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 ...
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
My Hobby Website:
Try Using SEARCH
to Find What You Need.
There are 1,000s of Pages Indexed on RF Cafe !
These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page.
Homepage Archive Pages
2017: Jan |
Jun | Jul |
2016: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2015: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2014: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2013: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
See Page 1 of the February 2016 homepage archives.
Russian Crowdfunded Satellite Set to Become the Night Sky's Brightest Star
"A Russian team of aerospace engineers and enthusiasts are preparing to launch their 'Mayak' satellite into space aboard the Soyuz-2 rocket, where it will be the brightest 'star' that shines above Earth. The team of aerospace engineers and enthusiasts from Moscow's University of Mechanical Engineering (MAMI) are putting the finishing touches to their 'Mayak,' or 'Beacon' satellite, and have raised enough money for the next stage of the spacecraft's testing before it ..."
Lamp Brightness Quiz
Here is another electronics quiz for you to try. Intuition from experience goes a long way here, but if all else fails you can work out the details of the rectifier circuits to determine which lamp received the most current. Keep in mind that the diode symbols are not LEDs; it is the 'A,' 'B,' and 'C' symbols inside circles that are the lamps whose brightnesses are being considered. LEDs did exist at the time this quiz was created in 1969, but the circuits would perform differently if in fact LEDs were used for double duty of rectification and illumination ...
Receiving Antennas Will Be Focus of Free Webinar
"High Performance RX Antennas for a Small Lot" will be the topic of a free webinar by Jose 'JC' Carlos, N4IS, and sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF). Carlos will explore basic concepts of receiving antennas and share his experiences with low-band receiving antennas on a small lot, including the Waller Flag. The webinar will take place on Thursday, March 3, at 9:00-10:00 PM EST. It will run for about 1 hour. Registration is required.
ATEC Now Rents IFI High Power Pulse TWT Amplifiers
Advanced Test Equipment Rentals (ATEC), an award-winning leader in test and measurement equipment rentals, is proud to announce the availability of the Instruments For Industry (IFI) PT-KW HP Series Pulse TWT Microwave Power Amplifiers for lease. Designed for microwave, high intensity radiated field (HIRF), and radar testing, the high power pulse traveling-wave tube (TWT) amplifiers are used in satellite transponders, military, aerospace and many other applications ...
Tech Headlines for February 29, 2016
Good Operating Pays Off
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That saying applies to many recreational activities. Pick up a copy of QST that was published in the last year and look at reader comments and you will find laments about the dwindling participation of youngsters, an increased degree of incivility and rule breaking during engagement, the high cost of getting into the hobby, yadda yadda yadda. I witness it regularly in the model aircraft world, too. That is not to say the issues are not true or irrelevant, just that they are persistent. Each generation, it has been said, tends to think ...
Wireless Engineering Crossword Puzzle for February 28, 2016
I have a confession to make regarding the puzzle titles. While all RF Cafe crosswords do in fact use only my hand-entered dictionary of terms and clues (literally thousands accumulated over the years) that pertain exclusively to science, engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, etc., the choice for a particular title is to help attract search engines to the page. There is nothing deceptive going on, just an attempt to exploit the nature of search engine algorithms that rank pages based on meta tags coinciding with relevant ...
Tech News for February 28, 2016
'Girls in Tech' Competition Won by Boy (gotta laugh)
RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 26, 2016
Here is round two for this month of the new RF-type magazine articles that have appeared in the trade magazine. Since the majority of people no longer receive paper copies of the magazines, I try to drive a little traffic to their websites by highlighting titles that appeal to my interest and like-minded RF Cafe visitors. That's not to say ...
A Bluffers Guide to Evaluating Scientific
Results, Part 1: Systematic Bias
- Understanding and Measuring Power-Supply
Transient Recovery Time
- The Differences Between Receiver Types:
- Design of a 10 GHz LNA for Amateur Radio
SIC LTCC Antenna Array Captures W-Band Signals
"Wide available bandwidths at W-band frequencies from 75 to 110 GHz have long made that frequency range attractive for applications from communications through radar. Practical antennas are an important part of making use of those bandwidths, and a substrate-integrated-cavity (SIC) antenna array excited by an L-probe offers high gain with high efficiency at those ..."
