Metal vs. Glass Radio Tubes
Here is a
brief synopsis on the main difference between
glass and metal vacuum tubes - the metal
case tubes generally exhibit higher interelectrode capacitances. Unless successfully addressed, that limits usefulness in high frequency circuits.
One of the major advantageous features of metal tubes is the built-in EMI/RFI shielding both for keeping desirable fields inside the tubes and
keeping undesirable fields from entering ...
Metal Radio Tubes
Metal-encased vacuum tubes were such a big deal when they arrived on the scene
in the mid 1930s that two successive issues of Radio-Craft devoted the majority of print space to them. Metal tubes, as admitted by
editor and author Hugo Gernsback, did not perform as well electrically as glass tubes yet, but that was attributed to the infancy of the technology.
Overwhelming positives, including ruggedness, lower cost of production, longevity and other aspects would ensure that metal tubes "are here
to stay." They never did even come close to replacing glass tubes. One of the most interesting statements in the article has nothing to do with
metal tubes, but Mr. Gernsback's understanding
Cleveland Institute 515-T Slide Rule Manuals Now Available!
Thanks to Mr. Joe Hernandez (KN2A), the entire set of four manuals for the
Cleveland Institute of Electronics' 515-T Slide Rule
are now available online! Joe bought the manuals and slide rule on eBay as a set, and he was kind enough to scan the manuals and send them to
me for posting on RF Cafe. Since posting a photo of my personal 515-T slide rules and the partial user's manual I found a few years ago, I have
received many requests for the manuals. Joe is a very active Ham radio operator and invites you to visit his page on the qrz.com/db/KN2A website.
He is a big time CW guy who likes to tinker. One item you really need to check out is his custom-built Mouser-40 and 3 Blind Mice CW setup
Electronic Noise Is Drowning out the Internet of Things
"Our increasingly connected world needs better protection against
RF noise pollution.
Radio-frequency noise pollution is everywhere. You can’t see, hear, taste, or smell this noise, of course. Nor can you summon it and study it
at your leisure, because it comes and goes along with the movements of its sources or its victims. Start with the fact that any significant
digital appliance has a high-speed clock and a digital bus, and both leak radiation profusely. Electric motors and generators generate RF noise
with every small spark that jumps between their ..."
NuWaves Engineering Intros 30 Watt, S-Band RF Power Amplifier
NuWaves Engineering today introduced the NuPower 05E05A, a compact and highly efficient
solid-state power amplifier (PA) module for S-band transmitters and data links. Providing 30 Watts on average, and 20 Watts minimum, RF output
power, the NuPower 05E05A operates from 2,000 to 2,600 MHz for CW and near-constant-envelope waveforms. The connectorized PA module accepts
a nominal 0 dBm (1 milliwatt) input signal and provides 44 dB of RF gain while operating at 40% DC power efficiency
with a +28 VDC supply ...
The Element Cube
This is pretty cool. Just in time for
Christmas for the man-woman-boy-girl who has everything is The Element Cube. "The Element Cube
is the ultimate conversation starter. Containing over 60 elements, in one compact cube, it's the perfect centrepiece for your office desk or
coffee table. From Aluminium to Zirconium, the cube has it ALL." It began life as a Kickstarter project (still is, with 11 days to go), and now has
926 backers. Its financing goal was a mere $3,804, but already has $72,105 in pledges. The high bidder gets the world's largest alloy named
after him; i.e., 'Kirtonium' ...
Fun with Radio Parts
Here's another electronics-related
Hallowe'en article for you just in time for tomorrow's
office (or lab) party. I almost made an inane statement about how you can substitute a cellphone for the radios used in these pranks, but then
I remembered that a cellphone is first and foremost a radio in and of itself. I fondly recall the old days as a technician at Westinghouse Electric
when, on the evening shift, we used to get away with playing practical jokes on each other in the lab. Ours were low tech stuff like connecting
a high voltage supply to someone's metal toolbox or squeezing water from a soldering iron sponge wetting bottle through a length of plastic
tubing (taped under a workbench) onto a guy's crotch while he was working intently on something. You'd probably
get fired or sued for such ...
