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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 World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Homepage Archive - August 2019 (page 4)

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.

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See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the August 2019 homepage archives.
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Friday 30

After Class: Faraday Shield, Binary Notation, Tuning Fork Oscillators, and Power Supply

After Class: The Faraday Shield, Binary Notation, Tuning Fork Oscillators, and Power Supply Quiz, May 1955 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"After Class" is a long-running feature of Popular Electronics magazine that covered a very wide range of topics. In most instances a single major theme is presented, but in this May 1955 issue there are five separate areas: the Faraday shield, binary notation, using a tuning fork to resonate a tank circuit, and two quizzes (one on resistance and capacitance and another on power supplies). On the topic of Faraday shields, I have to tell you about an e-mail I recently received from an RF Cafe visitor. He wrote asking whether there was any atmospheric pressure at which satellite radar could not penetrate to the Earth's surface. I could be wrong, but usually questions like that are asked by people who believe in a government conspiracy to surviel (and ultimately control) the populace. I used to dismiss such notes as being from lunatics, but with all the cameras everywhere and the ability to track movement via cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots ...

Rohde & Schwarz EMC Test Solutions August 2019 Newsletter

Rohde & Schwarz EMC Test Solutions August 2019 Newsletter - RF CafeYou definitely want to check this out! --- Explore an EMC Control Room & Chamber without leaving your desk. Our new Interactive EMC Solutions online tool allows you to discover our exceptional range of Rohde & Schwarz EMC and field test equipment, as well as a custom chamber. Decades of experience in the field of EMS measurements has made us the world market leader. By clicking one of the two images, you'll enter a 3D world you control. Whitepaper: "Comparison of Time Domain Scans & Stepped Frequency Scans in EMI Test Receivers." Also, learn about the R&S®ESW EMI Test Receiver ...

Standardized Wiring Diagram & Schematic Symbols

Standardized Wiring Diagram & Schematic Symbols, April 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeElectronics symbols for schematics and wiring diagrams have remained amazingly consistent for the last hundred years, although obviously many new ones have been added. You can see from this set of standardized wiring diagram and schematic symbols from a 1955 edition of Popular Electronics what I mean. Even symbols for newly introduced devices tend not to change. There are some variations such as whether or not to draw a circle around a transistor or how many lightning bolt lines to use with photon emitters and detectors, but that's about it. The digital world adopted IEEE Standard 91-1984 for logic and microprocessors, although you will still occasionally see variants in symbols, especially in early digital circuit schematics. The ARRL publishes its own version of standardized electrical schematic symbols, but even the ARRL Handbook, in which the symbols are printed, does not strictly conform to its own standards.

When Kirchhoff's Law Doesn't Work

When Kirchhoff's Law Doesn't Work - RF CafeHere is a good conundrum for you. It is a good example of how when you make a measurement that doesn't make sense, the proper resolution is to analyze and identify the source of measurement error rather than create a sophisticated mathematical model that produces your measured results. It reminds me of how early astronomers, assuming an Earth-centric universe, created exotic models to explain the apparent retrograde motion of planets rather than assuming a sun-centric system that simplified the math into elliptical orbits. Lots of videos, including one by Mehdi Sadadhgar - the guy who willingly shocks and burns himself hilariously while demonstrating electrical principles ...

Heat Shield 10 Atoms Thick to Protects Electronics

Heat Shield 10 Atoms Thick to Protects Electronics - RF Cafe"Excess heat given off by smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices can be annoying, but beyond that it contributes to malfunctions and, in extreme cases, can even cause lithium batteries to explode. To guard against such ills, engineers often insert glass, plastic or even layers of air as insulation to prevent heat-generating components like microprocessors from causing damage or discomforting users. Now, Stanford researchers have shown that a few layers of atomically thin materials, stacked like sheets of paper atop hot spots, can provide the same insulation as a sheet of glass 100 times thicker ..."

Axiom Test Equipment: Rent, Buy, Trade & Repair

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment, they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!

Thursday 29

Allied Radio - Knight-Kits Advertisement

Allied Radio - Knight-Kits Advertisement, March 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeAlthough Heathkit is probably the most familiar line of build-it-yourself electronics products running from about the late 1950s through the 1980s, there were others. Allied Electronics, under the brand name of Allied Radio, had a line of "knight-kits" (many of which can be bought on eBay) that included oscilloscopes, multimeters, stereo amplifiers, signal generators, citizen band radios, amateur radio transmitters and receivers, AM/FM radios, vacuum tube test sets, audio and RF generators, and much more. In the days before just about everything electronic was manufactured in China by poor souls get paid practically nothing for longs hours of work, it was often cheaper to buy and assemble a kit than to buy a ready-to-use equivalent item. It is always interesting to plug prices from vintage magazine ads into ...

