RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2016
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...
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Here is Page 2 of the August 2016 homepage archives.
Admiral Microwaves Mergers with Aspen Electronics
Aspen Electronics wrote to let me know that Admiral Microwaves is now part of Aspen. Both companies were listed on my Manufacturer's Representatives and Distributors vendor pages, so I combined them. Aspen Electronics, located in Middlesex, England, carries a wide range of RF and microwave products, test equipment, and calibration services ...
BIRDS CubeSat Constellation to Launch in 2017
"AMSAT-UK reports that four CubeSats will comprise the BIRDS (Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds) constellation, which is set to deploy from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017. The 1U CubeSats — BIRD-B, BIRD-J, BIRD-G, and BIRD-M — have identical designs, will use the same Amateur Radio frequencies, and will be deployed as a group. The main mission of the 2-year project is to use the constellation to carry out radio communication experiments via a network of UHF/VHF Amateur Radio ground stations around ..."
"Frequency Modulation" in Tomorrow's Set
Edwin Armstrong, often referred to as Major Armstrong due to his commission in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, came up with a working scheme for wideband frequency modulation (FM) in the early 1930s. He did not, as believed by many, invent FM. Narrowband FM was explored in the 1920s as a replacement to amplitude modulation (AM) in hopes that it would eliminate the susceptibility to static that AM suffered, but no improvement was achieved. When this article was published in 1935, it was a mere two years after Armstrong was awarded patents for his wideband FM ...
Scientists Invent New Type of 'Acoustic Prism'
"Scientists in Switzerland have invented an "acoustic prism" capable of splitting a sound into its basic frequencies. Like an optical prism, which relies on the physical property of refraction, the newly invented acoustic prism dissects sound using only physical properties. Unlike an optical prism, which can be found in nature, the acoustic prism is man-made. The prism takes the form of a rectangular tube of aluminum with ten ..."
NuWaves Engineering Looking for an Applications Engineer
NuWaves Engineers has an immediate opening for an Applications Engineer . Primary responsibility is to provide technical support to the Product Solutions Domain. This individual would be responsible for understanding the functionality, application, and internal circuitry of all NuWaves products. Other responsibilities include finding innovative solutions to improve the manufacturability and maintain NuWaves' product portfolio, providing in depth technical support to customers, and to supporting new product introductions. This role ...
Canadian Police Station Admits It Owns a Stingray
"The Edmonton Police Service has fessed up to Motherboard that it owns a Stingray and that it 'used the [surveillance] device in the past during investigations.' After Vancouver cops admitted to using the phone tracker to investigate an abduction in 2007, the publication called up other local police stations in Canada to ask if they had also previously used one. As you can imagine, the other stations kept mum. In the U.S., Stingrays are a regular part of government and law enforcement agencies' ..."
Electronics Technology Crossword Puzzle for August 14, 2016
Take a break and work this week's electronics technology themed crossword puzzle. All the words are pulled from a hand-built list of terms, names, and abbreviations that have only to do with science, mathematics, and engineering. If you want a crossword with names of movie stars and obscure countries, try the local newspaper. If you want to exercise your nerd knowledge, this is the one for you ...
New to Expert Witnessing? Know Your Legal Lingo - Part 2
Writing for IMS ExpertServices, Wendy Pearson, of the Pearson Research Group, offers this second installment in a series of articles advising people new to the expert witness realm on how to prepare for the process. Being an authority in your professed field is not always enough to assure success in the courtroom - or even for making it as far as a courtroom. Part 1 provided a basic introduction to legal lingo. Part 2 discusses documents prepared by attorneys during the pre-trial discovery process of a case, including interrogatories, requests for admission, requests for production, motions in limine, and motions for summary judgment. ...
Liquid-Light Semiconductor Switch
"A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge have built an energy efficient, miniature, electro-optical switch for semiconductor microchips. Using a form of liquid light and an external electrical field, the team has created a semiconductor switch that can convert electrical signals to optical signals. This development could potentially enable the development of faster and more efficient electronics ..."
Cool Video: Machining a Cube in a Cube in a Cube
This is utterly impressive. Watch the Ukraine-based Engineer BrunS dude use a metal lathe to create a cube within a cube within a cube. Did you even know a cube can be made on a lathe? The ingenuity of people never ceases to amaze me. If you would like to be the proud owner of one of these, Engineer BrunS is selling them on eBay for only $59 (free shipping).
Navy Contract for Enhancing Satellite Communications
"The Navy is adding to a contract to deliver high-speed multiband satellite terminals to about 300 ships, submarines and shore stations over the next six years. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego has awarded Raytheon a $9.1 million modification to a contract awarded at the end of 2015 for fully integrated Navy Multiband Terminals, which will quadruple the transmission speeds over current terminals while using its dual antenna to allow simultaneous ..."
A Few Great RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for August 2016
Some really good articles I wanted to link to have been omitted from this month's list because the host website requires you to give them your e-mail for the full content. I try not to send people to any website that plays audio or video automatically, or that requires you to submit information for access; that goes for news items, articles, etc. Fortunately, there ...
Free of HAARP, US Air Force Still Wants to Tinker with the Ionosphere
"A lot of radio amateurs bemoaning the recent spate of poor HF conditions would love to have a way to improve propagation — perhaps without even having to rely on the whims of the Sun. The US Department of Defense is thinking along the same lines. An August 9 article in New Scientist reports that the US Air Force is exploring a plan to bombard Earth’s upper atmosphere with ionized gas dispersed from CubeSats. According to the New Scientist article by David Hambling, the Air Force hopes to improve long-distance radio communication by 'detonating ..."
Notable Tech Quote: Gene Roddenberry
"The ship's transporters - which let the crew 'beam' from place to place - really came out of a production need. I realized with this huge spaceship, I would blow the whole budget of the show just in landing the thing on a planet. And secondly, it would take a long time to get into our stories, so the transporter idea was conceived so we could get our people down to the planet fast and easy." - Gene Roddenberry, "Star Trek" producer, in the May 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine. This is another validation of the old saying that "Necessity is the mother of invention ..."
New Economical 4½ Digit Benchtop Multimeter from Saelig
Saelig Company has introduced the Siglent SDM3045X - a 4½ digit dual-display digital multimeter that is suited to high-precision, multifunction, and automation measurement applications. It features a combination of basic measurement functions, with multiple math and display choices, and special features including histogram, trend chart, bar chart, statistics, hold measurement, dBm, etc. The SDM3045X multimeter's front panel features a 4.3" (480 x 272) high resolution color TFT-LCD display that clearly shows the 60000 count ...
Design Problems of Tuning Dials
We tend to take for granted 'standards' that have been in place and working well ever since they were instituted long ago. Some - maybe most - standards evolve over time with user preferences driving the end result; they tend to continue evolving. Examples include keyboard layout, advertising and product color selection, and test instrument front panel configurations. Other standards are driven by technology improvements. More and more often it seems, standards are being set by industry groups that want to assure interoperability and exchangeability amongst products and users ...
Lasers Reconfigure Properties of Novel Metasurface
"A new type of optical metasurface whose properties can be dynamically reconfigured with a laser pulse has been developed by researchers in the UK. The team believes that its technology, which has lower loss than traditional plasmonic resonators, could be useful for reconfigurable optoelectronic components. Although metamaterials were originally developed to ..."
This is a nice assortment (83 at this time) of electrical & electronics parameter calculators, with a couple mechanical types as well. There are many types of substrate impedance and line dimension calculators, and calculators for voltage dividers, inductance and capacitance, coax lines and waveguides, amplifiers, impedance matching, free space loss, EIRP, radar range, and noise figure. The really nice feature of these calculators is that they are accompanied by an explanation and all the equations being used. Thanks to Kent D., of EETech Media, for reminding me of this.
Vacuum-Moulding Graphene Could Unlock Electronics Potential
"Graphene is a very good conductor of electricity, but because of its two-dimensional atomic structure a sheet of graphene tends to conduct electricity randomly across its whole surface, which is not very useful, particularly in electronics; this depends on digital signals, which are either conducting electricity across a defined gap or not at all. One way to influence the way that graphene conducts electricity is to shape the sheet, which is the research focus ..."