Univ. of Messina Uses NI AWR Design Environment to Model Microwave Amps
(formerly AWR Corporation) announces that the University of Messina, Messina, Italy, microwave electronics research
group uses NI AWR Design Environment™ for its modeling work. A recent project
has been the design of single-stage, high-power, microwave amplifiers using complex device models for nonlinear analysis of the device behavior
as well as for amplifier optimization. "NI AWR Design Environment software is a very valuable tool for teaching and research," said Professor
Alina Caddemi. "It offers an impressive tuning action for model performance refining that also allows students
Featured Book: Basic Radar Analysis
This authoritative new resource presents fundamentals of radar analysis including the range equation, detection
theory, ambiguity functions, antennas, receivers, SP, and chaff analysis for modern radars. This book addresses details behind the detection
probability equations and origins radar engineers commonly use to perform signal processor analyses. This book consolidates discussions of
receiver design and analysis and treats areas of digital receivers not commonly found in other books. Packed with details on how to perform
radar range equation and detection analyses, RCS modeling, ambiguity function generation and antenna pattern generation. This book also includes
detailed analyses of coherent and non-coherent integration, design and analysis
UK to Auction Former Amateur Radio Spectrum
"Spectrum at 2.3 and 3.4 GHz that once was allocated to Amateur Radio is going on the auction block in the UK.
Telecommunications regulatory agency Ofcom announced this week the steps it will take in selling off the shared spectrum it took back after
the military no longer needed it. Ofcom announced in April 2014 that it was ending Amateur Radio access to significant portions of the 2.3 and
3.4 GHz bands following a year-long consultation ..."
Online Noise Figure Uncertainty Calculator by Keysight Technologies
[noise figure uncertainty] calculator will not get the same results as earlier
versions of on-line calculator because of the different assumptions. In the most critical DUTs, the ENR uncertainty usually dominates, and the
calculators will agree for the case combination of User Cal and 95% confidence specifications. When mismatch errors are significant, this calculator
will be more accurate, though harder to use because of all the Specification Style and Distribution fields that can be filled in. The default
settings of those fields will be optimum for most applications ...
Make Extra Profits Changing Push-Button Radios to New Frequencies
old pushbutton radio
tuners were an ingenuous bit of electromechanical wizardry. For those too young to have experienced them, operation was simple - turn the
radio tuning knob to your broadcast station, pull out the lever/button, and then push it all the way back in. Done. The next time you pushed
that button, the mechanism would slew the tuning dial to that position, taking the tuning elements (usually just a variable
capacitor) with it. For most modern electronic radios, you program the station button by pushing and holding it for a few seconds until
a beep is heard. My father never quite got the hang of tuning the pushbutton radio in his old Rambler (vacuum tubes)
or even his 1972 Chevy pickup (transistorized
Carl and Jerry: "The Hand of Selene"
time for Halloween comes this
Carl and Jerry adventure. With the great popularity of zombies and the undead these days (in which I personally have
zero interest), the scheme outlined here to make the 'hand of Selene' tap out answers to a soothsayer's questions would be a great scheme
to use at a Halloween party. Read on to discover the tech savvy teenagers' clever implementation.
ARRL Seeking a Chief Executive Officer
"The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for leadership and management of staff, planning and tracking
financial results and corporate compliance, maintaining effective member interface and service levels, monitoring regulatory developments and
directing advocacy and public-relations efforts in support of Amateur Radio domestically and worldwide, and working with the Board of Directors,
Officers, and other management toward achievement of the League's goals, strategies and plans for the betterment of Amateur Radio." This is
a dream job for a qualified Ham who wants to help lead the organization to new
November Issues of RF / Microwave Magazines Available Now
For some reason the titles of this latest batch of articles
from RF / microwave magazines are longer than normal. I've noticed that engineering
book title, including their subtitles, seem to have been growing in length over the last couple years as well. The November issues are out for
Microwave Journal, RF & Microwaves, Microwave Product Digest, High Frequency Electronics, and the Test &
Measurement portion of EDN ...
The Three Pain Points of the
Mil/Aero Test Engineer
- Control Crosstalk
- Using Automatic Synthesis of RF,
Microwave and Analog Circuits to
Increase Design Productivity
- LINC2 RF and Microwave Circuit
Simulator Includes Design and
Synthesis Tools <more>
Anatech Electronics Intros 3 New Duplexers
Anatech has released
three new RF / microwave duplexer designs: a 2365-2435 MHz / 2445-2495 MHz
cavity duplexer connectorized model, a 1950 MHz /2140 MHz ceramic surface model, and also a 3660.5-3685.5 MHz / 3760.5-3785.5 MHz Cavity Duplexer
connectorized model. All can be ordered directly through their AMCrf web store
Notable Tech Quote: Kim Stricker
"Still have my 'RF Engineers' mug. To this day, I still ain't got a clue what
all the charts and graphs on it mean, but I sure feel smart when I'm drinking coffee from it." - Mr. Kim Stricker. Kim is a fellow model airplane builder and
flyer who lives and thrives in the Midwest. He is a huge aficionado of / cum lay expert on the vintage Cox engines. He and I both owned
Jetco Shark 15 control line airplanes as kids; that
is the model in the picture. Kim is also a licensed pilot and owns
Pietenpol. Big motorcycles and 2nd Amendment hardware are also among his many interests. Many of his aviation photos have been featured in the
local newspaper. Kim has my vote for the "Man Most Living Life to the Fullest" award (if, of course, there was one).
