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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2016
Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger,
 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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Homepage Archive October 2015 (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 "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page.

Homepage Archive Pages

2016:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2015:  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
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2009:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

Click for Page 2 of the October 2015 homepage archives.

 

POTUS-PRIME: Seeking Info

POTUS-PRIME: Seeking Info - RF CafeIt is not often that a famous author of books dealing with the subject of secret military codes, ciphers, and cryptography writes to me asking for assistance in some research. In fact this is the first time such an author has written - about codes and ciphers, that is. Mr. Fred B. Wrixon contacted (see below) me after finding World War II communications articles posted on RF Cafe to ask whether I had any verifiable knowledge of a fabled communication system between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill that went by the name POTUS-PRIME. Other than recognizing that POTUS is President of the United States and PRIME is Prime Minister, I had to admit to possessing no useful knowledge. It reportedly involved the Bell Labs A-3 speech scrambler that was superseded by the SIGSALY system. If you happen upon this post and are able to assist Mr. Wrixon, he would not only be most grateful, but is offering compensation ...

Russian Hackers Create Trojan USB Drive to Deliver Device-Killing Voltage

Russian Hackers Create Trojan USB Drive to Deliver Device-Killing Voltage - RF Cafe"It can kill everything from your laptop to your TV. Russian hackers have created a USB stick that can instantly fry any machine it is plugged into. It sends 220 Volts through the signal lines of the USB interface, rendering anything it is plugging into useless. The Russian security researcher known as 'Dark Purple' who created the stick has even posted a video of it in action - killing his laptop in the process ..."

Congrats to September Book Drawing Winner Tisha H !!!

Foundations of Antenna Engineering: A Unified Approach for Line-Of-Sight and Multipath - RF CafeTisha H., of Gadsden, Alabama, is the lucky winner of the RF Cafe Book Drawing for September 2015. Tisha selected Foundations of Antenna Engineering: A Unified Approach for Line-Of-Sight and Multipath, by Kildal Per-Simon, which was Graciously provided by Artech House. Each month I randomly choose one or two names from the list of people who have bought my software products during the month. Most of the books are donated by the publishers, and then I pay for shipping to the winner.

Tech Funding Surging Despite Bubble Fears

Tech Funding Surging Despite Bubble Fears - RF Cafe"Investors poured increasing amounts of cash into startups in the third quarter, defying fears of a bubble in the tech sector, a survey showed Wednesday. A total of 1,799 venture-backed startups around the world pulled in $37.6B in funding in the quarter, the highest since 2001, according to the survey by CB Insights and KPMG. The vast majority of the funding - 77% - went to technology startups ..."

Effective Expert Witnessing: Practices for the 21st Century

Effective Expert Witnessing: Practices for the 21st Century - RF CafeEffective Expert Witnessing: Practices for the 21st Century, 5th Edition, by Jack V. Matson, comes highly recommended by the good folks at IMS ExpertServices. They are the origin of all the BullsEye articles I post that provide insight into real court cases involving expert witnesses. After I recently posted "Tips from an Expert Witness Recruiter on Getting Hired," written by Mr. Toby Edwards, I wrote to ask whether there is a book that would be particularly good for someone either already engaged in or contemplating being engaged in providing expert witness services. This book was the response.

Anatech Electronics Newsletter - October 2015

Anatech Electronics Newsletter for October 2015 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its March 2015 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar theme is "Spectrum Pollution: A Silent Menace." He discusses a test run by a spectrum monitoring setup that recorded thousands of independent signals in the 2.4 GHz ISM band in an urban environment, illustrating how saturated our environment is with RF energy, and making you wonder ...

