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"Thinking like a customer is not too bad a way to design products." - Bob Pease, National Semi, Pease Porridge

Today in Science History

Electronics & Tech  Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe - Archive -

• 70% of Engineers Prefer Hybrid or Remote Working

• Korea Recalls 2 Mobile Operators' 5G Licenses

• UK Implementing New Rules for Fibre and 5G Builds

• India Make It Easier for Telecoms to Do Business

• U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Publishes Magnet Standards

• Will Electric Cars Kill AM Radio? (interesting)

• EU Calls for Collaboration on 5G Infra Security

• China Making Key Component for the World'sLargest Fusion Reactor

• High Accuracy, Low Power Automotive  Radar Transceivers

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...

Thanks to Copper Mountain Technologies for Continued Support

Copper Mountain TechnologiesCopper Mountain Technologies develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor Vector Network Analyzers include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments. 50 Ω and 75 Ω models are available, along with a full line of precision calibration and connector adaptors.

Integrated Circuit Techniques

Integrated Circuit Techniques, November 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeMy first exposure to bare die integrated circuits was in the early 1980's, while working at the Westinghouse Oceanic Division in Annapolis, Maryland. It was my first job as an electronics technician after separating from the U.S. Air Force. After working there on the evening shift for a couple years building sonar systems for the U.S. Navy, I had an opportunity to move to the day shift if I could pass muster for a high level security clearance. A small group of engineers, with just one technician, was formed to serve the needs of a "special" customer. A couple other guys with more seniority them me interviewed for the position, but they failed the background check, which included two polygraph tests ...but I digress. Part of my job entailed building microcircuit assemblies using bare IC die and surface mount passive devices epoxied to very tiny printed circuit substrates, and then using a thermosonic wirebond machine to do the interconnections. 1 mil gold wire was used. A week-long class at the company's plant in Baltimore provided the basics, but the work we did was very unique and required developing new techniques that probably would not pass inspection by the crotchety Navy inspectors...

How to Become a "Non-Degree Engineer"

How to Become a "Non-Degree Engineer", May 1966 Electronics World - RF CafeCall me a snob, but IMHO except for rare circumstances, if you expect to hold the title of "engineer," you really should have earned a college degree in engineering. Sure, there are talented people without an engineering degree that can do certain engineering jobs more competently than someone with an engineering degree; however, it certainly is not so in the majority of instances. It is foolish to look around at all the technology you share your life with and conclude that people without the benefit of a formal engineering education could turn out so much at such a fast pace. When someone learns that you are an engineer, there is an automatic assumption that you hold at least a Bachelor's degree in engineering, software, or the physical sciences. If you tell someone you are a technician, the assumption is that you have earned an Associate's degree and/or received training in the military specific to your job's nature. When I see messages like the one in this advertisement, I get a little perturbed because: 1) It is misleading since unaware people will believe that becoming an engineer really is a easy as taking some home instruction courses, and 2) It diminishes the accomplishments, financial and time investment, and hard work of those who did earn an engineering degree...

Solderless Electronic Assemblies

Solderless Electronic Assemblies Occam Group - RF CafeThere is an article on the EETimes website entitled, "Solder's Days Should Be Numbered - There Is a Better Way." It basically an infomercial for the Occam Group's process of "reverse order processing" which eliminates soldering of electronics assemblies. "Our vision is to first attach components to a 'component board' and test that assembly before encapsulation and circuitization. This ensures that all assemblies are known to be good at the outset. There are several methods for adding component connections, including traditional plating techniques and additive printed circuits. By removing solder, thermal excursions are greatly diminished." It sounds good, but upon visiting Occam's website I could not find any useful information about how they work their claimed magic, and no photos of actual products or processes. The idea sounds good, but might still be in the vaporware phase of development. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

One Transistor Pocket Radio

One Transistor Pocket Radio, July 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIf this 1960 Popular Electronics magazine article was written today, the title would more likely be, "One IC Pocket Radio," and rather than a couple dozen resistors, capacitors, and inductors (and a transformer), and there might be one or two decoupling capacitors. Everything else would be contained within the integrated circuit. There are plenty of single-chip radio circuits available from distributors like Digi-Key, Newark Electronics, etc. Oh, and how many of you even know what a phenolic board looks like? Better yet, how many of you can identify the unique smell of one heating up or burning due to component overheating? If you can't, then consider yourself lucky, because that probably means you're 40-50 years younger than I am, and you have that much longer to live then me...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 12,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad RF Systems designs and manufactures RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad RF Systems comprises three partners (hence "Triad") with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. PA, LNA, bi-directional, and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including tower mount, benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please check to see how they can help your project.

