Windfreak Invites Your
Visit @ IMS2014 Booth #1052
Windfreak Tech designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value radio frequency products
such as RF signal generators, synthesizers,
detectors, mixers, and up/down converters. 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 - all at low cost. Please stop by our booth (#1052) at
RF Cafe Quiz #60:
Ten Essential Skills for EEs
or somebody you know needs this book. When author Barry Dorr told me a while back that he had a new book coming
out aimed at recent college graduates and other job hunters, I figured it might be just another "Top 10" type collection
of ideas which wouldn't hurt to know, but that would be too specific for general use. After reading through
Ten Essential Skills for Electrical
Engineers I can confidently tell you that is much more than one guy's opinion of what you should know to
advance in your career. It is rare that I actually read through as much of an engineering book as I did this one.
Mr. Dorr's primary goal is to provide...
AWR: "Simulating Dynamic
Load Modulated Amplifiers"
new ways to enhance power amplifier performance at the AWR sponsored webinar,
Simulating Dynamic Load Modulated Amplifiers—an Alternative Solution to Maintaining Efficiency over a Power
Range. This webinar introduces the concept of dynamic load modulation and demonstrates how amplifiers can be designed
using this approach. The ability of the AWR tools to model nonlinear components using discrete components and parameterized
variables gives the designer access to a fully dynamic simulation...
Littler Than Lilliput:
Einstein believed everything is relative, and this 1963 article on the revolution of "microminiature
electronics" certainly attests to the truth of it. Unlike with his Theory of Special Relativity though, travel
near the speed of light is not needed to witness length contraction in the electronics realm; the passage of time
and its attendant evolution of technology does that for us. Today's definition of 'microelectronics' will to
our progeny seem laughingly absurd when they read about (or more likely have wirelessly implanted
in their brain's memory cells) our current transistor gate widths of tens of atoms. BTW, Lilliput, in case
you don't know, is the island nation of Gulliver's Travels where...
Funnies from The Good Life
Good Life is a free publication printed in northern Michigan. Along with advertisements and stories from local
interests, every edition is chock full of humorous quips and jokes. These tech-related items are from the June 2014
Why Computers Should Be Considered Masculine:
• In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
• They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
• They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they...
Fairview Microwave Debuts
New Lines of Tunable RF Filters
Microwave a preeminent supplier of on-demand microwave and RF products, announces their new lines of
band pass and band reject tunable filters. Fairview Microwave's tunable RF filters are commonly used in lab
environments for testing many frequency bands including PCS, UHF, PMR, Tetra, LTE, and WiFi. The tunable band pass
filters and band reject filters, also known as band-stop filters or band-rejection filters, are effective in band
selection or frequency discrimination with high attenuation greater than 50 dB...
always have been and always will be a daunting subject to a lot of people. For electronics types, the issue of when
to multiply the
of the ratio by 10 or by 20 seems to be the biggest stumbling block. After many years of working with decibels,
it becomes second nature. There are still instances, though, where I see seasoned engineers and technicians routinely
confuse unreferenced decibel units (dB, the logarithm of a ratio) with logs of ratios
referred to some base value (dBm, dBV, etc.). The bel unit was originally created
to quantitatively assign changes in perceived levels of sound loudness...
Please Thank Agile Microwave
for Their Ongoing Support
founders of Agile Microwave have over 100 man-years of experience designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing
and providing innovative solutions to the industry.
have successfully designed and managed multi-million dollar technical projects from concept to completion.
RF amplifiers using GaN and GaAs technology
for class A, AB, C, D and E available up to 100 W CW / 150 W pulsed, WB & NB, up to 30 GHz. RF
limiters switches, frequency multipliers, mixers, and integrated modules are among their offerings.
A Soldering Conundrum
Ohms is a regular feature by Design News where engineers and technicians describe their adventures
of troubleshooting circuit and software problems. Quite often I can relate to the scenarios because of similar instances
I've had over many years of being involved in electronics. This story by A. David Boccuti is very instructive in
how to find the root cause of a problem in production that suddenly appears for no apparently good reason. In Mr.
Boccuti's case it was a component refusing to be soldered properly when in the past there was never an issue. He
did a commendable job in resolving the problem. Having begun my post-USAF electronics career as...
Carl & Jerry: A Hot Idea
John T. Frye was a great short story writer is a given truism based on his decades-long production of the
Jerry series in Popular Electronics. It is easy to look over the fact that he also had artistic skills
as well as evidenced by the pencil drawings that accompanied each installment. In this episode, our two electronics
hobbyists build a resistor anemometer to measure wind speed from within their basement workshop. In the usually
storyline style, one boy gives a lesson in circuit design while the other (also the reader)
is the attentive student.