Star Trek-Style Tractor Beam Becomes Reality
tractor beam, reminiscent of the one used in sci-fi classic Star Trek, has been developed that uses sound to capture and manoeuvre objects
in mid-air. The technology focuses waves of high intensity sound to grab, lift and move small items in a similar way to a human hand, and as
precisely as a pair of tweezers. While it is a long way from being powerful enough to ensnare the kinds of objects seen in the TV series, it
Why Be Würth-less When You Don't Have to Be?
A couple weeks ago, Ms. Heather McGhee, of Wurth Electronics
Midcom, wrote to me asking about getting a listing on Vendor pages for which her company manufactured products. I obliged accordingly by
adding Wurth Electronics to the Automotive Electronics, Capacitors, EMC / EMI / RFI, Hardware, Inductors, and Substrates / PCBs pages. Wurth
Electronics Midcom, if you are not familiar with the company, is part of the Germany-based Würth Elektronik Group companies. Combined, they
produce thousands of circuit board-based system components for power distribution, display and control panels, electronic controls. Power magnetics,
EMC components, common mode chokes, capacitors, transformers, RF inductors, high current PCB terminals, printed
Ofcom Poised to Cancel Unrenewed Amateur Licenses
"UK telecomms regulator Ofcom has announced that it's set to start cancelling
Amateur Radio licenses, possibly numbering into the thousands, that have not been "revalidated" by the holder. The effort appears to be, in
part, an effort to clear dead wood from the agency's databases. Amateur Radio licenses in the UK must be revalidated every 5 years, but until
Ofcom goes through the ..."
Hubble Space Telescope Galaxy Cluster
I am always in awe when looking at a photograph of one of the regions in the
sky that hosts a dense cluster of galaxies - they look like fireflies. It seems unbelievable that so many other galaxies can exist, and that's
only what we have discovered so far. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope
(HST) is the latest in a rapidly growing collection of such clusters. Incredibly, Earth-based telescopes are now
surpassing the HST in resolution - even with needing to look through miles of scintillation-inducing atmosphere. Laser-created calibration stars
projected into the upper atmosphere and adaptive optics perform
the magic needed to correction. The European Extremely Large Telescope
(E-XLT), scheduled to see first light in 2024, will utterly blow away everything that preceded it. I hope to live
Pasternack Announces New Line of Right Angle Waveguide to Coax Adapters
a leading manufacturer and supplier of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, has released new lines of in-stock 1.85 mm, 2.4 mm
and 2.92 mm
waveguide to coax adapters with operating up to 65 GHz. These waveguide adapters are used for any number of applications
such as SATCOM, wireless communications, industrial, test and measurement and defense systems whenever there is a requirement to transition
from coax to waveguide or vice versa ...
Horizon House - EDI CON - CES EMC China will Co-Locate in 2016
EDI CON China is pleased
to announce that the China Electrotechnical Society's (CES) Electromagnetic Technology Conference & Exhibition (EMC) will be co-located
on the 4th floor of the China National Convention Center (CNCC) taking place 19 to 21 April, 2016 in Beijing. The combined event forms the largest
microwave, EMC/EMI and high-speed digital design conference and exhibition in Beijing. This is a natural extension of the EDI CON China event
that already covers EMC/EMI topics but will now feature a comprehensive parallel conference and expanded exhibition. EDI CON China has formed
a pavilion specifically for EMC/EMI companies on the exhibition floor to congregate similar companies in one area
How to Use Your Radio
This 1934 edition of
Tower Radio magazine was thrown in with a
batch of vintage radio magazines I bought on eBay. Most of the content pertains to entertainers of the day rather than with technical issues.
