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Homepage Archive - February 2023 (page 2)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | of the February 2023 homepage archives.

Tuesday the 14th

Mac's Service Shop: Recognizing the Profession

Mac's Service Shop: Recognizing the Profession, August 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeAs is usually the case, in this "Recognizing the Profession" installment of Mac's Service Shop, valuable lessons on business practices and/or technical know-how are presented along with an interesting storyline. In the early 1960's when appearing in Electronics World magazine, vacuum tube radios with point-to-point interconnections were standard fare. Components like capacitors, potentiometers, tuning coils, wire insulation, and even dial cord were vulnerable to moisture under normal operating environments, but were particularly prone to significant damage when immersed in salt water. Mac brought a relative's radio home with him from a Florida vacation in hopes of resurrecting it after a dunking. Carbon tetrachloride (aka "carbon tet") was used as a cleaner and to displace as much of the water as possible - a widely recognized method of treatment under the circumstances. Even in the 1960's, carbon tet was known to be a potentially grave threat to health, so Mac makes a point here to describe proper use of it. Today, you might rather use WD40 for the job, given that the "WD" part of the name stands for "water displacement"...

Turning Lights Back on After a Blackout

How to Turn the Lights Back on After a Blackout - RF Cafe"Restoring power quickly after a major blackout can mean the difference between life and death, but cold starting an entire electrical grid is a complex and delicate process. A hybrid computer model from Sandia National Laboratories that combines optimization, physical simulations, and cognitive models of grid operators promises to come up with a fast and reliable plan to get the lights back on. While power outages are always disruptive, they typically impact only smaller portions of the overall grid. A complete loss of power over the entire network is much more serious, and requires operators to effectively jump-start the grid with so-called 'black start' generators. This involves a complicated balancing act to avoid mismatches between energy generation and consumption, as different sections of the grid are gradually brought back online. Get it wrong and the grid can collapse again..."

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics January 1949 Radio & Television News - RF CafeHere is a batch of electronics-themed comics that appeared in the January 1949 edition of Radio & Television News. The scene seen (hey, homonyms) on the page 118 comic was commonplace in the 1940s when televisions were relatively new and not every household had a set. The scenario repeated itself in the 1960s when color sets were hitting the consumer market. I remember people standing outside the display window at Rickey's TV & Electronics store in Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland. Now, people can watch TV on their smartphones while not at home so gathering 'round the television display in a store is relegated pretty much to little kids watching the Disney movies that seem to always running on them. There is an ever-growing list of other comics at the bottom of the page...

Saving the Sugar Scoop Antenna

Sugar Scoop Antenna Bell Labs Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation - RF CafeHere we go again. Another significant landmark of U.S. achievement is on the chopping block. Despite the Sugar Scoop Antenna at Bell Labs enabling one of the most significant discoveries in the field of astrophysics - the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - and it being designated as a National Historic Landmark, its future is in peril. Per this "Saving the Big Bang (Antenna)" article on the IEEE Spectrum magazine website, the antenna itself could be removed and stored somewhere else. This is what is happening to many historic sites and artifacts once foreign entities with no connection to America's past buy companies, real estate, and other entities from the original U.S. owners. In this case it is where current Nokia Bell Labs sold the site to Indian entrepreneur and chemical engineer Rakesh Antala. After reading the article please sign this petition to preserve the Sugar Scoop Antenna site.

Folded Dipole FM and Television Antenna

Folded Dipole FM and Television Antenna, April 1947 Radio News - RF CafeFolded dipole antennas, as the name suggests, are about half the length of a regular dipole, and work just as well for many applications. I have had one attached to my FM radio receiver for many years and it does a great job pulling in stations from as far away as Toronto, Canada, and Detroit, Michigan (from Erie, PA). Receiver sensitivity and oscillator stability has been able to obviate the need in most cases for super performance antennas in modern receivers, as evidenced by ear bud wires and even conformal patch antennas in smartphones sufficing in lieu of a "real" antenna. It is a real tribute to the brilliance of engineers that cellphones work so well on multiple bands that accommodate frequencies ranging from 88 MHz (FM), through 900 MHz (GSM), 1.5 GHz (GPS), 2 GHz (UMTS), and WiFi (2.4 GHz) - all in one compact device with no external antenna...