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, March 1956 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThis set of six electronics-themed comics appeared in the March 1956 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine. The one on page 84 is pretty clever, but would need to be modernized in our semiconductor era. I'm not quite getting the page 114 comic. Computer dating is a fairly recent phenomenon - or is it? The page 142 comic suggest otherwise. In fact, I know three married couples who met via an online dating service, all within the last ten years; my daughter is one of them! The shopper in the page 145 comic might have misinterpreted the gist of the signs, but taken literally maybe her assumption isn't so unreasonable. The page 148 comic shows how a "futuristic" concept proposed in the middle of the last century has not only been realized by 2022, but has evolved much farther than imagined...

CMT: Near & Far Field Measurement

Copper Mountain Technologies: Near & Far Field Measurement - RF CafeCopper Mountain Technologies (CMT) has a whitepaper available entitled, "Near and Far Field Measurement." It begins, "To obtain optimal performance in an over the air RF system, the antennas must be chosen to meet specific requirements. Performance parameters such as size, wind-loading, environmental ruggedness, transmission pattern, bandwidth, and power handling capability should be considered. Especially important in an RF system design is the 'link budget.' This parameter determines the end-to-end RF loss and is affected by transmitter output power, feedline loss, transmit antenna gain, path loss through the air, receiver antenna gain, feedline loss once again and receiver noise-figure among other factors. A failure to meet the link budget in an RF system design will result in noisy performance and loss of coverage. In this application note, methods of measuring the transmission (or reception) pattern which determines antenna gain with a VNA will be examined. Most antennas possess some directionality to their performance..."

Pick up Those Profits from Portables

Pick up Those Profits from Portables, June 1951 Radio & Television News - RF CafeRadio & Television News magazine was not normally in the practice of instructing retail outlet salesmen and service shop owners in techniques for hacking their wares, but this article in the June 1951 issue is an exception. In it, A.W. Bernsohn, Managing Director of the National Appliance & Radio Dealers Association, extensively outlines many tried and true schemes for use in convincing customers that they really do need a new, reconditioned, or rental portable radio for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer*. Those were the days long before iPods, Walkmans, and smartphones, when "portable" meant maybe smaller than a breadbox, but powered by batteries rather than an AC outlet. If any of the featured models appeal to your sense of nostalgia and you want to lay you hands on one again, try eBay; eventually just about everything shows up there. M. Bensohn even covers the ramification of Regulation "W" of the Federal Reserve Act...

DARPA Cranks Power on Radar Capabilities

DARPA Cranks Power on Radar Capabilities - RF Cafe"DARPA looks to build on previous success in radio frequency power output with new transistor-focused THREADS program. Military and civilian uses for radar range broadly, and the possibilities for radar applications expand almost every day. Whether they are being used to navigate, control air traffic, track weather patterns, carry out search-and-rescue missions, map terrain, or countless other functions, radar technologies are constantly advancing. As radio-frequency (RF) systems, radar capabilities hinge on the ability to sense and communicate across long distances while maintaining signal strength. Powerful RF signal capabilities extend mission-critical communications and situational awareness, but the microelectronic technologies that strengthen RF output - specifically, high power density transistors..."

China Rolls Tanks for "White Paper" Revolution

China Rolls Tanks for "White Paper" Revolution - RF CafeWhen Government controls the media and deploys military and police forces against citizens as a show of force to discourage and suppress protesting against injustice, Government wins and Citizens die. No, I'm not referring to the U.S. In this case China's "Zero Covid" policy resulted in political prisoners burning to death in a quarantined apartment building. The "White Paper Revolution" consists of people symbolically waving blank sheets of paper. Communists cannot abide a challenge to authority, so any measure to end the situation is justified - including murdering human beings. The world's opinion is irrelevant, especially since global economies depend heavily on China. Politicians, university heads, and corporate titans are all sold out to them, therefore will comply as directed. Evidently, though, most people don't mind because Communism is being adopted across the Earth. You've been warned...

Marconi - Father of Radio?

Marconi - Father of Radio?, January 1939 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis is a must-read article for all persons interested in the history of wireless communications. Seriously. Stop what you are doing and read it. I guarantee the vast majority have never heard of this challenge to the veracity of Mr. Guglielmo Marconi's bestowed title of "father of wireless telegraphy." Most of us are at least passingly familiar with challenges to Samuel Morse's, Thomas Edison's, and a few other notables' claims to being the first at a particular technical breakthrough, but herein, as penned by of Lieutenant-Commander Edward H. Loftin, is a first-hand account of multiple successful challenges by the U.S. Patent Office against Mr. Marconi and his company, Marconi Wireless Telegraph, Ltd., regarding filings for patent protection. As with the other aforementioned individuals, history writers long-ago grew tired of reminding the public of often dubious assertions of creative individuals - other than that it seems every December 17 the media is sure to bring up Whitehead's and Chanute's claims...

Post Your Engineer & Technician Job Openings on RF Cafe for Free

Engineering Job Board - RF CafeRF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable job openings. HR department employees and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting at no charge. 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from RF Cafe's high quality visitors...

Thanks Once Again to everythingRF for Long-Time Support!

everything RF Searchable Database - RF CafePlease take a few moments to visit the everythingRF website to see how they can assist you with your project. everythingRF is a product discovery platform for RF and microwave products and services. They currently have 267,269 products from more than 1397 companies across 314 categories in their database and enable engineers to search for them using their customized parametric search tool. Amplifiers, test equipment, power couplers and dividers, coaxial connectors, waveguide, antennas, filters, mixers, power supplies, and everything else. Please visit everythingRF today to see how they can help you.

Operation of a High-Quality CCTV Camera

Operation of a High-Quality CCTV Camera, December 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeThis "Operation of a High-Quality CCTV Camera" article from a 1965 issue of Electronics World magazine interests me not necessarily because I am interested in CCTV's but because it has many similarities to the video mapper system used in the radar system I worked on in the U.S. Air Force. It was probably built around the same era, so no surprise there. The combination of analog and digital electronics is likely one of the earliest examples of such an integration. The digital portion is for timing, not video processing. An electromagnetically scanned vidicon tube is the heart of the system. Rather than using the television type composite timing/amplitude signals that require complex circuits to deconstruct and direct portions of the signal to appropriate circuits, this is truly digital timing. In fact, the timing diagram show here is one of the earliest I recall seeing in these vintage magazines...

Kolster K20 Receiver Radio Service Data Sheet

Kolster K20, K22, K25, K27 and K37 Six-Tube Receivers Radio Service Data Sheet, October 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeHow did we ever accomplish research without the Internet? Sure, that is a rhetorical question, but I find myself asking that often when I find information on something I figured there was no way anything would be available. Such was the case when looking up this Kolster K20 radio. Its Radio Service Data Sheet appeared in the October 1930 edition of Radio-Craft magazine. Mr. Gordon Bell, WA2YQY, provided the photo of the one to the left, which I found on the RadioAtticArchives.com website. As with nearly all radios of the era, is has a nicely styled wooden console cabinet. Note the simplicity of the tuning indicator...

Cold War Era Ad Themes Remain Relevant

Cold War Era Themes Still Relevant - RF CafeWhile not specifically related to RF Cafe type content, this article on the Physics.org website entitled, "Fun Research on Cold War-Era Ads About Flying Saucers, UFOs Finds Themes That Remain Relevant Today," is an interesting bit of sci-fi techno-nostalgia. A study found that although not exactly the same methods and subjects are being used to influence today's consumers, the motus operandi (MO) are basically the same. "While ads with flying saucers and UFOs may use them differently than in the past, desired messages and reactions from those who place the ads have not changed. Emotion and sensation continue to motivate purchases, and advertisers consistently seek to share messages about quality and technology. Plus, the appetite of consumers for big events has never waned..."

On the Air with the Civil Air Patrol

On the Air with the Civil Air Patrol, March 1957 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBack in the 1970s while taking flying lessons, I used to enjoy watching the Civil Air Patrol run through its exercises at Lee Airport, in Edgewater, Maryland. For some reason, I never bothered to look into joining. I wish I had. A few years later while in Basic Training (BT) for the USAF at Lackland AFB, Texas, there were a couple guys in my squadron who had been long-time members of the CAP and guess what? They only had to spend the first two weeks in BT, just long enough to do all the paperwork processing, take a few of the classroom sessions, get shots, examinations, a head shave, and to have uniforms issued. Then, immediately before leaving for technical school, they got to sew a stripe onto their shirtsleeves as an Airman 1st Class. High school ROTC guys got to do the same thing. I don't know if the Air Force still has that policy; you might want to check it out if you're planning on joining...

Glass for Electronics

Glass for Electronics, November 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeThis "Glass for Electronics" article in a 1965 issue of Electronics World magazine provides some really interesting information about the properties of glass which I, for one, either never knew or have forgotten. One such point is that glass is typically defined with a "softening" temperature rather than a melting temperature. That is because the final characteristics of the glass is highly dependent on the cooling down time/temperature profile. Those of us having been in the world of automated printed circuit assembly (PCA) solder oven operation are familiar with the criticality of time/temperature profiles, so the concept is not new. In the case of PCA's, profiling is necessary to accommodate the often widely varying thermal dimension changes over temperature to prevent fracturing. With glass, it is the final atomic alignment (or misalignment) that is dependent on the cooling process, akin to tempering of metal (although the metal is not heated to the point of liquidus flow). At the time of this article, Corning Glass Works claimed to have >100k unique formulas for glass using various mixes of elements...

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

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 - RF Cafe
RF Electronics Shapes, Stencils for Office, Visio by RF Cafe
Innovative Power Products Passive RF Products - RF Cafe
everythingRF RF & Microwave Parts Database - RF Cafe
Windfreak Technologies Frequency Synthesizers - 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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