RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2022
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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Please Welcome Nova Microwave as a New Advertiser!
Nova Microwave specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of a broad range of Ferrite Circulators and Isolators. Nova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical systems for the global microwave electronics market place including commercial and military wireless telecommunications. Management represents years of combined technology development, competitive price manufacturing, and sales experience. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of ...
Bell Telephone Laboratories Advertisement
Bell Telephone Laboratories used to run some pretty interesting advertisements in magazines back in the 1940s through 1960s that touted the many communications innovations coming from their scientists and engineers. They built what was indisputably the worlds best, most reliable telephone network. This ad tells how repairmen used a specially designed sensor to trace out faulty phone lines by listening for a test signal sent out by the central office. What caught my attention about this ad was the uncanny resemblance the man in the photo has to Melanie's father. She was amazed when I showed her the picture. Another thing the picture ...
Google to Expand India's Internet Access with Free WiFi at Train Stations
"Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Sunday announced a plan to provide high-speed public WiFi in 400 train stations across India. The announcement coincided with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. Modi is expected to promote his Digital India initiative during his U.S. visit. One objective of the plan, which has a 2019 goal, is to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas of India ..."
Luigi Galvani - 200th Anniversary
As with the article in this month's issue of Radio-Craft magazine (December 1937), the reference to a 200th anniversary is understated by 78 years for 2015. Luigi Galvani was sort of the Benjamin Franklin of biology in that just as Franklin demonstrated that lightning was a form of electricity, Galvani showed that signals sent from the brains to the appendages of animals were electrical in nature. In my high school days in the 1970s, we duplicated his experiment by making deceased frogs' legs twitch when motivated by a D cell. Today, such an exercise would likely be met with demonstrations by animal rights people (whose lives, BTW, have probably in some way been improved as a result of previous such experiments). But, I digress. Mr. Galvani's name is ...
LabNation SMARTSCOPE 2-Ch O-Scope, 8Ch Logic Analyzer & Generator
The result of a 2014 Kickstarter project, LabNation's SMARTSCOPE combines 3 high-end instruments into 1 mobile, smart device which works on both PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone. • 2-channel 45 MHz o-scope channels at 100MS/s, • 50MS/s arbitrary waveform generator, • 8-channel digital logic analyzer at 100MS/s, • digital waveform generator at 100MS/s. SMARTSCOPE's open framework allows you to hook up your creation to the extension ports and control it from your PC or smartphone. When you're taking on more advanced projects, you'll appreciate the full access you have to the powerful FPGA. Current price is only $229 ...
Heinrich Hertz Proves Existence of Radio Waves! 50 Years Ago!
Well... it was 50 years ago referenced to the year this story was published in 1937. That makes it 128 years ago referenced to 2015. The story's point is that half a century had passed already since the confirmation of existence of electromagnetic waves as proposed by James Clerk Maxwell. Heinrich Hertz's 'Funken-Induktor' (spark inductor) and his "Knochenhauershen Scheiben" (Karl-Wilhelm Knochenhauer's disk-type capacitors) were key to his ability to generate, transmit, and receive EM energy. The work originated from attempts to prove that light was a form of electromagnetic waves ...
First Optical Rectenna Converts Light to DC Current
"Using nanometer-scale components, researchers have demonstrated the first optical rectenna, a device that combines the functions of an antenna and a rectifier diode to convert light directly into DC current. Based on multiwall carbon nanotubes and tiny rectifiers fabricated onto them, the optical rectennas could provide a new technology for photodetectors that would operate without the need for cooling ..."
Keysight Technologies White Paper: Minimize Noise Figure Uncertainties
Noise figure is critical for characterizing a receiver and its ability to detect weak incoming signals in the presence of self-generated noise. Reducing noise figure begins with a solid understanding of the uncertainties in your components, subsystems, and setup. Quantifying those unknowns depends on flexible tools that provide accurate, reliable results. Get 10 hints to help minimize the uncertainties in your noise figure measurements ...
Radio-Craft magazine solicited inputs from its readers for a series of 'Wittiquiz' questions and answers related to radio and electronic, with a stipulation being that there had to be some aspect of humor included. That meant that some of the multiple choice answer options needed to be inane. For most of the questions, the process of elimination is pretty easy, but a couple could cause some head scratching - especially if you are not really sure of the answer. This group starts at number 28, so obviously preceding issues had questions 1 through 27. At some point I will probably acquire them and post other Wittiquizzes.
