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

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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- Welcome to the RF Cafe Website -
"By 2005, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been
no greater than the fax machine's." - Paul Krugman - Nobel Prize winner (what a maroon)

Today in Science History

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

• Glasgow University Building 6G Test Centre

• Qualcomm Beats Skyworks and Qorvo in RF Front End Sales

• USAF Spectrum Warfare Strategy Causing COnfusion

• 5G FWA Market Will Be 40% of Total FWA Market by 2026

• New Ultrahard Diamond Glass Synthesized

• Dayton 2022 Hamvention Expects to Be Live Event

• Quantum Time Flows in Both Directions

• AT&T and Verizon Lower 5G C-Band Power

• October SEMI Billings up 0.6% M-o-M d 43.8M 5G Customers in October

RF & Microwave Theme Crossword Puzzle for December 5th

RF & Microwave Theme Crossword Puzzle for December 5th, 2021 - RF CafeThis RF & Microwave themed crossword puzzle for December 5th contains only clues and words are directly to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other science subjects. 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!

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...

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! 

National Schools - Television & Radio Electronics Servicing

National Schools - Television & Radio Electronics Servicing, October 1945 Radio News - RF CafeMany of the technically-oriented magazines in the pre-post-war era were going all out with advertisements promising training for careers for servicemen in the post-war era. This one by National Schools in a 1945 issue of Radio News is a good example. By January of 1945, the attitude of people in America and Europe was that the end of World War II was imminent, and life would soon return to a peacetime normal state. There would be a lot of rebuilding to do in Europe that would drain tech companies of some desperately needed engineers, technicians, and assembly workers. In America, labor markets were flooded with workers hoping to exploit the skills learned and practiced while beating back the forces of Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Marxism, and other "isms." Institutions like National Schools offered opportunities...

Chip Hides Wireless Messages in Plain Sight

Chip Hides Wireless Messages in Plain Sight - RF Cafe"Emerging 5G wireless systems are designed to support high-bandwidth and low-latency networks connecting everything from autonomous robots to self-driving cars. But these large and complex communication networks could also pose new security concerns. Encryption methods now used to secure communications from eavesdroppers can be challenging to scale towards such high-speed and ultra-low latency systems for 5G and beyond. This is because the very nature of encryption requires exchange of information between sender and receiver to encrypt and decrypt a message. This exchange makes the link vulnerable to attacks; it also requires computing that increases latency..."

2021 Top 50 Electronics Distributors List

2021 Top 50 Electronics Distributors List - RF CafeSource Today website just posted their ranking list of the Top 50 Electronics Distributors for 2021. You will not be surprised to learn that the top four positions are occupied by Arrow Electronics, Avnet, Future Electronics, and Digi-Key, respectively. Mouser Electronics, shown on the page header graphic as a Platinum Sponsor, came in at 7th place, which at least shows the survey is not biased by sponsorship. Other distributors familiar to RF and microwave types are Newark (in 9th place -- now known as Farnell), RFMW (22nd place), and Richardson Electronics (25th place). No information is provided on the webpage regarding metrics used for the rankings, but there is a PDF file you can download if you fill in a form - which I did so that you don't need to. A lot of info is provided on distribution issues in the past year and since the beginning of the plandemic.

Calculus and Its Application in Radio

Calculus and Its Application in Radio, March 1933 Radio News - RF CafeIt has been a while since I saw the quotient rule for derivatives applied. Probably the last time was in a college text book, because I'm pretty sure I haven't had the occasion to use it since then - except maybe back in the days when I was writing my RF Workbench software and needed to derive closed form solutions for group delay in filters. This 1933 article from Radio News magazine presented the quotient rule as part of a discussion for finding the impedance of a load for maximum power transfer. Pure resistances were used in the example, but the method applies as well to complex impedances...

Picocom 5G NR Small Cell System-on-Chip for Open RAN

Picocom Intros Industry's 1st 5G NR Small Cell System-on-Chip Designed for Open RAN - RF CafePicocom, the 5G Open RAN baseband semiconductor and software specialist, today announced the introduction of its PC802 SoC (system on chip). The company's flexible, low power device empowers the innovation of a new breed of 5G NR open small cell products. The PC802 is the world's first 4G/5G device dedicated to developing small cells with integrated support for Open RAN (Radio Access Networks) standards. It supports disaggregated 5G small cell platforms, including indoor residential, enterprise and industrial networks, neutral host networks and outdoor networks. "I am honoured to announce the PC802, the culmination of three years' work and a milestone achievement for the company by the whole Picocom Team," said Peter Claydon, President of Picocom. "We will deliver product to our lead customers...

