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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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.
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How to Make It Look Like You Can Solve a Rubik’s Cube
Matt Parker demonstrates how easy it is to make it look like you are a genius Rubik's Cube solver with a very simple trick. The YouTube video has had nearly 1.5 million views, so lots of people know how to fool you. Make sure you get to scramble the cube before someone attempts to impress you. BWT, I learned to solve my Rubik's Cube way back around 1980 when it first hit the U.S. market. The guys in my USAF radar shop were all taken in by the craze. I can't recall who solved it first.
Hydrogen Fuel Possible by Splitting Water Molecules with Nanowires
"Scientists are currently developing a technology using nanowires and crystals that have the potential to split water into its components. This 'final solution' to clean energy could come from combining crystals, called quantum dots, to teeny wires. The technology seeks to split water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel. That fuel could unlock new clean energy for cars, boats and other gas-reliant modes of transit ..."
Please Welcome TestPlace as an RF Cafe Avertiser!
TestPlace is a start-up company determined to create a superior "MarketPlace for Test Equipment." Inventory is built by a community of engineers, technicians, students, and hobbyists looking to Buy, Sell, and Trade all types of test and laboratory equipment and accessories. Please visit TestPlace's website today and have a look around. All equipment is tested for proper functionality before being shipped. Your participation is key to their success ...
"By the end of this year, a team led by researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, aims to put the finishing touches on a 2,000-kilometer-long fiber-optic link that will wind its way from Beijing in the north to the coastal city of Shanghai. What will distinguish this particular stretch of fiber from myriad other long-distance links is its intended application: the exchange of quantum keys for secure communication - a sophisticated gambit to protect data from ..."
Chart of Radio Symbols, March 1935 Radio-Craft
This Chart of Radio Symbols would make a nice wall poster for your office, lab, or Ham shack. It has a nice vintage look to it - because having been scanned from a 1935 edition of Radio-Craft magazine, it is a true vintage relic. Although it would look great in its gray scale format, importing it into a graphics program and adding a little color would really jazz it up. A bit of brown would provide an aged sepia look, or you could go all out and custom color ...
NextGen Smartphone Battery Inspired by the Gut
"Researchers have developed a prototype of a next-generation lithium-sulphur battery which takes its inspiration in part from the cells lining the human intestine. The batteries, if commercially developed, would have 5x the energy density of the lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones and other electronics. The new design, by researchers from the University of Cambridge, overcomes one of the key technical problems hindering the commercial development of lithium-sulphur batteries, by preventing ..."
Physics & Engineering Crossword Puzzle for October 30
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).
Please Thank Reactel for Supporting RF Cafe
Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture of RF and Microwave filters, diplexers, and subassemblies. They have established a full line of filters of all types. The latest CAD/CAM methods and equipment used in design and manufacturing. Many filter designs are available in either tubular, rectangular, or waveguide packages, connectorized or surface mount, and standard or high power versions. Frequencies up to 50 GHz, depending on filter type. Please visit Reactel today!
Marines Seek to Outnumber Enemies with Robots
"Since World War II, the U.S. military has always expected to fight outnumbered. Soon, however, expendable unmanned systems may change that. For the first time in 70 years, America could have numbers on its side. That turns traditional assumptions about tactics, technology, and budgets upside down. 'It does flip things,' said Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps. 'We've been down the path of ..."
Youngest YL Amateur Radio Licensee
7-year-old Sharon Pakinas was celebrated as the youngest licensed female- aka 'YL' (young lady) - Ham radio operator in 1953. That was quite an accomplishment considering that she had to not only pass the written test which included FCC regulations, operational guidelines, electrical theory, but also pass a 5 word-per-minute Morse code test! From what I can find in a Google search, the current youngest licensed girl is 5½-year-old Rosalie White, from Long Beach, California, who earned her ticket in 1991 while a 5 WPM code test was still required. In 1991, the Morse code test for ...
