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Homepage Archive - May 2018 (page 2)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page.

Homepage Archive Pages

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 of the May 2018 homepage archives.

Sunday 20

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines May 20, 2018At least 10 clues with an asterisk (*) in this technology-themed crossword puzzle are pulled from this past week's "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 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 ...

Friday 18

Bandwidth Efficiency Techniques Learned from Cave-Dwelling Fish

Bandwidth Efficiency Techniques Learned from Cave-Dwelling Fish - RF Cafe"A new light-based device, demonstrated recently by researchers, could mimic a fish's incredible Jamming Avoidance Response (JAR) ability. JAR is a behavior performed by some species of fish when their discharge frequencies are very similar, each fish will shift its discharge frequency to increase the difference between the two fish's discharge frequencies. By doing this, both fish prevent jamming of their sense of electroreception. Moving the frequency of an emitted signal away from other signals that could potentially cause interference can eventually help overcome the spectral bandwidth crunch caused by the ever increasing numbers ..."

Electronic Factor Quiz

Electronic Factor Quiz, November 1966 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRobert Balin created this Electronic Factor Quiz for the November 1966 edition of Popular Electronics magazine. Your challenge is to match the drawing of a particular electronics circuit or implement with the corresponding "factor." Examples are "current amplification factor," "damping factor," "modulation factor," "duty factor," "form factor," "quality factor," etc. There are ten in all. Of course on a quiz like this you cannot get just one answer wrong - or any odd number for that matter. I managed to reverse #5 and #10 (I and B, respectively). For some reason I couldn't remember what "form factor" was, but was sure that #10 was a scale factor of sorts... wrong - a clear case of cranial rectumitis ...

PIM in Mobile Broadband Networks - Measurement and Management

PIM in Mobile Broadband Networks - RF CafeNigel Chapman and Fiona Wilson, of the UK's AceAxis, have authored a short paper titled, "PIM in Mobile Broadband Networks - Measurement and Management." "Passive Intermodulation (PIM) is an unpleasant side effect of the successful deployments of mobile networks, and is a problem that is growing in impact as complexity increases with the deployment of 4G and - in the very near future - 5G networks. PIM has the potential to degrade the efficiency of a cell site, and this network degradation directly impacts the edge of cell performance and/or the throughput of the cell site. What is PIM? PIM is a form of intermodulation distortion that occurs in components that are normally thought of as linear ..."

Mysterious Wireless Band Fits IoT Apps

Mysterious Wireless Band Fits IoT Apps - RF Cafe"Some useful frequencies are elusive or simply unknown to many engineers, so it wouldn't hurt to take some time and dig through the FCC 'bible' of federal regulations. If your application is relatively simple, you have even more choices than you know. Studying the FCC rules and regulations 'bible,' the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 47 Parts 15, 18, 95 and others you can discover some interesting possibilities. Of late, I learned of one alternative that fits basic industrial needs and eliminates the complexity of complying with some of the more well-known standards. This may be of interest if you're designing wireless applications ..."

Thursday 17

Microtoroid Resonator Promises Reconfigurable On-Chip Light Routing

Microtoroid Resonator Promises Reconfigurable On-Chip Light Routing - RF Cafe"Researchers from AMOLF and the University of Texas have demonstrated a micrometer-sized optical circulator consisting of a silica microtoroid to which tapered optical fibers feed incoming light beams. In a paper titled 'Optical circulation in a multimode optomechanical resonator' published in Nature Communications, the researchers highlight that for the first time, an optical circulator was designed 'magnet-free,' relying on tiny mechanical vibrations imparted to a glass ring to directionally route light on an optical chip. 'Light propagation is symmetric in nature, which means if light can propagate from A to B, the reverse path is equally possible ..."