Reportedly, it was only sold at Woolworth's stores. Ironically, the number of households with over-the-air radio listeners today, at least as
a percentage of the population if not in absolute numbers, is probably about the same as in 1934 when commercial radio broadcasting was just
getting a foothold. These days, a majority of people listen to radio and podcasts via cellphone and/or Internet streaming media than from over-the-air
broadcasts, even while in their cars. Organizations like the National Association of Broadcasters are
Optenni Lab Software & Copper Mountain Technologies USB VNA Solution
Optenni Ltd has released
a new version of its matching circuit optimization software Optenni Lab™, supporting a link to Copper Mountain
Technologies (CMT) USB VNAs. The link enables users to stream the measured data directly into Optenni Lab, where the user can specify the matching
targets and synthesize matching circuits essentially in real time. Using this connection, users can easily test antennas and virtual matching
circuit prototypes in different impedance environments
How Are Shortwaves Propagated? (conclusion)
This is the second of a two-part article titled "How Are Short Waves Propagated?"
The first part appeared in the
December 1931/January 1932
edition of Short Wave Craft.
What Successful Engineers Do -- Especially If You're a Woman
Nancy Golden: "You don't have to be brilliant to be a good engineer. You just
need to be able to find the answers to what you need to know for the specific task at hand. That can take the form of good Internet research
skills, and it doesn't hurt to have a decent technical library in your office. Knowing when to call tech support or when to strike up a conversation
with a field application engineer is an important skill. To paraphrase a well-known movie quote, always be learning, because not only is technology
How Are Shortwaves Propagated?
Prior to atmospheric
sounding rockets and orbiting satellites, all information gained and theories developed on the nature of Earth's upper atmosphere and its interaction
with electromagnetic waves
were purely academic, not the result of empirical data. That is not to say the theories were wrong (although some were),
just that they were incomplete. For that matter, even today there is still much to be learned and, according to an excellent article in the
October 2015 issue of the ARRL's QST magazine titled "Five Myths of Propagation Dispelled,"
there is still a lot of misinformation being believed and promulgated about shortwaves and how they travel in the atmosphere. This work is a
great testament to the level of expertise that exists in the realm of Amateur Radio, and the
Giveaway: "Spectrum and Network Measurements" Book
"Here at Keysight,
we enjoy sharing insight into the latest in electronics design, test, and measurement. Towards that end, we thought it'd be fun to give away
1000 copies of this new book to help you stay up to date on spectrum and network measurement fundamentals.
First 1000 Electrical Engineers to Enter. What's the catch? If you're an engineer in the USA or Canada, simply fill in the form
below. Only one entry per person, but feel free to share with your colleagues! The first 1000 names from companies in the Electrical Engineering
community will be sent a book. Simple as that."
DO IT NOW!
Chirality Affects Current Flow in Graphene Transistors
"The handedness or 'chirality' of
electrons affects how current flows in graphene transistors, according to new work done by researchers in the UK and Russia. The team's findings
could help to make better graphene-based electronic devices and could even lead to a new technology, dubbed 'chiraltronics.'
Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms just one atom thick, arranged in a honeycomb lattice. The material is unique in that each electron moves
along the sheet relativistically, as
An Inside Story About Metal Tubes
of metal-encapsulated vacuum tubes was supposed
to be the death knell for traditional glass tubes. This 1935 article from Radio-Craft spelled out the many virtues of 'metal' tube and how in
short order their superiority would obviate the need - even desire - for 'glass' tubes. I'll let you read the article for the details, but want
to make note of an evidently archaic term used that could potentially be really popular in today's manufacturing world if duly resurrected -
'quantiquality' (aka 'quanti-quality' or 'quanti quality'). The connotation is a process of high quantity in conjunction
with high quality. The only references I could easily find to quantiquality was from late-19th-century newspaper archives. If sometime within
the next few years you start seeing some ...
Nine Major League Baseball Players Who Are Engineers
Charles Murray, of Design News,
has come up with yet another interesting engineering trivia subject - he dug up the names of 9 major league baseball players who have
degrees. He notes that since most baseball players are drafted out of high school, few have college degrees at all. Per Mr. Murray, "A 2009
Wall Street Journal analysis of a thousand or so players and managers revealed that only 26 had four-year degrees." We will, of course, expect
a similar analysis in the near future for other professional sports realms; e.g., football, hockey, basketball, NASCAR
Free Engineering Magazine Subscriptions!
TradePub's still has an impressive collection of engineering magazines offering
FREE subscriptions to qualifying applicants, which basically means you have a business
address and e-mail (although it is not an absolute requirement). You might want to take a couple minutes to see
what's available there. BTW, there are many other types of magazines available as well, such as for business, finance, education, sales, industry,
automotive, manufacturing, and marketing. I earn a few pennies (literally) when you sign up
Bidding is Under Way in the 10th ARRL On-Line Auction!
"Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the
ARRL On-Line Auction opened on October 22, and bidding already is hot and heavy.
