I like the opening line to this 1965 article on
using silicon diodes, "You can stack' em up to get all the power supply voltage you need,
but you have to know how to dress 'em up." The basic rules of solid state diode implementation
have not changed much since they first began gaining widespread usage. Observing peak
inverse voltage (PIV), forward and leakage current, and power dissipation rating limits
were and still are the primary concerns for diodes. Moving to higher frequencies, particularly
in communications applications, requires attention to junction capacitance, self-generated
noise, and forward and reverse recovery times. Physical size and ruggedness, temperature
and humidity, and even shielding from cosmic rays can also need careful consideration ...
Coast's premier space event returns to California for three days of knowledge sharing
and networking alongside the largest supply chain exhibition of its kind, May 22 - 24,
2018. With capabilities ranging from cryogenics, laser systems, materials, nanotechnology,
imaging, environmental test, motion simulation, magnetics, capacitors, spacewire, NDT
and connectors through electroforming, engineering services, precision machining, 3D
printers, ground systems, mission management and reconnaissance satellites,
Space Tech Expo 2018 will
bring a multitude of networking opportunities ..."
An ad for a self-paced course titled, "Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp" appeared on the Interesting Engineering
website. It is on sale for $35 (normally $249). Claims the presenters: "Manipulate data
like a pro with 4 courses (69 hours of content!) for the business-minded." I would say
it applies to the science- and engineering-minded as well. Although you won't need such
skills to use sophisticated spreadsheets like RF Cafe's
Wireless System Designer, it will help you to be capable of creating such sophistication ...
group of scientists from the U.S., Singapore, and China have discovered a candidate material
with potential to extend the limits of
Moore's Law. The research team, which worked primarily in Berkeley
Lab's Molecular Foundry in association with the Department of Energy, has found a new
way to add more computing power to microchips. Moore's Law is a constant companion to
those working in microchip manufacturing. Simply put, Moore's Law states that the number
of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits will double every year. This has ..."
Tune in on May 22 at 1:00 pm EDT to Rohde &
Introduction to RF Receiver Design and learn everything you need
to know to get started designing RF receivers. During this one-hour interactive session,
you will learn RF Basics: Communications systems & where receivers fit in, free space
path loss equations, What is modulation and why use it?, How to design an RF receiver,
Time domain RF modulation, Input noise, Noise floor, Noise in a bandwidth, Noise figure,
Mixer spurious signal, Cascaded analysis & more ...
Credit for being the first to accomplish any notable
feat, whether in sports, medicine, science, aviation, etc., is constantly being challenged.
Some contestations are worthy of consideration based on documented facts, while others
can be readily dismissed as crockery. Gustave Whitehead, per anti-Wright Brothers zealots,
made the first powered airplane flight. The Vikings landed in America centuries prior
to Columbus - supposedly. Many stories have been written claiming that Dr. Mahlon Loomis,
a dentist, beat Guglielmo Marconi in the wireless communications race by using a system
of kites that took on a charge from overhead clouds. A keying device opened and closed
a conductive path to ground for effecting the Morse code ...
Demystifying Radio Frequency Interference: Causes
and Techniques for Reduction, by Donald J. Arndt, explores common sources of interference,
how to correctly identify the source, and how to reduce or eliminate such interference.
A solid knowledge of the causes of RF interference and techniques for mitigation is vital
for RF & wireless professionals. WiFi and WiMax interference limitation techniques
are highlighted along with cutting-edge technical approaches to interference reduction.
Discusses how to negotiate with other users to achieve mutual and reciprocal reductions
in levels of interference ...
Antonio Negrini, of
SDI Fabsurplus.com, wrote asking
to have SDI added to my Used Equipment vendors page. SDI, located in Boerne, TX, was established
in 1998, and has now built up an international buyer / seller network of sales agents
and offices. Our technical focus is semiconductor FAB front-end, particularly wafer and
reticle QC, photolithography, coating, developing and deposition equipment. Properly
and efficiently purchase, use and re-use semiconductor manufacturing equipment, flat
panel display manufacturing equipment and solar cell and module manufacturing equipment ...
"Three companies have received positions on a
six-year, $24M contract to study techniques and technologies for the Air Force to improve
the branch's two-way time
frequency transfer systems. Rockwell Collins, Microsemi Frequency
and Time Corp., and Raytheon's BBN Technologies business will share in the Joint Multi-INT
Precision Reference program. They were the lone bidders for the contract run by the Air
Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Department said in its Tuesday contracts digest.
