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Homepage Archive - January 2020 (page 1)
See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the January 2020 homepage archives.

Friday 3

Mac's Service Shop: New Breed of Test Equipment

Mac's Service Shop: New Breed of Test Equipment, September 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen semiconductor junction devices - diodes and transistors - first came on the electronics scene, many people were mystified by their operation and had no idea how to work with them in terms of designing, troubleshooting, or understanding circuit function. These Mac's [Radio] Service Shop articles provided a great service to readers by always addressing contemporary issues whether they be customer relations, new types of radios and televisions, troubleshooting new kinds of circuits, shop procedures, documentation interpretation, circuit operation, or as in this installment, test equipment operation. As with so many things that appear in these vintage electronics magazines, what was a big deal decades ago is commonplace now. The Kurz-Kasch Junction Verifier described here is a cruder version ...

Post Your Engineer & Technician Job Openings on RF Cafe for Free

Engineering Job Board - RF CafeRF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable job openings. HR department employees and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting at no charge (of course a gratuity will be graciously accepted). 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from RF Cafe's high quality visitors ...

The Benefits of a Tunable RF Filter

NuWaves Tunable Filter Blog - RF CafeKevin Harrison, at NuWaves Engineering, has posted a short blog entry entitled, "The Benefits of a Tunable RF Filter." NuWaves was founded by military veterans in the year 2000 and manufactures RF amplifiers and filters. Per Kevin's article, "Filters are a staple of RF designers everywhere, and especially in applications where the integrity of the signal cannot be compromised. When you're only concerned about a single frequency, It's relatively easy to add in a fixed-tuned filter. However, it becomes slightly more difficult when you need to cover multiple frequencies and can't just utilize a roofing filter. To avoid having to use a bunch of individual filters, basically creating a complex switched filter bank module, a tunable filter may be the solution. One of the most common applications for a tunable filter is as a pre-selector in a receive path ..."

Many Thanks to Withwave for Continued Support!

Withwave RF & Microwave Components - RF CafeWithwave manufactures an extensive line of metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch, board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a fully automated 4-port vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors, attenuators, terminations, DC blocks, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner. Special test fixtures for calibration and multicoax cable assemblies. Frequency ranges from DC through 110 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they can help your project succeed.

China's Beidou Nav System to Provide Unique Services

China's Beidou Navigation System to Provide Unique Services - RF Cafe"China will provide unique services to global users with the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) after its construction is finished in 2020, an official said Friday. Along with basic positioning, navigation and time services, the BDS will provide six categories of special services that distinguish it from other systems, said BDS spokesperson Ran Chengqi at a press conference. The satellite-based augmentation system of the BDS will provide high-precision and high-integrity services to users in civil aviation, maritime, railway and other industries. In precise point positioning, the BDS will provide users in China and surrounding areas with decimeter-level dynamic positioning and centimeter-level static positioning, meeting ..."

Res-Net Microwave: Precision RF & Microwave Components

Res-Net Microwave Components - RF CafeRes-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 project.

Thursday 2

Transatlantic Electronics News

Transatlantic News, May 1948 Radio-Craft - RF CafeTelevision adoption immediately after World War II in many of the European countries lagged the U.S., probably in no small part due to a need to attend to the far more important task of rebuilding their infrastructures and societies which were largely decimated by Hitler and his Axis cohorts. This 1948 report in Radio-Craft magazine told of "televisors" being mainly kits with few having displays larger than 2 to 4 inches (smaller than most smartphone screens). 455 lines per frame was plenty for CRTs that small (NTSC later standardized on 525 lines per frame). Another interesting item is how even though Russia had been spared the ravages of one form of Marxism-Nazism-Socialism-Communism from Germany, it chose to stay is course of the same (minus, maybe, Nazism) with totalitarianism rule, to the extent that the article's author states, "If the authorities decide that television is good for the soul of Ivan Ivanovitch, he'll have to be keen on it, whether he likes it or not ...