Comics: The Ham... As Seen by Walt Miller

Comics: The Ham... As Seen by Walt Miller, November 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis handful of Ham-related comics appeared in the November 1965 issue of Popular Electronics. One of them has an operator using "oboe" as the phonetic alphabet version of the letter "O." Having never seen that before, I did a search and learned that the British Forces in World War II uniquely used "oboe" for the letter "O." Maybe the artist, Walt Miller, was either a member of the British Forces or hung around (or served in the military) with someone that was. For that matter, using "able" for the letter "A" is also a British thing. This Silent English phonetic alphabet is interesting. I guarantee you'll appreciate the others as well, or double your money back ...

Many Thanks to Centric RF for Their Continued Support!

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power Centric RF components - RF Cafedividers, 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 ...

Sensitivity and PSRR Enhancement of RF Amplifiers

Sensitivity and PSRR Enhancement of RF Amplifiers - RF CafeMichael Hopkins, CurrentRF - RF CafeMichael Hopkins, founder of CurrentRF, published an article in High Frequency Electronics magazine titled, "Sensitivity and PSRR Enhancement of RF Amplifiers." Michael developed the RFDAC methodology and Current Reuse Mixer, and more recently, the PowerOptimizer and Silicon Supercapacitor methodologies and technologies. "Utilizing the Silicon Super Capacitor IP demonstrates a substantial improvement in analog and RF circuit sensitivity and signal cleanliness due to the additional effective capacitance the device and IP cell provide. With the increased effective capacitance per unit area with respect to standard DCAPs and the higher levels of noise immunity, increased amplifier sensitivity and spectral cleanliness can be achieved, and dynamic current flow from the supply minimized. The Silicon Super Capacitor IP ..."

Electronic Magic at the World's Fair

Electronic Magic at the World's Fair, July 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeMaybe it's just because black and white photos don't offer the visual stimulus of vivid color that we're used to seeing nowadays, but these images used to evoke a sense of awe and wonder at displays featured at the 1964 New York World's Fair don't quite hit the mark. Disney played a large role in the building of the displays. Audiovisual and robotic technology were the main themes of the event, and no doubt they were impressive at the time, although the recently posted video of Boston Dynamics' "Atlas" robot / humanoid running through a field puts General Electric's Progressland's "Grandpa" to shame. Each will give you a different kind of nightmare. Note Elon Musk's comment on "Atlas." Melanie and I went to Disney World / Epcot Center on our honeymoon in May of 1983 (it first opened in Fall of 1982), and saw what was billed as first walking, talking humanoids where Mark Twain ...

Transparent Curved Transistor Fabrication for Sensing and Imaging

Transparent Curved Transistor Fabrication Opens Door to Combined Sensing and Imaging - RF Cafe"Nanotechnologists at Oregon State University's College of engineering have developed a way of fabricating transparent transistors onto sharply curved surfaces, building on research to develop glucose sensors that can be wrapped around a tube. Although the research was originally directed towards diabetes treatments, and these may be an important application for the technique, it has potential for many other medical applications. The original research was intended to manufacture a catheter that could be inserted into the bloodstream of a diabetic patient to continuously measure glucose ..."

Wednesday 16

Noise Can Tell Much About Material

Noise Can Tell Much About Material - RF CafeJiri Polivka has an article in Microwaves & RF magazine that has a different type of topic - using noise to measure various properties of materials. Any time you can exploit an entity what would otherwise be considered wasteful and/or a nuisance it is a good thing. Says Jiri, "Noise can hide details, but it can also reveal them. If properly used, noise will tell a great deal about a device under test (DUT), including when a DUT is raw material. For example, the Microwave Noise Field (MNF) test method has the capability to test different objects that can move ..."

For How Long Will the USA Remain the Nobel Prize Leader?

For How Long Will the USA Remain the Nobel Prize Leader? - RF Cafe"Since first being awarded in 1901, most Nobel Prizes for science have gone to the U.S., the UK, Germany and France. An empirical study by Professor Claudius Gros from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt has now shown that the Nobel Prize productivity in these countries is primarily determined by two factors: a long-term success rate, and periods during which each country has been able to win an especially large number of Nobel Prizes. For the study, Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry and medicine were assigned proportionately, since up to three scientists can share ..."