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 16,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

Many Thanks to Axiom Test Equipment for Continued Support!

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment, they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today - and don't miss the blog articles!

Monday the 13th

Microwaves for the Beginner

Microwaves for the Beginner, November 1969 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis "Microwaves for the Beginner" article from a 1969 issue of Popular Electronics magazine is still a good primer on how to build circuit boards which operate in the gigahertz frequency realm - in this case 2,300 to 2,450 MHz, which falls within today's popular 2.4-2.5 GHz ISM band. Grain-of-salt size components were not available back then, so some techniques common in the day are used to fabricate small value inductors and capacitors needed for efficient operation. The transistor used is a KMC part number H104. I had a really difficult time discovering who KMC was, but finally found a reference to them in a patent and in a CAGE Code list used by the U.S. government. KMC Semiconductor Corporation was located in Long Valley, New Jersey. A couple instances of the KMC H104 transistor show up in "73" magazine, and interestingly, in one circuit it is drawn as a PNP rather than an NPN. The antennas for both the transmitter and receiver are dipoles mounted against a plated PCB ground plane...

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.

Matrix Multiplications at Speed of Light

Matrix Multiplications at Speed of Light - RF Cafe"'All things are numbers,' avowed Pythagoras. Today, 25 centuries later, algebra and mathematics are everywhere in our lives, whether we see them or not. The Cambrian-like explosion of artificial intelligence (AI) brought numbers even closer to us all, since technological evolution allows for parallel processing of a vast amounts of operations. Progressively, operations between scalars (numbers) were parallelized into operations between vectors and, subsequently, matrices. Multiplication between matrices now trends as the most time- and energy- demanding operation of contemporary AI computational systems. A technique called "tiled matrix multiplication" (TMM) helps to speed computation by decomposing matrix operations into smaller tiles to be computed by the same system in consecutive time slots. But modern electronic AI engines, employing transistors, are approaching their intrinsic limits and can hardly compute at clock frequencies higher than ~2 GHz..."

Electromagnetism and Magnetic Circuits

Electromagnetism and Magnetic Circuits, Basic Navy Training Courses, NAVPERS10622 - RF CafeIn 1819, Hans Christian Øersted, a Danish scientist, made one of the most important single discoveries in the field of electricity. While experimenting he accidentally brought a small compass near a wire carrying an electric current and noted that the needle no longer assumed its usual north-south direction, but aligned itself at right angles to the wire. By this observation he had discovered the principle of electromagnetism-namely, that a magnetic field always surrounds a conductor carrying a current. While he probably didn't realize its importance, Oersted had discovered the key to the vast fields of commercial electricity. whenever a current flows, a magnetic field always exists around it. If the conductor in which the current flows is a straight wire, the field takes the form of concentric circles or rings of magnetic force around the wire. You can check this experimentally with a small pocket compass. Since a compass needle always aligns itself parallel to magnetic lines of force, the needle also will be at right angles to a current-carrying conductor. You can perform this experiment with dry cell, a piece of wire...

Minimizing Signal Chain with Direct RF Sampling

Minimizing the Signal Chain with Direct RF Sampling - RF CafeDirect signal sampling at the antenna has been the goal of receiver designers since the early days of digital radio. Doing so eliminates the noise added by the transmission line, and simplifies circuitry by eliminating mixers, filters, amplifiers, etc. Steady progress has been made toward the goal, and direct sampling receivers have been around for many years - limited by the operational frequency of the integrated circuit semiconductor technology. Here is a good synopsis of the state of the art, on the Microwaves & RF website (9-minute video). "Mercury Systems' Ken Hermanny and Rodger Hosking discuss the company's deployment of Direct RF technology in its signal-processing products for defense and aerospace applications. While it's not a brand-spanking-new technology, Direct RF receiver architectures are now coming to the fore in numerous aerospace and defense applications, such as radar and electronic warfare. Direct RF architectures bring a host of advantages. For one, they eliminate the need for a mixer or local oscillator for frequency downconversion...."