Kaelus and ATEC Announce
New Rental Partnership
Test Equipment Rentals (ATEC) partners with Kaelus to become a rental distributor of
Kaelus products. Kaelus manufactures
Intermodulation (PIM) Testers for the wireless telecommunications sector, and ATEC
is one of the largest rental companies of test equipment for the telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, consumer
electronic, and many other sectors. PIM, the non-linear junction that causes interference in the RF path...
The Laboratory Page
mentioned in an earlier article, National Radio Institute (NRI) was one of the first companies to exploit the burgeoning
field of electronics in the early part of the last century. They invested heavily in facilities and resources for
producing educational material for both classroom and
courses. Up until sometime in the early 1990s when throw-away electronics and almost total offshore manufacturing
became the rule rather than the exception, there were always large advertisements in magazines offering to rescue
floundering career seekers with promises of untold opportunities and riches from servicing radios, televisions...
going to be a hot time in Tampa next month in more ways than one. The RF and microwave industry may not exactly
be producing the eye-watering
revenue as other sectors of the economy but there are plenty of market and technology "hotspots" that will no doubt
be evident at IMS exhibitors' product displays.
For example, the wireless industry is evolving rapidly as LTE moves toward its next incarnation as LTE-Advanced,
Wi-Fi morphs from discrete hotspots to a seamless network via HotSpot 2.0, and distributed antenna systems and small
College Return on Investment
(ROI) for 2014
and executive staff at top colleges get paid lots of $$$ for their services.
Add to that über generous retirement and benefits packages, the high cost of administering a plethora of social
programs and politically correct courses, guest lecturers, and '<insert worthless topic>
Studies' degrees, and expected donations to various popular causes. Throw in a prestigious brand name and maybe
a sports team and the cost of actually getting an education can be really, really expensive. Many studies have shown
that for the vast majority of people, the college that issues your diploma has almost no bearing on earnings after
a few years of experience is gained...
Thanks to KR Electronics
for Ongoing Support!
over 40 years KR Electronics has designed and manufactured high quality
RF & microwave filters for the commercial and military
markets. KR Electronics manufactures all filter
and individually synthesizes filters for special applications. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis
and test methods are used to meet the most challenging specifications.
Station Design for DX - Part IV
the the forth and final installment on a series written by Paul Rockwell discussing station design for long distance
(DX) communications. Covered was antenna selection and siting (Part
I), economics and construction(Part
II), station configuration and receiver topics (Part
III), and propagation quirks and this one - operating tips (Part
Many Thanks to RF Dude
Consulting for Support!
LLC is a consulting company run by Lance
Lascari. With the help of key clients over the years we have been able to take the business full time as
of June 2008. Our goal is and has always been to be a highly technical resource for hire specializing in the
design of RF, Wireless, and Microwave circuits and
systems with occasional work in embedded control and signal processing. Projects over the years have been in
the the aerospace, defense, industrial, telecom, and consumer electronics industries. We have solid resources in
terms of equipment, software, and materials...
Median CEO Pay Crossed
7-Figure Mark in 2013
Welfare is alive and well in spite of political campaign promises to end it. According to a new Associated Press
story, the median compensation for the CEO of a large publicly traded company crossed over into the 7-figure realm
for the first time in 2013, with an average pay package of $10.5 million - an increase of 8.8% from $9.6 million
in 2012. Why do I say corporate welfare? Simple, the
increase is attributed primarily to a surging stock market, which is almost entirely funded by the Fed printing
money (yeah, I know, it's not actually printed) and passing it into the coffers of
bankers, investors, and businesses either directly via stimulus programs, quantitative easing, and bailouts, or
via social programs, government contracts, hiring incentives for OTWM workers, and a multitude of other manipulations
Magazine Article Update
is a brand new batch of RF / microwave engineering magazine articles for you.
» How Trends in Electronics
are Affecting Connectors,
(p22) B. Stanton
Compact Antenna Snares
WiMAX/WLAN, G. Ghobadi
GNSS Signals Are Used
» Multiband Doherty Amplifiers
for Wireless Applications
((p30) A. Grebennikov
GaN Solutions for Next
Books from Amazon.com
Please Support RF Cafe
Fundamentals: An Introduction to Engineering, by Saeed Moaveni. Specifically designed as an introduction to
the exciting world of engineering, the book encourages students to become engineers and prepares them with a solid
foundation in the fundamental principles and physical laws. It begins with a discovery of what engineers do as well
as an inside look into the various areas of specialization. An explanation on good study habits and what it takes
to succeed is included as well as an introduction to design and problem solving, communication, and ethics. Once
this foundation is established, the book moves on to the basic physical concepts and laws...
a great appreciator of good humor, and especially
I made sure to scan these comics from the pages of vintage Radio-Electronics magazines. You might have to have lived
through the era of televisions with cathode ray tubes (CRTs) to fully appreciate the
frustration of trying to acceptably grab, align, define, sharpen, tone, and lock an over-the-air broadcast signal
on track. Stories of people putting feet or baseball bats through the sets were a big source of situational humor.
