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Homepage Archive #9

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 Google Search box in the upper left corner of every page
Homepage Archive Pages
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2013:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2014:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec


Crosley Radios, Cars,
Appliances, & Proximity Fuses

1926 Crosley floor model radio - RF CafeIf you have any interest in vintage radios, you undoubtedly are familiar with Crosley products. They were very different from today's Crosley products in terms of quality. My Crosley Appliances & Radios Sign - RF Cafeexperience with Crosley was while restoring a 1929 floor model that was given to me by my sister. It was constructed of solid wood and a nice mahogany laminate. The face plate, dial, and knobs were heavy gauge metal. Following the success of their radios, Crosley Automobiles, New York Times - RF CafeCrosley ventured into the automobile market from 1939 through 1952. Little known even amongst Crosley fans is that they built proximity fuses during World War II. "Crosley's involvement began in late October 1941 when Crosley Proximity Fuses - RF Cafethey were contacted by the Bureau of Ordnance and told that they would be contacted later that month concerning a 'top secret, top priority' project." A Crosley VT (variable time) fuse was credited with the downing its first Japanese dive bomber in 1943. The Brits used them against German V-1 Buzz Bombs. Thanks to RF Cafe visitor Kevin A. for the tip.

November 2012 Magazine
Articles Available

November 2012 Magazine Articles Available - RF CafeSome of the RF & microwave magazines have updated their online editions for November, so here are a few you might like to check out. A lot of the articles end up being way over my head in theoretical applications, so I tend to stick with practical stuff that most of us can use. You be your own judge, though.

Microwave Journal
Recovery Time of the Schottky-PIN Limiter, by Chin Leong Lim

Test & Measurement World
How to Automate Testing of Military Avionics Devices, by William Wargo
Modular Instruments: Do They Have Any Limitations?
Larry Desjardin
Playing with Antennas - Part 2, by Kenneth Wyatt
Finding Fault with Traditional Test Pattern Types, by Ron Press
Selecting a Handheld RF Analyzer for Tough Conditions, by Wilkie Yu

How RCA Lost the LCD

How RCA Lost the LCD - RF CafeDid you know that RCA invented the LCD as an electronic display device? If I did, I don't remember it. RCA had a research center in nearby Princeton University. In 1962, RCA researcher Richard Williams figured out that he could use electrical signals to coax liquid crystals into proper alignment for creating an opaque or clear medium. By 1967, the invention was ready for prime time. Quite a lot of effort was expended in publicizing and promoting the LCD display, but ultimately infighting between company divisions on issues of management, manufacturing , and engineering killed a potential windfall for RCA. Eventually, Japanese firms developed their own superior LCDs and because of process improvements were able to sell them at a lower cost. An article in the November 2012 issue of IEEE's Spectrum magazine goes into all the gory detail.

Notable Quote

"So the curious thing is that in the last century, broadcast was all wireless and personal communication all wired; now it is exactly the reverse..." - RF Cafe"So the curious thing is that in the last century, broadcast was all wireless and personal communication all wired; now it is exactly the reverse..." - Robert W. Lucky, November 2012 Spectrum.

Thanks to Skyworks Solutions
for Long-Time Support

Skyworks SolutionsSkyworks Solutions, Inc. is an innovator of high reliability analog and mixed signal semiconductors enabling a broad range of end markets. Skyworks' product portfolio includes: Handset, Infrastructure, Automotive, CATV / Satcom, Smart Energy Solutions / Wireless Home, Medical, Military, RFID, Test Measurement, WLAN / WiMAX / WiFi

Webinar: Passive Components
Dividers, Couplers, Combiners

Webinar: Passive Components: Dividers, Couplers, Combiners - RF CafePassive Components: Dividers, Couplers, Combiners, Tuesday, November 20, 11 AM ET. Presented by: Besser Associates. Power Dividers 2-way, 3-way and N-way. Isolation and loss Phase relationships. Uneven power division. Combining RF power. Directional Couplers Properties. Coupling, Isolation, and Directivity. Power Splitters and Resistive Dividers

DARPA's Pet-Proto Humaniod
Maneuvers in Tight Quarters

DARPA's Pet-Proto Humaniod Maneuvers in Tight QuartersYou might recall seeing the video of Boston Dynamics' "Big Dog" robot that is part of a DARPA project developing battlefield automatons capable of carrying heavy loads at a swift pace over rugged terrain. Their newest humanoid, called "Pet-Proto," is enough to give you nightmares. Add a few lowpass filters on the joint mechanics and this boy would look like it came straight out of the Transformers or Terminator movies. One big hurdle that has to be overcome is the power source. Big Dog has an internal combustion engine driving a hydraulic pump (electronics probably work on batteries), and this Pet-Proto dude has hydraulic lines from an external supply. The robots are capable of autonomous decision making and are guided and motivated by GPS, LIDAR, ground sensors, gyroscopes, and other supersophisticated devices.

