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Homepage Archive - April 2019 (page 1)

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. About RF Cafe.

Homepage Archive Pages

2019:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2018:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2017:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2016:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2015:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec


See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the April 2019 homepage archives.
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Friday 5

Beware the GPS Date Rollover on April 6th

Beware the GPS Date Rollover on April 6th - RF CafeIt's not as bad as theY2K disaster predictions were, but if you are a user of GPS services, you should know that the April 2019 Global Positioning System (GPS) Week Number Rollover is upon us. "On April 6, 2019, there will be an event affecting the electric transmission and distribution system that has industry concerned about the potential for a major disruption. During the Week Number rollover of the Global Positioning System, the week number that uses the 10-bit binary system will reach its limit of 1,024 weeks and will be forced to roll over and be reset to week 0. The initial week 0 started on January 6, 1980, and the first week rollover occurred on August 21, 1999. However, a lot has changed on the electric grid since the last rollover such as the addition of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) ..."

Custom MMIC 2019 Selection Guide Available

Custom MMIC 2019 Selection Guide - RF CafeCustom MMIC has just introduced a new brochure that outlines its product offering. They now have more that 160 high performance standard MMIC devices including amplifiers, attenuators, mixers, multipliers, and phase shifters, switches. In business since 2006, Custom MMIC's customers include government and top-tier commercial and defense industry corporations in the communications world. Aerospace and space-qualified devices are our areas of specialty. Please visit the Custom MMIC website today for more information and to download our new brochure.

Training Civilians for Wartime Radio Operating

Training Civilians for Wartime Radio Operating, September 1942 QST - RF CafeThere was a time when a sense of national pride accompanied an ingrained a desire to perform a civic duty, particularly when crisis or war was upon the country. Unlike today's environment of "rights" and entitlements promised by politicians without any authority in the Constitution, people volunteered to assist neighbors and friends for the good of not just their immediate neighborhoods, but of their country. Rationing was imposed on many goods by the government for the sake of the war effort, but most folks were more than willing to comply since nearly everyone had a son, father, uncle, or good buddy serving to defeat the Axis powers. Recall the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life," where George Bailey and family served as volunteers for the Red Cross, bottle and tire drives, and Civil Defense block wardens, while younger brother Harry flew bombers ...

Hank Morgan's Buried Lines Found?

Check out this quotation: "In some cases, the copper has been in the ground for hundreds of years." That came from a communications company leader in a speech rationalizing the need to totally replace copper cables with fiber based on the high cost of maintenance of the latter. If he is referring to the copper ore having been in the ground for hundreds (even millions) of years, then OK, but a news story I found about burying telephone wires suggests the late 1880s in parts of NY City marks the first instance. A.G. Bell didn't even patent his telephone until 1876. I'll buy "a" hundred years, but not "hundreds" of years - that is unless you count the lines buried by Hank Morgan in the 6th century as documented in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Top U.S. Engineering Schools for 2019

Top U.S. Engineering Schools for 2019 - RF CafeThe Niche website has published its list of the 2019 Best Colleges for Engineering Methodology. Ranking factors include: Overall Niche Grade, which incorporates statistics and student surveys regarding all aspects of the student experience, such as academics, value, professors, diversity, local area, campus quality, safety and student life. Composite SAT/ACT scores of students majoring in Engineering at the school. Scores are self-reported by students on Niche.com. Total expenditures dedicated to Engineering research per full-time undergraduate student majoring in the field. Percent of total annual Engineering graduates nationally that come from this program ...

Innovative Power Products: RF & Microwave Passive Components

Innovative Power ProductsInnovative 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. Applications in military, medical, industrial and commercial markets. Take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today ...

Thursday 4

TV X-Rays (Again)

TV X-Rays, April 1970 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeHere is the promised follow-up on yesterday's article, "TV X-Rays Are Back," from June 1969 issue of Radio-Electronics. This x-ray emission issue, whether legitimately a serious health problem or not, was a big deal and was hyped up by the news media the way cellphones causing brain cancer and laptop computers sterilizing men is done today. For a while it measurably affected the volume of color television sales. X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation (unlike microwaves which are not) and can thereby cause cancer by rearranging atoms and molecules. At the root of the problem was the extremely high acceleration voltage (HV) and beam current being used in the cathode ray tube (CRT). Potentials in excess of 25 kV generated the most harmful level of x-rays, so manufacturers redesigned sets to use lower voltages, and also incorporated ...