Canadian Westinghouse Model 175 Radio

Canadian Westinghouse Model 175, 7-Tube Dual-Range Superhet, May 1936 Radio-Craft - RF CafeHere is the Radio Service Data Sheet for the Canadian Westinghouse Model 175, 7-Tube Dual-Range Superhet as it appeared in the May 1936 edition of Radio-Craft magazine. This is in tabletop format and has a Bakelite cabinet rather than the more common wood. Using a moldable material permitted a more stylish (in some people's opinion), curvaceous shape with a high shine. Radios with Bakelite cabinets that have been kept in a climate controlled, protected environment still look almost new even nearly a century later (see example from the RadioAttic website). With six vacuum tubes in the receiver circuit (the seventh is the power supply rectifier), this radio likely has very good selectivity and audio quality. I post this schematic and functional description manufacturers' publications for the benefit of hobbyists and archivists who might be searching for such information either in a effort to restore a radio to working condition...

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...

Many Thanks to Centric RF for Their Continued Support!

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today.

Sunday the 12th

Electronics Theme Crossword for February 12

Electronics Theme Crossword Puzzle for February 12, 2023 - RF CafeThis custom RF Cafe electronics-themed crossword puzzle for February 12th contains words and clues which pertain strictly to the subjects of electronics, mechanics, power distribution, engineering, science, physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc. If you do see names of people or places, they are directly related to the aforementioned areas of study. As always, you will find no references to numbnut movie stars or fashion designers. Need more crossword RF Cafe puzzles? A list at the bottom of the page links to hundreds of them dating back to the year 2000. Enjoy.

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!

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. In stock, 1-day free shipping.

Friday the 10th

News Briefs, 2/1960 Radio-Electronics

News Briefs, February 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeAs did/do most technically-oriented magazines, Radio-Electronics ran a monthly news of the day column that contained short blurbs on recent happenings - inventions, research, personnel promotions, industry events, etc. The December 1968 issue was loaded with plenty of good tidbits. One notable is Raytheon's amazing new "Tel-O-Riginator" (aka telephone-originator) for an early example of Amazon same-day service that would Make the entire country 5 hours wide and 3 hours deep." It doesn't mention whether a drone could deliver the goods. The audiophile contingent was no doubt tantalized at the appearance of an eighth-sphere surface array of speakers. The USSR's space timetable was supposed to be far ahead of U.S. efforts. Jack Binns, who famously transmitted the first wireless SOS signal - from the SMS Titanic no less - had recently passed on. Mr. Binns also wrote the foreword to many of The Radio Boys story books. Read on for more breathtaking happenings...

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. In stock, 1-day free shipping.

Wave-Shape Plots for Checking Amplifier Distortion

Wave-Shape Plots for Checking Amplifier Distortion, May 1939 QST - RF CafeMost people engaged in circuit design and adjustment in a professional environment own or have access to a spectrum analyzer and/or digital oscilloscope with an FFT function, so measuring the harmonic content of a signal is a fairly simple job. A lot of instruments will display a listing of frequency makeup and the percentage of the whole signal it occupies. Many, though, particularly hobbyists, use simple analog o-scopes where determining harmonic content requires a largely subjective assessment of the displayed waveform. In 1939 when this article appeared in QST magazine, almost nobody, whether amateur or professional, had even an analog spectrum analyzer available, and therefore relied on drawings and a trained eye to discern harmonic content. The original article included two sets of full-size drawings of the distorted waveforms - one for comparing to a 2-inch CRT display and another for a 3-inch CRT. The user could trace the shapes onto a piece of onion paper and overlay...

10x Enhancement Photoluminescent Nanoantenna

10x Enhancement Photoluminescent Nanoantenna - RF cafe"White LEDs' reign as the top light source may soon come to an end with the advent of a new alternative that offers superior directionality. A photonic crystal or nanoantenna, a 2D structure with periodic arrangement of nano-sized particles, is being developed as a cutting-edge optical control technology. Upon exposure to light, combining a nanoantenna with a phosphor plate produces a harmonious mix of blue and yellow light. White LEDs have already been improved upon in the form of white laser diodes, or LDs, which consist of yellow phosphors and blue LDs. While the blue LDs are highly directional, the yellow phosphors radiate in all directions, resulting in an undesired mixing of colors. To address this issue, researchers have developed phosphor plates combined with nanoantennas using metallic aluminum, enabling increased photoluminescence..."