Please Visit BRL Test in
Appreciation of Their Support

BRL Test, Inc.BRL Test is a leading dealer of new and reconditioned test and measurement equipment. We buy, sell, rent, lease, repair and calibrate all types of general purpose test and measurement equipment. BRL Test is your one stop source for over fifty different manufacturers and thousands of different models – specializing in Agilent, HP, Tektronix, Fluke, Anritsu, and Rohde & Schwarz. All equipment is calibrated per order at an ISO9001:2000 Registered and A2LA Accredited facility.

Please Welcome WOKEN
Technology as New Sponsor!

Click to visit the Woken Technology websiteEstablished in November 1999, WOKEN is a Taiwan-based company that specializes in Microwave/RF coaxial connectors, cables, cable assemblies, Microwave/RF antennas and RF accessories. With the experienced R&D engineers & technicians, active marketing staff, up-to-date production equipment and measuring instruments, WOKEN designs its own RF / Microwave products for meeting all kinds of requirements demanded by its customers at communication markets.

Science & Engineering Theme
Crossword for 11/18/2012

RF Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for November 18, 2012 - RF CafeFor the sake of avid cruciverbalists, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical endeavor (e.g., Hedy Lamar).

DIY Coffee-Can Radar

David Schneider's Coffee-Can Radar - RF Cafe"Build a Small Radar System Capable of Sensing Range, Doppler, and Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging." That is the title of a course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory. It is a 3-week class in the design, fabrication, and test of a laptop-based radar sensor capable of measuring Doppler, range, and forming synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. Teams of three students will receive a radar kit and will attend a total of 5 sessions spanning topics from the fundamentals of radar to SAR imaging. A final SAR imaging contest will test your ability to form a SAR image of a target scene of your choice from around campus; the most detailed and most creative image wins. However, it is not necessary to attend the class to build the radar because all of the material is available online for garage (or basement, attic, closet, etc.) experimenters. David Schneider did just that and wrote an article about his experience for the November 2012 edition of IEEE's Spectrum magazine. Trekkies will appreciate the reference therein.

Sherlock Ohms: The Dodge
Truck Was a Magnetized Mess

Sherlock Ohms: The Dodge Truck Was a Magnetized Mess - RF CafeSherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. This one is titled "The Dodge Truck Was a Magnetized Mess." This is a troubleshooting problem that separates the men from the boys. It is quite amazing that Bob Humphreys had the tenacity and knowledge to find the culprit.

Many Thanks to American
Microwave for Support

American Microwave CorporationAmerican Microwave Corporation (AMC) uses a state-of-the-art clean room to manufacture all of it's products, as well as a fully automated machine shop. AMC is a leader in the design and manufacturing of DC to 40 GHz solid state control components for commercial and military grades. Solid state switches & attenuators, phase invariant digital programmable attenuators, detector log video amplifiers (DLVAs) in active and passive RF / microwave components and assemblies.

2012 AWR Design Forum and
German Users Group Meeting

Agenda Set for 2012 AWR Design Forum and German Users Group Meeting - RF CafeAWR Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA software, announces the agenda for the AWR Design Forum and 2012 German Users Group Meeting being held November 28, 2012 in Munich, Germany. The ADF/German Users Group Meeting is a free, one-day event that provides an opportunity to view presentations of interesting and informative papers from customers and partners working in the microwave & RF industry, as well as from research and educational institutions. It also provides an excellent opportunity to network and collaborate on industry issues and trends.

