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Homepage Archive - January 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.

Homepage Archive Pages

2020:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
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
2014:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2013:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2012:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13


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

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Friday 25

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Insurance Jobs

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Insurance Jobs, May 1956 Radio & Television News - RF CafeGetting involved in an insurance claim scam, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can profoundly affect the future of a business. Mac McGregor, of course, would never consider bilking any customer be it a person or insurance company. Diligent bookkeeping, annotation, and on-the-record statements from claimants seeking his repair services were in 1956 (when this story appeared in Radio & Television News) and are today the keys to covering your posterior. Also mentioned is a scheme to electromechanically make dynamic adjustments to a tape recorder's read/write head in order to compensate for minute skew angles of the magnetic tape media as it feeds through the machine. Many of the topics covered in the Mac's Service Shop episodes concern real-life products, research, or processes, so my guess is that Mac's reference to a friend applying for a patent on this tape head scheme was an actual invention. Reading about the dynamic head positioning idea reminds me of how all new giant telescopes ...

The Chronicles of GND (Part 4)

The Chronicles of GND (Part 4) - RF CafeThe old saying that "Ground is ground the world around" might be true in the general sense when referring to signals with a large signal-to-noise ratio and impedances don't matter much, but when it comes to having electrical signals and power sources keeping within their intended domains, often times a simple, single ground plane connection is not the best solution. In Part 4 of his series "The Chronicles of GND," author Kendall Castor-Perry discusses supply currents. Says Mr. Castor-Perry, 'I was going to take a break from 'The Chronicles of GND.' But 'Push Me, Pull Me' resulted in a surge of correspondence - much of it criticism that I had not included any diagrams of the various forms of current flow in the output stages I described in that post. So, the first thing I intend with this post is to include diagrams to illustrate ..."

Discrete Wiring - Solderless Wrapped Electrical Connections: Wire-Wrap

Discrete Wiring - Solderless Wrapped Electrical Connections: Wire-Wrap - RF CafeUnless otherwise annotated, U.S. Government publications are deemed to be in the public domain for American citizens. Since government websites are famous for moving pages around and/or eliminating them entirely, I went ahead and captured this copy of the wire-wrapping workmanship standards as defined by NASA. In fact, many moons ago when working as an electronics technician at the Westinghouse Oceanic Division in Annapolis, MD, I attended a week-long class learning to perform soldering, wire-wrapping, and PCB rework per NASA standards. My work involved a lot of building electronic and mechanical assemblies for DoD and aerospace systems, and U.S. Navy inspectors were on-site to perform inspections on everything I built ...

Metamaterials-Based Satellite Antenna Developed

Metamaterials-Based Satellite Antenna Developed - RF Cafe"Lockheed Martin and Penn State University have developed an innovative antenna technology that is now under consideration for use in next-gen GPS satellite payloads. They worked together to dramatically improve the design of the conventional short backfire antenna by significantly increasing its aperture efficiency (gain), without affecting its rugged and compact design, nor increasing its weight. This type of antenna was originally developed in the 1960s at the Air Force Research Lab. Since then, it has been used in many ground, sea and space applications, perhaps most notably in the communication between NASA and the Apollo spacecraft, and it is still in use on terrestrial communication antenna towers today ..."

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. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today! ...

Thursday 24

Bell Telephone Laboratories Invents Wire-Wrapping

Bell Telephone Laboratories, October 1953 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIf you believe this 1953 advertisement in Radio & Television News magazine, engineering at Bell Telephone Laboratories invented the wire-wrapping process. A little additional research shows that indeed it was a Bell Telephone engineering team led by Arthur Keller who developed the method and a wire-wrap tool to do the job. Field technician needed a fast, durable, and reliable electrical connection when making hundreds or thousands of splices at relay stations and while up on telephone poles. The key to making a good wire-wrap connection is sharp corners on the wrapping post so that the corner pushes through any oxidation or contaminant on the bare wire. NASA and the DoD have exacting workmanship standards to guarantee ...

Quantum 'MESO' Architecture Could Replace CMOS

Quantum 'MESO' Architecture Could Replace CMOS - RF Cafe"Researchers at Intel and UC Berkeley are working on a new transistor technology based on magnetoelectric and spin-orbit materials that offers several advantages over CMOS. According to Ramamoorthy Ramesh, a UC Berkeley professor of Materials Science and Engineering, projections show that the explosion of sensors and computing devices that will constitute the Internet of Things (IoT) - numbering perhaps in the billions - could lead to such an increase in energy demand that electronic devices could comprise as much as 20% of all energy consumed. That's a drastic increase compared with 4-5% today. And just that is enough to justify the search for a new, more energy efficient computing architecture. However, a second challenge has to do with computationally intensive ..."

