Hard as it is to believe, the weekend is
over and another five days of the work week lie ahead. It will be at least four more
days before you can sleep in again and tend to the yard work, home improvements,
camping excursions, sports endeavors, road trips, etc. Even if you love your job,
having a time of reprieve is always welcome. Here is a little for you compliments
of the July 1971 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine. It included a couple
technology-centric comics. I particularly like the one on page 79 - a theme
that occurs in many places. The guy reminds me of an engineer I worked with at Westinghouse
Electric's Oceanic Division back in the 1980s ...
seem to have reached a crossroads in America, as well as in a lot of other similar
countries. Over the last few decades government agencies, universities, public schools,
and media have convinced many people that the only way to succeed and be happy and
productive is to go to college and earn a Bachelor's (or higher) degree - in anything.
Drilled into us continually is that the average person with at least a
four-year degree will
earn up to a million dollars more in his/her lifetime. Sounds good, right? As anyone
with knowledge of statistics will tell you, averages are meaningless without an
accompanying figure for standard deviation. That would be the same as saying if
you stand with one foot in a pot of near boiling water and the other in a pot of
ice water, on the average you would feel just right. The propaganda has been so
This article was sent to me by an RF Cafe
visitor. With the way U.S. companies have been routinely passing off critical technology
to China for nearly three decades now, I'm surprised it is even considered illegal.
"A Lexington businessman has been charged with trying to
sell sensitive technology that was stolen from
his former employer, Norwood electronics company Analog Devices Inc. A federal grand
jury in Boston indicated Haoyang Yu and his company Tricon MMIC LLC with 12 counts
of misappropriating Analog Devices' trade secrets, and with three counts of smuggling
for selling electronic components to a customer in Spain in violation of US export
control laws. Yu was scheduled to appear Friday in US District Court in Boston ..."
Here it is the year 2019, a full 88 years
after this editorial was published in ARRL's QST magazine, and nobody is
any more certain of the
origin of the term "Ham"
being applied to amateur radio operators than they were in 1931. Being closer to
the date of origin, though, might have given editor Kenneth Warner a bit more insight.
In fact, the term Ham is usually uttered in a mildly pejorative manner; e.g., "he
is such a ham." Per the QST's editor's research, Ham might be a shortening
of Hamlet, referring to Shakespeare's play and the 2-bit actors who endlessly recited
the lines in an attempt to impress others. Analogously, a Ham radio operator would
be a professional broadcaster wannabe. However, Mr. Warner offers an even more plausible
explanation that has the term descending more directly from the craft of amateur
radio operation. Read on to find out ...
"Signals Are Not to Be Used - EU's
Galileo global navigation satellite system nears
100 hours of downtime. Galileo, the EU's global navigation satellite system, has
been down for four days, since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo
satellites are still non-operational, at the time of writing. According to a
service status page, 24 of the 26 Galileo satellites are listed as 'not usable,'
while the other two are listing a status of 'testing,' which also means they're
not ready for real-world usage. The European GNSS Agency (GSA), the organization
in charge of Galileo, has not published any information in regards to the root of
the outage, which began four days ago, on Thursday, July 11 ..."
Copper 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.
Unlike all of the other engineering and science-themed
crossword puzzles I have ever seen, every word and clue - without exception - in
RF Cafe puzzles has been personally entered into a very large database of relevant
terms. The list has been built over nearly two decades of creating these crossword
puzzles. Let me know if you would like a custom crossword puzzle built for your
company, school, club, etc. (no charge). The same software, Crossword Express, has
been used to generate the puzzle for all those years. Read down near the bottom
of the linked page and you will see where he was doomed by people distributing his
software without paying for it (I paid for mine). I suffer the same injustice from
people who receive my RF Stencils for Visio and RF Cascade Workbook software without
paying me for my hard work ...
a Merlin, OR based developer and manufacturer of antennas, is pleased to introduce
nanoSplatch™ nSP250 dual-band WiFi/WLAN antenna for embedded
applications. nanoSplatch antennas are a reduced-size evolution of Linx Technologies
successful surface-mount embedded Splatch™ and microSplatch™ antennas. The nanoSplatch™
nSP250 is an ideal embedded antenna for use in compact or portable devices
targeting WiFi/WLAN and other 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz ISM frequency band technologies
such as Bluetooth® and ZigBee®. The surface-mount nSP250 antenna uses just 80.6
mm2 of board space and costs under one dollar in volume. In addition, Linx
designed the antenna to accommodate close proximity effects ...
"Reliance on satellite navigation and timing
systems has become a single point of failure for much of America and is our largest,
unaddressed critical infrastructure problem." -
Dr. Brad Parkinson, aka "The Father of GPS."
According to the Wikipedia entry, "Bradford Parkinson is an American engineer and
inventor, retired United States Air Force colonel and recalled emeritus professor
at Stanford University. He is best known as the lead architect, advocate and developer,
with early contributions from Ivan Getting and Roger Easton, of the Air Force NAVSTAR
program, better known as Global Positioning System (GPS). "
Apollo 11 movie is available on DVD.
The Moon Has a Smell.
William Saffire, "In the Event of Moon Disaster"
Dust on Apollo 11 LM?