The Ever-Evolving Field of Electrical Engineering
"What's the single constant? Love of a challenge. I was at a large hardware store, holding a power cord that I thought would fit my new home generator, when another shopper pointed to the cord in my hand and said that I had chosen the wrong connector. When I looked hesitant, he added, 'I'm an electrical engineer, so I know things like that.' Needless to say, I quietly changed my choice. But I started thinking: What are those things that all EEs know? ..."
New 3D Design for Mobile Microbatteries
"In the race towards miniaturization, a French-U.S. team-mostly involving researchers from the CNRS, Universite de Lille, Universite de Nantes and Argonne National Laboratory as part of the Research Network on Electrochemical Energy Storage (RS2E)1-has succeeded in improving the energy density of a rechargeable battery without increasing its size (limited to a few square millimeters in mobile sensors). This feat was achieved by developing a 3D structure made of microtubes, the first step towards producing a complete microbattery. The first experiments have demonstrated ..."
Many Thanks to LadyBug Technologies for Support of RF Cafe
LadyBug Technologies means Peak Performance in Power Sensors: 9 kHz to 40 GHz and 80 dB DR. LadyBug manufactures a broad line of First Tier NIST traceable USB power sensors that are compatible with Windows XP, Win 7, 8 & 10; in 32 and 64 bit systems, along with LINUX. Also the only SPI & I2C sensor available. Patented NoZero NoCal feature - Simply connect and measure to receive a high accuracy measurement. Please visit LadyBug today to see whether their fine products can be of use to you ...
Take the Design News Career & Salary Survey
It's that time of year again. Design News is now conducting their 2016 North America Career & Salary Survey. This 10-minutes survey will be available for your taking through November 7.
Technical Societies Seek Action on Rising Helium Prices
"A report by three U.S. societies has highlighted the threat of rising helium prices, finding that some institutions are paying two-and-a-half-times more for liquid helium than they did in 2009. The organizations – the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society and the Materials Research Society – have created the 'Conserve Helium' website to give researchers information on techniques that could reduce their helium usage and develop new helium-saving technologies. Market forces ..."
National Company Advertisement: IF Circuits
When designing a receiver or transmitter using discrete components rather than connectorized components or packaged integrated circuit, where the interfaces are at or near 50 + j0 Ω, adding frequency selectivity beyond that provided by the generic response requires inserting separate filters. If you are designing the entire signal path, including the biasing, feedback (if any), and stage interfaces from scratch, you can include features that increase frequency selectivity. In the 'old days' with vacuum tubes and interstage coupling transformers ...
Raytheon Boosts GaN Radar Tech
"Microelectronics experts at the Raytheon are enhancing their company's process for producing gallium nitride (GaN)-based semiconductors for advanced military radar systems, electronic warfare (EW), and other RF and microwave technologies. Officials of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have awarded a $14.9 million contract for the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems segment in Tewksbury, Mass., to enhance ..."
Anatech Electronics Newsletter - October 2016
Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its October 2016 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar discusses the topic of "Carrier Aggregation: The Next Interference Challenge?," China's world's largest Aperture Spherical Telescope, Israel's drone-fighting radar, the The Navy's new 'Stealth' destroyer, and Microwave energy being used in fracking operations . Anatech's business is to make certain that system and circuit designers have capable filters ...
Wi-Fi Alliance Kicks off Certification for WiGig
"Momentum for WiGig is building, and it should only get stronger with the Wi-Fi Alliance now certifying products based on the 802.11ad standard, known as Wi-Fi Certified WiGig. Operating at 60 GHz, WiGig is one of the first millimeter wave technologies to be available. 'This isn’t something that's going to be available two years from now. There are products shipping today,' said Kevin Robinson, director of marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance. The first Wi-Fi Certified WiGig products, which ..."
A Crystal That Amplifies, October 1948 Radio & TV News
Messrs. Britain, Shockley, and Bardeen, are credited with inventing the first working transistor per their announcement in December of 1947. This article provides what was for many people an introduction to the operational specifics of transistors. Although its crude point contact ('cat's whisker') emitter and collector arrangement against the doped germanium base element was still in a configuration that did not yet represent a significant challenge to the domain of vacuum tubes, people of vision recognized its superior potential. As with most technologies, progress occurred quickly and ...