$5.00 for Best Short Wave Kink

$5.00 for Best Short Wave Kink, May 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeIf you need a cheap, quick lightning arrestor for your antenna or just about any type of wired system, this idea from Mr. Burgess Brownson looks like a good idea. He used an automotive spare plug. Voltage breakover points can be set by varying the spark gap distance. The old vacuum tube transmitters and receivers had a better of chance of surviving a lightning strike because the components were able to handle much more of a shock than our modern semiconductor sets with miniature, closely spaced components. Still, the spark plug setup is better than nothing, if for no other reason than to protect the shelter. it should suffice. This and many more "kinks" are offered in this 1935 issue of Short Wave Craft magazine...

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 16,000 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.

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.

Bell Telephone Laboratories - Miniaturization

Bell Telephone Laboratories - Miniaturization, November 1949 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen many people hear the name of Bell Telephone Company, the first thing they think of is the court-directed breakup of Bell System into what became known as "Baby Bells" after being sued for monopolistic policies. What is too often forgotten - or more likely never realized - is the immense role Bell played in the building of America into an industrial and technology giant. Vintage magazines like this 1949 issue of Radio-Electronics as well as many other types including The Saturday Evening Post, Popular Mechanics, Family Circle, and many other publications commonly found in homes, contained full-page advertisements by Bell Telephone Laboratories promoting their work and reminding subscribers of how their hard-earned money was being invested on improvements. Along with the Interstate Highway System, America's robust, dependable, and high quality personal communications...

Technical Aspects of Naval Communications

Technical Aspects of Naval Communications, December 1950 Radio & Television News - RF CafeThe December 1950 issue of Radio & Television News magazine ran a series of articles on Navy communications. This was a mere four years after the end of World War II and right at the beginning days of the Korean War. Communist and fascist regimes never give the world a moment's rest (some - not me - think just being nice to them will cause them to be nice in return). Discussed here are issues still relevant to modern outfitting of naval assets with new or updated communications equipment. Unlike land-based systems, naval environments impose increased requirements for ruggedness due to harsh vibration, impact, and corrosion issues. Weight added above the waterline needs to be offset with weight below the water line to preserve stability. Reliability and personnel training also need to be increased because being at sea means access to replacement parts, operators, and service technicians are harder to accommodate...

Counterfeited Goods 2.5% of Total World Trade

2.5% of Total World Trade Involves Counterfeited Goods - RF Cafe"The trade of fake goods continues as the COVID-19 pandemic, chip shortages and other events push more criminals to find new ways to take advantage of unknowing buyers. Trading fake goods is bad for any industry, but it's particularly dangerous in the industrial electronics sector, where counterfeit components pose threats like short circuits, electrical shocks, fires, explosions and equipment failures. 'Counterfeiters work hard to mimic not only the product packaging but the actual product as well. Distinguishing fakes from real parts becomes very hard for consumers..."

Anatech Electronics November Newsletter

Anatech Electronics November 2021 Newsletter - RF CafeSam Benzacar of Anatech Electronics, an RF and microwave filter company, has published his November 2021 newsletter that features his short op−ed entitled "C-band and Altimeters: Bad Company? ," where he notes that even though FCC concluded that the AVSI study "does not demonstrate that harmful interference would likely result under reasonable scenarios," there is enough concern in the non-standardized radar altimeter realm to raise a red flag. As Sam points out, there is a full 500 MHz separation between the C-band wireless band and radar altimeters. Sam also presents some relevant industry news items as well, including Amazon planning to launch Kuiper satellite prototypes, and the DoD funding research that combines 5G and optical sensors.

Color TV Today

Color TV Today, September 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen color televisions hit the stores in 1954, most households could not afford one. For that matter, most households could not afford a black and white TV, either. By 1959 when this article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, TV in general was still a novelty to most people. It is amusing to read about how much more lifelike everything would appear when broadcast in "living color." Well, duh. It's as if it never occurred to anyone that the images previously did not contain color like the real world did. I was born in 1958, and remember that my family's was last of all the households I knew of to own a color television set. We never even had a console floor model, just small tabletop pieces of junk. It was a big deal the day I, at about age 16, bought and installed a remote rotor for the rooftop antenna so we could receive more than three stations. There was no cable TV service in our neighborhood...

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...

ARRL QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, SK

Joel Hallas, W1ZR, Silent Key - RF CafeJoel Hallas, W1ZR, Silent Key - RF CafeThis is indeed unexpected and sad news. Joel Hallas, W1ZR, a long-time columnist for American Radio Relay League (ARRL) publications and an author of multiple books, has left this old world after 79 years. Since joining the ARRL in 2010 and receiving the monthly QST magazine, his "The Doctor Is In" column was always the first thing I read. Mr. Hallas was a master at using EZNEC (soon to be free) antenna simulation software and used it often to answers readers' questions. Decades of hands-on experience setting up, operating, troubleshooting, and teaching amateur radio subject made him an encyclopedia of knowledge. Joel's family surely knows how admired he was by the hundreds that knew him personally and the thousands of us who knew him through his works. RIP, Joel Hallas.

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