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Homepage Archive March 2014 (page 1)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the Google Search box at the top of every page
Homepage Archive Pages
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13
2013:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2014:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

 

Here is page 2 of the March 2014 homepage archive

 

IPP Intros New100–520 MHz
90° SM Coupler

IPP Intros New100–520 MHz 90° SM Coupler - RF CafeInnovative Power Products introduces their Model IPP-7057, a 200 watt surface mount 90° Coupler that operates from 100–520 MHz. Detailed product specs, including the outline drawing, typical test data, and s-parameters are available on IPP's website. The IPP-7057 will combine two signals up to 200 watts CW of total output power. This coupler is produced in an SMD package size of 0.750 x 2.00 inches. Insertion loss is less than 0.60 dB, amplitude balance is less than ±0.80 dB, phase balance is less than ±7°.

TV Standards Paves Way
for Commercial Service

Adoption of Television Standards Paves Way for Commercial Service, August September 1941 National Radio News - RF CafeThis story from a 1941 edition of National Radio News reports on the FCC's having passed regulations to allow the rollout of commercial television service as of July 1, 1941. These standards, observes the Commission, "represent, with but few exceptions, the undivided engineering opinion of the industry." They "satisfy the requirement for advancing television to a high level of efficiency within presently known developments." Furthermore, "Frequency modulation is required for the sound accompanying the pictures. Thus, television is now benefited by the recent developments of frequency...

Please Thank PMI for Their
Continued Support!

Planar Monolithics (PMI)Planar Monolithics has been setup to design, develop, manufacture, test, and market complex state-of-the-art hybrid RF MIC and MMIC components, supercomponents, and subsystems for applications in telecommunications, terrestrial, satellite, and mobile-radio communications, defense (ECM, ECCM, ESM, Radars, EW), CATV, navigation and marine electronics, FAA/DOT-avionics, ground based systems, and MLS.

Please Welcome RIGOL
Technologies as an Advertiser

Rigol TechnologiesRIGOL Technologies is an emerging T&M leader and a technology innovator in electronic measurement. RIGOL's premium line of products including: DSOs, Spectrum Analyzers, DMMs, Programmable Power Supplies, Signal Generators, and Waveform Generators. The DSA800 Spectrum Analyzer by RIGOL redefines the product category by setting new standards for performance and price. Its digital IF technology guarantees reliability and performance will meet the most demanding RF applications.

Forbes' 2014 Richest
People List

Forbes' 2014 Richest People List - RF CafeForbes just published their list of the world's richest people for 2014, which includes 1,645 billionaires. Bill Gates bubbled to the top this year, edging out Mexico's telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim Helú, who held the distinction the previous four years. It is amazing how often you read where once a member of the über rich declares to be on a mission to gift huge portions of wealth to charities, he/she seems to get even wealthier. Scanning through the list of the wealthiest people and looking at the businesses they are associated with makes apparent that big bucks can be made in just about any realm as long as you are one of the top players. Owning a casino is a good bet for making...

Anatech Intros Cavity BPF
Filters & 4-Way Power Divider

Anatech Electronics Intros Cavity Bandpass Filters & 4-Way Power Divider, March 12, 2014 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics has released new designs for a 862.5 MHz cavity bandpass filter, an 2422 MHz cavity bandpass filter for Wi-Fi Anatech Electronics Intros Cavity Bandpass Filters & 4-Way Power Divider, March 12, 2014 - RF Cafehotspots, a 2.0-2.9 GHz 4-way power divider/combiner, and a 902-928 MHz cavity bandpass filter for ISM band. All can be ordered directly through their AMCrf web store.

Electronic Numbers Quiz

Electronic Numbers Quiz, December 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRobert Balin created many quizzes for Popular Electronics magazine back in the 1960s and 1970s. This particular Electronic Numbers Quiz presents various objects and your challenge is to match one of the provided numerical values to each item. For example, a tuning fork is most commonly, in the Western world, associated with a certain frequency for tuning musical instruments (electronic and mechanical). As is often the case, being familiar with the "standards" of the era is helpful on a few of the items like the tuning capacitor and the IF transformer, but you should be able to eliminate some options by knowing the impedance of the twin lead...

Searching for the Q

Searching for the Q - RF CafeJoe Cahak, RF engineer and owner of Sunshine Design Engineering Services, just sent me another paper he has authored on the subject of determining the quality factor ("Q") of rectangular and cylindrical cavities. Before you decide to skip reading this article because the topic might seem too esoteric, Joe does much more than present formulas and tables. He also includes a tale of the research needed to cull and vet the many, often conflicting, opinions of which formulas are correct. Ultimately, a decision was made to select formulas that most closely matched empirically determined values from published data. If Mr. John T. Frye was still writing Carl & Jerry adventures...

Cobham Awarded Option for
AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming

Cobham Defense ElectronicsCobham has been awarded a $21.8 million contract modification by the US Naval Air Systems Command, exercising an option to procure additional Low Band Transmitters (LBT), a variety of antennas and adapter interface modules for Cobham Awarded $21.8 Million USD Contract Option By US Navy for AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming Transmitters, Antennas & Components - RF Cafethe AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System to be used by the US Navy and the Australian military. Under this option, Cobham Defense Electronics in Lansdale, PA will manufacture 8 LBTs for the US Navy and 11 for Australia; 11 vertically polarized antennas for the Navy and 6 for Australia; 17 high band horizontally polarized antennas for the Navy...

Oscillators - How They Work

Oscillators - How They Work, December 1940/January 1941 National Radio News - RF CafeNational Radio Institute (NRI) was founded in 1914 at the dawn of the radio age. It provided self-study courses as well as classroom instruction on the art of electronics and radio communications. A bi-monthly magazine titled National Radio News was published from 1929-1953. This article explaining how oscillators work appeared in the December 1940 edition. Although circuits of the day used vacuum tubes, the principle of voltage and phase relationships required to initiate and sustain oscillations are the same as for transistor circuits. A step-by-step description is provided from the time the power is applied until stable oscillations are established.

Government Jobs
for RF Engineers

RF Engineering Jobs at USAJobs website - RF CafeI'm not a big fan of government employees in general since many, IMO, are filling unnecessary jobs created to build voter bases and expand the power and influence of politicians and appointed bureaucrats. It places a huge burden on those of us who do real work by having to deal with their ineptitude and arrogance and having our hard-earned income taken to subsidize their pampered existence. That said, there are government jobs and employees that I highly regard, being primarily those who work in high technology fields. Who can argue that, with the exception of many high ranking department appointments of political nature, the rest of the people are typically very skilled...

Please Visit Comdel in
Appreciation of Support

Visit the Comdel websiteThere are many reasons why Comdel RF power supplies, DC generators and matching networks are used by the leading semiconductor equipment manufacturers, solar cell / photovoltaics manufacturers and IC makers Comdel Ultra-Compact,  2kW, 60 MHz RF Generator for Lasersthroughout the world. Our customers value the breadth of our RF generator product line, as well as our experience, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment. Our combination of products and people provides customers with advanced power supply technology, proven techniques and product reliability.

Ham Radio-Related
"Shoe" Comic Strip

Ham Radio-Related Shoe Comic Strip - RF Cafe
Today's edition of the Shoe comic strip had an amateur radio gag line. Enjoy.

Lack of Expert Leads to
Reversal of Patent Case

Lack of Expert Leads to Reversal of Patent Case, by IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeThis article by Bob Ambrogi, of IMS Expert Services, reports on how the ambiguous, objective nature of the legal definition of a "Person of Ordinary Skill in the Art" re patent interpretation was the basis for megacorp SAP losing an infringement lawsuit on appeal. It illustrates the Bob Ambrogi, IMS ExpertServicesimportance of having competent, non-egotistical legal representation for what might otherwise be considered an open-and-shut case. In this instance, the "little guy" prevailed due to having the best legal team. Note: IMS ExpertServices periodically sends me e-mails that highlight recent key court cases that can significantly affect the effectiveness of expert testimony, both for...

Thanks Much for Support
from Triad RF Systems!

Please click here to visit the Triad RF Systems websiteTriad RF Systems was formed in 2010 with the objective to solve the problem of 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. Call us to find out how we do it. 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.

"F-M" Put on Commercial Basis

"F-M" Put On Commercial Basis, August September 1940 National Radio News - RF CafeShortly after Edwin H. Armstrong demonstrated the viability of FM for long distance broadcasting in January of 1940, the U.S. FCC allocated spectrum to it in the 42-50 MHz band. Armstrong had introduced the FCC to FM originally in 1936. The new modulation scheme was popular due to its immunity to amplitude related noise like that generated by motors, automobile ignition systems, and lightning. However, World War II broke out a little over a year later and most commercial radio advancements were put on hold. This article from a 1940 edition of National Radio News could not have predicted that, or the FCC's decision to relocate the FM spectrum to 88-108 MHz in 1945 in the closing days of WWII. Some speculate that...