Modelithics Microwave Global Models for Würth Elektronik Inductor Families
Modelithics, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of two new Microwave Global Models™ for Würth Elektronik inductor families. As part of the Modelithics Vendor Partner (MVP) Program, Würth Elektronik and Modelithics collaborated to develop the advanced-feature models that offer substrate scalability, part value scalability and pad scalability. The two new inductor families now represented in the Modelithics library are the WE-MK 0603 case-size multilayer ceramic surface mount ...
A Primer on Circulators and Isolators
Prolific technical author Lou Frenzel, over at the Microwaves & RF website, recently posted a nice primer on how circulators and isolators work, and when you would use them. This topic might be old hat to most RF Cafe visitors, but there are always new technicians, engineers, students, and hobbyists entering the field for whom the topic is new. It makes a useful refresh for veterans of the RF trade as well ...
World's 1st Acoustic Prism
"For almost 400 years the prism has been a unique tool for separating white light into all the colors of the rainbow according to their wave frequency. Now, the prism has a whole new use, thanks to some truly innovative minds. Scientists in Switzerland have created the world's first sound-based prism. The acoustic prism behaves similarly to its visual counterpart: it breaks down sounds according to their respective frequencies by physical means alone. Originally devised as a thought ..."
Microwavefilters & TVC Listing Added to Waveguide Vendors Page
Microwavefilters & TVC (formerly just Microwavefilters before merging with TVC), located in Cernusco sul Naviglio, Italy, has had its listing on both the RF / Microwave Filters and the Waveguide & Components manufacturer and services pages here on RF Cafe. "Our proved experience and know-how in manufacturing of components for RF and microwave applications over a complete series of frequencies (from 10 MHz up to 80 GHz) allows us to meet the market's demand with a wide, constantly extended and improved range of passive components."
ARPA-E's $85M Plan to Build a Battery the Size of the Grid
"As the electric grid is increasingly powered by renewables, it will need energy storage for when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn’t shining. But the three top grid-scale energy storage technologies today—pumped hydropower, lithium-ion batteries and 'flow' batteries—arguably, aren't up to the challenge. The U.S. Department of Energy's technology incubator ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) wants to change that ..."
Ring Oscillators for U.H.F. Transmission
Achieving clean oscillations above about 300 MHz (1 meter wavelength) from standard glass and metal vacuum tubes is difficult due to interelectrode capacitances and self-inductance of internal wires and grid plates. Generating high power for applications like radar and long distance communications was made possible with the invention of klystron, magnetron, and ring oscillator tubes during World War II years. The UHF radio band spans from 300 MHz to 3 GHz, and it is the upper end of the band where the wavelength is short enough (3.93 inches | 10.0 cm for 3 GHz) to provide adequate spatial resolution ...
Tinkering with Gompertz' Curves for IoT Predictions
"Visiting customers in Paris last week, Mentor Graphics' Chairman and CEO Wally Rhines gave a talk on the inaccuracies of semiconductor revenue forecasts and why that may be, suggesting that we ought to revive a nineteenth century mathematician's curve, that of Benjamin Gompertz, for better predictions. 'Why is it so difficult to forecast semiconductor revenue?' he asked, acknowledging the volatility of semiconductor revenue in ..."
4 More Radio Service Data Sheets from 1935 Radio-Craft Magazine
Radio Service Data Sheets were published by various electronics trade magazines back in the early to middle decades of the last century. SAMS Photofact® document sets were published on just about every appliance made, and those had much more detail than these briefs. However, for the low-budget repair shop or the do-it-yourselfer, the Radio Service Data Sheets were a godsend. Included in this round are the General Electric Model M-49, the Pilot Model 63, the RCA Victor Model 102, and the Stromberg-Carlson No. 69 ...