Magnetism - Its History

Magnetism - Its History, Basic Navy Training Courses, NAVPERS 10622, Chapter 11 - RF CafeIn the light of recent urgent news about an unexplained, sudden uptick in the migration rate of Earth's magnetic field, this chapter on magnetism from the U.S. Navy's training course is especially interesting. Figure 83 is a snapshot of the magnetic variation (aka declination) isogonic lines as they were around 1945, when this manual was published. I say "snapshot" because those lines are constantly changing. Magnetic declination (variation) is the difference between magnetic north (or south) pole as indicated by a magnetic compass, and the true geographic north (or south) pole around which the earth rotates. Magnetism records locked up in rocks and plants, combined with records kept by ancient mariners who compared compass readings with those obtained from sextants provide the data. As you can see in the animation posted on Wikipedia, the magnetic declination changes significantly. The advent of satellite-based navigation ...

Hybrid, Wide-Range Detector Amplifier

Hybrid, Wide-Range Detector Amplifier - RF CafeThis new hybrid detector design from the folks at Sandia National Laboratory is a combination of a high dynamic range linear amplifier and a logarithmic amplifier. "Many applications require detection of both very small and very large signals. High-gain detector amplifiers provide low noise, but are easily swamped by large signals. Logarithmic amplifiers provide a wide range, but contribute to distortion. Auto-ranging circuits lose data when switching between low and high gain. Detecting over a wide range is especially challenging for modern, low-supply-voltage integrated circuits. Transimpedance amplifiers can be used to convert an input current signal into an output voltage signal. This is useful for processing current signals generated by photodetectors ..."

More Far Side of the Moon Photos from China's YuTu-2 Rover

More Far Side of the Moon Photos from China's YuTu-2 Rover - RF Cafe"Chinese officials on Friday released more imagery from the Chang'e 4 mission, a robotic lander and rover exploring the far side of the moon after a successful landing January 3. The imagery released Friday included a new view of China's Yutu 2 rover captured by a camera aboard the Chang'e 4 lander, a panoramic vista of the austere lunar landscape, and a sped-up video showing the spacecraft’s final descent to the moon from the view of the probe’s descent camera. Chang'e 4 was set to enter a low-power sleep mode Sunday as the sun set on the landing site in Von Karman crater, a bowl-shaped depression measuring around 110 miles in diameter located in the southern hemisphere of the far side of the moon ..."

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 sheld. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today ...

Wednesday 23

Equivalency in RTL Circuits

Equivalency in RTL Circuits, February 1971 Popular Electronics - RF CafeOther than for DC power supply applications where you might need to implement current steering and/or redundancy schemes, there are not too many times when a combination of transistors and/or diodes would be used for logic circuitry in place of integrated circuits. That has not always been the case. Early packaged IC blocks were expensive compared to discrete components, so both hobbyists and professional designers often used a combination of technologies. Resistor-transistor logic (RTL) and diode-transistor logic (DTL), emitter-coupled, logic (ECL), and other variations were covered in a 1969 Radio-Electronics article by titled "How IC's Work: Integrated Circuit Logic Families." This piece provides a little more insight into the construction of those families and shows how to construct logical combinations using diodes and NOR gates ...

3D Printing: The Impact of Post-Processing

3D Printing: The Impact of Post-Processing - RF CafeThe January issue of NASA Tech Briefs magazine has an article titled "3D Printing: The Impact of Post-Processing," which discusses the common misconception that incorporating 3D printing into a manufacturing process is a guaranteed time and money saver. In reality, most 3D components require some post-processing that can be very labor-intensive, which can wipe out any anticipated savings. Fine modeling skills are often needed for those tasks, meaning good jobs for people with modeling building skills. A couple months ago Glenn Robb, of Antenna Test Lab, published a couple articles on his efforts to 3D-print feed horns. Post-processing included smoothing the printed layer ridges and painting the surfaces with metallic paint. 3D printing in most cases still has a long way to go before the ultimate finished-product output is realized ...

Radar Techniques - Primer Principles

Radar Techniques - Primer Principles, April 1945 QST - RF Cafe"The prospective peacetime applications of radar are beyond prediction. Among the more obvious are those relating to navigational aids and colli­sion prevention. In some of these uses it will be a case of radar replacing radio." That was 74 years ago when real-world radar was still in its infancy that futurists were prognosticating on potential uses for radar beyond its use for the war effort. Just a month after the April issue of QST was published, the war in Europe ended (V-E Day, May 8, 1945), and four months after that the war in Japan ended (V-J Day, August 14, 1945). Editor DeSoto would be utterly amazed at just how widespread radar is today. It not only surveys the airways for commercial, military, and civilian craft, but also for marine and land traffic, orbiting spacecraft, and planetary science ...

