Last year there was story
in IEEE's Spectrum of an engineer who strapped a GPS unit onto his cat,
Kookoo, to record its movement while being gone for days at a
time. This Aiken Pet Social Interface is a compact collar that integrates GPS and
wireless connectivity. The makers claim that Fido's adventures can be tracked real-time
on his/her own Facebook page. A quick search did not turn up any actual examples.
Other companies such as
SpotLight sell equivalent devices for around $200US.
(P)MSNBC has an article showcasing other high-tech pet gizmos.
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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is new software that allows you to view your 2-port s-parameter (.s2p) files in
graphical format. Contents of multiple files can be displayed on the same charts
for comparison. Codemeister Orla Sørensen is offering the fruits of his labor for
free, and promises more features if user feedback is strong enough. S-parameter
de-embedding (an oft-requested capability) is in the verification process now.
If you have a sizeable ego that causes you to believe you have a message that needs
to be heard throughout eternity, then Objecs has a deal for you - an NFC headstone
tag! Granite headstones are durable, but there is only a limited amount of space
available for your cogitations to be inscribed. Future generations can simply place
their near-field communications devices next to the embedded tag and enrich their
lives with your brilliance. From a practical standpoint, this could be a method
for leaving a death bed confession (might not be admissible
evidence) or a final dressing down to someone you always want to tell off.
Many households have no
landline telephone - by choice. The ubiquity of cellphone service has negated the
need for such Alexander-Graham-era schemes. Dwellers of remote or mountainous realms
are still tied to copper, but 90+%
of the world's civilized population lives within the reach of a cell tower. Because
of obstacles and multipath, signal strength can vary significantly from room to
room, even enough to drop calls. What to do? Airvana's HubBub CDMA is a "personal" mobile access point, or
femtocell access point. When deployed in homes and offices, it allows subscribers
to use their existing CDMA handsets in-building with "significantly improved" coverage
and increased broadband wireless performance.
This is not your father's Swiss
Army Knife. (well, if you are one of my kids it might be).
Maker Victorinox has introduced
a model with a Secure Pro USB stick. It is equipped with both a fingerprint reader
and a thermal scanner so even your cold, disembodied fingertip won't fool it
(spies take note). Like an
MI assignment player, it will self-destruct if forced open. Available
in 8, 16, and 32 GB versions. The downside is that thanks to the people who brought
us the 9/11 attack, you cannot take it on an airplane with you because it includes
not only an LED mini white light, a retractable ball point pen, a pair of scissors,
a nail file, a screwdriver a key ring, but a small knife blade... oh the horrors!
Not everyone is a fan of everything with a name beginning with "i."
This presentation compares the notable features of an iPad with a rock. Undoubtedly
part of the originator's motivation is to poke at the millions of people who are
fans of everything with a name that begins with an "i," but it is clever. The
iPad has received a lot of
sycophantic press coverage in advanced of its oft delayed planned release on April
3, 2010. The iPad ($499) is a head-to-head challenge to Amazon.com's
Kindle ($260), which has enjoyed marginal success, and to a lesser
Nexus ($700). Here is a
Covert Tracker Antenna in the Industry." Mobile Mark's new patented GPS Multiband
Antenna is hidden away inside the vehicle license plate frame. The frame can house
multiple antennas, including those for GPS, WiFi, WiMAX, and Cellular channels (including
LTE). The GPS band claims 5 dBi for the antenna and a 26 dB LNA, while cell bands
claim 2.5 dBi (no LNA). The specs do not indicate whether those numbers represent
measurements in free space or while actually mounted to a metal bumper. I suspect
that the low position on a bumper, coupled with the vehicle metal, will tend to
make the operation highly directional.
a logo for your company can be a daunting
- and expensive - part of starting a business. Indeed, RF Cafe has been through
many iterations in its 11 years.
size, aspect ratio, images, font, wording, and more all all part of what will become
your company identity.
Inc. magazine just published a very useful article on websites
where you can have potentially thousands of freelance graphic artists do the job
for you based on a form you fill in. A "contest" format is used where you offer
a price and people submit designs. You pay when - and if - you see something you
like. I have narrowed the RF Cafe logo down to about 365 designs - one for each
day of the year.
ISEE has developed
a compact, low-cost, robust 24 GHz radar sensor (ISM Band included) for automotive,
industrial or home applications. Consisting of a planar antenna, a 24 GHz front-end
and an OMAP3530 processor unit for signal processing, it measures distances (25
m ±20 mm typical), velocity or properties of objects with
high accuracy. The system uses a linear FM CW signal.
X-Prize contestants were all begging for something like this a couple years
ago (I know because I received many
e-mails looking for such a product). Price is only 145€ ($200).
3-12-2010Here is unique idea for a clock face. We RF engineers have our Smith
Chart clock faces, but this Math Pop Quiz clock is made to order for math geeks.
Of course, engineers will appreciate it, so that's why it's listed now on RF Cafe.
I dare say a math theoretician probably would not have a clue about our
Smith Chart clocks.
Here are some other
Unless you are a Ham
radio operator, you might not be aware of the plethora high quality, low cost items
available from manufacturers that do not advertise in the professional trade magazines.
I am referring mainly to things like wall / window connector feed-through panels
as pictured above that can be used for home brew shielded test enclosures or to
interface to environmental chambers. Isolation transformers for eliminating ground
loops are another good example. Prices are scaled to be within reach of Joe Sixpack,
so your project manager will be happy. Ask a nearby Amateur Radio guy/gal for last
month's edition of QST.
I'm thinking maybe a line has
been crossed here. I like a good cup o'joe pick-up as much as anyone, and don't
mind waiting a while for the caffeine to kick in. For those occasions when time
is of the essence, there now is
Coffee LeWhif - a inhaler. In fact, LeWhif is not even coffee
- it is a concentrated 100 mg dose of caffeine (as much as a cup of espresso) with
either a chocolate or no flavor. As a bonus for the weight conscious, it has 0 calories.
More flavors are planned soon, as is an inhalable 3-course meal. I think the