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 typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
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and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items
that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest
way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search
RF Cafe" box at the top of every page.
About RF Cafe.
Finally, it's Friday again - Friday afternoon even,
depending on where you live. What better way to wrap up a week than to get a good laugh at
comics from a few of my vintage Electronics World magazines? A huge list of other
pages with similar comics is at the bottom of the page. They would make good additions to
in-house presentations ...
Axiom Test Equipment June Specials
Axiom Test Equipment, a provider of efficient and cost
effective solutions customers' test equipment needs, offer the following special deals on
their inventory. Axiom offers our customers several practical, efficient and cost effective
solutions for their business or projects' test equipment needs. Whether you need to
rent & buy test
equipment, repair test equipment,
sell or trade equipment, we are committed to providing superior customer service and high
quality electronic test equipment ...
Army Electronic Warfare Technology Attacks
and Disables Tank
"Army trainers successfully used cyber weapons and
warfare (EW) technology to thwart a simulated tank assault at a training exercise conducted
at the Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. The exercise reinforced the need
for the EW and cyber protection technology that is under development by entities such as the
Army Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and U.S. Cyber Command. 'These tanks had to stop, dismount,
get out of their protection, reduce their ..."
1930 U.S. Census - Do You Own a Radio?
For Mother's Day this year, the kids and I got Melanie
a 23andMe DNA testing kit. She has spent a fair amount of time over the years researching
the family lineage which, in case you care, traces back primarily to Germany and Switzerland.
Along with some of the online ancestry websites, she searched the U.S. Census database for
immigration and early American household information (number of people, ages, names, occupations,
etc.) The entire
1930 Census form consisted of a single page seeking basic information on whether you own
or rent, value of the home, live on a farm or not, color or race ...
Starry Lobbies for Simple Sharing in Lower 37
CEO Chet Kanojia and others representing the company recently met with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
and his legal adviser Alison Nemeth to discuss Starry's proprietary 5G technology and its
deployment progress in Boston and other cities. Starry took the opportunity to reiterate its
support for preserving commercial-to-commercial sharing in the lower
37 GHz band as proposed in the FCC's Spectrum Frontiers Report & Order.
Starry investors Richard Sarnoff of KKR and Amish ..."
Who Will Be the First 5G City in Europe?
"Last September, the European Commission announced the
5G Action Plan. According to the plan, each member must specify at least
one major city where the commercial launch of 5G can be made by the end of 2020. Since then,
the European countries have been issuing their plans to promote 5G deployment. In November
2016, the Italian Government announced at the second 5GPPP Conference in Rome that 5G networks
would be first deployed in five cities in the northern, central, and southern regions of the
country. In March this year, the Italian Government ..."
5 nm Nanosheet Transistors Cut Power by
"Researchers at IBM have developed a practical way to
build transistors on a 5 nm process that provides a reduction in power consumption of
up to 75% or a performance boost of 40% for the same power. Instead of using FinFET structures,
engineers at the IBM-led Research Alliance at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Colleges of Nanoscale
Science and Engineering's NanoTech Complex in Albany, NY, used a 'gate-all-around' (GAA) built
with silicon nanosheets. For the last ten years IBM has been working on nanosheets
Heathkit DX-60B Amateur Radio Transmitter Restoration
Long-time RF Cafe visitor and occasional contributor
Gary Steinhour, KF6U, recently sent me a note saying he had acquired a very used
Heathkit DX-60B amateur radio transmitter and was in the process of restoring it. Gary's
first transmitter as a freshly minted Ham over 50 years ago was a DX-60, so this was an effort
to satisfy a nostalgic emotional attachment. The project is complete now, and boy does it
look nice! Gary provides a brief account here ...
RCA Institutes Ad
If you wanted a career as an
electronics technician at the end of WWII, the world was your oyster - so to speak. Electronics
and communications trade magazines and publications like Mechanix Illustrated and
Popular Science ran a plethora of ads monthly that offered unlimited opportunity
to men seeking a career servicing the burgeoning market of postwar technological marvels.
Even though the enclosures were not yet being marked with "No user serviceable parts inside,"
that fact was most people were not qualified - nor did they want - to monkey with the guts
of radios, televisions ...
