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Today in Science History

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

• EW Market to Be Worth $20B by 2025

• Vehicle-to-Everything is Next Wave after Telematics

• Xi Mobilizes China Revolution to Cut Dependence on West (now that they have our tech)

• Preservation of 250 kW Voice of America Transmitter

• Call for Massive AI Investments to Counter China

• U.S. Space Force Is Seeking Engineers

• IMS 2021 to Take Place Both Physically and Virtually

• Untapped Potential of the 26 GHz Band

• James Webb Space Telescope Completes Final Functional Tests (it's about time)

RF Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for March 7th

RF Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for March 7th, 2021 - RF CafeThis RF Engineering Crossword Puzzle for March 7th has many words and clues related to... you guessed it... RF engineering - and mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. As always, this crossword contains no names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort unless it/he/she is related to this puzzle's technology theme (e.g., Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

Design Tips for Rewinding Your Own Transformers

Design Tips for Rewinding Your Own Transformers, October 1944 Radio News - RF CafeNot many people rewind transformers these days, but then even in 1955 when this "Design Tips for Rewinding Your Own Transformers" article appeared in Radio News magazine not many were rewinding transformers. Plenty of radio repair servicemen did, though, because replacements were expensive and getting replacements for other than common transformers could take a long time. There was no searching for one on the Internet and having it delivered in a couple days. Since many - if not most, by necessity - electronics repair shops kept subscriptions to available trade magazines, publishing an article like this provided a great service. Author James Dolan provides all the necessary information for either designing your own transformer from scratch or for modifying an existing transformer to meet your specific requirements...

Many Thanks to Nova Microwave for Continuing Support!

Nova Microwave Circulators & Isolators - RF CafeNova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Available in single or multi-junction topographies, the Nova Microwave product line of is specifically designed for use in varied environmental and temperature extremes. 

Reconfigurable Electronics Based on Multiferroics and Nanomagnetism

Reconfigurable Electronics Based on Multiferroics and Nanomagnetism - RF Cafe "Research could lead to the development of new materials with large magnetoelectric (ME) coupling for next-generation multifunctional devices, including, multi-state (neuromorphic-like) circuits and memories, and E-field tunable microwave resonators for secure communications. Multifunctional magnetoelectric materials with high exchange represent a missing 'holy grail' of materials physics. To combine polarization and magnetization in the same solid is nothing short of actually controlling the fundamental nature of electromagnetism in matter. Although magneto-electricity (ME) is an intrinsic phenomenon in some natural materials at low temperature, such single-phase materials suffer from an extremely weak ME exchange..."

Rubberized Circuits for Guided Missiles

Rubberized Circuits for Guided Missiles, February 1957 Radio & Television News - RF CafeYou can go to just about any store these days and buy a tube of RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) rubber caulk. That was not the case as recently as the 1960s and 1970s. Here is a short news item about how Dow Corning Corporation's breakthrough new compound was set to revolutionize hermetic sealing of critical electronic assemblies. It shows entire subassemblies of connectors, wires, and discrete components (no ICs at the time) completely encapsulated in the stuff. I remember at Westinghouse Electric, where I worked as a technician after a tour in the USAF, we used RTV for sealing bulkhead-mounted connectors on torpedo heads and towed sonar arrays. We also used massive quantities of it to seal off machined metal molds for ceramic transducer element arrays prior to potting them with a polyurethane compound. That was cool work. The heavy aluminum molds, about 6-feet long, were placed in a huge, thick-walled aluminum tube and a vacuum...

The Math Behind the Smith Chart

Math Behind Smight Chart - RF CafeMany of us are familiar with the math behind the Smith chart. Some have written spreadsheets and software for creating Smith charts, if only for the satisfaction of being able to do so. It really is quite simple (complex, actually - get it?) to do, but as with most things a genius mind (i.e., Phillip Smith) was needed to think of doing it in the first place. John Dunn, a very smart guy in his own right, posted a good primer on the subject on the EDN website. If you are new to the Smith chart or just want to do a refresh, then surf on over to read his article, and maybe click on the three related links at the bottom for more info.

Many Thanks to Centric RF for Their Continued Support!

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today.