Thanks to Everything RF for Continued Support!
Long-time advertiser is continuing its support in helping to deliver RF Cafe to your desktop or mobile device. Everything RF is a product discovery platform for RF & microwave products and services. Over 100,000 products listed from more than 200 companies across 200 categories enables engineers to search using a customized parametric search tool. Please be sure to support Everything RF!
Scientists Build Wrench 1.7 Nanometers Wide
"Chemists have invented a nanoscale wrench that allows them to precisely control nanoscale shapes. Their use of 'chirality-assisted synthesis' is a fundamentally new approach to shaping large molecules -- one of the foundational needs for making complex synthetic materials, including new polymers and medicines. University of Vermont chemist Severin Schneebeli ..."
"Nothing is impossible for the man that doesn't have to do the work." This is universally attributed to someone named Cohn; i.e., 'Cohn's Law.'
Würth Electronics Added to Vendor Listing Pages
Würth Electronics Midcom, of Watertown, SD (HQ located in Waldenburg, Germany), is a manufacturer of custom and power magnetics, EMC components, common mode chokes, capacitors, transformers, RF inductors, printed circuits boards, terminal blocks, automotive magnetic components, electronic displays, LEDs, control units, and keypads. Surface mount and through-hole packages available. Free samples of catalog items are available on request.
Please Welcome Res-Net Microwave as an RF Cafe Supporter!
Res-Net Microwave manufactures a complete line of precision RF & microwave components including microwave attenuators, microwave terminations, microwave resistors, and now diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications. The company is a leader in development and production of the films required for these type of RF/microwave components. In addition to an extensive selection of standard products, Res-Net offers custom designed and manufactured products using their state-of-the-art CAD/CAM resources for all their products from attenuators to terminations.
RF PCB Design Webinar Featuring NI AWR Software Slated for October 15
NI (formerly AWR Corporation) announces that it is sponsoring an RF printed circuit board (PCB) design webinar on October 15, 2015. Part of the Microwave Journal Technical Webinar Series, this one-hour webinar offers participants insight on practical RF PCB design to help them meet the needs of today’s demanding wireless product development environment. The webinar is presented by Henry Lau of Lexiwave Technology, who has over 22 years of experience in designing RF systems, products, and RFICs, and features the use of NI AWR software products ...
Small-Scale Nuclear Fusion May Be New Energy Source
"Fusion energy may soon be used in small-scale power stations. This means producing environmentally friendly heating and electricity at a low cost from fuel found in water. Both heating generators and generators for electricity could be developed within a few years, according to new research. "This is a considerable advantage compared to other nuclear fusion processes which are under ..."
The Superheterodyne Cycle
Superheterodyne receivers were originally the sole domain of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which owned the patents and refused to license them until around 1930. Hugo Gernsback, a contemporary editor of the era, provides a little insight into the superregenerative receiver circuits superheterodyne was about to replace, and why it was an important improvement in technology. Sidebar: The question often arises regarding the difference between a 'heterodyne' circuit and a 'superheterodyne' circuit. The most popular answer that 'super' refers to the IF being located above the range of human hearing, which peaks at about 15 kHz. Doing so assured that any IF leakage into the audio circuits would not be discernable by a radio ...
NuWaves Intros Improved Flagship 10 Watt L- & S-Band RF PAMs
NuWaves Engineering, an international RF and microwave solutions provider, announced the release of an upgraded broadband RF power amplifier (PA) for L- and S-band transmitters and data radios, the NuPower™ 12B01A model, featuring improved power efficiency and operational temperature performance and a wider supply voltage range. An alternative product configuration, part number NW-PA-12B01A-D30, is available with reduced gain that accepts a +30 dBm RF input signal from the transmitter , supporting a common RF output level of industry data links ...
Free Engineering & Science Magazine Subscriptions
It has been quite a while since I looked through TradePub's list of engineering magazines. You might want to take a couple minutes to see what's available there. They are all free to qualifying people, which basically means you have a business address and e-mail (although it is not an absolute requirement). 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 ...
