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RF Electronics Shapes, Stencils for Office, Visio by RF Cafe

Homepage Archive - December 2022 (page 3)

See Page  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the December 2022 homepage archives.

Wednesday the 21st

Axiom 2023 Calendar - "Traveling Through Time"

Axiom Test Equipment 2023 Calendar - "Traveling Through Time" - RF CafeThe creative juices were flowing once again at Axiom Test Equipment as evidenced by this year's (next year's, actually) calendar. Their 2022 calendar had a "Top Hits" theme, with a clever juxtaposition of various types of test equipment with vintage (mostly) rock and roll groups. This time the theme is "Traveling Through Time." Whereas last year had "AC/DC Loads" and "Transient Generator Orchestra," for 2023 the artists at Axiom Test Equipment take a trip across the ages beginning in January with the Cretaceous Period where dinosaurs deal with perilous volcanic ejecta in the form of a spectrum analyzer. Maybe the display peak is at the Big Bang cosmic background radiation (CBR) wavelength centered at 150 GHz (0.2 cm)? February finds cave dwellers exploiting a temperature test chamber for use with their newly discovered fire. Fast forward to May and you'll see a Load Bank situated in an Old West town setting. Look closely at the July soda fountain scene from the 1950's and you'll see amongst the "stars" displayed on walls and shelves the 2022 "Top Hits" calendar (how's that for Madison Avenue-quality product placement?). The August motif is of course my favorite...

Chevrolet's "Car Conservation Plan"

Chevrolet's "Car Conservation Plan", March 23, 1942 Life - RF CafeSome things never change, as the old saying goes. One of those things is adopting a good preventive maintenance plan for your car or truck. Oil, transmission, and cooling system fluid level and condition are tasks even the least mechanically inclined amongst us can do ourselves. So is inspecting and replacing if necessary intake and cabin air filters. Checking the condition of brakes, suspension parts, body panel integrity (corrosion and proper fastening), and other easily inspected components my not be the purview of most motorists, but friends and/or professional servicemen can take care of that for you. Admittedly, there is a large amount of not just unserviceable but incomprehensible technology on modern cars (computers, fuel injection, tire pressure monitors, backup cameras, radar and sonar systems, etc.), so those maintenance responsibility of those areas must be ceded to highly trained technicians. This appeal to automobile owners to do their part in conserving resources appeared in a 1942 issue of Life magazine at a time when the U.S. had recently joined the second world war (following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor). The vast amount of material that would be required to obtain victory over advancing Communist and Fascist forces of Axis militaries required a diligent effort by citizens to conserve. A familiar saying during the WWII era was "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without..."

Major Advances in Additive Manufacturing

Major Advances in Additive Manufacturing - RF CafeThe December issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology magazine had a great article on Additive Manufacturing." The term pertains to 3-D printing of any structure using a wide variety of materials. The first 3-D printing machines used molten or on-the-spot sintered plastic. The result was usually relatively weak and had coarsely "stepped" contours. As technology improved (very rapidly, I might add), improved plastics and then metals, along with vastly more finely stepped printing heads could produce rugged structures with increasingly smooth textures. The story touches on some of the pros and cons of additive manufacturing. System cost is no longer a major hurdle when considering how 3-D printing can build "impossible" shapes with both internal and external complex contours, including entirely captive cavities. The "aerospike engine" shown in the thumbnail is an example...

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics July 1948 Radio News - RF CafeHere is a batch of electronics-themed comics that appeared in the July 1948 edition of Radio News magazine. The comic on page 122 would probably elicit cries of racism or hate speech these days, even though there is nothing racist about it. Note how prescient the comic on page 140 was. It shows how long futurists have ben contemplating the technologies that have become or are becoming common place today - of course many of them were promised to us by the end of the last century by the like of Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, et al. The one that appeared on page 175 is pretty clever. Such a malady is rarely encountered with today's radios, but back in the day it was a commonly occurring problem. There is an ever-growing list of other comics at the bottom of the page...