Participants are bidding on the chance to own 270 items that range from Amateur Radio transceivers, test equipment, tools, antennas, ARRL
swag, memorabilia, vintage books, one-of-a-kind finds, and — in honor of the auction's 10th anniversary — the ARRL Lab team has contributed
five "Mystery Junque Boxes." Some of the premier items
RF & Microwave Engineering Crossword Puzzle for October 25, 2015
This week's crossword puzzle, as with all
RF Cafe puzzles, uses only words pertaining to engineering, science,
mathematics, mechanics, chemistry, astronomy, etc. You will never find a reference to some obscure geological feature or city, or be asked to
recall the name of some numbnut movie star or fashion designer. Enjoy!
New Material Promises NSA-Proof Wallpaper
"A Utah company has a new nickel-carbon material that could help the Pentagon
fight off some of its most haunting threats. Your next tinfoil hat will won’t be made of tinfoil. A small company called
Composites out of Utah has developed a flexible material - thin and tough enough for wallpaper or woven fabric - that can keep electronic
emissions in and electromagnetic pulses out. There are a few ways to snoop on electronic
Meet the Grid Dipper... the Best Friend an R/C Fan Ever Had
grid dip meter
(aka a grid dip oscillator, dipper, or dipmeter) has long been the instrument of choice for fine tuning LC-tuned
receivers for maximum sensitivity at a particular frequency. It is a simple device that oscillates at a predetermined frequency and has a meter
in the grid bias circuit to measure current. When the grid dip meter tuning circuit's inductor is in close proximity to an external inductor-capacitor
tank circuit that is tuned to the 'dipper's' output frequency, the grid current exhibits a significant reduction in value - hence the name grid
dip meter. Modern versions no longer use vacuum tubes that have screen grids, but the name persists even with the use of transistors that, for
BJTs, have a base junction and FETs, that have a gate
Understanding the FCC's Foreign Ownership Plan
"The FCC is proposing to update its broadcast station ownership rules to allow for greater foreign ownership, and to streamline
its review and approval procedures for such greater foreign ownership <download>. Here, in
a nutshell, is what is being proposed. It is necessary to say upfront that any discussion of the FCC’s broadcast station ownership rules quickly
becomes mired in complexity and exceptions. Leaving aside foreign ownership, even an explanation of
Properties of Purely Reactive Foster and non-Foster Passive Networks
In the year 2012 while completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Andrei
Müller introduced the world's first publically available software for portraying the classical 2-dimensional Smith Chart in a 3-dimentional
format. A brief report on the 3D Smith Chart software was posted here on RF Cafe,
and an article entitled "The 3D Smith Chart and Its Practical Applications" was published in Microwave Journal magazine. Since that
time, Dr. Müller has authored many scholarly articles on circuit theory dealing largely with complex impedances. Recently and in collaboration
with Dr. Stepan Lucyszyn, the paper "Properties
of Purely Reactive Foster and non-Foster Passive Networks" dealt with Foster and non-Foster passive networks with 'a strongly real function
of real frequency of positive type'. It can be read in its entirety on the IET Digital Library website for
NASA Takes Lasercom a Step Forward
"A NASA-developed laser communication (lasercom) system demonstrated
record-breaking data download and upload speeds to the moon. Now, a NASA optical physicist says he can match those speeds - plus provide never-before-achieved,
highly precise distance and speed measurements - all from the same relatively small package. Called the Space Optical Communication and Navigation
System, the breadboard technology is made up of commercially available components simulating both ground and space
Boat Anchor Manual Archive (BAMA)
While reading a great article titled
"Setting up a Test Bench" in the October 2015 issue
of Nuts & Volts magazine, a reference to the Boat Anchor Manual Archive
(BAMA) website reminded me that it has been many years since I mentioned it here on RF Cafe. Webmaster Kenneth Grimm (K4XL) has accumulated
what has to be the world's largest collection of vintage test equipment and radio equipment manuals, all available FREE for download. "It is
made possible by the generous folks who take the time and make the effort to scan and upload their manuals to the BAMA site." If you have a
scanned copy of a manual either not already in Mr. Grimm's collection or a better copy of an existing one. please submit it for the benefit
of others ...
