Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors Engineer Jobs LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations RF Engineering Quizzes Notable Quotes Calculators Education Engineering Magazine Articles Engineering software RF Cafe Archives RF Cascade Workbook 2018 RF Symbols for Visio - Word Advertising Magazine Sponsor RF Cafe RF Electronics Symbols for Visio RF Electronics Symbols for Office Word RF Electronics Stencils for Visio Sponsor Links Saturday Evening Post NEETS EW Radar Handbook Microwave Museum About RF Cafe Aegis Power Systems Anritsu Alliance Test Equipment Amplifier Solutions Anatech Electronics Axiom Test Equipment Berkeley Nucleonics Centric RF Conduct RF Copper Mountain Technologies Empower RF everything RF Exodus Advanced Communications Innovative Power Products ISOTEC KR Filters PCB Directory Rigol San Francisco Circuits Reactel RF Connector Technology TotalTemp Technologies Triad RF Systems Windfreak Technologies Withwave LadyBug Technologies Wireless Telecom Group Sponsorship Rates RF Cafe Software Resources Vintage Magazines RF Cafe Software RF Cafe Sponsor Links Temwell Werbel Microwave Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!
Exodus Advanced Communications Best in Class RF Amplifier SSPAs - RF Cafe

Way-Cool-Looking Microwave Components

While perusing engineering and science magazines and websites, I often run across photos of some really cool-looking RF devices that make me wish I had a use for them, or at least had examples to put on display as conversation pieces. Usually the components look the way they do purely due to functional necessity, but sometimes I think the designers intentionally add a little bit of 'wow' factor to them. Waveguide components tend to dominate. Here are few examples of what I mean. The National Electronics Museum, which often lends some of its items to the MTT-S (IEEE's Microwave Theory and Techniques Society, aka IMS - International Microwave Symposium) show, has a great collection of particularly nifty specimens.


Antenna Assembly (SAGE Millimeter) - RF CafeVariable Attenuator ( Millimeter Wave Products) - RF CafeSage Millimeter has this Space Qualified 26.8 GHz Integrated Transmitter Module (left) in one of their current magazine advertisements. It is designed and manufactured for small satellite applications. The horn antenna built onto the amplifier assembly definitely looks spiffy. I want one for my curio cabinet of cool stuff.

I also saw some nifty adjustable attenuators, including this one (right) with legs from Millimeter Wave Products. It is an instrument grade precision attenuator. The gold-plated waveguide 'ears' are the pièce de résistance.


Direct-Reading Frequency Meter (Keysight Tchnologies) - RF CafeDirect-Readin Frequency Meter (Flann Microwave) - RF CafeWho wouldn't like to own one of these Direct Reading Frequency Meters (right) made by Flann Microwave? It uses a resonant cavity to somehow cause the rotating cylinder to indicate the applied frequency to within 0.12% accuracy. Keysight Technologies, formerly Agilent Technologies, formerly Hewlett-Packard, also makes a coaxial frequency meter (left). According to the application note from Keysight, "At resonance, power is absorbed by the cavity, producing a dip in the coaxial line power." The details must be a closely held secret in the industry because all of the attempts I made to access technical papers require payment in cash or by registering with your e-mail and personal info.


Tracking Feed & Coupler (General Dynamics) - RF CafeI swear something like this from General Dynamics SATCOM's Tracking Feeds & Couplers product line appeared as a spaceship in an episode of Star Wars, or maybe it was Star Trek. It evidently is used in radar tracking systems. Midnight blue paint would add an extra touch of glamor to it, and would go well with a Flann frequency meter..


Orthomode Coupler (AFC Microwave) - RF CafeAFC Microwave Components' Orthomode Coupler may well be a copyright infringement on Dr. Seuss's Jing Tingler or maybe the Gar Ginker that appeared in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My daughter, Sally, who has a natural penchant for painting things in Seuss-like color schemes, would do a nice job of enhancing its polished steel exterior.


Photoinjector (UCLA Particle Beam Physics Laboratory) - RF CafeThese two versions of UCLA Particle Beam Physics Laboratory's "ORION version of the 1.6 cell RF photocathode gun and related vacuum and waveguide components and ports" need to be displayed side-by-side in my display case in order to profoundly demonstrate the correlation between software models and physical models. A coat of clear lacquer would assure a lasting sheen.




Waveguide Circulator, Nikoha - RF CafeMega Industries Coaxial Switch - RF CafeThere is something innately awesome about the contraptions built for waveguide - especially high power and high frequency components. Nikoha, of Japan, has an entire catalog full such devices, including this high power waveguide circulator (left).

This coaxial RF switch (right) by Mega Industries designed for use in the Fusion Energy Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's 6 megawatt US ITER nuclear fusion system (Iter = "The Way" in Latin).


I could spend hours looking for the things I've seen, but this took long enough. Please send me your suggestions for additions to the page.



Posted February 19, 2015

Innovative Power Products Resistors Terminations
Werbel Microwave (RF power couplers, dividers)
Axiom Test Equipment - RF Cafe
ConductRF Phased Matched RF Cables - RF Cafe
Innovative Power Products Passive RF Products - RF Cafe

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

These Are Available for Free


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 tying 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.

My Hobby Website: