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Today in Science History

Electronics & Tech  Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe - Archive -

• ETSI Partners with 6G-IA for EU Research & Standards

• 3 Network Trends Impacting Wireless Workforce

• China Leads Global Patent Race

• FCC Mandates Security Updates for Wireless Devices

• Deutsche Telekom Launches Its Own 5G Phones

• Quarterly Smartphone Shipments Fall Record 18.3% YoY

• EU, U.S. Making Moves to Address Ethics in AI

• PM's Asked to Support UK Semiconductor Strategy

• Superior, Lower Cost Military-Grade GaN Process Developed

"ChatGPT: OpenAI Content Generation

ChatGPT: OpenAI Content Generation, Kirt's Cogitations #347 - RF CafeSince its launching on November 30 of last year (2022), I have seen / heard a lot of news reports about the ChatGPT content generator hosted by OpenAI.org. They label it a "chatbot." The GPT suffix is an acronym for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that creates a paragraph or two about a topic which you enter in the webpage. Proponents hail it as one of the first instances of making AI available to the public, and to facilitate information search and dissemination. Opponents warn that ChatGPT is a scheme which can feed on its own self-generated inaccuracies when generated content is posted online and used later by the same algorithm. One aspect that occurred to me whilst experimenting with ChatGPT is that while you are helping to train the AI algorithm, it is simultaneously training you to communicate effectively with it, so it's a two-way process. Sometimes it takes many iterations of a query to get the preferred results. Feedback can be provided to ChatGPT regarding the usefulness of its reply by clicking on the up or down thumb icons. I could go into a little more detail about ChatGPT, but why not let the chatbot extoll its own virtues...

BNC Seminar: Vector Signal Generators & Radar Simulations

Berkeley Nucleonics Seminar: Vector Signal Generators & Radar Simulations - RF CafeBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC), a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for RF/microwave research, will conduct a seminar on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at 10:00 am Pacific Time, entitled, "Vector Signal Generators & Radar Simulations - Key Fundamentals & Latest Technology." It covers the latest on vector signal generators and radar simulation. As radar simulation matures, the demanding need for high-performing system equipment increases. The Berkeley Nucleonics RF Team discusses vector signal generators and how they are called upon as the next line of RF Technology solutions in radar signal simulation. John Reynolds, Edgar Guzman, and Cameron Simmons collectively team up to provide you with key discussions and demonstrations about the sought-after agenda topics including: Introduction to Vector Signal Generators, Applications of Vector Signal Generators, How VSGs Work, Types of VSGs, Advantages of Using VSGs in Radar Simulation...

The Electronic Mind - How It Remembers

The Electronic Mind - How It Remembers, August 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThe radar system I worked on in the USAF used two early memory types described in this 1956 Popular Electronics magazine article. In fact, the radar was designed during that era, so it is no surprise. Our IFF secondary radar had a whopping 1 kilobyte of magnetic core memory in its processor circuitry. It consisted of 1024 tiny toroids mounted in a square matrix with four hair-width enamel coated wires running through them as x and y magnetization current lines, sense, and inhibit functions. If my memory serves me (pun intended) after three decades away from it, the TTL circuitry (no microprocessor) stored range values to calculate speed and direction from sample to sample. The other memory type was a mercury acoustic delay line contraption having a piezoelectric transducer at one end to launch an electrical pulse along its length and another transducer at the other end to convert back to an electrical pulse. It was used to cancel out stationary targets (clutter) as part of the MTI (moving target indication) circuitry in our precision approach radar (PAR)...

Air Waveguide Length Record Set in Dormitory

Air Waveguide Length Record Set in Dormitory - RF Cafe"It's not at every university that laser pulses powerful enough to burn paper and skin are sent blazing down a hallway. But that's what happened in UMD's Energy Research Facility, an unremarkable looking building on the northeast corner of campus. If you visit the utilitarian white and gray hall now, it seems like any other university hall - as long as you don't peak behind a cork board and spot the metal plate covering a hole in the wall. UMD Physics Professor Howard Milchberg and his colleagues transformed the hallway into a laboratory. Their efforts were to temporarily transfigure thin air into a fiber optic cable - or, more specifically, an air waveguide - that would guide light for tens of meters. Like one of the fiber optic internet cables that provide efficient highways for streams of optical data, an air waveguide prescribes a path for light. These air waveguides have many potential applications related to collecting or transmitting light, such as detecting light emitted by atmospheric pollution, long-range laser communication or even laser weaponry. With an air waveguide, there is no need to unspool solid cable..."

