If you are familiar with
Carl Kohler's illustrations from his numerous humorous (a rhyme!) electronics-themed
stories in Popular Electronics magazine, then this comic from the May 1955
issue will be recognized as having come from his hand. The 1950s through maybe the
early 1980s was a big time for do-it-yourself hobbyists of all sorts, including
those who dabbled in electronics as Hams, household handymen, kit builders, etc.
In many cases high quality products could be purchased more cheaply as kits, as
evidenced by the popularity of Heathkit and similar companies. By the mid to late
1990s, super-cheap labor - verging on slavery - in the Far East was doing the majority
of component production and product assembly, so eventually an inversion ...
Joel Brand has an interesting short article
posted on the Electronic Design website entitled, "The Rise and Fall of IoT in the 2.4-GHz Band."
"Self-interference cancellation could very well be the linchpin to a resurgence
of the 2.4-GHz band. Way back when the 5-GHz band was opened for unlicensed Wi-Fi
usage, many predicted the death of 2.4 GHz. The 5-GHz band enabled much faster speeds
thanks to the increased amount of bandwidth available at the higher frequency. Channels
as wide as 160 MHz were introduced (and the industry is mulling the introduction
of 320-MHz channels), whereas the entire 2.4-GHz band is only about 80 MHz wide.
As the FCC and other regulators are looking to open the 6-GHz band for Wi-Fi usage,
there's no doubt that consumer appetite for higher bandwidth and faster speed will
be served at the higher frequencies ..."
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.
This particular quiz tests your knowledge
of archaic scientific words & definitions.
Choose the best answer for the spirit
of the quiz; i.e., the one that represents the newer term or the abandoned definition.
All RF Cafe quizzes would make perfect fodder in employment interviews for technicians
or engineers - particularly those who are fresh out of school or are relatively
new to the work world. Come to think of it, they would make equally excellent study
material for the same persons who are going to be interviewed for a job.
"A superconducting qubit can be used to reliably
detect the presence of multiple phonons at the same time, US physicists have demonstrated.
Patricio Arrangoiz-Arriola and colleagues at Stanford University built their 'quantum microphone' using materials that minimized phonon losses,
while narrowing the spectra of their qubit's emissions to reduce uncertainties.
The technology could allow for new capabilities in quantum computing, including
modems that link together many quantum computers at different locations. While the
quantum properties of photons have been explored and exploited extensively ..."
QuinStar Technology designs and manufactures
mm-wave products for communication, scientific, and test applications
along with providing microelectronic assembly, rapid prototyping, and mass customization.
Amplifiers, Oscillators, Switches, Attenuators, Circulators, Isolators, Filters,
Waveguide, Antennas, Phase Shifters, Transceivers, Mixers, Detectors. QuinStar specializes
in cryogenic amplifiers, circulators, and isolators. Please
visit QuinStar today to see how they can help your project.
This article from a 1955 issue of Popular
Electronics magazine describes my evolution from electrician to electronics
electronics engineer. For that matter, it describes the paths many people I
have worked with over the years have taken. My mentor at my first job as an RF engineer
after graduating with a BSEE from the University of Vermont began as a technician
in the Army, and then he went to school part-time while working a full-time job
to earn his BSEE. In my next job as an RF engineer there were at least two guys
I knew who had also taken that path. Although not by any means absolute criteria
for judging an engineer's enthusiasm, I will say that at least as a distinct segment
of RF engineering, those who are amateur radio operators and/or those who began
life as a technician ...
You and I know them as 'varactor
diodes,' but originally the semiconductor junctions whose reverse bias determines
its capacitance was called the 'Varicap.' The new and wondrous semiconductor craze
was in full swing by 1958. Scientists, engineers, and hobbyists were burning the
midnight oil (to use a popular phrase of the day)
performing experiments and designing circuits to replace vacuum tubes and manual
controls with transistors and other electrically variable semiconductors. The Varicap
had the ability to tune receiver and transmitter oscillators and filters without
the need for high tube bias voltages and large mechanically variable multi-plate
capacitors. This article from Radio-Electronics says early Varicaps cost
$4.50 apiece ...
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution
of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. It is a full-featured
RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers
for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018
is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and
faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis
is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features ...
Saelig Company has introduced the new
Rigol Technologies MSO8000 Series of digital oscilloscopes, which combine best
in class sampling (10 GSa/sec) and memory depth (500 Mpts) with a modern,
flexible user interface enabled by Rigol's new UltraVision II architecture and innovative
Phoenix chipset. Three models are available with input bandwidths from 600 MHz to
2GHz, each with 4 analog channels. The series is MSO ready: an optional 16-channel
logic analyzer interface is provided to provide digital debug capabilities with
the addition of 16 channel probes and software. The advanced MSO8000 Series features
a 10.1" 1024 x 600 capacitive multi-touch color LCD screen with 256-level intensity
grading and a waveform refresh rate ...