JMPR participants will focus on accuracy ..."
"Facebook may soon join SpaceX and OneWeb in the
rush to deliver Internet from orbit. A filing with the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) last week revealed details of a multi-million dollar
experimental satellite from a stealthy company called PointView Tech
LLC. The satellite, named Athena, will deliver data 10 times faster than SpaceX's Starlink
Internet satellites, the first of which launched in February. However, PointView appears
to exist only on paper. In fact, the tiny company seems to be a new subsidiary of Facebook,
formed last year to keep secret the social media giant's ..."
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, and industrial
applications up to 40 GHz. Anatech has introduced two new filter designs: a 1159.5
MHz cavity bandpass filter with N-type connectors, a 9100 MHz cavity bandpass filter
with SMA connectors, and also a 7/16 DIN coaxial connector with male clamp, Teflon insulation,
silver pin, nickel plated body ...
Although not entirely necessary to enjoy this
story, it occurs to me that many people reading it might not know how to compare the
size of a "man cookie" to a 45 rpm record - or for that matter even know what a
record is (other than a unit of database storage). A 45 rpm record (single) is 7 inches
in diameter, as opposed to a 33-1/3 rpm (LP 'long playing' album) which is 12 inches.
Now you can get past the opening paragraph and glean the advice offered by electronic
repair shop owner Mac McGregor regarding seeking out
repair services. It applies to automobiles as well as electronics. The really interesting
point I found, however, was his quoting of a 1970 statistic claiming that by 1980 the
U.S. would employ more service employees than manufacturing ...
Centric RF is a company offering from stock various
RF and Microwave coaxial
components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power
dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable
cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts. Order today,
ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please
visit Centric RF today ...
"Researchers have successfully
3D-printed electronics directly onto human skin using a technique
that paves the way for novel applications - not only in wearable electronic technology
but also in medicine. A team from the University of Minnesota printed electronics on
a person's hand for the first time using a portable, low-cost printer that they customized
for this purpose, they said. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed
a technique to print electronics directly onto human skin. One of the key innovations
of the technique is that the printer uses computer vision to track and ...
Coilcraft introduces a line of the industry's highest
"Q" surface mount inductors
in the 0402DC (1005) package size. Features include • Exceptionally high Q - up
to 160 at 2.4 GHz! • 26 standard inductance values from 3.0 to 120 nH •
73 additional values available upon request, including 0.1 increments from 2.8 nH
to 10 nH • Wirewound construction for extremely high self resonance - up to
16 GHz. Free samples available ...
This article in a 1966 issue of Popular Electronics
presents a surprising and almost counterintuitive result when measuring the radiation
pattern of a CB-type antenna mounted at various points on a car. If you were asked to
make a rough sketch of the
radiation pattern when the antenna is mounted in the center of the roof, center of
the trunk, and on each of the front and rear and left and right fenders, would yours
look like those in the article (assuming an all-metal car)? Today, there are many electromagnetic
radiation pattern simulators available to help predict antenna performance in just about ...
KP Performance Antennas, a manufacturer of wireless internet service
provider (WISP) antennas, appoints two industry veterans, Michael Inverso and Mike Hoprich,
to lead the company's sales initiatives throughout North America and abroad. Mr. Michael
(Mike) Inverso joins KP as the new Director of Sales. Mike brings over 20 years of experience
in the RF/Microwave communications industry and the global WISP market. His experience
"Cheap, flexible and sustainable
plastic semiconductors will soon be a reality thanks to a breakthrough
by chemists at the University of Waterloo. Professor Derek Schipper and his team at Waterloo
have developed a way to make conjugated polymers, plastics that conduct electricity like
metals, using a simple dehydration reaction the only byproduct of which is water. 'Nature
has been using this reaction for billions of years and industry more than a hundred,'
said Schipper, a professor of Chemistry ..."
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 Lamar or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy! ...
Mssr. Jose Garcia and Miroslav Karas, of Mini-Circuits,
recently published an article in High Frequency Electronics magazine titled,
"Affordable Solutions for Testing 28 GHz 5G Devices with Your 6 GHz Lab
Instrumentation." Mini-Circuits doesn't make test equipment (yet), but they do make
many of the ancillary components - couplers, attenuators, mixers, power splitters, etc.
- used during testing. You need to test the components themselves prior to including
them in a test setup for a DUT (Device Under Test) in order to ascertain that the test
system is not introducing errors ...