Fairview Intros Low-PIM
Mini-DIN 4.1/9.5 Adapters

Please click here to visit the Fairview Microwave websiteFairview Microwave Inc. has introduced mini-DIN 4.1/9.5 adapters for applications requiring low PIM performance such as cell sites or indoor/outdoor distributed antenna systems (DAS). Other applications of these adapters include land-Fairview Microwave Intros Low-PIM Mini-DIN 4.1/9.5 Adapters - RF Cafemobile radio (LMR) communications, telecom installations, wireless infrastructure, portable sweep testing, OEM in-rack RF routing, and in-building systems. Mini-DIN adapters are similar to 7/16 DIN connectors, but are smaller with more precise electrical performance and offer VSWR of 1.25:1 to 6 GHz.

Featured Book
Microwave Engineering

Microwave Engineering, David M. Pozar - RF Cafe Featured BookMicrowave Engineering, by David M. Pozar. Pozar's new edition of Microwave Engineering includes more material on active circuits, noise, nonlinear effects, and wireless systems. Chapters on noise and nonlinear distortion, and active devices have been added along with the coverage of noise and more material on intermodulation distortion and related nonlinear effects. On active devices, there's more updated material on bipolar junction and field effect transistors. New and updated material on wireless communications systems, including link budget, link margin, digital modulation methods, and bit error rates is also part of the new edition.

Please Thank BRL Test
Analyzer Repair for Support

BRL Test Analyzer RepairWe absolutely know analyzer repair. Wouldn't you like a friend like that on your side? Repair of your existing BRL Test Analyzer Repairequipment is the most cost effective - period. Don't be pressured by the manufacturer into buying a very expensive newer model just because they can't or won't do the repairs on yours. Our in-house repair engineering group offers low pricing, experience (15 years on average), military PMEL graduates, parts for repair in stock, warranty-90 days.

The Three Fives Kit:
A Discrete 555 Timer

The Three Fives Kit: A Discrete 555 Timer - RF CafeWhen I first laid my hands on a 555 timer IC back in the early 1980s, it was Nirvana. Having recently separated from the USAF, working as an electronics technician at Westinghouse Electric, and working on my electrical engineering degree in night school, I was eager to learn about and adopt every bit of technology within reach. No opportunity was missed to integrate the 555 into my designs for test fixtures and experimental circuits. One such application was a custom timer that controlled a UV light source for curing a particular adhesive we were using in a DoD classified project. Those were exciting times. Signetics  had introduced its NE555 in a decade earlier to provide...

Many Thanks to LadyBug
for Continued Support

Please click here to visit the LabyBug Technologies websiteFounded in 2005, LadyBug Technologies manufactures the PowerSensor™ line of miniaturized USB RF & microwave power sensors. LadyBug manufactures high LadyBug LB480A Power Sensor - Small Sizeaccuracy average, pulse, and pulse profiling sensors with GUI interfaces covering up to 26.5 GHz and 80 dB dynamic range. These Sensors set a, patented industry standard, No Zero / No Cal technology. There is no need to disconnect or wait for internal zeroing and calibration prior to making accurate low power measurements.

Map of Your Local Time
vs. True Sun Time

Map of Your Local Time vs. True Sun Time - RF CafeSince the switch to Daylight Saving Time just occurred this weekend, it makes a good segue into the topic of time zones and shifts in general. The map shown here was created by Stefano Maggiolo, who has a Ph.D. in geometry from SISSA, Italy, on his "The poor man's math blog" web page, and is a Google engineer. His map depicts by what amount, based on your position in a local time zone, your clock time differs from the local sun time. Local sun time is relative to when the sun is due south, at its highest altitude, when noon occurs. Time zones in most of the world are fairly evenly distributed in 1/24th increments and do make fairly circuitous deviations around states, provinces and countries, with a very obvious exception in regions of China. Some of China's time zones span...

Nova Microwave
Acquires ISO Certification

Nova Microwave Acquires ISO Certification - RF CafeNova Microwave, a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), is now certified to ISO: 2008 by SAI Global. Nova Microwave designs and manufactures Nova Microwave Drop-In Circulatorisolators and circulators for RF and microwave commercial and defense applications. Nova Microwave offers a number of different styles from drop-ins to surface mounts. The frequency ranges from 380 MHz to 23.6 GHz with average power ratings from 2 to 250 watts.