"The botched production of a powerful neutrino
source is the most likely cause of a
radioactive cloud that enveloped much of Europe
in the autumn of 2017. That is the conclusion of a group of radiation experts from
across the continent who have used isotope monitoring and chemical analysis to try
and understand where the leak came from. The researchers think that the isotope
involved - ruthenium-106 - was probably released during an accident, possibly an
explosion, involving spent fuel at the Mayak reprocessing plant in southern Russia.
Aerosols containing ruthenium-106 were detected ..."
KR Electronics designs and manufactures high
quality filters for both the commercial and military markets. KR Electronics' line
of filters includes lowpass,
highpass, bandpass, bandstop and individually synthesized filters for special applications
- both commercial and military. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis and
test methods are used to meet the most challenging specifications. All common connector
types and package form factors are available. Please visit their website today to
see how they might be of assistance.
Before the advent of electrical distribution
systems and electronics, the
hazard of lightning was primarily from fire ignition and, to a lesser extent,
bodily injury (to humans and animals). In fact, it was Benjamin Franklin's discovery
that lightning was a form of electricity that led to his subsequent invention of
the lightning rod system that, after being installed on Philadelphia's tallest wooden
structures, significantly reduced the incident of lightning-related devastating
fires which had been ravaging the city for years. Once cities began installing electric
power lines, they were to lightning what trailer homes* are to tornadoes - strong
attractors. Line protection systems were soon developed to help stop strikes which
sometimes caused electrocution to people inside homes who happened to be touching
a light switch or plumbing fixture ...
"The U.S. Air Force announced Friday it will
soon deploy two ground-based laser weapons to an undisclosed location to test how
they can be used against small drones, the service's first 'operational field test'
of an experimental 'directed energy" weapon. On Friday afternoon
the Air Force announced a $23M sole-source contract for two of Raytheon's High Energy
Laser Weapons Systems, through which the systems are to be tested for 12 months
in an undisclosed 'contested environment' outside the continental United States.
'What we really want to do is figure out how we can deploy these systems in an environment
where our warfighters work and train every day ..."
RACEP (Random Access and Correlation for Extended
Performance), was an early form of frequency hopping spread spectrum (HFSS)
devised by the Martin Company (now Lockheed-Martin). It was used for secure voice
communications and worked by sampling speech in small 'slices' and then transmitting
each slice modulated onto a carrier whose frequency was determined by a predetermined
sequence of center frequencies. A receiver with a matching sequence key would then
decode the speech and, with appropriate filtering, reassemble it into its original
content. President John F. Kennedy had such systems at his disposal whether on the
road or in the Oval Office. General Electric (GE) had a different idea it dubbed
'Phantom' that spread the signal over a very wide bandwidth. Today, we refer to
it as Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) ...
Signal Hound, a developer of optimized solutions
for RF signal test and measurement, announces a new
rental program for all Signal Hound spectrum analyzers, vector signal generators,
and tracking generators. Signal Hound's equipment rental rate is only 6% of the
cost of a device per month for as long as the renter wants to keep the device, with
a one-month minimum rental period. If the renter wants to purchase the device after
the rental period, 30% of the total amount spent on the rented product can be applied
to a new version of the same device type. "Our rental program is designed to remove
the hesitation that an organization might have in allocating budget towards a new
type of test equipment ...
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. Applications in military, medical, industrial
and commercial markets. Take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how
IPP can help you today.
If there was another episode of
Mac's Radio Service Shop where Barney was the primary teacher and Mac was the
student, I don't remember what it was. In fact, this is about as total of a role
reversal as there can be. First, Mac admits to having chased a presumed oscilloscope
issue down the proverbial rabbit hole only to realize the cause of the problem was
totally unrelated. Then, Barney produces a nifty device meant for recording telephone
conversations and demonstrates to Mac a couple ingenious applications he discovered
that were handy for troubleshooting television sets. When reading Mac's description
of using a magnet to alter the electron beam in a CRT, it reminded me of how cool
it was on the CRT displays to run a magnet ...
ConductRF's close partnership with TE in
its development of its new Nano-miniature RF Solutions for
VITA67.3 has put us in a great position to support your VPX RF cable assembly
needs. Modular solution supports 8 to 18 positions, flexible 0.047" diameter cable,
supports frequency up to 70 GHz, use with standard solutions (SMA, SMPM, etc.),
2x density of Vita67.1. ConductRF's PFT33 Series of Micro Flexible Cable Assemblies
has been designed directly with TE Connectivity involvement and in partnership to
maximize the capabilities of TE's new Vita67.3 NanoRF VPX modular connector system.
ConductRF offers its soft FEP jacketed ø0.047" cable to facilitate maximum flexibility
and provides solutions for jumper cables ...
