RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2022
BSEE - KB3UON
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 Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...
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How much do you pay every month for all of your personal communications? That includes, but is not limited to, smartphones with data plans, land lines, Internet, cable TV or satellite TV, wireless tablets and computers. Life in 2013 practically requires some degree of connectivity, but many people are paying for way more of it than necessary. I absolutely need a high speed Internet connection because of publishing RF Cafe (14 Mbps for $44.90 per month). Since most of my personal communications are via e-mail, phone service is not a high priority so my cell phone is a TracFone that I pay under $100 per year to use (mainly when away from home). Since there is no time for TV, any watching is done via the Internet - it doesn't matter if shows are a week or month old - so no cost there. I like using an old-fashioned telephone with a handset at home, so a landline is also used. Up until a couple months ago I was paying the local phone company $27 per month for basic local service (no long distance, caller ID, messaging, etc.).
Compared to a national average of around $150 per month for smartphone ownership, maybe $60 per month for Internet, and and average of $85 per month for TV. That's a lot of moola just to be entertained and talk to a friend. My expenses pale in comparison, but I'm always looking for ways to save even more. So, I looked into VOIP telephone service to shed the $27 per month landline bill. For a mere $40, I bought a little modem that plugs in to my Internet router and my house telephone wiring that, along with Google Voice, provides me with a monthly cost of $0 - and that includes local and long distance anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, voice mail, caller ID, and call blocking. Early VOIP systems had a well-documented delay associated with the speech, but after many instances of talking to people on other land lines and on cell phones, I cannot detect the slightest amount of delay. In fact, even with the landline I would notice very annoying delays from some people's cell phones.
As can be seen in the photo below, my modem is an OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge, which I bought on Amazon.com. Installation could not have been simpler: plug the OBi100 into the router, plug the OBi100 into the house phone wiring, plug the AC adapter into a receptacle, sign up for a Google Voice account and pick a phone number, fill out a short form on the OBIHAI website, done. It took maybe 10 minutes for the entire process.
Sporters of tinfoil hats might be commenting to themselves (any anyone who might be listening) that using Google Voice is a stupid move since they now have access to all my conversations. Right, and before that I would have had no concerns about my communications being monitored and recorded. Have you seen the photos of the gigantic, leviathan data centers the government has both in operation and being built? NSA has had ECHELON in operation for decades. Here is my advice to everyone, whether you are a conspiracy goof or not: Do not say anything, write anything, or visit anywhere (physical or on the Internet) that you do not want known. You are being monitored by cameras, RFID, credit and debit card usage, cell phones, WiFi systems, cell phone usage, Internet websites, land line telephones, bank transactions, stock transactions, postal mail addresses, firearms and ammo purchases, the types of clothing and food you buy, your toothpaste brand, and just about everything else. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Posted April 22, 2013
These items are an archive of past Topical Smorgasbord items that have appeared on the RF Cafe homepage. In keeping with the "cafe" genre, these tidbits of information are truly a smorgasbord of topics. They all pertain to topics that are related to the general engineering and science theme of RF Cafe. Note: There is also a huge collection of my 'Factoids' (aka 'Kirt's Cogitations') that might interest you as well.