Please Visit Excel Wireless
in Appreciation of Support
is a solution provider with many years of experience in the
cellular amplification and wireless communications
industry, serving private
universities, military and government agencies. We stand behind our products offering full service warranty, return
and replacement, and installation support. We can produce up to 10,000 pieces of different cable assemblies every
day. Not many factories can do that!
Memorial Day - 2014
Gettysburg Address - 1863
in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men,
living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world
will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the
living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we
take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom
- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." - Abraham
Lincoln. November 19, 1863.
for May 26, 2014
I'm a good software engineer, but I'm not exactly known for my fashion sense. White socks and sandals don't translate
to 'good design sense'." - Linus Torvalds,
inventor of Linux
Uncommon Ground Difficulties
is ground the world around," is an oft repeated saying when talking about making electrical connections to Earth
ground. In a general sense that is true, especially when referring to electromagnetic radio signals and antenna
systems that are in some manner dependent on the common connection. However, when you are working within the confines
of a localized electronic circuit such as on a printed circuit board or inside a chassis, there is no guarantee
that without proper precautions ground is not at the same potential everywhere. Poor (high
impedance) soldered, crimped, and bolted connections are among the prime offenders...
Many Thanks to Anatech
for Long-Time Support!
Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of
RF and microwave filters at
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.
Screws: Styles, Sizes
there are lots of resources on the Internet for identifying various
screw types, styles,
shapes, and sizes, but sometimes there are so many that it can be time consuming to peruse through them all,
particularly if what you are looking for is an older type. This chart from a 1960 edition of Popular Electronics
might be just the thing you have been looking for when working on a piece of vintage electronic and/or mechanical
Wireless Engineering Crossword
Puzzle for May 25, 2014
is this week's engineering crossword puzzle
with words and clues focused specifically on the topics of communications, electronics, science, physics, chemistry,
astronomy, mechanics, etc. There are no numbnut entries like names of movie stars or fashion designers - I leave
those to the New York Times puzzle makers.
Engineering Career News
& Tips for May 23, 2014
is hard to believe that nearly two weeks have passed since I scoured the Internet for job hunting and career guidance
articles. With graduation time being here, there is particularly a lot of information and advice for first-time
job seekers. Of course if you are graduating and just now beginning your job search, you might be a little late
to the party - so to speak. Have you considered a career serving your nation's armed forces? Some of the R&D
and real-world applications experience...
The New Graduate's Guide
to Job Searching
How to Pierce Through
Veiled Job Interview
U.S. Air Force
Is Engineering Consulting
Your Next Career Gig?
Birth of the Electron
article purposes to set the record straight about the difference between John A. Fleming's 'thermionic valve
diode' rectifier, which did not produce signal amplification, and deForest's audion tube, which did provide amplification.
U.S. patent number 841387, "Device for Amplifying Feeble Electrical Currents," was issued to Lee deForest on January
15, 1907, a little over a year after Fleming received patent 803684 for his "Instrument for Converting Alternating
Electric Currents into Continuous Current" on November 7, 1905. Unlike the contest between...
Radio Aloft!...in Private
and Transport Flying
forget who brung you to the dance," is a variation of the old adage that admonishes you to remember who/what it
was that provided the opportunity to be where you are now. It aptly applies to
radio communications of all
sorts. This short article from a 1932 edition of Radio News discusses the advent of radio beacon installations
across America to facilitate air navigation during inclement weather. Before there was an FAA, the Department of
Commerce handled commercial air traffic for passenger and cargo payloads. Aviation was on the verge of becoming
a very profitable industry (the Douglas DC-3 would make that happen...
crossword puzzle is a little trickier than some because it uses
electronics abbreviations rather than full words. Not everyone uses the same abbreviation, so some answers are
a bit more subjective. For instance, many people abbreviate the word 'transformer' as 'xfmr,' while others use 'trans'
or 'trr' (I use xfmr). Where you really have to be careful, though, is with evolutional
changes in terminology as is the case for frequency units, where 'cps' was most often used in 1958 rather than today's
Characterization, Modeling, and Design of Nonlinear RF and Microwave Components, by David E. Root, Jan Verspecht,
Jason Horn. This is the definitive guide to X-parameters, written by the original inventors and developers of this
powerful new paradigm for nonlinear RF and microwave components and systems. Learn how to use X-parameters to overcome
intricate problems in nonlinear RF and microwave engineering. The general theory behind X-parameters is carefully
and intuitively introduced, and then simplified down...
