Here is the 46th quiz I have posted from 1960s
and 1970s issues of Electronics World and Popular Electronics magazines.
Most of were created by Robert P. Balin. I like to save these for Friday afternoons.
Guys like me who cut our teeth on analog meters read these indications like a second
language. Even novices usually do a good job on the meter needles, but reading a mechanical
micrometer (#9) might be more of a challenge, especially if you have never used one before.
The same goes for a dial caliper. Can you read the dials on a mechanical gas or electric
meter, where some spin CW and others spin CCW? ...
Fairview Microwave, a leading provider of on-demand
RF and microwave components, has released a new line of 40 GHz
skew-matched cable pairs designed for bit-error-rate testing, eye diagrams and differential
signals at data rates of 10 Gbps to 28 Gbps. Fairview's new line of skew matched
cables consists of three extremely flexible models that are 100% tested for skew match.
Performance specs include an impressive VSWR of 1.4:1 and 1 ps delay match. These
cable pairs cover two channels with 50 Ohms nominal impedance and a bandwidth of
DC to 40 GHz ...
"Test engineering is a global endeavor. Electronic
devices can be prototyped thousands of miles from where they are manufactured and ultimately
deployed. They must be tested every step of the way. But electrical engineers worlds
apart may store test results in different places, which can complicate tasks like debugging
glitches and correlating results with test conditions. Santa Clara, California-based
startup Gradient One is trying to simplify many of the mundane tasks weighing down test
engineering as hardware becomes more complicated. The company has developed a cloud platform
for test automation, storage and analysis and other tasks that traditionally have been
handled at the test bench ..."
This feature appeared at the end of a larger article
titled, "RF Induction Heating." A notable difference between the type of induction heating
in the other article and the type described here is that rather than directly heating
a metallic substance to be treated (melted, bent, tempered, etc.), a "susceptor"
(graphite crucible) is used to absorb the field and heat up to melt by conduction (via
a quartz liner) the silicon material within. Pure silicon cannot absorb the RF energy
sufficiently to be heated directly. Interestingly, if you go to the Wikipedia susceptor
page, it has an image of Hot Pockets, which are wrapped in a type of susceptor that produces
a crispy exterior while heating the interior. As you are probably aware ...
"The defense department's research wing is pouring
$1.5B into projects that could radically alter how electronics are made. The U.S. Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency is launching a huge expansion of its Electronics Resurgence
Initiative, boosting the program to US $1.5B over five years. And while some of the research
efforts will be just what you've come to expect from the agency that brought you disposable
drones, self-driving cars, and cameras that can see around corners, a lot of this new
money is going toward ideas that could fundamentally change how chips are designed. If
it all works out, the effect could be ..."
"Mini-Circuits is pleased to announce a new partnership
with 3D imaging sensor company Vayyar Imaging to offer
microwave transceiver project kits with broad applicability for students and university
programs spanning topics in electromagnetic theory, RF / microwave engineering, RF systems,
and radar technology. The first project kit, UVNA-63 includes all the elements students
need to build a fully functioning vector network analyzer, develop S-Parameter algorithms,
and perform real-time measurements of 2-port RF devices. The kit comprises Vayyar's high-performance
transceiver chip ..."
Hint: It's not, as is often claimed, in honor of
Kilby (he designed the first commercial IC). Last night while reading
an article on T, RS, and JK flip-flop RTL (resistor-transistor
logic) ICs, I tried to recall the origin of the "JK" designation. An Internet search
turned up lots of claims of Jack Kirby, but fortunately
posted the true origin in a piece on the Quora website. The origin predates the fame
of Jack Kilby, and is remarkably uninteresting. This is another case of a fake story
being perpetuated merely because it seems reasonable. I saved a copy of Mr. Bhattacharya's
post in case it one day disappears ...
