continuation of Part I covering the basics of
diode detectors gets into some of the specific circuit configurations
and their applications. Author Robert Scott touches on regenerative
and superregenerative feedback "tickler" circuits that are able
to detect very low level signals. You have no doubt heard of 'quenching,'
but how about 'squegging?' The nonlinear devices used in the article
happen to be vacuum tubes, so stay away if you suffer from
Radio Craft Magazine
as with the poor, the spies will always be among us. This story
reports on a bookstore in New York that during World War II
funneled money and technical information back to the Nazi Party
in Germany. Electronics, aerospace, and other technical publications
Radio-Craft) were chief among the sought-after sources.
The shop was a front operation that lost a huge sum of money per
the official accounting books, but had copious amounts of funds
pouring in from German 'investors.' Today's enemy money fronting
operations are largely radical...
Peregrine Intros 50 W Power
20 to 2000 MHz
Ltd. announces design and sales support for Peregrine Semiconductor’s
new, adjustable power limiter providing protection for up to 50 W
pulsed RF input. For CW applications, the
PE45140 handles up to 10 W of power. The adjustable power
limiting threshold, from +22 to +32 dBm, enables flexibility
across different platforms and architectures. Peregrine’s UltraCMOS,
monolithic solution is 8X smaller than comparable GaAs PIN diode
Sherlock Ohms: System
Lockup Stumps Engineer
Sherlock Ohms adventures go through occasional slumps in the
level of profundity and profoundness. Lately, they have been very
good, and this 'case' is no exception. Solving difficult problems
that can have many possible causes - compounded by being intermittent
and not being intentionally reproducible - often involves equal
amount of skill and luck. Even the luck part requires the troubleshooter
being smart enough to recognize and exploit the good fortune he
has encountered. Such is the situation here where fresh-out engineering
Alastair Stell becomes a company hero.
Cobham Antenna Systems
Has New MIMO Antenna
Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas, a leading antenna producer,
is proud to announce a new Multiple In Multiple Out
antenna range which contains almost 100 antennas. Included in
the range are omni, directional, sector, hemi-omni and blade omni
antennas, all with at least two connectors. Cobham’s MIMO range
makes use of polarisation diversity; vertical and horizontal (V+H),
±45° dual-slant or even right and left hand circular polarisations...
for Transatlantic Cable
knew that the British Post Office was ever in the vacuum tube development
business? This 1957 article about the world's first transatlantic
telephone line (TAT-1) mentions that
the amplifier and frequency equalizer repeater circuits and components
for the Newfoundland and Nova Scotia section of line was their responsibility.
Bell Telephone Lab handled the deep-sea portion of the system that
ran between Newfoundland and Scotland. Everything was designed to
have at least a 20-year service-free lifespan. TAT-1 was inaugurated
September 25, 1956, and was decommissioned in 1978 without any technical
failures, thus achieving its designed longevity...
& Career Advice
These publications are free for the asking... and I make a few
pennies on each one to boot. Thanks.
and Systems For Dummies
Engineering for Dummies Book Bundle
Seeker Strategies to Stay Ahead of the Career Curve
Interviews For Dummies
for a New Job (Or Thinking About It?)
What You Should Know First...
Guide to Microsoft's Cloud Productivity Suite - Office 365
The Jodrell Bank
astronomy has been the motivation for much research work in
the design of low noise, high sensitivity receivers, but also in
determining the characteristics of the Earth's upper atmosphere.
Before sounding rockets could be launched to verify theoretical
proposals, observed versus predicted behavior in radio signals being
reflected off the moon and planets needed to be explained and, if
necessary, corrected for. One notable example of atmospheric perturbation
is the rotation of polarization caused by electrons in the ionosphere
(the Faraday effect). Parametric and
cryogenically cooled receiver front end technology has been primarily
a little difficult to make out the shape within the
crossword puzzle grid, but it appears to be a transistor schematic
symbol. Unlike the weekly
RF Cafe crossword
puzzles, not all of the clues and words are specifically related
to science and engineering, but a large percentage of them are. Admittedly,
I have the advantage of a software program to help place the words
within the grid. Doing it by hand is a lot more work. I
can't imagine how the people who created the New York Times' Sunday-size
puzzles were able to do it without computer assistance!
Empower RF Systems
"Live" at EMC 2014
RF Systems is once again conducting live demonstrations of broadband,
high power amplifiers
with compelling performance, industry leading small size, and user
interface / functionality that dares to challenge legacy products
offered in the market. Next appearing at EMC 2014 in Raleigh (Booth
#311), we will be highlighting two different models - both covering
20 to 1000 MHz - 1 kW in a 5U chassis and 500 W in
an even smaller, 3U chassis...
Featured Book: EW Receivers
Warfare Receivers and Receiving Systems, by Richard A. Poisel.
Receivers systems are considered the core of electronic warfare
(EW) intercept systems. Without them,
the fundamental purpose of such systems is null and void. This book
considers the major elements that make up receiver systems and the
receivers that go in them. This resource provides system design
engineers with techniques for design and development of EW receivers
for modern modulations in addition to receivers for older, common
modulation formats. Each major module in these receivers is considered
Aviat Networks Looking for
a Product Engineer
you looking for an exciting opportunity working for a Global Technology
we take great pride in hiring a workforce that is committed to supporting
and strengthening our values and attributes. If you're a results-oriented,
customer centric and innovative thinker who also takes pride in
personal and professional integrity, Aviat Networks is the ideal
next step in your career. We are looking for a
Product Engineer loves to solve problems, enjoy change and know
how to have fun so come and join a dynamic team that strives to
bring communications to the world...
Measurement System (dB-FMS)
is a million dollar idea for you to consider. I hereby dub it the
Field Measurement System™" (dB-FMS™).
The concept came to me while reading a column in QST magazine discussing
the use of the EZNEC antenna radiation pattern prediction software.
As you know unless a antenna is situated in a perfect, unobstructed
environment like in the middle of a desert with a perfectly uniform
ground or on a space-based platform, physical obstacles and variations
in surface conductivity can significantly alter the 3-dimensional
field distribution. Columnist Joel Hallas is a master at EZNEC and
is routinely called upon to model antenna systems for people. As
important as length and orientation of antenna elements are, the
ground plane configuration can have a profound impact on the radiation
Dr. Stephen Maas Receives
(formerly AWR Corporation) congratulates
Dr. Stephen Maas, who recently received the
2014 Microwaves & RF Living Legend Award. Maas was presented
the award at the 2014 International Microwaves Symposium in June
in Tampa, Florida. Maas, chief scientist of AWR Group, NI and founder
of Nonlinear Technologies, has an extensive background in low-noise
and nonlinear microwave circuits and systems. He is a prolific author
and educator and has authored several books, including Microwave
Mixers, Non-Linear Microwave Circuits and Practical Microwave Circuits.
Maas has also held...
Notable Tech Quote
for July 29, 2014
again." That phrase is heard often in telephony conversations
both wired and wireless. It was coined near the end of World War II
by Air Corpsman 2nd Lt. Byron A. Susan, as reported in the
January 1945 edition of Radio Craft magazine. Lt. Susan
was responsible for setting standards for "radio
phraseology" to eliminate ambiguity between aviators and ground
forces. "Say again" replaced "Repeat" because the latter is an artillery
term used to order the repeat of a gun salvo.
Half Century of Electronics
Coherer to Spacistor
iconumerator (electronic particle counter),
the vidicon tube (TV image recorder),
the Electro Importing Co.'s Telimco (world's
first home wireless outfit), the Wireless Association of
America (founded before ARRL), the
Dynamophone (voice-activated switch),
the "Swatties" (members of the Society of
Wireless Telegraph Engineers), the "Detectorium"
(silicon crystal detector), Ralph 124C
41+ and his sweetheart Alice 212B 423 (Gernsback
sci-fi series) were covered.
Radio Amateur News predated QST as America's premier magazine
for Hams, the famous 1919 "Verboten" cartoon
(protested limitations on private radio operators
from the wartime era), the de Forest "Oscillion,"...
Sperry Gyroscope Company Ad
Bestowed to Public
is a household word these days - literally - since every microwave
oven contains one. Do you know who registered the trade name originally?
