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Homepage Archive November 2014

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
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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
Please click here to view November 2014 homepage archive page 1.





















Point-of-Sale (P.O.S.)
Credit/Debit Card Processing
- An Insider's Viewpoint -

Point-of-Sale (POS) Credit/Debit Card Processing - An Insider's Viewpoint - RF CafeMarc Edwards is a Data Systems and Security Engineer for a chain of retail stores, whom I was fortunate to get acquainted with via my amateur astronomy hobby. He and his teenage daughter are avid and highly capable telescope operators. During one of our conversations at the time earlier this year when a major retailer's credit card data breach was in the headlines, Marc explained how the typical point-of-sale (P.O.S.) system works in stores and why the most commonly installed type is so much more vulnerable to intrusion than the newer and much more secure system his company is implementing. It was an amazing story. Rather than my attempting to summarize Marc's explanation, I asked him to write a short

1941 Crosley 03CB Radio
Restoration - Electronics Chassis

Refurbished electronics chassis components, Crosley 03CB Console Radio - RF CafeAs promised, here are the first of the 1941 Crosley 03CB electronics chassis restoration photos. It was decided from the beginning that the chassis would be stripped of all its components so that the metal box could be completely sanded and re-painted. That involved not just unsoldering all the individual components, but also drilling out the rivets that secured the tube sockets and solder terminals. My plan was/is to someday rebuild the original circuitry, but because I have so many other projects (both electronic and woodworking) in the works and in the queue, for now I am just going to re-install all the major hardware and wait until later to solder back in all the resistors, inductors, and capacitors - all of which will

How to Become a
"Non-Degree Engineer"

How to Become a "Non-Degree Engineer", May 1966 Electronics World - RF CafeCall me a snob, but IMHO except for rare circumstances, if you expect to hold the title of 'engineer,' you really should have earned a college degree in engineering. Sure, there are talented people without an engineering degree that can do some engineering jobs more competently than some with an engineering degree; however, it certainly is not so in the majority of instances. It is foolish to look around at all the technology you share your life with and conclude that people without the benefit of a formal engineering education could turn out so much at such a fast pace. When someone learns that you are an engineer, there is an automatic assumption that

RFMW Offers 20dB Ku-Band
SMT Directional Coupler

RFMW Offers 20 dB Ku-Band SMT Directional Coupler - RF CafeRFMW announces design and sales support for a 50 W, surface mount, directional coupler serving 15–18.5 GHz applications. The EMC Technology DN05W20F provides a 20 dB coupling factor with only 0.6dB insertion loss. Directivity is 32 dB min from 17-18.5 GHz while the DN05W20F maintains a maximum VSWR of 1.6:1. The DN05W20F operating temperature is -55 to +85 degrees Celsius. EMC passive couplers offer highly repeatable, low loss alternatives to microstrip-on-PCB solutions and provide excellent reliability

Resistive Attenuators and Pads

Resistive Attenuators and Pads, May 1966 Electronics World - RF CafeHere is a real cornucopia of attenuator information. If you need circuits diagram and equations for "T," Bridged-T, Ladder, Pi, Balanced-H, Balanced Ladder, Potentiometer, and Balanced Potentiometer type attenuators, then you've come to the right place. A discussion is included on attenuator selection and specification for ordering rather than designing and building your own. The distinction between a 'pad' and an 'attenuator' has always been vague to me and I, like most people, use the terms interchangeably. Author Chester Scott seems to believe a 'pad' always has a fixed value whereas an attenuator can be either fixed or variable

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RF Cafe - Free of Charge

Engineering Career Resources (Job Posting) - RF Cafe

RF Cafe typically receives more than 8,000 page views each weekday. That is a lot of opportunity for your company to place available engineering and technician jobs in front of people who are most likely to be able to respond to your needs. I am providing this service at no charge, although a gratuity would be appreciated. Please read the Terms of Use before e-mailing a job description for posting. Direct hiring companies only - Absolutely No Recruiters.

IFI's Newest Solid State Pulse
Amplifier Available from ATEC

Newest Solid State Pulse Amplifier by IFI Available from Advanced Test Equipment Rentals  - RF CafeAdvanced Test Equipment Rentals (ATEC), supplier of complete testing solutions for EMC, now offers, for rent, the recently released Instruments for Industries (IFI) S31-500-900P solid state pulsed amplifier. The S31-500-900P has a 500W continuous rating and the ability to deliver more than 900W in the pulsed peak mode. IFI is a leading instrumentation and systems developer for EMC emission and immunity testing. Optimal for use in test labs and automotive OEMs, the S31-500-900P generates 600V/m radar

The Television Age

The Television Age, August 1938 Radio Craft - RF CafeLittle did Hugo Gernsback know when he wrote the 1938 editorial about the potential of television just how prescient he was - particularly in the realm of eventually enabling remote commerce and banking. His vision involved having a camera-phone type device that would allow real-time interaction between shoppers and depositors, respectively, without either party needing to meet face-to-face. 76 years later we are not at that point (at least on a widespread basis); however, the advent of online shopping and banking has fully permitted the kind of impersonal transactions that Gernsback foresaw. Even with the growing popularity

Career Tips for the Formerly
Incarcerated & Others

Engineering Career News & Tips for November 19, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's collection of career-related articles and news tidbits includes a topic I've never seen before: "Been Arrested? How to Survive Background Checks and Land a Job." I suppose if you've done time in The Big House, legitimately paid your debt to society, and are truly reformed, then there's no reason you shouldn't have a fair shot (maybe poor choice of words depending on your crime) at a job you are otherwise qualified for. There's also an article on attire color choices for interviews - you might need more than a red power tie.