Fridays are good days for Carl and Jerry stories,
Mac's Electronics Service Shop sagas, Hobnobbing with Harbaugh, electronics-themed comics,
electronics quizzes, and other forms of nerd entertainment. Here is another of Robert P.
Balin's great challenges titled, "Diagram
Quiz." Most RF Cafe visitors will easily identify eight or nine of the ten diagrams.
Relatively few will be familiar with the Rieke diagram. The Biasing diagram is a bit
misnamed IMHO, and could cause confusion. Bon chance ...
Wow, I can't believe it's been January since I
rounded up engineering career advice stories - for both job seekers and job providers.
Anyone who reads the news knows that the entry of Millennials into the workforce is providing
a whole new challenge due to unique expectations and habits. Adjectives like "awesome"
and verbized words like "onboarding" are required to communicate effectively in Millennialeze[sic].
The second story is related, but the others apply to the rest of us ;-) ...
8 Tips for Awesome Onboarding of Millennials
A Guide to Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace
Skills Employers Look for in College Graduates <more>
Gowanda Electronics, a designer and manufacturer
of precision electronic components for broadband RF and power applications, announces
the introduction of several high performance RF surface mount inductor series. Recent advancements in design technology
and manufacturing capability delivers significant improvement – nearly 2x or more – in
SRF and current ratings for these new inductors as compared to traditional molded designs
with equivalent inductance. The first six series will be featured at the 2018 IMS show
being held ...
"A team of astronomers and engineers have developed
a new and improved version of an unconventional radio-astronomy imaging system known
Phased Array Feed (PAF), to accelerate the pace of discovery and
exploration of the cosmos. This remarkable instrument can survey vast swaths of the sky
and generate multiple views of astronomical objects with unparalleled efficiency. Looking
nothing like a camera or other traditional imaging technologies ..."
physicists have uncovered hints of a time crystal—a form of matter that "ticks" when
exposed to an electromagnetic pulse—in the last place they expected: a crystal you might
find in a child's toy. The discovery means there are now new puzzles to solve, in terms
of how time crystals form in the first place. Ordinary crystals such as
salt or quartz are examples of three-dimensional, ordered spatial crystals. Their atoms
are arranged in a repeating system, something scientists have known for a ..."
IEEE ComSoc (Communications Society) has just
made available a free on-demand tutorial titled, "5G and Beyond Wireless Networks: Emerging Concepts and Technologies."
Since the development of 4G LTE standards around 2010, the research communities both
in academia and industry have been brainstorming to predict the use cases and scenarios
around 2020, to determine the corresponding technical requirements, and to develop the
enabling technologies, protocols, and network architectures towards the next-generation ...
According to this 1972 article in Popular
Electronics, there were as many as 50,000 computers in the world at the time using
magnetic core memories. Among them was the Apollo Guidance Computer that was onboard
the Apollo 11 Lunar Module that Neil Armstrong used in July 1969 to land on the
moon*. Semiconductor memories were being manufactured in 1972, but believe it or not
they were not as fast as the magnetic core memories. Machinery was not available with
enough precision and repeatability to thread the read, write, sense, and inhibit wires ...
NuWaves Engineering, a veteran-owned small business
providing advanced radio frequency (RF) and microwave solutions, announced today that
the company has been selected for a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I
award for the
INnovative TowEd aRray Cable mOdeM (INTERCOM). The 6-month Phase
I project will involve research and development activities needed to set the design requirements
for a miniature high-bandwidth communications module that will be fully developed and
delivered to the U.S. Navy during Phase II ..."
"Wi-Fi and cellular data traffic are increasing
exponentially but, unless the capacity of wireless links can be increased, all that traffic
is bound to lead to unacceptable bottlenecks. Upcoming 5G networks are a temporary fix
but not a long-term solution. For a long-term solution, researchers are exploring
terahertz frequencies, the submillimeter wavelengths of the electromagnetic
spectrum. Data traveling at terahertz frequencies could move hundreds of times faster
than what we have today ..."
millimeter-wave radar expands into the mid-range automotive market,
developers are now looking at high-resolution radar for short-range and autonomous-car
applications. With more than 1 million annual road fatalities worldwide, safety has become
a key focus for the whole automotive industry. In Europe, the New Car Assessment Program
(NCAP) is encouraging OEMs to adopt advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in all
new cars by implementing stringent safety requirements. Many applications ..."