The New "Mystery Ray"

The New "Mystery Ray", November 1935 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe announcement and public demonstration of Senatore Guglielmo Marconi's "death ray" device was the coming true of some of the worst fears of science fiction aficionados. Application of these newly created centimeter−wave "beams" could roast the flesh of man or beast when supplied with great enough power. The diminutive wavelength not only would heat liquids, but also provided a means of detecting and measuring energy reflected off of "targets" such as aircraft and boats. Its applications were endless. Although not called so, one of the article's diagrams looks to be an example of a bistatic radar system. The early magnetron implementation is quite different than the modern cavity arrangement. The page to the left is the one referenced in the article...

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...

Please Thank IPP for Their Long-Time Support!

Innovative Power ProductsInnovative Power Products has been designing and manufacturing RF and Microwave passive components since 2005. We use the latest design tools available to build our baluns, 90-degree couplers, directional couplers, combiners/dividers, single-ended transformers, resistors, terminations, and custom products. Applications in military, medical, industrial, and commercial markets are serviced around the world. Products listed on the website link to detailed mechanical drawings, electrical specifications, and performance data. If you cannot find a product that meets your requirements on our website, contact us to speak with one of our experienced design engineers about your project.

1964 Radio-Electronics Tech Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, January 1964 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThese tech-themed comics appeared in a 1964 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine. Servicing entertainment electronic systems was a big thing in the day, as evidenced by many of the comics posted here over the past few years (see huge list at bottom of page). The comic on page 50 shows an oscilloscope display that was not probable before digital test equipment came to be. It was possible to generate such a waveform on a cathode ray tube (CRT) face as a reference image, but it would require very sophisticated circuitry. There were special applications - like air traffic control plan position indicators (PPI's) - where pains were taken to be able to add annotation to the display (e.g., aircraft IFF data). A common method for superimposing fixed references (such as the music scale here) was to add a composite video signal that was added in with the sampled signal. It is the opposite of devising a scheme to add o-scope type video to a standard raster scan TV picture. The page 82 comic is interesting because it depicts a Ham cogitating...

Vertical Electrochemical Transistor for Wearable Electronics

Vertical Electrochemical Transistor for Wearable Electronics - RF Cafe"A transdisciplinary Northwestern University research team has developed a revolutionary transistor that is expected be ideal for lightweight, flexible, high-performance bioelectronics. The electrochemical transistor is compatible with blood and water and can amplify important signals, making it especially useful for biomedical sensing. Such a transistor could enable wearable devices for onsite signal processing, right at the biology-device interface. Potential applications include measuring heartbeat and levels of sodium and potassium in blood as well as eye motion for studying sleep disorders. 'All modern electronics use transistors, which rapidly turn current on and off,' said Tobin J. Marks, a co-corresponding author of the study. "Here we use chemistry to enhance the switching. Our electrochemical transistor takes performance to a totally new level. You have all the properties of a conventional transistor but far higher transconductance..."

Practical Transformer Design and Construction

Practical Transformer Design and Construction, August 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThis is the third and final installment of a 1947 Radio News magazine series on iron core transformer and reactor design. You of course are familiar with transformers, but what about reactors? A reactor is an inductive element used to limit overvoltage or short circuit current from a source to a load. These days they are most often seen in electrical distribution substations, associated with transformers. I did not intend to imply that you will learn something about reactors here; they were covered in Part 1 ("The design and construction of iron core transformers and reactors"). Part 2 is titled "Complete details for designing and constructing your own iron core reactors." I will attempt to procure the June and July issues. In the mean time, part 3 reviews the basics of transformer turns ratio and current transformation...

Bittele Renews ISO 9001:2015 QM Certification

Bittele Electronics Renews ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Certification - RF CafeBittele Electronics, a Toronto-based PCB assembly company specializing in high quality prototype and low-to-mid volume printed circuit board assembly, announced today that it successfully renewed the ISO 9001:2015 quality management certification for its Markham, Ontario, facility. Bittele says the ISO 9001:2015 certification renewal demonstrates its commitment to quality and continuous improvement. The ISO 9001:2015 certification is a quality audit and comprehensive process review that includes writing quality procedures and taking actions to improve a quality system. Bittele partnered with SGS Canada, a leading testing and certification company, to thoroughly audit and review its quality management system and verify compliance with the ISO 9001:2015 standard. "The ISO 9001:2015 certification embodies our core values and reminds us of the importance of our strategic, winning partnerships with our customers and vendors," said Ben Yang, CEO of Bittele Electronics. "This certification demonstrates our belief in continually improving our processes. We want to thank our employees who worked with our Quality Department to achieve this monumental goal...

