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Homepage Archive - May 2020 (page 1)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | of the May 2020 homepage archives.

Friday 8

"Aerial "Private Eye" Traces TV Signals

Aerial "Private Eye" Traces TV Signals, July 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeAnytime I see an airplane in a photograph, my interest is immediately piqued to learn the story behind it - sort of like with the "MPATI - Its Problems & Solutions" feature in the May 1963 edition of Electronics World magazine. This "Aerial 'Private Eye' Traces TV Signals" story also involves airplanes and television broadcasting, albeit in a completely different way. A couple enterprising broadcast engineers created a company called Tele-Beam Industries, in Napa, California, that measured and mapped TV signal strength in the region surrounding transmission towers to provide the stations with information useful in marketing and radiation characteristic planning. Signal strength measurements were made from some starting altitude down to within 100 feet of the ground, in 100 foot increments, and was repeated in increments of 10° of azimuth...

May 8th - Snowing in Erie, PA

Snowing in Erie, PA, on May 8th, 2020 - RF CafeDepending on your point of view, this snow on May 8th, here at RF Cafe headquarters in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a downright cool or a downright scary phenomenon. I consider it cool, and is one of the reasons I choose to live here. As a kid growing up in Mayo, Maryland, where snow is not so common, I wished we had lived in the Buffalo, New York, area where my father's side of the family was centered. Buffalo, as you probably know, never wants for snow. Next week we'll probably turning on the air conditioner for the first time this year, so for now I'll be glad to see the snow. BTW, it's supposed to snow tomorrow morning as well.

Acoustic Time Travel for Failed Electronic Components

Acoustic Time Travel for Failed Electronic Components - RF Cafe"The imaging mode is called the Virtual Rescanning Mode, or VRM, and can find small or oddly located anomalies that may have caused the failure. When electronic components for critical applications experience structural failure in service, it typically is worthwhile to collect as much data as possible about the failures to reduce the risk of similar failures in the future. The mechanism that caused a structural field failure might have occurred suddenly, or might have been the result of gradual change. If the component itself has largely survived, it may be imaged by ultrasound via an acoustic micro imaging tool to view and analyze its current internal structure to help determine the cause of the failure..."

Rohde & Schwarz Offers Free Posters and Pocket Guides

Rohde & Schwarz Offers Free Posters and Pocket Guides - RF CafeRohde & Schwarz is offering at no cost a variety of reference charts (posters) for hanging on your lab or office wall - maybe enough to wallpaper an entire cubicle, and some handy-dandy Pocket Guides. I just updated the page to fix expired hyperlinks and add links to new posters. In the current age of (seemingly) paperless offices and laboratories, opening a cardboard package from R&S containing the pictured items caused me to wax nostalgic over the days when sales reps handed out such materials during workplace meetings and at trade shows. Wall charts are still fairly easily obtained, but the spiral-bound pocket guides are more rare. Maybe soon we'll be seeing the resurrection of cardboard slide rule calculators...

Many Thanks to ERZIA for Continued Support!

ERZIA Technologies - RF CafeRF 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 applications.

Z-Comm Low Noise DRO for Radar Systems

Z-Comm Low Noise DRO for Radar Systems - RF Cafe Z-Comm is proud to announce a new dielectric resonator oscillator model DRO12200A for radar system applications. The DRO12200A is designed to cover 12200 MHz while incorporating both electrical and mechanical elements for fine and coarse tuning. This high performance DRO is optimized to feature superior low phase noise of -105 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and operates off a 5 Vdc supply while typically drawing only 23 mA of current. The DRO12200A is designed to deliver a typical output power of 0 dBm into a 50 ohm load and is guaranteed to operate over the industrial temperature range of -40 to 85°C. This remarkable oscillator suppresses the second harmonic to better than -30 dBc and covers the optimized frequency with a tuning voltage range of 0 to 12 Vdc while featuring a tuning gain of 0.5 MHz/V...