Per this advertisement from a 1945 edition of Radio Craft magazine,
Sperry Gyroscope Company did. It was actually scientists at Stanford
University (Russell and Sigurd Varian)
who developed the klystron tube, financed by Sperry as part of its
blind aircraft landing system. In an act of magnanimity that would
never be considered in today's competitive markets, Sperry issued
the following statement: "From now on, the name Klystron belongs
to the public, and may be used by anyone...
July 27, 2014 Wireless
the sake of avid cruciverbalists, each week I create a new
crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics,
chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be
asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical
endeavor (e.g., Hedy Lamar).
big graphic with Figures 1 through 17 reminds me of the kinds of
study sheets I used to make when cramming for exams in my college
circuits courses. Did I ever tell you about the wise guy instructor
I had for my first Circuits class at the University of Vermont?
Anyway, this article provides an introductory level treatment of
negative feedback in amplifier circuits. Lots of illustrations
and formulas are included. Frequencies are at baseband, so you won't
learn any secrets for high frequency amplifier stabilization, but
then even RF and microwave circuits eventually need to convert down
to baseband at some point for sampling or for use as audio or video.
for July 25, 2014
think I skipped a week with RF an microwave magazine article updates.
Those things multiply like rabbits, so there have been a slew published
since last time. Here are just a few highlights:
Method Eases Monopulse
System Jamming, D. Pan,
Overview of RF Switch
Applications, P. Bacon,
Waveguide Filters: New
Design Techniques for
Exploiting a Mature
Technology, A. Trusler
Seeing Jitter in an Eye
Diagram, J-J. DeLisle
Broadband Chokes for Bias
Tee Applications (p.56),
Measurements in an
M. Vogel and C.J.
I ever tell you about the guy I had for my first Active Circuits
class at the
University of Vermont? He was a real wise guy. During those
first few weeks our overloaded brains were bombarded with equations
and Bode plots and parameter names and circuit configurations, so
the anxiety level was very high. That was in conjunction with the
same scenario in four or five other classes; you probably know of
what I write. A typical class consisted of Professor Anderson beginning
in the upper left corner of the chalk board and writing at Olympic
speed as he progressed to the extreme lower right corner 50 minutes
Electronics Themed Comics
are a few more
comics from magazines of the days of yore. It is rare to find
a comic in a technical or hobby magazine these days. I don't know
why that is. Enjoy.
Rosenberger Micro-RF Test
Ltd. announces design and sales support for Rosenberger’s 15K101-40ME4
Micro-RF test switch connector. The 15K101-40ME4 Micro-RF test
switch is an ultra-miniature (1.8 mm x 1.9
mm, height 1.5 mm), low-cost, surface mount, coax "switch"
connector for the verification of antenna/circuit performance in
any kind of small device. The connector can be used for applications
that require a low-cost, SMD, coax, point-of-entry to a PCB and/or
a switch for temporarily disconnecting the on-board...
A Decibel Nomograph
nomograph. This one is for calculating the number of decibels
required to amplify or attenuate a voltage level. The chart came
from a 1945 edition of Hugo Gernsback's Radio Craft magazine,
but decibels are still defined today the way they were nearly 70
years ago. A hard copy of a nomograph residing in a notebook or
on the wall is still a handy tool when you need to do a quick calculation.
Unless you have a voice-commanded app where Siri will instantly
respond with a conversion for you, printing out one of these nomographs
might be a really handy aid...
Research at the Threshold
scientists suspected as recently as early 1957 that
Earth's upper atmosphere (ionosphere and
beyond) temperature might be around 1,000° K. I
say 'suspected' because we had not yet launched instruments there
to make actual measurements. Soundly posited and agreed upon theory
was validated a short time later when sounding rockets reliably
reported a maximum of about 1,300° K in the upper ionosphere.
We did not know for sure what electromagnetic wavelengths and their
respective energy densities would be outside the protective layers
of gases encompassing Earth. Much more was known about the depths
of the planet's oceans than of its atmosphere. Scientists knew that
life was abundant...
Anatech July 2014 Newsletter
Electronics, a manufacturer of
and microwave filters, has published its July 2014 newsletter.
