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Homepage Archive - January 2021 (page 1)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the January 2021 homepage archives.

Thursday the 7th

1954 IRE National Convention and Radio Engineering Show

1954 IRE National Convention and Radio Engineering Show, March 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeAccording to the Wikipedia entry, "the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) was a professional organization which existed from 1912 until December 31, 1962. On January 1, 1963 it merged with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)." The IRE's annual convention, quite often held in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, was the equivalent to what is (was) today (except 2020 and likely 2021, 2022, ...) the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS). Product vendors hacked their wares, technical presentations were made, and professional liaisons were made. A visit to the IMS 2021 website shows they are pretending as if there really will be a physical show in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia is one of the 14 states which as of December do not require face masks...

Teledyne e2v HiRel Adds High Power GaN HEMTs to 650 V Family

Teledyne e2v HiRel Unveils Two High Power GaN HEMTs to Its 650 V Family - RF CafeTeledyne e2v HiRel is adding two new, ruggedized GaN power HEMTs (High Electron Mobility Transistors) to its industry-leading, 650-volt, high-power family of products based on GaN Systems technology. The two new high-power HEMTs, TDG650E30B and TDG650E15B, deliver lower current performance of 30- and 15-amp respectively, while the original 650 V introduced last year, the TDG650E60, delivers 60 A. These 650 V GaN HEMTs are the highest voltage GaN power devices available on the market for demanding high-reliability military, avionics, and space applications. They are an ideal fit for applications like power supply, motor control, and half bridge topologies...

Spin in Unpolarized Light Defies Conventional Picture

Spin in Unpolarized Light Defies Conventional Picture - RF Cafe"It's been almost a century since Wolfgang Pauli mooted the idea of 'hidden rotation:' a new quantum variable that would double the number of possible electron states. Today, this variable is known as spin angular momentum, and it's widely accepted as an intrinsic property of fundamental particles. Yet despite the ubiquity of spin, there is still no real consensus about its physical meaning. For photons, the usual explanation is that spin is related to circular polarization - a state of affairs in which the direction of the electromagnetic field in a beam of light rotates in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation, like hands round a clock face. This explanation has a straightforward consequence: no polarization, no spin. Now, however, an international collaboration of researchers..."

Sending Pictures by Telephone

Sending Pictures by Telephone, July 1936 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIt really was not all that long ago when wiring images for news stories literally meant transmitting photographs over a twisted pair of telephone lines either to a fax machine or to a computer on standby waiting for incoming files. Videocasts were being regularly performed via satellite of ground relay microwave stations since the 1960s, but most still shots were sent via phone lines. For the last decade and a half, both still shots and videos have been transmitted as a routine matter via camera-equipped cellphones, and as with most technologies we have quickly become so accustomed to the convenience that memories of the old ways are quickly (even thankfully) forgotten. This article from a 1936 edition of Radio-Craft describes one of the really early systems. Notice that coupling to the telephone line is via induction to the handset, not via a hardwire connection to the phone circuit...

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 ...


Radio Shack 100th Anniversary

Radio Shack 100th Anniversary - RF CafeThe year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of Radio Shack's founding. A fairly extensive Web search did not turn up an exact date for when the doors opened in Boston, Massachusetts. A pair of brothers from London, Theodore and Milton Deutschmann, were the proprietors. Their stock consisted largely of surplus military gear and was marketed to Amateur Radio operators and other hobbyists. Facing bankruptcy in 1963, the company was sold to Texas businessman Charles Tandy for a mere $300k. Radio Shack / Tandy peaked in 1999 with a presence in 5 countries of more than 7,300 stores. It went bankrupt again in 2015. In November 2020, Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) bought the company, intending to revive the brand. A visit to the Radio Shack website shows there are many more products than just a few months ago. Many of the resistors, capacitors, ICs, switches, connectors, cable, LEDs, transistors, fuses, project boxes, tools, etc., from the old days are available again. There is also a selection of drones, radios, computer and cellphone accessories. Hopefully, people will support Radio Shack enough to ensure their success. Here are all published Radio Shack catalogs.

Many Thanks to ISOTEC for Continued Support!

ISOTEC Corporation - RF CafeSince 1996, ISOTEC has designed, developed and manufactured an extensive line of RF/microwave connectors, between-series adapters, RF components and filters for wireless service providers including non-magnetic connectors for quantum computing and MRI equipments etc. ISOTEC's product line includes low-PIM RF connectors components such as power dividers and directional couplers. Off-the-shelf and customized products up to 40 GHz and our low-PIM products can meet -160 dBc with 2 tones and 20 W test. Quick prototyping, advanced in-house testing and high-performance. Designs that are cost effective practical and repeatable.

Wednesday the 6th

Determining Voltage Standing-Wave Ratios

Determining Voltage Standing-Wave Ratios, June 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafePoor impedance matching between the source and load has been the cause of many poor performance issues ever since the wavelength of the transmitted signal became less than the length of the interconnecting line. A generally accepted rule of thumb is that when the line is more than about a tenth of the wavelength of the highest frequency, impedance matching is probably required lest standing waves cause problems. An impedance mismatch causes part - or maybe all - of the incident signal to be reflected back towards the source. That results in part of the signal not being transferred to the load, and the rest is dissipated as heat and/or radiated as an electromagnetic wave. In some circumstances the reflected signal can cause damage to the source because the reflected voltage can be much greater than the output circuit can withstand. VSWR is not just a concern for transmitters...

Magnetic Domain Wall Speed Is Fundamentally Limited

Magnetic Domain Wall Speed Found to Be Fundamentally Limited - RF Cafe"A team of researchers from MIT and several institutions in Korea has found that the speed of magnetic domain wall movement is fundamentally limited. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes testing a theory regarding the maximum speed of domain walls to prove them correct. Matthew Daniels and Mark Stiles with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. have published a Perspective piece outlining the work by the researchers in the same journal issue and sum up the implications of their findings. One of the basic tenets of Einstein's theory of special relativity is that there is no particle that can travel faster than the speed of light..."

Many Thanks to MPDevice for Continuing Support!

MPDevice - RF CafeMPDevice (MPD) has become a trustworthy and reliable company in the global RF market as a manufacturer of passive RF devices. Included are attenuators and terminations, coaxial connectors, adapters, and cable assemblies, DC blocks, surge arrestors, power combiner / dividers, and directional couplers. The Korean Telecommunication market is now entering into the era of hyperconnected society. With continuous enhancement in R&D capabilities and quality control, MPD will continue in an effort to become the No. 1 technologically innovative company with a focus on the emerging 5G marketplace.

Behind the U.L. Label

Behind the U.L. Label, August 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThe Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) is an entity that seems to have been around forever. A lot of people - maybe most people - assume that it is a government entity. In fact, it is a non-profit organization sponsored by the National Board of Fire Underwriters. Its roots are traceable back to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Concern over the potential fire hazard of Edison's light bulbs was the impetus for the effort. Another aspect of the UL that a lot of people don't know is that the UL label of approval is no guarantee that the device works properly, only that is passes standards of safety as it relates to fire hazards. This article in the August 1955 edition of Popular Electronics magazine gives a brief history...

Gravity Energy Storage

Gravity Energy Storage Will Show Its Potential in 2021 - RF CafeIf you don't like banks of windmill electricity generators peppering the landscape, you'll really hate these things. At least windmills look cool. This 110-meter-high behemoth is being built in the Swiss City of Ticino, near the Italian border. It will use electricity to lift massive weights during off-peak demand times and then exploit gravity's pull to drive generators when demand is high. It is akin to hydroelectric plants that pump water from lower levels to higher levels during off-peak hours. Another gravity-powered design raises and lowers weights in a hole in the ground - a much more visually friendly sight. Here's an idea: How about integrating gravity-powered generators into the inner area of cell towers (where they won't be as noticeable) to create a large distributed network of energy reserves? Doing so eliminates much of the cost and environmental disturbances while eliminating risky single-point failures of large installations.

Thanks to TotalTemp Technologies for Continued Support!

