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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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
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Click here for Page 1 of the March 2016 homepage archives.
Skyworks' New Front-End Low-Noise
Amplifiers for Set-Top Boxes
Skyworks is pleased to introduce two new broadband, 75 Ohm MMIC front-end, LNAs designed specifically for set-top box applications: the SKY65450-92LF (with bypass mode) and the SKY65452-92LF. These devices provide high linearity and excellent gain over a wide frequency range (40 MHz to 1 GHz) with minimal external components, enabling OEMs to leverage cost efficiencies through lower bill of materials. In addition, Skyworks' new LNAs offer low current consumption and low noise figure (2.9 dB typ.), delivering energy-saving features, and are packaged ...
GaN RF Device Market to Grow at 14%
CAGR, Rising by 2.5x by End-2022
"Led by adoption across various market segments, the GaN RF device market will double over the next five years, reckons Yole Développement in its new report 'GaN RF Devices Market: Applications, Players, Technology, and Substrates 2016 – 2022', which spans wireless infrastructure, defense & aerospace, satellite communication, wired broadband (CATV and FTTH), and other industrial, scientific & medical (ISM)-band applications. Indeed, 2015 was a significant year for the GaN RF industry: In particular, a dramatic increase in wireless infrastructure market sales is ..."
Checking Beam Antennas
with the S-Meter
Antenna radiation (beam) patterns published by manufacturers are obtained under ideal - or close to ideal - conditions with a carefully prepared and calibrated open air test site (OATS) or an enclosed anechoic chamber. Multipath, imperfect earth ground, obstacles both manmade and natural, misshapen elements, poor VSWR, antenna orientation (in both azimuth and elevation) are among the many factors which produce real-world operational results that do not jive with a manufacturer's datasheet. Without employing some far field 3-dimensional field strength scheme (see Drone-Based Field Measurement System™), there is no way to obtain a complete picture of how your antenna performs in all directions ...
Anritsu App Note:
5G - New-Waveform-Analysis
5G - New-Waveform-Analysis. Free download from Anritsu. UF-OFDM, FBMC and GFDM are under investigation worldwide as promising candidates of the New Waveform for 5G mobile communication systems. This paper describes features of their signal processing technologies and issues. New Waveform analysis environment is also introduced. Impact of each waveform to existing system can be estimated quickly by the environment. Preparations for the migration from LTE/LTE-Advanced to next-generation mobile communications systems (5G) ...
Chipmakers Seek Solution
to Neon Gas Supply Shortage
"When many people think of neon, they think of brightly lighted signs used in restaurants and other retail environments. The element neon (Ne) gives a distinct reddish-orange glow when used in either low-voltage neon glow lamps or in high-voltage discharge tubes or neon advertising signs. The red emission line from neon is also responsible for the well known red light of helium–neon lasers. Neon is commercially extracted by the fractional distillation of liquid air. It is considerably more expensive than helium, since air is its only source. What those outside the chip industry likely don't know is that neon has been employed for semiconductor manufacturing ..."
Please Thank everything RF
for Their Continued Support!
everything RF is a product discovery platform for RF & Microwave Products/Services. We currently have 176,244 RF & Microwave Products from over 756 Companies listed in 215 categories in our database and enable engineers to search for them using our customized parametric search tool. The parametric product search tool on everything RF has been designed to replace paper and PDF catalogs. It is fast, easy to use and very powerful – You can enter your specs and find products from multiple manufacturers that meet your requirement. You can then compare products, download datasheets, request quotations, get pricing or contact the manufacturer for more information ...
Effect of Conductor Profile Structure
on Propagation in Transmission Lines
Free webinar by Microwave Journal and Rogers Corp. to be broadcast on April 7 at 11:00 am ET. "Designers of high frequency electrical devices have long known that conductor surface roughness affects loss. Earlier correlations such as those of Morgan and Groisse underestimate insertion loss by a large margin at higher frequencies and on narrower transmission lines, where conductor effects dominate. The present work experimentally demonstrates that the recent Hall-Huray 'snowball' model and the Sonnet conductor loss correlation correctly predict the shape of the insertion loss versus frequency curve up to 110 GHz, over a wide range of copper profiles. Quantitative agreement, however, requires empirical adjustment of ..."
Velocity Modulation Conversion
for a TV Receiver
Velocity modulation, aka deflection modulation, of electronic images was evidently considered by some engineers to be potentially disruptive technology when this article was published in a 1951 issue of Radio & Television News. You can see from the pictures that the result is an image that today's digital software would render with an 'emboss' technique. More vertical relief seems to be generated with the analog velocity modulation technique compared to what my graphics program does when embossing the original photo. At the bottom of the page is a velocity modulation video demonstration found on YouTube ...
Plan for Satellite-Repairing Robots
Takes the Next Step
"Military researchers want to join with industry to build a robotic space vehicle capable of inspecting, repairing and upgrading high-flying satellites that are out of the reach of conventional spacecraft. The project could not only make satellites in geosynchronous, or GEO, orbit more effective, but could also reduce costs. The plans calls for developing a public-private partnership that would eventually develop a commercial space robotics enterprise in which robotic space vehicles would provide services to military, government and commercial satellites in GEO orbit ..."
Can YOU Solve the Campsite Riddle?
"'Where's Wally'-style puzzles that involve finding hidden creatures from pandas to owls have left people scratching their heads in recent weeks. But the latest challenge baffling the internet is a logic puzzle for children that involves studying a picture of tourists at a holiday campsite and answering a list of nine questions. The image, thought to be from an old children's magazine, according to The Independent, has recently resurfaced online, but despite being aimed at youngsters the tough questions are likely to leave adults scratching their heads ..." OK, so I missed one - big hairy deal :-(
Mobile Phone Companies by Country
Using a list on Wikipedia as my source, the following table presents cellphone manufacturer host countries in descending order (see Wiki list for more details). Even though the majority of mobile phones are manufactured in countries like China and Taiwan, most are not designed there - although China has the single largest number of companies: 24 (17%). The United States comes in second with 15 (10%) cellphone companies. India is home to 13 (9%), Japan hosts 8 (6%), and Russia has 7 (5%). There are a total of about 144 that are not marked as discontinued. Stand-out names, at least as translated into English, include 'Technology Happy Life' from China, 'Ringing Bells' from India, 'John's Phone' from ...
“Elmer” Inspiration, W9DY, SK
Elmer “Bud” Frohardt Jr. Has Passed
"The ham radio mentor who inspired the term 'Elmer' - Elmer P. 'Bud' Frohardt, Jr., W9DY, of Madison, Wisconsin - died on March 22. He was 93. A friend and co-worker of the late Rod Newkirk, W9BRD-, who edited QST's -How's DX?- column, Frohardt was the 'Elmer' that Newkirk had in mind when he used the name in his March 1971 column, referring to someone who helped to mentor new Amateur Radio licensees and calling them 'the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio.' 'Too frequently one hears a sad story in this little nutshell ..." BTW, I submitted W9DY's info to the National Silent Key Archive while researching this info.
Tektronix USB-Based SA Lineup
Has -161 dBm/Hz Noise Floor
"Tektronix has expanded its line of disruptive USB-based real-time spectrum analyzers with 4 new higher-performance models targeting design, spectrum management and wireless transmitter installation and maintenance applications. The new RSA500 and RSA600 series of analyzers offer frequency coverage from 9 kHz up to 7.5 GHz with 40 MHz acquisition bandwidth, a measurement dynamic range from -161 dBm/Hz Displayed Average Noise Level, and up to +30 dBm maximum input. The new USB-based spectrum analyzers embrace the design ..."
Crosley 02CA Console Radio for Sale
A few days ago, Mrs. Amy Burghardt, of Herndon, VA, contacted me asking for assistance in selling her grandmother's Crosley model 03CA console style radio. She found my Crosley 03CB radio restoration project page while searching for information on hers. According to the schematics, the 03CA electronics are exactly the same and the 03CB electronics; only the wooden cabinet is different. As evidenced by the photos, Mrs. Burghardt's 03CA radio appears to be in excellent physical condition. Note how well preserved the burl trim pattern is on the edges and on the speaker grille rods. That was the one aspect of my 03CB was could not be retained because Crosley used some sort of decal. According to her ...
'Optomechanical Transducer' Links Sound, Light, Radio Waves
"Researchers working at NIST have developed a 'piezo-optomechanical circuit' that converts signals among optical, acoustic and radio waves. A system based on this design could move and store information in next-generation computers. The team's work, published in Nature Photonics, also was presented at the March 2016 meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore, Md. As transistors shrink, heat and other factors will begin to have magnified effects in circuits. As a result, researchers are increasingly ..."
