Amplical was founded by Engineers for Engineers. Amplical
is determined to be a leading supplier of quality RF microwave components.
Utilizing the latest in RF microwave technology, Amplical focuses on premium quality amplifiers
and attenuators at affordable prices. Amplifiers are tuned for exceptional amplitude flatness and our attenuators are designed
for precision and the utmost in accuracy. Our products are typically available from stock.
The world's first
wristwatch went on sale on January 3, 1957 - the Ventura model, by Hamilton Electric, and it retailed for $200.
I use the event as the theme of the RF Cafe logo for that day in history. Unlike today's electric watches which use a crystal
for timing, the early watches used a pulsed motor to energize the balance wheel coil, in place of a mainspring and an escapement
mechanism. The watch shown in this article from the February 1958 edition of radio-electronics is a model 500, which you
can find more detail about on the Unique Watch Guide website.
Telit Wireless Solutions, a global provider
of high-quality M2M solutions, products and services and Parsec Technologies, a global supplier of advanced amplifier technology
communications products, solutions, and services, today announced that a combination of the companies' technologies results
in the world's lowest profile companion solution for GPS receiver and antenna. For host devices able to accommodate higher
volumetric symmetry, assembly of the components can be made to fit a 6x16x8 mm volume. Along with class leading miniaturization,
the receiver outperforms top traditional designs
Echo 1 was put into orbit on August 12, 1960. This
article was written 2½ years earlier in 1958 by Radio-Electronics editor Hugo Gernsback. A technology visionary and prolific
inventor and writer, Mr. Gernsback astutely outlined the vast number of advantages that had already been and would in the
future be afforded the science community by virtue of a satellite's perspective from space. Two of the Soviet Union's Sputnik
satellites had revealed the surprisingly irregular shape and gravitational influence of the Earth, information about the
upper atmosphere, and aspects of
environment effects on radio communications. America was scrambling to catch up. Gernsback and others postulated the
configuration of active relay transceivers powered by solar cells and storage...
Backed by decades of experience
in the design of Noise Sources and Instrumentation for telecommunications, Noisewave is a complete supplier of specialty
Noise Components and Test Equipment. Noise
is our focus, our business, so we can help yours. We provide our customers with high quality standard and custom noise test
solutions to meet commercial and military wireless applications.
Perry Mason often used two precisely
timed tactics to wrap up his courtroom cases. The first was asking the sworn party on the stand something like, "What if
I told you we found the knife you threw away and Forensics lifted your fingerprints off it?" Said perp's council and the
spectators would gasp in amazement and the murderer would subsequently offer a full confession, then ask Mr. Mason how he
found the knife. "I never said we found the knife, I said 'what IF I told you we found the knife?'" The second tactic was
making inadmissible statements for the jury to hear, knowing that the judge would instruct them to disregard it. As Robert
Ambrogi states in this article titled, "Excluding
Expert Testimony the Jury Already Heard...
Anatech Electronics has released new designs
for a 729 MHz LC bandpass filter, an 800 / 1600 / 2400 MHz triplexer filter, and a 813/858 MHz PTT SAW duplexer filter.
All can be ordered directly through their AMCrf web store.
following paper titled "The Design
of Ultra Narrow-band Amplifiers Using Small Signal Varactor Up-converters for ESM, ECM, ECCM, and ELINT Applications"
was submitted for publication by Planar Monolithics Industries, Inc. (PMI), and has been duly accepted by the Technical
Committee and Management of EWCI-2014. The full text of the paper can be found here on
or on the
In another blast
from the past, I just found an advertisement by Bell Telephone Laboratories announcing
"Twistor" memory in a 1958 edition of Radio-Electronics. According to Bell, their radically new "Twistor"
magnetic memory matrix was vastly superior to conventional ferrite core memories. It used hair-thin magnetic wires
(more like a flattened tape) interwoven with equally thin copper wires to store and read out
ones and zeroes. Doing so reduced manufacturing costs, by eliminating the relatively expensive ferrite cores and eliminating
the difficult job of threading the read, write, and sense wires through the core centers. Twistor memory also required less
current to operate, was denser, and weighed less than core memory. Within a decade CMOS RAM was available to replace the
magnetic memory, but from a reliability standpoint...