Notable Tech Quote
Sir William Henry Bragg

Sir William Henry Bragg Quote - RF Cafe"There is also the great driving force which we know under the name of religion. From religion comes a man's purpose ; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hand are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped. It is right, therefore, with all our heart to learn what will help us in the work we want to do, so that when the call comes we can say, 'I am here...

Radio Control News
Printed Circuits & Capacitors

Early Printed Circuit Boards, May 1954 Model Airplane News - RF Cafe1954 was just a decade after World War II, during which time the Army Signal Corps introduced a method of printing - or etching - metallic circuit conductors on an insulator substrate, and thus was born the printed circuit board (PCB). The first boards used a phenolic-paper laminate, which is the shiny brown substrate material that is still found in some industrial applications like motors and control panels. Ferric chloride was used to etch away the copper foil not masked off with photoresist chemicals. I made many crude PCBs using a resist ink pen to draw circuit traces and component mounting pads, then etched away the exposed copper with ferric chloride...

Win This 3-Volume Set
Handbook of Reflector
Antennas and Feed Systems

RF Cafe 2013 & 2014 Website Visitor QuestionnaireIt has been many years since I presented a questionnaire to website visitors in order to get a measure of what people like or dislike and what new feature(s) might be useful. In order to qualify as an entry, you must fill out the 15-question form in its entirety. A winner will be randomly selected. As an incentive for you to take a few minutes of your busy day to complete and submit the form, I am offering as compensation a chance to win the 3-volume set titled Handbook of Reflector Antennas and Feed Systems: "Theory and Design of Reflectors," "Feed Systems," and "Applications of Reflectors," published by Artech House. This represents a $627 retail value.

Physics & Engineering
Crossword for March 9, 2014

Physics & Engineering Crossword Puzzle for March 9, 2014 - RF CafeEvery Sunday I create an engineering- and science-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.

Thanks to Dow-Key Microwave
for Their Support

Dow Key MicrowaveDow-Key Microwave is the world's largest manufacturer of electromechanical switches for RF and microwave applications. Founded in 1945, we are also the oldest Coaxial Switches, Dow-Keycontinuously operating RF / microwave switch manufacturer in the U.S. Dow-Key specializes in customized, high-performance coaxial, waveguide, and high-rel switches, as well as switching systems such as RF matrices and system-level rack integration, programmable attenuators, and delay lines.

A Few Free Technical Books
(you pay shipping)

Free Technical Books - RF CafeA few of the technical books generously donated by major publishers like Artech House and Cambridge University Press are not likely to be selected by the RF Cafe monthly Book Drawing winners, and have been sitting on my shelf for a year or so. I would never consider selling them, but they do deserve good homes because the information is very interesting. If you are willing to pay for me to ship them to you, I will be glad to do so. If you would like any of the books below, please send me an e-mail with your zip code...

API Intros Broadband
8-12 GHz Limiting Amplifier

API Technologies Intros Broadband 8-12 GHz Limiting Amplifier - RF CafeAPI Technologies announces a new broadband 8-12 GHz limiting amplifier ideally suited for demanding military API 8-12 GHz Limiting Amplifierrequirements and high-end commercial applications such as microwave receivers, microwave telemetry systems, uplink communications platforms, instrumentation, and military communications systems. It features excellent output flatness of 1 dB that is independent of the input, and allows for inputs levels from -20 to -10 dBm.

Music Power Rating
- Help or Hindrance?

Music Power Rating - Help or Hindrance?, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeMost of us, long before being introduced to the concept of power in electrical circuits, learn about it in terms of mechanical power and/or sound power. It takes some doing to abandon the esoteric nature of power and  be trained to grasp the scientific and mathematical aspects of power in all its forms. When the driving source is steady state or a pure sinewave, life is relatively simple, but such is more often than not an exception to the system being studied. Here is a nice, short treatise on the concept of sound power that will augment your earlier-learned knowledge of music power rating.

AWR Announces Winners for
Taiwan U. Student Competition

AWR CorporationAWR Corporation announces the winners of its 2013 National Taiwan University Student Design Competition. AWR partnered with National Taiwan University in mid-2013 to sponsor the first ever Taiwan Student Design Competition. The objective of the competition was to encourage students2013 National Taiwan University Student Design Competition in Taiwan to become involved in the dynamic profession of microwave and RF engineering and to apply their knowledge to practical designs using the highly efficient AWR design methodology...