Empower RF Systems Intros 1 to 2.5 GHz, 2 kW HPA in 8U Chassis

Empower RF Systems Intros 1 to 2.5 GHz, 2 kW HPA in 8U Chassis - RF CafeEmpower RF is pleased to announce it is it is shipping another new, industry leading RF amplifier system that complements the frequency coverage and power level "footprint" of our next generation, high power PA product family. Model 2180, covering 1 to 2.5 GHz and delivering an unprecedented 2 kW CW of broadband output power in a 8U, air cooled chassis is our latest market release. Offering unrivaled size, weight, and power advantages and building on a design architecture that has been a catalyst for technology ...

Frenzied Radio

Frenzied Radio, February 1930 Radio-Craft - RF Cafe"And there is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9, NKJV (did you know that is the origin of the saying?). This 1930 editorial by Radio-Craft editor Hugo Gernsback describes a coordinated scam perpetrated by radio manufacturers to compel consumers to buy new sets rather than have their existing sets repaired. In short, retail prices were inflated to accommodate a built-in 'trade-in' allowance that far exceeded the repair cost or used radio cost. Radio service shops were getting the short shrift because many people who might have otherwise elected to have repairs made would instead trade in the old set for a new one ...

Notable Tech Quote - Heinrich Hertz

Notable Tech Quote - Heinrich Hertz - RF Cafe"I would rather be a great scientific investigator than a great engineer; but would rather be a second-rate engineer than a second-rate investigator." - Heinrich Hertz in a letter to his parents in October, 1877

Keysight Technologies: Back to Basics Is Key in Spectrum Analysis

Keysight Technologies Back to Basics Is Key in Spectrum Analysis - RF CafeTo get more out of your spectrum analyzer, you need to go back to the basics. Dynamic range identifies whether or not low-level signals will be visible in the presence of large signals, and is one of the most important—and difficult—measurements to get right. Since the display range, measurement range, noise floor, phase noise, and spurious response of the instrument all play important roles in determining dynamic range, it is often misunderstood and misinterpreted ...

Chemistry Controls Magnetism

Chemistry Controls Magnetism - RF Cafe"Magnets are well-known from the physics lessons at school, but they are hardly covered in chemistry lectures; and it is still a chemical process by means of which researchers have succeeded in controlling magnetic properties in bulk ferromagnets. While physical processes may influence the orientation of the magnetic fields, the chemical process in this case controls magnetism in carefully chosen strongly ferromagnetic material systems. The working principle used in this case is similar to the ..."

Men Who Have Made Radio - Heinrich Hertz

Men Who Have Made Radio - Heinrich Hertz, February 1930 Radio-Craft - RF Cafe Fifth in the "Men Who Have Made Radio" series, Heinrich Hertz is honored here for giving mankind what author Hugo Gernsback appropriately termed "a sixth sense." Having earned his doctorate with a thesis on "the distribution of electricity over the surface of moving conductors," Hertz proved through his experiments the existence of electromagnetic waves - the aforementioned sixth sense. During his short 37 years on Earth, Heinrich Hertz accomplished an impressive amount of fundamental research and discovery. He was remembered fondly as a kind man who placed advancing the frontiers of science ahead of fighting for credit ...

Auto Radio - Pro and Con

Auto Radio - Pro and Con, June 1935 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIf you think the controversy over whether drivers being distracted by telecommunications devices is something new, consider this article from a 1935 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. Mobile radio was a relatively new possibility at the time, as was the horseless carriage into which installation was a cause for concern by insurance companies and government regulators. Just as nowadays we worry about and sometimes fining drivers who use a smartphone for texting while driving, the state of Connecticut in 1935 went so far as to propose imposing a fine of $50 ($870 in 2015 money) for installing a radio set or any "other ...

MECA Intros 2 W Right Angle Attenuators

MECA Intros 2 W Right Angle Attenuators - RF CafeMECA is pleased to announce the addition to our 662 series, 2 watt SMA attenuators operating now up to 4 GHz. The 662-dB-1RA series attenuators cover all wireless applications from Hz – 4.0 GHz and available in standard values of 3, 6, 10, 20 & 30 dB. And as always made is USA carrying MECA’s 36 month warranty ...

