"...Or, Never Throw Anything Away, If You
Can Help It." That is the full title of this story by Freb Ebel which appeared in
a 1968 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. In order to "get it," you
would need to have been the owner and operator (and preferably builder) of one of
the vintage (now, not then) manually adjusted (often)
regenerative receivers in order to optimize performance. Anyone who would have
considered a regenerative "squealer" to be the electronics of yore in 1968 would
be half a century older today. It might seem there would be few of those gents left,
but judging by notes I get from RF Cafe visitors, their numbers must be fairly large,
and I'm glad to know it.
Coilcraft, one of the industry's largest
and oldest inductor manufacturers, has published a whitepaper entitled, "Key Parameters for Selecting RF Inductors." It
is just a couple pages and covers SRF, DC resistance, Q, etc. Whenever you go to
a website - news or otherwise - and you are required to provide contact info for
access to a paper or article (which puts you on a mailing list), do a search to
see if it is available for download elsewhere without having to divulge your ID.
It almost always is.
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. This particular quiz challenges your knowledge of
radar fundamentals. Do you know what a
"radar mile" is? Bon chance.
Teledyne e2v HiRel announces the availability
of a rad-tolerant
60 GHz, Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) reflective RF switch, model TDSW0602T,
that is ideal for use in high reliability, demanding space and defense applications.
This new RF switch, developed with Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, will be
available as flip chip die and is screened per MIL-PRF-38534 Class K for space applications.
Until now, rad tolerant 60 GHz switch technology has only been available for
less rigorous commercial application requirements. This product leverages monolithic
microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) design techniques that deliver unprecedented
performance in the K and Ka microwave and millimeter-wave bands ...
"A new way to calculate the interaction between
a metal and its alloying material could speed the hunt for a
new material that combines the hardness of ceramic
with the resilience of metal. The discovery, made by engineers at the University
of Michigan, identifies two aspects of this interaction that can accurately predict
how a particular alloy will behave - and with fewer demanding, from-scratch quantum
mechanical calculations. 'Our findings may enable the use of machine learning algorithms
for alloy design, potentially accelerating the search for better alloys that could
be used in turbine engines and nuclear reactors,' said Liang Qi ..."
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. The company is a leader in development and
production of the films required for these type of RF/microwave components. Please
check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current
Given that this
Circuitry Crossword was created at the peak of the post-war television popularity
wave, it is no surprise that the main focus is on TV-related terms. Still, most
people who lived during the era of "real" television sets with cathode ray tubes
(CRTs), will probably have no problem completing it successfully. If you have ever
adjusted the horizontal and vertical hold controls on a TV, you're in the club.
After nearly two decades with LCD computer and television displays, the days of
less than perfect images are fading like an over-the-air broadcast on a stormy day.
Unlike the time it took me days to figure out that two heavy speakers sitting on
a shelf over top of my CRT computer monitor was causing a weird distortion in the
This image from Lowell Observatory in Arizona
shows the damage inflicted on Earth-based astronomy caused by SpaceX's
Starlink satellite cluster. This is just the
first 60 of a planned 12,000 satellites which will ostensibly provide global Internet
coverage from space. The American Astronomical Society predicted such interference,
but was assured by Starlink planners that the concern was unfounded since the satellites'
brightness will decrease once in their final orbital positions. Worldwide governments
(aka taxpayers) have many billions of dollars invested in telescope construction
and operation, and the future of astronomical research hangs on whether Starlink
and similar schemes are permitted to effect a dynamic light filter around the Earth.
In 1935, not much was yet known about the
ionosphere. Its existence was first theorized in 1902 by Arthur Kennelly and
Oliver Heaviside, and Edward Appleton proved its presence in 1924 by conducting
a series of broadcast experiments, but no direct measurements were possible until
rocket-borne instruments could be launched. An Aerobee-Hi sounding rocket was launched
in 1956 as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) project that made the
first actual detection of ionized particles in what is now referred to as the D-layer.