RFMD Intros FEM for Smart
Metering/Energy and ISM Band

RFMD Intros Highly-Integrated FEM for Smart Metering/Smart Energy and ISM Band Applications - RF CafeRF Micro Devices announces the availability of the RFFM6903 front end module (FEM) that meets or exceeds the system requirements for AMI/AMR smart meter applications operating in the 868–960 MHz frequency band. The FEM supports multiple applications, including Smart Energy/advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), portable battery-powered equipment, and general 868/915 MHz ISM band systems. The feature-rich RFFM6903 integrates a +30.5 dBm power amplifier (PA) with a Tx harmonic output filter in the transmit path, a Tx path bypass mode with harmonic filter, and a low-noise amplifier.

Thanks to PMI for Their
Continued Support!

Planar Monolithics (PMI)Planar Monolithics Industries has been set up to manufacture and market various MIC/MMIC Components, Supercomponents, and Subsystems for applications in Telecommunications, Terrestrial, Satellite, and Mobile-Radio Communications, Defense (ECM, ECCM, ESM, Radars, and Electronic Warfare), Cable-TV, Navigation and Marine Electronics, FAA/DOT-Avionics, Ground Based Systems, and Microwave Landing Systems.

Technalogix Looking for a
Senior RF PA Design Engineer

Technalogic Jobs: Senior Level RF Power Amplifier Designer - RF CafeTechnalogix is a leading provider of cost-effective and ultra-reliable wireless components, assemblies, and turn-key systems. They specialize in broadcast, broadband, industrial, scientific, and medical applications. As a member of our Industrial, Scientific, and Medical amplifier division, you will work on the design of high power amplifier pallets and associated RF components and technologies. You will be responsible for designing, building and debugging amplifier chains capable of handling rugged RF power conditions for unique applications in the range of 25 to 1,000 MHz. Individual amplifier pallets will be combined into multi-kilowatt power systems and paired with RF designs to protect against high and continuous reflected power, in pulsed, CW, or other modulations.

Radio Corporation of America
(RCA) Advertisement

Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Advertisement, April 1945 QST - RF CafeMost Ham radio operators know that Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an order during World War II that effectively suspended the hobby of amateur radio for the duration of the war. Many guys sold or donated equipment to the military and/or civil defense organizations out of a sense of patriotism. The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) gave a symbolic tip of the hat to them in this advertisement that I scanned from the back cover of my copy of the April 1945 QST magazine. Of course RCA pitched the ruggedness of its vacuum tubes in the process. By this edition's printing, there was a general sense that the war was nearing an end and eager Hams would not have to wait much longer to re-engage in their beloved hobby. Indeed, the next month Germany...

Please Visit Triad RF Systems
in Appreciation of Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad RF Systems was formed with the objective of solving the problem of high power amplifiers (HPAs) being the Achilles heel in most RF radios. We have solutions for integrating high performance HPAs into sophisticated RF systems and subsystems without sacrificing efficiency and linearity. They serve all areas of the RF and microwave industries including military, satellite and commercial communications, operating from 10 MHz to 14 GHz.

WWII Era Delco Radio
Advertisement

Delco Radio Advertisement, April 1945 QST - RF CafeHere is an advertisement for Delco radios that I scanned from page 91 of my copy of the April 1945 QST magazine. "'Control the Air' has a new meaning today," that's the tag line referring to the need to dominate wireless communications in the effort to conduct effective warfare. Radio certainly wasn't a new science in 1945, but secure communications - including spread spectrum techniques - was a vital technique both for transmitting and receiving messages and for jamming the communication of our enemies. Delco, as was common in the World War II era, encouraged citizens to buy War Bonds.

Death of the ITC?
(International Trade Commission)

IMS ExpertServices: "No Appeal for Expert Witness 'Third Wheel'" - RF CafeMaggie Tamburro, JD, IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeExpert witnesses play a big role in most of the court cases that get reported here. IMS ExpertServices is a law firm specializing in expert witnesses. Every month or so they send me an article about specific court cases that could be of interest to RF Cafe visitors. This particular installment is titled, "Death of the ITC?," and deals with a recent editorial in the National Law Journal that was written by a trade policy analyst who challenged the propriety of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in the U.S. patent law system.

A Sad State of Affairs

A Sad State of Affairs - RF CafeOver five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel, "Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land." Nearly 75 years ago, Roosevelt said, "Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel, this is the Promised Land." Today, the Government has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land! I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care, the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds... that I called a Suicide Hotline. I had to press 1 for English. I was connected to a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal. They got excited and asked, "Can you drive a truck?"

