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Homepage Archive - December 2022 (page 1)

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

Thursday the 1st

Integrated Circuit Techniques

Integrated Circuit Techniques, November 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeMy first exposure to bare die integrated circuits was in the early 1980's, while working at the Westinghouse Oceanic Division in Annapolis, Maryland. It was my first job as an electronics technician after separating from the U.S. Air Force. After working there on the evening shift for a couple years building sonar systems for the U.S. Navy, I had an opportunity to move to the day shift if I could pass muster for a high level security clearance. A small group of engineers, with just one technician, was formed to serve the needs of a "special" customer. A couple other guys with more seniority them me interviewed for the position, but they failed the background check, which included two polygraph tests ...but I digress. Part of my job entailed building microcircuit assemblies using bare IC die and surface mount passive devices epoxied to very tiny printed circuit substrates, and then using a thermosonic wirebond machine to do the interconnections. 1 mil gold wire was used. A week-long class at the company's plant in Baltimore provided the basics, but the work we did was very unique and required developing new techniques that probably would not pass inspection by the crotchety Navy inspectors...

How to Become a "Non-Degree Engineer"

How to Become a "Non-Degree Engineer", May 1966 Electronics World - RF CafeCall me a snob, but IMHO except for rare circumstances, if you expect to hold the title of "engineer," you really should have earned a college degree in engineering. Sure, there are talented people without an engineering degree that can do certain engineering jobs more competently than someone with an engineering degree; however, it certainly is not so in the majority of instances. It is foolish to look around at all the technology you share your life with and conclude that people without the benefit of a formal engineering education could turn out so much at such a fast pace. When someone learns that you are an engineer, there is an automatic assumption that you hold at least a Bachelor's degree in engineering, software, or the physical sciences. If you tell someone you are a technician, the assumption is that you have earned an Associate's degree and/or received training in the military specific to your job's nature. When I see messages like the one in this advertisement, I get a little perturbed because: 1) It is misleading since unaware people will believe that becoming an engineer really is a easy as taking some home instruction courses, and 2) It diminishes the accomplishments, financial and time investment, and hard work of those who did earn an engineering degree...

Solderless Electronic Assemblies

Solderless Electronic Assemblies Occam Group - RF CafeThere is an article on the EETimes website entitled, "Solder's Days Should Be Numbered - There Is a Better Way." It basically an infomercial for the Occam Group's process of "reverse order processing" which eliminates soldering of electronics assemblies. "Our vision is to first attach components to a 'component board' and test that assembly before encapsulation and circuitization. This ensures that all assemblies are known to be good at the outset. There are several methods for adding component connections, including traditional plating techniques and additive printed circuits. By removing solder, thermal excursions are greatly diminished." It sounds good, but upon visiting Occam's website I could not find any useful information about how they work their claimed magic, and no photos of actual products or processes. The idea sounds good, but might still be in the vaporware phase of development. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

One Transistor Pocket Radio

One Transistor Pocket Radio, July 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIf this 1960 Popular Electronics magazine article was written today, the title would more likely be, "One IC Pocket Radio," and rather than a couple dozen resistors, capacitors, and inductors (and a transformer), and there might be one or two decoupling capacitors. Everything else would be contained within the integrated circuit. There are plenty of single-chip radio circuits available from distributors like Digi-Key, Newark Electronics, etc. Oh, and how many of you even know what a phenolic board looks like? Better yet, how many of you can identify the unique smell of one heating up or burning due to component overheating? If you can't, then consider yourself lucky, because that probably means you're 40-50 years younger than I am, and you have that much longer to live then me...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 12,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

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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user/LadyBugTech

Ham Radio Earth-Moon-Earth Contact

Ham Radio Earth-Moon-Earth Contact, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeWe recently passed the 62nd anniversary of the first successful earth-moon-earth (EME) communication path by amateur radio operators. What is today a routine operation by Hams was a big deal back in the day. The moon was still a mystery to most of the world since at the time not even an unmanned probe had been sent for exploration. As reported in this 1960 issue of Electronics World magazine, 1,296 MHz was the frequency of choice using a 1 kW klystron on the transmit end and a highly sensitive parametric amplifier on the receive end, with high gain parabolic antennas on both ends. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated the 144.00-144.20 MHz, 222.0-222.025 MHz, 432.00-432.07 MHz, 902.8-903.0 MHz, 1295.8-1296.05 MHz, and 2303.9-2304.2 MHz bands for various modes of EME operation per Part 97 rules.