Please Welcome Berkeley Nucleonics as an Advertiser!

Berkeley Nucleonics Corp - RF CafeBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC) is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement, and nuclear research. Founded in 1963, BNC initially developed custom pulse generators. We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance. We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal, light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing procedures ...

A Circular Antenna for UHF

A Circular Antenna for UHF, November 1942 QST - RF CafeLong before there were computer programs to instantly plot antenna radiation patterns, there were engineers who used slide rules to generate tables of values for power levels based on fundamental equations, and then plotted those points by hand on graph paper. Any copies were either hand generated like the original, or were run off on a mimeograph machine with its characteristic purple ink. Such was the case for the antenna radiation patterns published in the November 1942 edition of QST that describes the virtues of a circular antenna in the UHF band. It is too bad that the author did not include the equations for the antennas presented; that would really give you an appreciation for computers ...

RF LNA Technology Landscape Grows More Diverse

RF Low Noise Amplifier Technology Landscape Grows More Diverse - RF CafeMr. Tim Galla has on the High Frequency Electronics website a short article entitle, "RF Low Noise Amplifier Technology Landscape Grows More Diverse," which summarizes the evolution of semiconductor technology beginning with germanium and going through the most recent carbon nanotube (CNT) research work. CNT is the wonder material for many technologies both within and without electronics. The story begins, "RF low noise amplifiers (LNAs) fabricated with solid state technology have been in use for several decades. The early transition to solid state was pioneered with germanium, has subsequently transitioned to silicon, and has now expanded to include a wide range of compound III-V semiconductors and new carbon-based materials ..."

Halide Perovskites Show Promise as Thermoelectric Material

Halide Perovskites Show Promise as Thermoelectric Material - RF Cafe"Researchers in London have developed new thermoelectric materials that could provide a low-cost option for converting heat into electricity. Halide perovskites have been proposed as affordable alternatives to existing thermoelectric materials, but research into their suitability for thermoelectric applications has been limited. In this study, published in Nature Communications, scientists at from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) conducted experiments on thin films of the halide perovskite - caesium tin iodide - to test its ability to produce electrical current from heat. The researchers found they were able to improve the materials' thermoelectric properties ..."

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!

Wednesday 1

TV Circuits Crossword Puzzle

TV Circuits Crossword Puzzle, May 1958 Radio News - RF CafeIf you happen to be a retired television repairman from the era of analog broadcast and cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, or if you have studiously read the many articles I have posted from vintage electronics magazines about TV, then you will probably breeze right through this themed crossword puzzle from a 1958 issue of Radio & TV News. I have to admit to having done poorly myself, even after having been the one who posted all that stuff. Just having a general knowledge of electronics doesn't help much here since all the clues and words are very specific to television circuits. Still, it's worth the challenge and if nothing else you'll learn a little more about old time television- it really was a quite ingenious scheme for cramming ...

Get Your Custom-Designed RF Cafe Gear!

Custom-Designed RF-Themed Cups, T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks (Cafe Press) - RF CafeThis assortment of custom-designed themes by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins, Purses, Sweatshirts, and Baseball Caps. Choose from amazingly clever "We Are the World's Matchmakers" Smith chart design or the "Engineer's Troubleshooting Flow Chart." My "Matchmaker's" design has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please be sure to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. My markup is only a paltry 50¢ per item - Cafe Press gets the rest of your purchase price. These would make excellent gifts for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company events or as rewards for excellent service. It's a great way to help support RF Cafe. Thanks ...

Heat Cloak Coating Hides People from Thermal Cameras

Heat Cloak Coating Hides People from Thermal Cameras - RF Cafe"Researchers in the U.S. have developed a new coating that can cloak thermal radiation at some temperatures and could prevent detection by thermal cameras. The ultrathin coating is made from samarium nickel oxide, a tunable material that has some unique properties in certain temperature ranges. A general rule of physics is that objects grow brighter as their temperature increases. This allows infrared or thermal cameras to detect people and vehicles based on the heat they emit. But the new coating does not exhibit this regular linear relationship with heat and light and therefore has potential for camouflage devices or even clothing to enhance personal privacy ..."