As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about
relevant industry events, regulations, and standards. This month,
Sam Benzacar offers his views on the subjects of power line EMF
exposure, microwave device market growth, LTE TV, GM's LTE in-automobile
hot-spot, and switching consciousness on and off. He also has a
short article titled, "Curing
Interference: Never Too Late."
Career News & Tips
time for another round of job hunting and career advice stories.
There is no limit to the amount of advice offered by helpful 'experts.'
Many of these particular bits of guidance for your life come from
authors on LinkedIn, Monster, Money, etc., which typically do have
good content. Considering, however, the quality of helpful suggestions
offered by your friends and acquaintances in the real world, it
would be wise to learn a little about the source before potentially
risking your future.
Refresh Your Retro Resume
in 6 Steps
5 Words to Avoid Saying
During a Job Interview
Top 10 Tips for Salary
Thanks Once Again to
ATEC for Support!
Test Equipment Rentals provides the latest models of
test and measurement
equipment from top name manufacturers like
Fluke, Anritsu, R&S, Tektronix, and Yokogawa. Our primary focus
is providing a complete rental solution of test and measurement
equipment to industries such as aerospace, defense, EMC, and communications.
Chalco Paper Tape Reader
Cafe visitor Mark J. Blair (NF6X)
wrote to let me know about the
Chalco Paper Tape Reader that he procured and restored. The
Chalco unit was used in the
ground-based mobile airport surveillance and precision approach
radar. Mark would appreciate being
contacted by someone who actually worked with the reader on
the TPN-19. Mark has a very interesting website that you might enjoy.
Says he, "I like to collect, restore and play with military surplus
equipment, and that's mostly what this web site is all about."
for Engineers: Evaluation and Funding of Capital Projects, by
Frank Crundwell. I saw this book over on the EE Times website and
figured it would be a good subject for my Featured Book spot. With
flair and an originality of approach, Crundwell brings his considerable
experience to bear on this crucial topic. Uniquely, this book discusses
the technical and financial aspects of decision-making in engineering
and demonstrates these through case studies. It's a hugely important
matter as, of course, engineering solutions and financial decisions...
Unlocking the Mysteries
of Radar - AOC
TODAY, July 22 from 4-5 pm EDT.
There is still time and
space available to register for this afternoon's webinar presented
Fernando C Gonzalez. This interactive journey, from the humble
electron all the way up to the self-driving car, explores sound
and light, size, wavelength and frequency. Overview of the history
and evolution of radar. From the origins of radar prior to WWII,
through pulse Doppler, CW, monopulse radars, and to modern active
electronically scanned arrays (AESA),
the attendee will understand the fundamentals of how radars work.
A 10-15 minute Q&A follows.
National Union Radio Corp. Ad
- Women Engineers
Union Radio Corporation was ahead of its time in terms of hiring
women engineers. Admittedly, they and all other manufacturers
were dealing with a shortage of male engineers due to the ongoing
need by the military for fending off the scourges of fascism, Nazism,
communism, socialism, and all the other 'isms' of the day that threatened
to overtake the world. However, they should receive due credit for
going out of the way to promote the sciences as careers for the
fairer gender. The advertised positions required the successful
applicant to have earned a bona fide degree in physics, electrical
engineering, chemical engineering...
Notable Tech Quote
is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday
is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." -
Robert Hutchings Goddard
Carl & Jerry: Tussle
with a Tachometer
is a great example of how Popular Electronics and John
T. Frye used the "Carl & Jerry" series to teach some basic
electronics design principles through story telling. In this adventure,
the guys decide to build a
tachometer from schematics they found in a magazine. They debate
amongst themselves how the circuits works, the best way to assemble
the circuit, component selection, vibration- tolerant mounting,
and how to properly calibrate the tach to accurately display engine
revolutions per minute.
NI's Analyst Update Reduces
Times Up to 70%
(formerly AWR Corporation) has released
V11.01 of the
NI AWR Design Environment™ with enhancements to
Analyst™ 3D FEM EM simulation engine that cuts simulation times
by as much as 70% over previous versions. The updates in V11.01,
which are specific to Analyst, include algorithm reformulations/enhancements
to both automatic mesh refinement (AMR)
and fast frequency sweeps. For high-port-count designs
(10+ ports), the speed improvements
seen with Analyst are the most pronounced...