Tip for Copying Images from Websites

Editing Image URL for Copy / Paste - RF CafeIn my daily routine of perusing the WWW (World Wide Web - remember that?) for good information to post, I need to copy images into which thumbnail versions are made. A very recent trend has evolved for the sake of mobile device displays which appends some sizing directives to the end of the otherwise normal URL, and that prevents doing a copy and paste with right-click -> Copy Image, and then paste it into a graphics editor. Instead, do a right-click -> Copy Image Location and then paste that URL into your browser. Click the thumbnail image above for an example. Note the appendage after the ".png" file extension:


That prevents the normal Image Copy from working. Delete everything after .png and then hit enter. You should now be able to copy and paste the image into your editor.

Nova Microwave: RF & Microwave Circulators & Isolators

Nova Microwave Circulators & Isolators - RF CafeNova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Available in single or multi-junction topographies, the Nova Microwave product line of is specifically designed for use in varied environmental and temperature extremes. 

Thursday 7

Power from the Sun with Silicon

Power from the Sun with Silicon, February 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAround the time this article was written, the first wave of the solar and wind (which essentially is also solar) power generation craze was settling in. A few small windmill generators popped up around where I lived in the Annapolis, Maryland area, but they were mostly owned by hippie Earth worshipers who eschewed modern conveniences and didn't need hot water for bathing anyway. Most of that generation (pun intended) of windmills put out direct current (DC - typically 12 or 24 volts) rather than tying in with the AC line power, and required separate electric wiring in the house. People used appliances and light fixtures designed for recreational vehicles. We knew a very nice older man and his wife who lived "off the grid" and grew most of their produce and even kept a goat for milk (they were clean people). They had some photovoltaic (PV) solar cells to supplement the windmill...

2019 Salary & Career Report: Employment

2019 Salary & Career Report: Employment (MWRF) - RF CafeMicrowaves & RF magazine just posted the Employment portion of their "2019 Salary & Career Report." It might seem like last year's news and not relevant, but the year has to be over in order to assimilate data from the entire year, so it really is timely. Author James Morra wrote, "Most respondents said that they feel confident about their prospects for employment. But many are also troubled by the possible shortage of skilled engineers and its impact on the broader industry, according to 750 respondents polled by Electronic Design and Machine Design last year. Endeavor's Design Engineering and Sourcing group rolled out the survey with questions on more than 40 separate topics, ranging from salaries to job satisfaction..."

Radio Amateur Finds Another "Zombie Satellite"

Radio Amateur Finds Another "Zombie Satellite" - RF Cafe"British Columbia radio amateur Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has found another 'zombie satellite,' as he calls them. This time, he tracked and identified radio signals from the experimental UHF military communication satellite LES-5. Tilley says he found the satellite in what he called a geostationary 'graveyard' orbit after noting a modulated carrier on 236.7487 MHz. 'Most zombie satellites are satellites that are no longer under human control, or have failed to some degree,' Tilley told National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this month. LES-5 was built by MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and launched in 1967 as part of the military's Tactical Satellite Communication Program. It was supposed to shut down in 1972, but it continues to operate as long as its solar panels are facing the sun. Tilley told NPR that he was inspired by a ham in Cornwall who, in 2016, found an earlier satellite - LES-1 - built by the same lab and launched in 1965. What intrigued Tilley about LES-5 was that it might be the oldest functioning geostationary satellite in space..."

Please Thank IPP for Their Long-Time Support!

Innovative Power ProductsInnovative Power Products (IPP) has over 30 years of experience designing & manufacturing RF & microwave passive components. Their high power, broadband couplers, combiners, resistors, baluns, terminations and attenuators are fabricated using the latest materials and design tools available, resulting in unrivaled product performance. Applications in military, medical, industrial and commercial markets. Take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today.

Understand Damaging Effects of Phase Dispersion

Understand Damaging Effects of Phase Dispersion - RF CafeJohn Dunn has a good article on the EDN website entitled, "Understand the Damaging Effects of Phase Dispersion." He begins: "Amplitude modulation, or AM, is probably the simplest method of getting a voice or some music onto a radio signal and then sending that signal off to some far distant place. Because of that simplicity, a study of AM signals is a convenient tool for showing a damaging effect arising from phase dispersion. With AM radio, the audio signal usually gets reproduced pretty nicely at the receiving end, but not always. Sometimes a phrase like, 'You give us 22 minutes and we'll give you the news' can come out sounding like 'Y'mph gvmmph ush tentee-two mnshunts...' and maybe you would wonder why. Consider an AM signal source from which there is a carrier that, just for the sake of example, we can amplitude modulate using either the first or the second of two 'audio' signals..."

CFLs - Will They Save the Earth?

Kirt's Cogitations™ #260 - CFLs - Will They Save the Earth? - RF CafeIf you didn't know better, you might conclude from my writings that I detest CFL bulbs. I really don't. In fact, I rather like them for most applications. My house was full of them until the LED bulbs began to replace them, but the LEDs are not much better in terms of complexity. At least they do not contain mercury. What I detest is a world of bureaucrats that have determined that Edison's paradigm-changing incandescent light bulb is such an evil device that they have conspired to ban it off the face of the Earth. Based largely on fallacious, contrived "scientific" data about anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, the wizards of smart declared that the incandescent bulb is singularly responsible for hurricanes, species migration and extinction, disease, and crop failure. It simply must go. All praise be to the United Nations heads of state and to lawmakers on Capitol Hill for caring so much about little 'ol us. Can I have an "amen!" Ever eager to please, but certainly in nowise complicit, industry chieftains have fallen in line and produced that which will appease our self-appointed Earth Sentinels: the compact fluorescent light bulb...

PCB Directory: Printed Circuit Board Fabrication & Assembly

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. Fast turn-around on quotations for PCB fabrication and assembly.

Wednesday 6

All Channel Antenna Corporation

All Channel Antenna Corp., April 1954 Radio & Televsion News - RF CafePhased vertical stacks of two or more antennas were fairly common in the television realm - especially once color broadcasts became more dominant in the 1950s. Up to 3 dB per additional antenna is possible, but due to various non-ideal physical parameters (summed phase angle, imperfect antenna geometry, etc.), realized gain is typically in the 2.5 to 2.8 dB range. Higher signal to noise ratios were needed to guarantee good color separation with the National Television System Committee (NTSC) and stereo channel audio separation with the advent of Multichannel Television Sound (MTS). As you might expect, companies appeared claiming to have invented physics-defying antennas that "outperform all present antennas." This particular "Super 60" model from All Channel Antenna Corporation further claims to outperform antennas that use a mechanical rotator (see my Alliance U-100 Tenna-Rotor) by virtue of its 9-position electronic phase switching...

Pentagon Needs Quantum Space Sensor in Lieu of GPS

Pentagon Needs Quantum Space Sensor in Lieu of GPS - RF Cafe"A GPS receiver just isn't going to cut it in deep space. While GPS has a host of applications on Earth - from enabling credit card transactions to weather forecasting - it is decidedly less useful off planet. After all, GPS was designed to enable navigation around the Earth, not in deep space. Space vehicles operating beyond the reaches of GPS have to rely on other methods for determining their position, navigation and timing, such as inertial measurements or even star tracking. Those methods vary in reliability, so the Department of Defense is looking for a more accurate tool - namely, a quantum space sensor. The Defense Innovation Unit - the organization within the DoD charged with leveraging commercial technologies for military use - is seeking a compact, high-performance sensor that can use quantum technology to provide precise inertial measurements in deep space..."

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe for as Little as $40/mo.

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeRF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday and about half that on weekends. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 13,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be. Advertising begins at $40/month.

Many Thanks to Exodus Advanced Communications for Their Support

Exodus Advanced Communications - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. 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. decades of combined experience in the RF field for numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC and various commercial projects with all designing and manufacturing of our HPA, MPA, and LNA products in-house.

FCC Adopts New Official Seal

FCC Adopts New Official Seal - RF CafeCurrent FCC Seal - RF CafeWhen deficits are already in the multiple T's, money is no object for government entities, including the cost of changing the logo on all printed communications. Note how red (Rep) is missing from America's traditional rw&b colors in the new design. "In anticipation of its upcoming move, the FCC has adopted a new FCC seal. The redesigned seal is the product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from employees and contractors. The winning design, submitted by Umasankar Arumugam, was selected by a vote of the agency's employees and contractors. The revised design incorporates several elements: communications technologies currently transforming our world. Over the next few months, the FCC will incorporate the new seal on official stationery, business cards, publications, and other materials, including on its website and throughout its new Headquarters. Official use of the new seal will begin following completion of the agency's move from the Portals to its new Headquarters..."