Natural Rubber Bureau Advertisement

Natural Rubber Bureau Advertisement, February 18, 1950, The Saturday Evening Post - RF CafeI don't read contemporary magazines equivalent to The Saturday Evening Post, so I don't know if advertisements like this one by the Natural Rubber Bureau still appear. It was quite common in the post-World War II era for resource companies to promote products used in manufacturing of end-item production - Alcoa aluminum, Bethlehem Steel, Du Pont cellophane, Anaconda brass and bronze, American Gas Association natural gas. What caught my eye in this ad was the right-most picture in the bottom strip. The caption reads, "Flying Squads Fight Bandits - Communist-led gangs of bandits are still a daily menace in some of the more remote parts of Malaya. Here a Flying Squad sets up its Bren gun during a patrol of a rubber plantation." Communist forces have been trying to thwart Capitalism all around the globe for a long time, just as it is today. The difference is that today the Communists adopt a form of Capitalism in order to finance their endeavors. China is a prime example ...

Compactrons: Advance in Tube Design

Compactrons: Advance in Tube Design, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeAn article titled "One Receiver - All Bands" that appeared in the January 1963 issue of Popular Electronics was a single tube receiver design, but the trick to using a single tube was that the it was actually three tubes in one - a 6AF11 compactron. It contained two separate triodes and a pentode within the same glass capsule. A modern equivalent would be to use an integrated circuit (IC) package that contains three or more opamps in the same package. In fact, variations on compactrons that included internal biasing components were referred to as integrated circuits. This article from the October 1960 edition of Electronics World reported on the engineering behind compactron vacuum tubes ...

Exodus Advanced Communications Listing Added

Exodus Advanced Communications - RF CafeThe good folks at Exodus Advanced Communications wrote to ask that the company be listed on the Amplifiers vendor page, which I was glad to do. "Exodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. As a unique original equipment manufacturer of power amplifiers ranging from 10 kHz to 51 GHz with various output power levels and noise figure ranges, we fully support custom designs and manufacturing requirements for both small and large volume levels. We bring decades of combined experience in the RF field for numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC and various commercial projects with designing and manufacturing of our HPA, MPA, and LNA products in-house."

Cerebras Creates World's Largest Semiconductor Device

Cerebras Creates World's Largest Semiconductor Device - RF Cafe"Startup Cerebras will describe at Hot Chips the world's largest semiconductor device, a 16 nm wafer-sized processor array that aims to unseat Nvidia's GPUs dominance in training neural networks. The whopping 46,225 mm2 die consumes 15 kW, packs 400,000 cores, and is running in a handful of systems with at least one unnamed customer. Also, at this week's event Huawei, Intel and startup Habana will detail their chips for training neural networks. They all aim to attack Nvidia which last year sold about $3B in GPUs for the performance-hungry application. Intel's 1.1 GHz Spring Crest aims to stand out ..."

Centric RF: Attenuators, Adapters, Cable Assemblies, Power Dividers

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 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. 

Wednesday 28

R/C Frankie

R/C Frankie, June 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeCarl Kohler has done it again with his mini techno-drama entitled, "R/C Frankie." The story and Kohler's trademark illustrations appeared in a 1955 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. When Popular Electronics first began publication in 1954, it devoted major column space to the topics of amateur radio, home buildable electronic gadgets, stereo hi-fi recording and playback, and radio controlled modeling. Here he got a twofer by hitting on R/C and home brew projects. R/C Frankie was an early conceptual model of the kinds of incredible human-like robots being manufactured today. It was rather crude in comparison with escapement control of movement and operation on the interference prone 27 MHz Citizens Band, the latter of which might have been the root of Frankie's ultimate demise. You'll get a kick out of the dialog between the self-proclaimed "electronic geniuses" and "the wife" (aka "friend wife) and, of course, the ending ...

RF Cascade Workbook 2018

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 Is Available Now! - RF CafeRF 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 ...

