RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2016
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...
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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 "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page.
Homepage Archive Pages
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Please click here to view October 2014 homepage archive page 2.
Bird Statistical RF Power Sensor for Digital Waveforms
Bird Technologies, a leading provider of RF components, subsystems, test equipment, and services, today introduced the Model 7022 Statistical RF Power Sensor, the only thruline RF power measurement device that provides the statistical analysis capability required to accurately characterize the RF power characteristics of any digitally-modulated signal employed in wireless communications systems. Bird's Model 7022
Coldest & Hottest Theoretical Temperatures
What are the coldest and hottest absolute temperatures possible according to theory? Answering the 'coldest' part of the question is objective and therefore easy: Absolute zero = 0 K = -273.15 °C = −459.67 °F. The 'hottest' part of the question, sometimes referred to as 'absolute hot,' is harder. Most people who deal with such things consider the highest possible temperature to be the Planck temperature = 1.416785(71)x1032 K. A lesser cited value is the Hagedorn temperature ...
5&10¢ Worth of Job and Career Headlines
The numbers 5 and 10 were prominent in today's search for career enhancement articles so I decided to make it this week's theme in regard to the value of advice offered. 5¢ today buys what 2¢ bought in 1980, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator, and 10¢ is the equivalent of 2¢ in 1970. The idiom about "adding my two cents worth" of opinion or advice goes way back to Biblical times, but the Inflation Calculator ...
Television Industry Prepares for Postwar
Philco began selling radios in 1928 after originally being a storage battery manufacturer. Their first television, the Predicta, was introduced in 1957. That was more than a decade after Philco Corp.'s James Carmine wrote this article discussing how the American buying public (aka consumers) might embrace the concept of TVs in their homes. Many people at the time had no interest in television both due to the expected cost and the relatively poor performance of existing examples. If you have ever seen pictures of early ...
MECA Intros Compact 100 Watt Low PIM Terminations
MECA Electronics' new compact 100 watt low PIM terminations feature industry leading PIM performance of -160 to -165 dBc, typ., all while handling full rated power to +85°C. All of the terminations cover 0.698 – 2.700 GHz frequency bands in 7/16 DIN, Type N, and 4.1/9.5 (mini-DIN) connectors, VSWR = 1.10:1 typical / 1.20:1 minimum. All in a compact package of 8.5" x 3.0".
Featured Book: Electronic Troubleshooting
Electronic Troubleshooting, 2014, by Daniel Tomal, Aram Agajanian. The Most Complete, Current Guide to Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical and Electronic Devices. "If it's electronic, and there is troubleshooting to be done, then this is the book to reach for!" - Dr. Simon Monk. Fully updated for the latest technologies, devices, test instruments, and problem-solving methods, the new edition of this practical resource provides you with the comprehensive information you need to troubleshoot today's electrical and electronic equipment. Inside you'll find new and enhanced coverage of: Wireless communications, Embedded microprocessor systems ,Cutting-edge medical diagnostic equipment ,Advanced networking technologies. The book uniquely blends traditional electrical theory and components with modern networking and electronic technology ...
Dynamic Soaring and Pumped Laser Systems
You have heard of the pumped laser and maser. Here is a new type of pumped energy system: the vaser. 'Laser' is an acronym for 'light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,' and 'maser' is an acronym for 'microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.' I coined the term 'vaser' after reading an article in the June 2014 edition of Model Aviation about a relatively new form of radio controlled model sailplane sport - dynamic soaring - that, using a specially developed technique to exploit geography and prevailing winds, produces aircraft speeds of more than 400 miles per hour. Per my definition ...
Regression Analysis in Litigation
This article by Joshua Fruchter, writing for IMS ExpertServices, tells a tale of an unexpected action by a judge that, based on his own understanding of regression analysis, disqualified the works of a hired mathematical 'expert' apparently because of multiple errors and omissions in the calculations. The defendant is one you will recognize from their publication of technical books and college textbooks: McGraw-Hill (Construction). Mr. Frutcher has been publishing a lot of great articles lately that RF Cafe visitors would find interesting; I'll be posting another by him soon.
Werbel Microwave Intros 380 MHz to 6 GHz Bias Tees
Werbel Microwave introduces its new product line of Bias Tees with two models 1BA300 and 1BA600, respectively, covering 380 MHz to 6 GHz. These units come standard with SMA-Female connectors in a housing measuring 1.25" square by 0.75" deep. VSWR is 1.3:1 or better at RF ports, minimum isolation is -25 dB, and insertion loss is 0.6 dB, max. DC terminal rated at 50 VWDC, 200 mA max.