It is therefore forgivable that Hugo Gernsback, normally spot-on in his theories
and postulations regarding RF propagation, incorrectly suggested in this editorial
that based on observed time measurements from Europe to the USA, radio waves may
vary in speed through the atmosphere by as much ...
Keysight Technologies will present a free
webinar entitled, "Accelerating the Engineering Workflow" at 1:00 pm
EDT on October 23rd. "In our fast-moving, competitive global economy, engineers
are being asked to reduce the time between committing a change to a product while
that change is being placed into normal production, ensuring high quality. Learn
how to accelerate your overall engineering workflow from a simulation of early concepts
through manufacturing and optimization of deployed systems. Learn how to optimize
your test development workflow. Learn how workgroup and enterprise silos are slowing
down product development and how to avoid it. ;Learn best practices implemented
by other companies to accelerate their workflow ..."
"A team of scientists has made the
strongest silver ever - 42% stronger than the
previous world record. But that's not the important point. 'We've discovered a new
mechanism at work at the nanoscale that allows us to make metals that are much stronger
than anything ever made before - while not losing any electrical conductivity,'
says Frederic Sansoz, a materials scientist and mechanical engineering professor
at the University of Vermont [my alma mater] who co-led the new discovery.
This fundamental breakthrough promises a new category of materials that can overcome
a traditional trade-off in industrial and commercial materials between strength
and ability to carry electrical current ..."
Axiom Test Equipment allows you to
buy test equipment,
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
RF Cafe regulars know that the website's
slogan of "Serving a Thoughtful Blend of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" is a very
accurate description of the information presented on a daily basis. Having always
been a firm believer that being aware of the people and events that brought us to
where we are today is essential to forging paths towards tomorrow's successes, I
take care to review and excerpt relevant historical passages from vintage newspapers,
books, magazines, and videos. Some of the most interesting reads are noting historical
perspectives from writers at a time that to us, today, is historical. Some of these
Highlights" from a 1972 issue of Popular Electronics magazine are an example.
The first item celebrates the 10-year anniversary of American satellite communications
with the launching of the Telstar satellite ...
RF Cafe's continued existence depends on
companies like ERZIA providing support. ERZIA produces
microwave and mm-wave
modular amplifiers and integrated assemblies operating from low frequencies
up to 100 GHz. Their catalogue of standard amplifier modules comprises more
than 100 different models, having also a high capacity of customization for amplifiers
and integrated assemblies. Some of products have space heritage and are used in
aerospace, commercial, military and scientific systems, having a wide range of final
Withwave has introduced a line of
SMPM connectors which cover a wide frequency range from RF to microwave with
excellent frequency performance and high density. The proprietary internal insulator
enables a simpler structure with higher performance compared to the conventional
SMPM connectors. The best applications could be 5G complex mobile communications
modules, satellite systems and various other wireless systems. Frequency range:
DC to 26.5 GHz & 67 GHz, push-on mating for quick installation, high density
SMT packaging available ...
Mac McGregor, owner of
Mac's Radio Service Shop, can always be counted on to provide his apprentice
technician, Barney, with a lesson from his own life-long attendance at the School
of Hard Knocks. Barney is your stereotypical young buck whose level of seriousness
needs occasional alignment, just as do the radio and television sets he services.
In this episode, I can't find where Mac actually solved the intermittent electrical
condition believed to be causing the problem - weird. The "Mac's Radio Service Shop"
series ran in Radio & Television News magazine for many years prior
to a similar electronics story series called "Carl & Jerry" that appeared in
Popular Electronics. Both were created by consummate storyteller John T. Frye ...
No surprise here: California had most of
the top paying slots, but of course it is one of the highest cost of living areas,
so "real" pay might not be so good. "Welcome to
Manufacturing Day. The world of production has
changed remarkably in recent years. Manufacturing plants are now clean and relatively
quiet. When I [Rob Spiegel ] was young and growing up in the Detroit area, manufacturing
jobs were easy to come by. They paid very well, but they were hard on the body and
soul. The work was repetitive, the plant factory was loud, the smell was heavy with
grease, and there were physical dangers if you weren't careful. I lost the tip of
a thumb to a small stamp welder ..."