EM Research Intros Multi-OutputSynthesizer 800 MHz / 16 GHz
The THOR-16000-XA is a multi-output frequency synthesizer with a single 800 MHz and dual 16 GHz RF outputs. The fully-custom hermetically-sealed package offers a low profile design for use in a hyper-velocity projectile system capable of withstanding extreme vibration and shock profiles; over 220 Gs. The THOR-16000-XA locks to an external 50 MHz reference and exhibits low phase noise at both RF output frequencies. At 100 KHz offset, phase noise is <-118 dBc/Hz ...
Fractal Antenna Systems Gets U.S. Patent for Fractal Metamaterials
"Fractal Antenna Systems has been issued a patent for a fundamentally new approach to power gathering and transport, as well as heat transfer, with the innovation of metamaterials based on fractal geometry. They were issued US patent 9,482,474, entitled 'Radiative Transfer and Power Control with Fractal Metamaterial and Plasmonics.' Fractal metamaterials are collections of detached resonators, themselves intricate structures made from repeated and scaled designs ..."
Thanks, Fellow Citizens, for Obamacare!
You might have heard that Obamacare rates are WAAAY up for 2017. Being self-employed in Pennsylvania, the cost for bottom-end (Bronze) plan for Melanie and me in 2017 is $772.28/mo. ($9,267.36/yr.) + $13,900 deductible. That's $23,167.36 out-of-pocket before Obamacare pays anything at all, and then only 60% of fees after full deductible has been paid. Check it out on healthcare.gov . Oh, and if I want to keep my current doctor, that plan this year is $974.75/mo. + $13,900 deductible ($25,597.00/yr.). It does NOT pay for emergency room, diagnostic, x-ray, MRI, etc., until AFTER the deductible ...
Oxygen Layer May Extend Moore's Law
"Moore's Law could be extended again sans scaling, according to Robert Mears. Mears invented the Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) - the first commercial and still popular method of amplifying optical signals without having to convert them into electrical signals (and back again). Now Mears believes he has invented an equally industry-changing technology for CMOS called the Mears Silicon Technology (MST). 'At Atomera our vision was how to ..."
Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Now Open for Bidding!
"The 11th Annual ARRL On-Line Auction now is under way. Bidding on nearly 300 items will continue through Thursday, October 27. Participants must register. Those who have participated in past ARRL On-Line Auction events may use their previous log-in information. This year’s auction booty includes some vintage ham radio items, including a Collins S Line. Premier items from the QST 'Product Review' inventory include the Icom IC-7851 HF+6 meter transceiver, an Alpha 9500 amp ..."
LoRaWAN Field Test Device Introduced by Saelig
Saelig Company announces availability of the LoRaWAN Field Test Device ARF8124AA - a ready-to-use system which provides connection with any operated network that uses the LoRaWAN V1.0 Class A & C protocol. It permits transmitting, receiving and real-time viewing of network radio frames. Equipped with a large LCD screen, it facilitates the verification of all operating information, such as GPS coordinates, temperature, and battery level, as well as network use parameters, such as uplink, downlink, SF, Packet Error Rate, etc. Its built-in ultra-fast, precise GPS capability optimizes geo-location ...
Emerging Visible Light Communications
"The idea is to make the most of VLC even in daylight when indoor lighting would typically be turned off. What's more, mobile users relying on VLC see how shining light to a receiver can drain their batteries. Using off-the-shelf, low-cost LEDs and photodiodes, the researchers came up with novel data encoding and LED driving schemes they presented in a paper, 'The DarkLight Rises: Visible Light Communication in the Dark' They had to tackle various challenges, such as designing an effective driving circuit that would react sufficiently fast (in nsecs) for minimal delay and to boost ..."
"Printed Wiring" Techniques for the Experimenter - Part 2
Here is the second of a 2-part article introducing hobbyists to the relatively new technique of printed circuit board (PCB) or, alternately, printed wiring board (PWB) fabrication. Author Louis Garner is from Bell Telephone Labs, which was an early adopter of PWBs. Bell had millions of relay switch and controller circuit boards for routing all the country's telephone calls. I remember a couple times in high school while working as an electrician's helper where we did some wiring inside a phone switching station and saw row upon row ...