Notable Quote from Casey Stengel
Antenna Loading Problems and Solutions
Most of us here in America recognize the Packard Bell name from the line of personal computers they sold in the 1980s and 1990s. I owned three of them, beginning with an Intel 80286 model, then an 80486, and finally a Pentium model. They were in the 'pizza box' format that sat on the desk with the CRT monitor on top; I always preferred that configuration over the tower type. Before Packard Bell made personal computers, they made personal radios for the desktop beginning back in the 1930s. That ...
Keysight cum Agilent cum HP Wall Posters
Wall charts featuring high tech themes are Art du Jour for engineering labs, cubicles, and offices. Many companies provide custom designs that provide useful information about subjects like RF and microwave system design, frequency standards, radar fundamentals, wireless network planning, regulatory topics, etc., while also often taking the opportunity to promote their products. Unlike the lab wall posters of yore, today's posters are large and full of vibrant colors. Since it had ...
Anatech Electronics October 13, 2014 Product Update
Anatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Anatech has released three new SAW filter designs, one is a duplexer covering the 746-756 MHz / 777-787 MHz LTE band, another is a 1575 MHz BPF for GPS, and the last is an 813/858 MHz PTT duplexer.
Practical Transformer Design and Construction
This is the third and final installment of a series on iron core transformer and reactor design. You of course are familiar with transformers, but what about reactors? A reactor is an inductive element used to limit overvoltage or short circuit current from a source to a load. These days they are most often seen in electrical distribution substations, associated with transformers. After the tease implying that you will learn something ...
RF Filter Crossword Puzzle
This week's engineering crossword puzzle contains many filter-related words. For the last couple crosswords, I have been trying to integrate some theme to make working it a little more interesting. Last week, for example, I did an Amateur Radio theme crossword puzzle. It takes a little to do because forcing words into specific squares makes it harder for the software to fill the empty ones.
Sunspots Aid Radio Signals
Sunspot cycles repeat approximately every 11 years, so there had only been six solar maximums from the beginning of long distance radio communications (Marconi in 1901) up until this article was published in 1957. That year had the sun experiencing an extremely high number of sunspots, as had the previous few years, which caused communications to be profoundly affected during the period. Under ideal conditions, high energy electrons typically ejected from the sun (CME) cause the Earth's ionosphere to become ...
Late Friday Career Tips
While you're waiting for the clock to chime 5:00 so you can get started on the weekend, here are a few more career advice articles to peruse. Worst case, you can look Monday morning as the realization of a new work week hits you :0)
I've Interviewed 100s of Candidates and the
Ones I Hire Always Do This
- 4 Steps for Improving Your Design Engineering
- How to Explain Your Fabulous Unemployment
- Is Your Cover Letter Killing Your Efforts?
- 15 Websites to Jump Start Your Career
Suggested #1 Halloween Costume for This Year
OK, some people might get a bit upset, but after just reading a news story about an Ebola scare on a U.S. Airways flight, I had an epiphany about what this year's top Halloween costume might be: a mock HAZMAT suit! You can get them cheap on Amazon. The gov'ment keeps telling us we have nothing to worry about because, "We've got this." In the rare case that the 'experts' are wrong, your kid will have a functional suit to wear to school where respiratory bugs are already attacking students. Happy Friday!
R&S Automotive Radar Sim, FM CW Signal Analysis
Rohde & Schwarz is now selling the ARTS turnkey radar target simulator from ITS and miro-sys. When combined with the R&S FSW high-end signal and spectrum analyzer and its analysis option for FM CW chirp signals, the ARTS constitutes an innovative test solution for the development and production of automotive radar sensors, automatically performing realtime characterization of the chirp signals typical of automotive radar
RF Cafe Quiz #63: Envelope Tracking RF PAs
Here is the latest RF Cafe Quiz based on the new book by Zhancang Wang titled Envelope Tracking Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications. I am continually amazed at the brilliance of people who work tirelessly to advance the state of the art of technology, medicine, transportation, and many other areas. They manage to succeed in spite of myriad obstacles placed in their collective way by infuriating levels of government regulation and government-imposed societal manipulation. Scanning through the many engineering books I receive from Artech House, Cambridge University Press, et al, is truly ...
