility in system design. Delta offers a wide range
of standard 4.1 / 9.5 Mini DIN configurations including: male and
Choosing Your Crossovers
crossover networks have the same fundamental mission as RF multiplexer
filters in radio systems, which is to separate and steer specific
bands of frequencies into two or more signal paths. While simple
in concept, implementation in hardware can be a major challenge
depending on requirements for channel separation, feedthrough, phase
and group delay, amplitude equalization, distortion, and other factors.
This article discusses some of the decisions used by crossover network
designers when considering where to make band breaks, while leaving
actual circuit design rules to other authors. I built a set of custom
speakers many moons ago and went through the frustrating process...
ISO 9001:2008 Certification
Monolithics Industries, Inc. (PMI) announced that they have received
their ISO 9001:2008
certification for their Quality Management System. With the
recent successful completion of the audit at the El Dorado Hills,
CA facility, now all three PMI facilities, including both facilities
located in Frederick, MD, are ISO certified. ISO 9001:2008 certification
is a prestigious certification requiring companies to meet the complex
and demanding documentation, quality system and continuous process
Carl & Jerry:
Therry and the Pirates
can still buy from Moog today the same sort of
Theremin that was described in this 1961
Carl & Jerry episode. Ever the early adopters of breaking
technology, the teenagers exploit the motion-sensitive feature of
the Theremin in hopes of improving Carl's basketball game. As usual
the boys, in mock dialog, describe the Theremin's operational theory
for the benefit of readers not familiar with the musical instrument.
They do not, however, mention that the device is named after its
Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.
Read on to discover how a Theremin strapped to Jerry's back...
Please Thank Test Equipment
Equipment Connection Corporation is your single source
test & measurement solution. We offer over 300 test equipment
manufacturers including Agilent, Tektronix, Anritsu,
Schwarz, Advantest and Fluke, plus thousands of New, Used, Second
Hand, and Refurbished test equipment products. We buy and sell bench
top, general-purpose test and measurement equipment. $2M is budgeted
each month for the purchase of surplus equipment.
Tracking Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications, by Zhancang
Wang. Envelope tracking technology is seen as the most promising
efficiency enhancement technology for RF PA for 4G and beyond wireless
communications. More and more organizations are investing and researching
on this topic with huge potential academic and commercial values.
This is the first book on the market to give complete introduction,
theory, and design considerations on envelope tracking for wireless
at 18,000 M.P.H.
days, I'm always a bit hesitant to publish or do Internet research
on items mentioning chemical compounds any more toxic than rubbing
alcohol. This article reports on early plans of the Vanguard satellite
launch platform for America's first orbiting satellites. Although
the main focus is on the
electronic steering and stabilization systems, it mentions the
fuel composition of nitric acid and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine.
That's probably enough to cause a federal agent to come knocking
on my door... or at least put me on some sort of surveillance list.
Less exotic fuels like LOX (not to be confused
with the fish used on bagels),
"Sweater Girls" Are Really
in Demand at
no sooner gets alone with a
sweater girl than he's trying to pull the wool over her eyes."
That's a really old joke that only old guys remember. 'Sweater girl'
was a term used to describe... how do I properly put it?... Dolly
Parton types (you know, having a good singing
Anyway, I thought you might need to be apprised of the origin of
the term to appreciate the title of this article from a 1944 edition
of Radio Craft. You're welcome.
IMS2014 Student Design
(formerly AWR Corporation) awarded
the first-, second- and third-place winning teams of the
IMS2014 Student Design Contest for High-efficiency Power Amplifier
and High-sensitivity Radar complementary one-year licenses of NI
AWR Design Environment™ software.
Notable Tech Quote
is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which
two or threes years ago was thought to hold the solution to the
[flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must
turn elsewhere." - Thomas A. Edison, New York World, November
17, 1895. This, from the man who reportedly tried more than 1,000
different materials for his incandescent light bulb before arriving
at a coil of carbon filament.