NuWaves Engineering, an international radio frequency
(RF) and embedded systems solutions provider, announced today that the company has added AeroGear
Telemetry, Inc. as an authorized representative of its products and design services for the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and
South Central regions of the U.S., in total covering 17 states as well as the District of Columbia.
With over 100 years of combined sales experience serving the Military, Aerospace, and Government market sectors, AeroGear
provides expertise with telemetry, instrumentation, and surveillance & reconnaissance communication electronics solutions.
"NuWaves' sales and support footprint has grown considerably
Microwave Journal, an industry
leading Horizon House technical publication, has released the industry's first
interactive technical magazine that uses the augmented reality
app Layar to overlay digital information onto the pages. When readers scan the pages that are marked with the "Scan page
using Layar app" logo with their mobile device, digital information is overlaid onto the print page. Readers will be able
to experience more engaging rich media delivered automatically and can tap the screen to view other related information.
Videos and animations appear to "play out of the page" in the augmented reality mode
We all have pet peeves, which begs the question, "What is yours?" One of my
pet peeves is the nearly universal misuse of the phrase "begs the question." As presented in the first sentence, the usage
is utterly incorrect. To "beg the question" does not mean a question is begging to be asked. Rather, it describes the occasion
of a self-proving statement, a logical fallacy or circular reasoning. Grammarians refer to the transgression as "BTQ Abuse." Supposedly, the original derivation is from the Latin term
"petitio principii," meaning to petition the principle, or to challenge the assertion of a statement. For example, if I
say, "ABC Corporation's receivers are superior to XYZ Corporation's inferior receivers," I have begged the question...
Technology: Principles, Architectures and Applications, by Ralf Rudersdorfer. Basic principles and theories of present-day
communications receiver technology presenting realization concepts at the system level, taking into consideration the various
types of users. Details of the circuitry are described providing the reader with an understanding of fully digitized radio
receivers, offering an insight into the state-of-the-art. The author outlines fields of applications and their features
and considers the specialty of high-quality radio receivers. They are typically used for radio surveillance, signal intelligence,
modern radio bearing and at the classical radio services and describes the entire range of parameters that are useful for
the characterization of these receivers.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. People
(including, admittedly, me) don't want to have to pay for any type of media delivery, especially
when it arrives via air waves or the Internet. We expect to pay for print media like books, newspapers, and magazines...
unless they are available online, in which case they should be free. Six months before I was born, a reader of
Radio-Electronics magazine wrote to declare his outrage at the fledgling industry of
That a viewer would be expected to pay the broadcaster for a show that was being, in his opinion, amply subsidized by advertisers,
was an outrageous concept, an unthinkable assault on all that is holy. While his indignation was probably shared by the
majority of the television viewing public, evidently the maniacal scheme succeeded...
Justin Crooks sent me an
e-mail alerting me to a free* distributed element filter program he just released called "FilterDE." It was designed to assist in the development
of distributed element RF microwave filters, consisting of series and open shunt transmission line elements for low pass
filters, or parallel coupled lines for band pass filters. For low pass filters, FilterDE uses an iterative optimizer, enabling
the user to design a filter by specifying the desired performance of the filter and the number of poles. For band pass filters,
it uses edge coupled filters based on Chebyshev polynomials. FilterDE uses ideal, loss-less models for distributed elements.
This means that there will be higher insertion loss and more rounded transition regions." I downloaded and ran FilterDE
and entered parameters...
Triad RF Systems, was formed
in 2010 with the objective to solve the problem of high power amplifiers (HPAs) being the
Achilles heel in most RF radios. We have solutions for integrating high performance HPAs into sophisticated RF
subsystems and systems without
sacrificing efficiency and linearity. Triad RF Systems serves all areas of the RF and Microwave industries including military,
satellite and commercial communications. Our products operate from 10 MHz to 20 GHz.
The barman says, "We don't serve faster-than-light
particles here." A tachyon enters a bar. - Anon. Ok, so it's not really a quote, but put it
on the cover of your next presentation for a good laugh.
Aliens sculpt crop circles with regularity on the country sides of England, so the appearance
of this 310-foot pattern carved into a barley field in California left the locals wondering if ET and his gang were broadening
their "hood" by tagging spots in the U.S. As it turns out, the spectacle of agricultural art was the handiwork of the NVIDIA company, done as a promotional scheme to draw (cut, actually)
attention to their newest über video microprocessor chip. Sporting 192 processor cores, the
Tegra K1 claims, "the chip would make for a tablet more powerful
than an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 game console, while consuming one-twentieth the power." Those little depressions in the
center of the IC are the Braille form of the number 192. GPS-equipped tractors are able to create patterns with amazing
accuracy, but in this case...
Every 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
KR Electronics invites visitors to
explore its new website at www.krfilters.com. The new website
is designed with improved navigation and functionality. Customers can access data sheets for nearly one thousand previously
designed filters or request a custom filter online. Please visit our new site and give us your feedback using the customer
feedback form. Providing custom and standard innovative filter solutions for both the commercial and military markets for
over 40 years.
Here is the very first episode of
the "Carl & Jerry" series that ran for many years in Popular Electronics magazine. In the manner
of The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, et al, Carl and Jerry are two teenage boys who, in their pursuit of their electronics hobby,
manage to get themselves involved in crime scene investigations, in odd situations with friends and adults, and even while
horsing around in their basement laboratory. Amateur radio was a key feature of many of their adventures. John T. Frye authored
every adventure as he developed his sleuthing buddies over time to go from a frumpy Jerry Bishop with a "well-padded frame"
and a Farside-esque bespectacled Carl Anderson to a couple more stealthy, professional looking investigators who sometimes
employed MacGyver-like tactics...
everything RF has published a list of most popular on its
website in 2013. Categories include RF / microwave components,
news stories, test equipment, and white
papers. There are currently 129,148 RF & Microwave Products from over 318 Companies listed in 217 Categories listed
in the RF & Microwave Company Directory on everything
National Company of Cambridge,
Massachusetts, was one of the first large distributors of electronics components and appliances. Believe it or not, National
began life as the National Toy Company. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. James Millen, W1HRX, in designing and marketing high
quality radio products, the company evolved into a favorite source by both amateur radio operators and casual listeners
of shortwave radios. The NC80X covered the commercial broadcast band and a couple shortwave bands, whereas the NC81X covered
only multiple shortwave bands for amateur radio use.
Although this article discusses audio waveform
measurements, the lesson learned applies equally well to any waveform frequency. In the RF realm, we are accustomed to injecting
two sinewaves at equal amplitudes into a unit under test (UUT) and reading the relative output
powers of the two input signals and the
n-order intermodulation signals. It is usually a very simple test with simple to interpret results handily
shown on the display of a spectrum analyzer. The task is made a bit more difficult when injecting signals of unequal strengths
and especially when measuring in units of voltage as a viewed on an oscilloscope display. I dare say most of us need to
do some head scratching and looking up of formulas to pull off such a measurement.
PMI's organization has been setup to
design, develop, manufacture, test, and market complex state-of-the-art hybrid RF MIC and MMIC components, supercomponents, and subsystems.
Unique products for applications in space, military, commercial, telecommunications, and consumer electronics systems from
DC to 40 GHz.