TotalTemp Technologies - RF CafeTotalTemp Technologies has more than 40 years of combined experience providing thermal platforms. 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.

Tuesday the 5th

The Radio Month - TV Awards and Pirates Sites

The Radio Month, January 1951 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeRadio-Electronics magazine ran  regular column entitled "The Radio Month" with industry, government, and academic news briefs. This 1951 issue included, amongst other tidbits, a report on TV pioneers Hugo Gernsback, publisher of Radio-Electronics, and Isidor Goldberg, president of Pilot Radio Corporation, having been presented scrolls by student members of the Institute of Radio Engineers and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers at New York University in recognition of their contributions to the development of television. Pilot Radio manufactured kits for electronics hobbyists. In other news, the FCC discovered its first instance of an illegal television broadcast. It never takes long for the criminally insane to corrupt a good thing; however, in this case it was a Sylvania Electric Products test site operating without a license. Evidently they had adopted the philosophy of "It's easier to beg forgiveness than to ask for permission...

DARPA Software Enables Communication for Incompatible Tactical RF Links - RF Cafe"A DARPA network technology program recently concluded field tests demonstrating novel software that bridges multiple disparate radio networks to enable communication between incompatible tactical radio data links - even in the presence of hostile jamming. The technology is transitioning to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the Marine Corps, which plans to put the software on a software reprogrammable multi-channel radio platform for use on aircraft and ground vehicles. Started in 2016, the Dynamic Network Adaptation for Mission Optimization program, or DyNAMO, has developed technologies that enable automated, real-time dynamic configuration of tactical networks to ensure that heterogeneous radio nodes..."

Please Welcome Werbel Microwave's Support on RF Cafe!

Werbel MicrowaveWerbel Microwave is a manufacturer of RF directional and bidirectional couplers (6 dB to 30 dB) and RF power dividers / combiners (2- to 16-way) with select models operating up to 18 GHz and 100 W of CW power (3 kW peak). All are RoHS and REACH compliant and are designed and manufactured in our Whippany, NJ, location. Custom products and private label service available. Please take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how Werbel Microwave can help you today.

Are You a "Television Looker?"

QST Looks at Television - 1944, January 1945 QST - RF CafeDid you know that you are likely a TLV? That's right, a Television Looker. The modern equivalent is CP - Couch Potato. In the early years of television, TLVs were as fascinated with the device itself and the technology as they were with the information being displayed. As this story tells, Hams were involved in TV transmission (ATV) early on. I did not know that amateur television was banned during World War II. During WWII, all amateur radio operations were suspended with the exception of those authorized to continue under the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)...

Antenna-on-Package Simplifies Automotive In-Cabin Radar Sensor Design

Antenna-on-Package Technology Simplifies Automotive In-Cabin Radar Sensor Design - RF CafeMr. Kishore Ramaiah has an interesting article on the EDN website entitled, "Antenna-on-Package Technology Simplifies Automotive In-Cabin Radar Sensor Design." 60 GHz and 77 GHz have quarter wavelengths of 1.25 mm (0.0492") and 0.973 mm (0.0383"), respectively, meaning efficient radiators (antennas) can be fabricated directly on the IC substrate, thus saving some of the complexity and expense of creating and matching an off-chip antenna. The story begins: "Millimeter-wave (mmW) radar is one of the primary sensing modalities for automotive and industrial applications because of its ability to detect objects from a few centimeters to several hundred meters with high distance, angle, and velocity accuracy, even in challenging environmental conditions. A typical radar sensor consists of a radar chipset along with other electronic components such as the power-management circuit, flash memory, and interface peripherals assembled on a PCB. Transmit and receive antennas are also typically implemented on the PCB..."

A 360 Degree View of IoT Technologies

A 360 Degree View of IoT Technologies (Artech House) - RF CafeArtech House announces the publication of A 360 Degree View of IoT Technologies, by John Soldatos. This exciting book explores the past, present and future of IoT, presenting the most prominent technologies that comprise IoT applications, including cloud computing, edge computing, embedded computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and cybersecurity. A comprehensive description of the full range of the building blocks that comprise emerging IoT systems and applications is provided, while illustrating the evolution of IoT systems from the legacy small scale sensor systems and wireless sensor networks, to today's large scale IoT deployments that comprise millions of connected devices in the cloud and smart objects with (semi)autonomous behavior... New Release price discount to $104 is available for a short time.