A Ham in the Making
is a little more tech comic artistry from Bill Hutchinson. Bill
created a lot of work for Popular Electronics over the
years in addition to his semi-regular
Hobnobbing with Harbaugh series. One of the comics mentions
an operator being referred to as a 'lid.' In Hamdom, the term means
a person who is incompetent or stupid. The history of 'lid'
is apparently uncertain (as is 'Ham')
per many sources I checked, but two explanations seem the most feasible
to me. The first is that in the olden days of land telegraphy, less
skilled Morse code operators supposedly placed the lid of a tobacco...
first of a two-part "Radar
Principles" article by British engineer and researcher Dr. R.L.
Smith-Rose. Dr. Smith-Rose explains the basics of radio detection
and ranging using simple illustrations and calculation examples.
When these articles were written, radar had recently been credited
with playing a major role in helping the Allies successfully wage
war against aggressive Axis powers that were ravaging London and
other European cities with air attacks comprised of both manned
and unmanned vehicles. While the principles of radar were somewhat
familiar to people...
TriQuint High-Linearity, Low-
Blocks in Die Form
Ltd. announces design and sales support for four new
high-linearity, low noise gain blocks from TriQuint. Offered
as DIE, they target hybrid assembly designs requiring the highest
level of performance unencumbered by package parasitics. All devices
cover applications from 0.05 to 4 GHz such as commercial and
military radar receivers, EW, communication LNA designs and general
purpose LNA designs needing highly linear amplifiers...
Thanks Again to Parsec
specializes in embedded passive and
active antenna modules
for GPS, GNSS, M2M, IoT (Internet-of-Things)
and LTE. Parsec also has a full line of high performance, LNA ICs
for wireless and mobile markets. Parsec's offerings significantly
improve system performance and signal integrity with high efficiency
embedded antennas using smaller ground planes, higher gain, and
higher IP3 performance while insuring low noise and excellent Rx
for August 25, 2014
CEO Jeff Weiner hit a home run with his recent post titled
The 3 Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With. The article's
content is undeniably interesting, but I guarantee the fame factor
is based on the Venn diagram that he created. It's simple and sure
to get a chuckle out of you. Here are a few more useful articles:
5 Ways New Grads Can
Get a Boost up the
at 50? Now What?
to Answer the 'Tell Me
About Yourself' Interview
Science & Engineering
science and engineering-themed crossword puzzle, like last week's
crossword puzzle, and all the weeks before that, was custom made
by me and contains only words and clues pertaining to science and
engineering. Print it out and take it to your next diversity in
the workplace meeting so you can honestly say you got some mental
stimulation out of it. Enjoy!
Radar Principles Part II
second part of the "Radar
Principles" article by British engineer and researcher Dr. R.L.
Smith-Rose provides a historical perspective of the very beginnings
of radar systems. Although alluded to by technical visionaries like
Hugo Gernsback, George Orwell, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, et al, for
use in target detection and ranging (but rarely
speed, oddly enough). According to Dr. Smith-Rose, the first
use of radio waves for detection and distance measurement was in
atmospheric studies to characterize the ionosphere, in a bistatic
configuration. It is an interesting and quick read, and you might
even be introduced to the concept of a "squegging"
Aviat Networks Needs
Director of Systems &
to our 50 years of industry experience, Aviat Networks knows microwave
transmission better than anyone, and now we are delivering the next
generation of LTE proven microwave networking solutions that bring
together high performance radio transmission and smart network evolution
to all-IP. Aviat has an opening for a
Systems & Services Networks Director, responsible for developing
and executing a services strategy that supports the existing customer
business and the sector's growth strategy. Please see description
for details if interested...
Using a Balanced Aerial System
and QRN (manmade and natural interference,
respectively) has been a problem to be dealt with since the
beginning of radio communications. Amplitude modulation
(AM) was and is still the most vulnerable
because there are so many sources of electrical and electromagnetism
generation - both intentional and unintentional. Filters can take
care of out-of-band noise, but inband noise needs to be dealt with
differently. Some inband interference can be reduced in effectiveness
with circuits using specific time constants that address specific
noise types. One of the most successful methods for mitigating generic
noise is to limit the opportunity for noise signals to enter the
system by employing directional antennas...