Schematics and Parts Lists for Vintage Vacuum Tube Radio Models
These are the schematics and parts list for vintage vacuum tube radios Westinghouse Model H-133; Arvin Models 150TC, 151TC; and Admiral Model 7C63, Chassis 7C1 as they appeared in the December 1947 issue of Radio News magazine. I scan and post these for the benefit of hobbyists and historians seeking such information. As time goes by, there is less and less likelihood that records of these relics from yesteryear's archives will be made available. As with all historical information, it takes someone with a personal interest in preserving the memories in order to fulfill the mission ...
World's Largest R/C Triplane
Baron von Richthofen would be proud of this model of his famous red Fokker DR1 triplane, piloted by world champion Gernot Bruckmann. It sports a 14.5 foot wingspan and weighs in at 194 pounds. European modelers rule when it comes to really giant-sized and most excellently built model airplanes. This is a must-see video not just for the airplane but for the incredible Austrian setting ...
PMI New Product Releases for February 2016
Planar Monolithics Industries (PMI) has got to be one of the most prolific designer and manufacturer of new RF/microwave products. I am amazed at the number of new devices they announce. This month PMI offers 8 more, including 5 switches, an LNA, a SDLVA, and a diplexer. PMI also typically has really well-done photos of their products, but when I saw the 1P8T RF switch it made me think of Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" ;-)
The Electronic Mind - How it Remembers
The radar system I worked on in the USAF used two early memory types described in this 1956 article. In fact, the radar was designed during that era, so it is no surprise. Our IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) secondary radar had a whopping 1 kilobyte of magnetic core memory in its processor circuitry. It consisted of 1024 tiny toroids mounted in a square matrix with four hair-width enamel coated wires running through them as x and y magnetization current lines, sense, and inhibit functions. If my memory serves me (pun intended) after three decades ...
Tech Headlines for February 26, 2016
45% of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax (no, it's not just 'the rich' - I pay plenty every year w/<$60k/yr income)
Graphene-on-Glass Makes Doped Transistor
"'The sodium inside the soda-lime glass creates high electron density in the graphene, which is essential to many processes and has been challenging to achieve,' said Nanditha Dissanayake of Voxtel, Inc. in a press release. Dissanayake is formerly of Brookhaven Lab and one of the coauthors of the journal article in Scientific Reports. The team initially set out to optimize a solar cell containing graphene stacked on a copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) semiconductor, which ..."
Ethertronics Active Antenna RF Switch Solutions for LTE Smartphones and Devices
Ethertronics, the leader in ultra-high performance smart antenna system solutions, today announced it has expanded its portfolio of active antenna RF switches with the industry's highest linearity for LTE smartphones, devices and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In addition to the best linearity and small footprint, these fully integrated switch solutions support high data rates and broad frequency ranges. Available today, the EC686 and EC646 are designed to meet the market ...
New Radio Control Gear for Model Airplanes
Often when I see photos of some of the early radio control gear for model airplanes, I have a simultaneous reaction of aghastness and marvel at the crudity and ingenuousness, respectively, of the electromechanical devices - the same kind of reaction I have to stories about early surgical procedures and equipment. In 1940, when this article appeared in the ARRL's QST magazine, successful takeoffs and landings were considered notable events not so much because of pilot ability (or inability), but because of the low reliability of electronic and mechanical ...
Phones Top Crash Risk Factors for Cars
"Drivers constantly reaching for their phones may be the single factor most responsible for car crash increases in recent years. Such distracted driving behavior was caught repeatedly on video in the largest study of car crash risk ever conducted using real-world driving data. The damning data came from a US $70-million study designed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and funded by the U.S. Transportation Research Board ..."