Many Thanks to 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 are serviced around the world. Please take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today.

Monday the 4th

Mac's Service Shop: The Technician and Progress

Mac's Service Shop: The Technician and Progress, October 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafePrior to news of the A-bombs dropped at the end of World War II, most people had no idea what nuclear anything was. My guess is school textbooks made scant mention of it mainly because what was known of the science was kept under wraps at the Department of War. The Department of Energy (DoE), which currently administers nuclear policy and oversight, did not formally exist as a separate entity until 1977. Per their website, "Although only in existence since 1977, the DoE traces its lineage to the Manhattan Project effort to develop the atomic bomb during World War II, and to the various energy-related programs that previously had been dispersed throughout various Federal agencies." In 1955 when this episode of "Mac's Service Shop" appeared in Radio & Television News magazine, one of the popular items for electronics hobbyists was Geiger counters (along with metal detectors)...

"Smellicopter" Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Smells

"Smellicopter" Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Smells - RF Cafe"Who needs a sensor from the manufacturer? Researchers from the University of Washington have equipped their drone with one of nature's finest detectors: a moth antenna. 'Nature really blows our human-made odor sensors out of the water,' said UW doctoral student Melanie Anderson , lead researcher of the aerial vehicle known as the 'Smellicopter.' 'By using an actual moth antenna with Smellicopter, we're able to get the best of both worlds: the sensitivity of a biological organism on a robotic platform where we can control its motion.' The live antenna responds to chemical signals, allowing the flying vehicle to navigate toward specific odors..."

Thanks to Copper Mountain Technologies for Continued Support

Copper Mountain TechnologiesCopper Mountain Technologies develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor Vector Network Analyzers include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments.

Sky Radio Blankets Enemy

Sky Radio Blankets Enemy, March 1944 Radio-Craft - RF CafeElectronic counter-warfare (ECW) has been around nearly as long as electronic warfare (EW) itself. Controlling what a population hears on its radios is a fairly simple process since overwhelming a commercial broadcast station signal requires only a more powerful transmitter. It was commonplace during wartime for an invading force to set up high power stations in population centers to block signals meant to inform people of aggressor activity, or even to play music (a form of psychological warfare as well). Often, not only was the possession of a personal radio verboten, but even getting caught listening to one could spell real trouble. However, as with booze during Prohibition, the mere fact that something was outlawed did not prevent a large percentage of the population from owning and/or listening to broadcasts. This article by Hugo Gernsback proposes a method for informing a local area of an impending invasion force in order to forestall panic and irrational behavior...

Electric Vehicles and Their Drawbacks

Electric Vehicles and Their Drawbacks - RF Cafe Here is an interesting article written by Geoffrey Pohanka entitled, "Electric Vehicles and Their Drawbacks," which assesses the associated production, maintenance, and operating costs. For the record, I am a proponent of electric cars and would like to be able to afford a nice Tesla, but I also believe certain politically and financially entities are masking the truth about total carbon footprint over the cradle-to-grave lifetime of electric vehicles. He begins, "Electric-powered cars are now the rage. Tesla's market capitalization is seven times larger than that of General Motors and fourteen times larger than Ford's, though it builds a fraction of the vehicles that those companies do. Many politicians are even considering banning gasoline-powered cars within a few years in favor of electric vehicles (EVs), all in the name of saving the planet..."

Please Thank Lotus Communication Systems for Their Support!

Lotus Communication Systems Modular RF/Microwave Components - RF CafeLotus Communication Systems began in 2009, setting up CNC machine shop and RF/microwave assembling and testing lab in Middlesex Country, Massachusetts. Lotus is committed to highest quality and innovative products. Each RF/microwave module meets exceedingly high standards of quality, performance and excellent value, and are 100% MADE IN USA. Lotus' RF/microwave products cover frequency band up to 67 GHz. Lotus also offers an COTS shield enclosures for RF/microwave prototyping and production. All products are custom designed. We will find a solution and save your time and cost. Lotus has multiple 4 axis CNC machines and LPKF circuit plotters.