Webinar: RF Module Design
Using Amalfi CMOS PA

Webinar: RF Module Design using Amalfi CMOS PA - RF CafeRF PA Design Series P4: RF Module Design Using Amalfi CMOS PA, Thursday, November 15, 1 pm ET. Designing CMOS RF Power Amplifiers is a complex task, which requires various simulation technologies. In this webcast, we will present a comprehensive CMOS Power Amplifier design methodology based on a real world example: Amalfi’s dual band PA module, AM7802. You will learn how CMOS Power Amplifiers ICs are modeled with X-parameters, how to model laminates and packages with advanced EM simulation technologies, and how to integrate all of these results for complete module design verification.

Thanks to Comdel for
Continued Support!

Click to visit the Comdel websiteComdel designs and manufactures RF and DC power supplies and process instruments for the semiconductor, solar cell/photovoltaics, flat panel, and industrial heating industries. Comdel products are in use worldwide by the industry’s major equipment and IC fab manufacturers.
Comdel is ISO 9001:2000 certified.

RFMD Announces Acquisition
of Amalfi Semiconductor

RFMD Announces Acquisition of Amalfi SemiconductorRF Micro Devices announced today a definitive agreement to acquire Amalfi Semiconductor, a leading fabless semiconductor company specializing in cost effective, high performance RF and mixed-signal ICs for the rapidly growing entry-level smartphone market. RFMD intends to significantly accelerate the market adoption of Amalfi’s RF CMOS and mixed-signal ICs by combining Amalfi's targeted product portfolio and proprietary RF CMOS and mixed-signal expertise with RFMD’s deep customer relationships, broad product portfolio, extensive in-house manufacturing scale, and robust global supply chain.

Petition to Require Free Access
to Gov't-Funded Research

White House Petition: Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research - RF CafeThe White House website has a Petition area where anyone can start a petition for any cause, and then try to get the 25,000 signatures required for it to be brought to the attention of White House officials... who then subsequently officially ignore it. This particular one showed up on a science website, but I figured I'd link directly to the source website rather than to a story about it. In part the petition reads, "We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research..." As of this writing the tally is 36,194 - which exceeds the triggering threshold. I'm sure we'll be seeing action on it within days.

Spraytect™ Pepper Spray
iPhone Case

Spraytect™ Pepper Spray iPhone Case - RF CafeBe the first in your office to own an iPhone case with a built-in pepper spray dispenser. For just $39.95 you can own a weapon of personal destruction. A 3-step firing process helps prevent accidental triggering. "Spraytect's pepper spray is a proprietary blend that uses habanero pepper, one of the hottest peppers available, as the main ingredient. This blend is the same formulation used by organizations like Homeland Security, US Military, FBI offices, Police Departments across the country as well as Corrections Officers. " For the ladies, the Spraytect iPhone pepper spray case comes in four colors, including Pink Ruger® 380 LCP - RF Cafepink which will go perfectly with your pink Ruger® 380 LCP.

RFMD Intros High-Power GaN
HEMT Power Amplifiers

RFMD Intros High-Power GaN HEMT Power Amplifiers - RF CafeRFMD's new RFHA104x series of high-power GaN broadband power transistors (BPTs) are optimized for military communications, commercial wireless infrastructure, and general purpose applications. Using an advanced 65 V high power density GaN semiconductor process optimized for high peak-to-average ratio applications, these high-performance amplifiers achieve high power with high efficiency and flat gain over a broad frequency range in a single amplifier design.

Hittite's Cellular Transceiver
RFICs for WB Infrastructure

Hittite's New Cellular Transceiver RFICs Energize Wideband InfrastructureHittite has released a new receiver and transmitter RFIC chipset which is ideal for frequency conversion applications in wireless infrastructure equipment such as base transceiver stations, remote radio units, small cells and repeaters from 700-3500 MHz. The HMC1190LP6GE is a high linearity dual channel downconverter with integrated PLL/VCO which operates from 700 to 3500 MHz. The HMC1190LP6GE RF and LO inputs are single-ended while an enable/disable pin makes it possible to reduce power consumption dynamically as conditions allow.