Ok, here's a little dose of
Ham comedy for your Friday afternoon. It's a little bit kooky by today's
standards, but in 1940 the style of humor it fits right in. This could easily have been the plot in an old TV show like The Honeymooners,
or one of the radio situation comedy (sitcom) programs like The Life of Riley. QRM, by the way, is Ham lingo for man-made signal interference,
as opposed to QRN, which is atmospheric or 'natural' signal interference. Enjoy
International Model 66 and 666, 6-Tube Superhet Radio Service Data Sheet
This Radio Service Data Sheet covers
the International Model 66 and 666, superheterodyne
receiver. Most - if not all - electronics servicemen had subscriptions to these magazines because they were a ready source of not just these
service sheets, but because of the extensive articles offering advice on servicing radios and televisions. In fact, many electronics manufacturers
had a policy of supplying service data only to bona fide
Ford-Philco Radio, Model FT9, 6-Tube Auto-Radio Receiver Data Sheet
Radio Service Data Sheet covers the Ford-Philco
radio model FT9, 6-tube auto-radio receiver. A large list is included at the bottom of the page of similar documents from vintage receiver
schematics, troubleshooting tips, and alignment procedures. They were originally published in magazines like Radio-Craft, Radio
and Television News, Radio News, etc. I scan and post them for the benefit of hobbyists who restore and service vintage electronics
New Batteries: Progress or Confusion?
Battery technology experienced a major technology evolution in
the late 1950s similar to the one that took place in the late 1990s. Prior to the 50s, most common portable batteries were of the carbon-zinc
type and were not rechargeable. Nickel cadmium (NiCad) cells existed, but were not in widespread use largely because
little was known about the chemistry and how it responded to various charge and discharge cycles. Mercury, NiCad, nickel metal hydride
(NiMH), alkaline-manganese, began gaining popularity in applications requiring longer battery life and more consistent
discharge characteristics. In the 2000s, lithium polymer (LiPo) and lithium ion (LiIon)
underwent a similar evolution. Still, all the aforementioned battery types are in use today
An Automatic Program Censor
The effort to
block advertising on radio broadcasts has been
going on for about as long as advertising has been in use, as evidenced by this 1934 article in Radio-Craft where a 'robot' advertising
silencer' device is presented for removing 'superfluous advertising.' Headlines from a few weeks ago announced Apple's program for blocking
ads that appear on websites, causing a big to-do about how all the 'free' content would be jeopardized since it is the advertisers who pay for
the music and other programming to be delivered to the user. Without the convenience and economy of software to do the job in 1934, however,
fairly complex discriminator circuits were used to detect and mute the 'garrulous announcer or advertiser' between regular programming. It's
pretty funny to ...
MathWorks Introduces WLAN System Toolbox for MATLAB
MathWorks introduced WLAN System Toolbox, providing standard-compliant
functions for the design, simulation, analysis, and testing of wireless LAN communications systems. WLAN System Toolbox expands capabilities
of MATLAB for wireless development by providing configurable physical layer waveforms
for IEEE 802.11ac and 802.11b/a/g/n standards. The system toolbox provides reference designs to enable exploration of baseband specifications,
and demodulate and recover signals. Users can also study the effects of RF designs and interference sources
New Titles Added for Winners of the RF Cafe Book Drawing
have been added for winners of the monthly RF Cafe Book Drawing. Amongst them is
Spectral-Spatial Classification of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Images, by Jon Atli Benediktsson (graciously
provided by Artech House). "This comprehensive new resource presents
recent developments in the classification of hyperspectral images using both spectral and spatial information, including advanced statistical
approaches and methods. The inclusion of spatial information to traditional approaches for hyperspectral classification has
October 21, 2015
It's Back to the Future Day!
If you watched
Back to the Future Part II, released to theaters in 1989, you might recall that October 21, 2015 was the date Marty
McFly dialed into Doc Brown's DeLorean time machine in order to fix the future 'him' and, more importantly, his kids. BBC News published an
article titled "Back to the Future II: What Did It Get Right and Wrong?"
Among them are silent (electric) cars, converting garbage into energy, and large screen home televisions. Both
and Hendo have recently made news with its prototype 'hover board.'
Oh, another thing the film got right was that in 2015, when you get older, you look older - heavy sigh.
