Wind down the week with these four
electronics-themed comics from a 1970 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine.
As mentioned before, radio and television technology was a big deal in the era.
People hadn't been born into a world of transistorized microcircuit media devices
that perform nearly every conceivable function - phone, TV, radio, computer, heart
rate monitor, voice recorder, remote control, camera, compass, game, social media,
etc., etc., etc. Unlike today's electronics products that typically don't break
with normal use and do not require periodic alignment, folks from my demographic
were used to turning on a TV or radio and having to readjust it or have it repaired ...
"A new billboard on Interstate 40 in Tennessee
promotes ARRL and
Amateur Radio. Working with ARRL Product Development
Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, and Communications Manager Dave Isgur, N1RSN, ARRL
Graphic Designer Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, completed a design for a the new 10 × 20 billboard,
owned by ARRL Life Member Cliff Segar, KD4GT. Segar says the average daily traffic
count for the area along I-40 west bound, mile marker 336, is on the order of 6
million vehicles per year ..."
INSTOCK Wireless Components designs &
manufactures UHF/RF power dividers, bias tees, GPS antenna signal splitters, DC
blocking L-Band splitters, high-power combiners, and current steering splitters
with models in 2-way thru 64-way configurations with Type N, SMA, TNC, BNC, &
QMA connectors covering frequencies from 10 MHz to 6 GHz. Custom configurations
also available including mix-and-match connector options, IP67 outdoor weatherproof,
rackmount, and micro-sized units. ...
Open & closing dates April 19 to May
3, 2019. Pay scale & grade GS 12 - 13. Salary $83,398 to $128,920 per year.
"The FCC has announced a position opening that may be of interest to a radio amateur.
The Commission seeking a
Telecommunications Specialist to work at the
High Frequency Direction Finding Center (HFDFC) in Columbia, Maryland. This is a
full-time position. The person holding this position performs 'watch duty' and serves
as a technical authority providing technical assistance and guidance to communication
systems users to resolve radio interference complaints and problems. The telecommunications
specialist uses radio signal analysis equipment deployed throughout the US to collect,
correlate, and analyze ...
Some 70 stations have registered to take part
in the 2019
International Marconi Day (IMD) observance on
Saturday, April 27. Registered stations will operate at sites with a personal connection
to wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, including sites at which he set up transmitting
and receiving stations. The 24-hour Amateur Radio event celebrates the birth of
Marconi on April 25, 1874, and is typically held on the Saturday closest to Marconi's
birthday. During IMD 2019, radio amateurs around the world will make contact with
historic Marconi sites. The event is sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club,
which will operate as GB4IMD. While April 27 is the day of the official celebration,
some IMD special events will take place outside ...
Axiom Test Equipment
allows you to rent or
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Reading this article about the
G-line antenna lead−in in a 1955 issue of Radio & Television News
magazine, I wonder whether the Broadband over Power Line (BPL) system designers
have considered its use. According to author Leonard Lieberman, the presence of
insulation over the conductor prevents or at least significantly reduces the amount
of radiated energy, thus lessening not just the signal loss but also the unintentional
interference with unrelated receiving equipment - such as the well-publicized impact
on amateur radio. The David Bogen Company, of New York City, (now in New Jersey)
marketed G-Line under under license by Surface Conduction, Inc. Current BPL systems
are typically under 100 MHz, so the scheme should be applicable. The logistics
of implementation ...
Robert Gary waxes philosophical on the subject
of ground in his Electronics World article, "'Grounds'
for Confusion." He is justified from the viewpoint of someone attempting to
make sense of how something as seemingly fundamental as Earth ground is not a constant.
The layman probably doesn't care. Practitioners in the electrical and electronics
realms who deal only with low frequencies and short distances might occasionally
be affected by differences in ground potentials, although they might not realize
it is the cause of their problems. Those with more than a casual involvement (designers,
installers, and maintainers as opposed to only users) in high frequencies and/or
long distance signal interconnections are likely to be intimately familiar with
the effects of ground potential differences. RF Cafe visitors are undoubtedly members
of the latter group ...
The Electronic Design Innovation Conference and
Exhibition (EDI CON) announced that this year, in conjunction with Microwave
Journal (MWJ) and Signal Integrity Journal (SIJ), it will host an online, interactive
event for high frequency and high speed design engineers on September 10-12, 2019.
The interactive technical sessions will occur at no cost to attendees, and sponsors
will have the opportunity to present workshops and keynote sessions as part of the
daily schedule. The sessions on September 10th will focus on 5G and IoT, September
11th on radar and antennas, and September 12th on signal integrity, power integrity,
and EMC/EMI. Attendees select the sessions for the online event ...
Inasmuch as new people are entering the realm
of electronics all the time and are voraciously hunting for and consuming as much
basic knowledge as possible, I figure this
primer on decibels will be a good reference.