Thanks to PCB Material World
for Longtime Support

PCB Material WorldPCB Material World is an independent distributor and market maker of PCB raw materials, located in the Northwest suburbs of PCB Material World - RF & microwave substratesChicago. We buy, list and sell PCB raw materials such as copper clad laminates, copper foil, drill backer and entry, among other items. Our objective is to act as a buy-sell PCB materials exchange; enabling efficiency in materials usage for PCB manufacturing. Our emphasis is on high end and/or hard-to-find products such as microwave materials, colors, heavy coppers, and obsolete and other non standard products.

A Few Good Articles for You

A Few Good Articles for You, 3/7/2014 - RF CafeIf your workplace is anything like the ones I have experienced, most print issues of magazines end up in the mail room recycle bin or trash can - they never make it out the door. You might even scan the TOC and dog-ear a couple pages for later reading, but seldom get around to it before ultimately chucking them in the can. Fortunately, you can read the articles online if you know they exist. I post a list like this one about once a week to help you keep track.

» Microstrip Antenna Maintains
    Low Profile
» Hall Effect Sensors Measure
    Fields and Detect Position
» Understanding Adjacent
    Channel Power
    Measurements in Spectrum
    Analysis
» Sigma Delta ADCs : A Non-
    Mathematical Approach

White Paper: Close Proximity
Co-Located GPS Receivers

Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) Linearity Impacts to Close Proximity Co-Located GPS L1 Receivers (Parsec Technologies) - RF CafeParsec Technologies has published a white paper titled "Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) Linearity Impacts to Close Proximity Co-Located GPS L1 Receivers." A commercial low-cost GPS L1 (Fc = 1575.42 MHz) receiver in close physical proximity to a 2G/3G/4G compliant cellular handset transceiver FEM is analyzed for performance impacts related to various forms of electromagnetic interference. A description of how the GPS L1 receiver works is presented. GPS L1 receiver link budgets, simulation and measured receiver data, and spurious...

8 New Titles Added to
Book Drawing Selection

8 New Titles Added to Book Drawing Winners' Selection - RF CafeThanks to the generosity of Artech House and Cambridge University Press, eight new books have been added to the selection available to monthly RF Cafe Book Drawing winners. There are currently 21 titles to choose from if you are the lucky person. To date, I have given away more than 90 books, and have paid the shipping cost on all of them. It is one way to thank the many visitors and contributors to RF Cafe's ongoing success.

Carl & Jerry: TV Antennas

Carl & Jerry: TV Antennas, August 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIn this episode of Carl & Jerry, the teens ponder a question posed by Jerry's mother upon looking down their hillside home: "[L]ook at all those TV antennas down there. Hardly two of them are alike; yet they're all intended to receive the same stations. How come there are so many different kinds?" That was all the pair needed to set them off in an investigation to determine the answer. Being avid electronics and RF hobbyists and experimenters, they discuss the principles of how antennas work, various types of transmission lines, impedance matching, antenna types, bandwidth, and other topics relevant to the challenge. As with most Carl & Jerry stories, the intent is to educate...

Please Thank LadyBug
Technologies for Support

LadyBug TechnologiesFounded in 2005, LadyBug Technologies manufactures the PowerSensor™ line of miniaturized USB RF & microwave power sensors. LadyBug manufactures high accuracy average, pulse, and pulse profiling sensors LadyBug LB480A Power Sensor - Small Sizewith GUI interfaces covering up to 26.5 GHz and 80 dB dynamic range. These sensors set a, patented industry standard, No Zero / No Cal technology. There is no need to disconnect or wait for internal zeroing and calibration prior to making accurate low power measurements.

Congrats to Dean F.,
Our February Book Winner!

