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- Welcome to the RF Cafe Website -

"At that time, space was empty..." - Dr. Heiner Klinkrad on space junk, relative to 1957 with Sputnik 1

Today in Science History

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

• 5G Powers Air Force "Smart Base of the Future"

• Germany Special Event Recognizes Anniversary of SDR Development

Telling Radio's Best Story the Best Possible Way

• Apple "Daisy" Robot  to Recycle of iPhones

• Sublimation, Not Melting: Graphene Surprises Researchers

• Consensus on Propagation Models for 6 GHz Band Spectrum Sharing

Connected Cars Moving Targets for Hackers

Toyota to Build "Smart City" at Base of Mt Fuji

Samsung to Unveil "Innovative Devices" on February 11

Service Technicians' All-American Award Winners

Service Technicians' All-American Award Winners, February 1958 Radio & TV News - RF CafeIf you had a father, brother, uncle, grandfather, husband, or neighbor who was an electronics service technician in the days of yore, he might have been mentioned in this 1958 issue of Radio & TV News magazine highlighting General Electric's Service Technicians' All-American Award Winners. Rather than rewarding the independent businessmen for their technical prowess, the company assigned awards based on community services performed, thereby reflecting positively on both GE and the electronics service business as a whole. Each winner received a $500 check, which in 2020 money is the equivalent to about $4,500 in today's economy. The closest thing we have to the radio and television serviceman today is maybe the guys who install broadband cable and satellite dishes. Their level technical knowledge is not required to be anywhere near as deep...

State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2020

The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2020 - RF CafeThe National Science Board (NSB) is required under the National Science Foundation (NSF) Act to prepare and transmit a Science and Engineering Indicators report to the President and Congress every even-numbered year. Prepared by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), it is "subject to extensive review by Board members, outside experts, interested federal agencies, and NCSES internal reviewers for accuracy, coverage, and balance." The most salient point is probably that China is "rapidly developing [its] science and technology (S&T) capacity. The changing global landscape affects the position of the U.S. relative to the other major global players. For example, the U.S. has seen its relative share of global S&T activity remain unchanged or shrink..." STEM testing in K-12 grades indicates students are merely in the mid range relative to students worldwide (but they know their PC gender pronouns). That helps explain this, "Foreign-born workers - ranging from long-term U.S. residents with strong roots in the U.S. to more recent immigrants - account for 30% of workers in S&E occupations." Comments?

Flintec Weight, Force, & Load Sensors

Flintec Weight, Force, & Load Sensors - RF CafeFlintec's Joe Williams wrote asking to have his company included on RF Cafe's Data Acquisition Systems & Data Loggers vendor page. Flintec, of Hudson, MA, is a manufacturer of precision weight measurement technologies designed for use across a diverse range of industrial sectors. Sensors, hardware, electronics and software fully compliant with international standards and verification requirements. A extensive line of load cells, weight, and force sensors, and the interfacing electronics and mounting fixtures are available to make planning and installation simple. Individual components as well as complete systems for industrial weighing scales and medical applications can be supplied. Contact Flintec today to learn how they can help your project.

Take to the Air with Dependable Avionics Testing

Axiom Test Equipment Blog – Take to the Air with Dependable Avionics Testing - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rentals and sales company headquartered in North County San Diego, has published a blog post entitled "Take to the Air with Dependable Avionics Testing," explaining how to source the right electronic load for your next project. "Avionics systems assist pilots in providing safe flights on commercial, industrial, and military aircraft. Failures in those systems usually leads to catastrophe, stressing the importance of proper testing of avionics systems and their components. As avionics systems become more automated and autonomous, they become more complex in their software and hardware. Suitable test equipment must keep pace with the functionality needed to 'exercise' avionic systems and subsystems under real-world conditions, so that designers can fully understand the behavior of those systems, installers and maintainers know their performance levels, and pilots...

Return of the Lithium-Metal Battery

Return of the Lithium-Metal Battery - RF Cafe"XNRGI nears commercialization of its porous silicon anode lithium-metal battery. Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere: You see them in gadgets, vehicles, robots, and power-grid storage. Worldwide production now stands at about 160 gigawatt-hours per year. The revolutionary technology earned three of its lead developers the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019. And yet the lithium-ion battery is far from perfect. It's still too pricey for applications requiring long-term storage, and it has a tendency to catch fire. Many forms of the battery rely on increasingly hard-to-procure materials, like cobalt and nickel. Among battery experts, the consensus is that someday something better will have to come along..."