Army Evaluates Vehicle-Mounted Software Programmable Radio
"The Army is evaluating a new vehicle-mounted radio technology that enables Strykers, tactical trucks, HMMWVs and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to share real-time, combat-relevant information across the force. The new radios, called the Mid-tier Networking Vehicular Radio, were recently assessed in various combat scenarios such as rugged, mountainous terrain, woodland areas and dense vegetation to test its ability to relay IP packets of information through various high ..."
Wireless Technology Crossword Puzzle for October 23, 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 ...
GlobalSpec IEEE Forums
Even with the dominance of social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, there are still a rare few well-attended online forums that manage to survive. In my experience, they are usually the best place to go for asking questions and receiving useful answers. GlobalSpec's forum has been around since the late 1990s if memory serves me correctly. It is now affiliated with the IEEE and goes under the name of "Engineering 360" and/or "CR4." Per the FAQ page, CR4 stands for 'Conference Room 4®.' Their tag line is "CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®." I could not find why it is CR4 and not CR3 or CR5 ;-) ...
Full-Circle Viewing: 360° Holographic Display
"Princess Leia, your Star Wars hologram moment may be redeemed. In the original 'Star Wars' movie, the inviting but grainy special effects hologram might soon be a true full-color, full-size holographic image, due to advances by a South Korean research team refining 3-D holographic displays. The team described a novel tabletop display system that allows multiple viewers to simultaneously view a hologram showing a full 3-D image ..."
Electronics-Themed Comics, October 1948 Radio & Television News
Here are a few electronics-themed comics from a 1948 edition of Radio & Television News magazine. I particularly like the one from page 92. Webster's Dictionary offers 28 separate definitions of the word "carry" in both transitive and intransitive forms. The definition implied by the proprietor is #19 a : to bear the charges of holding or having (as stocks or merchandise) from one time to another. The definition inferred by the lady is #1: to move while supporting. How ...
Insight on Mechanism of Unconventional Superconductivity
"Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and partner institutions conducted a systematic investigation into the properties of the newest family of unconventional superconducting materials, iron-based compounds. The study may help the scientific community discover new superconducting materials with unique properties. Researchers combined innovative crystal growth, highly sensitive magnetic ..."
Frequency Combs Power New Spectrometer-on-a-Chip
"A new spectrometer-on-a-chip that employs two frequency combs has been unveiled by physicists at Caltech in the US. The precision spectroscopy system is based on pulsed lasers and uses a technique known as dual-comb spectroscopy. This makes it one thousand times more precise and nearly one million times faster than the standard instruments used today. Based on a millimetre-sized silicon chip, the device is an ..."
"Printed Wiring" Techniques for the Experimenter
In part one of a two-part articles, Popular Electronics magazine presents some of the inner workings of what at the time was a fledgling industry - printed circuit board manufacturing. In 1956, when this piece appeared, a large percentage of electronics assemblies were still being wired in a point-to-point manner where resistors, capacitors, inductors, tubes, and cables were soldered directly to terminals either on special blocks or on tube sockets. The process was heavily labor intensive and prone to miswirings. High volume production was nearly impossible prior to printed wiring ...
Morse Code in Memorial Art Museum
The November 2016 issue of ARRL's QST magazine (p20) had picture of Jackie Ferrara's brick walkway at the U. of Rochester in NY. Inlaid along its border are dark contrasting bricks representing dots and dashed in Morse code that spell out its own name, "Path of Colors," as well as "Memorial Art Gallery," and the colors of the rainbow. Pretty cool. There is no mention of whether Ms. Ferrara was inspired by a Ham or maybe is a Ham herself. A short video shows parts her work ...
IEEE Wants to Collaborate with 3GPP on 5G
"The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802) wants to collaborate with the 3GPP toward support of IMT-2020 and next-generation networks, according to a letter to 3GPP from the chairman of the IEEE 802 Local and Metropolitan Area Network Standards Committee (LMSC). IEEE 802 LMSC Chairman Paul Nikolich sent a letter to 3GPP PCG Chair Zhiqin Wang with a detailed proposal on how the two groups could work together. “We propose some collaborative approaches and request the 3GPP Project ..."