Copper Mountain Technologies Delivers New RNVNA Multiport Testing Solution

Copper Mountain Technologies Delivers New RNVNA Multiport Testing Solution - RF CafeCopper Mountain Technologies' (CMT) RNVNA solution is a customizable multiport network analysis solution for MIMO antennas and other 5G applications. RNVNA builds on the capabilities of CMT 1-Port USB vector network analyzers. RNVNA links up to 16 analyzers together into a multiport network analysis system, allowing users to measure vector reflection and scalar transmission parameters. RNVNA is compatible with all Copper Mountain Technologies' 1-Port USB VNAs with frequency ranges up to 6 GHz (R60), 14 GHz (R140), and 18 GHz (R180). RNVNA software allows users to manage multiple 1-Port VNAs performing required measurements. A free demo version of the RNVNA software for systems using up to three 1-Port VNAs can be downloaded...

Empower RF Systems: RF & Microwave Power Amplifiers

Empower RF Systems - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems is a global leader in power amplifier solutions. Empower RF Systems is an established and technologically superior supplier of high power solid state RF & microwave amplifiers. Our offerings include modules, intelligent rack-mount amplifiers, and multi-function RF Power Amplifier solutions to 6 GHz in broadband and band specific designs. Output power combinations range from tens of watts to multi-kilowatts. Unprecedented size, weight and power reduction of our amplifiers is superior to anything in the market at similar frequencies and power levels.

New York Taxing Out-of-State Healthcare Workers

New York Taxing Out-of-State Healthcare Workers"On the way back to your home state, don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya'. Oh, and we'll be sending you a tax bill in appreciation for your selfless sacrifice in caring for our citizens." That is basically the sentiment of New York's governor, who after literally begging out-of-state healthcare workers to come to NY City amongst the Chinese COVID-19 breakout, has declared that his financially mismanaged and cash-strapped state is going to collect income tax from the aforementioned good Samaritans.

Tuesday 5

The FM Radio Boom

FM Radio Boom, August 1947 Radio-Craft - RF CafeHugo Gernsback is not necessarily a household name in 2020, but in the early to middle 20th century, he was fairly well known in both the hard science and science fiction realms. He was a prolific author of books and magazines in both areas, applying his profound knowledge of technology and his ability to foretell the futures of many aspects of communications, mechanics, electronics, and marketing and societal behavior to the aforementioned. If you are a regular RF Cafe visitor, you have seen very many articles written by Hugo Gernsback reproduced. This particular work of prognostication appeared in a 1947 issue of his Radio-Craft magazine. It presciently claimed that a post-war boom in consumer buying after half a decade of sacrifice of creature comforts for the good of the country and world would feed a significant adoption of FM radio over...

Exploring Capabilities of Fast Fourier Transform

Exploring Capabilities of Fast Fourier Transform - RF Cafe"Iowa State University computer engineers have created an algorithm that could help to improve digital communications. This algorithm, when combined with a closed-form solution, takes one of the most commonly used algorithms and unlocks its hidden potential. The algorithm is actually part of two, which are known as the fast Fourier transform (FFT) and the inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT). These algorithms have been commonly used since way back in 1965; in the modern world, they are responsible for analyzing the signal from a cell tower or base station and synthesizing the signal from your phone to the base station, respectively. There is already a generalized version of the FFT that is more useful and has been since 1969. This was known as the chirp z-transform (CZT)..."

ConductRF LSA Series of Flexible RF Cable Assemblies to 18 GHz

ConductRF LSA Series of Flexible RF Cable Assemblies - RF CafeConductRF LSA series of Low Loss, Performance flexible RF Cable Assemblies, provide microwave system designers with a versatile solution for most applications. Offered is a solution for 0.086" diameter cable that facilitates greater flexibility and handling or, 0.141" diameter that exploits the same great performance but with almost half the loss. Connector options include SMA, Type-N, TNC & SMP that provide excellent VSWR between DC and 18GHz, also solutions for MCX & SMB are available in a wide array of configurations. These assemblies are built using our own double shielded, FEP jacketed cable, that was developed specifically for performance solutions. With shielding effectiveness exceeding 90 dB through 18 GHz...

The Future Predicted on July 13, 2003

"Dead Zone" "The Plague" hydroxychloroquine - RF CafeDig this: A 2003 episode of "Dead Zone" entitled "The Plague" could serve as a contemporary documentary of the whole COVID-19 pandemic, but our official response is much different. It will probably be taken down from YouTube soon, but this 3½ minute compilation of scenes include all the buzz terms of today's scenario, including originating in China, coronavirus, mandatory lockdown, quarantine, and guess what? Chloroquine, identified there as a malaria drug, was the miracle cure. Have you noted how His Imminence Dr. Fauci steadfastly refuses to recognize the excellent and safe history of hydroxychloroquine? Its multi-decade efficacy in treating viruses is well-documented, but the world is on forced lockdown and economies being destroyed while awaiting a new drug with no long-term history. In the mean time, many people suffer and/or die needlessly.

VACTEC 76 10 - Need a Datasheet

VACTEC 76 10 - Need a DatasheetRF Cafe visitor Joseph B., N3TTE, sent me a photo of a mystery device he obtained along with "a box of ancient circuit boards that included a mess of parts." Says, he, "One of the more curious things in the box is a small metal cylinder; 5/8" in diameter, 7/8" high." It has 9 pins. Markings are shown in the photo. We have both done an extensive, yet unsuccessful, search for a datasheet. Available info indicates it is made by Vactec (eventually PerkinElmer and now Excelitas) and is likely a form of resistive optoisolator (RO, aka light dependent resistor LDR). They were used in a lot of audio equipment. If you know anything useful about this device, please send me an e-mail and I will forward it to Joseph. Thanks!

E-flite Mini Pulse XT's Brushless ESC Waveform

E-flite Mini Pulse XT's Brushless ESC Waveform - RF CafeMuch more than just a self-serving video of my new R/C airplane flight agility, this model represents a plethora of modern electronics. Although the radio control system in this plane is a standard narrow band FM variety on 72.170 MHz (as opposed to my 2.4 GHz, spread spectrum system), the motor is a state-of-the-art 3-phase brushless model (E-flite 450)with a sensorless electronic speed control (E-flite EFLA331, 20 A). Power for both the radio and the motor is supplied by a 3-cell (11.1 V) lithium polymer (Li-Po) battery rated at 2,100 mAh with a 15C discharge current capacity. There was a time not so long ago when no one though that electric power could ever provide a equivalent to the nitro methane gulping internal combustion engines, but the time has come. This all-electric setup is fairly small in size, but there are much larger motors...

Many Thanks to Anatech Electronics for Long-Time Support!

Anatech Electronics logo - RF CafeAnatech Electronics (AEI) manufactures and supplies RF and microwave filters for military and commercial communication systems, providing standard LP, HP, BP, BS, notch, diplexer, and custom RF filters, and RF products. Standard RF filter and cable assembly products are published in our website database for ease of procurement. Custom RF filters designs are used when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements dictate a custom approach for your military and commercial communications needs. Sam Benzacar's monthly newsletters address contemporary wireless subjects. Please visit Anatech today to see how they can help your project succeed. 

Monday 4

A Homebrew Soldering Gun

A Homebrew Soldering Gun, August 1947 Radio-Craft - RF CafeWe take a lot for granted these days with the seemingly unlimited availability of cheap stuff of all kinds - some of it complete junk and other of it pretty darn good. That goes for electronics components and complete products and test equipment, tools, automobiles, appliances, and utensils, clothing, medical equipment - you name it. Something as simple as a pistol-type soldering gun can be purchased at just about any hardware or home store, and at a price that when adjusted back to equivalent money in the 1940s would be amazingly cheap even then. For instance a Weller Soldering Gun kit from Lowes sells for $39.48 today (less when on sale), which would have been $3.44 (per the BLS Inflation Calculator) in 1947 when this article showing how to build your own appeared in Radio-Craft magazine. If a soldering gun could have been purchased for a mere $3.44 in 1947, there would have been no need to publish such an article because its cheapness would have obviated...