When Temperature and Humidity Are Under Control

When Temperature and Humidity Are Under Control - RF CafeThe good folks at Axiom Test Equipment have just posted a new app note titled "When Temperature and Humidity Are Under Control." It begins: "Environmental conditions can vary widely from place to place and season-to-season, often making it necessary to evaluate electronic products while temperature and humidity are well controlled. Testing a device under test (DUT) or equipment under test (EUT) under adverse environmental conditions can often reveal problems in a design and help discover ways to improve a design meant for use over temperature and humidity extremes. An essential tool for performing such testing is an environmental chamber capable of accurately controlling temperature and humidity ...

"The Wrecking Crew" - Who Knew?

The Wrecking Crew - RF CafeAdmittedly, the relevance of this post is a stretch, but it is related to vintage "wireless," aka "radio," as opposed to being able to listen to stations on the Internet (wired, at some point). Known to very few aficionados of 1960s through early 1980s pop / rock music is that an ensemble of über musicians called "The Wrecking Crew" provided the instrumental tracks for a huge number of artists (called singers and bands back in the day). Even though the bands played their own instruments in live performances, recording studio renditions often used "The Wrecking Crew." Melanie and I, both being products of the 60s and 70s era of music, enjoyed the story told on this documentary produced by one member's son. You'll be amazed at the bands they worked for, including the Beach Boys, Sony & Cher, Ricky Nelson, the Monkees, the Byrds, etc. Our copy came from the local library, but it costs <$10 on Amazon ...

Many Thanks to ERZIA for Continued Support!

Many Thanks to ERZIA for Continued Support!RF 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 ...

Understanding the "Black Art" of RF and Microwave Switching

Understanding the "Black Art" of RF and Microwave Switching - RF CafeBob Stasonis, Technical Product Specialist at Pickering Interfaces and President of the PXI Systems Alliance, has an article on the Aerospace & Defense Technology website titled, "Understanding the 'Black Art' of RF and Microwave Switching" that addresses switching requirements for - you guessed it - 5G systems (about which the majority of articles seem to be written these days). Writes, Bob: "Understanding RF, especially microwave switching, can be a challenge. In many cases, test systems have been compromised because a test engineer did not consider all the components of their test system: instruments, switching, cabling, Mass Interconnect (test fixture interface), fixture design, and so on. Each component has its own set of characteristics. With RF and microwave components ..."

Graphene Sops up Sunlight, Heats to 160°C in Seconds

Graphene Device Sops up Sunlight, Heats to 160°C in Seconds - RF Cafe"Researchers from three Australian universities have collaborated to develop a light-absorbing device using a new graphene-based film that can absorb unpolarized incident light striking it over a wide range of angles up to 60°. The 90-nm ultra-thin metamaterial can rapidly heat up to as high as 1600°C under sunlight in an open environment. The researchers believe the characteristics of this new class of optical material make it suitable for a wide variety of uses, including desalination of seawater, color displays, photodetectors, and optical components for communication devices. 'Graphene has unique properties ..."

Bittele Electronics: PCB Fabrication & Assembly

Bittele Electronics PCB Fabrication - RF CafeSince 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly services. It specializes in board level turnkey PCB assembly for design engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit boards. Free Passive Components: Bittele Electronics is taking one further step in its commitment of offering the best service to clients of its PCB assembly business. Bittele is now offering common passive components to its clients FREE of Charge ...

Wednesday 3

Please Welcome Withwave as RF Cafe's Newest Advertiser !

Withwave RF & Microwave Components - RF CafeWithwave manufactures an extensive line of metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch, board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a fully automated vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors, attenuators, terminations, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner. Frequency ranges from DC through 20 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they can help your project succeed.