Saelig Debuts Novel RFP Smart Fieldmeter® Kits
Saelig Company has introduced the RFP Smart Fieldmeter® Kits which contain all that is needed for making calibrated RF field strength measurements from 0.2 MHz to 18 GHz, including a calibrated field strength meter, a calibrated Omnifield Antenna®, and a 6" table tripod. Designed for budget-conscious RF engineers, the RFP Smart Fieldmeters combine the major features of professional quality test equipment with the convenience and simplicity of a multimeter. They can be used ...
Tech News for February 25, 2016
Ten 5G Challenges for Engineers to Overcome
Anritsu just sent me an e-mail announcing a brief whitepaper titled "Ten 5G Challenges for Engineers to Overcome." It talks about IoT and the huge number of connections, data volumes, capacity, deployment, critical service, M2M and automotive, network densification, and other things. I'm not a network engineer and didn't find it particularly useful, but if Anritsu thinks it is something 5G planners need to know, then who am I to question it? The download is free, so you might as well take a look ...
Graphene's Role as a Superconductor Just Got Better
"Graphene is an amazing conductor. The transport of electrons through graphene nanoribbons has even surpassed what scientists thought were the theoretical limits for the material—so much so that electrons moving through it seem to behave almost like photons. Its amazing properties as a conductor has inspired some researchers to explore whether the single-atom-thick sheets of carbon could also be made into superconductors ..."
Standing Waves on Transmission Lines
Author T.A. Gadwa employs a standing wave mechanism analogy that I don't recall having read before - that of a dam on a river. The river is the transmission line with a lake as the source and then he imagines a dam load. The dam standing waves, per his description, have phase and amplitude characteristics that depend on how tall the dam wall is relative to the surface height of the dammed river. An extensive array of graphs is provided showing how the current of the dam standing waves react to the dam transmission line termination impedance ...
Hands on: A Ham Radio for Makers
"The RS-UV3 is a shot in the arm for amateur radio. Mobile phones and the Internet have made the basic act of talking to a faraway person an everyday experience. This means that much of the appeal of ham radio is now in things like emergency response; technically challenging exercises such as bouncing signals off satellites or ultralow-power long-distance contacts; and exploring a host of digital communications modes. In some ways, trying out such digital modes has never been ..."
Antenova Intros Similis Ultra-Low Profile Antenna for 3G, LTE and MIMO
As the doors open for Embedded World 2016, Antenova, manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for M2M and the Internet of Things, is revealing a new SMD antenna called Similis, which offers an exceptionally low profile solution for 3G, LTE and MIMO applications. The Similis antenna measures just 40 x 10 x 1.6 mm, making it literally half the height of the popular Lucida which Antenova introduced last year. This exceptionally slim antenna will definitely be ...
Tech News for February 24, 2016
R&S ESW EMI Test Receiver with Unrivaled Dynamic Range
The R&S ESW EMI test receiver from Rohde & Schwarz is designed for applications in manufacturers' EMI labs and in test houses. It can carry out certification tests on modules, components and devices as well as on systems and technical facilities in line with all relevant commercial and military standards such as CISPR, FCC and military standards. The R&S ESW is ideal for conducted as well as radiated certification measurements and even meets the stringent demands placed on EMI measurements ...
Vintage Vacuum Tube Radio Schematics & Parts Lists
Please bear with me again whilst I make more of these Radio Service Data Sheets available to historians and hobbyists. They provide schematics and parts lists for Kadette Model 90 Duplex 4-Tube 110 V-6 V Car-Home-Farm, Grunow 11A Chassis 11-Tube All-Wave, and RCA-Victor "Magic Brain" Model 281 12-Tube All-Wave Superheterodyne receivers. Most - if not all - electronics servicemen had subscriptions to these magazines because they were a ready source of not just the above service sheets ...
Digitally Weary Users Switch to 'Dumb' Phones
"In January, British actor Eddie Redmayne made headlines around the world as he became the latest in a growing band of smartphone refuseniks. 'It was a reaction against being glued permanently to my iPhone during waking hours,' he explained, turning instead to an old-fashioned 'dumb phone' handset. He is not alone. There is a small but busy market for phones that are simple and cheap at a time when ..."