Electronics-Themed Comics from 1954 Radio-Electronics

Electronics-Themed Comics, June 1954 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeHere for your enjoyment are a few more tech-themed comics from a vintage Radio-Electronics magazine. Television antenna installations and stereophonic audio systems were a big deal back in the day, so lots of comics were centered on the themes. Everything was new and mystical, and ownership of a top-end TV or stereo was a real sign of influence and/or savvy. The comic from page 96 is actually an advertisement for Jensen phonograph needles, which of course were key components to the aforementioned stereo systems. Lost on Millennials (not their fault) and later is probably the allusion to how the bedraggled couple needing to resort to a Flintstones-style (also likely unfamiliar to Millennials) record player...

IEEE Engineering Salary Survey 2020

IEEE Engineering Salary Survey 2020 - RF CafeAccording to this engineering salary report for 2020, pay continued on an upward trend in the U.S. despite the Wuhan Flu debacle. Data collected by technology career company Dice indicated the average salary (not including benefits, bonuses, etc.) of a tech professional in the U.S. increased 3.6% to $97,859 in 2020. Dice based its numbers on a survey of about 9,000 tech employees - which does not really seem to me like a very significant sample size. Looking at the bar chart, most areas reported an increase in salaries, with on the extreme Northwest cities of Seattle and Portland losing ground. The Silicon Valley area went from $123,826 to $126,801, a meager 2.4% increase when living in a land where software developers domicile in their cars due to the cost of housing. Only augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) software engineers saw a significant increase (13%).

Breakthrough in Quantum EW to Monitor Entire RF Spectrum

Breakthrough in Quantum EW to Monitor Entire RF Spectrum - RF Cafe"Using laser beams to create excited Rydberg atoms, Army researchers say they built a quantum sensor to detect the complete radio frequency spectrum. The findings, published in the Physical Review Applied, show the Rydberg sensor can pick up Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AM and FM radio, and other communications signals on frequencies as high as 20 GHz. Although more engineering and physics work is necessary, the device has the potential to unleash new potentials for military communications, spectrum awareness, and quantum electronic warfare (EW). Using the lasers, rubidium atoms are excited into desired Rydberg states, allowing researchers to measure atoms' response to an electric field and hone in on a portion of the spectrum they wanted to measure. Because Rydberg atoms are extremely sensitive to the circuit's electric fields..."

A "WAVE" in Naval Electronics

A "WAVE" in Naval Electronics, March 1957 Popular Electronics - RF CafeOddly, the article does not tell you the origin of the acronym "WAVES." From the U.S. Navy's history page: "After a twenty-three-year absence, women returned to general Navy service in early August 1942, when Mildred McAfee was sworn in as a Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander, the first female commissioned officer in U.S. Navy history, and the first Director of the WAVES, or "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service". In the decades since the last of the Yeomen (F) left active duty, only a relatively small corps of Navy Nurses represented their gender in the Naval service, and they had never had formal officer status. Now, the Navy was preparing to accept not just a large number of enlisted women, as it had done during World War I, but female Commissioned Officers to supervise them. It was a development of lasting significance, notwithstanding the WAVES' name, which indicated...

Make Sure That Electric Car Does Not Run out of Juice

Axiom Blog: Make Sure That Electric Car Does Not Run out of Juice - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rental and sales company, has published a new blog post entitled, "Make Sure That Electric Car Does Not Run out of Juice," that informs people who are looking to monitor the battery and charging system of their electric vehicle (EV), hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Learn how you can maintain a healthy and high performing battery through our informative guide. In order to ensure that your EV is driving smoothly, you must do careful maintenance of the battery and powertrains. Two of the most significant tests includes an internal resistance test and a battery capacity / discharge test. Doing these tests with the proper equipment will allow you to see if your EV can handle short circuits, over-voltage conditions, and over charging...

Many Thanks to ConductRF for Continued Support!

ConductRF coaxial cables & connectors - RF CafeConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project! 

U.H.F. Transmission Lines and Converters

U.H.F. Transmission Lines and Converters, June 1954 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeAbout the only kind of transmission line homeowners use today is 75 Ω coaxial cable for television and Internet connections. Up until the turn of this new century (two decades old by now - ugh!), a fair percentage of TV owners still had an antenna mounted on the roof or maybe rabbit ears sitting atop the set. Twin lead transmission line was still a common sight as at least the "last mile" (last few inches, actually) connection via an impedance converter to the pair of screws on the back of a TV or FM radio. By then, most TVs also had an "F" coaxial connector for direct attachment without a converter. Internet connections at the time were telephone cords connected to the modem board inside your computer. It's hard to believe that was just a relatively few years ago that we early WWW users got to cross our fingers when dialing up a local phone number for AOL, Earthlink, Compuserve, Prodigy, Mindspring...