Exodus 1.0-2.5 GHz, 2200 W SSPA "Beast"

Exodus Advanced Communications 1.0-2.5 GHz, 2200 W SSPA - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications' model Exodus AMP2041-1 "Beast" is 1.0-2.5 GHz class A/AB solid state power amplifier (SSPA), rack-mounted system with a rated output power of, 2200 watt minimum (2.5 kW CW typical). It features a 1600 watt P1dB GCP with a minimum 63 dB of gain. Built-in protection circuits, and forward & reflected RF sample ports provided. Type N Female RF Input/Sample port connectors and a 1 5/8" RF output connector are standard. Rack mountable drawers are housed in a 32U tall cabinet including a power supply, cooling fans, and a controller for ease of use. Suitable for applications requiring high power and broadband coverage for EW/ECM, as well as general EMC testing in labs, chambers or application requiring high RF field levels.

Space Development Agency to Develop Mesh Network of 20 Satellites

Space Development Agency to Solicitation Development Mesh Network of 20 Satellites"The Space Development Agency plans to award contracts for a mesh network in space this August, with the expectation that an initial batch of 20 satellites will be placed on orbit during summer 2022. The agency expects to release a request for proposals for the contracts May 1. The announcement came during an industry day the agency hosted over the phone April 2. The industry day was originally slated to take place during the 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs April 2, however, after that event was cancelled due to the circumstances with COVID-19 the agency opted to hold a virtual industry day instead. According to SDA Director Derek Tournear, 580 people called in for the event. That first batch will include 20 satellites and will comprise what Pentagon leaders are calling Tranche 0 of the SDA's Transport Layer, a mesh network of satellites operating primarily in low earth orbit..."

Afghanistan's Buried Riches: Rare Earths & More

Afghanistan's Buried Riches: Rare Earths & More - RF Cafe SmorgasbordHave you heard about this? I hadn't. If you think the only goal in Afghanistan is to stamp out the Taliban, think again. An article in the October 2011 issue of Scientific American details the extensive mineral surveys that have been carried out there in the last year or so. Afghanistan is home to what may be the largest cache of rare earth elements in the world, with a potential to replace China as the largest extractor (~90%) of those atoms that lie in the lanthanide and actinide regions of the periodic table - the two rows that are typically pulled out of the chart. China, you may have heard, is severely restricting the export of rare earths - wanting to keep it for themselves - thereby triggering a near panic. Prices are rising so alarmingly that reopening mines in the U.S. has once again become profitable in spite of the crippling regulations that years ago closed down operations here (huge loss of jobs and tax revenue) and forced us to become reliant on offshore supplies...

IEEE MTT-S IMS2020 to Go Virtual Due to COVID-19

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS2020) to Go Virtual Due to COVID-19 - RF CafeThe IMS2020 and Microwave Week, scheduled for 21-26 June 2020 in Los Angeles, CA, USA, is transitioning to a virtual event. The 2020 organizers have made this difficult decision after careful consultation and review with government authorities, partners, and venues. The timeframe for the virtual event will be August 2020. IMS2020 is the flagship conference of Microwave Week, the world's largest event for RF and Microwave technology which brings 10,000 attendees from 48 countries and over 600 exhibiting companies. The virtual event will continue with the theme of "Connectivity Matters," built on five pillars that link the world: 5G & 6G networks, aerospace and defense programs, autonomous vehicles, the digital economy, and ensuring the connection of under-represented communities. "The RF and Microwave industry is critical in a time when we are striving to connect in a socially distanced world," said Timothy Lee, IMS2020 General Chair...

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.

Monday 4

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle May 3, 2020

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle May 3, 2020 - RF CafeAs with my hundreds of previous engineering and science-themed crossword puzzles, this one for May 3, 2020, 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 the name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical location like Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might surprise you.

E-flite Blade CP R/C Helicopter 4-in-1 Teardown

E-flite Blade CP R/C Helicopter 4-in-1 Teardown - RF CafeE-flite's Blade CP radio controlled electric helicopter comes from the factory with a 4-in-1 electronics unit that contains a 6-channel receiver that performs the functions needed for motor control, piezoelectric gyroscope, BEC (battery eliminator circuit), and ESC (electronics speed control). It also includes a dual-gimbal transmitter with an idle-up switch for transitioning to aerobatic mode where both positive and negative pitch can be commanded to the rotor head. My Blade CP has always flown well, but from the very beginning it has been prone to sudden, uncommanded control movements (glitches). The results have varied from slight jerkiness in the flight to a sudden high speed climb-outs (really bad when inside).

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Anritsu Test Equipment - RF Cafe
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