"Scientists can fabricate metal interconnects
for electronic devices
without using heat, creating new options in material
use and scientific and commercial applications. To create parts made of metal in
electronic devices, engineers have traditionally used heat, as metals must be molten
to be formed. Researchers now have devised a way that eliminates the need for heat
when creating electronic interconnects, facilitating the design of flexible and
wearable electronics, they said. Researchers at Iowa State University demonstrated
a way to print flexible electronics that doesn't require heat. A team at the designed
the method, which pre-heats metal - in this case, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and
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
Back in my electronics technician days I
tried to get a job at a couple of the local hospitals as an on-site
equipment maintenance man. That was sometime in the early 1980s. Then, as now,
being a part of the healthcare system is a good way to assure job security since
it is a field that keeps growing with - even outpacing - population increases. Some
of the larger hospitals, similar to electronics design and manufacturing companies,
used to have their own test equipment repair and calibration departments, but most
of that is outsourced nowadays. This article from an 1972 issue of Popular Electronics
magazine highlighted some of the challenges that promised to make a career as a
medical equipment technician rewarding. You might also be interested ...
While searching for some turn-of-the-20th-century
newspaper articles on Nikola Tesla, I ran across this piece in the September 3,
1900, issue of a Leadville, Colorado, paper entitled, "The Herald Democrat."
Canadian owner Dr. L.M. Homes entered his noble steed named in honor of the
world-famous high voltage experimenter Nikola Tesla in the races at
Malta, CO, which is a few miles west of Leadville.
He took 2nd place in a close contest with 1st place winner Know Me. Leadville is
situated at a little over 10,000 feet, so the oxygen level at that altitude is a
real challenge to any air-breathing man or beast; racing there must have been an
interesting experience. The "real"
Nikola Tesla was at the time living and working
in his laboratory in Colorado Springs, CO, located on the eastern slope of the Rocky
Mountains. I visited Leadville sometime around 1992 while living in Colorado Springs.
"It was just days ago that we reported that
the NHTSA was opening an inquiry into the use of Tesla's 'Smart Summon' feature.
Then, just hours ago we followed up by reporting that a petition had been filed
with the NHTSA claiming that Tesla was using over the air software updates to cover
up dangerous battery issues. Just because the NHTSA has started to perk up its ears,
doesn't mean that Teslas haven't stopped
going up in flames all over the world. The most
recent example comes from Austria, where after a Tesla was involved in an accident
and caught fire, firefighters had to use a special container to transport the remains
of the vehicle and the battery. In order to put out the fire, the street had to
be closed and fire authorities had to bring in a container user to cool the vehicle.
The container held 11,000 liters (11 tons) of water ..."
This is Part 2 of Keysight Technologies'
"The Essential Generator Guide - Building a Solid
Foundation in RF."
Part 1 covered signal generator key attributes,
power, accuracy, and speed, and this follows up with IQ modulation, spectral purity
and understanding phase noise requirements, distortion performance, and finally
software. Looking at Figure 4.3 in Part 1, having that long connection of components,
a power meter head, and some cables cantilevered off the end of the signal generator
SMA (2.4 mm) connector worries me a bit. I'm surprised it was put in the paper.
Elsewise, there is a lot of good information in the two app notes.
TotalTemp Technologies has more than 40 years
of combined experience providing thermal platforms.
are available to provide temperatures between −100°C and +200°C for cryogenic cooling,
recirculating circulating coolers, temperature chambers and temperature controllers,
thermal range safety controllers, space simulation chambers, hybrid benchtop chambers,
custom systems and platforms. Manual and automated configurations for laboratory
and production environments. Please contact TotalTemp Technologies today to learn
how they can help your project.
"The UK has more than its fair share of unsung
engineering success stories, but there are perhaps few more striking examples of
Britain hiding its industrial light under a bushel than its buoyant space sector.