Velocity Modulation of Electron Beams
Varian is a company familiar to most people involved in early development of radar and other higher power microwave systems. While the name sounds like a moniker construed from a combination of technical terms, it is actually the surname of engineer brothers Russell and Sigurd Varian. They are credited with building the first practical reflex klystron tube, and its variant the rhumbatron, while at Stanford University. Velocity modulation changes the speed of a stream of electrons flowing at a constant current rate, rather than modulating the current. It was a big deal that eventually found application in CRT displays for adding another dimension to information on monochrome presentations ...
Weak Demand for Macro Base Station to Impact Semiconductor Market
"The Annual forecast from research company, Mobile Experts on Semiconductors RRH 2016 (Remote Radio Heads) shows that a weak demand for LTE base stations has impacted the RF semiconductor market, but losses are partially offset by a wider bandwidth and MIMO requirements, which drive higher prices. The five-year forecast for RRH semiconductors includes explanatory block diagrams and breakdowns of revenue, pricing, shipment, and market share analysis ..."
Cellular, Wi-Fi Clash in Air War
"The tug-of-war between cellular and Wi-Fi over unlicensed spectrum is close to a breaking point at the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA). Qualcomm claims the LTE-U co-existence tests the group is about to ratify are unfair and could restrict or even prevent from coming to market products using the 4G protocol for 5 GHz spectrum. The battle pits Wi-Fi vendors such as Broadcom and cable-TV carriers against Qualcomm, cellular carriers and their equipment suppliers. It foreshadows bigger ..."
The Dog Days of Summer End Today
On July 3, the Dog Days of Summer began. It happens every year and runs for 40 days through August 11. "Dog Days" comes from the coincidence of the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star) with the sun. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, and can easily be seen during the day if you know where to look for it. Ancient people believed (wrongly) that its brilliance added to the sun's heat and caused the most torrid period of the year. You might think the precession of the equinoxes causes the Sirius rising to cycle through the Zodiac every 11,00 years, but the 1,460 year Sothic cycle keeps it within about a 11° range, hence, within the bounds of Canis Major. You're welcome.
Classic Heathkit Electronic Test Equipment
"Heathkit was world renowned as a manufacturer of electronics in kit form. This book covers Heathkit's test equipment, starting with a brief history of Heathkit, an overview of the test equipment product lines and tips on buying and restoring vintage test equipment from sources like eBay. Separate chapters cover the major categories of component testers and substitution boxes, frequency counters, meters, oscilloscopes, power supplies, signal generators, tube testers and checkers and miscellaneous test equipment. Each chapter includes one or more 'In-Depth' sections ..."
1967 Solar Storm Nearly Took U.S. to Brink of War
"A solar storm that jammed radar and radio communications at the height of the Cold War could have led to a disastrous military conflict if not for the U.S. Air Force's budding efforts to monitor the sun's activity, a new study finds. On May 23, 1967, the Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation's surveillance radars in polar regions were being jammed by the Soviet Union. Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar ..."
ARRL Membership Postcard Found in 1940 QST
Membership in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is currently $49.00 per year, and includes a subscription to its flagship publication, QST. According to this postcard insert that I found in a June 1940 issue of QST, membership then was a whopping $2.50, and it also included the magazine subscription. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' online Inflation Calculator, $2.50 in 1940 bought you what $43.04 buys in 2016. You can't get much more consistent in holding costs to a consistent standard over a span ...
Navy Looks for Plan B to Salvage MUOS-5 Satellite
It is a shame that the U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System satellite (MUOS-5) failed to achieve its intended geosynchronous orbit over Hawaii. Hopefully, some genius type will figure out a work-around. A very interesting note in this story is that 'hobbyist' were the first to publically report the failure. Both visual and radio telescopic equipment available to amateurs these days rival what the best government and research facilities had a few decades ago. It's darned hard to keep any kind of a secret anymore ...