Skyworks Announces LNA FEM for GPS Applications
Skyworks is pleased to introduce the SKY65903-11, a new low-noise amplifier, front-end module with integrated pre- and post- filters for GPS receiver applications. This 1559-1606 MHz high performance module is idea for global positioning and navigation satellite systems in end products such as fitness/activity trackers, watches, pet trackers, smartphones and tablets. The device features high linearity, excellent gain, and a low noise figure for improved signal-to-noise ratio. Integrated pre- and post-filters ...
Novel Materials Used to Build Smallest Transistor
"In the quest for faster and more powerful computers and consumer electronics, big advances come in small packages. The high-performance, silicon-based transistors that control today's electronic devices have been getting smaller and smaller, allowing those devices to perform faster while consuming less power. But even silicon has its limits, so researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and elsewhere are looking for better-performing alternatives ..."
Tolerance Calculator Graph
Here is a type of chart I don't recall seeing before. This Tolerance Calculator Graph makes it very easy to quickly determine the upper and lower extremes of tolerance values for resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc. It can actually be used to find the limits for any number, regardless of units. This is one example of where a physical visual aid can still yield results faster than punching numbers into a calculator.
Silicon Monoxide Passivation for Gallium Nitride Transistors
"Shandong University in China and University of Manchester in the UK have reported room-temperature thermal-evaporation silicon monoxide (SiO) passivation for aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) barrier high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs). The passivation reduced leakage currents and increased breakdown voltages compared with unpassivated and silicon nitride (SiNx) passivated devices ..."
Heathkit Most Reliable Clock™ Kit
Heathkit produced a broad spectrum of electronics kits that covered a broad spectrum of technologies, from simple digital clocks to amateur radio transceivers, AM/FM radios, and even color televisions. Cheap offshore manufacturing made building your own equipment more expensive than buying a factory model, spelling the end of Heathkit. A resurgence of the DIY mindset and a new cadre of enthusiastic 'builders' has motivated Heathkit to begin resurrecting some of their most popular kits, albeit with updated components. The Most Reliable Clock™ is their newest release, and will appeal to Hams with its 'One-touch perpetual ID timer.' It has other very unique features as well. Check it out ...
T-Rays 'Speed up' Computer Memory by 1000x
"Scientists have found a way to significantly improve computer performance. They propose the use of the so-called T-waves, or terahertz radiation as a means of resetting computer memory cells. This process is several thousand times faster than magnetic-field-induced switching. Together with their colleagues from Germany and the Netherlands, scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have found a way to significantly improve computer performance. In their ..."
Decibel Tutorial: dB and dBm vs. Gain and Milliwatts
By RF Cafe - The concept of a decibel (dB) is understandably difficult and confusing for someone just being introduced to it. Combining specifications for gain, power, and voltage (and current, but not so often) that mix dB, dBm, dBW, watts, milliwatts, voltage, millivolts, etc., often requires converting back and forth between linear values and decibel values. This brief tutorial will help to clarify the difference between working with decibels and working with linear values. Anxiety Alert: Using decibels involves working with logarithms. Logarithms (logs) were first conceived of in the early 1600s by Scottish mathematician John Napier, as a tool for simplifying ...
These 10 Sci-Fi Novels are Perfect for Engineering Minds
"These novels and short stories look to meld the mechanical with humanity. Some delve into the moral issues surrounding technological advances; others appeal to the spirit of innovation and the power of smart people. We know not everyone enjoys reading or even has time for it. So for your convenience, we've sorted these books by word count from least to most. 'The Cold Equations' by Tom Godwin (10,095 words) Barton ..."
Ugly Year for Tech Layoffs, and It's Going to Get Worse
"Early this year, analyst Trip Chowdhry from Global Equities Research predicted that the tech world was going to see big layoffs in 2016—some 330,000 in all at major tech companies. At the time, these numbers seemed way over the top. Then IBM started slashing jobs in March—and continued to wield the ax over and over as the year progressed. Yahoo began layoffs of some 15 percent of its employees in February. Intel announced in April that it would lay off 12,000 this year. So, was Chowdhry right? ..."