NuWaves Wins USAF SBIR Phase II Contract for GPS Satellite RF Filters

NuWaves Wins USAF SBIR Phase II Contract for GPS Satellite RF Filters - RF CafeNuWaves Engineering, a veteran-owned small business delivering advanced RF and microwave solutions, announced today that the company has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the USAF Research Laboratory to develop and test an advanced triplexer in support of AFRL's GPS technology development program. Under the AFRL-sponsored technology development effort ...

This Is Digi-Talker

"This Is DigiTalker" - RF CafeWhile watching the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, at some point when one of the computer voices was speaking, a memory of the "This Is DigiTalker" voice suddenly came to mind. Back in the mid-1980s while working at Westinghouse in Annapolis, Maryland, a couple of the engineers brought a DigiTalker prototype experimentation board into the super-classified area where I worked. According to National Semiconductor's datasheet, it was introduced sometime around 1980. The programmable digital voice IC was a big deal in that unlike other devices that had a fixed set of ...

Nobel Prize for Physics Awarded for Discovery That Neutrino Has Mass

Art McDonald and Takaaki Kajita win 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics - RF Cafe"The 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to Arthur B McDonald and Takaaki Kajita "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass". The prize is worth SEK 8m (£629,000) and will be shared by the two winners who will receive their medals at a ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December. Kajita is a Japanese citizen and a member of the Super-Kamiokande collaboration. McDonald is a Canadian citizen and director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory ..."

Pasternack In-Stock Amplifier Line All Priced Less <$500 per Unit

Pasternack Introduces an In-Stock Amplifier Line All Priced Less Than $500 USD per Unit - RF CafePasternack, a leading provider of in-stock and ready to ship RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, announces the release of new affordable coaxial-packaged RF amplifiers. Both low noise and gain block amplifiers are offered and display excellent performance covering wide octave frequency bands from 9 kHz to 3 GHz. All of these new amplifiers from Pasternack provide an outstanding value and are all priced less than $500 USD for a single unit. These products provide engineers a convenient and ...

Science-Themed Crossword Puzzle for October 11, 2015

Science Crossword Puzzle for October 11, 2015 - RF CafeThis week's custom crossword puzzle contains only words with relevance to science, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, mechanics, etc. Since each puzzle is created personally by me, I usually insert a few special words and clues. This week, the company names of my two newest advertisers are buried somewhere in the matrix. Enjoy!

Can You Solve This Scottish High School Math Problem?

Can You Solve This Scottish High School Math Problem? - RF CafeThis problem appeared on a Scottish high school higher maths placement exam (we say 'math' here in the U.S.) and it reportedly caused a major uproar due to its difficulty. Part (a) is a piece of cake, but part (b) is what separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Not being one to pass up such a challenge, I took a shot at it - and actually got it all correct! Completing part (b) requires that you know about how to find the minimum value of a function, a method I didn't learn until college calculus. Any HS kid that knows how to work part (b) is a bright light for the future of England and the world. Here is a nice online derivative finder if you need it, and here is a scan of my scribbled solution.

Radar and Electronic Warfare Fundamentals

Radar and Electronic Warfare Fundamentals - RF CafeNuts and Volts magazine published a really nice layman's overview on the subject of radar and electronic warfare. Author Gerard Fonte begins with a little radar history and then delves into basics on radar signature, countermeasures including anti-radiation missiles, false targets, and radiation patterns. This is a fairly short article and is meant only as an introduction to the subject. For a really great resource that goes into much more detail, but without all the mind-boggling mathematics, I recommend (and own a copy of) Stimson's Introduction to Airborne Radar.

A Few Good RF Engineering Magazine Articles

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for October 9, 2015 - RF CafeIt was the end of August when I last posted links to RF & microwave engineering articles. You don't need me to suggest reading material, but this can at least serve as a reminder that there are many great new articles available. Some magazines have been printing an abbreviated version of an article and then posting the entire article online. Often, even if the entire text is printed, there are additional sketches and photographs posted online ...