Heathkit Announces the GC-1006 "Most Reliable Clock" Kit
Heathkit reintroduced itself as an electronics kit maker a year or so ago. They reigned as king of kits up through the 1980s, when it became cheaper to buy completed electronic equipment from foreign manufacturers than to built it yourself from a kit of parts (i.e., you provided the 'free' assembly labor). Heathkit released their Explorer AM Radio kit last year. The GC-1006 'Most Reliable Cock' is Heathkit's first new clock kit in 30 years. "This is a solder kit, suitable for people with no prior electronics experience." Please encourage Heathkit by purchasing a kit for yourself or as a gift ...
Shape-Changing Metamaterial for Smart Antennas
"Engineers from Bristol University have developed a new shape-changing metamaterial using Kirigami, a development that could lead to morphing aerospace structures and smart antennas. Kirigami is the ancient Japanese art of cutting and folding paper to obtain 3D shapes and can be applied to transform two-dimensional sheet materials into complex three-dimensional shapes with a broader choice of geometries than 'classical' origami. The research, developed ..."
8 Engineers Who Competed in the Olympics
Suzanne Deffree, over at Design News, posted a short slide show pointing out some the Olympiads who have degrees in engineering. People who earn mechanical and chemical engineers are evidently more the competitive sports types based on this sample, although there is one radar engineer in the mix ...
Anatech Electronics Intros 2 Bandpass Filters & 1 Highpass Filter
Anatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Anatech has introduced 3 new filter designs: a 2440 MHz WiFi cavity bandpass filter with "N" connectors, a surface mount 1350 MHz ceramic bandpass filter, and a 3400 MHz highpass filter with SMA connectors. Custom design are available ...
Free Engineering Magazine Subscriptions
The free whitepapers, pamphlets, books, magazines, and chapter examples listed here are a small sample of a lot of new items that are offered for FREE through TradePub. The publishers make them available to qualifying people as a promotional campaign for their full line of offerings. Note: I earn a few pennies (literally) when you download one of these or the many other pubs available, so please help yourself ...
Homeschooled Boy to Matriculate at Cornell for Engineering at Age 12
"Meet Jeremy Shuler: He's 12, he's from Texas, and he's smart—very smart. He's so smart that this fall, he will enter Cornell University in Ithaca as a member of the class of 2020, the Ithaca Journal reports. That's right: this bright kid will become a freshman at an Ivy League school this fall—at age 12. If he graduates on time at age 16, he will become the youngest graduate in Cornell history. Shuler, who will major in engineering, is the son of two aerospace engineers ..."
New Light Form Could Revolutionize Computing & Physics
"According to the scientists behind the study, from Imperial College London, the coupled light and electron would have properties that could lead to circuits that work with packages of light - photons - instead of electrons. It would also allow researchers to study quantum physical phenomena, which govern particles smaller than atoms, on a visible scale. In normal materials, light interacts with a whole host of electrons present on the surface ..."
Notable Tech Quote: Bob Berman
"Cosmology is begging for a reboot - one that brings life into the equation." - Bob Berman, writing in the August 2016 issue of Astronomy magazine. Bob (a famous astronomer) and Dr. Robert Lanza (a leading stem cell researcher)recently wrote a book titled Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness and the Illusion of Death, in which melds the physics of biological life with the physics of star generation, including the ramifications of relatively newly popular concept of quantum entanglement - what Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance."
IPP's New Smaller 90° Drop In Couplers for 100 - 520 MHz
Innovative Power Products introduces their newest Drop-In 90 Degree Couplers, the IPP-2331 and IPP-2332 which operate from 100 – 520 MHz. and handle 400 watts and 800 watts respectively. The IPP-2331 and IPP-2332 will combine two signals up to 400 and 800 Watts CW of total output power. These couplers were recently redesigned to increase the bandwidth out to 520 MHz. while reducing the package size by approximately 60% to 1.50" x 3.30" making these products ideal for many applications ...
Paving the Way to Strong, Conductive Materials
"Action figures of the Man of Steel are rarely made out of steel. They are, like seemingly everything in our lives, made of cheap, easy to mold plastic. But what if steel and other metals were as easy to work with as plastic? Bulk metallic glasses are metallic alloys whose neatly ordered atomic structure can be altered into an amorphous, non-crystalline structure - giving metal the malleability of plastic, while maintaining its durability and conductivity. Metallic glasses ..."
