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Homepage Archive - January 2022 (page 3)

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

Friday the 21st

Detecting Aircraft at Night

Detecting Aircraft at Night, February 1942 Radio News - RF CafeMost(?) RF Cafe visitors are probably familiar with British engineer John Logie Baird as being considered "the father of television." His work in the 1920s produced both live and recorded motion pictures transmitted and received electronically. What most visitors (including me) probably did not know is that he also developed television apparatus using infrared imaging; he called it "Noctovision." Noctovision (noct or nox meaning night) was a moving image form of the still imaging "Noctovisor," which was an early night vision system that converted an infrared image into an optical image. Radar was still in its infancy in 1942 when this article appeared in Radio News magazine, and had not been implemented widely enough to provided needed surveillance against nighttime bombing raids from Germany's Luftwaffe (air force) flying across the English Channel. According to author Rosen, infrared wavelengths have 16x the fog penetrating power of optical wavelengths...

Thanks Again to Anatech Electronics for 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. 

China's GalaxySpace to Challenge SpaceX's Starlink - RF CafeTogether with Amazon's Kuiper and the EU's OneWeb, China's GalaxySpace and SpaceX's Starlink will forever transform the night sky by launching tens of thousands of small LEO satellites, each of which will reflect sunlight to observers situated between them and the sun. Many - if not most - will be visible to the naked eye and will definitely appear as streaks in time exposure astronomical images. These systems will provide global broadband connectivity at a projected cost of about $100 per month to those of us who will actually shell out our wampum for it, which is about the cost of equivalent cable-based Internet connectivity now. As is the case now, our expensive subscriptions will continue to subsidize the many who pay reduced rate or nothing for the service - another instance of a few pulling the metaphoric welfare wagon while rest are in it for the free ride...

How the Stereo Disc Works

How the Stereo Disc Works, July 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeMy first major high fidelity (Hi−Fi) stereo system purchase came during my senior year at Southern Senior High School when I had saved enough money to buy a combination AM/FM receiver, 8-track tape deck, turn table, and two speakers with separate woofers, midranges, and tweeters. At the time I thought the setup might impress friends and relatives... until I learned quite quickly that "serious" stereo sound connoisseurs decidedly did NOT have equipment with "Reader's Digest" logos on it. Oh well, the price seemed like a really good bargain to me give the promised tonal superiority. Compared to the clock radio I used previously for my music listening sessions, the Reader's Digest stereo system produced music hall quality sound. Ah, the deep bass notes were grand. Spending most of my earned money on model airplanes, rockets, and my '69 Camaro left little disposable income for LPs (referred to as "discs" in this article), so the turntable did not get much use. I did, however, read up on how to balance the tone arm...

Tiny Sensor Makes the Invisible Visible

Tiny Sensor Makes the Invisible Visible - RF Cafe"A TU/e research group has developed a new near-infrared sensor that is easy to make, comparable in size to sensors in smartphones, and ready for immediate use in industrial process monitoring and agriculture. This breakthrough has just been published in Nature Communications, with co-first author Kaylee Hakkel defending her Ph.D. thesis on January 14th. The human eye is a marvelous sensor. Using three photoreceptor cells that convert visible light into signals for different colors, the eye gives essential information about the world around us. "When our brain puts the signals together, it makes a prediction of what the signals mean based on our experiences. For example, a red strawberry is sweet, but a green one is not..."

Webinar: HF in a Nutshell

Webinar: HF in a Nutshell - RF CafeOn Friday, January 28th and Monday, the 31st, Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) will be conducting a webinar entitled "HF in a Nutshell." You would be excused to thinking that this an amateur radio event because many of the company's employees are Hams, but in fact it is billed as "An overview of current beyond-line-of-sight communications solutions." Further, "HF communications technology is reliable, proven and has been in service for decades. This webinar is the first in a series covering HF topics and will illustrate that HF communications is in no way your grandparents' technology, but rather THE communications solution for the future. You will receive an overview of currently available Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications solutions and the latest developments in this field, i.e. HF versus satellite communications (SATCOM)..."