Newly Announced K-1B Visa
for High Tech
had to take the initiative to launch an improved high-tech immigrant
worker program. Accordingly, I took the liberty of creating a
K-1B Visa for high technology workers.
Congress has not officially written it into law, but American politicians
and executives make no pretense of enforcing law they disagree with
anymore, so it really does not matter. Here is how the K-1B Visa
program works: It is widely known that the United States now considers
itself to be a country without a southern border. All anyone needs
to do to become an accepted American citizen
(the new definition, not the old) and
enjoy all the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution
(well, except the parts...
Dave's & Bill's Garage
though you would never know by today's Hewlett Packard
(HP), the company's roots are in electronics
test equipment (never thought I might have
to explain that!). Most people who have been in the electronics
realm are familiar with the story of Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett
starting their business in the 12'x18' single-car garage where Dave
and his wife lived at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California.
Bill, yet a bachelor, moved into the garage in 1938
(an early entrepreneurial engineer trend setter
who literally lived in his office). Their first commercial
product was the Model 200A Audio Oscillator. Hewlett Packard went
on to become the world's foremost maker of electronic test equipment
for communications, medical, basic research...
TV DXing, and the
Dog on the Roof
I was born in 1951, I grew up without the benefit of 1,000 cable
channels available whenever I wanted them. This was during the 1950s
and 1960s when we lived in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. Instead we
had to make due with four - that is four - VHF television stations
that we could receive on a black and white TV
(actually it wasn't strictly BLACK and WHITE;
there were various shades of gray). There was one TV station
for each network: CBS, ABC, and NBC, plus one 'Educational'
(PBS) station. Later on, we got two
independent UHF stations. This was also the era when the 'blackout
rule' was largely in effect for sports broadcasts, and if you didn't
go to the stadium for a home game...
Please Visit PMI in Appreciation
organization has been setup to design, develop, manufacture, test,
and market complex state-of-the-art
RF MIC and MMIC components,
supercomponents, and subsystems. Unique products
applications in space, military, commercial, telecommunications,
and consumer electronics systems. DC to 40 GHz.
Empower RF Awarded Patent for "Broadband Linearization..."
RF Systems is proud to announce the approval of a patent on "Broadband
linearization module and method." New communication services
and the use of complex waveforms have created a demand for highly
linearized power amplifiers. Deviations from linearity show up as
spectral distortions and/or modulation quality degradation
(EVM) in the output of these amplifiers
-that is, undesired energy, not contained in the original signal,
inside or outside...
Apollo 11's 45th
tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed." Where were you 45
years ago when you heard on radio watched on a B&W TV like I
Apollo 11's 'Eagle' lunar module touched down on the moon -
than 30 seconds of fuel remaining? A short while later Neil Armstrong
and Buzz Aldrin became humans #1 and #2, respectively, to step onto
the lunar surface. "We came in peace for all mankind," was plaque
attached to the part of the lunar lander that stayed behind. Poor
Michael Collins had to be content with orbiting the moon while is
shipmates went to the surface. I created this special crossword
puzzle this morning to commemorate the Apollo 11 mission...
few new terms have been added to the
transistor lexicon since 1958, but this list from Radio-Electronics
magazine contains more than 150 definitions that are still useful
today. It is amazing that this list was created just a decade after
the transistor was invented, and now half a century later the mot
commonly used terms have not changed much. In looking over the words,
there are very few that need to be added to the original
(which I did).
Custom Interconnects 40 GHz
for Fuzz Button
Interconnects announced the release of the most detailed RF characterization
conducted to-date on their flagship
Fuzz Button® technology platform. The reports are geared towards
50 Ohm impedance matching at high frequencies and include bandwidth
measurements, S-parameters and VSWR, as well as SPICE Models. The
reports were released as a follow-up to the recent IEEE IMS held
in Tampa and are expected to draw a great deal of interest from
the RF design community who were eagerly awaiting their arrival...
Many Thanks to MECA
1961, MECA has served the microwave industry specific to passive
components in the DC to 20 GHz frequency range.
serves all areas of the RF / Microwave industries including world
class network providers, and supporting supply chain infrastructure.
We have long been the "backbone" of high performance wired and air-interfaced
networks such as in-building, satellite, radar, and mobile communications.