It helps clear up one of the biggest stumbling blocks for decibels: when to use
10*log(out/in) vs. 20*log(out/in). Bob Witte has written quite a few nice articles
about various aspects of electronics. "Decibels are commonly used in electronic
systems that include RF, audio, and more recently, signal integrity. While many
engineers already think in decibels, if you mostly work in the time domain, you
may not think the same way. Because much of my background is in RF, I tend to associate
the decibel with RF measurements, but the decibel began at audio frequencies defined
by telephone system ..."
"Scientists at the Department of Energy's
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have developed a new type of
pocket-sized antenna that could enable mobile communication
in situations where conventional radios don't work, such as underwater, through
the ground and over very long distances through the air. The device emits very low
frequency (VLF) radiation with wavelengths of tens to hundreds of miles. These waves
travel long distances beyond the horizon and can penetrate environments that would
block radio waves with shorter wavelengths. While today's most powerful VLF technology
requires gigantic emitters, this antenna is only four inches tall, so it could potentially ..."
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 are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today!
Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric
RF today ...
Operators didn't know how good they had it
in 1967. The story talks about the nuisance of having to sift through "hundreds"
of satellites, old rockets, and assorted space junk" in order to search for and
track potentially threatening objects in orbit around the Earth. We're into the
millions of objects in 2019, and the potential threats are infinitely larger. The
article mentions the use of an
AN/FPS−16 radar operating in C−band to detect and measure the returns and then
the results were analyzed in an attempt to determine the character of the object.
Open air test sites and anechoic chambers were used to measure the radar cross section
and characteristic signature of many shapes to populate a database of recognizable
returns that would help to determine whether the space object was friend or foe ...
The NI AWR Design Environment platform will
be featured in an upcoming free webinar on Wednesday, May 15. Presented is a new
technology and design methodology that uses the
impedance-matching network synthesis capabilities within Microwave Office circuit
design software to design the input impedance for a new generation of Virtual Antenna™
tiny antenna booster components from Fractus Antennas. This antenna technology enables
a single antenna component to fit seamlessly in a printed circuit board (PCB), replacing
conventional customized antennas for internet of things (IoT) and other wireless
"A new, first-of-its-kind
space weather model reliably predicts space storms
of high-energy particles that are harmful to many satellites and spacecraft orbiting
in the Earth's outer radiation belt. A paper recently published in the journal Space
Weather details how the model can accurately give a one-day warning prior to a space
storm of ultra-high-speed electrons, often referred to as 'killer' electrons because
of the damage they can do to spacecraft such as navigation, communications, and
weather monitoring satellites. This is the first time researchers have successfully
predicted those killer electrons across the whole outer belt region ..."
Studies of motors usually begin with the
direct current (DC) type - maybe because most students have already had hands-on
experiences with motors in models (cars, boats, airplanes) and/or electricity experimenter
kits. They are small, cheap, and a simple flashlight battery (the ultimate in safety)
makes them run. An alternating current (AC) motor requires either a direct connection
to the house current or use of a step-down transformer, which still carries with
it a high risk factor. This chapter of the U.S. military's Basic Navy Training Course
(NAVPERS 10622) conforms to the tradition, and follows in the next chapter with
AC motors and generators. While reading through the text, I ran across the unfamiliar
term "kickpipe" and wondered ...
Since 1961, MECA
Electronics has designed and manufactured 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 dividers & combiners, loads,
DC blocks, bias-Ts and adapters & cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone'
of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications,
satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry applications, mobile
radio, aviation & air traffic communications ...
Air Route Traffic Control Centers, now using
the acronym ARTCC rather than ARTC as used in this 1960 article, were and still
are the human and computer command and control facilities responsible for safe and
orderly flow of air traffic in the U.S., and a worldwide network of Area Control
Center (ACC) handles everything else in a massive coordinated effort. The advent
of radar during World War II and the ensuing evolution of it and electronic
computers in the following years struggled to keep pace with the equally rapidly
evolving aircraft design and capability. A simple control tower with air traffic
controllers using binoculars and a radio mike could not handle the volume of airplanes
and helicopters traversing the skies and patronizing busy terminals. Many forms
of electronic navigation aids were developed including very high frequency omnidirectional
range (VOR), direction finders (DF) using antenna nulling for finding radials to/from
FM radio transmitter, long range navigation (LORAN) ...
VidaRF, a manufacturer of high performance
RF and microwave high performance circulators, isolators, couplers, power dividers,
and other passive components, is proud to introduce a series of broadband
Power Dividers covering 698 MHz through 2.70 GHz for all wireless
applications from cellular through UMTS. Available in 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8-way with
SMA, N, QMA or alternative connector configurations. VidaRF is focused on being
a solution provider by building to customer specs and offering zero days lead time
for custom parts through stock and ship program ...
Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency
and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military
wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development
of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz
to 26.5 GHz. Please visit Nova Microwave today ...