A Radial-Beam Tube
multiplexing was originally performed using a rotating mechanical
device with commutator contacts. Such a contraption suffered from
a number of limitations including contact wear, noise, speed, size
and weight. Probably the most limiting were contact wear and switching
speed. Bulk could be accommodated because back then everything was
vacuum tube switches were eventually used to build multiple
(n) input / multiple
(m) output switching circuits, but
the space needed to contain them grew exponentially with the...
Please Thank IPP
for Their Support!
Power Products has more than 30 years of experience designing
couplers, combiners, baluns, resistors, and terminations incorporate
the latest technology in materials available, which equates
to unrivaled product performance.
ADF 2014 Registration Opens
for India Locations
(formerly AWR Corporation) has added
three locations in India during the first week of September to its
2014 AWR Design Forum (ADF) tour.
The event agenda has been set and registration is now open. Agenda
highlights include: New Innovations and Technologies in the NI AWR
Design Environment™ Microwave Cavity Filter Design Transceiver Module
and Multi-Element Phased Array Design Cree GaN Models and Process
Design Kit for First Pass MMIC Designs RFIC Design 3D EM Simulators
for PCB Design...
Frontiers in Antennas: Next
Gen Design &
in Antennas: Next Generation Design & Engineering, by Frank
Gross. Edited by one of the world's foremost authorities on smart
antennas and featuring contributions from global experts, Frontiers
in Antennas discusses the latest advances in antenna design and
engineering. This pioneering guide deals primarily with frontier
antenna designs and frontier numerical methods. Many of the concepts
presented have emerged within the last few years and are still in
a rapid state of development. Each chapter provides in-depth details
on a unique and modern antenna technology.
Radios Serviced by Observation
who has done a lot of
electronics troubleshooting - especially on a wide variety of
hardware - knows that proficiency depends on acquiring a 'feel'
for how things ought to be. An oft-given example is that bank tellers
and store clerks are taught to spot counterfeit bills not by showing
them what all the different phony currency looks like, but what
real money looks like. That way, anything that does not look familiar
is readily apparent. The same philosophy has served technicians
and engineers well since the beginning of electrical and electronic
circuits. The more senses that can be drawn upon to facilitate troubleshooting,
the more quickly you are likely to pinpoint the problem. Depending
on the symptoms of the failure, sniffing the assembly for toasted
Pasternack Releases New
Enterprises, an industry-leading manufacturer and supplier of RF,
microwave and millimeter wave products, debuts an entirely new family
high isolation PIN diode switches consisting of three low insertion
loss, high isolation and high speed modules, covering a frequency
range of 1 to 12 GHz. When signal integrity and performance are
a critical component of system functionality, the higher the isolation
figure, the better the overall performance will be...
Many Thanks to Cobham
Antenna Systems for
in the design and development of high gain, printed circuit arrays,
wide-band directional antennas, multi-octave
bicones and high gain collinear omni-directional antennas. Large
catalogue of antenna designs. Specialist development projects from
250 MHz to 40 GHz. Communication industry awareness and
expertise in antenna physics ensure customer satisfaction.
Men Who Made Radio -
Sir Oliver Lodge
Craft magazine ran a monthly series of short articles paying
tribute to some of shakers and movers in the field of science -
this time it was
Sir Oliver Lodge. "While Hertz was discovering radio waves in
air, Lodge was determining the laws of the corresponding activity
which takes place in electrical conductors. It was Lodge who demonstrated
the possibility of radio communication, experimentally, as Marconi
did its commercial value - just as Henry created the telegraph and
Morse made it of practical utility."
A Handful of Techie Jokes
a human handful with a complete compliment of four fingers and a
thumb. I have no idea who first thought of these jokes, but thanks
to whoever did. I especially like the
Radio Service Edition
mobile and other high-vibration and impact operational environments
became the norm for communications, it became necessary to design
hardware so that electronic components would not work themselves
loose and cause intermittent or total failure. With vacuum tubes,
placing locking shields over them did the job, but that caused other
issues such as increased cost, poor cooling, and increased chassis
size and weight. Some circuits with high power and/or frequency
benefited from shields, but most did not need them. Sylvania introduced
a scheme called "Lock-In" (trademark name
the center pin incorporated a circumferential groove that latched
into a capturing mechanism. It was strong enough...