TV X-Rays Are Back

TV X-Rays Are Back, June 1969 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeColor television was a big hit with homeowners and was adopted fairly rapidly in the 1960s even considering the relatively high cost and low number of network color broadcasts in the beginning years. The enthusiasm underwent a severe reduction when word got out that large doses of x−rays were streaming out of the front of the CRT for sets that did not take precautions to prevent it (which was the majority of sets initially). The major cause was extremely high voltages applied between the electron gun and phosphorescent raster grid - in the neighborhood of 35 kV or more - when the high voltage regulator circuit malfunctioned. Note that even when everything was working properly, a small amount of x−ray radiation was emitted. The x−ray problem ...

Cell Phones Filled with Valuable Materials

Cell Phones Filled with Valuable Materials - RF CafeRemember the Will It Blend? videos? "It seems like just about everybody on the planet has a cell phone. Last year more than 1.4 billion were produced. Aside from communications, they have become one of the major ways that we get our news, pay our bills, and entertain ourselves. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, cell phones have a life-expectancy of 4.7 years. Because cell phones are replaced every five years, recycling needs to be an important part of mobile communication manufacturing. But, what materials make up a cell phone and are they valuable? To answer that question, researchers at the University of Plymouth, in the U.K., came up with an interesting way to determine what's inside a cell phone ..."

Carl & Jerry: Command Performance

Carl & Jerry: Command Performance, November 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAssuming that a couple creative teenage boys could get away today with electrifying weapons to dramatize a mock sword fight during a high school production of a Roman battle, you can be sure the suit of armor required by safety monitors would consist not of coats of mail, but coats of rubber and fire retardant material, fully sealing OSHA-approved goggles for eye protection, ear plugs, and electrical lineman's gloves. Offstage would be certified fire fighting professionals (formerly called firemen) and an emergency response crew specially trained in high voltage electrical contact with a hospital-style emergency room crash cart nearby. The audience would need to sign safety release forms before being admitted to the auditorium ...

Multi-Beam Antennas for 5G Systems

Multi-Beam Antennas: Increased Wireless Capacity with Enhanced Spectral Efficiency - RF CafeJohn Howard and Steve Jalil have a good article over on the High Frequency Electronics website titled, "Multi-Beam Antennas: Increased Wireless Capacity with Enhanced Spectral Efficiency" reporting on an antenna initially produced in 2006 that fits the bill for up and coming 5G cellular systems. "Multi-beam antennas provide increased wireless capacity with enhanced spectral efficiency. Typically, wireless providers use three sectors in a 360° coverage area. With multibeam antenna systems, spectrum and capacity are multiplied. In this paper, a 5 GHz, 6-dual polarized beam system is presented. The system covers 90° in the azimuth and was deployed at the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. Live data was gathered at street level and presented ..."

Many Thanks to Rohde & Schwarz USA for Continued Support!

Rohde & Schwarz USA Pocket Guides - RF CafeRohde & Schwarz develops, produces and markets test & measurement, information and communications technology. Focus is on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications, monitoring and network testing. Markets serviced are wireless, the automotive industry, aerospace and defense, industrial electronics, research and education, broadcast and media network operations, consumer electronics, cybersecurity for business and governments, communications and security solutions for critical infrastructures and the armed forces, reconnaissance equipment for homeland and external security, and much more ...

Lithium Superionic Conductivity

Lithium Superionic Conductivity - RF Cafe"Using a complex hydride with superionic conductivity in a solid electrolyte may move the needle forward in the development of solid-state lithium batteries. As regular Design News readers will know, the hottest topic in battery technology these days is solid-state lithium batteries. It seems every week a new breakthrough or innovation is announced that will make this promising new technology possible. At DN, we feel obligated to report on much of this research - not because we want to add to the hype, but because solid-state lithium batteries hold so much promise to dramatically improve the lithium ion batteries that are commercially available. As a case in point, researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have announced, via a news release, a new solid electrolyte ..."