Mac's Service Shop: Worth of his Hire
"You don't see any doctors handing out any free diagnoses, do you?," asked Barney, rhetorically, when discussing with Mac the expectation of many customers for them to troubleshoot an electronics appliance to determine what the cost would be to restore it to working order. An article is cited from a trade magazine where a customer refused to pay a repair estimate fee even though he decided not to get the work done. It is the age-old lament about people who expect you to perform work for them at no cost, but would never consider plying their trade for someone ...
Lockheed to Build Long Range TPS-77 USAF Radar
"U.S. Air Force air-surveillance experts are asking Lockheed Martin Corp. to build and install a long-range gap-filler radar system at Hanscom Air Force base, Massachusetts, northwest of Boston. Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base announced a potential $41.7 million contract Thursday to the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Syracuse, N.Y., for gap-filler radar at Hanscom. Gap-filler radar supplements the coverage of the principal air-defense, air surveillance, and air-traffic-control radar ..."
Mjölnir's Secret: Microwave Oven Magnets - Who Knew?
The secret of Mjölnir, Thor's hammer, has finally been revealed. As it turns out, being found 'worthy' of lifting Mjölnir requires having the right thumbprint. Well, at least inventor / maker Allen Pan's version of the hammer does. The July/August issue of Popular Science ran an article on Pan's cleverly converted toy Mjölnir wherein he buried four lead-acid batteries to power a scrounged microwave oven transformer for duty as an electromagnet. An Arduino Uno-driven sensor detects Pan's unique thumbprint and disables ...
What's Behind Samsung's Phone Fires?
"There's never a good time for a corporation to get a black eye, but now is a particularly bad time for Korea's Samsung. The company's recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and its shutdown of sales and production also call attention to its recent recalls of other, unrelated products. 'What was remarkable here was that this was the world’s leading company for batteries and for consumer electronics, ..."
Salaries Rise, Gaps Widen for EEs per IEEE Survey
"Last year was a good year for most, but not all electrical engineers. Salaries for EEs rose 3.85% on average in 2015, but gender and racial gaps in salaries widened, according to an annual survey published this week by the IEEE. EEs earned a median pre-tax income of $138,285 last year including base salary, commissions, bonuses and net self-employment. Strip away overtime pay, profit sharing, and other supplemental earnings, and the 2015 figure drops to $135,000, up from $130,000 in 2014 ..."
Global RF Power Amplifier Market to Grow at 14%
"In a new market research analysis, Technavio have predicted that the global power amplifier market will grow steadily over the next four years and will post an impressive CAGR of almost 14% thru 2020. This analysis identifies the emergence of next generation wireless networks as one of the primary growth factors for this market. The growing popularity of mobile communication devices and next-generation wireless networks such as 3G, 4G, and 5G has resulted in an increase in network traffic ..."
Albert Einstein Quote on "Spooky Action at a Distance"
"I cannot seriously believe in it because the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance." - Albert Einstein, on quantum theory, in a letter to Max Born, on March 3, 1947 ...
Russian Kills Drone 1/2-Mile Away Using Microwaves
Russian officials have unveiled a 'microwave gun' that can disable an unmanned drone and even a missile from up to 0.6 miles (1km) away. The first sample of the weapon has been revealed following a secretive Russian Defense Ministry exhibition. The 'death ray' will be used to target enemy drones and apparently deactivates the radios of UAVs and warheads, causing them ...
Anatech Electronics Intros 3 New Filter Designs
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. Anatech has introduced 3 new filter designs: a 4000-8000 MHz stripline bandpass filter with SMA connectors, a 105-115 MHz user tunable VHF filter with SMA connectors, and an 2037.5 MHz Wi-Fi cavity bandpass filter with N connectors. Custom design are ...
Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for October
I wonder when searching for useful career enhancement and job search articles whether the only thing the authors have ever done is write advice columns. Many of them are professional career coaches, which does not necessarily qualify or disqualify an author. There are many 'professionals' who have a job advising other people without ...