Bendix 636A Schematic & Parts List

Bendix Models 636A, C, D Schematic & Parts List, February 1947 Radio News - RF CafeHere is Bendix Models 636A, C, D schematic and parts list as featured in a 1947 edition of Radio News magazine. No operational or alignment information was provided. The 636A is a tabletop radio using five vacuum tubes in the detector and amplifier stages, and a single vacuum tube rectifier in the power supply. Its shiny Bakelite cabinet sported an Art Deco style, which was popular back in the day. The images to the left are from a recent eBay listing, for $60, where the seller says it is in working condition. As mentioned many times in the past, I post these online for the benefit of hobbyists looking for information to assist in repairing or restoring vintage communication equipment...

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 16,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

Many Thanks to ConductRF for Continued Support!

ConductRF coaxial cables & connectors - RF CafeConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project! 

Thursday the 9th

AMRAD Model 81 "Bel Canto" Radio

AMRAD Model 81 ("Bel Canto" Series) Receiver Radio Service Data Sheet, June 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeAmrad, American Radio & Research Corporation,was based in Medford Hillside, Massachusetts and was founded in 1915 with funds from J. Pierpont Morgan. The company's first manager, Harold James Power, was an amateur radio enthusiast and built a research laboratory. In 1916, Amrad made its first broadcast to J. Pierpont Morgan Jr., who was aboard the ocean liner "Philadelphia." Amrad received orders for military radio equipment during World War I, but discontinued these orders after the war ended. To keep the company afloat, Amrad produced items such as electric egg beaters and cigar lighters. In 1919, Amrad was awarded a contract to make 400 SE1420 receivers, and it began advertising components for amateur radio enthusiasts. Amrad's crystal set was a popular product and helped the company during difficult times...

San Francisco Circuits: PCB Stack-Up Guide

San Francisco Circuits: PCB Stack-Up Guide - RF CafeA PCB stack-up is a high-level outline created before laying out the printed circuit board. Regardless of size, ensuring a good stack-up definition can greatly improve long-term reliability and performance, reduce production costs, and allow for a smoother transition to manufacturing. San Francisco Circuits has put together a PCB Stack-Up Guide. This new resource includes all relevant stack-up details that should be included and provides examples for MCPCBs, HDIPCBs, RF PCBs, Flex PCBs, and Rigid-Flex PCB stack-ups. Other stack-up requirements that are covered include PCB lamination methods, board type & application, board component density, component types & interfaces, and mechanical requirements...

$15.1-Billion Electronics Market in 1963

$15.1-Billion Electronics Market in 1963, April 1963 Electronics World - RF Cafe$15.1 billion was a lot of money back in 1963 when this story was published in Electronics World magazine. It was the value of the electronics market at the time. $15.1 billion is still a lot of loot today, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator it is now the equivalent of $147 billion. The Consumer Electronics Association projects a 2015 electronics gadget market value of $223B, which does not include military, medical, and industrial electronics. The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics group predicts a $333B semi market value for 2014. Apple alone just hit the $700B market cap benchmark - that's just one electronics company. By any measure, electronics has enjoyed a continual, significant gain since the early 20th century...

Chinese Flying Wing Drone Raises Bar for Radar Evading

Chinese Flying Wing Drone Raises Bar for Radar Evading - RF CafeWhy go to the trouble and expense when you can get away with floating a cheap balloon over all North America? "In the sky over southwest China, a team of researchers has been testing a new wing design that they said could help unmanned aircraft better evade radar. The drone, which has no tail, appears to be a scaled-down version of the United States Air Force's B2 Spirit bomber, and can fly without the use of elevators, ailerons or flaps - the hinged moving parts known as elevons that help control flight direction - according to the researchers. 'Our work is a first,' the team from the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Sichuan province said in a paper published on January 19 in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica..."