Opportunity Mirror: Thoughtful Reflections on Your Future

Opportunity Mirror: Thoughtful Reflections on Your Future, May 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafePreparing for a technician career in electronics today is not so different than it was in 1970, when this article on resume preparation appeared in Popular Electronics magazine. Sure, particular job descriptions have changed, but the basics are pretty much the same. In 1970, being able to list television and radio repair on your resume was a valuable indication of your schematic reading and troubleshooting prowess. The keywords Sams Photofacts would jump right off the page at a knowledgeable interviewer (you can still buy documentation packages from Sams Technical Publishing). Then, as now, having a two-year college electronics degree or a stint in the armed forces as an electronics technician - or both, preferably - is almost a requirement for landing a job at a defense or aerospace electronics company...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jensen Christmas Radio Advertisement

Jensen Christmas Radio Advertisement

 

 

 

 Loring Air Force Base, Maine - RF Cafe Loring AFB (/pictures folder)°

Building implosion 

Magnetic Variation

 

 

Engineering Job Opening

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 12,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

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...

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...

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!

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...

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...

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

Engineering Job Board - RF CafeRF 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...

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Electronics and Electrical Engineering Jobs Decline

Electronics and Electrical Engineering Jobs on the Decline - RF Cafe"Electronics and electrical engineering job outlooks are on the decline due to interests and global materials shortages, but that could change based on several dynamics. The pandemic has done its best to hinder chip production on a global scale. But while the shortage shows signs of subsiding, semiconductor companies are encountering another problem that could set them back: a lack of qualified electronics and electrical engineers. In June of this year (2022), Intel engineer Raja Koduri attended the IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology & Circuits and raised the issue of engineer scarcity within the U.S., which painted a negative forecast for the near future (to say the least)..."

The Transistor at 75

The Transistor at 75 - RF Cafe"Seventy-five years is a long time. It's so long that most of us don't remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue's package of articles explores the transistor's historical journey and potential future. In 'The First Transistor and How it Worked,' Glenn Zorpette dives deep into how the point-contact transistor came to be. Then, in 'The Ultimate Transistor Timeline,' Stephen Cass lays out the device's evolution, from the flurry of successors to the point-contact transistor to the complex devices in today's laboratories that might one day go commercial. The transistor would never have become so useful and so ubiquitous if the semiconductor industry had not succeeded in making it small and cheap. We try to give you a sense of that scale in 'The State of the Transistor.' So what's next in transistor technology? In less than 10 years' time..."

John Bardeen's Transistorized Music Box

John Bardeen's Terrific Transistorized Music Box - RF Cafe"This simple gadget showed off the magic of the first transistor. In 1949 an engineer at Bell Labs built three music boxes to show off the new transistors. Each Transistor Oscillator-Amplifier Box contained an oscillator-amplifier circuit and two point-contact transistors powered by a B-type battery. It electronically produced five distinct tones, although the sounds were not exactly melodious delights to the ear. The box's design was a simple LC circuit, consisting of a capacitor and an inductor. The capacitance was selectable using the switch bank, which Bardeen 'played' when he demonstrated the box. Bell Labs used one of the boxes to demonstrate the transistor's portability. In early demonstrations, the instantaneous response of the circuits wowed witnesses, who were accustomed to having to wait for vacuum tubes to warm up. The other two music boxes went to Bardeen and Brattain. Only Bardeen's survives..."

Pulse-Position Modulation for Wireless Data and Power Transfer

Pulse-Position Modulation Scheme Holds Promise for Wireless Transfer of Data and Power at Once - RF Cafe"Simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT) is a promising technology to connect and energize low-power devices wirelessly over a long distance, suiting it for IoT implementations. But today's state-of-the-art low-power SWIPT receivers still consume much more energy for communication than the amount they can harvest, which hinders further development and growth of the IoT ecosystem. In a potential game changer, scientists at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University developed an innovative signal design for a simultaneous wireless information and power transfer system. The proposed pulse-position modulation (PPM) scheme enhances power-transfer efficiency and reduces data-decoding energy consumption - a double advantage - besides performing better than conventional systems. The technique may ultimately bolster IoT technology. Prior work in the SWIPT arena highlights two common receiver architectures based on time-switching and power-splitting schemes..."

TeraByte InfraRed Delivery Fastest Laser Link from Space

TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) Fastest Laser Link from Space - RF Cafe"In May 2022, the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) payload onboard a small CubeSat satellite was launched into orbit 300 miles above Earth's surface. Since then, TBIRD has delivered terabytes of data at record-breaking rates of up to 100 gigabits per second - 100 times faster than the fastest internet speeds in most cities - via an optical communication link to a ground-based receiver in California. This data rate is more than 1,000 times higher than that of the radio-frequency links traditionally used for satellite communication and the highest ever achieved by a laser link from space to ground. And these record-setting speeds were all made possible by a communications payload roughly the size of a tissue box. MIT Lincoln Laboratory conceptualized the TBIRD mission in 2014 as a means of providing unprecedented capability to science missions at low cost. Science instruments in space today routinely generate more data than can be returned to Earth over typical space-to-ground communications links..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

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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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