Innovative Power Products (IPP) has over 30 years
of experience designing & manufacturing RF &
microwave passive components. Their high power, broadband
couplers, combiners, resistors,
baluns, terminations and attenuators are fabricated using the latest materials and
design tools available, resulting in unrivaled product performance. Take a couple minutes
to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today ...
As far back as 1966 electronics hobbyists knew
that silicon bathtub caulk was an excellent flexible insulator for electronics. It originally
went by the name "Silastic,"
which is a portmanteau of "silicone" and "plastic," and is a type of RTV (room temperature
vulcanizing) compound. It has a typical voltage withstanding of over 400 V/mil,
or 400 kV/inch, which is why it is used extensively on high voltage connections.
Dow Corning, its inventor, still sells various compounds of Silastic both as an insulator
and as a molding compound. I used it at Westinghouse Electric in the 1980's to seal metal
molds for overmolding towed sonar transducer arrays ...
Axiom Test Equipment is offering Great Deals on
DC power supplies. Major brand names (Keysight, Keithley, Magna-Power, Tektronix) available
for purchase and/or rent.
See our specials for May. Contact account manager Josh Shilts at (760) 806−6600
for a quick rental or sales quote!
San Francisco Circuits announces new
fine-pitch PCB assembly capabilities and services for high density
applications. "Fine pitch" circuits can be defined as circuit boards with a significantly
high number of components per square inch. That is, the components are extremely close
together and the board's design rules are pushing the limits of PCB fabrication tolerances.
These can also be referred to as "high-density PCB assembly." The launch of these capabilities
was in response to increased demand for fine-pitch PCBA at high volume production and
"In what has practically turned into an annual
sign of spring, IBM rained layoff notices down on its tech workforce in late March and
again in April. According to waves of anecdotal reports posted online at TheLayoff.com
and Watching IBM, workers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands
were hit starting March 29 with 90 days' notice. This time, it wasn't just workers over
50 years old who were targeted (though the bulk of reports did seem to come from people
in that age group); many in their 40s reported getting notices as well. And a few relatively
new hires indicated ..."
Atmospheric attenuation in the mm-wave realm (up
to 300 GHz) is significant, and transmitter power is expensive compared to current cellular
spectrum in the hundreds of MHz and single-digit GHz realms. Ever-increasing bandwidth
demands by an ever-increasing number of data consumers is forcing the move to high frequencies.
Mr. Jack Brown, of Microwaves & RF magazine, addresses other issues
in his article titled, "What Role Will Millimeter Waves Play in 5G Wireless Systems?"
Carleton Phillips was not minimizing his predecessors
when he wrote this 1966 Popular Electronics article marveling at the accomplishments
Nineties" (1890's) in spite of their relatively crude resources. Seven decades had
passed since then. A similar article could be written today, five decades hence, about
today's knowledge and technology compared to that of the mid 1960's. For instance, DNA
had not yet been sequenced, 3D printing did not exist, Al Gore had not invented
the Internet, MRI machines were not available, there were no cellphones, PC's were only
a dream, booster rockets could not land self-powered for re-use, TV's used CRT's ...
"Announced at the Berlin Air Show, the GESTRA
and TIRA surveillance radar systems respectively scan large areas of space
to detect objects and debris in low earth orbit, and produce detailed images of individual
objects and measure their trajectories. The two radar systems are part of a suite of
technologies unveiled at the airshow. These are intended to counter the growing problem
of "space junk": defunct satellites, fragments of discarded launch equipment such as
fairings and launch stages, and fragments of micro-meteorites that orbit in a cloud around
the earth at an altitude ..."
Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) recently introduced four new products
in their extensive line of RF and microwave components. Included are an 8-way power divider
for 0.5 to 2 GHz, a SP4T solid state absorptive switch for 10 to 40 GHz, a
SP2T solid state reflective switch for 3 to 3.5 GHz, and a SP2T solid state reflective
switch for 0.5 to 8 GHz. Contact PMI today for ...
"From time to time I have seen Internet videos
of seemingly impossible gymnastic performances. Sometimes the links to these videos have
been accompanied by a comment by the poster to the effect of 'I could do this if I wanted,
but I choose not to.' This brings a little smile to my face, but I've been thinking lately
that I've been telling myself something similar when I see some of today's technical
literature. The scope of
electrical engineering has been growing continuously through the
years, but so too has the depth of complexity ..."