Macro Models Let Engineers Simulate Circuits & Systems

Macro Models Let Engineers Simulate Circuits and Systems - RF CafeVishwanath Tigadi has an interesting article on the EDN website entitled, "Macro Models Let Engineers Simulate Circuits & Systems." Mr. Tigadi suggests that developing behavioral models that produce behavior in a simulation that closely follows empirical measurements of actual components and/or systems. He begins: "Electronic systems keep getting more complex. Much of the complexity comes from ICs, which can undergo years of design and validation cycles before reaching the market. System design engineering teams evaluate ICs before developing them into systems. IC Macro models help system designers understand, simulate, and implement these devices into systems before making any physical PCBs. Doing so cuts cost and time for the system designers while protecting the design IPs of the IC design engineering units. This article explains the need, benefit and market capturing aspects ..."

A Couple Changes on RF Cafe for 2020

rel="" HTML Attribute Values = RF CafeStandards and best practices for Web publishing change seemingly on a daily basis. What was good yesterday is bad today. Prior to the need for re-sizing images to accommodate responsive layouts for mobile devices, that specifying height and width was done to give the browser knowledge of how much space to reserve on the page so elements wouldn't shift around during page loading. It also sped up the process. Now, most sizes are determined dynamically according to space available (screen size). It slows things down, but that's the price you pay. RF Cafe still specifies exact sizes, so that does not change. What has changed, however, is no longer having off-site pages open in a new browser tab. There are bad-guy exploitations that can happen in doing so. I have also eliminated some of the rel="<something>" attributes since Google is changing the way they are handled. Happy 2020!

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. 

Tuesday 31

Junction Diode Amplifier Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad

Junction Diode Amplifier Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad, November 1958 Radio News - RF CafeRudolf Engelbrecht, an alum of Oregon state University, was inducted into the institution's Engineering Hall of Fame in 1998. As evidenced in this full-page advertisement in a 1958 issue of Radio & TV News magazine, Mr. Engelbrecht's work was instrumental in advancing the state of the art in communications electronics while an engineer at Bell Labs. Here, he is show with the four-stage junction diode amplifier developed for military applications. It exploited the variable capacitance nature of a varactor type diode to effect amplification in the UHF and microwave bands. Engelbrecht went on to work at Radio Corporation of America (RCA) later in his career. BTW, if you are wondering what other kind of diode might there be other than a "junction" diode ...

Army Radio Communications

Army Radio Communications, May 1945 Radio-Craft - RF CafeSeamless integration of wireless communications with wired communications has not always been a yawn in technical strategy discussions. It has really only been since the early 1990s with the introduction of ubiquitous cellphone systems that someone on a wireless device could connect directly with a wired (i.e., landline) contact and not need an intermediary operator to facilitate. Some military comms, the Inmarsat system and a few other proprietary systems were available, but not to the public at large. This article reports on some of the Army's early attempts at implementing wireless-to-wired communications, specifically as implemented during the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. Unlike present day systems that rely heavily on data compression and massive multiplexing, those systems allocated the standard audio (voice) bandwidth  ...

Capella Space to Launch Synthetic Aperture Radar

Capella Space to Launch Synthetic Aperture Radar - RF Cafe"Capella Space, an information services company providing Earth observation data on demand, has announced that it will launch seven synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites and start commercial operations in 2020. Powering this next step are Capella's breakthrough engineering technology innovations that make it the first small satellite SAR company in the industry to capture truly sub-0.5m very high-resolution (VHR) imagery. Capella's ultra-high SAR captures more images per satellite relative to other small SAR satellites and it has an ability to deliver SAR data to customers in less than 30 minutes from the collection with real-time tasking ..."