Low-Pressure Modulation Facts

Low-Pressure Modulation Facts, July 1953 QST - RF CafeAuthor Howard Wright takes the opportunity here in a 1936 issue of QST magazine to distill the concept of modulation down to its basic operation while dispensing with the garbled mix of "graphs, formulas, charts, vectors, diagrams, and Greek letters which often enter into various discussions of modulation." Mr. Wright describes how to the uninitiated radio dial spinner, the culmination of events occurring behind the scenes in an AM reception process is akin to this: "...it might be compared to the reproduction of a color photograph in a magazine. How would we ever know that, to be reproduced, the picture was broken down into its primary colors, if all we had to go by was the original print and the magazine?" That is a very apt comparison...

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

Engineering Job Board - RF Cafe RF 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. 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...

Thanks to Aegis Power Systems for Their Continued Support!

Aegis Power Systems - RF CafeAegis Power Systems is a leading supplier of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies for custom and special applications. Aegis has been designing and building highly reliable custom power supplies since 1995. They offer a complete line of switch mode power supplies and power converters for a variety of markets including defense, industrial, aircraft, VME, and telecom. Supports military, aircraft, EV, telecom, and embedded computing applications. Design and manufacture of custom power supply solutions to meet each customer's exacting specifications. Please visit Aegis Power Systems today.

Thursday the 20th

Bell Telephone Labs - How Do You Stop an ICBM?

Bell Telephone Laboratories - How Do You Stop an ICBM?, December 1961 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThe era of nuclear weapons of course began in August of 1945 when they effectively ended World War II, but it wasn't until around 1955 that another country - the U.S.S.R. - developed a deployable thermonuclear bomb. Even before that happened, the U.S. Department of Defense began planning for systems to detect and ultimately disable enemy ICBMs and aircraft-delivered nuclear bombs. The nuclear arms race had begun, and continues to this day. Now, there are five countries recognized as possessing thermonuclear weapons, three countries declaring possession, and one country implying possession. A somewhat insane concept dubbed MAD asserts that if everyone can strike and counterstrike with equal capability, that will prevent nuclear warfare because the aggressor will suffer as significantly as the victim. This 1961 Bell Telephone Labs promotion in Radio−Electronics magazine introduced one of the early concepts for intercepting inbound ICBMs. The most familiar and successful system...

Modelithics' New Model Rap Blog Series

Modelithics' New Model Rap Blog Series - RF CafeModelithics is excited to launch a new monthly blog series - Model Rap! These blog posts will provide helpful tips for RF & Microwave design success using high-accuracy simulation models in the industry's leading simulation software. EM/circuit co−simulations are both accurate and painless when using Keysight Technologies' RFPro EM environment in conjunction with Modelithics models. In this blog post, learn why this approach for EM/circuit co-simulations offers tremendous advantages in comparison to traditional methods. The premier edition is entitled, "EM/Circuit Co-Simulation Made Easy and Accurate with Keysight RFPro and Modelithics Models..."

It All Comes Down to 1st Electron

It All Comes Down to 1st Electron - RF Cafe"Every living thing requires energy. This is also true of microorganisms. This energy is frequently generated in the cells by respiration, that is by the combustion of organic compounds, in other words: food. During this process, electrons are released which the microorganisms then need to get rid of. In the absence of oxygen, microorganisms can use other methods to do so, including transporting the electrons to minerals outside the cells. Reduction rates vary considerably. In oxygen-free soils or sediments, iron oxides play a major role as acceptors of the released electrons. But how do the electrons get from respiration in the cells to the iron oxides which are..."