If you are interested in the ingenious machines
and methods manufacturing engineers dream up for quickly and reliably producing parts
and assemblies in large volumes, then you will definitely appreciate this article on
RF induction heating. This process of course only works with metallic objects, unlike
microwave type heating schemes that work with liquids. Induction heating requires the
generated electric, magnetic, or RF field to invoke electrical currents within the metals
to increase its temperature. Ohm's law applies here. Have you ever used a torch to heat
a metal bolt, wire, car fender, etc., and noticed how it usually discolors the surface
and might even produce a crusty oxide layer? An extreme temperature rise as is required
for soldering, brazing ...
Anatech Electronics, Inc. offers the industry's largest portfolio
of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related
products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications
up to 40 GHz. Anatech has introduced three new filter designs: a 1090/60 MHz cavity
bandpass filter with N-type connectors, a 150/10 MHz cavity bandstop filter with SMA
connectors, and a 2250/100 MHz user-tunable bandpass filter with SMA connectors ...
Kendall Castor-Perry has posted Part 2 of
"The Chronicles of GND" on the Electronic Design website. "The Filter
Wizard's latest installment of 'The Front End' looks at how the ancestral 'split-supply'
PCB layouts have mostly ceded to 'single-supply' configurations, and the GND implications
that often ensue. When I get a printed-circuit-board (PCB) layout back for review, there
are a few things I look for first. I can usually get a feeling for what kind of board
designer has been at work, too, specifically if s/he is (or s/he thinks s/he is) a 'digital'
designer, an 'RF' designer, or a 'power' designer. You might ..."
IEEE MTT-S 2018 International Microwave Symposium (IMS), took place
in Philadelphia this year from 10-15 of June. The event marked an attendance of over
8,400 attendees. IMS, the annual conference and exhibition of the IEEE Microwave Theory
and Techniques Society (MTT-S), is the premier international meeting for technologists
involved in all aspects of microwave theory and practice. The six-day event, held at
the Pennsylvania Convention Center, drew 4,500 attendees to the technical program and
the exhibition featured over 625 exhibiting companies. IMS attendees comprised RF designers,
researchers, developers, and academics ..."
"Researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland claim
the fastest quaternary-base
double heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) reported to date
with maximum oscillation greater than the cut-off frequency, grown by metal-organic chemical
vapor deposition (MOCVD). The quaternary base consisted of graded gallium indium arsenide
antimonide (GaInAsSb). Adding indium to GaAsSb improves electron transport properties
such as mobility and sheet resistance. GaAsSb's conduction band has two types of valley
- one at zero wavevector (the Γ point) and one in the 'L' directions of the crystal structure.
In GaAsSb, the L-valley is close ..."
In 1967, when this parody was published in
Popular Electronics, the Iron Curtain of Communist Russia and the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republic (USSR) was still firmly in place. Constructing faux
Russian-sounding words was common at the time. All a comedian needed to do to have
their audiences rolling in the aisles was to append "ski," "ovitch" or "skov" to the
end of any word, or add lots of "z"s and "k"s in the middle of words. Tim Conway and
Harvey Korman did many hilarious skits on the 1970s' Carol Burnett show where they feigned
speaking in German, Japanese, and Russian tongues. Nowadays ...
Cafe's continued existence depends on companies like ERZIA providing support. ERZIA produces
microwave and mm-wave modular amplifiers
and integrated assemblies operating from Low frequencies up to 100 GHz. Their catalogue
of standard amplifier modules comprises more than 100 different models, having also a
high capacity of customization for amplifiers and integrated assemblies. Some of products
have space heritage and are used in aerospace, commercial, military and scientific systems,
having a wide range of final applications ...
With more than 780 custom-built symbols,
this has got to be the most comprehensive set of
available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has
been built from scratch to fit proportionally on the provided A- and B-size drawing page
templates (you can use your own page if preferred). Components
are provided for equipment racks (EIA and ETSI) and test
equipment, system block diagrams and conceptual drawings, and for schematics
World leading microwave engineering company Flann
Microwave is supplying vital components to the U.S. space agency NASA for a major spaceflight
mission making the first-ever global survey of Earth's surface water. The multinational
and Ocean Topology (SWOT) satellite, planned to launch in 2021, is being jointly
developed and managed by NASA, the French Space Agency (CNES), and the Canadian Space
Agency, with contributions from the United Kingdom Space Agency. It is UK-based Flann's
first project for NASA and has seen engineers working closely with their counterparts
at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ...