GaN-on-SiC Satellite, Radar, 5G Communications PA's

GaN-on-SiC Satellite, Radar, 5G Communications Power Amplifiers - RF Cafe"Developers of aerospace and defense systems need RF power amplifiers (PAs) to perform much better across both existing and emerging applications such as military 5G and satellite communication. Systems need to meet higher gain targets but not if it comes with any increases in cost and complexity, or size and weight. As systems move to higher-order modulation schemes, they also must deliver adequate linearity and efficiency in an environment that is even more susceptible to distortion than was the case with earlier schemes. Reducing board space is another critical issue that has requited challenging peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) tradeoffs. A new generation of GaN MMIC PAs offers a solution to these challenges, which are especially difficult for bringing 5G networking to both on-battlefield and off-battlefield applications in the unused millimeter wave (mmWave) band that is not as vulnerable to high-power jamming signals..."

The NASA 136 Satellite Receiver Converter

The NASA 136 Satellite Receiver Converter, June 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHave you ever heard of a "nuvistor?" It didn't seem familiar to me right away until after I looked it up. Nuvistors were high mu (high gain) tubes, manufactured originally by RCA, used in sensitive receiver front ends. They came in about a dozen different varieties. This particular NASA-136 receiver for satellite reception uses a 6CW4 triode. Per Wikipedia, "Most nuvistors are basically thimble-shaped, but somewhat smaller than a thimble, and much smaller than conventional tubes of the day. Triodes and a few tetrodes were made. The tube is made entirely of metal and ceramic. Making nuvistors requires special equipment, since there is no intubation to pump gases out of the envelope. Instead, the entire structure is assembled, inserted into its metal envelope, sealed and processed in a large vacuum chamber with simple robotic devices..."

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt was a lot of work, but I finally finished a version of the "RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols" that works well with Microsoft Office™ programs Word™, Excel™, and Power Point™. This is an equivalent of the extensive set of amplifier, mixer, filter, switch, connector, waveguide, digital, analog, antenna, and other commonly used symbols for system block diagrams and schematics created for Visio™. Each of the 1,000 or so symbols was exported individually from Visio in the EMF file format, then imported into Word on a Drawing Canvas. The EMF format allows an image to be scaled up or down without becoming pixelated, so all the shapes can be resized in a document and still look good. The imported symbols can also be UnGrouped into their original constituent parts for editing. Check them out!

Many Thanks to San Francisco Circuits for Continued Support!

San Francisco CircuitsSF Circuits' specialty is in the complex, advanced technology of PCB fabrication and assembly, producing high quality multi-layered PCBs from elaborate layouts. With them, you receive unparalleled technical expertise at competitive prices as well as the most progressive solutions available. Their customers request PCB production that is outside the capabilities of normal circuit board providers. Please take a moment to visit San Francisco Circuits today. "Printed Circuit Fabrication & Assembly with No Limit on Technology or Quantity."

Tuesday the 20th

Jerrold Magic Carpet Antenna

Jerrold Magic Carpet Antenna, August 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeGimmick or brainstorm? I'd says the Jerrold Magic Carpet Antenna is a little bit of both. Undeniably, it is a good way to conceal a full-size antenna with the general characteristics of multi-element broadband structure. The downside is that it is fixed in position and any directionality will favor some stations while shunning others. Its installation inside removes weather concerns - snow, ice, and wind - which is a major advantage. I have never seen one, but the illustration seems to show that the antenna elements are integrated into a fabric sheet (hence the "carpet" part of the name), so its geometry is fixed and should be consistent as long as the installer takes care to not distort it. On the other hand, based on my experience with television and FM radio antennas, a bit of variation from the factory "textbook" shape often provides improved performance. Ultimately, anything other than a high gain antenna mounted high off the ground, and on a rotator will result...

