Today in Science History -
Heap many moons ago I was in the
electrical service business. Prior to enlisting in the USAF as an air traffic
control radar technician, I worked for electrical contractors wiring houses and
buildings. After a couple years of doing that, I started with a different company
where most of my tasks were doing troubleshooting and what is called "old work."
Old work is trade lingo for where you install circuits in preexisting residences
and buildings. In fact, if you go to Lowes or Home Depot and ask the attendant for
an old work box, he will direct you to the electrical boxes that are designed to
be inserted into a hole cut in a wall or ceiling to install a new receptacle, switch,
light fixtures, etc. ...but I digress. For the vast majority of service calls I
made, the customers were very friendly and glad to have me (or anyone able to help)
there fixing what was broken or making a good situation better. Occasionally, however,
the person would be a real pain in the donkey...
"A team led by Carnegie's Thomas Shiell
and Timothy Strobel developed a new method for synthesizing a
novel crystalline form of silicon with a hexagonal structure that could potentially
be used to create next-generation electronic and energy devices with enhanced properties
that exceed those of the 'normal' cubic form of silicon used today. Their work is
published in Physical Review Letters. Silicon plays an outsized role in human life.
It is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust. When mixed with other
elements, it is essential for many construction and infrastructure projects. And
in pure elemental form, it is crucial enough..."
Antenova Ltd, UK-based manufacturer of antennas
and RF antenna modules for M2M and the IoT, is announcing a new flexible embedded
antenna for the next generation of small monitoring devices on North America's 915 MHz
ISM and LoRaWAN networks. This antenna, named
Fera, part no SRFI068, is a flexible printed circuit (FPC) antenna measuring
33 x 13 x 0.15 mm. FPC antennas do not require a ground plane to function,
which is an advantage in small designs where space is tight, as no empty space is
needed around the antenna on the PCB. This antenna is an FPC which can be bent or
curled and inserted precisely into a design and fixed in place by a self-adhesive
patch. This makes the integration of the antenna simpler and is practical for low
to medium manufacturing volumes. Fera is available in two shapes - horizontal and
vertical orientation, so there are two options...
That John T. Frye was a great short
story writer is evidenced by his decades-long production of the "Carl & Jerry"
series in Popular Electronics, and "Mac's Radio Service Shop" series in Radio &
Television News and Electronics-World magazines. Mr. Frye also wrote many other
short tech-oriented stories. It is easy to look over the fact that he also had artistic
skills as well as evidenced by the pencil drawings that accompanied each installment.
In this episode, our two teenaged electronics hobbyists build a resistor anemometer
to measure wind speed from within their basement workshop. In the usually storyline
style, one boy gives a lesson in circuit design while the other (also you, the reader)
is the attentive student...
It 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!
Nova Microwave is a leader in technically
differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite
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
In 1962 when this Bell Telephone Laboratories
infomercial appeared in Electronics World magazine, scientists were in
the early stages of developing communications via light signals. Most lasers (light
amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) were still of the ruby type mentioned
here. In fact, it was only two years previous in 1960 that Theodore Maiman created
the world's first "optical
maser" using a ruby. The term "maser" ("microwave amplification by stimulated
emission of radiation") seems to be a bit of a misnomer, but under the proper conditions
it could operate in the visual or infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
"Could coherent light, for example, be sent through protecting pipes to provide
high-capacity communication channels between cities?," the copy asks. We now know
the answer to that question as optic fiber now spans the globe, literally. This
is one of the main reasons I like to post these items from vintage magazines: to
remind - or maybe to inform for the first time - people of who it was that developed
all the knowledge taken for granted by such a large fraction of the population...
Barry Manz, who is always on top the the latest
technology trends, has a new article on the Microwave Product Digest website entitled,
to 6G." In it, he retraces the roots of cellular service back to 1G, describes
the current state of 5G (GPP Release 17 ), and predicts how 6G will be different.
"6G proposes the use of unimaginably high frequencies in the sub-terahertz region,
for which the required technologies are currently in the very early stages of development
or simply do not exist. For that matter, many of the applications it is designed
to serve do not exist either in tangible form. So, it is easy to speculate what
all of these will be, but in general, the goal is to allow instantaneous communications
between people, devices, vehicles, and the surrounding environment. It will also
rely heavily on AI and machine learning to accommodate the needs of everything from
autonomous vehicles to high-definition holographic gaming..."
Anatech Electronics (AEI) manufactures and
supplies RF and microwave filters for military and commercial communication
systems, providing standard LP, HP, BP, BS, notch, diplexer, and custom RF filters,
and RF products. Standard RF filter and cable assembly products are published in
our website database for ease of procurement. Custom RF filters designs are used
when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements dictate a custom approach for
your military and commercial communications needs. Sam Benzacar's monthly newsletters
address contemporary wireless subjects. Please visit Anatech today to see how they
can help your project succeed.
SourceToday just published their
2021 Top 50 Electronics Distributors List. Arrow Electronics came in at #1,
with Avnet following at #2. Digi-Key Digi Key ranked #3, followed by Allied Electronics
and Mouser. Newark is #9. Advantage Electric Supply brought up the rear at #50.
