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.
| 1 |
is a real "thinking outside the box," or in this case, thinking inside the tower, proposal
that addresses many concerns about wind power generation. The "Wind-It" generator would
be constructed within the confines of high voltage transmission towers, thereby eliminating
the need for additional real estate, unsightly massive wind farms (I think they look
cool), reducing bird strikes, distributing generation points to reduce vulnerability,
and simplifying maintenance among other things.
is a carpet made of looms from conductive thread. By standing on it, your body acts as
an antenna. The carpet picks up the radio waves, which your body receives and makes them
hearable. When walking on the carpet you can tune it to a certain frequency, like the
tuner of a radio. It is made of loops from conductive thread. I hope those incredibly
red feet on the model are not from RF burns!
Technology has a line of products called "Lab Bricks" that, as the name implies, are
reminiscent of red building bricks. Programmable signal generators (50 MHz to 6 GHz @
+10 dBm) and digital attenuators (100 kHz to 6 GHz, up to 63 dB) are available, and they
all have a standard USB interface. USB lab instruments have become very popular as low-cost
options. Interface software is included. MPD did a nice write-up
Other than maybe checking e-mail or surfing the Web, a standard size screen
is simply not convenient these days. Working with a spreadsheet or simulation program
is always much easier if you have a second screen for displaying utility stuff rather
than having it hidden behind the main program display. With a desktop setup it's easy,
but not on the go with a notebook... until now.
gScreen hopes to have
this on sale by Christmas.
James Dyson refers to his breakthrough Air Multiplier™ cooling device as a bladeless
fan... but that is not completely accurate. It does have blades, but they are contained
within the base. The breakthrough feature is that the primary "fan" has no moving parts.
A proprietary 15x "air multiplier" effect is created by the computer optimized venturi
shape and air feed holes in the ring. The resulting airflow is smooth rather than turbulent.
TEMs are very handy devices for making
RF measurements. A minor inconvenience is the enclosed, sealed chamber where the DUT
sits for testing - necessary both to shield from ambient signals and to focus DUT signals
on the detector. APELC produces what I have dubbed a "phantom" TEM-type enclosure constructed
of a portable, open tubular structure. Although intended for RS-105 (EMI/RFI/EMP) testing
per MIL-STD 461E/F, it should be adaptable to other uses.
MATLAB is very popular
software used by engineers of all sorts. MATLAB is also expensive. This open source equivalent
is called FreeMat, and is
available for download at no charge. Just as Open Office has given Microsoft Office a
run for its money (literally), FreeMat and other open source software is driving a lot
of companies crazy, especially since most programs can import and export files with complete
compatibility for the features a majority of people use.
A lot of people write to ask where to find a good point-to-point transmission
path calculator. I usually provide the URL to my
calculators page, which
has a couple. The P2P Estimator,
by AlphiMAX, is one of the best examples of a FREE calculator I have seen. The screen
shot thumbnail is from RF Cafe to a spot in Lake Erie, about 2 miles away. Note the GPS
database indicates the elevation transition to Lake Erie (571' ASL) profile correctly.
Pros and hobbyists will love this.
sitting at a lab bench with a circuit prototype, swapping out fly speck sized resistors,
capacitors, and inductors, it is easy to lose track of which value is which. Let a test
cable or your arm inadvertently swipe across your neatly arrange lineup of parts and
all hope is lost. Unless you have an expensive LCR meter, you might as well throw them
away. Not anymore. Now, for a tad more than $300, you can get a pair of
Smart Tweezers that not only measures each speck,
but can be used to place the part on the PCB. Sweet.
Start your Christmas shopping early this year with
the perfect gift for that person who has everything… a $3.2 million solid gold iPhone.
More than 200 flawless diamonds adorn the case, and the navigation button sports a 7.1
carat diamond. With the price of gold rising on a daily basis (almost at $1200/oz. now),
you had better hurry.
probably looked at this picture and said to yourself, "Self, that must be a speaker."
No? Well, it is. This new invention called fleXpeaker is basically a sandwich of paper
and metal filled with an electroactive polymer that contracts and expands with an audio
signal's electric field. "Product customization can be done in diverse fields, such as
art for public facilities, interior design, costume accessories, and others." Production
could begin by 2010 which, amazingly, is almost here.
has resulted in millions of applets being written by aficionados of the device for just
about every imaginable subject. Now, thanks to folks at
you can use
iWafer to calculate die size, utilization, I/O placement, die count per wafer,
manufacturing yield, and typical die cost. $9.99 will get you a copy from the iPhone
Store. Other apps like
and iAttenuate and from
Black Cat Systems
are available for a couple bucks.