- Using Power Sensors in Unattended
   Applications
- 6 Types of Resonators Used Across
   the RF/Microwave Universe
- Making Links with Cables and
   Connectors <more ...>

Linx Intros Low Cost R/C and Sensor Transceiver for the IoT

Linx Technologies Intros Low Cost Remote Control and Sensor Transceiver for the Internet of Things - RF CafeLinx Technologies, a Merlin, OR based developer and manufacturer of Internet of Things (IoT) Products and Solutions, is pleased to introduce its new pre-certified remote control and sensor transceiver modules. The HumRC™ Series transceiver is built on the popular Hummingbird platform, and is a frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) transceiver designed for reliable bi-directional remote control and sensor applications. Available today in 900MHz, the HumRC™ outputs up to 10dBm. This results in a line-of-sight range of up to 1.0 mile ...

P1dB Announces 65 GHz 1.85 mm Attenuators

P1dB Announces 65 GHz 1.85 mm Attenuators - RF CafeP1dB, an RF and Microwave component supplier, announces immediate availability of 1.85 mm, 65 GHz attenuators, designed to handle 1 Watt of continuous RF power. The 1.85 mm attenuators are available in 3dB, 6dB, 10dB, 20dB and 30 dB attenuation values. A common value for 1.85 mm attenuators is a 6 dB, part number is P1AT-18MF-65G1W-6. All attenuator values can be found in the attenuator category page on the P1dB website ...

Tips from an Expert Witness Recruiter on Getting Hired

Tips from an Expert Witness Recruiter on Getting Hired, by IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeThe good folks at IMS ExpertServices periodically sends me e-mails that highlight recent key court cases that can significantly affect the effectiveness of expert testimony, both for the plaintiff and for the defendant. You need only scan the headlines I post daily to know the importance of effective legal representation when intellectual property (IP) is being contested. Expert Library articles are different from BullsEye in that rather than report on specific court cases featuring noteworthy actions from expert witnesses, they offer strategic advice to experts. Toby Edwards is an expert witness recruiter who has been party to thousands of initial interviews between attorneys and perspective expert witnesses. He offers a few ...

Fairview Microwave Intros Ultra-Miniature Cable Assemblies up to 6 GHz

Fairview Microwave Introduces New Ultra-Miniature Cable Assemblies Up to 6 GHz - RF CafeFairview Microwave Inc., a supplier of on-demand microwave and RF components, introduces a brand new family of ultra-miniature UMCX, WMCX and HMCX32 cable assemblies. Commonly used to connect an external antenna to a mini-PCB, these flexible micro-coax jumpers offer operation from DC to 6 GHz and are ideal for use in wireless communications systems. Additional wireless applications include antennas for GPS and other radio systems, Wi-Fi, wireless LAN, Bluetooth, ZigBee, LTE, mini-PCI and PDA / PCS / cellular handset ...

The Fixed "Rotary" Beam Antenna

The Fixed "Rotary" Beam Antenna, August 1940 QST - RF CafeOn a fairly regular occasion someone will write to one of the QST magazine columnists or post on a forum asking about information on a particular antenna configuration he recalled seeing printed many moons ago, but can no longer find anything on it. Fortunately, the columnists are guys who have been in the Ham game for a many decades and not only remember what the writer references, but knows where to dig out the original info. Even with the plethora of resources available on the Web, some things still cannot be found because nobody yet has posted it. That is one of my prime ...

Ultrathin Transistor Can Be Turned on with a Tiny Voltage

Ultrathin Transistor Can Be Turned on with a Tiny Voltage - RF cafe"A new transistor with an atomically thin current-carrying channel that operates at ultralow supply voltages has been unveiled by a team of researchers in the US. The new device, which is made from a 2D semiconducting crystal and a bulk germanium substrate, can be switched on at just 0.1 V. It could be used to create extremely dense and lower-power integrated circuits, and could also form the basis of ultrasensitive ..."

