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4 of the December 2018 homepage archives.
Carl & Jerry: Stereotaped New Year
Here for your New Year's Eve entertainment is a new-old adventure story of "Carl & Jerry" titled, "Stereotaped New Year." In the same manner that author John T. Frye's highly regarded "Mac's Radio Service Shop" technodramas had themes echoing the time of year they were published, this appeared in the January 1963 issue of Popular Electronics magazine, which would have arrived in subscribers' mailboxes in December. Carl & Jerry, if you are not familiar with the dynamic duo of the teenage electronics and Ham radio enthusiasts, routinely got themselves involved in police investigations, creature comfort inventions, and practical jokes involving tape recorders, disembodied spirits, and remote controlled models. By 1963, they were out of high school and matriculating at "Parvoo University," which many people believe is a reference to Purdue University, given the boys' Midwestern locale. Admittedly, this plot ...
Federal Radio Commission Carrier Pigeon
While clarifying the origin of the Federal Radio Commission's (since re-named the Federal Communications Commission) official seal in the January 2019 issue of QST magazine, Mr. Ralph Haller (N4RH), made the following observation, "Finally, the bird on the [original] seal is not an eagle. All things represented in the seal are intended to be a form of communications. The bird is a carrier pigeon, representing a very early form of long-distance communications (although not regulated by the FCC)." That seems logical and plausible enough, but someone will probably challenge the assertion based on what appears to be a raptor's hooked beak and talons, which are very apparent on the contemporary FCC seal. Is anyone out there an authority on the matter?
Many Thanks to Res-Net Microwave for Continuing Support!
Res-Net Microwave has a complete line of precision RF & microwave components including attenuators, terminations, resistors, and diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications. Products range from the small flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power attenuators and/or terminations at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo etch and laser trim capability. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current project ...
Hams in Combat: A Lady of Mercy
This is another installment of the "Hams in Combat" series that the ARRL's QST magazine ran during WWII. I enjoy vicariously waxing nostalgic of a time before I was born, at time when there was still honor, courage, selflessness, and pride of country. During World War II, it was an ingrained part of most citizens, whether or not they happened to be serving in the military. Our modern day troops still have it, but sadly fewer and fewer people see their own country as any place special in the world. Many don't believe it ever was. Sure, as General William Tecumseh Sherman famously said, "War is hell," but then again so is witnessing the tearing apart of your country from forces within ...
Navy Evaluates Passive RFID/GPS Tracking Solution
"The U.S. Navy is evaluating passive RFID units with integrated GPS capabilities and customizable API for worldwide asset-tracking chores. The U.S. Navy, like other branches of the military, must keep track of critical assets around the world. To that end, it is hoping that a combination of wireless technologies will help to manage inventory. By working through a contract from the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the Navy will receive mobile passive radio-frequency-identification (pRFID) systems for asset tracking at four geographically diverse sites. The MultiTrak mobile pRFID readers from Venture Research integrate GPS capability with a customizable API, enabling the Navy to evaluate the asset-tracking technology ..."
San Francisco Circuits: PCB Fabrications & Assembly Service
SF Circuits' specialty is in the complex, advanced technology of PCB fabrication and assembly, producing high quality multi-layered PCBs from elaborate layouts. With them, you receive unparalleled technical expertise at competitive prices as well as the most progressive solutions available. Their customers request PCB production that is outside the capabilities of normal circuit board providers. Please take a moment to visit San Francisco Circuits today ...
Shape-Shifting Origami Adaptable Antenna
"Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a system that uses an origami-inspired structure to create radio frequency filters with adjustable dimensions. This technology will allow devices to alter which signals they block over a wide range of frequencies. Researchers relied on a specific pattern of origami known as Miura-Ori. This particular design has the ability to grow and shrink in a manner similar to an accordion - a trait the scientists were particularly eager to take advantage of. 'The Miura-Ori pattern has an infinite number of possible positions along its range of extension from fully compressed to fully expanded. A spatial filter made in this fashion can achieve similar versatility, changing which frequency it blocks as the filter is compressed or expanded.' Scientists took a printer capable of scoring paper, which allowed them to fold the sheet into the required origami pattern ..."
RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for December 30
Each week, for the sake of all avid cruciverbalists amongst us, I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy ...
Radio & Wireless Week (RWW) 2019
Radio & Wireless Week (RWW) 2019 runs January 20-23, at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The venue is located in one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. RWW consists of five related conferences that focus on the intersection between wireless communication theory, systems, circuits, and device technologies. This creates a unique forum for engineers to discuss various technologies for state-of-the-art wireless systems and their end-use applications. ARFTG also joins RWW2019 as a co-located conference. Authors are invited to submit papers for presentation at RWW2019. All papers accepted ...