- Been Arrested? How to
   Survive Background Checks
   and Land a Job
- Why a Closing Statement is
   Essential for Your Next
- How to Graciously Decline an
   Offer        <more…>

An Affordable Personalbr>3D Printer from Dremel

Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer - RF CafeIn the early 1990s a decent flatbed scanner from HP cost started at about a kilobuck - the price of a nicer notebook computer today. 3D printers are at that price point now, and in all likelihood will be in the $250 realm by 2020. You could easily justify the investment for company use and/or use it to provide an impetus for getting your kids interested in high tech and in using computers for something other than Facebook. The Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer is quite affordable and has the reputation of a great company to instill confidence and very high customer ratings! Software is included for designing printable items.

NewFASANT EM Simulation
Software v5.7.6 Available

NewFASANT EM Simulation Software v5.7.6 Available - RF CafeAn innovative company located in Madrid and Guadalajara that develops and commercializes NewFASANT, a simulation software for electromagnetic fields for the study of antennas, radar cross section, radiation patterns, advanced telecommunications systems and other studies. Our multidisciplinary team of engineers is dedicated to the research and development of new software techniques that facilitate innovation and the satisfaction of our customers.

Radio and Electronic Devices
Are Westinghouse War Weapons

Radio and Electronic Devices Are Westinghouse War Weapons, September 1942, Radio Craft - RF CafeMy civilian career began at Westinghouse's Oceanic Division in Annapolis, Maryland. It was long ago bought out by Northrop Grumman and re-named Undersea Systems. Their AQS-24 towed sonar system looks outwardly very much like the AQS-14 that I worked on while there in the 1980s. Our parent organization was the Westinghouse Electronics Systems Division in Baltimore, MD, adjacent to the Baltimore-Washington International Airport tarmac so that military aircraft could fly in and out to be retrofitted with radar systems. Headquarters

Vintage Electronics Company

Jensen Radio Advertisement, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeDetrola Radio Advertisement, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeConnecticut Telephone & Electric Division Advertisement, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeBelieve it or not, there are people who pay for vintage advertisements like these. eBay is chock full of auctions for original pages from the old magazines that contain ads for products and services. Often, if you know where to look, you can buy the entire magazine in which a particular ad appeared for only a little more. People sometimes frame them and either hang them for decoration or present them to a parent or grandparent as a memorial to their lives. Stranger things are done. These ads for Connecticut Telephone and Power, Detrola Radio, and Jensen Radio appeared in the January 1945 edition of Radio News

Notable Tech Quote

The World According to Lucy - RF Cafe"We learned in school today that there are sixteen ozzes in a lib." - Lucy Van Pelt to Charlie Brown, from You've Got a Friend, Charlie Brown, 1972, by Charles Schulz

Radios Made from Hearing Aids

Radios Made from Hearing Aids, May 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeA recent headline announced where a guy hacked his hearing aid to enable listening to Wi-Fi signals as he walked around town. Why would a person do that? I suppose now that the audible digital handshaking tones of telephone modems and fax machines are all but gone from everyday life, he must have really been missing the nerve-grating melodies. I don't recall ever seeing a story about anyone picking up Wi-Fi signals from a faulty metal tooth filling like used to occur occasionally in the presence of high power AM transmitter towers. This

RF/MW Engineer: MW Imaging
Needed by EMTensor GmbH

RF/MW Engineer: MW Imaging Needed by EMTensor GmbH - RF CafeEMTensor GmbH is seeking to recruit an engineer with a background and preferably PhD in microwave / radiofrequency engineering. Hands on experience in engineering and R&D of modern devices and technologies in low GHz is essential. A track record in engineering solutions for electromagnetic (MW) imaging is highly desirable. EMTensor GmbH is developing a novel biomedical imaging modality using electromagnetics (microwave tomography)

Crosley 03CB Console Radio
Restoration Update

1941 Model 03CB Crosley 03CB Floor Console Radio Restoration Project - RF CafeA couple months ago I finally picked up on the restoration of my circa 1942 Crosley 03CB console radio. All of the hardware was removed from the wooden console in preparation for restoration. Paint stripper was used to remove the bulk of the original finish, and then sandpaper along with a lot of muscle power took care of the rough and final sanding. As can be seen on some of the "before" photos, there were many places where the walnut veneer had delaminated and other where small areas where pieces had broken off. I obtained some replacement wood from a vendor on eBay and spliced in the missing areas. A few of the wood corner gussets needed

Archie's Ham Radio Adventure

Archie's Ham Radio Adventure - RF CafeStan Goldberg is a familiar name to comic book aficionados for his artistry in Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, and the Archie series. QST magazine had him listed in the "Silent Keys" column in the November 2014 issue because he passed away in August. A Silent Key, in Hamdom, is usually a title reserved for a deceased licensed operator, but a search of the Internet and the FCC license database web page did not turn up a call sign for him. Unless his record has been dropped from the database, Mr. Goldberg might never have actually been a Ham, but earned the Silent Key acknowledgement because of his involvement in a 1986 special edition comic book titled "Archie's Ham Radio Adventure." It was quite an

Vacuum Tube Crossword

Vacuum Tube Crossword Puzzle for November 16, 2014 - RF CafeTest your vacuum tube knowledge with this week's crossword puzzle. Many of the words and clues are directly related to vacuum tubes. The rest of the words have to do with science and engineering - no numbnut movie star names or obscure species type from remote regions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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