Amateurs Honor Hiram Percy Maxim

Amateurs Honor Hiram Percy Maxim, August 1940 QST - RF CafeHiram Percy Maxim is well-known by amateur radio operators as the founder of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). He died in 1936 and was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland. A few years ago while visiting relatives in Hagerstown, I went to the cemetery, took some photos, got the exact GPS coordinates, and posted a short article on it (see Hiram Percy Maxim's Gravesite in Hagerstown, Maryland). If not for my documentation, there would be no way to know that the large grave marker shown in this 1940 QST article does not belong to the esteemed Mr. Maxim, but to the matron of his wife's family ...

NFC Concrete Slabs for a Smart City

NFC Concrete Slabs for a Smart City - RF Cafe"The idea is very simple, NFC chips are embedded in the concrete, and easy to interpret printed or 3D embossed logos on the surface indicate the presence of NFC-accessible services such as local transport information, local tourist information, emergency services, or even multimedia content (this could also be derived from advertising). Made in China, the passive NFC chips are low cost and low tech, explained Blocparc, all the company's IP is in ..."

MECA Multi-Band 32-Way Rack-Mounted Power Divider for 500 MHz – 6.00 GHz

MECA Multi-Band Rack-Mounted RF Power Divider 500 MHz to 6 GHz - RF CafeMECA is pleased to announce its latest addition to our broad band line of Power Dividers with the 32-way splitter.  Available in Type N & SMA, 30 W Wilkinson Power Dividers, optimized for excellent performance with industry leading specifications from 500 MHz – 6.00 GHz. Offering typical VSWR’s ranging from of 1.30:1, Isolation of 18 dB typical offering phase and amplitude balance typically only seen in narrower/octave band models ...

Sharp Android Phone Also a Walking Robot with Movie Projector

Sharp Android Phone Also a Walking Robot with Movie Projector - RF Cafe"It might be the oddest phone ever made - an 8" tall robot that can dance along to your music, project movies out of its head. Called Robohon, the firm says it can even identify people using a camera in its head. Measuring eight inches tall, it has a two inch touch screen on its back and built in speakers and speech recognition. It walks, talks, dances, and connects to LTE and 4G phone networks. It is even capable of identifying people by their face or ..."

The ARRL 2016 Handbook for Radio

The ARRL 2016 Handbook for Radio - RF CafeThe ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is a valued reference for radio electronics and wireless communications. Since 1926, it has kept radio amateurs, professionals, and experimenters immersed in applied theory and do-it-yourself projects. The ARRL Handbook covers a wealth of information: the fundamentals of electronics and radio signals, construction practices, antennas and propagation, equipment and circuit design, and other useful reference information. This 93rd edition of The Handbook continues to keep pace with the fast-moving technology employed around the world. Each chapter is full of practical hands-on information to ...

Triad RF Systems Q4 2015 Newsletter

Triad RF Systems Q4 2015 Newsletter - RF CafeThe TA1030 is a Class AB GaN SSPA that produces linear power from 6400 to 7200 MHz.  Designed for Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) industry, this amplifier produces 10W of 16 QAM COFDM with skirts that are 30 dBc or greater. The amplifier also features our versatile DC supply (VDS) which accepts a DC input of +9 to +36V. The amplifier produces 60 dB of linear gain with an input VSWR of 1.5:1. Features include forward power detection, over/under and reverse voltage protection and can switch between on and off in <1usec. A tri-color status LED and ...

Starkey Hearing Technologies Needs a Sr. RF Design Engineer

Starkey Hearing Technologies Needs a Sr. RF Design Engineer - RF CafeThe Senior RF Design Engineer, under minimal supervision, will be responsible for the design, implementation, and optimization of wireless designs in hearing aids and hearing aid accessories. S/He must possess technical expertise, effective communication skills, creativity, and internal drive to lead the creation of designs that are recognized as best-in-class in the hearing aid industry. S/He must have the ability to work both independently and in a group environment. The Senior RF Design Engineer must be able to work well in a cross-functional team environment and provide leadership and clarity for wireless system architecture and design issues and have a passion ...