Anatech March 2016 Newsletter
TETRA vs. Project 25 in The Big Apple
Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its March 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 ineptitude of big city planners when it comes to wireless communications. He notes how NY City, in updating its archaic analog emergency and public service radio system, has chosen the TETRA system which is not compatible with FCC recommended Project 25 standards (includes new 700 MHz public safety band). Sam won't say it but I will - follow the money from city coffers to the chosen system contractor and you will probably learn why a TETRA system is being installed. Fortunately for Big Apple occupants, Ham radio operators are standing ...
FCC Spectrum Auction Finally
Nears Despite Infighting
"The US Federal Communications Commission, an organization apparently as fractured by political warring as other government bodies, has made public a database of the 104 applicants primed to bid in its upcoming auction of 600 MHz wireless spectrum. Frequency allocations in the United States. Source: NYU Wireless Frequency allocations in the United States. Source: NYU Wireless Of the 104, 35 applications are still incomplete and must be resubmitted by April 6. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and, U.S. Cellular are among ...
Notable Tech Quote:
"Research is four things: brains with which to think, eyes with which to see, machines with which to measure and, fourth, money." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winning physiologist who is credited with discovering vitamin C.
Exciton Control in Molbdenum Disulfide
"University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in the USA and the University of Manchester in the UK have been developing methods to control excitons in molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). The researchers hope that states such as Bose-Einstein condensates found in low-temperature GaAs exciton structures could be realized at room temperature, giving access to resistance-free superfluid flow. Also, better control of excitons is considered to be a path to more efficient light emission. The use ..."
Mac's Radio Service Shop:
Mac's young technician sidekick Barney decides to one-up the do-it-yourself television repair books that were flooding magazine pages those days by writing a series of do-it-yourself surgery books. He figures if the other guys can get rich by convincing Joe Sixpack that he can easily fix problems in his TV set - where potentially lethal voltages lurk in every corner - in as little as five minutes while saving hundreds of dollars from those rascally shop owners, then surely those same people might buy his books for removing your own appendix or tonsils. Deny the greedy doctors ...
Noise Figure Measurements: Theory and Application, App Note by NI AWR
This is a very extensive app note on making making noise figure measurements and interpreting the results. "A list of essential measurements in electronic circuits and systems would probably include voltage, current, power, and distortion. An even more complete list should also include the measurement of noise. When assessing the dynamic range of a single electronic component or an entire electronic system, distortion and maximum power bound the high side of the dynamic range performance and noise bounds the low side. The measurement of noise is a fundamental requirement for electronic design. Noise in ..."
Sending Pictures by Telephone
It really was not all that long ago when wiring images for news stories literally meant transmitting photographs over a twisted pair of telephone lines either to a fax machine or to a computer on standby waiting for incoming files. Videocasts were being regularly performed via satellite of ground relay microwave stations since the 1960s, but most still shots were sent via phone lines. For the last decade and a half, both still shots and videos have been transmitted as a routine matter via camera-equipped cellphones, and as with most technologies we have quickly become so accustomed to the convenience that memories of the old ways are quickly (even thankfully) forgotten. This article from a 1936 edition of Radio-Craft describes one of the really early systems. Notice that coupling to the telephone line is ...
ESD in Space
The real story here is an ability to 3D-print specialty tools and components on demand while in space, in this case aboard the International Space Station (ISS). What caught my attention, though, is the ESD wrist strap on astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore while showing off his newly fabricated ratchet wrench. Electrostatic discharge is no respecter of venue. NASA likes the saving of cargo volume afforded by being able to 3D-print many items - particularly spares - as-required rather than packing things that might never be needed. Containers of raw materials and a couple 3D printers take up less space and weight - a major concern when planning interplanetary missions ...