Recently, I commented on the behind-the-scenes efforts
by many people that go into developing products which eventually become ubiquitous in our everyday world. Just like looking
up the answer to an end of the chapter problem in the back of a textbook, the result often seems so obvious that you wonder
why it wasn't apparent to begin with. The newest installment of
Sherlock Ohms is a great illustration
of the point. This anecdote by A. David Boccuti is a prime example of dedication to finding cost-effective solutions to
manufacturing challenges. Having worked in concert with many mechanical engineers over the years, I have amassed a lot of
respect for the ingenuity exhibited by my fellow product development travelers. In the 'old days,' while under the employment
of defense contractors, price...
API Technologies Corp.,
a leading provider of high performance RF/microwave, power, and security solutions for critical and high-reliability applications,
is now offering a switched multiplexer
that includes an integrated LNA. Designed for radar, EW and ELINT applications, this new multiplexer provides excellent
broadband performance across the 2 GHz to 18 GHz range using suspended substrate stripline
(SSS) technology. Specifically suited for agile receiver front ends and directional finding
systems, API’s switched multiplexer provides a 20 dB gain with a 5 dB noise figure and fast switching at 100 ns
Whilst searching for some employment news, I ran across
a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics web page that gave
median annual salaries for engineers and technicians in 2012. I doubt the numbers moved much in 2013. Median is the
point where half the samples are less than and half the samples are greater than that median number. Personally, I prefer
a mean average number along with a standard deviation. The problem with a median value is that it is possible (albeit not
necessarily probable) that the lower half values all lie within, say, 2% below the median, while the upper half values lie
200% above the median. In such a situation the mean average of the sample would be almost 100% (2x) the median and the standard
deviation, and the standard deviation would be nearly equal to the median. For example this set of sample data produces
the following statistical numbers values...
If you appreciate good humor, then you'll appreciate these comics from
the January 1958 edition of Radio-Electronics. Their themes are representative of situations common in the era
- like TV repairman woes and men obsessed over electronics gadgets while ignoring their wives. Not that there are ever any
comics in today's electronics magazines, but if there were, they likely would poke fun at Oblivion texters and depict fathers
being made to look like fools by their disrespectful kids for not knowing how to program a Roku player.
"Rediscovery of FM Broadcasting" could be a contemporary headline. The decline of broadcast radio has been
a major concern of station owners for well over a decade since Internet and satellite radio has dominated the venue through
which listeners access radio stations. Local broadcasters have long aired syndicated programs that include national advertising,
but the money to pay for those segments came from revenue supplied largely by local companies. FM broadcasting began commercially
around 1945 in the familiar 88-108 MHz band yielded by the military after World War II, and grew in number of
stations very rapidly in the first few years. Then, it began a decline for a few more years until finally leveling off after...
Website visitor Cornell D. sent me
an e-mail about a website called Iowa Hills Software. Per the site's tag line, "The
analog and digital filter design programs on
this site are free. This web site, and the programs on it, are a retired RF engineer's winter time hobby." If your primary
interest is in calculating theoretical values for filters and not being able to simulate "real world" effects of component
geometry and materials, packaging, and circuit boards, then it would be hard to find a more comprehensive program for investigating
the potential for filter designs. However, the software goes beyond presenting only the canonical form
(basic) of the circuits because, particularly for bandpass and bandstop filters, it is often
difficult or impossible to realize with actual components...
History of Semiconductor Engineering, by Bo Lojek.
This book provides a unique account of the history of integrated circuit, the microelectronics industry and the people involved
in the development of transistor and integrated circuit. In this richly illustrated account the author argues that the group
of inventors was much larger than originally thought. This is a personal recollection providing the first comprehensive
behind-the-scenes account of the history of the integrated circuit.
Like so many things in life that we take for
granted - aspirin, automatic clothes washers, drill motors and bits, eyeglasses, rifles, bicycles, transistors, to name
a few - we rarely think about the effort that went behind the end product that is now enjoyed. Even relatively simple devices
like scissors are the result of someone saying to himself or herself, "Self, I need something to make cutting fabric and
paper and hair simpler and neater, so what might that thing look like?" Then, after making a working prototype, improvements
are made based on empirical testing from usage, improvements are made in the form factor, materials, size, etc., until evolution
results in what can be purchased today. If you have ever been in a product design cycle, either privately or corporately,
then you know the process well. A concept as sophisticated as
developing television is much more involved than developing...