"If you want to remain at the top of your game,
trade show attendance should be part of every engineer's strategy
for growth and continuing education. In this age, you can find out everything you want
to know about anything with just a few keystrokes. There are processes, materials, components,
and modules for which you can get nearly instantaneous data of all types (pricing, availability,
specification, reviews, etc.) via simple online searches. The problem is you have to
know what you are searching for. The Internet is a true wonder for researching when you
know what you are looking for. But what if something is missing ..."
Mac's staff service technician, Barney, asked
a great question when he mentioned that Pittsburgh radio station KDKA made the country's
first commercial broadcast in 1920: "Who
was listening?" It is a reasonable question since prior to the beginning on commercial
radio broadcasts there would have been no reason for there to have been a lot of people
to own a radio for receiving commercial broadcasts. The answer, of course, is that there
were plenty of multi-band radios in homes and businesses for listening in on shortwave
broadcast from around the world - a very popular pastime in the era. Just as today we
are bombarded with admonitions to not stare at computer monitors or cellphone screens
for too long lest we suffer near-sightedness or worse, radio listeners of yore who used
headsets were told, "Youths of this generation will never have as protruding ears as
some of their older brothers." I suppose ...
Beginning on page 22 of the June 2018 issue of
High Frequency Electronics (HFE). "A Non-Linear Analysis of the Saturated MOSFET," by Dr. Alfred
Grayzel. "Abstract: The maximum power and the maximum efficiency at the maximum power
have been derived for the MOSFET; when the MOSFET is in saturation over the entire cycle,
using the square law theory. Results are presented for the following three cases: the
gate voltage is a sinusoid, a half sinusoid and a square wave. Results using the square
law theory and bulk-charge theory for analysis of the MOSFET are compared ..."
ZipRecruiter is a relative newcomer to the online job search world.
It began in 2010 as a "kitchen table project" by the founders literally in the kitchen
of co-founder Ian Siegel. I hear their radio ads frequently. You might have seen ZipRecruiter
ads on TV, but I almost never watch TV. The BBB gives ZipRecruiter an A+ rating. If you
scan through the user gripes, they appear to be mainly from hiring companies who did
not read and/or adhere to the policy for cancellation of the service. Job seeker complaints
tend to focus on dissatisfaction with hiring company practices, which you will find with
any job posting service. For comparison, Monster gets a D- rating, and CareerBuilder
rates an A+. Having no personal experience with ZipRecruiter, I can neither endorse nor
condemn them. Marketing Intern Amanda Drury sent me an e-mail asking ...
I recently created a new reference page titled
"Resistivity (ρ) & Conductivity
(σ) of Metals, Alloys, Rocks, and Soils." Values for materials are pulled from my
copy of Reference Data for Radio Engineers, Sams Publishing. Resistivity, also
referred to as specific resistance, is dependent on the nature of the material as well
as its volume definition (shape and size). Resistivity is expressed in units that are
the product of resistance and length; e.g., Ω·cm. As an example of calculating a volume's
resistance, consider the drawing to the left. Assume 12 AWG copper wire with a resistivity
of 1.72x10-6 Ω·cm, a cross-sectional area ...
ConductRF is offering standard
D38999 RF coaxial cable assembly
configurations with RF Contacts including; BMA to 20 GHz SMPM to 60 GHz Size
#8 to 18 GHz Size #12 Mil-Spec. Size #16 Mil-Spec. Cable choice include Low Loss
Flexible and standard RG styles. Custom marking and also ruggedization coverings including
Nomex weave available ...
"Electrical circuits are constantly being scaled
down and extended with specific functions. A new method now allows
electrical contact to be established with simple molecules on a conventional
silicon chip. The technique promises to bring advances in sensor technology and medicine,
as reported in the journal Nature by chemists from the University of Basel and researchers
from IBM Research - Zurich in Rüschlikon. To further develop semiconductor technology,
the field of molecular electronics is seeking to manufacture circuit components from
individual molecules instead of silicon. Because of their unique electronic properties,
molecules are suited to applications ..."
Microwave Journal's Technical Education Webinar
Series will present a free webinar titled, "MACOM's Technology Advantage Enables Mainstream 5G Cost Structures, Energy
Efficiency, Range, and Form Factors," on July 31, 2018, at 11:00 am EDT. Presented
by: Michael Ziehl, VP and GM for RF Power and Basestations, MACOM. Abstract: Deploying
5G networks requires breakthroughs in energy efficiency, superior quality of service
and increased subscriber coverage. To meet these stringent requirements, while delivering
a reliable solution at commercially viable cost structures, demands true innovation.
To date, discussions around 5G have been abundant, but limited information is available
on the technology advancements required to make ...
Numeric and to a lesser extent alphabetic displays
were complicated and therefore expensive prior to the introduction of LEDs.
Display component designers went to a lot of trouble to provide users
with easily recognizable characters that did not require difficult interpretation to
understand. No matter how competent you get at reading a binary number display, quickly
understanding a number large than about 32 (5 bits) requires a display consisting of
Arabic numerals (or whatever your usual numeral style is). For some reason I can read
Roman numbers up to 4999 almost as easily as Arabic numbers, which is most handy for
determining copyright years; e.g., 2018 is MMXVIII. But, I digress. Nixie tubes, which
have a stack of shaped ...
A new reference page on
has been added to RF Cafe. Values for many superconductive materials are pulled from
my copy of Reference Data for Radio Engineers, Sams Publishing. Use of superconducting
materials in electrical machinery and transmission lines would mean significant savings
in power generation requirements because all supplied power would be converted to useful
work. At this point in time there have been test cases of nitrogen-cooled superconducting
cables for commercial AC power transmission, but the cost benefit is negative. As of
2015, the highest temperature superconductor compound was mercury barium calcium copper
oxide (HgBa2Ca2Cu3O8) at around 133 K ...
Copper Mountain Technologies develops innovative
and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper
Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor
Vector Network Analyzers include an
RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows PC, laptop
or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. The result is a
lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the modern workspace in
lab, production, field and secure testing environments ...
"The Belgian research institute expects a prototype
in standard 28-nm technology to be ready by the end of 2018. At the recent IMS in Philadelphia,
Imec announced development of what it says is the world's first
CMOS 140-GHz radar-on-chip system with integrated antennas in standard
28-nm technology. 'With our prototype radar, we have demonstrated all critical specs
for radar technology in 28-nm standard CMOS technology,' said Wim Van Thillo, program
director at Imec. 'We are well advanced in incorporating multiple antenna paths in our
most recent generation solution, which will enable a fine angular resolution of 1.5 cm
in a complete MIMO radar ..."
At least 10 clues with an asterisk (*)
technology-themed crossword puzzle are pulled from this past week's (7/9 - 7/13)
"Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe homepage. For the sake of all the avid
cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle
using only words from my custom-created related list 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 Lamar or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy! ...
Robert Radford's (not to be confused with Robert
is a unique - and weird - sort of word puzzle that first appeared in the April 1966 issue
of Popular Electronics magazine. Some people were confused about the strategy,
believing that all the white spaces needed to be filled in. They do not. Just because
a letter might have an empty square adjacent to it does not imply that another letter
must fill it. You will probably want to print out the maze grid and find an old guy who
should still have a pencil stowed away somewhere you can borrow to use for filling in
the boxes ...
managers and interviewers take note: This free download titled "8 Tips from 350 Million
Job Posts" contains what the hiring data says about improving your next job ad. "Reaching
out to the right candidates but can't get them through the door? Using these 8 writing
tips will help you fill roles faster, with more qualified people. Check out the report
from Textio ..."