Veteran's Day
11th Month, 11 Day, 11th Hour

Veteran's Day 2012 - RF CafeVeterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, whatever your country calls it, this is the time we have chosen to honor our countries' veterans for the service given to help maintain our own freedoms and to gain and protect the freedoms of those in other parts of the world. This music video by Canadian Terry Kelly, titled "A Pittance of Time," is one of the best tributes and conscience grabbers available. Freedom is hard won and easily lost. The world will soon feel effects of a selfish, ignorant populace's decision.

RF Engineering Theme
Crossword for 11/11/2012

RF Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for November 11, 2012 - RF CafeFor the sake of avid cruciverbalists, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical endeavor (e.g., Hedy Lamar).

Audio Spectrum Analyzer
Uses 256-Point FFT

FFTD1A Audio Spectrum Analyzer Module - RF CafeThis FFT development board from RHDC Services features a fully functional audio band spectrum analyzer for just £59.95 ($95.35). An ultra low power Sharp 96x96-pixel display and judicious selection of processor and peripheral components yields a module that consumes only 3 μA in a static state and 1.3 mA while FFT'ing. Per their website, "The FFTD1A can typically display an image and maintain a real time clock using less than 10µW. Assuming a CR2032 coin-cell delivers 200mAh, that's around 6 years battery life." FFT Designer software together with the FFTD1A development board allows users to develop application software that performs Fourier analysis with a 12-bit, 200 ksps input and a 50 dB SFDR. Add a simple mixer, LO, and filter to extend the useful range to just about any frequency band. RHDC Services also provides RF R&D and communication systems engineering services.

PMI Intros 10 kHz-40 MHz
Low Noise Amplifier

PMI Intros 10 kHz to 40 MHz Connectorized Low Noise Amplifier - RF CafePMI Model No. PEC-60-10K40M-3R5-14-12-SFF is a low noise amplifier that operates from 10 kHz to 40 MHz. This amplifier provides over 60 dB of gain and offers a low noise figure of 3.5 dB maximum. The output power at 1 dB gain compression is +14 dBm minimum.

Will It Blend?   iPhone 5 vs.
Samsung Galaxy S3

iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 - "Will It Blend" - RF CafeAs you might expect, the BlendTec blender guy couldn't resist an opportunity to see how Apple's new iPhone 5 would fare when put up against his company's Total Blender. But wait, this time the "Will It Blend" contest isn't limited to just the Total Blender and a single challenger. Adding to the excitement is a third contender - the Samsung Galaxy S3. The question before Tom the blender guy is which phone will succumb to the ravages of the blender's mighty cutters the soonest? I was not surprised at the outcome when considering, present company excluded of course, the typical Apple product user versus the rest of us. Let's just say Siri lost her soothing voice early in the game. I hope that last comment didn't spoil the suspense.

Tales from the Cube: Don’t
Underestimate Stealth Variable

Tales from the Cube: Don’t underestimate the stealth variable - RF CafeEDN has a troubleshooting story-telling feature called Tales from the Cube similar to the Sherlock Ohms feature by Design News. This one, titled "Don't Underestimate Stealth Variable." This one really reaches back into another era when terms like "cordwood" meant something other than fireplace fodder to electronics techs and engineers. The lesson, though, is still applicable today.

AWR App Note on Improved
Design Flow Models

AWR Releases New Application Note Titled “New Method for Improved Design Flow Featuring Modelithics Component Models”This application note reveals the benefit of combining Modelithics Global Models™ for passive RLC components with AWR’s Microwave Office™ high-frequency design software. The improved design flow solution maps the impact that individual components have on sub-system performance such that trade-offs can be made with regard to component values and tolerance, enabling lower manufacturing costs and improved yield. The solution requires accurate passive component models that enable yield analysis by means of a tolerance setting, something that is nearly impossible with commonly used S-parameter file-based component representations.

RFMD® Intros New 3V LTE
Linear PA Modules

RFMD® Intros New 3V LTE Linear PA Modules - RF CafeThe parts in RFMD’s new RF73xx series of high-power, high-efficiency linear power amplifiers are designed for use as the final amplification stage in 3 V, 50 Ω LTE mobile cellular equipment developed for E-UTRAN\LTE band operation. These parts are developed for 5 MHz to 20 MHz LTE channel bandwidths. Each has two digital control pins to select one of three power bias states to optimize performance and current drain at lower power levels. Each also has an integrated directional coupler which eliminates the need for an external discrete coupler at the output.

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