Conex India Added to Hardware Vendors Page
Located in Mumbai , India, Conex India is a manufacturer and exporter of a wide variety of non-ferrous metal components and wiring accessories including brass, bonze, stainless steel, & copper electrical connections, decorative knobs & finials, nuts, bolts, & washers, clamps, keys, ferrules, pipe & hose fittings. Conex India has been added to my Electrical & Mechanical Assembly Hardware page.
Notable Tech Quote - Einstein on Peer Review
"I see no reason to address the – in any case erroneous - comments of your anonymous expert." - Albert Einstein to the editor, Mr. John Tate, of The Physical Review, in response to a critical review of his submitted paper. The date was July 23, 1936.
Navy Considers Accelerating Electromagnetic Rail Gun Development
"The U.S. Navy was planning to test an electromagnetic rail gun at sea later this year, but officials are considering postponing or skipping the demonstration in order to speed up the project. The test, which is planned to be based out of the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, would involve using a prototype of the futuristic weapon to hit a floating barge in the ocean. However, Navy officials are now considering skipping ..."
What drew my attention with this P.R. Mallory & Company advertisement was not an actual electronic component that they are most noted for - potentiometers, capacitors, switches, metal alloys, and of course batteries (later renamed Duracell). Philip Rogers Mallory began his company manufacturing tungsten wire for lamps. Rather what interested me was the huge variety of standard potentiometer and rotary switch extension shafts. Unlike modern electronics where pots and switches are typically mounted to the enclosure with wires running to the circuit assembly, many ...
Tech Headlines for February 23, 2016
U. of Utah Develops Tin Monoxide as 2D Electronic Material
Boeing Produces the Lightest Metal Ever Known
"Researchers affiliated with Boeing have produced what they claim to be the lightest metal ever made. It's called 'microlattice,' and the reason it's so light is because it's 99.99% air. Sophia Yang, research scientist in architected materials at HRL Laboratories, a joint venture that Boeing is involved in with General Motors, calls it 'the world’s lightest material.' It's an open-cellular polymer structure, made of interconnected hollow tubes, in three ..."
Here, for your Monday, beginning-of-the-work-week enjoyment, are a couple electronics-themed comics that appeared in the October 1951 edition of Radio & Television News. When is the last time you saw a comic in a technical magazine? Note the AC power cod attached to the 'portable' television. Nowadays, a person would have a smartphone, tablet, or notebook computer while on the can. There is a list of other comics at the bottom of the page ...
Moving Electrons Around Loops with Light
"Researchers have demonstrated the ability to generate a quantum logic operation, or rotation of the qubit, that is intrinsically resilient to noise as well as to variations in the strength or duration of the control. While a classical bit found in conventional electronics exists only in binary 1 or 0 states, the more resourceful quantum bit, or 'qubit' is represented by a vector, pointing to a simultaneous combination of the 1 and 0 states ..."
Mac's Radio Service Shop: Service Bench Chatter
In our present "No user serviceable parts inside" world of electronic products, it is easy to understand why very few people have an appreciation for the technical prowess needed to troubleshoot and repair them. When reading through these episodes of "Mac's Radio Service Shop" that appeared in mid last century editions of Radio & Television News magazine, I am inspired to envy the skills that small electronics repair shop owners had for working on the old vacuum tube based radio and television sets ...
1st Tunable Network Duplexer for All LTE Bands
"Nanoelectronics research center imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) present a frequency division duplex (FDD) balance network, capable of dual-frequency impedance tuning for all LTE bands in the 0.7-to-1GHz range. When integrated into an electrical-balance duplexer (EBD), it enables FDD duplexing with antennas in real-world environments, paving the way to high-performance, low-power, low-cost solutions for mobile communication ..."