Amateur radio station operators seemed to always
be amongst the first to lose their rights in time of war. Governmental power brokers - from unelected local bureaucrats
on up to presidents - love to demonstrate their influence over citizens when the opportunity arises. The
Radio Act of 1912 revoked the rights of amateur radio stations to operate, and in some cases authorized
the confiscation of radio equipment for use by the government. Permission was not restored until 1919, after World War I.
Amateurs took it on the chin again in World War II with revocation of licenses. In this 1917 article in The Electrical
Experimenter publisher Hugo Gernsback makes the case for permitting "our red-blooded boys be trusted to assist our
officials in running down spies" "...we realize how absurd it is to close all privately owned radio stations during the
war," says he. It fell on deaf ears...
"Long live the amateur, long live wireless!" - Opening sentence in opening article in first edition of
Hugo Gernsback's new
The Electrical Experimenter magazine (May 1913). Gernsback was an
indefatigable pioneer electrical and electronics inventor, publisher of many electronics magazines, and founder of the Wireless
Association of America.
(aka "mag amps") use a property of saturated core inductors (saturable
reactors) to obtain signal amplification via a transformer-type plus diode-assisted voltage multiplication.
amplifiers were preferred over vacuum tube amplifiers in some circuits because they do not require a high bias voltage,
are generally smaller in size, are quite robust and are practically immune to microphonics. Their biggest limitation is
bandwidth. The high number of turns in the core provides a lot of interwinding capacitance so the self-resonant frequency
is in the low megahertz range. Additionally, the need for the magnetic amplifier reactor to operate in a saturated condition
further imposed a limit on the frequency response. Even today, there are some critical applications that exploit the fool-proof
and ultra high reliability nature of the magnetic amplifier. This article goes into the details of operation both as amplifiers
and as bistable multivibrators.
As promised last week, 2014's first
RF & Microwave Crossword Puzzle
is pretty big. With about 220 words that are all hand-selected to be technically oriented, this is one of the bigger formats
I use. Software does all the hard word of making everything fit, but I design the grid and have built the word-clue dictionary
from scratch over the course of 10 years. Your company's name might even appear one day.
DongJin Technology Innovation has published
a new pamphlet detailing a line of RF power divider / combiners
with operational frequencies ranging from 10 MHz through 2700 MHz and power handling as high as 20 W. Small
sizes make them ideal for mobile communications equipment applications. All feature low insertion loss, low VSWR, high isolation,
aluminum bodies, compact size. Specifications can be customized for your application. SMA / N connector types are available.
RFtronics, an RF Cafe supporter since 2010, develops both
turnkey and custom solutions for the RF telecom equipment designers and manufacturers. Currently,
our product line includes
high power couplers, splitters / combiners and filters between 1 MHz
and 3 GHz. We have a tight relationship with a local, ISO certified manufacturer with a 25 000 sq. ft. facility and
more than 20 years experience in the RF/microwave design and manufacture. This gives us the best of both worlds, the agility
of a small company and the production capabilities of a larger-sized, high-volume manufacture.
The fundamentals of
Class-B push-pull amplifiers has not changed since 1960 when this article appeared in Electronics
World. The transistors for making them have improved in most cases, but the design procedures are basically the same.