News from the IRE 1958 Meet
International Microwave Symposium (IMS)
is arguably the largest single annual event for radio and microwave
engineers. According to IMS2014 event officials the show in Tampa,
Florida, boasted of a 7,500-visitor attendance. European Microwave
Week (EuMW) runs a close second place
at around 7,000. In 1958, 55,000 engineers attended the Institute
of Radio Engineers (IRE - eventually became
the IEEE) in New York City. IMS and EuMW would love to have
numbers like anywhere near that. Maybe the large number of attendees
was because dissemination of information was not nearly as instant
(or eventual for that matter), and
the absence of the Internet or...
Raytheon Radio Tubes Ad
love these old
electronics company advertisements from the World War II
era. It represented a time when minor differences between citizens
were put aside for the good of the country
(yours and mine). Nationalism had not yet been redefined
by one-worlders to mean that you hated the rest of the world, but
rather that you had pride in your country of birth - or legally
adopted new country - and were willing to sacrifice for the common
good to preserve your way of life. The U.S. and Great Britain were
indisputably the leaders in technical invention amongst the Allied
powers. Germany and Japan led...
BeRex Adds New Family of High
Inc. has begun shipping a new family of
GaAs MESFET chips, the BCF-series, which addresses the need
for low phase noise with high gain and power in applications such
as single and multi-stage amplifiers, oscillators, synthesizers,
etc. ranging in frequency from DC to 26.5 GHz. The BeRex BCF-series
of MESFET chips are ideally suited both broad band and narrow band
applications from DC to 26.5 GHz. Typical application requires a
high level of OIP3 linearity...
How to Use Radio
wave radio was a boon to both professional and amateur radio operators
because of its ability to be received over longer distances using
significantly lower transmitter power. The problem was
(and still is) that short wave bands
typically suffer from
atmospheric ionization effects that vary depending on time of
day, local weather, solar activity, pollution, and other phenomena.
Long wave's advantage was that although it required higher power
and longer antennas, it was (and is) extremely reliable. For other
than the most critical applications, idiosyncrasies of short wave
communications were accepted as the price of more convenient and
lower cost operation. Widespread adoption of short wave communications
brought extensive studies and characterization...
MECA Low PIM Components
& D.A.S. Equipment
Electronics' new 12-page catalog features many our extensive line
low PIM RF/microwave components with industry leading performance
including RF loads, attenuators, directional couplers, power splitters,
divider/tappers, adapters, jumpers and D.A.S. equipment.
Microwave Electronic Components of America
Top U.S. Defense Contractors
Technology magazine just published its 2014 ranking list for
the top 100 defense
contractors based on the value of contract dollars*. It should
come as no surprise that Lockheed Martin leads the pack
($10.4B) by a factor of nearly two
over the runner-up Northrop Grumman ($5.87B).
My Top 10 list below has the companies listed by value of defense
contracts, whereas the original list ranked by total dollar value
inclusive of both defense and non-defense contracts. Two companies
in the list, Leidos (security) and
Fluor (construction), are unfamiliar
to me. The other eight design and manufacture a mixture of electronic,
mechanical, and software products for military and aerospace customers.
The CBO reports that defense spending...
Radio Frequency System
Frequency System Architecture and Design, by John W. M.
Rogers, Calvin Plett, and Ian Marsland. Communication devices such
as smart phones, GPS systems, and Bluetooth, are now part of our
daily lives more than ever before. As our communication equipment
becomes more sophisticated, so do the radios and other hardware
required to enable that technology. Common radio architectures are
required to make this technology work seamlessly. This resource
describes practical aspects of radio frequency communications systems
Dilbert CEO Photo Flash
July 15, 2014, Dilbert comic strip features the CEO of his company
suggesting that they figure out a way to insert ad images into "that
little spot" that stays in your vision for a few seconds after someone
takes your picture using a camera flash. I wonder whether creator
Scott Adams realizes that he might have come up with a patentable
idea? Too late. By now the folks at Google or Apple have seen today's
strip and have their staff patent lawyers frantically generating
applications as I write this.
Subliminal advertising has been around for a long time, and
it might even be illegal in some countries, but it is not illegal...