Ampere's Law

Ampere's Law, December 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is a brief but informative introduction to the story behind French physicist Andre Marie Ampere's discovery of the eponymously named law that governs the relationships between current flow and a magnetic field. It appeared in a 1972 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. As most RF Cafe visitors know, both a steady state and time-varying current will generate a magnetic field, but only a time-varying magnetic field can generate a current flow. In less than a week after witnessing Hans Christian Ørsted's demonstration of a current-carrying wire influencing a compass needle, Ampere discovered the Right-Hand Rule of current flow direction based on the direction of the magnetic field...

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 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. 50 Ω and 75 Ω models are available, along with a full line of precision calibration and connector adaptors.

Wednesday the 8th

4 New Sources of Power

Four New Sources of Power, May 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen this "Four New Sources of Power" article appeared in Radio-Electronics magazine in 1960, most people had never heard of a fuel cell, the Seebeck effect, thermionic effects, or magnetohydrodynamics. All had been around as features embedded in common products in some manner, like thermionics in vacuum tubes. It is pointed out that Sir Humphrey Davy invented the fuel cell technique in 1802, thermoelectricity by Thomas Seebeck in 1821, thermionic effects by Thomas Edison in 1878, and magnetohydrodynamics by Michael Faraday in 1831. Today, all four types of power sources have been integrated into a host of products. Whereas thermionics was among the most common in 1960, it might be the least common of the four nowadays...

1st American Made Quartz Watch

First American Made Quartz Watch, March 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis Bulova Accuquartz wristwatch is not the first quartz-controlled wearable timepiece; however, it was the first to be manufactured in the U.S. Interestingly, it is not a fully electronic watch because the quartz crystal stimulates a mechanical tuning fork which ultimately drives the hands. Bulova's first tuning-fork-driven "Accutron" was introduced in 1960. It sported a 360 Hz tuning fork that was stimulated by a pair of electromagnets. The story appeared in a 1972 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. The retail price at the time (pun intended) was $395, which in 2023 money is equivalent to $2,832 (per the BLS Inflation Calculator)! I found a couple nice photos of the Accuquartz...

World's Fastest 5G Phased Array Antenna

BT, Stratospheric Platforms' World's Fastest Phased Array Antenna - RF Cafe"'This partnership will build on SPL's world-first 5G demonstration from the stratosphere in 2022,' said SPL CEO Richard Deakin. Funded by Innovate UK, the trials will be at BT's labs at Adastral Park and 'could offer transformational opportunities for sectors operating in remote areas such as transport, maritime security and search and rescue,' said BT. Stratospheric Platform's (SPL's) antennas are designed to communicate directly with standard 3G, LTE/4G, 5G phones. The eventual aim is to create a 20 kW >3 m diameter version for flight, with 500 individually steerable beams, each intended to be equivalent to a cell created by traditional terrestrial masts - delivering up to 150 Mbit/s, and covering a 140 km diameter, or 15,000 km2 land area. 'Virtually any shape of beam coverage can be painted on the ground,' according to SPL..."

Arvin Models 150TC Schematic & Parts List

Arvin Models 150TC, 151TC Schematic & Parts List, December 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThere are still many old-timers and beginning nostalgic collectors out there who nurse heirloom and otherwise procured vacuum tube radios - like this Arvin Models 150TC, 151TC combination radio / phonograph - back to health (operating condition) and/or keep them in good health. While it is possible to purchase schematics, parts lists, and service instructions from many different models, there are still some that have escaped the scanners of those publishers. For those kindred spirits in search of such reference materials, I happily scan, clean up as necessary, and post this collection (see complete list at bottom of page). I have dozens more that will eventually be added over time, so check back later or send me an e-mail if I have an issue (check the lists first, please) of Radio News, Radio-Craft, etc. known to contain the information you need...

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad RF Systems designs and manufactures RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad RF Systems comprises three partners (hence "Triad") with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. PA, LNA, bi-directional, and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including tower mount, benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please check to see how they can help your project.

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