Tech News for February 22, 2016
Press Releases Posted for Free
I will be glad to post some of your company's press releases, company news, events, etc., at no charge, as a service to RF Cafe visitors. While there is no guarantee a particular item will be posted, I do try to give fair access to the >10,000 visitors RF Cafe receives each weekday. Of course there i$ a way to help $ee to it that your pre$$ relea$e get$ priority con$ideration ;-)
Fairview Microwave Announces New Lines of Semi-Rigid Test Probes
Fairview Microwave, a supplier of on-demand microwave and RF components, debuts a new family of semi-rigid test probes operating up to 6 GHz. Designed to assist in testing microwave circuits, these test probes are constructed of high quality semi-rigid coax and SMA Female connectors. The new test probe assemblies from Fairview Microwave come in multiple cable diameters to help when attaching the unterminated end of the probe to a circuit board trace ...
Amateur Radio Crossword Puzzle for February 21, 2015
This week's Amateur Radio crossword puzzle contains the usual collection of science, math, and engineering terms, and amateur radio. You'll never be 'challenged' to know terms relating to movie stars, leaders of obscure countries, or archaic pottery making terms. Enjoy ...
Ultrathin Lens is Free of Chromatic Aberrations
"A new type of flat, ultrathin lens designed to be free of chromatic aberrations has been developed by researchers in the U.S. The device has a variety of potential applications, from ultralight imaging systems for drone aircraft to more compact lenses for mobile-phone cameras. Lenses for cameras, eyeglasses and other applications are traditionally based on refractive optics, which involves using curved lenses to bend light rays ..."
Tech Headlines for February 21, 2016
Radio Service Data Sheets for Vintage Radios
At least for now, I am going to only scan and post schematics & parts lists like these four featuring the Sears Roebuck Silvertone "Rocket" Models 6110 and 6111, the Allied Radio Knight Model E10913, the General Electric Model GD-52, and the Zenith Models 6D302, 6D311, 6D326, 6D336, 6D360 in graphical format, rather than run OCR on them to separate the textual content. An ever-growing list of models is at the bottom of every page ...
CubeSat Mission to Demonstrate Virtual-Telescope Technology
"NASA engineers Neerav Shah and Phil Calhoun will realize a long-held ambition later this year when a Space-X launch vehicle deploys two tiny satellites that will fly in a precise formation to create, in effect, a single or "virtual" telescope benefitting a range of scientific disciplines. Through a NASA international agreement, Shah and his team have partnered with South Korea's Yonsei University and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to validate ..."
Anatech Electronics Newsletter - February 2016
Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its February 2016 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar's main thesis addresses the public nuisance that multirotor 'drones' have become in the hands of stupid and/or ignorant pilots. "Wireless: Behind the Scenes at Super Bowl 50" is among other topics ...
Empower RF Systems & TEVET Partnership
Empower RF Systems today announced a partnership with TEVET to become a value added reseller of Empower's RF and microwave amplifier modules and systems. TEVET is an established nationally recognized technology driven Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and HUBZone Small Business (SDVOSB) with exemplary performance servicing the Aerospace, Defense and Energy markets. Empower's Next Generation rack-mount amplifiers ...
Experienced Experts – Confident vs. Dogmatic
IMS ExpertServices periodically sends me e-mails that highlight recent key court cases that can significantly affect the effectiveness of expert testimony, both for the plaintiff and for the defendant. This article by Annie Dike, writing for IMS ExpertServices, cites a story by NPR that claims merely conferring 'expert' status on someone is likely to cause him/her to act in a more dogmatic, close-minded manner. Upon reading the NPR transcript of the interview, my first reaction is that the researchers who arrived at the conclusion undoubtedly have themselves been referred to as 'experts' in their field, thereby virtually assuring, evidently, that their conclusions ...
Tech News for February 19, 2016
Quartz Coin Can Store 360 TB of Data Forever
"All of those important files you have can now be stored for essentially forever. New developments in the technology of digitally based laser memory made by researchers at Southampton University in the UK have enabled information to be stored for 14 billion years. To put this into perspective, it is estimated that the universe it 12.5 billion years old; the memory will last practically forever. Using a process similar to laser engraving, seen ..."