IDT Intros Industry's Highest Efficiency
1515 W Wireless Power Tx & Rx Solution
Integrated Device Technology (IDT) today introduced two new devices that deliver a complete high-efficiency wireless charging solution for electronics demanding up to 15 W of output power. Supporting wireless charging for new categories of consumer products and infrastructure, the highly integrated chips deliver industry-leading power conversion efficiency of over 86% from transmitter input to receiver output, reducing system losses and improving thermal performance while rivaling traditional wired power conversion architectures. Compatible with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Qi standard, the new ...a>
Science & Engineering Crossword
Puzzle for March 27, 2016
Shorthand Circuit Symbols
There is something about these proposed 'shorthand circuit symbols' that reminds me of the IEEE digital logic symbols using the 'distinctive shape' (the traditional format) versus the newer 'rectangular shape' format. The set is quite extensive when all the different flavors of combinatorial blocks - flip-flops, timers, counters, shift registers, encoders, decoders, etc. - are included. My personal preference, you might guess, is the original format with distinctive shapes. Although I do not do a lot of digital work, it is easier for me to follow the signal flow and mentally perform the logic operations with the distinctive shapes. But I digress. This article from a 1947 issue of QST magazine introduces ...
5G Standardization Status in 3GPP
White Paper by Anritsu
Anritsu recently published a white paper titled 5G Standardization Status in 3GPP. "3GPP is set to standardize 5G specifications which are expected to be operational over the next few years. Similar to 3G and 4G cases, 3GPP will submit IMT-2020 specifications based on ITU-R recommendations. This guide discusses ITU-R's vision of 5G, 3GPP activities for 5G and new functionalities in 5G." A free download is available, but you do need to fill out a form to get it.
Defense Engineering Corporation
Needs an RF Field Test Engineer
DEC has an immediate opening for an RF Field Test Engineer in Dayton, Ohio. The position requires a BS Electrical Engineering and 5+ years of relevant experience. Primary duties consist of planning and conducting field evaluations of innovative / experimental RF systems. This includes travel to western test ranges, coordination with Federal Government agencies, frequency allocation, trouble-shooting, and data analysis. Experience with bi-static systems desired, but not required. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with ability to obtain a TS/SCI security clearance. The primary job location is in Dayton, Ohio at Wright Patterson Air Force Base ...
2016 EPSRC Science Photography
The winners of the 2016 EPSRC "Science Photography Competition" have been announced. It was held by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the "UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering." Recipients of funding from EPSRC submit photographs for judging. This year's top prize titled "Microwave Ion-Trap Chip for Quantum Computation" went to Mrs. Diana Prado Lopes Aude Craik, University of Oxford, for her photo of a gold ion trap. Per the website, it "shows the chip's gold wire-bonds ...
Analog Devices' Gabriele Manganaro
Elevated to IEEE Fellow
Gabriele Manganaro, an Analog Devices, Inc. engineering director, has been named an IEEE Fellow for his leadership in the design of high speed converters. Elevation to an IEEE Fellow involves a rigorous evaluation procedure and less than 0.1% of IEEE voting members are selected annually for this prestigious honor. Manganaro, who holds a Dr.Eng. and a Ph.D. degree in Electronics from the University of Catania, Italy, has been engineering director for high speed converters at Analog Devices since 2010. His career in data converter design spans more than 20 years. "Gabriele has been a highly visible part of the industry's data converter community for many years, and he was able to contribute to ..."
UK to Sell off 750 MHz
of Public Sector Radio Spectrum
"UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in the 2016 budget that 750 MHz of public sector radio spectrum would be 'released' - that is, auctioned. The Amateur Service in the UK currently shares significant spectrum with the public sector. In 'Supporting the digital economy,' the Budget 2016 document calls electromagnetic spectrum a valuable and scarce resource. 'Budget 2016 announces a new government commitment that 750 MHz of valuable public sector spectrum in bands below 10 GHz will be made available by 2022, of which 500 MHz will be made available by 2020.' The document states ..."
Practical Consideration and Application
in a Multielement Quad
Multielement quad antennas are as popular today as they were in 1967 when this article appeared in the ARRL's QST magazine. That is not to say they are common. This particular design is for the 10-, 15-, and 20-meters bands, all three of which are still in use today. If you build a multielement quad as shown here, you might want to find a substitute for the bamboo frame members; aluminum tubing is pretty cheap, but if you use metal, you'll need to use insulators at the connection points. Formulas are provided for determining element lengths and director and reflector ...