EMF Directive – Workplace Health and Safety in Electromagnetic Fields
Narda Safety Test Solutions develops and produces powerful, intelligent measuring equipment solutions tailored to each application to handle the demanding measurement tasks that are required. These precision instruments from the specialist for EMF measurement make it possible for those responsible to record all the field values relevant to a safety assessment complying with the directive in real time without too much effort. The high quality range comprises wideband and selective ...
Curiosa in Radio
I usually try to post something a little less serious and technical on Mondays to help everyone ease into the long week ahead. It could be a Carl & Jerry or a Mac's Radio Service Shop story, an electronics quiz, or even something I found out on the Internet. This time it is a 'believe-it-or-not' type feature titled "Curiosa in Radio" about radio manufacturing, operating, and infrastructure. Enjoy ...
NuWaves Engineering Needs a Sales Engineer
NuWaves Engineers has an immediate opening for an Sales Engineer. The Sales Engineer's overall objective is to successfully manage current, and create new customer relationships. This position assists with the definition of long-term strategic sales goals, builds key customer relationships, identifies business opportunities, negotiates and closes business deals, and maintains extensive knowledge of current market conditions. Working closely with the Director of Product Solutions to achieve strategic ...
Magnetic Atoms Arranged in Neat Rows
"Physicists at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and the Vienna University of Technology have successfully created one-dimensional magnetic atom chains for the first time. Their break-through provides a model system for basic research in areas such as magnetic data storage, as well as in chemistry. Their results were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters. Nanotechnology is revolutionising the way we live by making microelectronic systems ..."
Physics & Engineering Themed Crossword Puzzle for 8/7/2016
For 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). Enjoy! ...
Wireless, Implantable Sensors the Size of Grain of Sand
"UC, Berkeley engineers have built the first dust-sized, wireless sensors that can be implanted in the body, bringing closer the day when a Fitbit-like device could monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time. Because these batteryless sensors could also be used to stimulate nerves and muscles, the technology also opens the door to "electroceuticals" to treat disorders such as epilepsy or to stimulate the immune system or tamp down inflammation. The so-called neural dust, which the team implanted in the muscles and peripheral ..."
Electrical/RF Field Project Engineer Wanted by Mann Wireless
Mann Wireless has a fantastic Entry / Early Career RF Field Engineering / Project Engineering opportunity in the area of RF/Wireless communications. As an Engineer in our small business, you will have the opportunity to work on everything from new business development, to design, estimating and proposal development, to RF Field Engineering and Project Management. This is a "hands-on" position. In this capacity you will be on the ground, managing day to day operations at job sites. This includes conducting site surveys, interfacing with customers ...
Tomorrow's Clothes May Be Made with Light-Emitting E-Fabric
"Researchers have fabricated a large-area textile that emits bright yellow light for more than 180 hours. The low-cost, flexible, transparent textile has potential applications in light-emitting clothing, signs, and architectural features. The scientists, led by Ludwig Edman, a professor in the Organic Photonics and Electronics Group at Umea University in Sweden, together with researchers of LunaLEC AB and sefar AG, have published a paper ..."
Skyworks' Latest RF Switches for Connected Home Applications
Skyworks is pleased to introduce two new RF switches ideal for the Internet of Things applications including the connected home. In addition to the connected home, the SKY13587-378LF, which is a pHEMT GaAs SPDT switch, can be used for transmit and receive switching in industrial, lighting and smart energy applications, as well as 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN networks that operate at 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. The SKY13588-460LF is a CMOS silicon-on-insulator SP3T switch made for antenna selection in Wi-Fi ...
Are You a Budding Einstein? The EPO Has Openings for Examiners
Albert Einstein was an assistant patent examiner in the Swiss Federal Intellectual Property Agency (IPI). He developed his theory of Special Relativity while working there. While being employed as a patent examiner comes with the disclaimer that 'past performance does not guarantee future results,' it certainly could serve the purpose of motivating your creativity. "Are you an engineer or scientist interested in joining an international team at the forefront of technology?" At this time the European Patent Office is seeking engineers and scientists to work as patent examiners. Don't let this opportunity pass, Albert ...