"A group of researchers and students at MIT have
developed an intelligent radar-like technology that makes it possible to
see through walls to track people as they move around, a development
that could prove useful for monitoring the elderly or sick as well as for other applications
- but that also raises privacy concerns. Tests show that the technology, known as RF-Pose,
can reveal whether someone is walking, sitting, standing or even waving - and can identify
individuals from a known group with a success rate of 83%. Its developers say it could
prove useful for law enforcement, search and rescue, and - perhaps most ..."
Werbel Microwave, a designer and manufacturer
of RF and microwave power couplers, dividers, terminations, and DAS equipment, introduces
a wide-band, "true" 3-way splitter/combiner that covers 2-18 GHz in a size measuring
4.46×246×0.38 inches. The unit ships with stainless steel SMA female connectors.
Features: Provides a "true" 3-way split over the continuous band, which saves about
1.2 dB insertion loss versus using a 4-way splitter with one output terminated.
When every tenth of a dB counts, look to Werbel Microwave ...
The ubiquitous presence and usage since the 1970s
of microwave ovens has made most people aware of the ability of
radio frequency (RF) energy to heat substances containing water. Both animate and
inanimate objects are included. In 1960, when this article was written, the effort had
really just begun to inform the general public about the potential hazards of RF energy
depending on its combination of wavelength (frequency) and power. The good news about
RF radiation versus beta radiation due to radioactive decay is that the former is not
potentially cancer-causing. The latter is termed "ionizing radiation" because it has
the ability to knock electrons off their attending atoms, and can cause cancer. Extremely
short electromagnetic (EM) wavelengths above the ultraviolet can also ionize atoms, but
that is well above the EM spectrum region considered to be RF ...
"Diamonds are prized for their purity, but their
flaws might hold the key to a new type of highly secure communications. Princeton University
researchers are using diamonds to help create a communication network that relies on
a property of subatomic particles known as their
quantum state. Researchers believe such quantum information networks
would be extremely secure and could also allow new quantum computers to work together
to complete problems that are currently unsolvable. But scientists currently designing
these networks face several challenges, including how to preserve fragile quantum information
over long distances. Now, researchers have arrived ..."
As one who has been dealing with using and
recharging batteries - both individual cells and wired packs - for about five decades,
I have used many varieties of chargers and battery chemistries. As you probably know,
there are two basic types of cells: primary and secondary. Based on their construction
and chemistry, the former are not designed to be recharged while the latter are. Primary
cells include zinc-carbon and standard alkaline. Secondary cells include nickel-cadmium
(NiCd), nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH), and lithium polymer (Li-Po). Rechargeable batteries
can have their discharge cycle reversed by running an externally supplied current through
the cell in the opposite direction. Of course there are optimal conditions by which that
current must be fed ...
A full-featured RF system cascade parameter
and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45.
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running
series, RF Cascade Workbook. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade
Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly
easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system
analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features ...
According to Wikipedia, The Navy's USS Compass
Island was one of two ships, the other being USS Observation Island, converted and classified
as navigational research test vessels under the Polaris Missile system budget. As reported
here, the newfangled
radio sextant tracks the position of the sun or moon to provide location accuracy
much better than the best traditional compass. Remember that in 1959 there was no satellite
navigation, and in the middle of the ocean land-based transmitters were useless as radio
bearing references. Inertial navigation systems could not hold their calibrations in
the harsh physical environment of stormy seas. This radio sextant system is fine as long
as the sun and/or moon is high enough in the sky to have antenna pointing access to one
In this article, author Kevin Murphy addresses
RF transmitter power not from a power amplifier (PA) optimization perspective but from
the standpoint of the DC power supply connection. Not all
battery compartment contacts are created equal, to paraphrase part
of the Declaration of Independence. A poor connection can significantly affect RF power
output. Says Mr. Murphy, "Consideration of peak power requirements via careful design
and battery selection can dramatically increase battery runtime and, ultimately, customer
satisfaction. Most electronic devices exhibit a pulsing behavior, where peak power is
much higher than standby power. This includes mobile ..."