Silver-Marshall Model 727-DC
This Radio Service Data Sheet provides schematics and parts lists for Silver-Marshall Model 727-DC Battery-Operated Superheterodyne receiver. Most - if not all - electronics servicemen had subscriptions to these magazines because they were a ready source of not just these service sheets, but because of the extensive articles offering advice on servicing radios and televisions. In fact, many electronics manufacturers had a policy of supplying service data only to bona fide shops. A large list is included at the bottom of the page of similar documents from vintage receiver schematics, troubleshooting tips, and alignment procedures ...
Fairview Microwave Introduces New
Family of Programmable Attenuators
Fairview Microwave, a supplier of on-demand microwave and RF components, announces the release of their new digitally controlled programmable attenuators with performance up to 40 GHz and up to 60 dB attenuation range with 0.03 dB minimum step size. These programmable attenuators are commonly used in electronic warfare, military and space communication systems, radar and test and measurement applications. Fairview's digitally controlled attenuators perform the important function of adjusting the amplitude of signal ...
Defense Engineering Corporation
Looking for an RF Technician
Defense Engineering Corporation is looking for a full time RF Technician with at least 5 years experience, specifically in the area of testing in an anechoic chamber environment. Responsibilities will include maintaining, implementing and operating an indoor range anechoic chamber test facility measuring antennas, radomes, and multiple RF systems. Experience collecting and reducing data in a compact range anechoic chamber environment including antenna patterns and radar cross section measurements is preferred. The job location is in Dayton, Ohio at Wright Patterson Air Force Base ...
Concept of Superconducting
Memory to Be Tested
"Russian scientists claim to have invented a new superconducting memory architecture that will be 100s of times faster and consume dozens of times less power than conventional memory chips. The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology working with the Moscow State University claim the architecture can also be used to perform single-flux quantum logic operations for superconducting processors, but admits that commercialization is decades away. 'What we have so far is an idea ..."
"Air Force Times" "Defense News"
"Army Times" "Navy Times" Sold to VC
"A group of California venture capitalists have bought my alma mater, Defense News, as well as Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Times and Federal Times. They also laid off several top people there. Vago Muradian, host of Defense News TV and my successor as editor at the paper, has been laid off, according to my sources. He was not alone. Defense News' Managing Editor Dave Gustafson, longtime Deputy Editor Greg Couteau and business reporter Andrew Clevenger were let go. The CEO of Sightline Media Group, Mark Flinn, and the VP for Defense News, Kate Tapplett, were let go, along ..."
Antenna Innovation Promises
"Low cost mobile broadband for air-travellers is a step closer thanks to a £300,000 prize from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) a UK researcher has claimed. Currently, air passengers have to switch their mobile phones to 'Flight Mode' and pay an additional charge to access data on their devices. However, according to Prof Yang Hao from Queen Mary University of London, advances in next ..."
RFCafe.com Viewed on a Samsung S4
For no particular reason, I took a picture of how the RFCafe.com homepage looks on my daughter's Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. My extreme nearsightedness permits me to read it at that size without glasses, but zooming in definitely makes it easier. The S4 has a 1080 x 1920 pixel format (~441 ppi pixel density), which is about as good as it gets for a smartphone display other than an LG G3/4 or iPhone 6s. This might be just the excuse you need to do a phone upgrade ;-)
Notable Tech Quote: Robert Lucky
"Nothing is forever, and forever comes very quickly in technology." Robert W. Lucky, writing in The End of the Smartphone?, IEEE Spectrum. Dr. Lucky authored the "Reflections" column in Spectrum for more than two decades, always providing a great combination of technical savvy, wit, and humor; his was usually the first thing I read each month.
Majestic Model 11 Short-Wave
Converter Radio Service Data Sheet
Retrofit kits for adding shortwave bands to commercial broadcast band radios were a big deal back in the 1930s. Magazines like Radio-Craft were full of articles and advertisements for such kits. Few layman radio owners were capable of installing the conversion kits, so radio service shops took in a lot of business installing them. A large percentage of radio models soon thereafter began shipping with the shortwave bands incorporated into the base unit - known as 'all-wave' radios. This Majestic Model 11 Short-Wave Converter is a prime example of the kits. My 1941 Crosley Model 03CB vacuum tube console radio has shortwave bands, as does ..