Buy a Scope – Get a Probe!

Buy a Scope – Get a Probe! - RF CafeRohde & Schwarz is running a new promotion called "Buy a Scope – Get a Probe!" Purchase an R&S®RTM3000 or an R&S®RTA4000 and get a probe for free. High-quality measurements require the right probing solution. With this promotion, customers get a free oscilloscope probe if they buy an R&S®RTM3000 or R&S®RTA4000 with the R&S®RTM‑PK1 or R&S®RTA-PK1 application bundle. They can choose one of six different probes that are specially designed for specific applications. Their individual parameters are optimized for digital protocol decoding applications, power integrity analysis or power electronics measurements ...

DARPA to Secure the Electronics Supply Chain

DARPA to Secure the Electronics Supply Chain - RF Cafe"To better protect the global electronics and IT supply chain, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking at solutions that can track and authenticate computer hardware components as they are manufactured, shipped and assembled around the globe. Resold and recycled components degrade the reliability and security of many systems used by the Defense Department. The Pentagon has known about the problem for decades and in 2012 issued comprehensive guidance to DOD program and procurement managers to crack down on the problem, with a particular emphasis on electronic parts and components. However, the increasingly complex nature of the global supply chain means that even primary government contractors have difficulty ..."

Many Thanks to ConductRF for Continued Support!

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!

Tuesday 22

Storing Light in an Integrated Circuit

Storing Light in an Integrated Circuit - RF Cafe"Scientists at the Harvard A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a new way to store light in an integrated circuit. The integrated photonics platform also allows them to electronically control the frequency of thelight being stored. Scientists believe their new system could have a vast array of applications including microwave photonics, photonic quantum information processing, and optical signal processing, to name a few. Scientists have long hoped to harness microwave signals for such work. Unfortunately, they had always proven to interact far too weakly with electrons to prove effective. That's what led scientists to try a different method, using lithium niobate. This is a material with powerful electro-optic properties ..."

Anatech Electronics January 2019 Newsletter

Anatech Electronics January 2019 Newsletter - RF CafeSam Benzacar, of RF and microwave filter company Anatech Electronics, has penned this piece titled, "5G Fact and Fiction" as part of his January newsletter. Sam keeps abreast of all the latest news in the wireless world, which is not unexpected given his company's long-time involvement in helping others make their products play well together in an increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum - both licensed and unlicensed. The term "5G" is still a relatively fuzzy entity whose definition is still being constructed by the telecom industry's engineers, marketeers, and the news media. Also included are a few other topics including Google's high power automotive radar, 5G at this year's CES show, Ford's cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) scheme, and the Bluetooth SIG push for IoT ...

Webinar: How LTE-A Pro Paves the Way for 5G New Radio

How LTE-A Pro Paves the Way for 5G New Radio - RF CafeOn January 29, at 11 am ET, Rohde & Schwarz's Reiner Stuhlfauth will present a free webinar titled, "How LTE-A Pro Paves the Way for 5G New Radio." This webinar provides a technology dive into the LTE-A Pro features, showing the flexibility and variety of LTE use cases and service scenarios. The features are presented from the perspective of the 5G service triangle - supporting higher data rates including LAA, enhanced CA, LWA, MUST and SC-PTM, massive machine type communications including LTE-M and NB-IoT enhancements and ultra-reliable low latency services such as C-V2X. LTE-A Pro will play an essential role in 5G deployments. For example, option 3, the non-standalone (NSA) mode ...

Largest Full Moon (Supermoon) of 2019

Largest Full Moon (Supermoon) of 2019 Photo - Airplanes & RocketsJanuary's first full moon, known as the Wolf Moon, is the biggest and brightest full moon of 2019 - a 'supermoon' in modern parlance. It was also a long duration (1 hour and 2 minutes) total lunar eclipse. The technical name for this special combination is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The moon reached fullness at 00:17 EST and perigee at 14:59 EST on the 21st. The moon is full when the earth is between the sun and the moon, and the moon is new when it is between the sun and Earth. The picture below was taken out of my back door, at around 9:30 pm local time (Erie, PA), at the beginning of the penumbral phase of the eclipse (not apparent in the photo). The outside temperature was about 5 °F and the wind was howling pretty good - quite appropriate for this Wolf Moon ...