Find the Hidden Electronics Components

Find the Hidden Electronics Components, July 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIf you like word puzzles, then maybe you'll want to give this word search with names of common electronics components hidden within a matrix of random letter a go. It appeared in a 1965 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Keep that in mind while searching for the Mystery Word. Enjoy ...

Assun Motor Added to Motors & Fans Vendor Page

Assun Motor Added to Motors & Fans Vendor Page - RF CafeAssun Motor has been added to my Motors & Fans vendor listing page. Assun Motor manufactures miniature motors and precision motion control technologies for performance-critical applications. Custom engineering services are also available. Planetary gearboxes, DC brushed coreless motors, DC brushless motors, and encoders comprise their main product line. Factories in Singapore and China ...

Thanks Once Again to Electro-Photonics for Long-Time Support

Electro-PhotonicsElectro-Photonics LLC is a global supplier of RF & Microwave components. Our products include SMT hybrid and directional couplers, wire bondable passive components, filters, and very useful test boards for evaluating components (spiral Electro-Photonics components - RF Cafeinductors, 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 their website and see how your project might benefit ...

Cloaking Devices — Not Just for 'Star Trek' Anymore

Cloaking Devices — Not Just for 'Star Trek' Anymore - RF Cafe"Cloaking devices play a pivotal role in many sci-fi television programs. Scientists are now working to take this technology from the dramatic realm of science fiction and make it real. Amanda D. Hanford, at Pennsylvania State University, is taking the introductory steps to make acoustic ground cloaks. These materials redirect approaching waves around an object without scattering the wave energy, concealing the object from the sound waves. Hanford will describe the physics behind an underwater acoustic shield designed in her lab. Hanford and her team set out to engineer ..."

Tuesday 15

Sonic Booms, Fallout, Satellites, and the Moon

Sonic Booms, Fallout, Satellites, and the Moon (Kirt's Cogitation #303) - RF CafeThe Old Farmer's Almanac (OFA) has been on my annual need-to-buy list for as long as I can remember. It is chock full of useful data for sunrise and sunset times*, high and low tide times, crop planting days, first and last frost days, and significant astronomical events. There are stories of interest on topics ranging from canning your garden's harvest to how to view a solar eclipse. - often from noted authors, but also from lay people. I also enjoy the monthly "on this day" type tidbits and the homey short story relating to the time of year. After 225 years of continuous publication, it still features the hole in the upper left corner to facilitate handily hanging it on the wall of your shed -- or outhouse. I gave a 1961 edition of the Old Farmer's Almanac found on eBay to Melanie as a birthday present this year ...

'6G': DARPA Enlists U.S. Engineering Schools for Smart Road

'6G': DARPA Enlists U.S. Engineering Schools for Smart Road - RF Cafe"DARPA, industry fund research into high-gigahertz and terahertz spectrum for '6G' smart road. The industry is just getting started with 5G, but New York University's Tandon School of Engineering - home of NYU Wireless and the Brooklyn 5G Summit - is joining in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's research on potential technologies for technology beyond 5G. The school now supports the DARPA-sponsored Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP) ..." p.s. Here is the first known news article on 6G.

How Ohms Law is Used in Service Work

How Ohms Law is Used in Service Work, June-July 1958 National Radio-TV News - RF CafeMany people end on RF cafe as a result of a Google (or other) search about electronics, so even though regular visitors might find this primer on Ohm's law to be redundant review, it will be valuable to the aforementioned people. Electronics technology has moved forward at lightning speed in the last century, but the fundamentals of Ohm's law remain unchanged. Indeed, we would be in trouble if voltage no longer equaled the product of current and voltage (E = I x R). National Radio-TV News magazine was published monthly by National Radio Institute, a correspondence school that did business from 1914 through 2002. A bonus electronics-themed comic is included ...