U.S. Army Trains for Russia / China
EW Attack on GPS System
"After two decades of largely ignoring the danger, the Army is seriously training for a scary scenario: What if GPS, our satellite communications and our wireless networks go down? It's hardly a hypothetical threat. Russian electronic warfare units locate Ukrainian troops by their transmissions and jam their radios so they can't call for help, setting them up for slaughter. American soldiers are much better trained and equipped than Ukrainian ones, but they’re also much more dependent on wireless devices. Almost 80% ..."
Sherlock Ohms: Strange Connections
Killed the Mercedes-Benz
Here's a really great installment of EE Times' Sherlock Ohms feature. Contributor Douglas Pocius tells of his adventure troubleshooting an intermittent problem with his car inexplicably shutting down, and how pure chance can play a big role in a solution - provided the circuit probing sleuth is wise enough to recognize the cause and effect connection (pun intended). As usual readers' responses are as good as the story itself. I particularly like the Oscar Wilde quote where Lord Darlington (not the high current gain transistor pair guy) defines a cynic as, "A man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing ..."
2016 Mobile World Congress:
"The 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) broke attendance records and attracted governments, leading CEOs, the cream of industry and visitors from around the globe. It was a hotspot for innovation and a springboard for new technologies that will impact people’s everyday lives worldwide, now and into the future. International editor Richard Mumford and technical editor Gary Lerude attended the event and share their views on the issues impacting the mobile ecosystem, the technology being developed to address them and the role of the ..."
It's World Poetry Day!
Here Are a Few with Electronics Themes
Thanks to Janet Smith, of Keysight Technologies, for Tweeting the "Power Supply" poem I posted from a 1942 issue of QST, in recognition of today, March 21, being World Poetry Day. Back in the middle of the last century it was not uncommon to find reader-submitted poems in electronics magazines like Popular Electronics and QST. I have posted those poems here on RF Cafe when I run across them. A full list of poems is posted on each page, including others like "A Radioman's Nightmare" and "More 'Tower' to You." Enjoy, and happy World Poetry Day to everyone!
RCA Victor Model VHR-307 Home
Recording - Phono-Radio Combination
This Radio Service Data Sheet for the RCA Victor Model VHR-307 Home Recording - Phono-Radio Combination was published in the May 1941 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. It was quite a work of electronics art for its day, especially with incorporating a recording unit. We take for granted today the very simple matter of recording voice and music today with miniature, inexpensive, maintenance-free recording and playback equipment, but in the early 1930s the available media were wire, magnetic tape, and phonograph records. Phono recorders actually cut the audio bumps into the groves. Magnetic tape was considered to be a military secret up through ...
EE Times Quiz:
Temperature Sensors Part 2
Martin Rowe, Sr., Technical Editor at EE Times, has posted a second quiz on thermal sensors. " Did you really think we couldn't come up with enough questions for a second quiz on temperature measurement? As with last week's questions, today's questions come from Measurement and Instrumentation: Theory and Application by Alan S. Morris and Reza Langari and from Handbook of Modern Sensors: Physics, Designs, and Applications ..."
Peregrine RF Switches Reach Market
Acceptance in the Cable Industry
Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI (silicon on insulator) and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, announces its high linearity RF switches are designed into multiple DOCSIS 3.1 certified cable modems. CableLabs, the research and development consortium that develops the DOCSIS specification, has certified the first DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems. Of the certified modems, Peregrine Semiconductor’s RF switches—the UltraCMOS® PE42722 and PE42723—are designed into the cable modems that feature a band-select feature. The PE42722 and PE42723 are the only RF switches that enable dual ...
Twin Comets Make Closest
Earth Approach Since 1770
"You'd have to go back to 246 years to find a comet that passed closer to Earth than Comet PanSTARRS (P/2016 BA14) will on March 22nd. Predicted to come within about nine lunar distances (2.1M mi. or 3.4M km) of Earth around 16:00 UT on that day, P/2016 BA14 will soon claim the distinction of second closest comet ever recorded. Lexell's Comet has them all beat. It missed Earth by 1.4M mi. (2.2M km) on July 1, 1770. Although discovered in June that year by the comet ferret himself, Charles Messier, it became popularly known as Lexell's Comet after astronomer and mathematician Anders Johan Lexell computed its orbit. As the comet ..."
Electronics Technology Crossword
Puzzle for March 20, 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 ...
everything RF Posts 2016
Trade Show Schedule
Are you planning on attending any conferences or exhibitions this year? everything RF has compiled a list of all the important upcoming RF & Microwave Industry Events in 2016. Visit these events to keep up to date with the latest technologies, network with colleague and view presentations. everything RF currently has 175,854 RF & Microwave products from over 750 companies listed in 195 categories ...