Electro-Photonics Offering RF & Microwave Products

Electro-PhotonicsElectro-Photonics is a global supplier of RF & Microwave components. Their products include SMT hybrid and directional couplers, wire bondable passive components, mounting tabs, filters, transmission lines, and very useful test boards for evaluating components (spiral inductors, single-layer capacitors). The Electro-Photonics team can support your small R&D design requirements with RF & Microwave test fixtures and save you valuable design and characterization time. Please take a moment to visit Electro-Photonics' website and see how your project might benefit.

World's Most Accurate Radar

World's Most Accurate Radar, September 1958 Radio & TV News - RF CafeIf you do a Google search on the Talos Defense Unit at White Sands Proving Grounds, you have to look really hard to find any mention of Radio Corporation of America (RCA) having had any part of the program. Bendix Corporation built the Talos missile. According to the sparse documentation on the development of the AN/FPS−16 monopulse radar, it was the brainchild of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and built by RCA in Moorestown, NJ. This 1958 Radio & TV News magazine article claims the FPS−16 was developed with a lot of input from Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) of Johns Hopkins University, but the Wikipedia webpage makes no mention of it. The FPS−16 had the highest spatial resolution of its time at 0.15° and 4.5 meters. It operated at 5400-5900 MHz...

Calculation of Potentiometer Linearity and Power Dissipation

Calculation of Potentiometer Linearity and Power Dissipation, August 1967 Electronics World - RF CafeHere is yet another example of where the basics in electronics never changes. There are always new people entering into the realm, so even if the subject has been covered countless times already, there is always a need to print it again. Remember that at one time you were a newbie and appreciated seeing beginners' concepts explained. The old-timers of the day probably complained about being tired of seeing the simple stuff re-hashed over and over. Most standard potentiometers (pots) are linear in operation, that is, the resistance between the moveable wiper contact and the overall resistance between the two ends is directly proportional to the percentage of travel along the length of the resistive element (printed or wirewound). One of more popular specialty pots is the logarithmically tapered type that is used in audio circuits...

DoD Preps New Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy

DOD Preps New Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy - RF Cafe"The Defense Department is preparing for a new electromagnetic spectrum strategy to be released next summer. 'We are challenged in the electromagnetic spectrum,' Air Force Maj. Gen. Lance Landrum, the deputy director for the Secretary of Defense Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team, told reporters during a roundtable event Dec. 18 held by the Association of Old Crows in Alexandria, Va. 'Our dependence on the electromagnetic spectrum, the way our systems depend on it ... our competitors see that dependency, and so they see that dependency as a possible vulnerability.' The Defense Department Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team, which stood up in April, is leading the effort with the DOD's chief information office..."

Many Thanks to Res-Net Microwave for Continuing Support!

Res-Net Microwave Components - RF CafeRes-Net Microwave has a complete line of precision RF & microwave components including attenuators, terminations, resistors, and diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications. Products range from the small flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power attenuators and/or terminations at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo etch and laser trim capability. The company is a leader in development and production of the films required for these type of RF/microwave components. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current project.

In-House PCB Prototyping with Additive Manufacturing

In-House PCB Prototyping with Additive Manufacturing - RF CafeAdditive manufacturing is a popular term, referring usually to 3D printing of components. In the case of this "In-House PCB Prototyping with Additive Manufacturing" article appearing in NASA's Tech Briefs magazine, however, the focus is on using the relatively newly available "personal" machines for creating and even populating printed circuit boards (PCBs) for prototyping and even low volume production. A large number of low cost, fast turnaround PCB prototyping services are now available like San Francisco Circuits, Bittele Circuits, and others listed on the PCB Directory website. Additive manufacturing is essentially a slow reversal of many companies' dispensing of their in-house prototyping capabilities beginning in the 1980s. The philosophy was that consolidating those functions to 3rd-party vendors was the most economical method (and in many cases it is), against the better judgment of the engineers and technicians who lost the convenience of down-the-hall machine shops and PCB fabrication facilities.

MPDevice: RF & Microwave Circulators & Isolators

MPDevice - RF CafeMPDevice (MPD) has become a trustworthy and reliable company in the global RF market as a manufacturer of passive RF Devices. Included are attenuators and terminations, coaxial connectors, adapters, and cable assemblies, DC blocks, surge arrestors, power combiner / dividers, and directional couplers. The Korean Telecommunication market is now entering into the era of hyperconnected society. With continuous enhancement in R&D capabilities and quality control, MPD will continue in an effort to become the No. 1 technologically innovative company with a focus on the emerging 5G marketplace.