All About Electrolytic Condensers
Electrolytic capacitors have long been the components that provide the highest capacitance density factor, that is, they have the highest capacitance value for a given volume of space occupied. Anyone familiar with electrolytic capacitors is aware of the polarization indicated on the package (a marking or unique physical feature), indicating that there is required direction for hookup; in fact, a backwards connection can lead to an explosive failure. While physical construction of electrolytic capacitors have evolved over the decades since this article was published, the fundamental operation has not. It is interesting to note the reference to capacitors as 'condensers,' a name still commonly used with internal combustion engine ignition systems and with some AC motors that use them at turn-on for providing a starting coil phase shift ...
Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future of Computer Chips
Has Moore's Law finally peaked? "At the inaugural International Solid-State Circuits Conference held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1960, a young computer engineer named Douglas Engelbart introduced the electronics industry to the remarkably simple but groundbreaking concept of 'scaling.' Dr. Engelbart, who would later help develop the computer mouse and other personal computing technologies, theorized that as ..."
Mankind's 20 Greatest Inventions
I really have to hand it to a couple of the guys at Design News for coming up with some really good, general engineering stories. It's always risky to name names lest some omitted soul be offended, so I'll mention Charles Murray, the author of this feature that highlights some of the most technically important inventions like the battery, the airplane, the refrigerator, the internal combustion engine, etc. Robert Spiegel, another of my DN favs, has a [non]complementary list of the worst inventions.
RF & Microwave Engineering Crossword Puzzle
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. You will, however, need to know the name of a famous RF filter design software author. Enjoy ...
World's 1st Scale Model of
Solar System in Nevada Desert
This is über-cool. A bunch of guys created a true scale model of the solar system in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. They used to-scale sun and planet diameters and traced out to-scale orbital paths in the sand. Earth was a blue marble and the sun was about a meter and a half in diameter. Posts driven into the ground at orbit distances had planet models mounted atop them. The accompanying video is very well done, and the slickest part is where their cars were driven around the orbital paths at night with headlights on. I was disappointed, though, that Pluto was left out just because a bunch of pointy-headed scientists demoted it to a 'dwarf planet' ...
Fox Telemetry Decoder Software Now Available
"AMSAT has announced that FoxTelem ver 1.0 software, the Fox Telemetry Decoder, has been released so stations can start setting up, testing, and debugging their ground stations prior to the October 8 launch of the Fox-1A satellite. FoxTelem is used to demodulate, store, and analyze telemetry data from AMSAT's Fox series of CubeSats. Until Fox-1A launches, users can confirm that everything is working by using a test WAV file, available from AMSAT. Fox-1A will include an FM transponder with an uplink frequency of 435.180 MHz, and a downlink frequency of 145.980 MHz. The first phase of the Fox series 1-Unit CubeSats will allow simple ground stations using ...
Rhombic Antennas for Television
Somehow, after being in the RF business for four decades, I have to admit to not being familiar with the term 'acceptance angle' for antennas. That is after having read scores of articles on antennas. Maybe I did and just don't remember - embarrassing. Acceptance angle is mentioned and explained in this article during the description of rhombic antenna characteristics versus dipoles and multi-element designs. Although the author focuses on television installations, information provided on signal reflections, shadowing, ghosting, multipath, etc., is applicable to radio as well ...
RFMW Intros P1dB Wi-Fi Optimized 2 to 6 GHz Power Dividers
P1dB, an RF and Microwave component supplier, introduces 2-Way (P1PD-SAF-0206G30W-2) and 4-Way (P1PD-SAF-0206G30W-4) SMA power dividers operating from 2 to 6 GHz. The new RF power dividers operate across the full frequency band and are optimized for the 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands with increased isolation and improved insertion loss. The SMA dividers meet the demands of production test systems for routers, cell phones, tablets and other Wi-Fi enabled products ...
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Assembler Needed by NuWaves Engineering
A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Assembler should have knowledge of surface mount and thru-hole assembly. Possess excellent soldering skills as well as providing exceptional attention to detail in their daily tasks and knowledge of a manual pick-and-place with miniature components. Must be able to work with an integrated product team and provide high quality assembly of defense electronic assemblies to support products and projects. Military training, specialty schools, related experience or + 1 years of related experience. Full-time / Non-Exempt (Hourly) ...
Keysight EEsof EDA September Newsletter
Quick Summary of Topics: – How to Design for Power Integrity – Power Electronics: HF Power Semiconductor Modeling – How to Design Broadband Impedance Matching Networks – Introducing WaferPro Express 2015 – Wafer-Level Measurement Solution With Cascade Microtech – New 5G Channel Sounding Reference Solution – Passive Filter Synthesis Design Video – New Microwave Circuit Design Textbook – 2015 Aerospace and Defense Symposium DVD – Webcasts – Follow Us on Social Media ...
High Energy Laser (HEL) Shoots Down Multi-Copter 'Drone'
It was only a matter of time, but now military air defense laser systems are targeting multi-copter 'drones' the same way they target cruise missiles. It makes people wanting to blast the nuisance 'toys' out of the sky with a 12-gauge shotgun look like neophytes. This video (starting at 3:30) by Germany's Rheinmetall Defence shows their new High Energy Laser (HEL) system vaporizing the craft as the narrator warns of future multi-copter-based terrorist attacks at sporting events and other high attendance public venues. If you fantasize about blowing you pesky neighbor's 'copter into little pieces, you now have the motivation for your next DIY laser project ...
The "Stenode Radiostat" System
Frequency crowding has evidently been an issue since the early days of radio according to this 1930 article in Radio-Craft magazine. The situation was really bad in the earliest times when unfiltered spark type transmitters were the norm. Those pioneers could be credited, I suppose, with being the first users of wideband communications, but it was not because they chose to do so. Here author Clyde Fitch discusses the debate over whether there really were such things as sidebands from modulation and makes an argument for their existence based on analysis of various types of modulation. In particular, he predicts the coming popularity of single sideband receivers with crystal-filtered channels, and the need for matching SSB transmitters with... wait for it... carrier and sideband suppression ...
Pasternack Intros Threshold Detectors for from 2 to 40 GHz
Pasternack, a leading manufacturer and supplier of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, introduces a new line of coaxial threshold detectors designed for microwave and millimeter wave applications from 2 to 40 GHz. These threshold detectors are commonly used for analyzing radar performance, leveling pulsed signal sources, AM noise measurements, system monitoring and pulsed RF measurements in ultra-broadband applications. Pasternack's latest release of threshold detectors consists of 3 unique models covering broadband frequency bands from 2 to 40 GHz. Designs incorporate gain stages for higher dynamic range ...
Turn Your Smartphone into a 3D Hologram
How does anyone even think of this stuff? This video demonstrating how to turn your smartphone into a holographic projector was posted by Mrwhosetheboss on August 1, 2015 and has over 10 million views already - and it's no wonder. He doesn't mention on the video what inspired the idea. A clear plastic CD jewel case cover is used to make the projection surface and specially created videos that project onto the four faces are used to create the holographic effect. The concept reminds of a little multi-faceted mirrored device that used to be sold which sat in the middle of a record player and turned flip-book ...
Keysight Expands Spectral Test Portfolio with New Tunable Laser Sources
Keysight Technologies today introduced the 81607A, 81608A and 81609A tunable laser sources, a range of modules for the Keysight 8164B lightwave measurement system. The new modules extend the product family that debuted in March 2015 with the Keysight 81606A tunable laser source, an instrument with unmatched sub-picometer tuning repeatability and best-in-class wavelength accuracy that is maintained even in full-speed, two-way sweeps. The new value and basic line models share the 81606A's new design with low spontaneous emission and narrow line width, its industry-leading power repeatability and long-term stability. The new ...
Tune Your Antenna with a String
Lots of Hams still use this tried-and-true system for tuning antennas for efficient operation on a variety of bands. There are plenty of multi-band designs that rely on traps to reactively isolate portions of the antenna that properly resonate at the desired frequency, but there is usually a price to be paid in VSWR. Poor VSWR; i.e., higher mismatch loss, can be overcome with higher transmitter output power, but the real sacrifice for poor matching is loss of receiving range. The utter simplicity of using an insulated cord to vary the physical length of the antenna element(s) for tuning is hard to beat. It could be impractical on a setup where access to the antenna mount is difficult, but my guess is most people can make good use of it ...
Wireless Receiver Design for Digital Communications
Wireless Receiver Design for Digital Communications, by Kevin McClaning, presents practical lessons and approaches in radio receiver design for wireless communication systems. Decades of experience at the bench are collected within, and the book acts as a virtual replacement for a mentor who teaches basic concepts from a practical perspective and has the war stories that help their apprentices avoid the mistakes of the past. Readers are led through the fundamental theory in the Basics of RF Engineering chapter and then walked along the path toward applying this knowledge in the design of real world systems. Wireless ...