Sunday the 3rd

Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for January 3rd

Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for January 3, 2021 - RF CafeThis first Engineering Crossword Puzzle of 2021 has many words and clues related to... you guessed it... engineering - and mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. As always, this crossword contains no names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort unless it/he/she is related to this puzzle's technology theme (e.g., Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

Friday the 1st

The Big News - Pure Magnetic Current

The Big News - Pure Magnetic Current, March 1944 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe March 1944 issue of Radio-Craft magazine published an article entitled, "Magnetic Current - Discovery of the Age?," which reported on Austrian physicist Dr. Felix Ehrenhaft's announcement that he had discovered "magnetic charges," aka magnetic monopoles. The breathtaking news set the physics world astir as believers and non-believers quickly sought to prove or disprove, respectively, his claim. A maxim in science is that the most effective way to validate a theory or claim of discovery is to try, but fail, to invalidate it. We have seen time and again, even to this day, where all attempts to show Einstein's Theory of General Relativity to be wrong have ultimately only further qualified it. Radio-Craft publisher Hugo Gernsback was one of the first to glom on to the magnetic current phenomenon and exposited gloriously about it in the same month's editorial column...

6G: Fantastic, Yes. Fantasy? Not So Much

6G: Fantastic, Yes. Fantasy? Not So Much - RF Cafe"As a viable technology, 6G is quite a way off. But some of the doubts about its feasibility may be overblown. Here's a look at what 6G is, what it might bring to the table, and what it'll take to get there. Even though 5G is far from being fully realized, researchers throughout the world are already concentrating on the next generation. There's obviously considerable speculation about precisely what 6G will be, and while it's far too early to make precise predictions, it's not too early to see how researchers are approaching the challenges. When the details and expectations for 5G were released, there were plenty of skeptics - and many remain that way - as the new standard pushes operating frequencies to orders of magnitude higher than 4G..."

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 267,269 products from more than 1397 companies across 314 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.

The RCA Graphechon Tube

RCA Graphechon Tube ad in the July 8, 1950 Saturday Evening Post - RF CafeEver heard of the revolutionary Graphechon Tube, by RCA? Neither had I, until I saw it mentioned in an ad for RCA televisions in a 1950 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. My curiosity was piqued enough to do some research. First, here is the text of the ad: "Scientists at RCA Laboratories work with split-seconds of time too infinitesimal for most of us to imagine. Their new electron tube, the Graphechon, makes it possible. For instance, in atomic research, a burst of nuclear energy may flare up and vanish in as little as a hundred-millionth of a second. The Graphechon tube oscillograph, taking the pattern of this burst from an electronic circuit...

Men Who Have Made Radio: Count Georg von Arco

Men Who Have Made Radio: Count Georg von Arco, October 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe persona of Scott Adams' 'Dilbert' is described exactly in the opening sentence of this article in a 1930 edition of Radio-Craft magazine. It is amazing - if not frustrating - to realize how long the perception of science-minded people being introverts has been around. Dilbert's 'pointy-haired-boss' is nailed in the second sentence. Georg Wilhelm Alexander Hans Graf von Arco is celebrated here as a major contributor to the advancement of early radio, particularly wireless telegraphy equipment development. Interestingly, as brought to my attention by Melanie as she did the text clean-up after OCRing the magazine page, von Arco worked at the Sayville radio transmission station on Long Island, New York, where the Telefunken Company's Dr. K.G. Frank was arrested and interred for the duration of the World War I for sending out "unneutral messages..."

Thanks for Bittele Electronics' Continued Support!

Bittele Electronics PCB Fabrication - RF CafeSince 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly services. It specializes in board level turnkey PCB assembly for design engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit boards. Free Passive Components: Bittele Electronics is taking one further step in its commitment of offering the best service to clients of its PCB assembly business. Bittele is now offering common passive components to its clients FREE of Charge.

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