Making Measurements That Keep EVs and HEVs on the Road

Axiom Test Equipment Blog: Making Measurements That Keep EVs and HEVs on the Road - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment recently posted a new blog entry titled, "Making Measurements That Keep EVs and HEVs on the Road." Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gaining in popularity; seemingly as they gain in the range of each battery charge. Both EVs and HEVs rely on high-voltage batteries and an electric motor; in addition, an HEV is aided by a gasoline engine with its own fuel supply. Both types of vehicles still employ lower-voltage batteries and electrical systems for lights, radios, electric windows, and other voltage-driven functions. Of course, among the key functions in an EV or HEV is charging the high-voltage ...

Many Thanks to MECA Electronics for Their Long-Time Support!

MECA ElectronicsSince 1961, MECA Electronics manufactures an extensive line of RF & microwave components for in-building, satellite, radar, radio, telemetry, mobile radio, aviation & ATC. Attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators & circulators, power MECA Electronics V-Line componentsdividers & combiners, loads, DC blocks, bias-Ts and adapters & cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone' of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks. Please visit MECA today to learn how they can help with your projects ...

Utilities to FCC: Don't Mess with Our Spectrum

Utilities to FCC: Don't Mess with Our Spectrum - RF Cafe"A trade group representing hundreds of U.S. utility companies is urging federal agencies to make sure that power and electricity providers retain control of interference-free spectrum so they can continue to operate their own private wireless networks. And, importantly, the Utilities Technology Council noted that part of the reason utilities need their own licensed spectrum is because “utilities have built out and maintained their own ICT networks, rather than outsourcing service from commercial telecommunications carriers. Utilities require high levels of reliability that traditional ..."

Monday 14

DoCoMo Claims 5G 1st in Field Trial of 28 GHz and Ultra-High Mobility

DoCoMo Claims 5G 1st in Field Trial Involving 28 GHz and Ultra-High Mobility - RF Cafe"Continuing with the theme of 5G and 'firsts,' NTT DoCoMo says it has achieved what is believed to be the world's first successful 28 GHz wireless data transmission between a 5G base station and a 5G mobile station in 5G field trials using a car moving at 305 km/h, or about 189 mph. The speeds in the field trials are designed to be similar to speeds of high-speed railways, so it’s understandable the operator wants to make sure it works, including handoffs, at these kinds of speeds. Working with NEC and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) ..."

Experiments with a Chemical Rectifier

Experiments with a Chemical Rectifier, January 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis exercise would make a good laboratory experiment for high school or junior college electronics courses. The required components are still readily available - Borax is in the cleaners aisle of the grocery store. In the days before vacuum tubes, when scientists had a need to rectify alternating current power supplies they used chemical devices similar to the one described here. Ironically, this chemical rectifier is a form of semiconductor diode; albeit in a liquid state rather than in the eventual solid state. Note that the rectifier symbol in the schematic is actually the chemical device created in the first step - not a vacuum tube as it might appear to be ...

The Crisis of Academic Publication Claims Reproducibility

The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science: Causes, Consequences, and the Road to Reform - RF CafeMessrs. David Randall and Christopher Welser of the National Association of Scholars recently created a paper titled, "The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science: Causes, Consequences, and the Road to Reform." It addresses what has become an epidemic in publishing scholarly papers making claims that cannot be reproduced by other qualified researchers (Fake Dissertations). Men can now legally occupy bathroom stalls next to little girls simply by identifying as female, so it comes as no surprise. Truth is now subjective rather than objective. "A reproducibility crisis afflicts a wide range of scientific and social-scientific disciplines, from epidemiology to social psychology. Improper use of statistics, arbitrary research techniques, lack of accountability... and a scientific culture biased toward producing positive result ..."