Skyworks Intros 200 to 3800 MHz Broadband Low-Noise Amplifier

kyworks Intros 200 to 3800 MHz Broadband Low-Noise Amplifier - RF CafeSkyworks introduces an ultra-broadband LNA with superior gain flatness and exceptional linearity. It is ideal for high performance cellular infrastructure, small cells, tower mounted amplifiers, remote radio units, repeaters, base stations and military LNA applications. The SKY67159-396LF single stage GaAs pHEMT LNA offers ultra-broadband performance with a single matching circuit, low noise figure and good linearity. On-die active bias design ...

A Key to Radio as a Vocation

A Key to Radio as a Vocation, November 1936 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIn 1936, a high school graduate could expect to earn about $15 per week in the nascent radio business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator, that is the equivalent of around $257 per week in 2015. That is not much to live on. Today, McDonalds burger flippers think they should be paid a minimum of $15 per hour. That equates to $600 per week in 1936, which is the kind of salary top industry executives were drawing back then. Anyway, this article discusses the benefits of formal education in regard to potential earnings in the radio business in many roles ranging from maintenance technician to broadcaster to management ...

Facebook Plans Satellite in 2016

Facebook Plans Satellite in 2016 - RF Cafe"Facebook is to launch a satellite that will provide internet access to remote parts of Africa, the social network's founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced. In partnership with French-based provider Eutelsat, Facebook hope the first satellite will be launched in 2016. "We're going to keep working to connect the entire world -- even if that means looking beyond our planet," Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. The project is part ..."

Howard Explorer Model W All-Wave Superhet Radio Data Service Sheet

Howard Explorer Model W Deluxe 19 Tube All-Wave Superhet Radio Service Data Sheet, September 1934 Radio-Craft - RF CafeHere are the schematics, chassis layout, and service info for the Howard Explorer Model W Deluxe 19 Tube All-Wave Superheterodyne radio. The Radio Service Data Sheets that were published in Radio-Craft usually seem to have more information included than those published in other magazines, at least in the same era (1940-ish). It might have to do with how much material is provided by the manufacturer rather than a decision by the magazine editors. Believe it or not, there are still people searching for such data ...

Anatech Electronics Introduces Coaxial and Semi-Rigid RF Cable Assemblies

Anatech Electronics Introduces Coaxial and Semi-Rigid RF Cable Assemblies - RF CafeAnatech Electronics today introduced a broad line of coaxial RF cable assemblies that are available as standard products and are also fully-customizable to meet customer requirements. All standard products can be purchased directly from the Anatech Electronics Web store. Hundreds of cable assemblies and connectors are available in standard or custom lengths with connector ...

Notable Tech Quote

John W. Gardner (Stanford University Libraries pic) - RF Cafe"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems." - John W. Gardner, Stanford University alum and former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Liquid Cooling Moves onto the Chip for Denser Electronics

Liquid Cooling Moves onto the Chip for Denser Electronics - RF Cafe"Using microfluidic passages cut directly into the backsides of production field-programmable gate array devices, researchers are putting liquid cooling right where it's needed the most -- a few hundred microns away from where the transistors are operating. Combined with connection technology that operates through structures in the cooling passages, the new technologies could allow development of denser and more powerful ..."

Short-Wave Radio Lands Army Plane Without Human Aid

Short-Wave Radio Lands Army Plane Without Human Aid, December 1937 Radio-Craft - RF CafeWhat was considered in 1937 to be a breakthrough feat for a full-size airplane is today accomplished regularly in model airplanes. What took hundreds of pounds of generators, radio gear, sensors, and actuators to perform the first-ever fully automatic landing is now done with a few ounces of microminiaturized GPS receiver, processor, MEMS sensors, servos, and a LiPo battery. The HobbyZone Sportsman S+RTF (see video at bottom) is an example. Most modern commercial aircraft are capable of landing themselves in an emergency situation. Just today there was a news report of an American Airlines pilot that died in flight and the copilot took over to land the airplane ...