Embedded Software Engineer Needed by FreeWave Technologies
The embedded software engineer will be responsible for developing embedded software for FreeWave wireless products. These responsibilities will encompass all phases of the embedded software development lifecycle including requirements analysis, architecture review, software design, software coding and unit test, integration, and supporting system test. Duties will be focused on Layer 3 wireless data path design and implementation with typical work encompassing networking applications, protocols, drivers, APIs, and management interfaces ...
The Radio Beginner
I spent a lot of time searching - to no avail - on Google Images for a photo of "The Radio Beginner" photo mosaic that, per this article, used to be on display in the RCA License Laboratory in New York. Author Washburne points out that, as with all areas of pursuit, be they technical, artistic, or literary, everyone is at some point a 'beginner.' Each progresses at a different pace, and some not at all. It is hard to think of Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, Alexander Graham Bell, or Lee de Forest as a beginner, but indeed they were early on ...
Mobile Interference Hunting System App Note by Anritsu
Hams who are interested in 'fox hunting' might also benefit from this Mobile Interference Hunting System app note PDF published by Anritsu (here is a short video). It pitches their proprietary equipment, but the method is applicable in general. Interference, whether it be illegal or unintentional, is a significant problem. It can degrade network performance and cause critical communications to be interrupted. Traditionally methods of locating sources of interference is time-intensive. This application note uses various case scenarios to illustrate how to ...
Sr. RF Design Engineer Needed by FreeWave Technologies
We are looking for a Senior Level RF Design Engineer. The ideal candidate will have experience designing and developing data radios from concept through production-ready on multiple products using a mix of discrete RF components and integrated circuits. The ideal candidate will also have a strong understanding of radio system design and have a deep understanding of the tradeoffs at both the design and system level to achieve a product that meets specifications. Candidate will have proven design experience in: receivers, transmitters, synthesizers, VCO’s, lumped element filters, and power ...
Flexible Smartphones May Be Coming Sooner Than You Think
"Companies have been promising us futuristic, paper-like displays since forever, but so far we remain unimpressed. The ReFlex, a prototype flexible smartphone from Queens University is tantalizingly close to what we've been waiting for, though. To build it, the team mated a 720p flexible LG OLED display to bend sensors and haptic feedback motors. Powering the device is an Android 4.4-powered board, complete with custom drivers ..."
Tech Headlines for February 18, 2016
Congress Wary of Chinese Deal for Chicago Stock Exchange (what possible danger?)
Pasternack Announces New & Improved "The Cable Creator"
Pasternack has just released an improved version of their popular online tool called The Cable Creator™. This new iteration allows the user to not only design and customize special cable configurations online in a few clicks, but also purchase their designs without the need to wait for a quote from the company’s sales team. With a modernized look and feel, Pasternack’s Cable Creator enables engineers and buyers to quickly and easily create customized RF ...
New ARRL Antenna Handbook Available
"The 2015 ARRL Antenna Book for Radio Communications has everything you need to design your own complete antenna system. Since 1939, it has maintained its place at the forefront of Amateur Radio technology a single resource covering antenna theory, design and construction, and practical treatments and projects. In this edition, The ARRL Antenna Book describes hundreds of antenna designs: wire, vertical, portable and mobile, and new high-performance VHF/UHF Yagi designs. Radio amateurs continue to make contributions to the state of the art in antenna design and construction ..."
Lost Your Money? Wire KUBIT
Sending telegraph messages, whether by wire or wireless means, has always been expensive, particularly considering charges are determined by the character (letter, number, symbol). Accordingly, the Shakespearean line from Hamlet declaring that "brevity is the soul of wit" can be reworked to "brevity is the soul of economy." A telegraph wire, unlike a telephone call, is a legally binding communiqué, as is of course a written letter, but a telegram is immediate transmission of information for time-critical messaging. A series of 'commercial codes' were developed enabling senders to save often ...