Is Fair Trade the Answer to TV Price Cutting Problem?
'Fair Trade' was a policy established in the post-WWII era in response to what consumer retail groups considered business-ruining cost cutting by dealers who offered to sell products at or barely above cost in order to steal profit from other stores. So-scheming stores planned to make up for the low profit margin with high sales volumes. Doing so drove a lot of the local competition out of business, leaving the crafty dirty dealers to later raise prices. Stores that had manufacturer-sanctioned service shops often got screwed because they were obligated to repair items like TVs and radios that were bought from another dealer who did not do service work. Profit margins on repair work - at least from honest shops - were typically very low, so the owners depended on new product sales to ...
Exploding Chip Could Thwart Cyberthieves
"Self-destructing electronics have applications in a civilian context, especially for mobile devices. Encryption keys on mobile devices are nearly impossible to crack, "but they are often protected by relatively weak passwords," said security analyst Chris Camejo. Placing encryption keys on a self-destructing chip would make it much more difficult for a thief to extract information ..."
High Tech Comics: July 1961 Electronics World
Qorvo Drives GaN into Ka-Band to Improve Satellite Internet
"Qorvo, a leading provider of RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace / defense applications, today announced a new highly cost effective, high performance Ka-band 3 watt GaN power amplifier for commercial VSAT satellite ground terminals transmitting high speed internet data. "Qorvo's 0.15um high-frequency GaN process delivers three times the power density of past generation GaAs pHEMT solutions ..."
Notable Tech Quote: Carlson's Consolation
"Nothing is ever a complete failure; it can always serve as a bad example." - Carlson's Consolation. I tried to find out who this Carlson guy is, but could not locate a definitive source. The same quote is sometimes referred to as Carson's Consolation. Regardless of its progenitor, the tenet holds true.
Vintage Tech Goes Under the Hammer
"An Apple 1 motherboard, a 79-year-old TV and the only surviving processor of the last supercomputer designed by Seymour Cray are being auctioned in New York. The 1936 Baird television set may not work and delivers a huge electrical charge of 5000 volts. But it could still fetch between $20,000 (£13,000) and $30,000, according to auctioneer Bonhams. The Apple 1 has a starting price of $300,000. Last year, a similar model fetched $365,000, and in ..."
Sivers IMA Chosen by SAF Tehnika
Sivers IMA today announced that SAF Tehnika, a designer, producer and distributor of digital microwave data transmission technology has chosen Sivers IMA's E-band converters as an integrated part in their coming products. "This is an important win for us. As a supplier of components our success is based on the fact that radio link manufacturers choose our converters to build into their products. We have had a good dialogue with SAF Tehnika during our development process and we are now at a stage where they are ready to order a customized module to integrate in their end product. Being chosen by ...
Stereophonic FM Multiplex System
FM radio has been in the news fairly frequently in the last couple years as phone manufacturers and the National Association of Broadcasters lobby the FCC and politicians to mandate the inclusion of FM radio capability into every phone manufactured. In a ploy to exploit the gullibility and egos of said bureaucrats and pols, their primary argument that FM radio is a 'first informer in times of crisis,' assuming of course that people will miss news of 'the big one' when and if it occurs. To my knowledge, successful reception of FM radio on a cellphone requires the listener wear a set of wired ear buds since the wire from the phone to the ear buds functions as the antenna. What percentage of cellphone users would bother to carry a set of ear buds? I, of course, am a huge proponent of ...
NASA Working on Space Shotgun to Blast Asteroids
A Brooklyn-based company is working with NASA to create the first ever space shotgun. The gun, developed by Honeybee Robotics, will be used to test the strength of asteroids and other space rocks, in order to determine if a mass is sturdy enough for sampling. The company, based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, calls the process 'key' to sending humans to Mars. 'Collecting and ...
The Coming Breakthrough in Thermoelectricity
Consumer grade thermoelectric coolers have been around for so long now that most people probably assume there is nothing wondrous about the discovery that makes them possible. I still marvel at the process that allows the application of a current through physical junction of two dissimilar metals (certain types) to produce a cooling effect rather than the I2R heating normally associated with conductors. This article from a scientist at Westinghouse Electric's research laboratories provides a nice introduction to the subject of thermoelectricity from both electric current generation based on the application of heat to a dissimilar metals junction, and the aforementioned cooling effect possible from passing a current ...