Triad RF Systems announces the availability of their TA1025 solid state power amplifier produces over 1 W of linear COFDM power and 5 W peak. The amplifier is protected from high, low, and reverse DC bias, thermal overload, and high output VSWR. The amplifier draws 0.8 A (100% duty cycle), and measures only 3.75 x 1.9 x 0.5 in. This class A GaAs module is designed for both military and commercial applications. It is capable of supporting any signal type and modulation format, including but not limited to 3-4G telecom, WLAN, OFDM, DVB, and CW/AM/FM. The latest device technologies and design methods are employed to offer high power density ...
Logic Circuits with Diamond-Based Transistors
Hmmm.... not sure how I missed this last year. "A NIMS research group led by Jiangwei Liu (independent scientist, Research Center for Functional Materials) and Yasuo Koide (coordinating director in the Research Network and Facility Services Division) has succeeded for the first time in the world in developing logic circuits equipped with diamond-based MOSFETs at two different operation modes. This achievement is a first step toward the development of diamond integrate circuits operational under extreme environments. Diamond has high carrier mobility, a high breakdown electric field and high thermal conductivity. Therefore, it is a promising material to be used in the development of current switches and integrated circuits that are required to operate ..."
Alliance Test Equipment: Used & Refurbished, Purchase & Rental
Alliance Test sells used / refurbished test equipment, we offer short- and long-term rentals. They also offer repair, maintenance and calibration. Prices discounted up to 80% off list price. Agilent/HP, Tektronix, Anritsu, Fluke, R&S and other major brands. A global organization with ability to source hard to find equipment through our network of suppliers. Please visit Allied Test Equipment today to see how they can help your project ...
A Bonus for CATV Subscribers: Cable FM
According to a plethora of news reports in the last few years, the "cord cutting" phenomenon is having a significant impact on cable media providers. Consumers long ago grew tired of the monopolistic practices of corporations forcing mostly unwanted programming onto everyone and then trying to convince them that they were getting a good deal if the cost per channel was considered. No one bought that argument, but it didn't matter because there was no competition for service. Public Utility Commission (PUC) efforts to force prime line owners to rent out "space" in an attempt to provide competitive products has never worked, but that doesn't keep PUCs from trying (job security). The advent of wideband wireless service has opened up a new realm of media delivery that is leaving wired service in the dust. Not only is cellphone ...
The RF and Microwave Industry in 2019: My Predictions
Sam Benzacar, the well-known head of Anatech Electronics, has boldly proclaimed his predictions for the microwave industry in 2019. This deviates from his traditional year-end newsletter that presented a wrap-up of the previous year's happenings. Filter manufacturers like Anatech love RF spectrum growth and crowding because it provides continuing opportunity to engineer solutions that help make co-existence possible. The downside of these dense operational environments is that spectral masks get more and more complicated and difficult to comply with in order to meet certification standards, which places increasingly difficult requirements on filters. That goes for both transmitters which must not exceed power output limits and for receivers that must be able to function within electromagnetically noisy areas. Signal processing does a lot of the heavy lifting, but ultimately physical filters make or break a wireless system ...
Tales from the Cube: The Case of the Oscillating Oven
A year or two ago I stopped checking for new instances of Tales from the Cube because updates were few and far between. Half a dozen new ones have been posted so far this year, so maybe the pace is picking up. "The Case of the Oscillating Oven," submitted by Gerald Gusdorf, is a great example of hunting down an elusive fault by the process of elimination and observation. The "fix" was fairly simple given the potential for serious redesign if the Mil-Spec IC involved had been the problem. Mr.Gusdorf did not mention whether an extensive recertification process - often required with military equipment - was necessary to qualify the assembly ...
YL News and Views, July 1966 QST
"YL" in amateur-ese stands for "young lady." It refers to any ham operator of the female gender regardless of age. I don't know how many women were Hams in 1966 when this article appeared in QST, but according to Communities of the Air: Introducing Radio to the World, author Susan M. Squier, by 2003 women made up 40% of new license applicants. Judging by amateur radio club rosters and field day events, YLs don't make up anywhere near 40% of the Ham population, but maybe they just tend to shun the public light. A 2008 presentation on the YL Radio Website estimated 15% in 2000. I searched around the Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL), American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) websites for current statistics but could not find anything specifically about the percentage split between males and women. On a side note, the first licensed YL in the U.S. was Emma Chandler ...