Owner of Independent Distributor Charged for Counterfeit IC Scheme

Owner of Independent Distributor Charged for Counterfeit Chips Scheme - RF Cafe"PRB Logics Corporation, an independent distributor of obsolete components and excess inventory, is a minnow in the electronics supply chain. But the owner of the company, which is based in Costa Mesa, California, has been arrested for perpetuating a big problem. Rogelio Vasquez, also known as his alias James Harrison, was recently arrested and charged with bootlegging counterfeit chips, some of the which could have been used in military applications, federal customs officials said. His company allegedly sold the components as new ..."

Sunday 13

RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle May 13

RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle May 13, 2018Each 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! ...

Friday 11

Implausible Remarks, December 1966 Popular Electronics

Implausible Remarks, December 1966 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is installment #3 of the four sets of reader submissions of inane remarks (ostensibly) uttered by electronics-challenged nincompoops. One of the funniest - and even believable - is about 300-ohm twin lead antenna wire flattening out the picture with color television. If you have funny anecdotes you would like to have published, send them to me and I'll be glad to add a few seconds to your lifetime allotment of 15 minutes of fame ...

Triad RF Systems Intros a 5300 to 5900 MHz, 5 W, BDA

TTRM1105 ‐ 5300 to 5900 MHz, 5 W, Bi-Directional Amplifier - RF CafeTriad RF Systems has released the TTRM1105, a compact and lightweight bi-directional amplifier that operates in the lower C-band from 5300 to 5900 MHz and offers up to 5 W of output power. The TTRM1105 also features new proprietary high speed Tx/Rx switching circuitry, as well as improved Rx Noise Figure, leading to higher data rates at longer link distances. This unit also has a wide voltage input range of 10 to 28 VDC making system integration less of a hassle. This class A GaAs module is designed for both military ...

All on Quarter-Inch Mylar

All on Quarter-Inch Mylar, December 1966 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere for your enjoyment at the end of another week are three more vintage electronics-themed comics - this time from a 1966 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. The "quarter-inch Mylar" referenced in the title is recorder tape used in the very popular machines of the day. Not only were serious" music aficionados huge proponents of the medium, but so were the many recreational users. There was a sort of mystique involved with being able to record and instantly play back even normal conversations - sort of like with videos these days, except there is no mystique anymore because most users couldn't care less about the technology which enables their proclivities ...

IEEE ComSoc: mmWave and Prototyping

IEEE ComSoc: mmWave and Prototyping - RF CafeThis pre-recorded "mmWave and Prototyping" webinar is currently available for downloading. Featured papers include "Users with Incumbent Fixed Stations over 70 and 80 GHz," "5G mmWave Positioning for Vehicular Networks," and " Field Experimental Evaluation of Beamtracking and Latency Performance for 5G mmWave Radio Access in Outdoor Mobile Environment." Sponsored by National Instruments ...

Please Welcome Rhode & Schwarz as an Advertiser!

Rohde & Schwarz (Test Equipment) - RF cafePlease welcome Rohde & Schwarz as an RF Cafe sponsor. Rohde & Schwarz is one of the world's leading manufacturers of information and communications technology products for professional users. R&S began business with a focus on RF engineering and RF applications in test and measurement, radio communications and broadcasting. They are now introducing the RTM3000 and RTA4000 oscilloscopes. Please visit Rohde & Schwarz today to see how they can assist you ...

ZTE Announces Its Major Operating Activities Have Ceased

ZTE Announces Its Major Operating Activities Have Ceased - RF Cafe"The impact of the U.S. denial order preventing ZTE from doing business with any U.S. companies has been made brutally clear in a ZTE investor filing. 'As disclosed in the announcement of the Company dated 20 April 2018, BIS has issued an order for the activation of a denial order,' said the filing. As a result of the Denial Order, the major operating activities of the Company have ceased. As of now, the Company maintains sufficient cash and strictly adheres to its commercial obligations subject to compliance with laws and regulations. The Company and ..."


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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster
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    Kirt Blattenberger,

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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