Chapter 16 of the "Electricity - Basic Navy
Training Courses" introduces concepts of
alternating current (AC) motors, their electric supply, and controls. It is
part of the NAVPERS (Navy Personnel) 10622 series which is highly regarded both
in and out of the military. The manuals were first written in the middle of the
last century and have been upgraded a few times since then, but if you compare the
sections this one on AC motors in both the original and most modern versions, not
much - if anything - has changed. If you have an interest in motors and want to
understand the basics of how they work both as motors and generators (AC and
DC), then there is not a much better source from which to start ...
Jeffrey Kahler's "Complete Filter Design with Discrete Elements Made
Easy" article on the MW&RF website reviews some of the filter design
software tools currently available both as free apps from component vendors and
as a subset of big-name simulator suites. Says Jeffrey, "In an era of a myriad of
design tools developed to “save” the filter designer time and effort, it’s exactly
time and effort that may be lost due to learning curves, cumbersome workflows, and
limitations of the design process itself. Powerful design tools may thus be rendered
effectively useless by any one of these problems. For example, a tool that provides
powerful synthesis may fall short ..."
"By drilling holes into a thin 2-D sheet
of hexagonal boron nitride with a gallium-focused
ion beam, University of Oregon scientists have created artificial atoms that generate
single photons. The artificial atoms - which work in air and at room temperature
- may be a big step in efforts to develop all-optical quantum computing, said UO
physicist Benjamín J. Alemán, principal investigator of a study published in the
journal Nano Letters. 'Our work provides a source of single photons that could act
as carriers of quantum information or as qubits. We've patterned these sources,
creating as many as we want, where we want ..."
ConductRF is continually innovating and developing
new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest
Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies
for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision
RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the
iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications
where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable
access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project!
An excellent short history on "The Discovery of Radio Waves" was published by
George Steber in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Nuts & Volts magazine. "When
the concept of electromagnetic waves was first proposed around 1864, it was met
with great skepticism. As a result, the idea languished for a long time. This is
understandable since the foundations of the theory were complex and the conceptual
ideas were at odds with physical thinking. It took several decades for a handful
of dedicated persons - infatuated with the mysteries of electricity and magnetism
- to finally put the theory on a solid footing ..."
Improving Object Detection with
"Researchers at Tel Aviv University have designed
a new type of radar ranging system that requires virtually no bandwidth to operate
successfully. This new method does not have the bandwidth limitations of traditional
methods, meaning it can be used in a vast array of different applications - particularly
when it comes to the automotive industry Traditionally,
radar resolution was believed to be proportional
the bandwidth use. Essentially, the wider available range of frequencies, the better
the radar will be at detecting objects in its path. The new method devised by researchers
seeks to change all that ..."
EE Times has an interesting piece
on their website regarding how modern engineering methods might be used to restore
Notre−Dame church to its original condition.
Some interesting observations are made, one regarding how cleaning and replacing
stained glass tiles will affect lighting to the 13th century conditions vs. as it
was two weeks ago. Another suggests ultrasonic analysis of mortar joints to structural
integrity, use of drone photos and laser measurement to construct a detailed 3D
model of the building for work planning. It also suggests a call to social media
for obtain as many of the millions of photographs taken by visitors from all perspectives
and times of day for recreating damaged or destroyed components.
If you happen to be Estonian, you might think
of something entirely different than most of us do when we hear the word "getter."
In fact, you probably capitalize the word since it is the name of a pop singer from
your country, Getter Jaani. If you are a child living in Japan, you would probably
think of Getter Robo, an anime from a popular cartoon series. I, and I dare say
just about everyone else that visits RF Cafe, knows getter as that silvery deposit
(typically barium) that resides inside vacuum tubes for the purpose of helping to
maintain the vacuum and to absorb pesky random molecules that might otherwise cause
electrical noise in the circuit. This article from a 1958 edition of Radio-Electronics
discusses the purpose of getter. BTW, I had never heard of either of the other two
Getters due to OGS (old guy syndrome) ...
Rohde & Schwarz has published a white
paper entitled, "The Future of EMC Test Laboratories," which addresses
the increasingly difficult to meet EMI and EMC certification requirements in today's
extremely crowded electromagnetic spectrum. "The growing complexity of electronic
devices within both military and commercial products has lead to a significant increase
in failure rate of EMC conformance testing. Product design cycle times continue
to decrease due to competitive pressure in the market. Product design companies
are spending more money on multiple iterations of product EMI compliance testing
at EMC test laboratories, and this comes at a significant financial ..."
Res-Net Microwave has a complete line of
precision RF & microwave components including attenuators, terminations,
resistors, and diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications.
Products range from the small flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power
attenuators and/or terminations at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo
etch and laser trim capability. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to
see how they can help with your current project ...
Since 2000, I have been creating custom
technology-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure
of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. The jury is out on whether or
not this type of mental challenge helps keep your gray matter from atrophying in
old age, but it certainly helps maintain your vocabulary and cognitive skills at
all ages. A database of thousands of words has been built up over the years and
contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy,
mathematics, chemistry, etc. You will never find a word taxing your knowledge of
a numbnut soap opera star or the name of some obscure village in the Andes mountains.
You might, however, encounter the name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical
location like Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might
surprise you ...