RFS to Showcase at 5th Annual Canadian Wireless Trade Show
Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global wireless and broadcast infrastructure specialist
which designs and manufactures cable, antenna and tower systems, as well as active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package
solutions for outdoor and indoor wireless infrastructure. At the 5th Annual Canadian Wireless Trade Show, RFS will showcase a variety of its
end-to-end infrastructure solutions, including: Low-inductance HYBRIFLEX cables that feature special wiring to reduce overall cable inductance
NI | AWR Sponsors "Breakthroughs in Phased Arrays and Radar" Webinar
(formerly AWR Corporation) announces that it is sponsoring "Breakthroughs in Phased Arrays and Radar"
as part of Microwave Journal's RF/microwave technical education webinar series. Moderated by Dr. Eli Brookner, IEEE Life Fellow and former radar
expert at Raytheon, this webinar examines the significant improvements in radar capabilities made possible by the advent of the active phased
array antenna. Wednesday, November 4, 2015 8 AM PT/11 AM ET
FM Broadcast Licenses Issued to First 15 Stations
This edition of National Radio News announces the FCC's
approval of the first 15 FM broadcast licenses
for stations spread across the country. It is also the first issue following America's entrance into WWII and includes a question from a Ham
regarding whether simply listening to radio reports was allowed. As you might know, the FCC prohibited amateur radio operators from transmitting
for any reason during both World War I and World War II. The reasons given were clearing the airwaves to make monitoring easier, to
prevent intentionally encoded messages from being sent, and to keep homeland status information from being broadcast. Homeland status could
be ascertained by assimilating reports of who was being drafted and entering service and
Notable Tech Quote: Heathkit
"Sometime in the past 30 years, electronics
got so complex and automated that product manufacturers took control away from us, and radio stations became a number. But a radio station is
not a number. It is a place, and it has 'width.' How wide it is depends on how far away you are from the station, how powerful it is, and how
your radio was designed." - Heathkit Explorer Jr.™ webpage note.
Checkers by Radio
Game playing with a remote
opponent is routine these days thanks to the Internet, but a couple decades ago it was not quite so easy. A
checkers or chess match via telephone, snail mail, or even fax machine
were the venues available to the common man, but Hams had another means - radio! Using either Morse code or voice and a playing board set up
like the one shown in this article, two players could easily match wits anywhere in the world where signals could be exchanged. Evidently the
participants could get so wrapped up in the game that they risked forgetting to broadcast their call signs at the legally required interval
(every 10 minutes), so author Utterback provides a friendly
Advanced Test Equipment Corporation Needs a Technical Marcom Specialist
Test Equipment Corporation is a world-wide Hi-Tech equipment rental company located in Sorrento Valley. We are seeking a
technical person or engineer to write
technical articles and web content for our website on Test & Measurement equipment. A background in engineering or test and measurement
equipment is a plus! Responsible for researching, writing and editing, summarizing data from data sheets to transform intricate technical content
into user friendly specs. This position requires in-depth knowledge of test & measurement equipment as well
Light Goes Infinitely Fast with New On-Chip Material
"In the 21st century,
photonic devices, which use light
to transport large amounts of information quickly, will enhance or even replace the electronic devices that are ubiquitous in our lives today.
But there's a step needed before optical connections can be integrated into telecommunications systems and computers: researchers need to make
it easier to manipulate light at the nanoscale. Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have done
just that, designing the first on-chip metamaterial with a refractive index of zero, meaning
Please Welcome Reactel as RF Cafe's Newest Supporter !!!
Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design
and manufacture of RF and microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. We have established
a full line of filters of all types. Latest CAD/CAM methods and equipment used in design and manufacturing. Many filter designs are available
in either tubular, rectangular, or waveguide packages, connectorized or surface mount, and standard or high power versions. Frequencies up to
50 GHz, depending on filter type.
FCC Seeking User Comments on New Beta Website
"As part of an ongoing research and design project 'to dramatically improve the usability and functionality'
of its website, the FCC has debuted a new prototype website and wants to know users
think about it. The FCC's 2011 website re-design was not well received, and the Commission has continued to maintain its previous, much-older
website design in tandem with the newer one. 'You spoke, we listened,' FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray said in an
Listening to the World
During and immediately following World War II,
the 'Monitoring Service' of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) relentlessly listened to radio broadcasts
from all over the world in order to be able to break headline news and, if appropriate, pass strategic military information on to Allied command
centers (who were simultaneously doing their own monitoring). This article tells of some of the more significant
messages intercepted and how the facility was a highly guarded secret in order to prevent sabotage and infiltration. At the height of activity,
32 languages were being transcribed into English daily, consisting of more than
P1dB Announces Broadband, 0.5 to 18 GHz SMA Couplers
P1dB, an RF and Microwave component supplier, announces in-stock availability of a series of broadband
RF couplers that operate from 0.5 to 18 GHz. The SMA Directional couplers, series number
P1CP-SAF-R518G30W, come in
10 dB, 20 dB and 30 dB values as standard items, but other values are available upon request. The Directional couplers are designed
to handle 30 watts of input power ...
The 'Kit' Has Finally Been Put Back in Heathkit™ !