Werbel Microwave's 2.2-2.3 GHz
Microwave is developing a standard line of
narrowband 180-degree hybrids. A signal applied to the sum port
produces two outputs of equal amplitude and phase, while a signal
applied to the delta port produces output signals of equal amplitude
but opposite phase. The model 2Q11 was designed to fulfill a custom
requirement from 2.2-2.3 GHz. Measured return loss was 1.2:1
or better, 25 dB isolation and 0.3 dB insertion loss.
Phase balance was within ±5 degrees...
Notable Tech Quote
waves in the earth mean something more than mere telegraphy without
wires to any distance. They will enable us to attain many important
specific results impossible otherwise. For instance, by their use
we may produce at will, from a sending-station, an electrical effect
in any particular region of the globe; we may determine the relative
position or course of a moving object, such as a vessel at sea,
the distance traversed by the same, or its speed; or we may send
over the earth a wave of electricity traveling at any rate we desire...
Nikola Tesla describing a future technology called radar. "The
Problem of Increasing Human Energy," The Century, 1900.
Anatech's August Newsletter
Electronics, a manufacturer of
RF and microwave filters, has published its August 2014 newsletter.
As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about
relevant industry events. This month, Sam Benzacar offers his views
on the subjects of Fiber: Too Slow for Wall Street, NASA Examines
Microwave Propulsion, Report: Northeast Has "Fastest" Broadband.
It also pays tribute to Dr. Norman Abramson, founder of ALOHAnet
as part of his theme on "Wi-Fi's Changing the Wireless Playbook."
Many Thanks to KR Electronics
over 40 years KR Electronics has designed and manufactured
RF & microwave filters for the commercial and military
markets. KR Electronics manufactures all filter
and individually synthesizes filters for special applications.
State of the art computer synthesis, analysis and test methods are
used to meet the most challenging specifications.
won in the realm of
space-based communications has been fraught with many failures.
As with most endeavors, it is thanks to the relative few who have
sacrificed and endured against overwhelming odds to bring significant
technological advances in communications to the many. Space presents
a particularly difficult venue because of the harsh deployment and
operational environment, and inaccessibility after deployment. Personal
sacrifice has taken the form of depression, financial ruin, lost
opportunity for other endeavors, broken families, sickness, substance
abuse, and other maladies...
Les Paul: Technician
William Polsfuss is credited with being a major player in the
pioneering of electric guitars with his solid-body
(no acoustic resonance chamber) model...
but you probably knew that. As if being a popular musician and,
along with wife Mary Ford, selling millions of records wasn't enough,
Les Paul was an experimenter and inventor in the electronic
music realm. Here is what was at the time a contemporary look inside
his home-workshop-studio. Mr. Polsfuss designed and built the record
cutter that he used in his early days out of scrounged automobile...
Thanks Again to RIGOL
for Their support!
Technologies is an emerging T&M leader and a technology innovator
in electronic measurement. RIGOL's
of products including: Digital o-scopes,
RF spectrum analyzers, DMMs, programmable power supplies, signal
generators, and waveform generators. The
DSA800 Spectrum Analyzer redefines the product category by setting
new standards for performance and price.
Free Books & Excerpts
Well, almost free. The price paid is providing your email address
so they can be sent to you. In >5 years of recommending these
books and white papers, I have never had anyone complain about spam
after requesting them. I make a few ¢ on each, so please help
yourself to any or all of these offered by
and Systems for
Optics for Dummies
Letters for Dummies
Seeker Strategies to Stay Ahead of the Career Curve
- According to Them: Uncovering blind
spots that impact your reputation and your
Find - and Get - The Job You Want: 12
Steps to Job Search Success
Crossword for August
Sunday I create an
engineering-themed 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.