China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech
"Snapchat and Kik, the messaging services, use bar codes that look like drunken checkerboards to connect people and share information with a snap of their smartphone cameras. Facebook is working on adding the ability to hail rides and make payments within its Messenger app. Facebook and Twitter have begun live-streaming video. All of these developments have something in common: The technology was first popularized in China. WeChat and Alipay, two Chinese apps, have long used ..."
Congrats to July Book Winner Kevin R. !!!
Kevin R., of Hillsboro, Oregon, is the second Book Drawing winner for July. It has been many moons since both people notified of winning have responded. Kevin wisely selected RF Positioning: Fundamentals, Applications, and Tools, by Rafael Saraiva Campos (graciously provided by AArtech House). I pay postage for most shipments. Anyone who buys my software or sends me a note during the month is entered ...
FPV Drone Tour of the Russian Duga-1 OTH Radar Antenna
Radio controlled drones have gotten a bad name, mostly due to moronic operators that have no regard for other people's privacy or safety. I would like to be able to say those types are in the minority, but unfortunately they probably do make up the majority of drone owners. That is because unlike with R/C airplanes and helicopters which require at least a modicum of skill and common sense to fly successfully, even the cheapest drones incorporate stability systems that make flying them so easy a caveman can do it. At the opposite end of the drooling loser contingent of the drone pilot spectrum is the rapidly growing number of highly skilled pilots that advance not just ...
China to Launch Unbreakable Quantum Spy Satellite
"Scientists in China are set to launch the world’s first quantum satellite, which could one day make for an ultra-secure global communications network. The 1,300 pound craft contains a crystal that produces pairs of entangled photons, which will be fired to ground stations in China and Austria to form a 'secret key.' Entangled photons theoretically maintain their link across any distance, and according to the scientists, any attempts to breach this type of communication would be easily detectable ..."
Saelig Introduces New 3.2 GHz Spectrum Analyzers from Rigol
Saelig Company announces a new entry in the Rigol DSA800 Spectrum Analyzer Series - DSA832E, a high performance, economical, and compact 9 kHz to 3.2 GHz Spectrum Analyzer. A tracking generator function is available with the "-TG" model. The digital IF circuitry guarantees reliability and performance that meets the most demanding RF applications. The rugged but very affordable DSA832E Spectrum Analyzer has a broad set of features and specs, including a large 8" ...
Dayton Hamvention Moving to Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia
"'X' marks the spot! Hamvention® announced today that it will be moving to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Xenia, Ohio, after 52 years at Hara Arena. That's about 16 miles east of Dayton center off US Route 35 (see map). Hara Arena announced last week that it would be closing, and Hamvention indicated that it soon would be announcing its back-up plan for a new venue in the Dayton area. 'We appreciate and value all the time and effort of the many partners, in particular the Greene County Agricultural Society, the Greene ..."
1st Ever Supercurrent Observed at Room Temperature
"A room-temperature 'supercurrent' has been identified in a Bose–Einstein condensate of quasiparticles called magnons. That's the finding of an international team of researchers, which says the work opens the door to using magnons in information processing. Other researchers, however, believe the claim is premature, arguing that less-novel explanations have not been ruled out. The term "supercurrent" describes the resistance-free current of charged particles in superconductors. It also describes the viscosity-free current of particles in superfluid helium. The common denominator of these systems is that they can ..."
Thanks to MECA Electronics for Long-Time Support!
Since 1961, MECA Electronics has designed and manufactured an extensive line of RF / Microwave components including attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators / circulators, power dividers / combiners, RF loads, bias Ts and adapters & cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone' of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building, satellite, radar, radio, telemetry, mobile radio, aviation & ATC comms. Please visit MECA today to see if their products and/or services can be of use to your project ...
Metamaterials That Change Properties at flick of Light-Switch
"Invisibility cloaks have less to do with magic than with metamaterials. These human-engineered materials have properties that don't occur in nature, allowing them to bend and manipulate light in weird ways. For example, some of these materials can channel light around an object so that it appears invisible at a certain wavelength. These materials are also useful in applications such as smaller, faster, and more energy efficient optics, sensors, light sources, light detectors and telecommunications devices. Now researchers have designed a new kind of metamaterial whose ..."