Despite a relatively low public profile, UK space is at the forefront of areas including
the manufacture of
telecoms satellites, the development of small
systems that can be launched at a fraction of the cost of traditional technology,
and the design of robotic probes and rovers for planetary exploration. Meanwhile,
with several proposed spaceports under consideration, alongside the development
of innovative propulsion technologies such as Reaction Engines’ SABRE engine, the
UK is even beginning to take significant steps towards the development of its own
domestic launch capability ..."
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 full-page advertisement by
Tubes caught my eye because of the vast array of vacuum tube shapes and sizes.
Most people, even back in the era of tube-based electronic equipment, think of the
standard 12AX7 type rounded top, cylindrical glass package with a plastic or phenolic
base and some metal pins sticking out of the bottom. Television and radio sets were
full of them, and those are what you or your parents or grandparents would yank
from the chassis and take to the local drug store or electronics shop to plug into
the big tube tester that was commonplace back then. However, as this photo shows
there was a great variety of special glass and inner electrode configurations. If
you have ever attended the MTTS (IMS) show, you might have seen the equipment display
provided by the National Electronics Museum ...
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 ...
Dr. Michael Steer, Lampe Distinguished Professor
of Electrical and computer Engineering at the NC State University, has released
half a dozen of his books on RF system and circuit design in the form of OpenAccess
eBooks, and are downloadable at no cost on the NC State website. Dr. Steer
is a prolific author whose books are chock full of highly useful illustrations and
photographs. The first five "Microwave
and RF Design" books, volumes 1 through 5, cover a wide swath of ground with
concentrations in radio systems, transmission lines, networks, modules, and amplifiers
and oscillators. The final book, "Fundamentals of Microwave and RF Design," is a
summary of the first five that will prove useful to newcomers in the field. Excerpts
of the books' contents are quoted ...
Burying any antenna in the ground seems like
a bad idea from radiated field pattern and efficiency perspectives. As determined
in a 1974 paper published by the National Bureau of Standards, most of the energy
from a buried dipole antenna that is not absorbed by the ground is radiated nearly
straight up (many studies of underground antennas can be found). Motivating the
NBS's burial study was a desire to conceal radio communications antennas in covert
operations. This short piece in a 1935 edition of Short Wave Craft reports
on a case Hams were experimenting with
buried antennas in order to avoid the expense and trouble of an overhead installation.
These days, Hams want to bury antennas for those same reasons AND to get around
restrictive neighborhood and town restrictions prohibiting certain antenna installations ...
Axiom Test Equipment, an electronic test
equipment rentals and sales company, has published a blog post entitled "Pack
a Punch for High-Power Semiconductor Device Testing," explaining how to source
the right electronic load for your next project. Semiconductor devices are rapidly
gaining in output-power capabilities, whether used in continuous-wave (CW) circuits
or in pulsed applications. Because they have continued to increase power levels
while remaining at such smaller sizes, power semiconductors have made vacuum-tube
devices such as klystrons, magnetrons, and travelling-wave tubes (TWTs) all but
forgotten except for designs at the highest power levels. But packing so much ...
"In the illustrious history of the F−35
fighter jet, add a pony farm outside Berlin as the place where one company claims
the plane's stealth cover was blown. The story that follows is a snapshot in the
cat-and-mouse game between combat aircraft - designed to be undetectable by radar
- and sensor makers seeking to undo that advantage. In the case of the F-35, the
promise of invisibility to radar is so pronounced that it has colored much of the
jet's employment doctrine, lending an air of invincibility to the weapon: The enemy
never saw it coming. But technology leaps only last so long, and Russia and China
are known to be working on technology aimed at nixing whatever leg up NATO countries
have tried to build for themselves. The company's
passive radar system, named TwInvis, is but one
of an emerging generation of sensors and processors so sensitive ..."
ConductRF 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!
For two decades, I have been creating custom
engineering- and science-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit
and pleasure of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. This October 6,
2019, puzzle contains the names of at least ten advertisers who help deliver RF
Cafe to you every day. Otherwise, it uses a database of thousands of words which
I have 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