These original Kirt's Cogitations™
may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt
– noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
is hard to believe, but the 2011 Microwave Theory and Techniques
Society (MTT-S), aka International Microwave Society (IMS)
show has come and gone. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center from June 5-10, the show seemed to have attracted
a large number of both participants and exhibitors. An official report will be published by MWJ in a couple weeks
to provide the exact figures. According to the exhibit floor map, there were about 550 displays. It seems like
more than at the IMS2009 show in Boston.
and I arrived Tuesday morning when the exhibit floor opened. We spent the entire day in a whirlwind roaming of
the area, getting hundreds of photos of the event. This year I managed to capture pictures of every display case
in the Historical Electronics Museum display
- an awe-inspiring presence. There are also lots of photos of the crowd, so if you were there on Tuesday, you
might just spot yourself in one of the pictures. Although it took many trips back to some of the RF Cafe vendor
booths (didn't want to interrupt the staffers talking to potential customers), I believe I got photos of all their
display booths. I even got a pic of one RF Cafe advertiser's roving booth - über microwave design consultant Lance
Lascari, of RF Dude.
to Brent Campbell, at Z-Communications, for providing exhibit
floor tickets to Melanie and me. Others offered, but he offered first, so Z-Comm gets the honorable mention!
Foot traffic was dense most of the day. Asked how the show was shaping up compared to the last couple years,
most of the vendors remarked that while there were a lot of spectators, not as many seemed to be stopping to inquire
about products - although they were sure to pick up the free handouts. I remember at the IMS2009 show the vendors
said that a good portion of the inquiries were by salesmen and distributors looking to pick up product lines to
represent, so maybe there was a lot of that going on here, too. Since we were not there beyond Tuesday, the scenario
could have changed later in the week. Wednesday had free access to the exhibit floor, so maybe the crowd size
grew the next day.
As with the IMS2009 show, I saw a handful of engineers I worked with at one company now working for a new company.
I won't mention who changed from Company A to Company B. In about half the cases the companies were competitors...
and now for the obvious follow-on statement... but the other half were not. A couple of the guys were actually
manning the display booths for their newly adopted companies. There were a lot of faces I did not recognize, so
evidently personnel shifts were going in both directions.
favorite and most recent former employer of nearly seven years, RF Micro
Devices, had their traditional very large display set up. Diana Baxter, manager of my department for the last
few years there, was entertaining customers' questions. She reluctantly agreed to be photographed, so here she
is with Melanie. Because my cubicle at RFMD was in the Mahogany Row area of the corporate building, I had the
good fortune of being around the top dogs - even the founders - on a daily basis. It was impressive and inspiring
to have a front-seat view of how business was conducted. VP of sales, Greg Thompson (one
of the company's first employees - see pic on right), was one of the guys I had the pleasure of interacting
with on occasion.
Vendor display booth quality was exceptional. I have never participated in setting up and staffing a booth
at one of these trade shows, but I imagine it is a lot of hard work. Packing up all the gear, travelling to the
show and dealing with getting your stuff from the shipping company, setting up the display, wearing a smile and
entertaining potential customers for 8 hours a day for four days, and then breaking everything down and shipping
it home has got to be utterly exhausting. It might be easier for the veterans of the communications and sales
departments, but it still takes its toll. Display space carries a premium price for a show like this; it is the
companies who foot the bill for the entire show. Thanks to all the exhibitors for their contributions!
OK, enough blabbing; you're here for the pictures. I think I have them in alphabetical order. If you spot yourself
and want me to include you, please send me a copy of the photo and point yourself out. Enjoy!
This is the registration area of the IMS2011 show in the Baltimore Convention Center
Click here to see all the photos of the
National Electronics Museum display
Here are some shots of the exhibit floor
Advanced Test Equipment Rentals
AJ Tuck Company
(lots of nice, shiny
American Microwave Corp.
American Standard Circuits
Amplifier Solutions Corp.
and Mrs. Trump
Jonathan Harris (L)
Benzacar, always working
(2nd from left)
Dean Handrinos (far right)
(he provides books for the monthly giveaway)
Sherry Hess &
Melanie and Barry
He's a super nice guy, and editor of Military Microwave Digest
Maria Droge (C)
Cambridge University Press
(she provides books for the
Cobham Antenna Systems
(formerly European Antennas)
(Corry is close to
Joseph Seminoro (L)
Larry Neeley (R)
Richard Song (L), Tommy
(very friendly folks)
Join the IEEE
Instruments for Industry
Kyle & Mike
Edward Lee (C)
(L), Bryan Walker (R)
Pol Heyns (R)
Roger Runnalls, good guy
Jimmy Riter (R)
Steve Capasso (L)
Michael Giarratano, my "inside man" (R)
Microwave Product Digest
Eileen Rocco, publishing coord. (R)
Networks International Corp.
Ed and Mrs. Garcia
Dean Oliver (L)
Suresh Ojha (L),
Pete Pragastis (R)
Jim and Mrs. Assurian
(L), Darryl Mayo (R)
(aka "RF Dude")
RF Micro Devices
Diana Baxter and Melanie
Alan Ake (R)
Witt (L) -
(über salesman & all-around nice guy)
Michael Wiener (R)
donated our tickets)
Robert Montgomery -
vintage Camaro aficionado)
Melanie and I plan to attend the IMS2012 show in Montreal, Canada. It is about a 500-mile drive form Erie (it
was 400 to Baltimore and 600 to Boston). We hope to see you there!
story needs to be told as well. The Comfort Inn hotel where we stayed had a wicked toilet flushing mechanism that
scared the bejeepers out of me the first time I hit the handle. The force was so strong and loud that I imagined
that is what it would be like flushing a toilet in an airplane at 30,000 feet if it had a direct vent to the outside.
I had to pull the tank top off to see what was responsible for the experience. To the right is a photo of the
awesome device - a Sloan FlushMate. It evidently is to
toilets what CFL bulbs are to lamps - complex, expensive solutions to a government-imposed regulation. In this
case, it is to fulfill the low water usage mandate. Remember all the jokes about the defense industry and the
million dollar hammers? It's still you paying the bill for government regulation run amok.
6/15/2011 -- Here is an interesting e-mail from Paul A., of NY:
I just read your review of the MTT show. The last photo (the one showing the Sloan Flushmate toilet), struck
a nerve. I had a similar toilet in my house a few years ago. It was made by Kohler. One morning, as my wife and
I were preparing to leave on a 2 week vacation, the pressure tank in the toilet failed. It began to leak water
at a moderate rate, about 1 pint per minute. The first sign that something had gone wrong was a very large puddle
of water on the bathroom floor, spilling out into the hallway. The traditional ceramic outer tank (which was identical
in appearance to a standard toilet tank) filled up with water and overflowed. There was no overflow drain. Water
gushing out of the ruptured pressure tank had no place to go except over the side and on to the floor. I called
Kohler and complained. They told me that they have had numerous failures with that particular model toilet. Apparently,
the subcontractor who made the pressure tank had some QA issues and had since gone out of business. Kohler had
no explanation about why they designed the toilet tank with no overflow drain. I was offered a free replacement
toilet, even though the warranty had long since expired. They gave me a choice of several models which were available
at Home Depot. I picked a nice one and installed it myself. By the way, all of the replacements were gravity fed,
not pressure assisted. So much for "green" toilets! 73, Paul A.