Science & Engineering Crossword Puzzle
This week's crossword puzzle, as is the case with all RF Cafe crossword puzzles, has only words and clues related to science and engineering. Time for generating the puzzle is short today, therefore, so is the puzzle. Enjoy ...
Real-Time Link Between Optenni Lab and Anritsu ShockLine VNAs
Optenni Ltd and Anritsu Corporation announce a real-time link between the Anritsu ShockLine family of Vector Network Analyzers and the Optenni Lab matching circuit optimization software. The link enables an entirely novel workflow for the antenna designer, streaming the measured impedance data from the VNA continuously to the matching circuit synthesis of Optenni Lab. This novel workflow opens up new horizons for the design process, as the effect of physical modifications and tuning of an antenna prototype can immediately be seen in the simulated total performance of the antenna ...
Impedance Matching CB Antennas
You would be forgiven in this era of ubiquitous cellphone usage for thinking maybe Citizen Band (CB) radios are only used these days by techno-throwbacks like myself, but the fact is many truckers still use them for convenience as well as to avoid having all their communications intercepted, monitored, and recorded by government agencies. It can be a deceiving sense of privacy though, because police officers often monitor CB radio transmissions while in patrol cars, and even solicit the assistance of other CBers in identifying and apprehending suspected transgressors - an advantage of public, unencrypted conversation afforded law enforcement which is not available with cellphones. Also, CB transmission, even though usually regarded as 'hearsay' in legal venues, has many times been admitted as evidence in cases where "present sense impression," "excited utterance," or some other special ...
Nanoelectronics Could Get Boost from Carbon Research
"Scientists have investigated a way to create linear chains of carbon atoms from laser-melted graphite. The material, called carbyne, could have a number of novel properties, including the ability to adjust the amount of electrical current traveling through a circuit, depending on the user's needs. Carbyne is the subject of intense research because of its presence in astrophysical bodies, as well as its potential use in nanoelectronic devices and superhard materials. Its linear shape gives it ..."
DuPont Microcircuit Materials Introduces New Inks for Printed Electronics
"DuPont Microcircuit Materials is launching electronic inks that cure quickly at low temperatures, expanding the possibility of printing electronics onto an entirely new group of plastic films. The technology is expected to enable electronic components such as sensors, heaters and antennas to be printed on more versatile and less expensive substrates. Historically, electronic inks have required curing temperatures between 100°C and 140°C restricting electronic substrates to those that can survive at high temperatures. The new DuPont™ PE827 and PE828 low-temperature inks cure at as low as 60°C, opening up the possibility ..."
Electronics Crossword Puzzle
Margaret LeFevre created a handful electronics-themed crossword puzzles for Electronics World magazine. Crosswords have been around for at least two centuries and come in many formats from having both x- and y-axis symmetry to symmetry about only one axis or even no symmetry at all. They can be square, rectangular, or have special shapes. This particular one has partial symmetry about the y-axis. Note that it is composed of two isolated regions with no open path between the regions. If you enjoy working crossword puzzles, there are plenty more which I have posted from electronics magazines, plus I have ...
Intel, Ericsson, Nokia Work on Next-Gen Wireless Connectivity for IoT
"Intel has announced its support for Narrow Band Long Term Evolution (NB LTE) technology as the ideal wireless connectivity solution for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market segment. NB-LTE is an optimized variant of the widely deployed 4G LTE technology, and is well-suited for the IoT market segment because of its low implementation cost, ease of use and power efficiency. Intel plans to work closely with Ericsson and Nokia to develop and bring to market the products needed for the commercialization of NB-LTE timed with market demand. Intel intends to support commercial roll-out of the ..."
Men Who Have Made Radio: Count Georg von Arco
The persona of Scott Adams' 'Dilbert' is described exactly in the opening sentence of this article in a 1930 edition of Radio-Craft magazine. It is amazing - if not frustrating - to realize how long the perception of science-minded people being introverts has been around. Dilbert's 'pointy-haired-boss' is nailed in the second sentence. Georg von Arco is celebrated here as a major contributor to the advancement of early radio, particularly wireless telegraphy equipment development. Interestingly, as brought to my attention by Melanie as she did the text clean-up after OCRing the magazine page, von Arco worked at the Sayville radio transmission station on Long Island, New York, where the Telefunken Company's Dr. K.G. Frank was arrested and interred for the duration of the World War I for sending out "unneutral messages ...