VidaRF: Passive RF & Microwave Components
At VidaRF, the phrase 'Providing Simple Solutions for Complex Connections' is more than just a slogan – it's a mindset, a mission, and a driving force behind everything we do. Their pledge is to design and distribute high performance, cost effective RF Microwave products to fit each customer's unique applications. Please visit VidaRF today to see how their lines of attenuators & terminations, directional couplers, power dividers, coaxial connectors, and circulator & isolators can be of use to your project. "When the standard just will not do, VidaRF has the solution for you!" ...
Megalibrary Useful for Rapid Discovery of New Materials
"Identifying the best material for a given application - catalysts, light-harvesting structures, biodiagnostic labels, pharmaceuticals and electronic devices - is traditionally a slow and daunting task. Now, a new study supports the efficacy of a potentially revolutionary new discovery tool to rapidly test millions (even billions) of nanoparticles to determine the best for a specific use. The tool is thousands of times faster than conventional screening methods. Different eras of civilization are defined by the discovery of new materials, as new materials drive new capabilities. And yet, identifying the best material for a given application - catalysts, light-harvesting structures, biodiagnostic labels, pharmaceuticals and electronic devices ..."
Thanks to TotalTemp Technologies for Continued Support!
TotalTemp Technologies has more than 40 years of combined experience providing thermal platforms. Thermal Platforms are available to provide temperatures between −100°C and +200°C for cryogenic cooling, recirculating circulating coolers, temperature chambers and temperature controllers, thermal range safety controllers, space simulation chambers, hybrid benchtop chambers, custom systems and platforms. Manual and automated configurations for laboratory and production environments ...
Anxiety Amid Affluence: Why Color-TV Makers Worry
Decisions, decisions, decisions. As the title states, color television manufacturers were, in 1965, finding themselves between a rock and a hard place, as the saying goes, regarding a change from vacuum tubes to transistors. The buying public (aka consumers) had mixed emotions about the newfangled semiconductors based at least partly on bad information about transistors. Transistors had been designed in various circuits for a decade and a half and were gaining rapidly in performance and reliability. The price was coming down, but as reported here, still cost $5 to $10 apiece compared to a $1 vacuum tube. Company management needed to decide whether to delay implementing the new engineering and production methods required to deal with transistors for a couple more years until the market had more time to make up its mind whether to begin. A couple firms enthusiastically ...
Many Thanks to Nova Microwave for Continuing Support!
Nova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Please visit Nova Microwave today ...
Reinventing Radar: The Power of 4D Sensing
MWJ has an article written by Infineon Technologies' Avik Santra, Ismail Nasr, and Julie Kim, titled "Reinventing Radar: The Power of 4D Sensing," where the fourth "D" is using 3D radar for sensing, monitoring, and reacting to local activity. "Radar has evolved from a complex, high-end military technology into a relatively simple, low-end solution penetrating industrial and consumer market segments. This rapid evolution has been driven by two main factors: Advancements in silicon and packaging technology are leading to miniaturization, and growth of computing power is enabling the use of machine learning algorithms to tap the full potential of raw radar signals. Radar facilitates localization of targets in 3D space and can be further used for vital sensing ..."
Unbiased, March 9th 1932: The Wireless World Article
OK, I give up. What is a "pukka amateur?" According to an online dictionary: pukka, adj (esp in India) 1. properly or perfectly done, constructed, etc. a pukka road 2. genuine pukka sahib. Next up: A Blattnerphone. That sounds an awful lot like Blattenberger, or maybe more like Blattnerberger. Anyway, a Blattnerphone was an early attempt at recording sound on a steel tape. I thought my native language was English, but evidently there are still some good words to learn. If you read enough vintage magazines from the first half of the 20th century, you will run across many words and phrases that are still in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but you hardly ever see or hear them used anymore ...
RF Superstore: Supplier of RF & Microwave Components
RF Superstore launched in 2017, marking the return of Murray Pasternack, founder of Pasternack Enterprises, to the RF and microwave Industry. Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were sold. Partner Jason Wright manages day-to-day operations, while working closely with Mr. Pasternack to develop RF Superstore into a world class RF and microwave component supplier. RF coaxial connectors & adapters, coaxial cable & cable assemblies, surge protectors, attenuators. Items added daily. Free shipping on orders over $99. We're leading the way again!
