Featured Product Archive
The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their
uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough
to warrant an appearance.
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Melanie with her cloth face masks featuring
electronics themed print pattern.
Front side of cloth face masks. Top pattern is RF schematic symbols.
Bottom pattern is vintage TV station test patterns.
As this is written, we in the U.S. are nearing the end (hopefully) of the virtual
house arrest period most of the country has had imposed upon us by overzealous politicians.
Part of the "comeback" plan being bandied about by governors is requiring subjects/citizens
to don cloth face masks when in public places where the arbitrarily conjured up
six-foot "social distancing" rule cannot be easily maintained. Think of the cloth
face mask as the equivalent of an ankle bracelet when venturing outside. There is
no foreseeable end to this "new normal" imposed upon most of the world. Contrary
to what many people believe, the mask's purpose is not to prevent the wearer from
inhaling COVID-19 (aka Wuhan Virus, China Virus, Kung Flu, CCP Virus - pick your favorite)
particles, but to arrest the body fluids emanating from the wearer's mouth and nose
from being spewed into the air and/or onto surfaces.
In response to the shortage of N95 type masks that are supposed to stop up to
95% of virus particles, many private citizens - mostly women - worked with health
care personnel to design cloth masks that are comfortable to wear for long periods
of time and are reusable by washing them (here is the
CDC webpage for washing cloth face masks). Tens - probably hundreds - of thousands
have been made in people's homes using materials and equipment purchased by those
private citizens. Most are donated free of charge to medical facilities, and others
are sold at a nominal price of $5 to $20.
Cloth Face Masks
Melanie, my wife, has been an amateur seamstress since childhood, having made
many of her own clothes, quilts, doll clothes, and other things. She found a popular
cloth face mask pattern on the Internet and made a couple dozen to send to members
of our family. Per guidelines, they are made from 100% cotton cloth, which is a
material on which viruses do not live for a long time and is easily cleaned for
reuse. They use cloth ties rather than an elastic strap since the elastic causes
abrasive irritation for some people. A few of Melanie's masks are pictured to the
3 yards of each print pattern.
Some of these cloth face masks will be given away to certain people associated
with RF Cafe in one way or another. If anyone else would like one of these custom
face masks, a limited quantity can be made available at a cost of $15 each, which
includes shipping via First Class Mail in the U.S. Which it might seem pricey, by
the time you subtract the material cost, PayPal fee, mailing costs, and income tax
on the "profit," it leaves about $7−8 each for the little over an hour it takes
to make one (when making 10 at a time - longer otherwise). That doesn't include
time to research and buy materials, put wear and tear on equipment, create this
webpage, process orders, etc. If you manufacture products, you are well aware of
the "hidden" costs of operation.
It is possible to buy similar masks without the electronics theme print pattern
elsewhere for less if you need a large quantity. eBay, etsy, and Amazon are examples
May 10 Update: When we went back to the source to buy more fabric, it was
completely sold out. Almost all of the fabric with any kind of science and
technology theme was gone, and the supplier has no plans to get more of it.
We decided to see if we could find some 100% cotton fabric with an electronics
theme printed on it to use for making some face masks. Two designs were located
on the Internet - one with a variety of RF circuit symbols and another with vintage
television station test patterns. We purchased three yards of each for starters,
and will get more if needed. Importantly, it is manufactured in South Korea - not
in the country where this preventable disaster originated.
The finished size of each cloth face mask is about 8" wide and 3½" tall
(7" tall stretched out). The muslin tie straps (color may vary a bit from that shown)
are 20-21" long measured from the corner of the mask so even big heads with big
brains can be accommodated ;-)
Front of the cloth face mask shows folded design that expands
to completely cover both the nose and mouth.
Pocket in cloth face mask can accommodate a filter insert.
Expanded face mask.
Back of cloth face masks.
Notes from the PDF instructions file downloadable on Facebook:
3-Layer FACEMASK with Filter Pocket and Tie Straps was created by Susan Moody
from Chester, VT on March 24, 2020 with much help from Sandy Stahl. Disclaimer:
This mask is not intended to replace an N95 mask. It is a stop-gap measure to help
medical professionals extend the life of the ONE mask most are currently being given
per shift. It is not intended to replace PPE nor to be as effective as proper medical-grade
equipment. It is not intended to meet normal CDC requirements. This pattern has
been designed to be as WASHABLE and sturdy as possible, to allow for frequent CLEANING
and SANITIZING. Space for a "filter" is accessible, to allow for removal and laundering.
This mask can be used with or without a filter.
Posted April 28, 2020