Reactivating Leaky Electrolytic Capacitors

Reactivating Leaky Electrolytic Capacitors, January 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeUnlike the Roll Your Own Foil Capacitors article in the same issue of Popular Electronics magazine, this one advising how to reactivate leaky capacitors might be of use to a lot more people. The process is called "reforming," and consists of applying a DC voltage to the faulty capacitor, beginning at a very low voltage, and then slowly raising the voltage until the rated working voltage (WVDC) is reached. Doing so, if the capacitor is not beyond rehabilitation, will reconstitute the oxide layer that serves as the dielectric. This particular item was presented as the answer to a question posed by a reader. A Google search on "reform capacitor" will turn up more detail about the procedure. Most people recommend against reforming unless you have no other option, as this writer from India might have faced at the time...

Anatech Electronics January 2022 Newsletter

Anatech Electronics January 2022 Newsletter - RF CafeSam Benzacar of Anatech Electronics, an RF and microwave filter company, has published his January 2022 newsletter that features his short op−ed entitled "AM Radio Is Not Dead. Yet.," where he surveys the current AM landscape including listener demographics, current technology, and FCC regulations. As a lifelong AM listener myself, I definitely fit into the age-60-ish typical adherent, and talk radio is my primary daytime programming preference. In the evenings I switch over to FM music stations. Over the air broadcasting is also still my choice, and my radios typically use dials connected to variable capacitors - no electronic pushbutton tuning. Most AM and FM stations also offer Internet-based access, where all of the static, fading, and other forms of signal degradation are eliminated. Truthfully, those "annoyances" are nostalgia to my 64-year-old ears, so I don't mind needing to occasionally reorient an antenna or tweak the dial a bit for good reception. Sam believes - probably correctly - that AM radio will be gone by the end of this decade. The way things are going, I'll be gone by then as well, so hopefully AM broadcasts will hold on just a little while longer...

Satellites on the Air

Satellites on the Air, December 1962, March, April, May, June 1963 - RF CafeBy late 1962, the United States was launching new satellites at a very rapid pace. Many were destroyed on the launch pad, others never turned on once in orbit, still more turned on and operated in a crippled form and/or only for a small portion of their intended lifespans. It was a learning period for the entire satellite, rocket, mission control, Earth-based tracking stations, and the communications equipment that dialoged with the satellites. The "race" part of the Space Race moniker was literal. Popular Electronics, QST, Electronics World, and other electronics communications publications regularly printed a list of newly commissioned satellites. The lists presented here came from five different 1962-1963 editions of Popular Electronics. The feature was repeated for many years. Incidentally, the "mc" frequency unit used at the time was the common abbreviation for "million cycles per second." In 1960, the Hertz was adopted by the General Conference on Weights and Measures...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF Cafe With 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...

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

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 the 19th

Lunar Radio & TV Traffic

Lunar Radio & TV Traffic, December 1961 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeMany of Radio-Electronics magazine editor Hugo Gernsback's articles betray his penchant for writing science fiction as a sideline. That is not noted disparagingly, rather to emphasize his profound insight and vision into technology and the promises it holds for the good of mankind (and hence every other kind of ___kind). Mr. Gernsback is quick to point out in many of his editorials how he accurately predicted events and inventions occurring at later dates. This particular prognostication builds upon an earlier one regarding communications with moon-based colonies of humans. Two primary concerns are the time delays of one-way and two-way messaging (roughly 1.2 and 2.4 seconds, respectively) and the fact that the moon, while always presenting the same face toward Earth, is out of view from any given point on Earth for roughly half of each day. Accommodating the hidden moon periods would require terrestrial stations and/or orbiting satellites. When this article was written, the SCORE, Echo, and Courier satellites had been launched, but they were mostly experimental and short-lived...

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.