U.S and China in Quantum Physics Arms Race That Will Transform Warfare

U.S and China in Quantum Physics Arms Race That Will Transform Warfare - RF Cafe"In the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, American military planners began to worry about the threat to U.S. warplanes posed by new, radar-guided missile defenses in the Soviet Union and other nations. In response, engineers at places like U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin's famous Skunk Works stepped up work on stealth technology that could shield aircraft from the prying eyes of enemy radar. This advantage is now under threat. In November 2018, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, China's biggest defense electronics company, unveiled a prototype radar that it claims can detect stealth aircraft in flight. The radar uses some of the exotic phenomena of quantum physics to help reveal planes' locations ..."

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 ...

Monday 21

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, April 1969 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeHere is a little technology humor to help easy you into the week ahead. Ironically, the themes of the three comics (by three separate artists) represent an evolution of the electronics realm over the past few decades, although almost certainly not planned by the editors. The first has to do with a couple TV servicemen installing an antenna, the second is of an out-of-work TV repairman, and the third is what might be considered a drone by today's norms. There is a huge list of other comics at the bottom of the page ...

Radar: The Silent Weapon of World War 2

Radar: The Silent Weapon of World War 2, October 1945 Radio News - RF CafeIf the history of radar intrigues you, then you will not want to miss this article titled "Radar: The Silent Weapon of World War 2," from the October 1945 edition of Radio News. There are a couple dozen photos of early radar equipment installations on land, ships, and aircraft. Radar pioneers Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor, Chief Consultant and Chief Coordinator of Electronics at Naval Research Laboratory, and Leo C. Young are pictured reminiscing over the "scope" of radar's history beside the first radar set at the Research Laboratory. In 1922, while experimenting with communications equipment for the Navy, the two men made the initial discovery of distortion in radio reception caused by the intrusion of objects between the transmitter and receiver. Working from this discovery, they and a number of associates made great strides forward into the vast sphere of scientific fields covered by the word "radar" today. Do you see the name(s) of anyone you know? ...

Old Heathkits Never Die, They Just Get Restored

Old Heathkits Never Die, They Just Get Restored - RF CafeThere is no shortage of vintage electronics aficionados who love nothing more than to spend countless hours - and sometimes dollars - restoring and preserving the memory of the products that appeared along the evolutionary path leading to modern electronics. David Goodsell documented his Heathkit EC−1 Analog Computer project on the Nuts & Volts magazine website. He, as do many hobbyists, even stuffed the cardboard cases of the original electrolytic capacitors with modern replacements in order to retain the authentic look. Prices on eBay for some of the vintage equipment has gotten pretty outrageous. He paid more than $400 for this example ...

RF Superstore Intros 60 GHz Transmitter and Receiver Pair

RF Superstore Intros 60 GHz Transmitter and Receiver Pair - RF CafeRF Superstore, an RF and microwave component supply outlet created by Pasternack founder Murray Pasternack, announces the V60-282 Transmitter and V60-283 Receiver. They are advanced, highly integrated V-band waveguide modules that meet the demanding high-speed, low-cost production requirements of today's developers. These silicon-based 60 GHz waveguide modules utilize the license-free V-band millimeter wave spectrum of 57 GHz to 64 GHz. Low Cost, Easy Integration The cost-effective V60-282 and V60-283 silicon germanium (SiGe) chip-based waveguide modules are easy to integrate. Small and lightweight, the waveguide modules feature a unique chip to waveguide transition. This radio transmitter operates in the license-free frequency range of 57 to 64 GHz ...

New Phone Design to Facilitate the Shift From 4G to 5G

New Phone Design to Facilitate the Shift From 4G to 5G - RF Cafe"Despite limited space within a single mobile device, one group of researchers has identified a new dual antenna design that could allow phones to access both LTE and 5G networks. With any transition between old and new generations of technology, there are compatibility issues. The transition to 5G wireless communication is no different. One hurdle to be overcome in this transition involves incorporating, within a single phone, new antennas that can support the millimeter wavelengths of signals on 5G networks alongside existing antennas that support the longer wavelengths transmitted by LTE networks. In a new proof-of-concept study ..."

Rohde & Schwarz: RF & Microwave, Analog, Digital, & Optical Test Equipment

Rohde & Schwarz RM & Microwave Test Equipment - 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 ...

Sunday 20

RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for January 20

RF Cafe Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle January 20, 2019Each week, for the sake of all avid cruciverbalists amongst us, I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy ...

   
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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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