Radio Service Data Sheets
Here is another group of Radio Service Data Sheets from late 1930s editions of Radio Craft. As explained before, I know most regular RF Cafe visitors are not interested, but I need to post them on the homepage so that the major search engines will find and register them quickly. Everything that appears on the homepage can be found in a Google search within about 8 to 12 hours - pretty amazing. • Crosley Fiver Chassis "Chairside" Model 567 • Belmont Model 408 Battery "Farm" • International Kadette Model 1019 A.C. Superhet • Stewart-Warner Models 97-561 to 97-569 (Superhet Chassis 97-56).
"Snow Static" Being Beaten by "Flying Laboratory"
Triboelectric charging is the phenomenon whereby adhesion forces between two surfaces causes the dislodging of electrons from nearby atoms, with those electrons being attracted to the material with the highest positive potential as the interface attempts to neutralize itself. Relative contact motion is most often the cause of triboelectric charge transfer, but simply pulling apart two dissimilar surfaces can also be the mechanism for charge transfer. Electrostatic discharge, a manifestation of triboelectric charging ...
Pasternack Line of High Power Linear RF Amplifiers
Pasternack, an industry-leading manufacturer and supplier of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, announces the release of eight new high power linear amplifiers that provide accurate signal amplification across a multitude of commercial and defense applications such as communications, radar and sensors, test instrumentation, telecom infrastructure, fixed microwave backhaul, commercial two-way radio, and many others. These GaAs PHEMT MMIC-based amplifiers operate from 0.8 GHz to 9.5 GHz and
Future Radio Rockets
We don't hear much - if any - talk these days about a certain weapon type being a 'peace maker,' 'game changer,' or a 'stale mate proposition.' That is because most nations, or for that matter terrorist groups, have access to some ferocious weapons. The world has operated for a long time on the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) principle, where skirmishes have been fairly local. Many conspiratorialists as well as arguably rational people believe the real game at hand is Mutually Assured Financial Destruction, where world financial powers cooperatively trade off monetary wins and losses ...
M/A-COM's New 4–23 GHz Low Noise Active Mixer
M/A-COM, a leading supplier of high performance RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products, today announced at EuMW 2014 in Rome, Italy, its MAMX-011023 low noise active mixer is available for sampling immediately. The highly anticipated market arrival of the 4–23 GHz MAMX-011023 discrete mixer gives system designers unrivaled flexibility to target a wide range of applications with a single mixer component. Offering the widest frequency bandwidth coverage
4 More Electronics Themed Comics
Here are a four more comics from magazines of the days of yore. Evidently Radio Craft readers would submit ideas for funnies and then artist Frank Beaven would draw the comics. I particularly like the one with the radio aerial stretched between the two teepees. It is rare to find a comic in a technical or hobby magazine these days. I don't know why that is. Enjoy.
Featured Book: Practical Filter Design
A Practical Design of Lumped, Semi-Lumped & Microwave Cavity Filters, by Dhanasekharan Natarajan. This book presents the application of microwave literature for designing lumped/semi-lumped filters and combline/iris-coupled microwave cavity filters. It provides the physical understanding of the terms and characteristics of radio frequency (RF) filters. The book complements engineering text books on RF components and provides support for the project assignments of students. In addition to the functional design of RF filters, the integrated design approach for producibility and...
Startup Company Survival Statistics
As reported in the October 2014 edition of Inc. magazine, all the government agency, movie producer, school system, news media, advocacy group, and many other entities', promotions of woman-owned businesses has evidently paid off according to a major study on the success and failure of startup firms within their first five years of operation. I cannot, out of respect for the copyright, reprint the detailed colorful chart that appears in print, but a thumbnail of it is offered here for reference. Five primary topics were investigated ...
Is there such as thing as too many articles on transmission lines? I think not, at least for most visitors to RF Cafe. Since the fundamentals of transmission lines have not changed in the last century, it really doesn't matter when an article was written. This one covers the basics of impedance and wavelength, and then delves briefly into the subjects of antenna feeder transmission lines and using transmission lines as impedance transformers. As with most topics these days, there are many software programs available that will calculate parameters for you, but successful ...
RF & Microwave Articles of the Week
European RF Defence Sensors Systems
Challenges and Innovation, I. Montiel-Sanchez
- Balun Basics Primer: A Tutorial (p22), D. Jorgesen
& C. Marki
- Receiver Design Considerations in Digital
Beamforming Phased Arrays, P. Delos
- Maximizing RF Spectrum Utilization with
Simultaneous Transmit and Receive,
C. Cox III & E. Ackerman
- Missing Datasheet Details Can Cause Problems
- Envelope Tracking Comes of Age on Mobile
Handsets, K. Nickerson
Sky Radio Blankets the Enemy
Electronic counter-warfare has been around nearly as long as electronic warfare itself. Controlling what a population hears on its radios is a fairly simple process since overwhelming a commercial broadcast station signal requires only a more powerful transmitter. It was commonplace during wartime for an invading force to set up high power stations in population centers to block signals meant to inform people of aggressor activity, or even to play music. Often, not only was the possession of a personal radio verboten, but even getting caught listening to one could spell real trouble. However, as with booze during Prohibition, the mere fact that something ...