Radio Keeps You in Touch

Radio Keeps You in Touch, September 1957 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"Mobile telephone equipment installed in the trunk of the car takes up relatively little space, is out of the way." That sentence seems really strange in today's world of pocket-size mobile phones, but it was a big (literally) deal in 1957 when this article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine. If you are getting old (but not old yet) like me, you'll remember the prime time TV show called Mannix, where crafty private eye Joe Mannix had a "futuristic" Motorola car phone in his convertible. Today, the only kind of radio you are likely to find installed in a car trunk is a high-power Ham rig. Two-way messaging was a big deal before the advent of cellphones. Service trucks were dispatched by operators at the home base. As an electrician back in the 1970s, most of the trucks I operated from had a two-way radio for directing workers to job sites. I did a lot of troubleshooting and old work (adding circuits and equipment to existing establishments, as opposed to new construction work...

Silicon Photonic-Electronic Net Enhances Submarine Transmission

Silicon Photonic-Electronic Net Enhances Submarine Transmission - RF Cafe"We are currently witnessing an explosion of network traffic. Numerous emerging services and applications, such as cloud services, video streaming platforms and the Internet of Things (IOT), are further increasing the demand for high-capacity communications. Optical communication systems, technologies that transfer information optically using fibers, are the backbone of today's communication networks of fixed-line, wireless infrastructure and data centers. Over the past decade, the growth of the internet was enabled by a technique known as digital signal processing (DSP), which can help to reduce transmission distortions. However, DSP is currently implemented using CMOS integrated circuits (ICs), thus it relies heavily on Moore's Law, which has approached its limits in terms of power dissipation, density and feasible engineering solutions. As a result, distortions caused by a phenomenon known as fiber nonlinearity cannot be compensated by DSP, as this would require too much computation power and resources..."

RF Cafe Quiz #52: RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers

RF Cafe Quiz #52: RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers - RF CafeThis quiz is based on the information presented in Handbook of RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers, by John L. B. Walker. Whether you are an RF transistor designer, an amplifier designer or a system designer, this is your one-stop guide to RF and microwave transistor power amplifiers. A team of expert authors brings you up to speed on every topic, including: devices (Si LDMOS and VDMOS, GaAs FETs, GaN HEMTs), circuit and amplifier design (discrete, hybrid and monolithic), CAD, thermal design, reliability, and system applications/requirements for RF and microwave transistor amplifiers. Covering state-of-the-art developments and emphasizing practical communications applications, this is the complete professional reference on the subject...

Palomar Survey Quantifies Interference of Starlink Satellites - RF CafeBoth professional and amateur astronomers have warned of the severe negative impact the presence of thousands (or tens of thousands) of Earth-orbiting satellites will have on optical astrophotography. Bright streaks running through the field of view are an impediment to obtaining quality long time exposure images. An occasional airplane or single satellite is bad enough, but a matrix of regular lines can be debilitating. While Starlink is the first of the companies deploying a constellation of birds for implementing global Internet coverage, others are beginning to launch and many more are in the planning and manufacturing stages. This news item reports on a quantitative study conducted by Caltech's Palomar Observatory, using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), of current and projected future interference...

Inventors of Radio: Augusto Righi

Inventors of Radio: Augusto Righi, December 1961 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeI don't know about you, but I had never heard of Augusto Righi before seeing him honored in this "Inventors of Radio" feature in a 1958 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine. Reportedly Guglielmo Marconi was an informal student of Righi's when he, Righi, taught at University of Bologna. Augusto is credited as being the first to generate using the apparatus shown in the article. Interestingly, as was customary in the era, the frequency of 12 GHz was reported as 12 kmc, or 12 kilomegacycles. He also is recognized as being the discovered of magnetic hysteresis. Along with many other scientific endeavors, Righi worked on Special Relativity in his later years, and was considered one of the few people who understood the concepts and equations. He lived from 1850 to 1920, which is pretty good for the era...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF Cafe It 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 Berkeley Nucleonics for Continued Support!