Class-B amplifiers, in case you are not familiar with the topology, are able to amplify zero-referenced sinusoidal signals
throughout the full 360 degrees of rotation signals without an offset voltage bias; they are constructed from two Class-A
amplifiers in a cascode configuration. Issues like crossover distortion and thermal runaway are discussed in the amplifier
RF Cafe visitor Steve G. just sent me a link
to the Project Gutenberg website where
you can download copyright-free books and other material on a broad range of subjects. The particular page he sent me to
is for books with "radio" in the subject. There are currently more than 44,000 titles from which to choose, and many of
them are available in multiple file formats like HTML, Kindle, EPUB, and Plucker. Although most date back quite a few decades,
there are more contemporary titles whose authors placed them in the public domain for free, legal access. If you are a fan
of the Carl & Jerry adventure series from Popular Electronics, then you might enjoy The Radio Boys
and Astounding Stories of Super Science. If you like historical books on technology, maybe Project Trinity
1945-1946 would be of interest; interestingly, the opening page of the book reads, "Destroy this report when it is
PMI Model No. SDLVA-218-44-70M is a
Detector Log Video Amplifier
(DLVA) designed to operate over the 2.0 to 18.0 GHz frequency range. This model offers
a logging range of -40 to +4 dBm having a log slope of 70 mV/dB. The logging linearity is better than ±0.75 dB
and the rise time is 25 nsec maximum and the fall time 300 nsec maximum. This model operates on ±15 VDC.
Wave Technology's Coupling Matrix Synthesis (CMS) tool facilitates
synthesis of N+2 coupling matrices for Chebyshev bandpass filtering functions, with arbitrary finite-position transmission
zeroes. Filter orders up to 12, arbitrary placement of transmission zeroes, complex transmission zeroes, extended parameter
plotting options, S-parameter file (s2p) generation, topology matrix definition of filter circuits & much more.
You do know that
your E-ZPass™ is getting read all over town, don't you? If you have one of the devices hanging from your sun visor
and think that the only thing tracking your location is the tool booth plaza on the thruway, you might be in for a big surprise
once you build this E-ZHack circuit for your E-ZPass™. As presented
in the January 2014 edition, this modification will sound an audible alarm when the circuit detects that your E-ZPass™ is
being read. Per the article, "E-ZPass™ is a device that drivers can buy in 15 states to zip through tollbooths across the
country, usually without stopping. More than 24 million tags - and growing - exist in the U.S. alone. Each 'listens' for
a wireless signal broadcast by an electronic reader. When that signal is strong enough, a tag draws power from an onboard
battery to broadcast its serial number back to the reader. The reader then relays the information to a computer server to
bill the customer linked to the tag. Unbeknownst to most E-ZPass™ users...
This blog entry by Linx Technologies' Aaron Croslow
provides a good introduction to the world's various satellite navigation systems in operation and/or in planning and/or
building stages. The U.S. activated our Global Positioning System back in the early 1990s as the world's first such constellation
of satellites. Since then, Russia deployed its GLONASS system, the EU is on the verge of launching Galileo, and China is
working on its BeiDou Satellite Navigation System (BDS - aka Compass). Linx, as with many
GPS receiver manufacturers, is in the process of providing modules that work well with multiple systems.
JyeBao is an RF and microwave connector, cable, cable assembly
and passive components - fixed attenuators, matching pads, dividers / combiners, DC blocks, feedthrough & high power terminations, dipole antennas - manufacturer.
Synergies and large stock keep lead times to a minimum and allow us to offer customers an unparalleled flexibility. Innovation
is pivotal and we are constantly developing new products.
This quiz is based on the information presented in
Make Your Own Tube Testers and Electron Tube Equipment,
by Gary Steinbaugh. With more than 30 years of RF engineering experience and Ham radio involvement, Gary has a very broad
and deep proficiency in electronics. His new book, Make Your Own Tube Testers and Electron Tube Equipment, is a
great assimilation of his personal knowledge and includes some of the highest quality line drawings and photographs of any
technical book I have ever seen - and I've seen a lot of them! The preface section is also unique in nature, followed by
a short history of and basic circuit design principles for vacuum tubes. Gary also conceived of and built a 3-dimensional
physical model of the plate, transfer, and constant current characteristic curves for a typical vacuum tube (6SN7); you've