Simplified Radar to Use "Wamoscope"

Simplified Radar to Use "Wamoscope", November 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeYeah, I thought the same thing when I saw this in a 1957 issue of Popular Electronics magazine ... a "Wamoscope?" Was it produced by the Wham-O toy company that makes the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee, the Super Ball, and Silly String? Wham-O was founded in 1948, so why not? It looks like one of the flashlights that held about six "D" cell batteries that you'd see on old police shows. Actually, Wamoscope is derived from "WAve-MOdulated oscilloSCOPE." It combined a traveling-wave tube with a cathode ray tube in a single enclosure. Operating over a frequency band of 2 GHz to 4 GHs, it combines most of the essential functions of a microwave receiving set in a single tube envelope, eliminating many of the tubes and components required by conventional receivers. There is also an article entitled "The 'Wamoscope' - a Picture Tube That Includes Many Functions...

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!

Many Thanks to Bittele Electronics for Continued Support!

Bittele Electronics PCB Fabrication - RF CafeSince 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly services. It specializes in board level turnkey PCB assembly for design engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit boards. Free Passive Components: Bittele Electronics is taking one further step in its commitment of offering the best service to clients of its PCB assembly business. Bittele is now offering common passive components to its clients FREE of Charge.

Electronics ABC Crossword Puzzle for January 29th

Electronics ABC Theme Crossword Puzzle for January 29th, 2023 - RF CafeThis custom made Electronics ABC theme crossword puzzle for January 29th is provided compliments of RF Cafe. The entire alphabet is used for the first letters of words in the top half of the crossword puzzle (marked with an asterisk *). All RF Cafe crossword puzzles are custom made by me, Kirt Blattenberger, and have only words and clues related to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical subjects. As always, this crossword puzzle 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., Reginald Denny or the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

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...

Thanks to Anritsu for Their Support!

Anritsu (electronics test equipment) - RF CafeAnritsu has been a global provider of innovative communications test and measurement solutions for more than 120 years. Anritsu manufactures a full line of innovative components and accessories for RF and Microwave Test and Measurement Equipment including attenuators & terminations; coaxial cables, connectors & adapters; o-scopes; power meters & sensors; signal generators; antenna, signal, spectrum, & vector network analyzers (VNAs); calibration kits; Bluetooth & WLAN testers; PIM testers; amplifiers; power dividers; antennas. "We've Got You Covered."

Bell Telephone Laboratories X-Rays

Bell Telephone Laboratories X-Rays, April 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeIs that an early tin foil hat prototype the lady on the cover of this month's Radio−Electronics magazine is modeling? Tin foil hats for RF radiation conspiracy kooks were probably not even a thing back in 1960. In some ways it fits in with the x−ray subject of the Bell Telephone Laboratories infomercial in the same issue. As you can see from the large and ever-growing list of Bell Labs promotions at the bottom of the page, the world's premier telephone company didn't get to the top by luck. Bell engineers and scientists were continually conducting research and development to assure service would be as efficient, affordable, and reliable as possible. Bell Telephone Laboratories was at the leading edge of communications technology, both wired and wireless, since day its founder uttered the words, "Mr. Watson, come here... I want to see you..."

Modelithics' Qorvo GaN Library v23.5.1

Modelithics Releases Qorvo GaN Library v23.5.1 - RF CafeModelithics is pleased to announce the release of version 23.5.1 of the Modelithics Qorvo GaN Library for use with Keysight Technologies' PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) and Cadence AWR Design Environment®. This latest version offers new models for Qorvo's QPD1025, QPD1028, QPD1425, and QPD1425L discrete GaN-on-SiC HEMTs. Version 23.5.1 also offers 2 new embedding models for the T2G6000528-Q3 and T2G6003028-FL devices. The QPD1025 is an 1,800-W device intended to operate from 0.96 to 1.215 GHz, while the QPD1028 is a 750-W device intended to operate from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. The QPD1425 and QPD1425L are 300-W devices intended for operation from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. All four of the new models are Angelov-based models that include features like temperature scaling, self-heating effects, and intrinsic I-V sensing...

Standardized Wiring Diagram Symbols & Color Codes

Standardized Wiring Diagram Symbols & Color Codes, August 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen this Standardized Wiring Diagram Symbols & Color Codes feature appeared in a 1956 issue of Popular Electronics magazine, semiconductors were just coming into common use. Therefore, only the simplest components like a diode and bipolar junction transistor (BJT) are included. In fact, the only two types of diodes shown are vacuum tube and selenium. The semiconductor diode is labeled as a crystal rectifier. There is no light emitting diode (LED), field effect transistor (FET), metal oxide semiconductor FET (MOSFET), integrated circuit (IC), or other commonly used modern device. Note also that the "Receptacle 117V" does not show a safety ground connection. The "Vibrator" was a device commonly used to convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). About the only people who will find a use for this information are those who service and/or restore vintage electronic equipment...