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

Tuesday the 18th

Serviceman's Experiences

Serviceman's Experiences, July 1938 Radio News - RF CafeAs I have reminded you many times when posting these articles from vintage electronics magazine like the 1938 Radio News, in-home service calls were commonplace for just about everything serviceable in the house. That included humans - particularly children - who were tended to in domus by their family doctors. Successful servicemen learned the lesson related in this story: "I work on the set owner in the house, and save the set work for the shop." That of course holds true for situations where the radio, television, record player, etc., needed to go back to the shop for repair. When repairs could be effected in situ, a combination of customer relations and technical skills was required. In addition to the aforementioned, another skill that needed to be honed was getting the customer to pay his bill. There were no credit cards in the day, so cash or an in-store line of credit was required for payment. In most cases the customer did not already have that credit line. If a piece of equipment is in the shop, then it can at least be sold in lieu of payment, but walking out of someone's house...

Basic Navy Training Courses: Transformers

NAVPERS 10622 Chapter 20: Transformers - Basic Navy Training Courses - RF CafeElectronics technicians trained by the U.S. Navy (and, ahem, the U.S. Air Force) have always been highly regarded in private industry because of the excellent classroom instruction, rigorous on-the-job training (OJT), and hands-on experience maintaining both legacy and state-of-the-art equipment. Electronics tech schools begin with teaching the fundamentals of electricity and electronics, and then branches off into areas of specialty, depending on the type of equipment the enlistee will be assigned to maintain. The military works under the assumption that you have no significant former knowledge of the topic - although being admitted into certain programs requires passing an aptitude exam prior to enlistment. This NAVPERS 10622 course chapter introduces concepts and governing equations for transformers...

Electron's Wave Nature Constructed in Lab

Electron's Wave Nature Constructed in Lab - RF Cafe"Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara in the US have reconstructed a representation of the electron's wave nature - its Bloch wave function - in a laboratory experiment for the first time. The work could have applications in the design and development of next-generation electronic and optoelectronic devices. Like all matter, electrons behave as both particles and waves. One of the main goals of condensed-matter physics is to understand how the wavelike motion of electrons through periodically-arranged atoms give rise to the electronic and optical properties of crystalline materials. Having such an understanding is especially important when designing devices that take advantage of the electron's wavelike nature, explains Joseph Costello, who co-led the UC Santa Barbara team..."

Antenova Atta Embedded Antenna for 410/450 MHz LTE

Antenova Atta Embedded Antenna for Remote Devices 410/450 MHz LTE - RF CafeAntenova Ltd, the UK-based manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for M2M and the IoT, has revealed its latest antenna, Atta, part number SRFI079, for LTE and smart wireless deployments in the 410 MHz and 450 MHz bands. The Atta antenna is a flexible printed circuit (FPC) form and measures 101.0 x 20.0 x 0.15 mm. It is supplied with an I-PEX mating connector for direct integration to a circuit board, and a self-adhesive pad to fix it easily in position. It is therefore easy to integrate into a design. The LTE 450 spectrum is relatively new, with 65 deployments in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and LTE 450 is available in 25 of these. This is expected to grow, as spectrum is allocated in more regions...

Dynamic Soaring and Pumped Laser Systems

Dynamic Soaring and Pumped Laser Systems - RF CafeYou have heard of the pumped laser and maser. Here is a new type of pumped energy system: the "vaser." "Laser" is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," and "maser" is an acronym for "microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." I coined the term "vaser" after reading an article in the June 2014 edition of Model Aviation about a relatively new form of radio controlled (R/C) model sailplane sport - dynamic soaring - that, using a specially developed technique to exploit geography and prevailing winds, produces aircraft speeds of more than 400 miles per hour. Per my definition, "vaser" is an acronym for "velocity amplification by stimulated enhancement of energy" (OK, it's a lame attempt at being clever). It occurred to me that the mechanism used to add energy to electrons in atoms is fundamentally the same as that used to add energy to the sailplane in dynamic soaring. In pumped laser and maser systems, an external power source (stimulus) is used to cyclically add energy...