Windfreak Technologies: USB-Powered RF Synthesizers, Mixers

Windfreak TechnologiesWindfreak Technologies designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value USB powered and controlled radio frequency products such as RF signal generators, RF synthesizers, RF power detectors, mixers, up / downconverters. Since the conception of WFT, we have introduced products that have been purchased by a wide range of customers, from hobbyists to education facilities to government agencies. Worldwide customers include Europe, Australia, and Asia. Please contact Windfreak today to learn how they might help you with your current project ...

Tuesday 2

The Silent War: Electronic Spying

The Silent War: Electronic Spying, April 20, 1964 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeAh, those were the good old days, when governments used their limited reconnaissance ability to spy on people, places, and things deemed to be a clear and present threat to the well-being of country. In 1964, during the height of the Cold War, collecting and interpreting communications data was still a very human-intensive chore, so assets were necessarily allocated based on highly strategic targets. Today, data collection collection, storage, and analysis is cheap and is done mostly unattended by humans until a red flag goes up. The possibility of a nuclear attack from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) was a very real and even likely possibility. The strategic advantage of a first strike was immense, so it was to the world's advantage to monitor and react as quickly as possible. The Soviet Socialists liked to propagandize about being ...

SFS1520C-LF Low Noise PLO for Satellite Communications

SFS1520C-LF Low Noise PLO for Satellite Communications - RF CafeZ-Communications, Inc., announces a new RoHS compliant fixed frequency phase locked loop model SFS1520C-LF operating in the L-band. The SFS1520C-LF is a plug and play PLO allowing for quick integration and designed to produce a fixed signal at 1520 MHz when utilized with an external 10 MHz reference oscillator. This simple to use PLO features a typical low phase noise performance of −100 dBc/Hz, −110 dBc/Hz, and −133 dBc/Hz at the 1 kHz, 10 kHz and 100 kHz offsets, respectively. The SFS1520C-LF is designed to deliver a nominal output power of +3 dBm while operating off a VCO voltage supply of 5 Vdc ...

Imperial War Museum Replicates WWII Bomber's H2S Radar Display

Imperial War Museum Replicates WWII Bomber's H2S Radar Display - RF Cafe"Ask a layperson about technology developed during the second World War and you'll likely get answers referring to the invention of atomic bombs, long-range ballistic missiles, or perhaps digital code breaking. Ironically, radar is often forgotten, despite it having a dramatic and direct impact on aerial combat during the war, and being a much bigger part of modern daily life than, say, atomic bombs or rockets. A Duxford Radio Trust team at Britain's Imperial War Museum Duxford is offering visitors some hands-on experience of World War II radar by giving them the warts-and-all view of the radar display as seen by a navigator on a Lancaster bomber. Thanks to an amazing hodge-podge of technology, visitors ..."

Value Engineering for the Electronics Industry

Value Engineering for the Electronics Industry, August 1967 Electronics World - RF CafeSome topics are timeless. This is one of them. The term "Value Engineering" is not so familiar these days, since ostensibly it was developed by General Electric back in the World War II era. Per Wikipedia, "Value engineering (VE) is a systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products and services by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of function to cost. Value can therefore be increased by either improving the function or reducing the cost. It is a primary tenet of value engineering that basic functions be preserved and not be reduced as a consequence of pursuing value improvements ." This article from the August 1967 Electronics World was a good read then, and it is a good read in 2019 ...

Controlling Graphene's Properties for Nanoelectronics

Controlling Graphene's Properties for Nanoelectronics - RF Cafe"Researchers long have known that graphene is a useful material for next-generation electronic applications because of its light weight and high electric conductivity. Now researchers in Denmark have solved one of the biggest challenges in the way of developing useful and effective graphene-based nanoelectronics, paving the way for future design of these devices, they said. A team at The Center for Nanostructured Graphene at DTU Physics and Aalborg University has solved a simple but key problem with using graphene for nanoelectronics by figuring out how to induce a band gap, which is crucial for making transistors and optoelectronic devices, they said. Every atom is critical ..."

San Francisco Circuits: PCB Fabrications & Assembly Service

San Francisco CircuitsSF 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 ...