••• NOTICE •••
and I are moving back to North Carolina and will be on the road for the next couple days. During the two-day drive,
access to email will be limited until Thursday. Please forgive delays in responding. We have been away from NC for
seven years and are returning at the behest of family members.
After Class: X-Rays
while back I was taken to task for remarking on the seemingly crude (the word I used was 'barbaric")
nature of some early medical machinery that appeared in a mid-20th-century edition of Popular Electronics
Against Cancer"). I won't repeat my mistake here when describing how early medical x-ray machines are
scary looking. Admittedly, being stuffed inside a modern MRI machine and having the loud electromagnetic coils cycling
is no relaxing trip to the countryside, but the
shown here looks like the Q-36 space modulator beam Marvin the Martian might have pointed at the Earth to disintegrate
it just before he asks, "Where's the kaboom?...
Pasternack Releases Line of
Low Noise Amplifiers
releases a new family of
low noise amplifiers (LNA) capable of high gain and broadband performance between
9 kHz and 18 GHz which are widely used across the spectrum of military and commercial applications. A total of fourteen
new low noise amplifiers are offered. The new LNA category exhibits excellent broadband performance from 9 kHz to
18 GHz, noise figures between 0.8 dB to 3 dB, gain levels from 25 dB to 50 dB...
Good Life is a free publication printed in northern Michigan. Along with advertisements and stories from
local interests, every edition is chock full of humorous quips and jokes. These tech-related items are from the
May 2014 edition. • Kids, you'll never know the pain of digging the innards of a loved cassette
out of a cheap stereo and crying as you wind it up with a pencil. • Twitter is proof that people
should not be allowed...
RF Cafe Calculator Workbook
case you are new to RF Cafe or have just missed it, a couple years ago I released a free Excel spreadsheet titled
RF Cafe Calculator
Workbook that contains many worksheets with commonly needed calculations. It has Butterworth and Chebyshev filter
plotters, mixer frequency conversion, radar horizon, directional coupler, VSWR, Pi and T attenuators, RF path loss
and propagation time, and more for calculators. I have an Android App in the works that should be ready in a couple
months, so stay tuned.
Please Thank Vector Telecom
for Continued Support!
Telecom has fully instrumented microwave, millimeterwave, &
antenna laboratories and production facilities for up to
50 GHz. We provide microwave waveguide components and assemblies,
components and antennas to global market. Vector Telecom consists of microwave and millimeterwave laboratories,
antenna laboratories, microwave and electronic components factories.
Notable Tech Quote
they don't define themselves on the web, they're going to be defined by someone else." -
Patrick Ambron, co-founder of BrandYourself,
regarding personal and corporate reputation control on the Internet.
Carl & Jerry
Carl and Jerry episode is a bit far-fetched compared to the typical storyline, but it does illustrate how when
you are desperate to get out a distress signal, a little technical knowledge and having a knack for improvisation
can save the day.
Radio Radar Crossword
Puzzle for May 18, 2014
Sunday I create a 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.
For Your Professional
than taking college courses or attending seminars, reading technical books and magazine articles is one of the best
ways to keep current on component introductions, circuit and system design methods, and industry news. I put a lot
of effort every day into scouring the Internet for items that should prove useful to you in your endeavor as a professional
and/or hobbyist. Here are a few of the latest.
Cellular and WiFi MIMO
Radios, F. Mlinarsky
Industry's Next Tipping
P. Moosbrugger, G. Rebeiz
Babic, Ejeckam, Lowe,
Mollart, Faili, Wilman, Dodson
Francis, Twitchen, Bolliger
Tricks That Extend
O-scope Usefulness, A. Pini
everythingRF's RF Calculator
App for Android Phones
is offering a free
RF Calculator app
for Android OS users. Among the many calculation functions available in this app are Pi and T, bridged
T, reflection, and balanced attenuator calculators; unit converters for dBm to watts and watts to dBm; RF propagation
and link budget calculators; coax and microstrip calculators; and noise figure, resonant frequency, skin depth,
and VSWR calculators. Watch for more to added later...
Many Thanks to RIGOL
Technologies for Support!
is an emerging T&M leader and a technology innovator in electronic measurement. RIGOL's premium line of products
including: DSOs, RF
analyzers, DMMs, programmable power supplies, signal and waveform generators. DSA800 Series Spectrum Analyzer
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.