February 2014 RF Cafe Book Drawing Winner, Integration of Passive RF Front-End Components in SoCs (Cambridge University Press) - RF CafeDean F., of Suwanee, GA, is the February 2014, RF Cafe book drawing winner. Dean selected Integration of Passive RF Front-End Components in SoCs, by Hooman Darabi and Ahmad Mirzaei. Each month I select one or two names from a list of people who have either ordered one of my RF Cafe software products, or sent me an e-mail asking t obe entered. The book was Graciously provided by Cambridge University Press

Sodom & Gomorrah,
aka Agbogbloshie

Sodom & Gomorrah, aka Agbogbloshie - RF CafeThis story appeared on a news website I found while gathering daily tech headlines... in case you've forgotten where your e-waste is likely to end up. According to German photographer Kevin McElvaney, the 40,000 Agbogbloshie (near Accra) locals call their land Sodom & Gomorrah, after the Biblical city that was destroyed by fire. This is just one small part of the world where such activities are daily routine for those living in abject poverty. BTW, similar sacrifices are made to build our e-devices in the first place during the extraction of raw materials and during manufacturing and transportation of finished goods. Many of our clothes, vehicles, appliances, tools, sports items, food containers, and other items pass through...

Free Vintage Electronics
Magazines

Free Vintage Electronics Magazines - RF CafeHere is your chance to own a pile of vintage electronics magazines for just the cost of shipping. As you are probably aware, for the past few years I have been buying vintage editions of QST, Popular Electronics, Electronics World, Radio & TV News, Radio-Electronics, and Wireless World, for the purpose of scanning and posting articles that I believe will be of interest to RF Cafe visitors. I have gotten all I need from them and rather than having them sit around taking up space, I am offering to mail them to you on a first come, first served basis. Most of the magazines were purchased on eBay...

Many Thanks to MECA
Electronics for Support!

MECA ElectronicsSince 1961, MECA* has served the microwave industry specific to passive components in the DC to 20 GHz frequency range. MECA serves all areas of the RF/Microwave industries including world class network MECA Electronics catalogproviders, and supporting supply chain infrastructure. We have long been the "backbone" of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications, satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry applications, mobile radio, aviation & air traffic communications. *Microwave Electronic Components of America

Hacking the Van Allen
Radiation Belts

Hacking the Van Allen Radiation Belts - RF CafeThis is scary. Believe it or not, there is a group of scientists who think it might be a good idea to beam very low frequency (VLF) radiation into the upper atmosphere to erase the Van Allen radiation belts. I kid you not. An article in the March 2014 edition of IEEE's Spectrum magazine describes a plan to clear out the proton cloud residing in the inner belt (1,000 - 9,600 km altitude) and the electron cloud hovering in the outer belt (13,500 - 58,000 km altitude). Both Van Allen radiation belts, particularly the outer ring, are hazardous to electronics, i.e., satellites, because of the circuit-frying potential due to a build-up of electric charges that can, under certain conditions, penetrate an imperfect Faraday shield...

Energy Conversion Quiz

Energy Conversion Quiz, April 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis quiz from Popular Electronics challenges (not too much, though) your knowledge of energy conversion in common devices. A few of them might be unfamiliar to people born after about 1990, but even so, you've probably seem them all at some point, especially if you are a regular RF Cafe visitor (meaning you're probably smart). Robert P. Balin constructed many of this type quiz for PE. In fact, clicking on the following hyperlink will find the Popular Electronics Quizzes for you.

Amazing Collection of QSL
Cards & Photos, c1924-1978

Amazing Collection of QSL Cards and Photographs from 1924-1978 (Tom Russel Gentry, W5RG) - RF CafeYou will want to see this. Collecting thousands of QSL cards and photographs of their Ham radio operators and radio equipment is a monumental accomplishment today, but it was even more of a challenge in the early and middle part of the last century. You must actually make contact with the station to legitimately collect a QSL card, and then the remote operator must be willing to absorb the cost of mailing you a card. Mail service, particularly from some overseas locations, was no guarantee of successful delivery. A large portion of radio installations were cobbled together by their operators from scrap parts and had marginal functionality, even into the 1960s and '70s, so contacts were more difficult. As early as 1924, Don Retzlaff's grandfather, Thomas "Tom" Russell Gentry (W5RG) began the process where over a span of more than half a century he acquired more than 5,000 QSL cards from all over the Earth...

R&S Adds Liquid-Cooled
Broadband HPAs to EMC Line

Rohde & SchwarzRohde & Schwarz now offers up to 10 kW of power in a frequency range from 9 kHz to 225 MHz with its R&S BBL200 amplifier family. EMV 2014: R&S BBL Liquid-Cooled HPA - RF CafeThanks to a new liquid cooling system, these models are quieter and more compact than ever before. The R&S BBL200 will be on display at EMV 2014 in Düsseldorf at booth CCD-202.