In keeping with a very common practice of
using water flowing through a garden hose as a teaching aid analogy for newcomers,
the title of this chapter of the NAVPER 10622 Basic Navy Training Courses, "Generators
- Electrical Pumps," is likening electrical generators to water pumps. It is
an apt analogy, but whereas a water pump can cause water pressure and flow of a
physical substance already on-hand, electrical "pumps," aka generators, literally
creates its "flow" from thin air (even a vacuum with no air). An electrical generator
exploits the phenomenon discovered by (or at least credited to) Michael Faraday
whereby a conductor moving through a magnetic field - or a magnetic field moving
past a conductor ...
Transient Specialists specializes in
equipment rentals and carries a complete line of ESD guns, surge immunity test
equipment, and EFT generators. Rentals available for military (Mil-Std 461), automotive
(ISO 7637), and commercial (IEC 61000-4) EMC testing. Flexible terms, accredited
calibrations and technical support on EMC testing equipment offered. Equipment consists
of top EMC Test System manufacturers, including Teseq, Thermo Keytek, EM Test and
This is part 2 of the High Frequency Electronics
article entitled, "An Analytical Model of Quad Cable to 1 GHz,"
by Kenneth Schneider. It's not for the feint of heart. "Studies performed in developing
the model indicate that this is principally caused by the aperiodic twists and to
a much lesser extent by the increase in the imaginary component of the dielectric
constant. Notice at the extreme right-hand side of each of the figures- close to
1 GHz. This behavior seems 'to burst out again.' Computations indicate that this
is 'roughly' repetitive in with increasing frequency. The presence of this behavior
with |ELFEXT| repeatedly going through 0 dB may well affect the cancellation
of FEXT through vectoring ..."
Since 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently
provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly
services. It specializes in board level turnkey
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.
I remember seeing advertisements for the
Electric Brain" in technical magazines like Popular Electronics,
Mechanix Illustrated, Popular Science, etc., back in the 1960s
and 70s. Even then it seemed like a hokey attempt to pitch a mechanical gizmo as
an honest-to-goodness computer. Personal computers were still a decade or more away
and only multi-million-dollar mainframe computers were available, so the opportunity
for Joe Sixpack to own a "problem solving" computer was a real temptation. No, I
never bought one; my first computer was a second-hand Timex Sinclair 1000 with a
membrane keyboard and a cassette tape deck as a program storage device. Anyway,
when I found this article in a 1966 issue of Popular Electronics, I figured
maybe other people of my vintage would enjoy reading about its inner workings ...
The 12th UK/Europe-China Workshop on Millimetre-Waves and
Terahertz Technologies (UCMMT) 2019 will be held at the Graduate Centre, Queen
Mary University of London from August 20th to 22nd. The UCMMT was created in 2008
to stimulate and strengthen scientific collaboration and knowledge and cultural
exchange. The workshop is held annually, alternating between Europe and China. This
conference is now well established and has become a special premier international
forum for the exchange of ideas on state-of-the-art research in mmWave and THz science
and technologies. Keynote speakers include Sir Colin Humphreys, Dr. Hanyang Wang,
Professor Wei Hong, Prof. Yong Fan, and Mr. David R. Vizard.
RF Cafe typically receives
visits each weekday and about half that on weekends.
RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all
over the world. With more than 7,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe
returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and
images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines
interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage
often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. I also
re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you need your
company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be. Banner advertising begins
at $175/month ...
L-Com has a good
PDF document summarizing the flammability ratings
of various types of cable. They also have some short
videos showing how the cables react to a flame.
These materials appeared in an article in NASA's Motion Design magazine,
which also included a good definitions summary table of MICE (mechanical, ingress,
climatic, and electromagnetic ) parameters in IE (Industrial Internet) standards.
Many RF engineers must design systems with user and control interface in these environments
and need to be familiar with the technology ...
If you're a newcomer to the game, it may
seem that radio theory already has enough mystery without adding more. True, the
technical journals - even QST, sometimes - do make it a mysterious subject with
their textbook language and complex notations. Radio isn't really any more mysterious
or complex than many a detective story - at least not after you've read the last
page and know "whodunit." The difference lies in the method of presentation. There
may be some utility, then, in the idea of presenting radio fundamentals in the manner
of detective fiction. That's what this is - a series of radio lessons in the guise
of a detective-mystery yarn. Instead of human characters we'll use another kind
- but we'll try to make the characterizations true and the background and incident
realistic. Our purpose is to divert ...
Windfreak 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.
This RF Cafe
Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle contains at least 10 words from headlines
posted on the homepage during the week of August 5 through August 9, 2019 (marked
with an asterisk*). These custom-made engineering and science-themed crossword puzzles
are done weekly for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure of RF Cafe visitors
who are fellow cruciverbalists. Every word and clue - without exception - in these
RF Cafe puzzles has been personally entered into a very large database that encompasses
engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc. Let me know
if you would like a custom crossword puzzle built for your company, school, club,
etc. (no charge).