ConductRF Offers Lower Loss Alternatives to RG Cables

ConductRF Offers Lower Loss Alternatives to RG Cables - RF CafeConductRF's LMR RF Cable Assemblies are built exclusively using Times Microwave Systems class leading LMR range of cable. LMR cables over lower loss than traditional Mil-C-17-RG cables through their foamed PE dielectric. Exceptional multi-layer shielding with a multi-laminar aluminum tape bonded to the dielectric provides shielding better than -90 dB. LMR assemblies offer excellent cost & weight advantages over other solutions. LMR cables are used extensively in military and commercial applications operating between DC and 6 GHz. Broad Connector Choice LMR Cables are available on short lead-times with custom lengths and configurations ...

Lissajous Pattern Quiz

Lissajous Pattern Quiz, September 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeJules Antoine Lissajous was a French mathematician who in the days before oscilloscopes concerned himself with patterns (waveforms) that would be generated as the result of two separate functions (signals) driving both the x- and y-axes. Lissajous used mechanical vibration devices connected to mirrors to bounce light beams onto a projection surface, so his results were not merely hand-drawn plots on graph paper. He was probably as mesmerized with them as we are today when they appear. Sci-fi movies have used Lissajous patterns in the background to 'wow' the audience into thinking it is witnessing futuristic, cutting-edge technology. When troubleshooting analog circuits, it is very advantageous to have seen and recognize many different types of waveforms so that you have a better chance of picking out patterns ...

AFRL Investigating Space Weather Effects on Satellite Materials

AFRL Investigating Space Weather Effects on Satellite Materials - RF Cafe"The Air Force Research Laboratory, in partnership with several universities, has investigated the effects of space weather damage to polyimides, materials used extensively in spacecraft construction due to their high heat resistance. The researchers determined the previously unknown chemical and physical effects of electron bombardment in Earth's magnetosphere on these polymers. Electrons trapped in the Earth's magnetic field are the most damaging components of weather in the geosynchronous Earth orbit. Polyimide films, such as Kapton, are used to construct spacecraft components, including flexible printed circuits, electronics, electronic packaging, wiring and thermal blankets ..."

MECA Electronics: Passive RF & Microwave Components

MECA Electronics

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.

Tuesday 27

Carl & Jerry: Transistor Pocket Radio, TV Receivers and Yagi Antennas

Carl & Jerry: Transistor Pocket Radio, TV Receivers and Yagi Antennas, May 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is an odd mistake I found in this May 1955 installment of John Frye's "Carl & Jerry" teen-techno-sleuth article. When Jerry heard a sound coming from the vicinity of his cohort Carl and did not spy an operating radio anywhere nearby, he learned that it was coming from Carl's pocket. Turns out it was one of the world's first transistorized radios that, according to owner Carl, had appeared in the January 1955 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Being an owner of that issue, I checked and did not find mention of it there, but I did remember seeing it in the January 1955 edition of Radio & Television News magazine in an article entitled "A New Pocket Radio," that being the Regency TR-1 transistor radio, priced at $49.95. Why the confusion, you might ask? Simple ...

EDI CON 2019 Coming up September 10−12

EDI CON 2019 Coming up September 10-12  - RF CafeIt's almost time for the 2019 EDI−CON show. EDI CON Online brings much needed technical training and information directly to engineers' desktops and mobile devices. Free, real-time training with easy registration and access. Featuring 3 days of: • Keynotes • Technical Sessions • Workshops & Product Demonstrations Covering topics in RF, Microwave, Signal Integrity, Power Integrity, and EMC/EMI. Attendees select their sessions for the online event in a single sign-on registration portal. Attendees participate live (including Q&A) or watch later on demand. Sessions include video, traditional webinar, and screen sharing formats.

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

PCB  Directory - RF CafePCB Directory is the largest directory of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Manufacturers, Assembly houses, and Design Services on the Internet. We have listed the leading printed circuit board manufacturers around the world and made them searchable by their capabilities - Number of laminates used, Board thicknesses supported, Number of layers supported, Types of substrates (FR-4, Rogers, flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. 

National Electronics Museum Display at IMS2011 (MTT-S 2011)

National Electronics Museum Display at IMS2011 (MTT-S 2011) - RF Cafe

One of the perks of attending the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is that you are given the opportunity to see a part of the history of microwave engineering. At the two IMS shows that Melanie and I have been to (2009 and 2011), a portion of the contents of the National Electronics Museum, headquartered in Linthicum, Maryland, (only a few miles from the Baltimore Convention Center) was on display. Safely locked behind protective glass and guarded by a paid sentinel are relics of our profession's past. Prototypes of magnetrons, circulators, filters, phased array antennas, traveling wave tubes, waveguide, oscillators, and a host of other devices dreamed up ...