Sherlock Ohms: Turn on the UHF and the Plane Flips Over
This installment of Design News' Sherlock Ohms series combines two of my favorite topics: Airplanes and Radios. It involves a military jet fighter that had a nasty habit of hiccupping whenever the UHF radio was keyed. Ingenuity on the part of the ground maintenance crew in tracking down the problem is inspiring. As is often the case, comments posted by readers are instructive as well. Having actually built many MIL aircraft cable harnesses myself while at Westinghouse Electric, I particularly wonder, as did one poster, how the problem managed to occur in the first place. Another appropriately asks why the harness was built the way it was in the first place ...
NI AWR Radar Design Webinar Scheduled for October 1, 2015
NI (formerly AWR Corporation) announces that it is sponsoring the upcoming Microwave Journal RF/Microwave Training Radar Webinar scheduled for October 1, 2015. This "Introduction to Radar" webinar covers the basic principles of radar detection and ranging, pulse versus continuous wave systems, radar modulation, radar path budget and radar range equation, range ambiguity and mitigation, maximum and minimum detectable range, and plan position indicator (PPI) and A-scope displays ...
Mac's Radio Service Shop: Mac and Free Estimates
I usually learn something new with each episode of Mac's Radio Service Shop, but not necessarily related to electronics. Such is the case this time where after Mac gives Barney a quick lesson in how to determine a transformer's winding turns ratio when needing to create an impedance match circuit. He then, while discussing whether 'free' repair estimates are truly free or of any real value at all, he uses the phrase 'a horse on you.' Maybe it is because I don't frequent bars that I had never heard that, but after a little research I now know it refers to a bar dice game called 'Horse.' 'A horse on you' is when you lose the final round of a 2-out-of-3 challenge. 'A horse apiece' is when you and your opponent each win one round in a 2-out-of-3 ...
Keysight' PXI Multichannel RF Test Solution Enables Testing up to 8x8 MIMO
Validate your complex multi-antenna designs with Keysight's new release of the M9391A PXIe vector signal analyzer and M9381A PXIe vector signal generator. With precise channel-to-channel synchronization and phase coherence and proven measurement software, you can design and validate the multi-antenna techniques being deployed in LTE-Advanced, WLAN and 5G, including up to 8x8 MIMO, beamforming and carrier aggregation. Keysight Technologies Program Manager Sheri DeTomasi ...
Television in Twelve Colors
It really wasn't all that long ago when most people worked on computers with Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) that had just 16 colors (4-bit pixels). In the late 1980s (wow, maybe it really was a long time ago), the luxury of a 256-color (8-bit pixels) Video Graphics Adapter (VGA) monitor and video card would cost you around $300 each. I recall seeing ads for "16 million color" displays by ViewSonic that ran north of a kilobuck. My first 'real' monitor was bought in 1987 and was 4-bit monochrome. Televisions, as you know, began as black and white (actually a infinite number of gray levels between black and white). When TVs first arrived in people's homes, they were glad for any kind of display, but it wasn't long before marketing gurus convinced the masses that ...
Anti-Drone Defense Revealed in London
"UK defense firm Selex ES on Tuesday unveiled an electromagnetic shield designed to defeat commercial drones. After three years of development, Selex's Falcon Shield system made its public debut during the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London. The firm did not explain in great detail the proprietary technology, which was developed with military customers, but said drones can be detected, taken over and then flown to land safely away from the target being protected. Electronic warfare ...
FREE: SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics
Thanks to RF Cafe visitor and contributor Gary Steinhour for letting me know about Amazon making the Kindle version of SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics available for FREE (the print version costs $20). "SolderSmoke is the story of a secret, after-hours life in electronics. Bill Meara started out as a normal kid, from a normal American town. But around the age of 12 he got interested in electronics, and he has never been the same ... SolderSmoke is no ordinary memoir. It is a technical memoir. Each chapter contains descriptions of Bill's struggles to understand (really understand) radio-electronic theory. Why does P=IE? Do holes really flow through transistors? What is a radio wave? NOTE: If you do not have a Kindle device, you can still read this online in the Kindle Cloud Reader by clicking the Buy Now button (there's no charge), then Deliver to Kindle Cloud Reader ..."