Memristor Crossbar-Based Learning System for AI

Memristor Crossbar-Based Learning System for AI - RF Cafe "A chip consisting of memristor crossbars was trained using a local on-chip learning algorithm. The team demonstrated that their approach could accurately reconstruct Braille representations of nine famous computer scientists from highly distorted inputs. Deep-learning models have proven to be highly valuable tools for making predictions and solving real-world tasks that involve the analysis of data. Despite their advantages, before they are deployed in real software and devices such as cell phones, these models require extensive training in physical data centers, which can be both time and energy consuming. Researchers at Texas A&M University, Rain Neuromorphics and Sandia National Laboratories have recently devised a new system for training deep learning models more efficiently and on a larger scale. This system, introduced in a paper published in Nature Electronics, relies on the use of new training algorithms and memristor crossbar hardware, that can carry out multiple operations at once..."

IPP-3238 Dual Directional Coupler for 2–8 GHz

Innovative Power Products IPP-3238, Dual Directional Coupler for 2–8 GHz, 600 W - RF CafeInnovative Power Products (IPP) with more than 30 years of experience designing & manufacturing RF & microwave passive components, is proud to introduce one of its newest broadband, high power, Dual Directional Couplers, the Model IPP-3238. The IPP-3238 is a 600 watt dual directional coupler covering the full 2000 - 8000 MHz band in a 1.30" x 1.30" x 4.13" package with Type N connectors on in/out ports and SMAs on the coupled ports. The IPP-3238 provides 40 dB nominal coupling, insertion loss of <0.30 dB, main line VSWR of <1.35:1, coupled flatness of ±1.0 dB, and directivity >17 dB. The IPP-3238 is available for both commercial and military use and is RoHS compliant...

Phenomena Underlying Radio: Piezo−Electric Effects

Phenomena Underlying Radio: Piezo-Electric Effects, May 1934 Radio News - RF CafePiezoelectric material's first widespread application in electronics was in the form of quartz crystals that were cut along certain axes in order to provide resonance at specific frequencies. Prior to crystals, radio sets used LC tank circuits for beat frequency oscillators (BFO's). This 1934 Radio News and Short−Wave magazine article reports on the state of the art at the time. They are still used in modern circuits as frequency-determining devices in oscillators and as frequency-selective devices in filters. Many high Q and tailored frequency response applications are now using polycrystalline ceramics for surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices where crystals used to claim an exclusive domain. This article provides a bit of theory of operation as well as application in radio circuits using both fundamental and overtone frequencies...

Fusion "Breakthrough" Won't Lead to Practical Fusion Energy

Fusion "Breakthrough" Won't Lead to Practical Fusion Energy - RF CafeHere once again is why I have so much appreciation for the IEEE (can't afford to join, though, at $209/yr). They consistently print truthful, informative articles on electrical / electronic technology, without insulting members / readers. This "Fusion 'Breakthrough' Won't Lead to Practical Fusion Energy" story is on their Spectrum magazine website, concerning the recent bloviation by the Secretary of Energy, who has no background in energy, implying that news from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) regarding a picosmidgen of time where a fusion reaction generating 3.15 MJ exceeded the laser energy of 2.05 MJ needed to create it. I have been a huge proponent of fusion reactor power generation since the early 1980's (even subscribed to Fusion magazine), when almost nobody had ever heard of a tokomak, so I welcome the news. However, the intent of the announcement by the SoE was to make people think the problem of charging all the electric cars and trucks, and heating / cooling homes and businesses with "renewable" energy would soon be a non-issue. It isn't. We'll be needing fossil (or even fissile) fuels for a long time.