Cover Story: Modern Ham Shack

Cover Story: Modern Ham Shack, February 1958 Radio & TV News - RF CafeWorld Radio Laboratories (WRL) was a major manufacturer of amateur radio equipment in the middle of the last century. They were famous for high power transmitters like the Globe King models, which looked exactly like the big, black, rack-based units seen in older movies with Ham radio cameos. It took a couple chassis filled with big glowing vacuum tubes to pump out a kilowatt of power. Today's semiconductor-based transmitters do the job in a small fraction of the volume, with higher quality and higher reliability and with usually no periodic maintenance required. The savings in your electric bill is substantial. WRL provided a great service to the amateur radio community that constituted its customer base by encouraging anyone passing through Council Bluffs, Iowa...

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...

Atenlab R-Series CATR OTA Measurement Systems

Atenlab R-Series CATR OTA Measurement Systems - RF CafeAtenlab Corporation's R-Series of Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) Over-the-Air (OTA) Measurement Systems facilitate testing in the 1.7 to 110 GHz electromagnetic spectrum in the convenience of a self-contained anechoic enclosure. Type R2, designed for testing in the 18-110 GHz range, is the smallest, lightest, and very mobile type self-contained cabinet enclosure that easily fits in a typical laboratory or office-size room. MIMO, antenna near-field measurement, EMI, EMS, 3G, 4G, 5G, WiFi, and other modern wireless standards are easily tested. The R6 model is an agile design suitable for 6 GHz 100 GHz measurements. It is extremely flexible and adaptable for a wide range of applications...

Fahnestock Clip Advertisement

Fahnestock Clip Advertisement, August 1947 Radio News - RF CafeYou have probably seen Fahnestock clips, but did you know that's what they were called? Me neither, until I first saw the name of them on a page in a MicroMark catalog a while back. When I ran across this advertisement in a 1947 issue of Radio News magazine, it seemed like a good opportunity pass the revelation on. Model train enthusiasts must not use Fahnestock clips as much anymore for wiring their layouts since there are more modern quick-change type terminal connections available. MicroMark does not sell them anymore, but you can still get some from Newark Electronics and other online sellers. Maybe the ones sitting in my parts drawer will one day be worth big $$$ to collectors (just kidding).

TotalTemp Technologies: Thermal Platforms for −100°C to +200°C

TotalTemp Technologies - RF CafeTotalTemp Technologies has more than 40 years of combined experience providing thermal platforms. Thermal Platforms are available to provide temperatures between −100°C and +200°C for cryogenic cooling, recirculating circulating coolers, temperature chambers and temperature controllers, thermal range safety controllers, space simulation chambers, hybrid benchtop chambers, custom systems and platforms. Manual and automated configurations for laboratory and production environments. Please contact TotalTemp Technologies today to learn how they can help your project.

i-tech Specialty Inductors

Inductive Technologies - RF Cafei-tech (Inductive Technologies) manufactures many types of inductors and transformers used apart from our typical RF and microwave applications, but might be needed for ancillary functions that include motion control, sensing, power line conditioning, and beam steering. Toroidal and pot core inductors, flyback transformers, drum core power inductors, primary transformers, surface mount toroids and power inductors, common mode chokes, and current sense transformers. These are the components you see sprinkled around the semiconductor parts of the circuits inside printers, phones (real phones, not cellphones), garage door openers, HVAC systems, etc.

Mac's Service Shop: A Little Dog and SSB Tuning

Mac's Service Shop: A Little Dog and SSB Tuning, November 1958 Radio News - RF CafeDo you know what a "gimmick winding" (aka "gimmick capacitor) is? It's been a long time since I have seen or heard the term that describes a twisted pair of insulated wires used to create a very small value of capacitance (~1 pf/inch). They were often found in vintage radio and television sets for use in fine tuning a filter response, interstage coupling, impedance matching, etc. Some service shops and hobbyists would solder in ad hoc gimmick capacitors into circuits to optimize factory sets or maybe to compensate for fixed value components that had drifted in value over time. After achieving the proper value, a dab of wax or cement of some sort is added to keep everything in place. I doubt that gimmick capacitors are acceptable in a high reliability, critical application like spacecraft and military equipment...

Windfreak Technologies withwave microwave devices - RF Cafe
Exodus Advanced Communications - RF Cafe vidaRF Cables, Connectors & Adapters - RF Cafe
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 Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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