Mouser, sponsor of the survey, came in at #7, which in this instance is probably
finishing at #1 lest they be accused of influencing the results. I could not find
ant information regarding how rankings were assigned.
This is one of the earliest examples I have
seen (and I've seen many) of an electronics article that was written in a conversational
tone rather than in the typical stoic, all-business, just-the-facts type prose.
In fact, you would be hard pressed to discern it from a contemporary article in
QST magazine. Author Davis describes his process of interfacing 52 Ω
coaxial cable to a multi-element beam antenna. The
gamma match has the advantage in such an application of being usable when the
center of a driven element is directly grounded to the antenna boom. Most other
types of feed systems require that the driven element be isolated from the boom.
BTW, SWR ratios are written here with slashes as the ratio component separator rather
than a colon; that is 2:1 is written as 2/1...
PCB Directory is the largest directory of
Board (PCB) Manufacturers, Assembly houses, and Design Services on the Internet.
We have listed the leading printed circuit board manufacturers around the world
and made them searchable by their capabilities - Number of laminates used, Board
thicknesses supported, Number of layers supported, Types of substrates (FR-4, Rogers,
flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing,
fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. Fast turn-around on quotations for
PCB fabrication and assembly.
RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000
website visits each weekday and about half that on weekends.
RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all
over the world. With more than 15,000 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.
Radio Theme Crossword Puzzle for June 13 has many words and clues related to
RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics,
and other technical subjects. Also, it contains at least five (5) instances of this
puzzle's theme word. 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., Reginald Denny or
the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst
us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!
According to the United Nations Office for
Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA),
11,444 objects have been launched into space from Sputnik up until the date
of this writing (June 11, 2021). That includes satellites, space exploration probes,
sounding rockets, manned missions, etc. With the advent of OneWeb, StarLink, and
other kilosatellite constellations being launched, the number will increase by thousands
more in the next few years. Most are in low earth orbit (LEO) with limited lifetimes
before particle drag eventually degrades their orbit to where they burn up in the
atmosphere. Those in high orbits - up to geostationary altitudes† - will physically
last well beyond their operational lifetimes. When Hugo Gernsback wrote this article
for Radio-Electronics magazine at the end of 1958, he says there were 34 satellites
HD−1481 Remote Coax Switch kit is one the latest unbuilt Heathkit kits
which appeared on eBay. I have been saving the images in order to preserve the history.
The constantly growing list is at the lower right. The first instance I could find
for HD−1481 being offered for sale was in the Fall 1984 Heathkit catalog, at a cost
of $89.95 ($230.61 in 2021 money per the BLS). A comparable remote coaxial switch
today is the Ameritron RCS-4 at $199.95, so the price has remained fairly constant.
Use a single feedline to select from up to four antennas. The Heathkit HD−1481 Remote
Coaxial Switch is a tower or mast-mounted RF coaxial switch that you can conveniently
control from inside your house. the Switch consists of a remote unit - outdoor switching
network - and an indoor control unit...
multibeam antenna passed its first tests, bringing it one step closer to filling
the U.S. Air Force's desire for ensured connectivity through multiple satellite
constellations. Working in collaboration with satellite operator SES Government
Systems, Isotropic Systems is assessing whether its new multibeam antenna can connect
to multiple satellites simultaneously, even if they are in vastly different orbits,
the developers explained in a June 3 announcement about the tests. The Air Force
doesn't want to rely on any single constellation in any single orbital range. As
laid out in the U.S. Space Force's Fighting SATCOM Vision, the military wants to
ensure that its systems can communicate..."
Skyworks is pleased to introduce the
SKY66122-11, an RF front-end module (FEM) for Wi-SUN and other proprietary technologies
operating in unlicensed bands. Designed to enable greater range extension, the SKY66122-11
provides more than two times the range of standalone SoCs, greater power delivery
to antenna and low power consumption for optimal battery operation. This new solution
is uniquely designed for IoT applications including end points and access points
for smart grid and smart metering, smart city, industrial IoT sensors, surveillance
and more. The SKY66122-11 is a high-performance, highly integrated RF front-end
module (FEM) designed for high-power ISM band, Wi-SUN, and other IOT applications
operating in the 863 to 928 MHz frequency range...
Long distance communications (DX) thrives
on ionized atmosphere. It causes boundary layers at various altitudes that function
as reflecting surfaces and thereby facilitate the "bouncing" of radio waves off
the sky so that they bend around the curvature of the Earth. Early sounding rocket
experiments verified that indeed
ionized layers of atmosphere did exist as suspected based on theories of aurora
activity during periods that correlated with observed solar flare activity. Intense
solar flare periods are associated with large numbers of sun spots, since coronal
mass ejections (CMEs) are produced which supply enormous amounts of electrons traveling
at high speed earthward. CME matter of course shoots in all directions, but only
those moving in the direction of the Earth matter to us. Amateur and professional,
as well as military and academic communications practitioners learned to exploit
not only the fairly regular diurnal ionization...