General Electric Model HJ-1205 Radio

General Electric Model HJ-1205 Radio Service Data Sheet, June 1940 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis Radio Service Data Sheet for the General Electric Model HJ-1205 floor console model vacuum tube radio came from the June 1940 edition of Radio-Craft magazine, published by Hugo Gernsback. Console type floor model radios had plenty of space for large speakers, more effective built-in antennas (usually mounted around the perimeter of the back of the cabinet), and more convenient tuning and sound adjustment controls. The HJ-1205 featured "feathertouch" pushbuttons. Some of the early pushbutton tuning mechanisms took a pretty heavy finger to manipulate. I post these for the sake of hobbyists and historians searching for information on vintage electronics. If you happen to own one of these radios, whether in its restored or unrestored condition, please send me a photo and I will be glad to post it here with attribution to you...

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks (EIA 19", ETSI 21"), and more. Test equipment and racks are built at a 1:1 scale so that measurements can be made directly using Visio built-in dimensioning objects. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

Many Thanks for Alliance Test Equipment's Support!

Allied Test Equipment Products - RF CafeAlliance Test Equipment sells used / refurbished test equipment and offers short- and long-term rentals. They also offer repair, maintenance and calibration. Prices discounted up to 80% off list price. Agilent/HP, Tektronix, Anritsu, Fluke, R&S and other major brands. A global organization with ability to source hard to find equipment through our network of suppliers. Alliance Test will purchase your excess test equipment in large or small lots. Blog posts offer advice on application and use of a wide range of test equipment. Please visit Allied Test Equipment today to see how they can help your project.

Monday the 19th

Did Popov Invent Radio?

Did Popov Invent Radio?, July 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeThe debate continues into this day: Who really invented radio? Guglielmo Marconi has enjoyed the moniker of the "Father of Radio" and the "Father of Wireless Telegraphy" for more than a century. Challengers have presented evidence to the contrary for nearly as long. This story in a 1960 issue of Electronics World magazine asserts that perhaps Aleksandr Popov preceded Marconi. A 1939 issue of Radio Craft magazine claims Lieutenant-Commander Edward H. Loftin deserves the credit based on a 1872 U.S. patent. Still others say Dr. Mahlon Loomis (and here) made the first wireless transmission. He also has a U.S. patent issued in 1872. It is tempting to dismiss these claims as being from "wannabes," but the truth is as time goes by and more effort is put into researching topics, information is sometimes uncovered that really does change long-held beliefs. There was not necessarily an intentional deception, but access to archives gets greater over the ages - especially with the Internet - and many times more people are doing the research. As long as reporting is honest and unbiased, upsetting "settled science" is welcome...

Square D Model 5008 Voltage Tester

Square D / Wigginton "Wiggy" Model 5008 Voltage Tester - RF Cafe Cool ProductSometime in the mid 1970's while working as an electrician, I bought this Square D / Wigginton (aka the "Wiggy") Model 5008 Voltage Tester. It was probably considered high tech in the day. It uses a simple solenoid to drive the indicator needle. The scale begins at 120 volts and ends at 600 volts on the alternating current (A.C.) side, and 120 through 400 volts on the direct current (D.C.) side. Surprisingly little information on the 5008 is available on the Web. Close-up of the business area of the Square D model 5008 Voltage Tester. Information sheet for the 5008. Direct current (D.C.) polarity indicator. Example of measuring house voltage with the Square D model 5008 Voltage Tester. The highest voltage I ever measured with it was 480 VAC (3-phase), supplying a concrete block forming machine in Annapolis, Maryland. It was kind of a spooky experience. I'm comfortable around 240 VAC, but above that level I worry about compromised insulation, especially in damp environments. Even with the availability of much more sophisticated analog and digital multimeters, this is still my instrument of choice when working on house circuits. It is still in very nice condition and gets used on a regular basis - as recently as a couple days ago when adding a couple circuits to my daughter's horse barn...