Characteristics of Metal Tubes - and Other "Octal" (8-Prong)-Base Types
This is a different type of Radio Service Data Sheet in that rather than presenting a schematic and service data on a particular piece of electronic equipment, it provides a table of "The First 10 Metal Tubes" introduced to the industry. As reported in other articles I have posted from the mid-1930s era magazines, the advent of vacuum tubes that used a metal envelope rather than the typical glass envelope was pitched as the most significant advancement in electronics since the invention of the amplifier tube itself (Lee DeForest's Audion) in 1906. In fact, much ...
NI AWR's AntSyn Named as Microwave Journal MVP
AntSyn™, the newest product within the NI AWR software portfolio, has been named Most Valuable Product (MVP) in the July issue of Microwave Journal. AntSyn is an automated antenna design, synthesis and optimization tool that enables users to quickly and easily input antenna engineering requirements and output antenna designs. AntSyn combines EM simulation with the use of evolutionary algorithms (EAs) to uniquely explore the design ...
Bridging the Gap: Quantum and Classical Worlds
"In the quantum world, physicists study the tiny particles that make up our classical world -- neutrons, electrons, photons -- either one at a time or in small numbers because the behaviour of the particles is completely different on such a small scale. If you add to the number of particles that are being studied, eventually there will be enough particles that they no longer act quantum mechanically and must be identified as classical, just like our everyday world. But where is the line between the quantum world ..."
Did ESD Blow the Hatch on Liberty Bell 7?
Charles Murray, of Design News just posted a piece about a new book called Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom, by George Leopold." Anyone knowing the history of America's manned space flight program is familiar with the hatch blowing off the capsule (which quickly sunk) of the Mercury Redstone 4 mission while awaiting a helicopter rendezvous for pickup in the Atlantic Ocean. Grissom insisted he did not activate the firing mechanism, and now, 55 years later, a forensic investigation suggests that possibly an ESD event was the cause. An electrical spark, ironically, is believed to have ignited the fire on Apollo 1 that claimed Grissom's life. I haven't read the book yet, but will add it to my library list.
The Decibel: AWG Wire Size Rule of Thumb
In 1931, QST reader John H. Miller, Electrical Engineer, of the Jewell Electrical Instrument Company, wrote to the editor regarding the story "What Is This Thing Called Decibel?," which appeared in the August issue of that year. Mr. Miller wished to inform (or remind) readers that the American Wire Gauge system for assigning sizes to wire cross-section ratios closely follows a decibel (i.e., logarithmic) relationship. Applying his information: A 28 AWG solid wire has a cross-section of 160 circular mils, so at 3 sizes larger, 25 AWG should be 320 circular mils. In fact, it is 320 circular mils ...
VidaRF Single Junction Low Cost Drop-In Circulators & Isolators
VidaRF offers low cost drop-in, 1"x1" circulators & isolators designed for various wireless and power amplifier applications in the 800 to 2100 MHz range. The robust design provides high performance and reliability. Circuit tab can be straight or bent flush with base for surface mounting ...
Electron Spin Control: Levitated Nanodiamond Research Gem
"Researchers have demonstrated how to control the "electron spin" of a nanodiamond while it is levitated with lasers in a vacuum, an advance that could find applications in quantum information processing, sensors and studies into the fundamental physics of quantum mechanics. Electrons can be thought of as having two distinct spin states, "up" or "down." The researchers were able to detect and control the electron spin resonance, or its change from one state to the other. "We've shown how to continuously flip the electron spin in a ..."
EDI CON USA Announces Test & Measurement Content
EDI CON USA 2016, a conference that brings together engineers working on high-frequency analog and high-speed digital designs, taking place September 20-22 in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Hynes Convention Center, announces its Measurement Track for this year's conference and exhibition. The exhibition will host more than 138 exhibiting companies from the RF, microwave, and high-speed digital industries, including demonstration pods in the Signal Integrity Zone ...