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken, In Defense of Women. Does that remind you of any current 'hot button' tech topics ... like AGW?
NuWaves - Business Development Representative
Reporting to NuWave Engineering's Director of Business Development, the Business Development Representative has the challenging task of identifying business opportunities for the organization, cultivating key client relationships, performing business capture planning, management, and execution and ultimately delivering bookings for the company's design services, engineering services and products. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering (or equivalent), with a successful business development track record
R&S TRM Extension for High-End Network Analyzers
The new R&S ZVAX-TRM from Rohde & Schwarz will have its debut at this year's European Microwave Week. It is an extension unit for the high end network analyzers from the Rohde & Schwarz R&S ZVA family. The R&S ZVAX-TRM can be combined with an R&S ZVA to yield a powerful, compact and highly customizable system. The R&S ZVAX-TRM conditions the signals from the network analyzer as required for a given task and either returns them
Radio on a Globe-Circling Dash
A century from now somebody will re-publish a story about the first human voyage to the planet Mars, and many of the folks reading it - or at least its headline - will deem such information obsolete and not worthy of his/her/its time reading. The same is true for many of these historical articles I post here on RF Cafe for the benefit of those people who appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of men and women who came before us to push back the frontiers of ignorance. Howard Hughes, whose name is familiar to fewer and fewer people these days, was a well-known and, ...
Some Career Advice from RF Cafe Et Alia
Is it just me, or does there seem to you, too, to be a flood of career advice stories lately? Just about every website and magazine I read has above-the-fold headlines for job hunters and people trying to get ahead in their present positions. A lot of it is old advice presented in a new wrapper, but as with an article on basic ...
Amateur Radio Crossword for October 5, 2015
This week's crossword puzzle has an amateur radio theme, with many of the words being related to that subject. All the rest of the words are technical in nature, so you will not find names of remote mountain peaks or of Hollyweird movie stars. Enjoy!
Advanced Test Equipment Repair Lab Technician
Advanced Test Equipment Corp. has in immediate need for a Repair Lab Technician to, among other duties, calibrate, troubleshoot and repair a wide variety of equipment, including: RF, microwave, fiber optic, scopes, meters, and power supplies. Proficiency in solder / desolder rework required. 5 years minimum experience
Mesuro PXI Based Harmonic Load Pull
Mesuro with support from National Instruments announces its latest advance in the utilization of PXI to improve the speed of test for today’s technical demands…At European Microwave Week in Rome, 7-9th October, the two organizations will demonstrate a load pull set up that uses a traditional passive tuner for fundamental tuning and adds the RAPID PXI digital tuner to provide a high speed harmonic tuning capability.
Please Thank NI AWR for Supporting RF Cafe
NI AWR Design Environment is a portfolio of software products that RF/microwave designers can use to design, develop, and realize rnicrowave/Hf components, circuits, and systems, including MMICs, RF PCBs, microwave modules, RFICs, communication systems, radar systems, and antennas These software solutions streamline the engineering design process from concept through to simulation and to final physical implementation.
Playback Preamp for Stereo Tapes
Hmmmm.... at the time I marked this stereo preamp project for posting I must have had a really good reason for it, but now I can't recall what that really good reason was. Maybe it was simply to mark the point in time when stereophonic electronic equipment was just beginning to be mainstream. Oh well, somebody somewhere will do a Google search on the topic someday and will be elated to find this. Thanks for your indulgence.
Win Free 6-Months of "Conquer Radio Frequency"
Back in April I posted a review of Dr. Francesco Fornetti's book and online training course titled "Conquer Radio Frequency," for which I created a 10-question RF Cafe Quiz. "This material, which includes a full-color textbook and over 12 hours of video tutorials, provides a comprehensive guide for the RF and Microwave engineering student or junior professional. Dr. Fornetti has generously offered a free 6-month subscription to a winner of the monthly RF Cafe Book Drawing.