Speed Limit Also Applies in Quantum World

A speed limit also applies in the quantum world - RF Cafe"Even in the world of the smallest particles with their own special rules, things cannot proceed infinitely fast. Physicists at the University of Bonn have now shown what the speed limit is for complex quantum operations. The study also involved scientists from MIT, the universities of Hamburg, Cologne and Padua, and the Jülich Research Center. The results are important for the realization of quantum computers, among other things. They are published in the prestigious journal Physical Review X, and covered by the Physics Magazine of the American Physical Society. Suppose you observe a waiter (the lockdown is already history) who on New Year's Eve has to serve an entire tray of champagne glasses just a few minutes before midnight. He rushes from guest to guest at top speed..."

RF Test Technician / Associate Engineer Needed by Safe-Com Wireless

RF Test Technician / Associate Engineer Needed by Safe-Com Wireless - RF CafeSafe-Com Wireless designs and manufactures wireless communications equipment for first responders. The equipment comprises boosters and fiber optic distributed antenna systems. The equipment is used inside buildings to permit the first responder to communicate during emergence incidents. The Radio Frequency Test Technician / Associate Engineer position requires minimum 5 - 15 years direct experience in RF board level testing using a spectrum analyzer, radio frequency signal generators and similar radio frequency equipment. The successful candidate will be experienced in reading circuit schematics, troubleshooting circuits and documenting test results. Also hand soldering and modification of surface and through-hole printed circuit boards (PCBs) is required. Direct experience in a production work environment required...

RCA Numitron Readout

RCA Numitron Readout, March 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRCA's Numitron was their answer to the Nixie tube (manufactured by Burroughs Corporation). It was a simpler 7-segment incandescent display (DR2010) that, with all lines energized, formed the number 8. It worked off of +3.5 to +5 volts, with each element requiring 24 mA of current. The number 8 drew 192 mA of current and dissipated 0.672 W at 3.5 volts and a whopping 0.96 W at 5 volts! RCA marketed a BCD*-to-7-segment display driver (the CD2501E). The Numitron was pitched as a sensible alternative to the 7-segment LED display, but with an element size of 0.35" wide by 0.6" high, there was no real advantage over the LEDs, which were just entering the electronics market in 1970. Numitrons do have a certain nostalgic 'cool' factor, though. It is interesting to note that the author's last name, Wood, is the same as that of Frank Wood, who was issued...

Teledyne e2v HiRel and Integra Partner on High Voltage GaN Devices

Teledyne e2v HiRel and Integra Technologies Partner on High Voltage GaN Devices - RF CafeTeledyne e2v HiRel Electronics, a leading provider of high reliability semiconductor solutions, today announced a new high reliability partnership with California-based Integra Technologies, Inc. (Integra). Under the new agreement, Teledyne will leverage Integra's portfolio of GaN on SiC RF power transistor products to deliver optimized power solutions for the space market. With Integra, Teledyne e2v HiRel will specialize in providing high power RF devices for emerging space applications in the LEO and GEO payload market. Teledyne will also offer high reliability options for Integra's popular GaN on SiC power devices and pallets targeted at the defense market. "Our space customers are requesting RF power devices at higher power density levels and operating at higher frequencies," said Brad Little, VP and General Manager of Teledyne e2v HiRel. "The combination of our expertise in providing space...

War Bonds Promotion

War Bonds, January 1945, Radio-Craft - RF Cafe"The more things change, the more they remain the same." That old saw has held true throughout the ages, but there seems to be cycles within cycles that causes, to mix in a metaphor, the pendulum to swing back and forth in greater and lesser peak amplitudes, and over long periods of time a bias sets in that causes a perceivable change from the symmetric tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock, to tick----tock-tick----tock-tick----tock-tick. Without an outside-of-the-system input, the bias grows. If you have a "real" gravity-driven pendulum clock, you probably know what I mean. Bringing the system back to symmetry requires adjusting the clockworks movement or "righting" the physical orientation by rotating the clock on the wall or shimming up one side on the shelf until the preferred tick-tock-tick-tock is restored. Economic cycles are much the same, as alluded to in this World War II, War Bonds promotion. There are long periods of overall ups and overall downs, and in-between there are lesser rises and falls. Eventually, those who learn to control the cycles tend to insert a bias into the works...

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Copyright: 1996 - 2024
    Kirt Blattenberger,

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 typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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