I signed up as a 'Heath Insider'
about a year ago when news first broke about Heathkit's intention to finally, after a couple decade hiatus, begin producing built-it-yourself
electronics kits again. The Explorer Jr.™ is a basic capacitor-tuned AM radio kit that comes complete with everything needed to build it.
Why not a digitally tuned synthesizer with an LCD display? Company president Andy Cromarty promises many more kits to follow, with all being
in the classic Heathkit tradition of high quality parts and well-written, illustrated, step-by-step instructions. It will be a continuation
of their "You Can Build It. We won't let you fail." motto. An e-mail arrived a few days ago stating the following: "Here's a quick summary of
what we've quietly been doing at Heathkit during the past year: We assembled a terrific team of very talented
RF Cafe Website Categories Crossword Puzzle for 10/18/2015
OK, I admit that this week's
crossword puzzle is a little self-serving and
self-promoting, but what the hey. All of the clues with an asterisk (*) after them are categories in the table of contents at the tops of RF
Cafe website pages, so that should help a bit. To make it even easier, they are all on the 'Main' TOC menu. All the rest of the words, as usual,
are related to engineering, science, mathematics, etc
MECA Intros 2 New Compact Low-PIM Attenuators
MECA's new compact 50 watt and 100 watt
Low PIM Attenuators (-160 to
-165 dBc typical) feature industry leading thermally stabilized low PIM distortion performance (low thermal noise).
In addition all of the terminations cover 0.698 – 2.700 GHz frequency bands. Also available in: Type N, 4.1/9.5, 4.3/10.0, and 7/16 DIN models
both within connector series and mixed series configurations
Signal Splitting Pads
impedance-matched signal splitting networks
is nowadays mostly done with the assistance of computer software. In fact, odds are pretty high that the designer either has no idea what the
formulas behind the 'magic' are, or at least it has been a very long time since working them with pencil and paper. There's no shame in that,
though, just as there is no reason to expect someone using a cellphone must know the intricacies of the internal circuits or the network to
which it is connected. We've moved past that. For those of us who still appreciate a refresher on the behind-the-scenes calculations being performed
at lightning speed ...
PMI Releases 8 New RF & Microwave Devices
Planar Monolithics Industries (PMI)
has just released 8 new devices for the RF and microwave market.
Among the list is an 18-40 GHz successive approximation log video amp, an 8-18 GHz high speed 5-bit frequency translator, a 30 MHz to 26.5 GHz
LNA, and a 10 MHz - 6 GHz portable amplifier. PMI has one of the industry's largest selections of RF and microwave products spanning from DC
to 40 GHz ...
Explore RF Online Course as December Drawing Prize Option
A 1-year subscription to
the very popular Explore RF online course, created and hosted by Dr. Francesco
Fornetti, will be available again as an option for the December 2015 RF Cafe Book Drawing.
Dr. Fornetti graciously provided two subscriptions last year shortly after first publishing his Conquer RF Frequency book that accompanies the course. Both were selected by winners immediately - passing up an
otherwise great array of other high quality, recently published engineering books.
Free Tutorial: Error Vector Magnitude Measurements Fit for 5G
Keysight Technologies, via the
IEEE ComSoc folks, has provided a free online tutorial titled "Error Vector Magnitude Measurements Fit for 5G." Summary:
Error vector magnitude, EVM, measurements have been the mainstay of modulation performance analysis for more than twenty years. Each new technology
has defined a specific measurement to suit the characteristics of the physical layer signal. The interest in signals for 5G that are much wider
bandwidth, operating at much higher frequencies means it’s time to draw a comparison between the different waveforms
Radio-Radar-Sonar in Naval Applications
World War II was the
'necessity' that elicited the 'mother of invention' activity responsible for many huge leaps in technology - not the least of which was electronic
verbal and non-verbal communications. Along with radio and radar, Loran had become a major means of ocean and air navigation. A fair description
of the operational details, including timing diagrams, is included in the text. Loran-A, the original system as it came to be known, was fully
decommissioned in 1980, thereafter supplanted by
Loran-C. With the advent
of GPS, Galileo, and Glonass navigation systems and their low and their low equipment and installation costs
Anti-Drone Rifle Shoots down UAVs with Radio Waves
"While the US military continues to develop new
and awesome ways of blowing aerial drones to smithereens, not many of these systems can easily be adapted to use in the civilian realm. That's
why Battelle has developed the DroneDefender, a shoulder-mounted rifle that knocks UAVs offline with a barrage of radio waves. It easily and reliably neutralizes
the threat." The weapon weighs roughly 10 pounds and can target drones up to 400 meters away