Monday 1

Please Thank RF Superstore for Their Continued Support

RF Superstore coaxial cable, connectors, adapters - RF CafeRF 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!

Comics from the March 1971 Popular Electronics

Comics with an Electronics Theme, March 1971 Popular Electronics - RF CafeFor a few years, Popular Electronics magazine ran an electronics-themed single-panel comic feature called "Parts Talk." Jack Schmidt was the artist for the series, and is evident by the "Thanks Joe Cox" on the page 49 comic, he must have used ideas for topics submitted by Popular Electronics readers. From today's perspective of grain-of-salt size surface mount components, the claim of "It's a small world," by that vertical-mount capacitor doing the talking is very dated. Compared to its previous generation of vacuum tubes and discrete components that needed to handle higher voltages and power dissipation, these through-hole printed circuit board (PCB) components are a small world. Another half a century from now, the need for discrete, off-chip components ...

Russian Drone Shoots Down Other Drones with Shotgun

Russian Drone Shoots Down Other Drones with Shotgun - RF CafeThis story about a drone that shoots down other drones using an onboard shotgun appears on the Interesting Engineering website. The flying shotgun airframe uses a "canard" configuration, named so for its duck-like appearance in flight. "Drones are capable of all sorts of weird and wonderful things like shutting down airports to delivering medicines. Now a new drone developed in Russia can even shoot other drones out of the sky. The Russian defense contractor, Almaz Antey has created a drone equipped with a Vepr-12 shotgun with a 10-round magazine. The drone is able to take off vertically but then flies like an airplane hunting down fellow UAVs. The drone is controlled by a pilot who wears a visor-wearing operator which connects via video link to the drone's camera. The pilot can direct the drone and aim the weapon ..."

At Last - Some Different Toobs!

At Last - Some Different Toobs! , April 1933 QST - RF CafeThe April 1933 issue of the American Radio Relay League's monthly publication QST (Q-code for "general call to all stations") was chock full of gags, much to the delight of readers based on subsequent letters to the editor. The editors must have felt a need to alert readers that some of the material was not to be taken seriously since the Table of Contents lists them as being in the "April Fool Section." I have posted a few of them. As with so many of these vintage articles, being privy to the customs and equipment of the era is essential to "getting" the joke. I will refrain from spoiling these, but if you need some insight from an old guy (61 years in August), send me a note and I'll try to put them into perspective. One gag takes careful observation to notice, and you don't need gray hair to figure it out ...

NI AWR Software Featured at WAMICON

NI AWR Software Featured at WAMICON - RF CafeNI AWR Design Environment platform will be on display at the Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON) 2019, being held April 8-9 in Cocoa Beach, FL. NI is silver sponsor of this event, and AWR Group, NI expert technologist Dr. John Dunn will be presenting at two technical sessions as well as a panel. Sessions include: Network Synthesis Automates Interactive Matching-Circuit Design, Monday, April 8, 1:30 p.m. | Leveraging a System-Level Design Methodology to Achieve RFIC Performance Goals, Monday, April 8, 2:10 p.m. | Emerging Simulation Technology: Can Today's EDA Tools Solve Tomorrow's Designer Challenges?, Tuesday, April 9, noontime ...

Electronics Withstand Extreme Heat

Electronics Withstand Extreme Heat - RF Cafe"A new organic plastic material allows electronics to function at extreme temperatures without sacrificing performance. Most electronics only function within a certain temperature range but blending two organic materials together creates electronics that withstand extreme heat. The new plastic material could reliably conduct electricity up to 220 °C (428 °F). One of the materials is a semiconductor that can conduct electricity and the other is a conventional insulating polymer. One of the plastics transports the charge and the other can withstand high temperature. When blended together, the correct ratio must be found so that one material ..."

Alliance Test Equipment: Used & Refurbished, Purchase & Rental

Allied Test Equipment Products - RF CafeAlliance Test sells used / refurbished test equipment and offers 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 ...

   
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About RF Cafe
Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster
Copyright: 1996 - 2024
Webmaster:
    Kirt Blattenberger,
    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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