Chinese Satellite Profiles Earth's RF Spectrum as Seen from Lunar Orbit

Chinese Satellite Profiles Earth's RF Spectrum as Seen from Lunar Orbit - RF CafeThe Chinese DSLWP-B (LO-94) satellite that had been in lunar orbit provided a profile of Earth's HF spectrum as seen from the moon. The microsatellite subsequently was crashed into the moon's surface after having completed its mission. DSLWP stands for 'Discovering the Sky at Longest Wavelengths Pathfinder.' Among other things, DSLWP-B was designed to test low-frequency radio astronomy and space-based interferometry, and it carried Amateur Radio and educational payloads. The HF spectrum mission included mapping 'RF interference' from Earth ...

ConductRF: Precision & Standard Grade RF Cable Assemblies

ConductRF coaxial cables & connectors - RF CafeConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF 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! 

Monday 26

Middle East Gets Its First Television Station

Middle East Gets Its First Television Station, June 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen this article appeared in Popular Electronics in 1955, Iraq was considered a staunch ally of the United States and most Western countries, although not long thereafter relations were strained when Communist-aligned forces gained control of the former monarchy. As part of a plan to help Iraq modernize, English telecommunications company Pye Limited built and commissioned a television broadcast station in the capital city of Baghdad. As with any country when television was first introduced, Iraqi citizens were overwhelmingly enthusiastic - to the extent that TV sets were banned from being on in store display windows during major broadcasts because of the crowds being drawn and the subsequent traffic blockages ...

San Francisco Circuits Updated Fabrication & Assembly PCB Tolerances

San Francisco Circuits Updated Fabrication & Assembly PCB Tolerances - RF CafeSan Francisco Circuits (SFC), a provider of PCB fabrication and assembly, has just announced the company is now offering expanded PCB tolerances for standard and advanced technology circuit boards. San Francisco Circuits specializes in offering high-yield PCBs in all kinds of applications that meet rigid design and performance specifications. San Francisco Circuits' specialty is in providing solutions to the most complex design challenges and ultra-demanding applications–be that high-heat, critical-reliability, or even up to military standards if needed. Their tolerances are built within valid IPC guidelines and standards, typically IPC-A-600 Class 2 standards that should be followed to help minimize issues that could affect performance. View San Francisco Circuits' updated PCB Tolerances here ...

Wayward Capacitor Woes

Wayward Capacitor Woes, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeCapacitors come in a huge variety of package configurations, chemical makeups, physical constructions and sizes, capacitance values, and voltage and power handling abilities. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses for a particular application. When capacitors are functioning properly, life is great, but when one decides to fail either completely or partially, troubleshooting the cause can be a real challenge. The best kind of electrical component failure from a troubleshooting perspective is one where the component releases its life-giving internal smoke and in the process leaving a clearly visible clue like a cracked case or a nice black mark when none should be. Otherwise, the job can get interesting. Being proficient at schematic reading and tracing waveforms through circuits ...

OneWeb Secures Global Spectrum for Global Connectivity Services

OneWeb Secures Global Spectrum for Global Connectivity Services - RF Cafe"OneWeb, whose mission is to connect everyone everywhere, is pleased to announce it has succeeded in bringing into use its spectrum rights in the Ku- and Ka-band spectrum. To achieve this milestone, OneWeb's satellites have been transmitting at the designated frequencies in the correct orbit for more than 90 days, enabling OneWeb to meet the requirements to secure spectrum bands over which it has priority rights under ITU rules and regulations. These rights will now be confirmed as the UK administration, which has filed our satellite system with the ITU, will complete the required Notification and Registration process of the company's LEO network ..."

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad RF Systems designs and manufactures RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad RF Systems comprises three partners (hence 'Triad') with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. PA, LNA, bi-directional, and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including tower mount, benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please check to see how we can help your project ... Please check to see how they can help your project.

Sunday 25

Engineering & Technical Headlines Crossword Puzzle for August 25

Engineering & Technical Headlines Crossword Puzzle August 25, 2019 - RF CafeThis RF Cafe Engineering & Technical Headlines Crossword Puzzle contains at least 10 words from headlines posted on the homepage during the week of August 19 through August 23, 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) ...

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