Please Visit Anatech in
Appreciation of Their Support

Anatech ElectronicsAnatech Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of RF and microwave filters at Anatech Electronics RF Microwave Filtersfrequencies 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.

R U Sitting Comfortably?
Old Time Radio on Demand

R U Sitting Comfortably? Old Time Radio on Demand - RF Cafe"How to Download and Listen to All the Old Time Radio Shows You Want" That is the tag line on the RUSC (R U Sitting Comfortably?) website. Having been a longtime fan of the old radio shows, I gratefully accepted an offer by co-owner Joy Norris to poke around the website that she and her husband Ned have created. RUSC is a subscription-based collection of hundreds, nay thousands of programs from "The Golden Age of Radio" that are available for your listening pleasure either streaming live or as a download for listening to at a later time. A list of the main show categories appears on every page for easy access. Not only are more familiar comedy titles like Abbot & Costello, Milton Berle, and Father Knows Best included, but lesser known...

Job Hunting & Careers

Job Hunting & Careers for March 4, 2014 - RF CafeIt's been a while since posting job hunting and career article links. These might be of interest to you.

8 Lies Interviewers Tell Job
   Candidates
5 Steps to Enhance Your
   Online Job Search
Low-Cost Strategy for a
   College Degree
Engineering Grads Enjoy
   Greater Job Prospects
How to Survive Getting Fired
   from a Tech Company
8 Reasons You Should Turn
   Down That Job Offer
How to Know When You've
   Outgrown Your Job
Are Employees Working
   More Jobs for No Pay?
Giant Resumes Fail to
   Impress Employers

Thanks for Support
by to Windfreak Technologies

Windfreak Technologies Windfreak Tech designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value radio frequency products such as RF signal generators, synthesizers, power detectors, mixers, upconverters and Windfreak Technologies: SynthNVdownconverters. We develop high quality, reliable, low cost products to make your life easier. Windfreak Tech is developing high quality, low cost products to make life easier for RF engineers and hobbyist. Future products will be more synthesizers, transmitters, receivers and test equipment - All at low cost.

Time for a Handheld DSO?

RioRand™ ARM NANO RRDSO201 Oscilloscope Mini Storage Digital Pocket-Sized Portable Kit - RF CafeA couple decades ago, you would expect to pay $100 for a good quality handheld DMM that measured AC and DC current and voltage and maybe even power, plus had a few other functions like frequency counting, and capacitance and transistor beta measurement. Now for about the same money, you can buy a handheld digital oscilloscope (DSO) for about the same money. This 1 MHz bandwidth RioRand DSO features 1 Msps, 12-bit sampling and a 320x240 pixel color LCD display. A 1x/10x Owon HDS1021M Series HDS Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope and Digital Multimeter, 20MHz - RF Cafeprobe is included. The price from Amazon is less than $90 with free shipping. If you need more bandwidth, the Owon HDS1021M provides a 20 MHz BW and also has a multimeter function for a tad over $200. Owon HDS1022M-N Series HDS-N Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope and Digital Multimeter, 20MHz, 2 Channels - RF CafeNeed the extra BW and 2 channels? Less than $400 gets you the Owon HDS1022M-N with 20 MHz BW, or $800 for the Owon HDS3102M-N with 2 channels and 100 MHz. This is a good time to add one to your home toolbox.

PMI Intros 14-40 GHz, 10-Bit
Programmable Attenuator

PMI Intros 14-40 GHz, 10-Bit Programmable Attenuator - RF CafePMI Model No. DTA-14G40G-32-CD-2 is a 10 Bit programmable attenuator with step resolution as low as 0.04 dB which provides over 32 dB of attenuation over the frequency range of 14.0 to 40.0 GHz. This model is offered in a slim line housing measuring 2.0" x 1.8" x 0.5" with 2.92 mm female connectors and operates on a single +15 VDC supply with only 40 mA of current consumption typically.

Full-Featured e-Cigarette
w/Bluetooth and a Music Player

Full-Featured e-Cigarette w/Bluetooth and a Music Player - RF CafeWhen I first saw this video, I thought it was a satire. The video is a for-real commercial promoting the new Supersmoker Bluetooth e-cigarette that has built-in Bluetooth connectivity and a music player. From their website, "Supersmoker or Clubsmoker are electronic cigarettes, you can smoke without all the harmful ingredients of a conventional cigarette. We have two kinds, rechargeable and disposable e-cigarettes. With the rechargeable you need refills and this cigarette can be recharged every day. The disposable is an e-cigarette that lasts about 2 packs of conventional...