Engineering Crossword Puzzle for October 4, 2015

Engineering Crossword Puzzle for October 4, 2015 - RF CafeFor the sake of avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical endeavor (e.g., Hedy Lamar) ...

Atomic Movements Observed to Better Understand Dielectric Materials

Researchers Observe Atomic Movements to Better Understand Dielectric Materials - RF Cafe"Researchers from North Carolina State University, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, and UNSW Australia have measured the behavior of specific atoms in dielectric materials when exposed to an electric field. The work advances understanding of dielectric materials, which are used in a wide variety of applications from handheld electronics to defibrillators. 'Dielectric materials are insulators that can store and manage electric charge. But we hadn’t yet directly measured how atoms move in dielectric materials in order to store that charge ..."

P1dB Announces SMA Pigtails for In-Circuit RF Probing

P1dB Announces SMA Pigtails for In-Circuit RF ProbingP1dB, an RF and microwave component supplier, announces immediate availability of RF Pigtails, which are good test probe solutions for sampling or injecting RF signals in PCB circuits. P1dB Pigtails are configured with SMA Female connectors and are available with a variety of coax types. The SMA Pigtail coax types are semi-rigid, conformable and jacketed conformable All coax types are available from 1" to 9" lengths. All Pigtails are found on P1dB's RF Cable Assemblies category page ...

Triad RF Systems Intros 700 – 6000 MHz, 10 W GaN Amplifier Module

Triad RF Systems Intros 700 – 6000 MHz, 10 W GaN Amplifier Module - RF CafeThis wideband GaN amplifier module is ideal for CW, modulated or pulsed applications. The wideband DC input range of +9 to +36V allows the unit to be used with various power supplies in existing systems. Due to several state-of-the-art circuits, this unit is also highly immune from damage due to out of specification DC voltage conditions that may be applied. Its rugged construction guarantees fault-free operation in the most extreme environments. Output power = 10 W, linear gain = 43 dB, gain flatness ...

Advanced Test Equipment Corporation Needs a Technical Marcom Specialist

Advanced Test Equipment Corporation Needs a Technical Marcom Specialist, October 1, 2015 - RF CafeAdvanced Test Equipment Corporation is a world-wide Hi-Tech equipment rental company located in Sorrento Valley. We are seeking a technical marketing engineer to write technical articles, web content for our website, attend trade shows (travel occasionally), and assist with product support for the Rental Agents. This position is in the Marketing department reporting to the Marketing Manager, working in a fast pace environment. A background in engineering or test and measurement equipment is a plus ...

NI AWR Design Environment V12.01 Now Available

NI AWR Design Environment V12.01 Now Available - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) announces the availability of a new update to V12 of NI AWR Design Environment™. Introduced in June 2015, V12 offers new amplifier-, antenna- and radar-specific features, as well as ease-of-use improvements, speed enhancements and additional third-party integration flows. Continuing to build upon the new load-pull features of V12, the V12.01 update includes numerous additions to the load-pull capabilities, as well as multiple improvements to system simulation within Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) communications system communications system design ...

Proposed Standards for Triboelectric Nanogenerators

Proposed standards for triboelectric nanogenerators could facilitate comparisons - RF Cafe"To provide a means for both comparing and selecting energy-harvesting nanogenerators for specific applications, the research group that pioneered the triboelectric nanogenerator technology has now proposed a set of standards for quantifying device performance. More than 60 research groups worldwide are now developing variations of the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), which converts ambient ..."