Simplified Radar to Use "Wamoscope"
Yeah, I thought the same thing... a "Wamoscope?" Was it produced by the Wham-O toy company that makes the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee, the Super Ball, and Silly String? Wham-O was founded in 1948, so why not? Actually, Wamoscope is derived from "WAve-MOdulated oscilloSCOPE." It combined a traveling-wave tube with a cathode ray tube in single enclosure. Articles on the Wamoscope appeared in the November 1956 issues of both Popular Electronics and Radio & Television News.
Vortex Laser Offers Hope for Moore's Law
"Like a whirlpool, a new light-based communication tool carries data in a swift, circular motion. Described in a study published by the journal Science, the optics advancement could become a central component of next generation computers designed to handle society's growing demand for information sharing. It may also be a salve to those fretting over the predicted end of Moore's Law, the idea that researchers will find new ways to continue making computers smaller, faster and cheaper ..."
Many Thanks to Windfreak Technologies for Continued Support!
Windfreak Technologies designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value USB powered and controlled radio frequency products such as RF Signal Generators, RF Synthesizers, RF Power Detectors, RF Mixers, RF Upconverters and RF downconverters. Worldwide customers include Europe, Australia, and Asia. Please take a moment to visit Windfreak today to see whether their products and services can be of use to your project.
Hara Arena Closing Its Doors: Hamvention Venue Announcement
"Hamvention® has announced that Hara Arena, the home of Hamvention since 1964, is closing, but Hamvention will continue. Hamvention 2016, the event’s 65th running, was also the last held in the six-building Hara complex. Hamvention 2017 will be held at a new, yet-to-be-disclosed location in the Dayton area. 'The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) regrets to inform our many vendors, visitors and stakeholders that, unfortunately, Hara has announced the closing of their facility,' a news release from Hamvention General Chair Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, said today ..."
RCA Radio News
It was a fairly common practice in the early days of radio to run full-page advertisements in trade magazine that looked like the front page of a newspaper. This one by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is a good example. The ad appeared in a 1937 edition of Radio-Craft, pitching primarily its new radio models with improved shortwave reception and band extensions. Also promoted ACR-111 amateur radio receiver. Interestingly, there is mention of what was the equivalent of an 800 toll-free number with a centralized call center for RCA customers to call for service. Their call would then ...
Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet
"A group of nano-scientists has discovered a way to arrange individual atoms to store and rewrite data 500 times more efficiently than the best hard drives on the market. A team of researchers from the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain has made a major breakthrough in so-called atomic memory - an approach that stores one bit of data on each atom with a goal of creating a new kind of tiny data storage device of the future. With this technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to ..."
Congratulations to Stephen G. for Being a July Book Drawing Winner
Each month I randomly select one or two names from a list of people who have contacted me during that month or who have purchased one of my software items to receive a FREE book. The books have been provided by Artech House and Cambridge University Press. Stephen G., of Newark, Ohio, wisely chose Homeland Security: Threats, Countermeasures,and Privacy Issues, by Giorgio Franceschetti and Marina Grossi. (Graciously provided by Artech House). I pay the postage cost in most cases.
NuWaves Engineering Seeks an Advisory Engineer
NuWaves Engineers has an immediate opening for an Advisory Engineer. An Advisory Engineer reports directly to the Director of RF systems or the Director of Range Systems. The Advisory Engineer works closely with the Engineering technical teams and with Program Management to design and document RF Engineering designs which meet project requirements. The Advisory Engineer applies sound RF engineering principles to the design, development, and documentation of complex systems and products ...
Was Microsoft Built on Stolen Goods?
I don't usually give much consideration anymore to claims of Microsoft having been built on stolen goods, but after reading this piece by Max Maxwell, of Design News, there might actually be something to it. Based on recently available source code for MS-DOS and CP/M, one of the world's foremost software forensic analysts is prepared to make a major announcement on August 6 re his findings. This could be interesting ...
Kolster K20 and Columbia SG-8 Radio Service Data Sheets
How did we ever accomplish research without the Internet? Sure, that is a rhetorical question, but I find myself asking that often when I find information on something I figured there was no way anything would be available. Such was the case when looking up this Kolster K20 radio. Its Radio Service Data Sheet appeared in the October 1930 edition of Radio-Craft magazine ...