60-GHz mm-Wave Sensors Enable Customizable Building Automation
"Intelligent radar systems pioneer, Ainstein, has released an antenna and board design for 60 GHz mm-wave radar over-the-door sensors (ODS) using Texas Instruments' IWR6843 family of devices. With Ainstein's innovative radar system design, customization, and manufacturing capabilities, building automation designers can now leverage TI's new 60-GHz mmWave sensors in overhead mounting positions for highly customized applications. The new 60 GHz Evaluation Module enables near real-time decision-making and signal processing in advancing building automation use cases such as occupancy detection ..."
Miniature Satellite to Investigate Ionospheric Turbulence That Disrupts RF Communications
"On December 15, SRI International launched the Ionospheric Scintillation Explorer (ISX) - a miniature satellite on a space-weather mission. The mission, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to investigate regions of natural ionospheric turbulence. These patches of disturbed ions and electrons corrupt radio transmissions and wreak havoc on essential Earth and space-based communication and navigation channels. According to Hasan Bahcivan, Ph.D, research physicist and SRI principal investigator for the ISX mission - The understanding for the life cycle of these turbulent patches is quite limited, as we lack means to regularly probe their 3D structure. To date, we have little insight into how far the disturbed patches extend along Earth's geomagnetic ..."
Carl and Jerry: Under the Mistletoe
Here is a Christmas-themed "Carl & Jerry" episode from the December 1958 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Carl and Jerry, if you are not familiar with them, are a couple electronics-savvy teenagers who, in the style of "The Hardy Boys," manage to get involved in a series of criminal investigations. With headquarters based in their parent's basement, the two friends cobble up strategies and contraptions for snaring bad guys, bedazzling unsuspecting neighbors and classmates, and assisting people in need of techno-capable assistance. They have quite an impressive collection of test equipment and radio gear at their disposal per the one drawing herein. In this episode we are introduced to the word "osculation." If you already knew its definition, you're one up on me ...
RF Cafe Poll: How Long Is Your Christmas Vacation?
This newest RF Cafe Poll asks "How Long Is Your Christmas Vacation?" In the United States and in many other countries around the world, many people take one of the longest vacations of the year on and around Christmas. Of course a lot of folks who work in the sales and services arenas don't always have the luxury. When I worked at the Westinghouse Oceanic Division in Annapolis, Maryland, in the 1980s, there was a mandatory shutdown between Christmas Day and the day after New Year's Day. We were required to use vacation days for it. My first year there, I had no vacation days to use, so it amounted to a week off without pay, which kind of sucked ...
St. John's College Foucault Pendulum
Whilst perusing a old issue of The Evening Capital newspaper, where my father, Art, worked as the manager of the classified advertising department for many years, I was reminded of the time I was doing a service call for some electrical problem to St. John's College, in Annapolis, Maryland, and discovered an honest-to-goodness Foucault pendulum in the basement of their astronomical observatory. A description of the electromagnetic drive mechanism and a recent overhaul effort is given on the linked page. The only other place I had ever seen such a large pendulum prior to that was during a school field trip to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. That would have been sometime in the late 1960s, before it was relocated to the floor above it in 1987. Boy, am I ever getting old! ...
Electro-Photonics is a global supplier of RF & Microwave components. Their products include SMT hybrid and directional couplers, wire bondable passive components, mounting tabs, filters, transmission lines, and very useful test boards for evaluating components (spiral inductors, single-layer capacitors). The Electro-Photonics team can support your small R&D design requirements with RF & Microwave test fixtures and save you valuable design and characterization time. Please take a moment to visit Electro-Photonics' website and see how your project might benefit ...
"Printed conductive inks are being developed for transistors, sensors, antennae, RFID tags and wearable electronics for use on different substrates for space-constrained applications, including IoT applications, where small, low power and inexpensive endpoints define the network. Commenting on the material, known as Cyrene, Kewen Pan, the lead author on the paper said: This perhaps is a significant step towards commercialization of printed graphene technology. I believe it would be an evolution in printed electronics industry because the material is such low cost, stable and environmental friendly.' Research continues into the use of graphene for faster transistors semiconductors, flexible screens ..."
RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for December 23
Each week, for the sake of all avid cruciverbalists amongst us, I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. This week's puzzle contains a special holiday message (colored clues) to all RF Cafe visitors. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively ...
Merry Christmas to RF Cafe Visitors !!!
I still watch all the classic Christmas movies and cartoons each year - It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and of course A Charlie Brown Christmas. According to Lucy Van Pelt, Christmas is run by "a big eastern syndicate." Her little brother, Linus, sets the record straight in this famous scene. Other favorite RF Cafe Christmas Videos.
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