Capacitor Lifetimes Can Be Improved with the Right Materials

Capacitor Lifetimes Can Be Improved with the Right Materials - RF Cafe"Although not all applications are safety critical or mission critical, reliability is still a vital consideration for many electronic products. Making informed choices at the component selection stage can help ensure the product will perform correctly over its intended lifetime, writes James Lewis. When choosing capacitors, properties such as volumetric efficiency, frequency stability, temperature ...

Men More Likely to Be Seen as 'Creative Thinkers'

Men more likely to be seen as 'creative thinkers' - RF Cafe"People tend to associate the ability to think creatively with stereotypical masculine qualities, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings suggest that the work and achievements of men tend to be evaluated as more creative than similar work and achievements produced by women. "Our research ..."

Men Who Made Radio: Reginald A. Fessenden

Men Who Made Radio: Reginald A. Fessenden, January 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeRadio-Craft magazine ran a series of feature articles on "Men Who Made Radio." The January 1930 edition honored Canadian engineer Reginald A. Fessenden, who is credited for making the first wireless voice transmission. Mr. Fessended worked with both Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, eventually inventing the rectifying electrolytic detector, which was the successor of the coherer and the precursor of the crystal and the tube detectors. His interest in communications extended beyond radio to include sonic devices like sonar, a field in which he also gained significant renown ...

Circuit Board Market Hits $60B in 2014

Circuit board market hits $60.2 billion in 2014 - RF Cafe"The world market for printed circuit board technology was worth an estimated $60.2 billion in 2014, growing 0.7 percent, say market analysts at IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries. Production growth in China, Thailand and Vietnam last year compensated for declining circuit board production in most other regions, IPC analysts say in the organization's report World PCB Production Report for the Year 2014. Worldwide rigid circuit board market grew modestly in 2014 ..."

Mac's Radio Service Shop:
Mac Quotes Benjamin Franklin

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Mac Quotes Benjamin Franklin, October 1949 Radio & Television News - RF CafeWell I'll be darned, old Mac the master radio repairman taught me something else new this month. Along with giving sidekick Barney a lesson on business ethics and how honest dealing can pay dividends as societal conditions change, he also put on his Sherlock Holmes cap and deduced a surprising cause for circuit failure based on the physical location of a lady's radio; read on to learn the details. As usual, the exact scenarios of the stories do not apply to today's environment and/or equipment, but the troubleshooting logic certainly does ...

Skyworks Intros AEC-Q100 Qualified 20 MHz to 3.0 GHz SPDT Switch

Skyworks Intros AEC-Q100 Qualified 20 MHz to 3.0 GHz SPDT Switch - RF CafeSkyworks introduces a single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) switch that is qualified to the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) Q100 standard. The SKYA2001 features low insertion loss (0.4 dB at 2.4 GHz) and positive voltage operation with very low DC power consumption (10 µA). It is ideal for next generation automotive systems, transportation infrastructure platforms, in addition to industrial, and aerospace and defense wireless control applications. Its AEC-Q100 qualification supports extended production life requirements. The device is manufactured in an ...

New Electrode Gives Micro-Supercapacitor Macro Storage Capacity

New Electrode Gives Micro-Supercapacitor Macro Storage Capacity - RF Cafe"Micro-supercapacitors are a promising alternative to micro-batteries because of their high power and long lifetime. They have been in development for about a decade but until nowhave stored considerably less energy than micro-batteries, which has limited their application. Now researchers have developed an electrode material that means electrochemical capacitors produce results similar to batteries ..."

Push-Push Power Amplifiers

Push-Push Power Amplifiers, January 1932 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis article, in addition to reporting on early push-push power amplifier configurations, demonstrates what a mess AC and DC power distribution systems were in the early days of electric service. Standardization and regulation was at a minimum, and the plethora of potential hazards to life and property makes you wonder how more people were not killed, maimed, or had houses and businesses burned down. You hear a lot about medical issues that came from lead-based paint on window sills, but the electrical wiring and connected equipment were a mess. Back to the push-push amplifiers, though. According to the author, the primary difference from the more familiar push-pull amplifier is that the configuration removes bias from ...