It 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.
Thanks 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
Click here to see all the photos of the
National Electronics Museum
Here are some shots of the exhibit floor
Advanced Test Equipment Rentals
Brendon Berg (L)
AJ Tuck Company
of nice, shiny waveguide)
American Standard Circuits
Brett and Mrs. Trump
Sam Benzacar, always working
(2nd from left)
Dean Handrinos (far right)
(he provides books for the monthly giveaway)
Hess & Randy McAdam
Melanie and Barry
He's a super nice guy, and editor of Military Microwave Digest
Maria Droge (C)
Cambridge University Press
Dr. Julie Lancashire (L)
(she provides books for the
Cobham Antenna Systems
(formerly European Antennas)
is close to Erie)
Larry Neeley (R)
(L), Tommy Choi (R)
(very friendly folks)
Join the IEEE today!
Instruments for Industry
Kyle & Mike Yantz
(a super-nice guy)
Steve Leonard (L), Bryan Walker (R)
Pol Heyns (R)
good guy (L)
Jimmy Riter (R)
Michael Giarratano, my "inside man" (R)
Microwave Product Digest
Doug Markhouse, president (C)
Eileen Rocco, publishing coord. (R)
Narda Microwave East
Networks International Corp.
Ed and Mrs.
(a good team)
Ojha (L), Pete Pragastis (R)
Jim and Mrs.
(another great team)
Gabriel (L), Darryl Mayo (R)
(aka "RF Dude")
RF Micro Devices
and Melanie Blattenberger
Alan Ake (R)
Walter Witt (L) -
(über salesman & all-around nice guy)
(Z-Comm donated our tickets)
(fellow 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!
This 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.