Carbon NanoTubes for SiP
and On-Chip Interconnects
"Under the four million Euro Carbon Nanotube Composite Interconnects (CONNECT) European project, CEA, Fraunhofer IPMS, IBM, Aixtron, CNRS, GSS and University of Glasgow join forces to explore the fabrication techniques and processes that will enable reliable Carbon NanoTubes (CNTs) for on-chip interconnects in ULSI microchip production. Today, interconnects have become the major bottleneck irrespective of the application domain due to ..."
I Married a Superheterodyne!
Based on beleaguered wife Sylvia Kohler's mention of GE's Electronics Park in this story (surely a fable... or not), she and unintentional antagonist, superheterodyne hubby (aka 'Happy Boy', but we know him as Popular Electronics cartoonist Carl Kohler) probably lived in the Syracuse, NY, area. Electronics Park existed during the hey days of General Electric when the sprawling campus , just north of I-90, designed and manufactured a plethora of both household and military electronics products. GE's Electronics Laboratory ('E-Labs') was the company's pride and joy. Today, a tiny portion of Electronics Park is still occupied by Lockheed Martin, who bought that GE division in the 1990s, and the rest belongs the city. But I digress... enjoy the story (her reason for referring to hubby as a Superheterodyne is highlighted) ...
Army Uses Noise for Adaptable,
Secure Radar Technology
"Radar detectors signaling speeding motorists of police presence are about to get a run for their money as the Army is developing innovative radar technology that could someday be common practice for users wanting to mask their radar emissions. Over the past several years, the threat of being compromised has become an increasing issue for Soldiers in theater. The need to preserve radar system performance while operating in both a contested (adversarial attack) and congested (high traffic) radio frequency environment ..."
Old vs. New Car Design - Video
Very recently while watching a 1960s era TV show I asked myself a question I've asked many times before: If one of those heavy, bulky vintage cars constructed of thick pressed sheet steel body components, full steel tube frames, and cast iron 8-cylinder engine blocks was to have a head-on collision with a modern car built with light-weight materials of composite construction and minimal structural bulk, which would be the victor? My gut reaction was to think that the result would be like a sledge hammer and a Coke can colliding; I'd rather be the sledge hammer. I know cars are engineered to sacrifice the car to preserve the passenger compartment by ...
Electronics-Themed Comics in
Radio & Television News
The December 1947 issue of Radio News and February 1954 issue of Radio & Television News published these electronics-themed comics. I give them a score of about 7 out of 10, but you might think otherwise. There is a growing list of other comics at the bottom of the page ...
Matched SP4T WiFi Switch
Skyworks is pleased to introduce a dual-band single-pole four-throw (SP4T) WiFi switch with integrated GPIO interface and 50 Ohm match on all RF output ports. The new SKY13575-639LF is ideal for dual-band switching in Wi-Fi access points, WLAN 802.11ac and 3G/4G LTE systems and is also suitable for access points, customer-premises equipment (CPE), LTE systems, dual-band WLAN and test and measurement equipment. Using SOI technology, the switch consumes less than 10 µA of current ...
NRL Project Collects
Solar Power in Space
"One way to amp up solar power is to get closer to the sun - as in space, where there are no atmospheric disturbances to get in the way and where spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit can stay within the sun's rays. The challenge is in being able to collect enough solar power to make it worth the expense of launching a large solar array into space and then efficiently getting that power transmitted down to Earth. A government/industry team of scientists led by Dr. Paul Jaffe, a spacecraft engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, has ..."
Telefontornet in Stockholm, Sweden
This late 19th century photo of a telephone cable tower in Stockholm, Sweden, is seen frequently on the Internet. The 'telefontonet' tower, owned by Stockholms Allmänna Telefon AB (which later merged with Ericsson), supported 5,500 lines. Those four decorative turrets at the top were added to beautify the tower after residents complained about it being an eyesore. Raise your hand if you think it was a good solution. A couple decades later, the company began burying phone lines underground and the tower was eventually taken down. At a smaller scale, many modern data centers look a lot ...