Senior RF Design Engineer Position at Oculii
Oculii is an advanced radar sensor developer specializing in 3D radar design and fusion. 3D sensors have traditionally been the domain of high power, expensive military grade radar or laser systems. Backed by top-tier Silicon Valley angel investors and VCs - we've turned this paradigm on its head, leveraging advanced sensor fusion techniques to manufacture smarter, high precision sensors and systems. Our technology allows us to extract unprecedented accuracy, range, and 3D positioning information
An Accurate Voltage Divider
It took me a couple passes of the explanation to comprehend the advantage of a Thomson-Varley (aka Kelvin-Varley, since Thomson and Lord Kelvin are one and the same person) switchable voltage divider compared to a standard type. At first I thought the author, Edwin Bohr, was implying that the source and load impedances would not have as great of an effect on the accuracy of the divider (and to some extent it is less sensitive), but the main advantage is that the configuration permits simple cascading stages of decade dividers to achieve essentially any degree of resolution. Both a standard series-wired type voltage divider and ...
Congrats to Brian W. for Also Being a Book Winner!
Brian W., of Sandviken, Sweden, also a September Book Drawing winner, wisely chose Printed MIMO Antenna Engineering as his prize. Artech House generously provided this book as well. I pay the shipping costs to winners. Most months I send notices to two people, and most months neither responds within a few days, so I select one or two other people to give a chance to claim a free, recently published book valued at over $100. Some months I get no responses at all after 4 or 5 notices.
Engineering Career News & Tips for October 2, 2014
Here is this week's collection of career-related articles and news tidbits that seem useful. Admittedly, I have not read every word of every item, but those selected pass the quick scan test. I try to vet them to filter out stuff that applies mostly to people seeking jobs as accountants or clothing store managers. There seems to be a lot of intern news lately. If you or someone you know are/is considering interning, The Savvy Intern seems like a good website to monitor.
Switzerland Tops List of Countries Where Salary Expectations Are the Highest
- How to Build a Winning Relationship with Your Boss
- 6 Questions to Ask Before You Quit Your Job to Start a Company
- Sample Communication Phrases for Performance Appraisal <more>
High Frequency Heating at a Glance
Chances are when you think about high power RF frequency sources, it pertains to transmitters for analog or digital data, or maybe for imaging applications like x-ray machines. There is, however, another very large industry that uses high frequency electromagnetic energy for heating of materials in product processing. Frequencies range from tens of kilohertz to tens of megahertz, with power levels into the megawatt realm. This article from a 1945 edition of Radio Craft points out a few applications used in the day, and now there are many more areas where high power RF is used. Adhesive ...
Hands-On Introduction to LabVIEW for Engineers
Hands-On Introduction to LabVIEW for Scientists and Engineers, by John Essick. This book provides a "learn-by-doing" approach to acquiring the computer-based skills used in daily experimental work in engineering and the sciences. Ideal as an instructional lab textbook or for self-study by individual researchers, this book is not a manual-like presentation of LabVIEW, but rather leads its readers to mastery of this powerful tool through ...
Congratulations to Book Winner Craig P.!
Craig P., of Seattle, Washington, is a winner in the monthly RF Cafe Book Drawing; he wisely chose Frequency-Agile Antennas for Wireless Communications. Each month I select one or two people who have either purchased my software or who have written to me about an issue on RF Cafe. Many of the books are used as the basis for my RF Cafe quizzes, and have been graciously donated by, in this case, Artech House.
M/A-COM GaN S-Band HP Pallet and Hybrid Amps
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc. ("MACOM"), a leading supplier of high performance RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products, today announced a new portfolio of surface mount S-Band GaN power products optimized for commercial air traffic control, weather radar and military radar applications. The new products are available in a range of packaging options and power levels. The 30 Wpk and 85 Wpk Hybrid GaN Amplifiers are complemented by a 350 Wpk
Carl & Jerry: Treachery of Judas
But nine times out of ten when you draw a blank in analytic geometry or calculus, you'll find that your trouble is caused by weakness in algebraic manipulation." That statement is not a major factor of the plot, but it does ring true in a familiar way. I remember noting that the guys who had trouble in calculus class usually did so because they were weak in basic algebra and trigonometry. An engineering calculus class moves at such a rapid pace, with many new concepts thrown at you every day, that you absolutely must not have to learn algebra and trig concurrently ...
RF Calibration Technician Needed by ATER
Advanced Test Equipment Corp. has in immediate need for an RF Calibration Technician to perform calibration and repair of medium to high level test and measurement equipment. The successful candidate will requires little assistance and supervision on to create calibration data sheets accurately and efficiently with minimal supervision based upon instrument specifications and approved calibration procedures, identify and recommend products and related peripherals and accessories to add to our rental inventory