Keysight's 2015 Back to Basics Fundamentals of Measurement DVD
Programs provide students with tools to become industry-ready engineers. Your measurement challenges are increasingly complex and the technologies you work with are changing rapidly. The 2015 Back to Basics DVD includes more than 50 new application notes as well as webcasts and videos that cover a wide variety of modern measurement topics from design simulation to digital and modular instrumentation ...
Saelig Introduces STE3000FAV2 Patented Forensic RF Test Enclosure
Saelig Company, Inc. announces the STE3000FAV2 patented RF Test Enclosure, designed to give forensics technicians a highly isolated bench-top environment to perform electronic device interrogations of electronic equipment. The device is therefore protected from remote kill, lock, or self-destruct commands, as well as being protected from GPS and location tracking. Attached to the STE3000FAV2 enclosure is a high quality video and audio recorder for downloading evidentiary stored data. When the electronic device (cellphone, laptop PC, etc.) is placed inside this enclosure, it can be viewed through the LED-illuminated RF-proof window and accessed via silver-mesh RF-tight gloves. Whether opening a device ...
Porsche Unveils Its Tesla Killer: Mission E
Porsche's Mission E concept car can be charged simply by driving over a special tile and has a holographic dashboard controlled just by looking at it. The 4-seater e-car's 600 hp motor system can take it from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds (although it will still be slightly slower than Tesla's new 'Ludicrous' mode). Porsche's Mission E can travel over 500 km (310 mi) on one charge and can be charged with enough energy for around 400 km in 15 minutes. It has all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering. "The concept car combines the unmistakable emotional design of a Porsche with excellent performance and the forward-thinking practicality of the first 800-volt drive system." "The car will have a radical dashboard boasting instruments intuitively operated by eye-tracking and gesture control, some even via holograms ...
Notable Tech Quote: MIT School of Engineering Dean Gordon S. Brown
"Engineering is not merely knowing and being knowledgeable, like a walking encyclopedia; engineering is not merely analysis; engineering is not merely the possession of the capacity to get elegant solutions to non-existent engineering problems; engineering is practicing the art of the organized forcing of technological change... Engineers operate at the interface between science and society." - Gordon S. Brown; Dean of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) School of Engineering
"Standards and Guidelines for Communication Sites" Motorola R56
Proper grounding at communications sites is essential for reliable, error-free operations and for safety issues related to both shock hazards and lightning strikes. Many sources of advice exist for how to best collect equipment and power source grounds in order to mitigate crosstalk and power supply noise. As with any time a group of equally qualified 'experts' expound on opinions regarding best practices, some information you find will be contradictory. One of the most highly regarded guidelines is a 518-page document published by Motorola (Publication R56) titled "Standards and Guidelines for Communication Sites." Many essential topics have been included like site design and development, communication site building and installation, internal ...
R&S PM & NF Measurements to 60 GHz with ZVAX-TRM and ZVA High-End VNA
With its R&S ZVA high end vector network analyzers and R&S ZVAX-TRM extension unit, Rohde & Schwarz offers an efficient and highly flexible solution for characterizing active components. Using a combination of a high-end R&S ZVA and the R&S ZVAX-TRM, users can now measure the noise figures of amplifiers, converters and transmit/receive (T/R) modules for radar and satellite applications. The new R&S ZVAXxxB31 and R&S ZVAXxxB32 options for the R&S ZVAX-TRM even make it possible to carry out this measurement on amplifiers ...
Physicists Develop Key Component for Terahertz Wireless
"Terahertz radiation could one day provide the backbone for wireless systems that can deliver data up to one hundred times faster than today's cellular or Wi-Fi networks. But there remain many technical challenges to be the first system for multiplexing THz ..."
How 5G Mobile Cloud Robotics Will Revolutionize Industry
"Next generation mobile networks will have a massive impact on industry and society, and mobile cloud robotics will be a game changer in how we manage manufacturing and industrial tasks. The rollout of 5G mobile networks may still be some way off, but Ericsson researchers are already testing scenarios such as mobile cloud robotics, where the ..."