Identify That Chassis

Identify That Chassis, June 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeHaving spent many years professionally scouring the Internet while attempting to identify electronic components as part of a reverse engineering effort, I can appreciate how difficult life would be when the only resources available were a few manufacturers' databooks and a magazine article or two. You might think it would behoove a company to make certain that its products are clearly marked if not with a part number, at least with an easily identifiable logo. That way a researcher could call the company, describe the part, and get the required information. Even with today's nano-size packages, laser marking could do the job. Sometimes, the maker of the next higher assembly (which might be the finished product) purposely either removes the identification from select components or instructs the vendor to only partially mark or not mark the package. That is done for competition reasons specifically to prevent or make very difficult the reverse engineering of products. You have likely seen "teardowns" of consumer electronic items like smartphones...

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...

Thanks to Amplifier Solutions Corporation for Continued Support!

Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) - RF Cafe 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.

Monday the 17th

Carl and Jerry: Joking and Jeopardy

Carl and Jerry: Joking and Jeopardy, December 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis episode of John T. Frye's "Carl and Jerry" technosaga entitled "Joking and Jeopardy" is another of the slightly far-fetched adventures of the popular pair of electronics hobbyist chums, but as usual the story is a combination of drama and technical instruction. In this case it involves a remote-controlled model submarine which is signaled underwater by a pulsed ultrasonic transducer. The receiver decoded commands by causing a stepper relay (not a stepper motor) to increment a predetermined number of spaces to make the craft dive or surface, turn left or right, or start and stop. Remote control systems for models - be they airplanes, cars, or boats - did not have the luxury and convenience of proportional control in 1963 when this appeared in Popular Electronics magazine as we have nowadays...

UK RF/Microwave: Birthplace of Radar and Gas MMIC

The RF/Microwave Industry in the UK and Ireland, Birthplace of Radar and the GaAs MMIC - RF CafeHelen Duncan has an interesting article in the January 2022 issue of Microwave Journal magazine entitled "The RF/Microwave Industry in the UK and Ireland, Birthplace of Radar and the GaAs MMIC." In it, she recounts the proud history of her native country's role in research, development, and system production beginning with "The Father of Radar," Robert Watson Watt (a great surname for an electronics guy), and Arnold Wilkins during World War II. She writes, "This review of the microwave marketplace in my home country is inevitably a more personal one than those in previous years. In addition to profiling some of the main players in the market in 2021, I will reflect on some of the home-grown heroes of the microwave industry in the U.K. and Ireland who have influenced my own career and whose achievements continue to shape the landscape today..."

Kirt's Cogitations #216 - Points of Inflection

Kirt's Cogitations #216 - Points of Inflection - RF CafeWhen reading technical articles, I very often see the authors incorrectly refer to a certain point on a curve as being the inflection point. It is not merely a point at which a curve changes direction. That was the case in an article I read today that dealt with open-loop polar modulation in EDGE amplifiers. There exists an unambiguous definition of an inflection point, and all engineers were taught it in school. Pardon me if this seems trivial or picayune, but the purpose of the magazine articles is to teach, so if this factoid can eliminate the misconception in future articles, then it will have accomplished its objective. Here is a brief review of what an inflection point is, and, equally important, what an inflection point is not. An inflection point is the point at which the second derivative of a continuous curve equals zero. Accordingly, it is the point where a curve changes from concave up to concave down. A curved region is concave up if all the data points in that region lie above a line tangent to it (in the positive-going y-axis direction). A curved region is concave down if all the data points in that region lie below a line tangent to it (in the negative-going y-axis direction). The Excel plot that accompanies this article illustrates all of these concepts...