Apollo 11 in Real
"About a year ago, the U.S. Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency pulled back the covers on its five-year, $1.5-billion scheme
remake the U.S. electronics industry. The Electronics
Resurgence Initiative included efforts in 'aggressive specialization' for chip architectures,
systems that are smart enough to reconfigure themselves for whatever data you throw
at them, open-source hardware, 24-hour push-button system design, and carbon-nanotube-enabled
3D chip manufacturing, among other cool things. As always with DARPA, this is high-risk
research; but if even half of it works out, it could change the nature not just
of what kinds of systems ..."
"Scientists from Osaka University in Japan
single-molecule conductors and straightened them
in an effort to improve their performance. The team of scientists made single-molecule
nanowires that measured up to 10 nanometers in length. Through their research, experts
learned that taking the ribbon-like chains and forcing them to lay flat dramatically
improved their conductivity, as opposed to their traditional twisted form. Scientists
believe that this discovery could potentially help them to develop a new generation
of high-tech devices, such as photovoltaics and smartphone screens, that are both
powerful and inexpensive ..."
"Scientists from the Air Force Research Laboratory
at Kirtland Air Force Base have created a new type of microwave weapon that can
take down drones. Using an inaudible and invisible magnetic wave, the high-powered
device could prove a powerful weapon against drones and other unmanned devices.
Known as the
Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder
- or THOR for short - the device cost around $15 million to make and is capable
of taking out multiple drones at a time. THOR was created over a period of 18 months
as the need to protect the American military from drones has rapidly increased over
"Nearly 70% of the energy produced in the
U.S. each year is wasted as heat. Much of that heat is less than 100°C and emanates
from things like computers, cars or large industrial processes. Engineers at the
University of California, Berkeley, have developed a
thin-film system that can be applied to sources
of waste heat like these to produce energy at levels unprecedented for this kind
of technology. The thin-film system uses a process called pyroelectric energy conversion,
which the engineers' new study demonstrates is well suited for tapping into waste-heat
energy supplies below ..."
"The ability to control
infrared and terahertz waves using magnetic or
electric fields is one of the great challenges in physics that could revolutionize
optoelectronics, telecommunications and medical diagnostics. A theory from 2006
predicts that it should be possible to use graphene - a monoatomic layer of carbon
atoms - in a magnetic field not only to absorb terahertz and infrared light on demand
but also to control the direction of circular polarization. Researchers from the
University of Geneva, Switzerland, and the University of Manchester have succeeded
in testing this theory ..."
"The team of Toma Susi at the University
of Vienna uses a state-of-the-art electron microscope, the UltraSTEM, to manipulate
strongly bound materials with atomic precision. Since the instruments are fully
computerized, it is possible to show in a simulation how researchers actually use
them. This allows for compelling and largely realistic presentations of the most
recent research in materials science. A
simulation game on display at the Vienna Technical
Museum in a special exhibition is now available online, together with the latest
research advance of silicon impurity manipulation ..."
"A new report by CTIA delves into the ways
in which U.S. carriers have tried to
squeeze the most efficiency out of their wireless
spectrum, while continuing the industry’s perennial call for the government to make
still more available. U.S. wireless providers increased their spectrum efficiency
by 42 times over what it was in 2010, according to the new white paper from CTIA.
In 2010, the industry association said, U.S. wireless networks handled 948 million
bytes per one megahertz of spectrum; now they handle 39.9 billion MBs/MHz,
or more than 589,000 subscribers for each megahertz of spectrum ..."
"Like many amateur radio fans his age, Ron
Kolarik, 71, still recalls the 'pure magic' of his first ham experience nearly 60
years ago. Lately, though, encrypted messages have begun to infiltrate the
amateur bands in ways that he says are antithetical
to the spirit of this beloved hobby. So Kolarik filed a petition, RM-11831 [PDF],
to the U.S. FCC proposing a rule change to 'Reduce Interference and Add Transparency
to Digital Data Communications.' And as the proposal makes its way through the FCC's
process, it has stirred up heated debate that goes straight to the heart of what
ham radio is, and ought to be. The core questions: Should amateur radio - and its
precious spectrum - be protected purely as a hobby, or is it a utility that delivers
data traffic ..."
"Whoooo-hooo! Silicon Valley companies pay
their tech workers more than anywhere else in the world, with the average engineer
in San Francisco pulling down $145,000 last year, according to Hired's annual report
on the state of engineering salaries. And, according to Hired, Bay Area salaries
are up over last year, by two percent. That's something for
tech professionals in the area to cheer about,
yes? Not exactly. That 2% just keeps tech workers even with the U.S. rate of inflation
but puts them behind local increases in the cost of living, which is 4% as calculated
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for April 2018 through April 2019. And salaries
in other tech heavy areas ..."
"Sprint plans to test a
High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) communications system
for six months starting in November. Documents filed with the FCC show the carrier
has asked for a “special temporary authority” to conduct demonstrations of experimental
transmitters using spectrum frequencies ranging from the 1.9 GHz personal communications
service (PCS) band and the 2.5 GHz broadband radio service (BRS) and educational
broadband service (EBS) bands. The tests will be conducted with HAPSmobile, a joint
venture between Sprint’s parent Softbank and AeroVironment that was formed in 2017 ..."