Don't Quit! - Merry Christmas

Don't Quit! - Merry Christmas, December 1940 January 1941 National Radio News - RF CafeWhen I first saw the title of this poem from a 1941 edition of National Radio News magazine, I thought it was going to be a plea to amateur radio operators not to give up their hobby just because the government would eventually prohibit broadcasting during the World War II years. As it turns out, the poem predated that era and is instead a generic encouragement to the magazine's readers to press on regardless of obstacles. It did show up in the Christmas issue, so maybe it was simply a message in the spirit of peace on Earth and goodwill toward man. In these harsh years of the government fomenting division and class envy amongst its citizens, it's kind of hard to relate to such a gentle, kindly mindset, but indeed it did once exist in America. Anyway, I thought it was worth reprinting here, and even colorized it a bit. "Don't Quit" is sort of a simpler version of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem of inspiration titled "If."

Withwave 2022 Product Presentation

Withwave 2022 Product Presentation - RF CafeWithwave, is a leading designer, developer of a broad range of RF, Microwave, and Millimeter Wave Test Solutions and subsystems with a focus on electromagnetic field analysis and signal processing. Withwave's extensive product portfolio serves four primary target markets: Wireless Communications, Test & Instrumentation, Automated Test Equipments, and Network Systems. A short Withwave 2022 Product Presentation video has been produced and posted on YouTube which provides quick overview of their offerings. As seen in the thumbnail screenshots, it shows real examples of product lines rather than just CAD drawings...

Tilting TIROS II

Tilting TIROS II, February 1961 Popular Electronics - RF CafeTelevision Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) was the first platform for space-based weather observation, both in visible and infrared wavelengths. All modern satellites have attitude and orbit correcting capabilities via gas jets, but there is only a limited supply of gas available so the lifetime of a satellite is limited as well - pretty darned clever. Scientists who monitored the performance of TIROS I noticed that the Earth's magnetic field affected the satellite's attitude as it orbited. They reasoned that attitude control coils could be installed and energized on TIROS II using electrical power from its solar panels rather than the onboard fuel supply. This article from a 1961 edition of Popular Electronics magazine describes the effort...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 12,000 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. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

Many Thanks to Reactel for Their Long-Time Support!

Reactel Filters - RF Cafe

Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture of RF and microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer the generally known tubular, LC, cavity, and waveguide designs, as well as state of the art high performance suspended substrate models. Through a continuous process of research and development, they have established a full line of filters of filters of all types - lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, diplexer, and more. Established in 1979. Please contact Reactel today to see how they might help your project.

Sunday the 18th

Electronics Themed Crossword for December 18th

Electronics Themed Crossword Puzzle for December 18th, 2022 - RF CafeThis is your custom made Electronics Themed crossword puzzle for December 18th, 2022. Hard to believe there is only one more left after this (Christmas Day) for 2022. All RF Cafe crossword puzzles are custom made by me, Kirt Blattenberger, and have only words and clues related to electronics, electricity, radio, radar, RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical subjects. 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., Reginald Denny or the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

Please Thank RF Superstore for Their Continued Support

RF Superstore coaxial cable, connectors, adapters - RF CafeRF Superstore launched in 2017, marking the return of Murray Pasternack, founder of Pasternack Enterprises, to the RF and microwave Industry. Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were sold. Partner Jason Wright manages day-to-day operations, while working closely with Mr. Pasternack to develop RF Superstore into a world class RF and microwave component supplier. RF coaxial connectors & adapters, coaxial cable & cable assemblies, surge protectors, attenuators. Items added daily. Free shipping on orders over $25. We're leading the way again!

Friday the 16th

Measurement of Meter Resistance

Measurement of Meter Resistance, July 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeNot many of us are still using multimeters with analog movements for the display. The convenience and fool-proof-ness of digital multimeters (DMM) makes them the obvious choice for the majority of people. In fact, the vast majority of my voltage, current, and resistance measurements are made with a DMM. I still have a couple analog meters which I bought decades ago when first entering the field of electricity and electronics. The crudest type of indicator I have is on my early 1970's vintage Square D Wigginton Model 5008 Voltage Tester with a solenoid indicator. This "Measurement of Meter Resistance" article in a 1960 issue of Electronics World magazine was needed sagacity at the time because the internal resistance (impedance) of the meter and the analog indicator movement might be sufficiently low enough to load down the circuit being measured to the point where an erroneous measurement is made. The presence of a parallel resistance causes the circuit under test...

Famous Radio Beginners

Famous Radio Beginners, March 1936 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis is an all-star cast of radio pioneers if there ever was one. It's not comprehensive by any means, but most of the first-string players are here in this 1936 Radio-Craft magazine article. One thing I like about reading these old pieces is that they, for the most part, are reporting on contemporary events; they are not merely a historian's interpretation of what the original witnesses recorded. That is not to say early writers did not editorialize, err, or outright lie about content, but I give these guys the benefit of the doubt based on the sources. You have certainly heard of people like Hertz, deForest, and Marconi, but what about coherer (early detector) inventor Edouard Branly and ground-breaking commercial radio broadcast engineer Frank Conrad? Magazine editor, publisher, and inventor Hugo Gernsback properly give a short run-down on the "Famous Radio Beginners" of his day...

Antenova Antennas for Small Wi-Fi6/E Devices

Antenova Intros 3 High Efficiency Antennas for Small Wi-Fi6 and Wi-Fi6E Devices - RF CafeAntenova Ltd, the UK-based manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for IoT and M2M, is announcing three antennas for Wi-Fi6 and Wi-fi6E. They are a surface mounted antenna, a flexible antenna and an external antenna for Wi-Fi6 and Wi-Fi6E. All three antennas use the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands and support IEEE standards 802.11a/b/g/j/n/ac/ax. The SMD antenna, named Billi, part number SR43W078, measures 15 mm x 6 mm x 1 mm and requires only 1 mm of clearance on the PCB. This makes it an exceptionally low profile antenna solution for slim devices with a small space for the antenna. In tests this antenna showed very high efficiency across all three bands. It is suitable for pick-and-place manufacturing processes. The FPC antenna, named Lotti, part number SRF3W077 is a flexible antenna measuring...

Solid State Electronics

Solid State, April 1967 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIn 1967 when this article article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, the use of integrated circuits in consumer electronics was still relatively new. RCA, GE, Westinghouse, and Philco had just released their first TVs and radios with IC front ends, and Heathkit even had a build-it-yourself model. The military was using them (ICs) in proximity fuse designs. The new technology was really cooking. ESD issues were discovered and needed to be dealt with as gate sizes shrunk and the vulnerability to arcing became a problem. A photo is shown where NASA developed a method for mitigating the potential damage by looping a spring-loaded wire around the leads of MOS-based ICs during handling. A bit of nerd humor is also presented to commemorate the April edition...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built symbols, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Symbols available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size drawing page templates (or can use your own). Symbols are provided for equipment racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics. Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing. The file format is XML so everything plays nicely with Visio 2013 and later...

Thursday the 15th

Temperature Unit Conversions

Temperature Conversion, November 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeYou've heard of the Fahrenheit, Centigrade (Celsius), Kelvin, and Rankine temperature scales, but what about the Réaumur scale? This 1965 Electronics World magazine article presents all five along with formulas for converting between them. Each temperature scale is named in honor of its creator. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit came up with his scale where, under standard atmospheric pressure pure water freezes at 32° and boils at 212°. Anders Celsius decided a more sensible temperature scale would place freezing water at 0° and boiling water at 100°. William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin set his scale, which has been adopted as the International System of Units standard, declares 0° to be absolute zero, where no thermal energy is present. William Rankine, of ideal heat engine fame, combined Fahrenheit's scale with Kelvin's absolute zero concept. Lastly, but not leastly, René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur selected the freezing point of water to be 0° and the boiling point to be 80°, primarily to accommodate his preference of alcohol over mercury as a thermometer medium...

Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence - RF Cafe"Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles. The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target - like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one. Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023..."

Microwaves Part II: Generation of Microwaves

Microwaves Part II: Generation of Microwaves, August 1945, Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe Barkhausen-Kurz (B-K) oscillator is credited as being the first high power microwave generator that exploited the electron transit time effect. It was developed in 1920 by German physicists Heinrich Georg Barkhausen and Karl Kurz. As this article's author points out, the vacuum tube and supporting circuits were difficult to produce and were not very well understood theoretically. Shortly thereafter, the magnetron and klystron tubes came along and dominated the high power microwave generation realm. Included in Part II of "Microwave - Generation of Microwaves" is a good, brief explanation of the operation of both B-K and magnetron circuits. Part I appeared earlier in the July 1945 issue of Radio-Craft magazine...

Fully Predictive Combline Filter Modeling

Fully Predictive Combline Filter Modeling - RF CafeWith a longtime interest in filter design software, magazine articles demonstrating modeling techniques that produce results nearly exactly matching physical filters always grab my attention. Inputting all the proper parasitic effects is key to success, so my guess is that rarely, especially at high frequencies where even air is a parasitic element, do near-perfect matches occur like the one shown. The highly skilled people who write these articles underestimate the role their expertise plays in success. Still, articles like Daniel Swanson's "Fully Predictive Combline Filter Modeling," in the December 2022 issue of Microwave Journal, provides much appreciate insight into design methodology...

Play Games with Nixie Tubes

Play Games with Nixie Tubes, March 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeNixie tubes were used for numeric - and sometimes alpha - displays back in the days before LEDs and LCDs. They were more light bulbs than tubes, but were encapsulated in evacuated glass shells like vacuum tubes and had round, multi-pin bases like tubes. Separate filaments were provided for each character. There were two basic varieties: characters that displayed through the top of the tube, and characters that displayed through the side of the tube. "Play Games with Nixie Tubes" is the cover story for this March 1958 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Nixie tubes are popular with builders of retro equipment, and a lot of products are available for sale that incorporate them; e.g., clocks, wrist watches, radios, clock radios, calendars, games, and much more. Electronic test equipment and medical instruments were big users of Nixie tubes. I remember a couple of the signal generators we used on the MPN-14 radar has Nixie tube displays. Supposedly the name "Nixie" derived from "NIX I", an abbreviation of "Numeric Indicator eXperimental No. 1," as designated...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt was a lot of work, but I finally finished a version of the "RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols" that works well with Microsoft Office™ programs Word™, Excel™, and Power Point™. This is an equivalent of the extensive set of amplifier, mixer, filter, switch, connector, waveguide, digital, analog, antenna, and other commonly used symbols for system block diagrams and schematics created for Visio™. Each of the 1,000 or so symbols was exported individually from Visio in the EMF file format, then imported into Word on a Drawing Canvas. The EMF format allows an image to be scaled up or down without becoming pixelated, so all the shapes can be resized in a document and still look good. The imported symbols can also be UnGrouped into their original constituent parts for editing. Check them out!

Many Thanks to Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) for Continuing Support!

Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) - RF CafeAmplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) is a manufacturer of amplifiers for commercial & military markets. ASC designs and manufactures hybrid, surface mount flange, open carrier and connectorized amplifiers for low, medium and high power applications using Gallium Nitride (GaN), Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Silicon (Si) transistor technologies. ASC's thick film designs operate in the frequency range of 300 kHz to 6 GHz. ASC offers thin film designs that operate up to 20 GHz. ASC is located in an 8,000 sq.ft. facility in the town of Telford, PA. We offer excellent customer support and take pride in the ability to quickly react to evolving system design requirements.


These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page. About RF Cafe.

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Windfreak Technologies SynthHD PRO - RF Cafe

Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) - RF Cafe
Copper Mountain Technologies (VNA) - RF Cafe

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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