China's 500 m FAST Radio Telescope Needs EM Quiet Zone
"China will move nearly 10,000 people to make way for the world's largest radio telescope which promises to help humanity search for alien life, state media reported on Tuesday. The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), nestled between hills in the southwestern province of Guizhou, is due to start operation this year. Provincial officials have vowed to relocate 9,110 residents living within five kilometres of the listening ..."
Tech News for February 17, 2016
Skyworks Intros High Isolation, Broadband RF Switches for IoT Applications
Skyworks offers a family of high isolation (47 dB) multi-throw switches for 0.7–3.0 GHz Rx switching. The SKY13522-644LF, SKY13523-639LF and SKY13524-639LF are designed for switching single-ended Rx SAW filters in cellular handsets. Consuming less than 10 µA of current, they are ideal for low power switching in smartphone, data card, IoT, infrastructure and test and measurement applications and may be used for switching filter banks in infrastructure Rx chains. The small footprint devices are supplied in quad-flat no-lead (QFN) packages ...
Introducing One of the Best Thin-Film Transistors Ever
"Wide-band gap metal-oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs) have never been quite as popular as the ubiquitous metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET). One of the main issues with TFTs has been that they are limited to n-type semiconductor materials that can only move negative charges through them, limiting their electrical output. While different architectures have been investigated to overcome this, the problem has remained that there ..."
How the Poles Cracked the Enigma Machine Before Turing
There is a constant deluge of news stories reporting on how yet another firmly held historical belief has been shown to be false. While a lot of it is obviously driven by someone's agenda - for whatever reason - but there have been bona fide instances of either new discoveries or new evidence of malfeasance on the part of historians. Here, representatives of the Embassy of Poland are touring the world to tell people about their crucial contribution to shortening WWII. They refute credit given to British mathematician Alan Turing, claiming it was actually their work with Enigma that ...
Radar Training in the Air Force
Here is a story near and dear to my heart. From 1978 through 1982, I trained for and worked on a ground-based, mobile air traffic control radar system (AFSC 303x1). The AN/MPN-13 & 14 systems had both airport surveillance(ASR) and precision approach (PAR) primary radars, identification friend or foe (IFF) secondary radar, and UHF and VHF communications radios. The AN/MPN-13 was contained in two trailers; air traffic controllers sat and worked within the operations ('ops') trailer where the radar electronics were located. It was very a cramped environment, particularly when maintenance was required. The AN/MPN-14 was basically an AN/MPN-13 with an additional separate, spacious, radar ...
Navy's Mach 7 Rail Gun Penetrates Concrete at 100 Miles
"A radical new weapon that can fire a shell at seven times the speed of sound could be used by the Navy as soon as 2018. Described as 'Star Wars technology' by researchers, the rail gun can fire a shell weighing 10kg at up to 5,400mph over 100 miles. It does this with such force and accuracy it penetrates three concrete walls or six half-inch thick steel plates. Development of a futuristic weapon is going well enough that a Navy admiral wants to skip ..."
Peregrine Intros Glitchless 75 Ω RF Digital Step Attenuator Chip
Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, announces the UltraCMOS® PE4314, a 75 Ω glitch-less RF digital step attenuator (DSA). This new DSA extends Peregrine's existing glitch-less DSA portfolio to 75 Ω. The PE4314 is ideal for wired broadband applications in cable/satellite customer premises equipment (CPE) and infrastructure equipment. The 75 Ω PE4314 joins Peregrine's 50 Ω glitch-less DSAs ...
Notable Tech Quote: Nils Testor
"Learn with your head but also with your hands" - Nils F. Testor, founder of the Testor Corporation, maker of the well-known Testors brand of adhesives and paints. Nils Testor, an early 20th century immigrant from Sweden, is a classic American success story. Having begun his management career at Woolworth as a stock boy (although he had a college degree from Stockholm), his business acumen and love of the arts - including airplane modeling - quickly propelled him into the position of entrepreneur as owner and progenitor of the Testor ...
Tech Headlines for February 16, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg Hired 16 Bodyguards to Protect Him at Home (wonder if they carry guns?)