Zeptojoule Nanomagnetic Switch
Fundamental Limit of Computing
"No matter how efficient we make our transistors and memory cells, they will always consume a fixed but tiny amount of energy set by the second law of thermodynamics, a new study suggests. Now the question is how close our real-world devices can get to this fundamental value. The idea that there might be such a universal limit stems from a 1961 paper by Rolf Landauer of IBM. Landauer postulated that any time a bit of information is erased or reset, heat is released. At room temperature ..."
Many Thanks to Triad RF Systems
for Their Continued Support!
Triad RF Systems comprises three partners with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. "We do not make decisions via committee or after time-consuming meetings; instead when an idea is suggested, we typically prototype it and if successful, turn it into product. We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line."
NI AWR App Note for Design of 10 GHz
LNA for Amateur Radio Operation
Ham radio operation at 10 GHz is somewhat exotic, being far removed from global shortwave communication typically below 30 MHz. So when the design of a 10 GHz ham radio station was originally discussed within the amateur radio community, one of the key components that was missing in order to make this a reality included a good LNA. This application note describes how an LNA was custom made utilizing NI AWR Design Environment™, inclusive of Microwave Office software, to bring a 10 GHz ham radio station into operation. The "Design of a 10 GHz Low-Noise Amplifier for Amateur Radio Operation" application note is available for immediate download.
Laser Beams with a 'Twist'
"Nature Photonics today published research by a team from South Africa and Italy demonstrating a new type of laser that is able to produce laser beams 'with a twist' as its output. The outputs and superpositions of the new type of laser form a set of beams, called vector vortex beams. Using geometric phase inside lasers for the first time, the work opens the way to novel lasers for optical communication, laser machining and medicine. The idea was conceived by Professor Andrew Forbes of the University of the ...
Spectrum and Network Measurements
Keysight Technologies was kind enough to provide me with a copy of Spectrum and Network Measurements, by Robert A. Witte (SciTech Publishing). Its contents will soon be the subject of an RF Cafe Quiz. "This new edition of Spectrum and Network Measurements enables readers to understand the basic theory, relate it to measured results, and apply it when creating new designs. This comprehensive treatment of frequency domain measurements successfully consolidates all the pertinent theory into one text. It covers the theory and practice of spectrum and network measurements in electronic systems. It also provides thorough coverage of Fourier analysis, transmission lines, intermodulation distortion, signal-to-noise ratio and S-parameters ..."
Space Station Astronauts Ham It up
to Inspire Student Scientists
""On Thursday, March 10, 2016 astronauts on the International Space Station logged their 1,000th educational contact with the ground. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra answered questions posed by the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium in Grand Forks, North Dakota. No matter how many times it happens, talking directly with someone orbiting above the Earth remains a thrill for students. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station/a> (ARISS) works through an international consortium of amateur radio organizations and space agencies ..."
Please Welcome RFCT
as a New Supporter of RF Cafe !
RF & Connector Technology (RFCT), located in S. Korea, is a full solution & service provider of passive RF components including attenuators, terminations, power dividers, couplers, antennas, surge arrestors, coaxial connectors & adapters, and coaxial cable & assemblies. From your very first contact, you will be supported by competent RF specialists, all of whom have several years of field experience in this industry, allowing them to suggest a fundamental solution and troubleshooting approach. Please contact RFCT today to see how they might help your project.
Engineering Career Advice
Another month brings another round of engineering career enhancement and advancement articles. I do try to vet them to filter out one that appear to be written by people who have no real experience telling other people how to act and run their lives. Sometimes when reading an advice article what comes to mind is the line in the 1970s vintage song "Sunshine" that says, "He can't even run his own life, I'll be damned if he'll run mine." These first two items are videos recommending how to dress for an interview based on ...
- How to Dress for an Interview
- How to Dress for an Interview (F)
- 25 Highest Paying Jobs in the U.S.
(doctor #1, lawyer #2, IC designer #8
- Top LinkedIn Mistakes Mid-Career
Professionals Keep Making <more>
Researchers Seek Source of
Fluctuations in Nanoresonators
""The expectation has been that nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS/a>) will replace its technological predecessor micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) in the varied range of applications for which MEMS are currently used. However, the emergence of the usurper technology has not been without some struggles. There have been durability issues with NEMS devices and there has also been the nagging issue that they never seem to perform quite up to their theoretical limits. Now in joint ..."