Resistors: Know How They Drift

Resistors: Know How They Drift - RF CafeThis article's title reads like one often found in the vintage electronics magazines from which I scan and post here on RF Cafe. The full text of Ove Hach's "Resistors: Know How They Drift," is on the EDN website. Unlike articles from many decades ago, this one addresses resistor applications for high precision analog and digital circuits, and includes a list of "ground rules" to apply when considering which resistor types and tolerances to use. It begins, "The progress in digitization has profoundly changed our lives. There is no area of everyday life to which digital circuits haven't penetrated. Ever more powerful microcontrollers and data converters let you convert analog signals into high resolution digital signals. What do you need to consider in selecting the resistors for the upstream measurement amplifier? What possible errors ..."

An Insider's View of Erie Technological Products

Erie Resistor Corporation Advertisement, December 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRF Cafe visitor Rick Marz, KD6EFB, happened upon my Erie Resistor Corporation webpage that is from a 1958 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. As it turns out, Rick is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, and work at the company in the mid 1960s. He has since moved on to much bigger and better things. Rick provided some very interesting historical information on his experience with Erie Technological Products - one incarnation of Erie Resistor - and how the electronics industry evolved as he made the rounds of some of the top semiconductor concerns of the era ...

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 30

Special Information on Radio, TV, Radar and Nucleonics

After Class: Special Information on Radio, TV, Radar and Nucleonics, November 1957 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBy 1957, betatrons, cyclotrons, cosmotrons, synchrocyclotron, bevatrons, and other forms of "trons" had the physics world all agog with anticipation of the next big discovery. Quarks were still a decade away from being discovered and something as exotic as the Higgs boson (aka god particle) hadn't entered anyone's mind. The news media was agog with reports of the world possibly coming to the end as a result of those experiments sparking a nuclear reaction chain that would cause the whole world to explode. Today, the news media is no smarter, because nowadays they fret over the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) generating a black hole that will implode the whole world ...

Thanks Once Again to everythingRF for Long-Time Support!

everything RF Searchable Database - RF CafePlease take a few moments to visit the everythingRF website to see how they can assist you with your project. everythingRF is a product discovery platform for RF and microwave products and services. They currently have 263,401 products from more than 1359 companies across 312 categories in their database and enable engineers to search for them using their customized parametric search tool. Amplifiers, test equipment, power couplers and dividers, coaxial connectors, waveguide, antennas, filters, mixers, power supplies, and everything else. Please visit everythingRF today to see how they can help you.

Engineering & Technical Search with Google- RF CafeYou might already know this, but there is a method for doing a Google search for webpages, documents, or images on only a specific website. It is pretty much universal with all search engines. After entering your search term, add a space and then site:<url> , where <url> is the address of the website of interest. For example, filter site:https://rfcafe.com  returns all the instances of "filter" on RF Cafe. To get a listing of all pages on the website, omit a specific topic like this site:https://rfcafe.com .  To view only the images from either example, click on the "Images" option on the search page.

Recognizing Those Making a Difference in Engineering Education

Recognizing Those Making a Difference in Engineering Education - RF Cafe"Each year IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) Awards recognize and honor individuals, sections, and societies for major contributions in developing and delivering educational products and services to IEEE members, professionals, educators, and students. Their products and programs inspire understanding of IEEE's fields of interest, support career preparation and professional enhancement, foster diversity, and ensure access to lifelong learning opportunities. This year the EAB Awards Ceremony recognized 13 individuals, one section, and one society for their contributions to engineering education. Award recipients were honored for their accomplishments in the areas of pre-university and university education ..."

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.

Sunday 29

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for December 29

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle December 29, 2019 - RF CafeThis week's engineering crossword puzzle features a special end-of-the decade message, comprised of three words and clues, for RF Cafe visitors. As with my hundreds of previous engineering and science-themed crossword puzzles, this one contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc., which I have built up over nearly two decades. Many new words and company names have been added that had not even been created when I started in the year 2002. 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 ...

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Anritsu Test Equipment - RF Cafe

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Anatech Electronics RF Microwave Filters - RF Cafe