EVs Throw Palladium Mega-Rally into Reverse

EVs Throw Palladium Mega-Rally into Reverse - RF Cafe"An era of breathtaking palladium rallies is likely to be ending, analysts said, as rising supply and stagnant demand erode prices of the metal used to neutralize vehicle exhaust emissions. Palladium, once the cheapest major precious metal, rocketed from less than $500 an ounce in 2016 to above $3,400 last March, leaving platinum and gold for dust. Powering the rally was rising demand from automakers who needed more palladium per vehicle to meet tightening emissions standards. Supply could not keep up, leading to huge deficits. That is now changing. Electric vehicles (EVs) that do not need palladium are gaining market share and automakers are substituting some palladium for cheaper platinum in combustion engine vehicles..."

Strays: Doorknob Tubes

Strays: Doorknob Tubes, April 1946 QST - RF CafeAt first I thought maybe this was intended to be an April Fools joke, being that it appeared in an April issue of QST magazine, but it is probably just a coincidence. One of the two topics refers to a "door knob for UHF," which in reality was a glass-encased vacuum tube that was shaped a lot like one of the old glass door knobs. The author penned a humorous take-off. On second thought, maybe this is a Fool's edition now that I have read the second item. All kidding aside, "Strays" concludes with a poem dedicated to those who became "Silent Keys" as a result of World War II...

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...

Inventions Wanted

Inventions Wanted, May 1960 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThe National Inventors Council (NIC) mentioned by Hugo Gernsback in this 1960 Radio-Electronics magazine "Inventions Wanted" article was established in 1940 by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It served as a collection point for inventions that had possible national defense and military uses. In the mid-1950's, NIC's functions were transferred to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now NIST). An initial list was published six months earlier, and this list includes both updates to the former items and new requests. A few examples that have been realized at this point are: 913) Low-Loss High-Power Ferrites for Use as Microwave Phase Shifter | 914) A Broad-Band Maser Amplifier for Use in the Microwave Region | 975) A New Method of Electronically (not with frequency change) Scanning an Antenna | 1024) High-Power Broad-Band Solid-State RF Amplifiers | 1057) Solid-State Microwave Oscillators | 1139) Field Portable Digital Radar. What might a 2023 list include? Maybe a fully autonomous robotic foot soldier, an invisibility cloak for man and machine...

Millimeter Wave-Absorbing Magnetic Materials

Millimeter Wave-Absorbing Magnetic Materials - RF Cafe"KIMS developed the world's first continuous manufacturing technology for millimeter wave-absorbing magnetic materials. A research team led by Dr. Youn-kyoung Baek and Dr. Jung-goo Lee succeeded in developing the world's first technology to consecutively manufacture epsilon iron oxide that can absorb millimeter wave with a high coercive force equivalent to that of neodymium (Nd) magnets. The researchers are in the Department of Magnetic Materials in Powder Materials Division at the Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS), a government-funded research institute under the Ministry of Science and ICT. Iron oxide material with a high-coercive epsilon crystal phase is almost the only magnetic material that absorbs ultra-high frequencies which is a potential 6G frequency band. Until now, it was only formed in a nano-sized particle of 50 nanometers or less. Japan succeeded to produce pure epsilon iron oxide..."

Mac's Radio Service Shop: A Breathing Spell

Mac's Radio Service Shop: A Breathing Spell, January 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeWe are accustomed these days with stores having "no questions asked" return policies for just about anything. I once watched a guy successfully return a 4" PVC plumbing fitting that had clearly been smeared with glue in the coupling areas. Another time a guy returned a painting drop cloth that was full of paint, declaring that it wasn't what he wanted. The return counter bins of Walmart and other stores are always chock full of stuff. Such was not always the case, though. This episode of Mac's Radio Service Shop from a 1955 issue of Radio & Television News magazine, mentions, among other things, how busy he and sidekick Barney had been right after Christmas doing troubleshooting and repair on various electronic equipment that had been received as gifts. Imagine receiving a radio for Christmas and not being able to simply return it to the store where it was purchased - even with a sale receipt. Nobody would stand for such a situation today...

Please see the RF Cafe Homepage Archives for previous items of interest...

Axiom Test Equipment - RF Cafe
Windfreak Technologies Frequency Synthesizers - RF Cafe
Lotus Communication Systems Modular RF Component Building Blocks - RF Cafe

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

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 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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