"Folding and cutting thin metal films could enable
microchip-based 3-D optical devices.
Nanokirigami has taken off as a field of research in the last few
years; the approach is based on the ancient arts of origami (making 3-D shapes by folding
paper) and kirigami (which allows cutting as well as folding) but applied to flat materials
at the nanoscale, measured in billionths of a meter. Now, researchers at MIT and in China
have for the first time applied this approach to the creation of nanodevices to manipulate
light, potentially opening up new possibilities for research and, ultimately ..."
RCA Nuvistor was a godsend to hardline vacuum tube lovers who were steadfast members
of the Never Transistor movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It would hopefully
be the miracle invention to obviate the need for replacing tubes with transistors. Of
course everyone knew that vacuum tubes would forever be needed for medium and high power
applications. Solid state semiconductors could never replace cathode ray tubes (CRTs)
for displays or thyratrons for over-the-horizon and commercial broadcast transmitter
amplifiers, so why bother with transistors at all? OK, maybe the emotion wasn't that
severe, but if you read enough articles from vintage magazines of the tube-to-transistor
transition era, you will know that there was ...
a Californian company which designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous
surface vehicles, called
Saildrones, designed to monitor the ocean for months on end. The
hard wind design emerged from a decade-long pursuit of the land speed record – company
founder Richard Jenkins ultimately achieved 126.2mph in 2009, having started his Windjet
Project in 1999 while studying mechanical engineering at Imperial College. Using wind
power for propulsion, a Saildrone fleet travels at 3-5kts, with each drone collecting
high-resolution data either by holding station or following a survey pattern. The drones
sail autonomously ..."
You might know that America's first communications
satellite, Pioneer I, failed to obtain a proper orbit due to component failure.
However, according to author Jordan McQuay, "[The] first use of a satellite as a
radio relay station occurred accidentally during the one-day flight of Pioneer I
in October 1958. The electronics payload included a command receiver, which was supposed
to trigger a reverse rocket and thus propel the vehicle further into space. Although
the rocket failed to function on command, the command signals were instantaneously rebroadcast
by the data transmitter aboard the Pioneer I. These command signals were heard half-way
around the world!" That was two years before Echo I, a reflective sphere designed
to be a passive radio relay platform, was put into orbit in 1960 ...
Many Thanks to Anatech Electronics for Long-Time Support!
Anatech Electronics (AEI) manufactures and supplies
RF and microwave filters
for military and commercial communication systems, providing standard and custom RF filters,
and RF products. Standard RF filter and cable assembly products are published in our
website database for ease of procurement. Custom RF filters designs are used when a standard
cannot be found, or the requirements dictate a custom approach. Please visit Anatech
today to see how they can help your project succeed!
you are hiring a college grad or are a college grad looking to be hired, this could
provide some valuable insight into current day practices and expectations. "The college
recruiting game has changed. Today's innovative companies aren't just meeting students
on campus. They're making offers there. If you're not engaging students in the way they
expect before you get to campus, the top talent will be gone by the time you arrive.
In this Playbook, you'll learn how to: Identify and close the top graduate talent before
your competitors even arrive on campus, Cast a wider net and consider students from more
colleges than ever before ..."
"Elisa said it is already selling 5G subscriptions
for the recently launched service With the advent of a new generation of network technologies
come the inevitable battles over 'firsts' - and Finnish mobile telephony operator Elisa
has now claimed to be the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a
5G network, complete with subscription sales in Finland. Middle
East telecom group Ooredoo, however, claimed last month that it was the first with a
commercial 5G network, with a launch of what it claimed to be first the world's first
live 5G network ..."