Bittele Electronics Fast and Easy Online Ordering Service

Bittele Electronics Fast and Easy Online Ordering Service 2022 - RF CafeBittele Electronics, a Toronto-based Turn-key PCB Assembly firm specializing in prototype and low-to-mid volume printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing and assembly, is highlighting its very successful Online Ordering Service featuring Live Chat and Zoom meeting support. This new, state-of-the-art tool allows customers to complete turnkey PCB assembly orders faster and with up to 25% price discounts. Bittele's Online Ordering Service enables a customer to complete all steps to complete a PCB Fabrication and Assembly order in under 20 minutes while qualifying for exclusive discounts that are automatically applied to the order. Once an online order is placed, it will be immediately processed and released to Bittele's production team. "Our goal with this service is to help simplify our customers' ordering experience, as well as giving them attractive benefits..."

Nanowire Transistor w/Integrated Memory for Supercomputers

Nanowire Transistor w/Integrated Memory for Supercomputers - RF Cafe"For many years, a bottleneck in technological development has been how to get processors and memories to work faster together. Now, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have presented a new solution integrating a memory cell with a processor, which enables much faster calculations, as they happen in the memory circuit itself. In an article in Nature Electronics, the researchers present a new configuration, in which a memory cell is integrated with a vertical transistor selector, all at the nanoscale. This brings improvements in scalability, speed and energy efficiency compared with current mass storage solutions. The fundamental issue is that anything requiring large amounts of data to be processed, such as AI and machine learning, requires speed and more capacity. For this to be successful, the memory and processor need to be as close to each other as possible..."

The Remarkable Transistor Observes Its 10th Birthday

The Remarkable Transistor Observes Its 10th Birthday - RF CafeJust before Christmas in 1947, Bell Labs' John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley announced their invention of the first semiconductor device capable of producing positive signal amplification. They dubbed it the "transistor" because it was a transconductance amplifier. In very short order, the laboratory experiment consisting of a metallic point contact (a piece of gold foil) interfaced with a slab of purified and doped germanium became commercially available at a price that easily competed with a vacuum tube amplifier when the cost of the socket and high voltage biasing transformers were factored in. Transistors would not be able to entirely replace tubes for many decades, especially for high power and high frequency applications, but as you can see today, the only vacuum tube the average person will find anywhere...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe for As Little As $40/Month

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 LadyBug Technologies for Their Continued Support!

LadyBug Technologies RF Power Sensors - RF CafeLadyBug Technologies was founded in 2004 by two microwave engineers with a passion for quality microwave test instrumentation. Our employees offer many years experience in the design and manufacture of the worlds best vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, power meters and associated components. The management team has additional experience in optical power testing, military radar and a variety of programming environments including LabVIEW, VEE and other languages often used in programmatic systems. Extensive experience in a broad spectrum of demanding measurement applications. You can be assured that our Power Sensors are designed, built, tested and calibrated without compromise.

Sunday the 16th

Electrical Engineering Theme Crossword for January 16th

Electrical Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for January 16th, 2022 - RF CafeThis custom made crossword puzzle for January 16th, 2022, from RF Cafe has an electrical engineering theme. All RF Cafe crossword puzzles are custom made by me, Kirt Blattenberger, and have only words and clues related to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical subjects. As always, this crossword puzzle 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!

Transistor Dictionary

Transistor Dictionary, May 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeA few (many, actually) new terms have been added to the transistor lexicon since 1958, but this list from Radio-Electronics magazine contains more than 150 definitions that are still useful today. It is amazing that this list was created just a decade after the transistor was invented, and now half a century later the most commonly used terms have not changed much. A huge number of elemental compounds, configurations, and process terms have been added since then, though. All of these are included in my custom dictionary used for creating the weekly crossword puzzles - compiled over more than two decades...

Get Your Custom-Designed RF Cafe Gear!

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

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.


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.

Homepage Archive Pages

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DC-70 GHz RF Cables - RF Cafe
Anritsu Test Equipment - RF Cafe
Berkeley Nucleonics Vector Signal Generators Radar Simulations - RF Cafe
Axiom Test Equipment - RF Cafe
Triad RF Systems Amplifiers - 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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