Delta Electronics Releases New
MHF/U.FL Series Data Sheet

Delta Electronics Releases New MHF/U.FL Series Data Sheet - RF CafeDelta Electronics Manufacturing Corp's new MHF/U.FL series data sheet details the company's latest ultra miniature coaxial interconnect system that operates from: DC-6 GHz. This connector interface was developed for applications in small form factor wireless mobile electronic devices. In addition to information on applications, materials, finishes and typical electrical performances, full detail is provided on how to specify a MHF/U.FL cable assembly or "pigtail" assembly, including compatible coaxial cables...

Thanks Once Again to Z-Comm
for Long-Time Support! 

Z-CommFor over 20 years Z-Communications has employed the latest in proven technology to achieve low phase noise, wide tuning ranges and higher operating frequencies in our VCO and PLL modules. Our state-of-art, Z-comm Voltage Controlled Oscillatorshigh speed SMT manufacturing facility is located in San Diego, CA. Our solutions can be tailored to address any VCO or PLL need with the highest performance available in today's demanding market. Z-Comm can also provide custom solutions for customers with short deadlines. 

Notable Tech Quote

Gasoline Alley "So here we have pi squared, which an engineer would call 10." - RF Cafe"So here we have pi squared, which an engineer would call 10." - Frank King, cartoonist, creator of Gasoline Alley (Source: Wikipedia). That statement was made by Walt Wallet (the main character) to his tech-inclined nephew Skeezix (cowboy slang for a motherless calf). Over the years, Gasoline Alley included many episodes with Skeezix dabbling in electronics - usually not very successfully.

Physics Crossword Puzzle
for March 2, 2014

Physics & Engineering Crossword Puzzle for March 2, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's crossword puzzle has a heavier concentration of physics-based words and clues, so I titled it the Physics Crossword Puzzle. Highly imaginative, non? As always, all of the words are technology terms, so you won't need a nimrod couch potato accomplice to complete it.

Many Thanks to 3Gmetalworx
for Continued Support!

3gmetalworxSince 1994, leading wireless electronics companies have relied on 3Gmetalworx to deliver cutting edge solutions for advanced RF/EMI PCB-level shielding requirements. From RF/EMI PCB-level shieldingprototyping and design services to JIT manufacturing supply, our clients depend on us to provide a seamless service pathway supporting the entire product lifecycle. In order to become the industry leader in our market segment, we have invested in the necessary infrastructure and process optimization required to excel in this demanding field. Continual improvement is in our DNA.

Station Design for DX - Part II

Station Design for DX, October 1966 QST - RF CafePart I of this article appeared in last month's (September) edition. It introduced concepts in antenna types and siting. This second part talks about cost tradeoffs for various aspects of a DX setup. Author Paul Rockwell does a nice job of providing graphs of cost versus performance increases for transmitter power, antenna gain, tower height and constructions, etc. He uses prices typical of the mid 1960s, but even without knowing the equivalent modern day equipment prices, the shapes of the curves are good indicators of where the point of diminishing returns exists. Paul Rockwell wrote a 4-part series on station design for long distance (DX) communications that covered antenna selection...

Please Thank Test Connection
Connection for Support

Test Equipment ConnectionTest Equipment Connection provides test and measurement equipment for sale, lease or rent. New and refurbished with warranty. We buy pre-owned test equipment ($2,000,000 budgeted each month) and offer asset Test Equipment Connection Celebrating 21 Yearsmanagement services to market your used surplus equipment world wide. Trade in programs are available. We offer over 300 test equipment manufacturers including Agilent, Tektronix, Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Advantest and Fluke. We buy and sell bench top, general-purpose test and measurement equipment. Contact us today.

Station Design for DX - Part I

Station Design for DX - Part I, September 1966 QST - RF CafePaul Rockwell wrote a 4-part series on station design for long distance (DX) communications that covered antenna selection and siting (Part I),  economics and construction(Part II), station configuration and receiver topics (Part III), and propagation quirks and operating tips (Part IV). This first part goes into some of the gory detail of surrounding terrain considerations and necessary antenna launch angles, complete with equations. Most of the work is based on multi-element horizontal Yagi antennas. The term "forezone," of which a formal definition is not locatable in a Google search (no reference to it at all), is used throughout the series, and refers to the radiation area in the forward direction.

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