Southwest Antennas, an industry leader in innovative
rugged RF / microwave antennas and accessory products, has released a newGPS passive L1 antenna with integrated coaxial RF gooseneck, adding to
their existing line of passive and active GPS antenna products for the military, law enforcement,
and commercial markets. The integrated gooseneck allows the GPS antenna to be utilized on
tactical radio systems where multiple antenna RF connectors and control knobs can located
in a small space, giving users the ability to position ...
314 Action Wants to Help Engineers Run for
I normally avoid political topics, but having a few
more technically savvy people in Congress might be a good idea. Who can forget genius Congressman
Hank Johnson saying to Admiral Willard regarding the presence of military equipment on the
island of Guam, "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that
it will tip over and capsize?" "We don't anticipate that," replied the admiral, barely
able to constrain ...
AMEBA Antenna for Underwater / Underground Communications
"As the Navy continues to develop unmanned underwater
vehicles (UUVs), the next question is how these underwater drones will communicate and collaborate.
One answer to this conundrum, proposed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is
Based Antenna (AMEBA), which will enter the early development stage this summer. 'One
of the things we want to look at is the ability of UUVs … to communicate and collaborate together.
How do we tie in multiple unmanned platforms to work with each other autonomously ..."
Before Silicon Valley, NJ Reigned as Nation's
Center of Innovation
"New Jersey has a history to brag about. Thomas Edison
invented the light bulb, the phonograph and the movie camera there. Many decades later, Bell
Labs invented the transistor in the state. Geography favored New Jersey. On one end, it borders
New York City, and on the other end is Philadelphia. That means easy access to Wall Street
financing, transportation and industry headquarters. It all started in the 18th century, when
Alexander Hamilton took one look at the plunging Passaic River waterfall in Paterson and his
eyes lit up with ..."
FCC/OSHA Release Communications Tower
Best Practices Guide
"The FCC and OSHA have announced the release of a free
Communications Tower Best Practices guide. While aimed more at those who
tend commercial communication towers, the guide offers guidance applicable to the Amateur
Radio community and contractors working on Amateur Radio antenna support structures. The FCC
said the guide was a result of two tower safety workshops. 'Recognizing the risks that tower
employees face, OSHA and the FCC held a workshop on communication tower employee safety on ..."
Cassette Tape Recorders - A New Breed
As with restorers of vintage radio equipment, there
are avid restorers of vintage computers, vintage televisions, vintage kitchen appliances,
and vintage tape recorders / players. In 1969 when this article appeared in Electronics
World, magnetic tape was a big deal. Reel-to-reel was the domain of true audio aficionados
- the most expensive type of equipment - while the rest of us settled for cassette and 8-track
tapes. Cassette tape people generally regarded 8-trackers as audio Neanderthals, Philistines,
bumpkins, non-sophisticates. I was - and still am ...
Notable Tech Quote: Walter Underwood, K6WRU
"There is a way
to tell who is used to working on transistor equipment from those used to working on tube
equipment. Before those used to working on tube equipment touch their equipment, they put
one hand in their pocket to avoid electrocution. Before those used to working on low-voltage
equipment begin to work, they put one hand on the chassis to avoid damage from electrostatic
discharge." - Walter Underwood,
K6WRU, as reported by Joel Hallas in his "The Doctor Is In" column in the May 2017 issue
of QST (p61)...
ConductRF Intros Flexible Alternatives to Semi-Rigid or Hand Formable
LSA cables provide
one of the most optimum and cost effective solutions for applications as diverse as alternatives
to semi-rigid cabling, where complex forming is required, to easy to install jumper cables
inside densely packaged RF enclosures where EMI is of concern. Using our low profile SMA and
type-N "Swept Cable" configurations, ConductRF can provide R/A assemblies with no VSWR performance
loss when compared ...
Inside the Quietest Place on Earth
"If LeSalle Munroe stands still for a few moments in
his 'office,' something unsettling can happen - he can hear the blood rushing around his body
and his eyes squelch as they move in his skull. While many people work in places filled with
the tip-tap of keyboards, the hubbub of chatter from colleagues and a constant hum of computers,
Munroe is surrounded by almost total silence. His office is the quietest place on the planet ..."
Europe Finally Approves WiFi on Shoestring Initiative
"The European Commission (hereafter known as the Gaggle
of Red-tapers) has announced an agreement with other regulatory bores to fund the
WiFi4EU initiative. The project itself will see the Gaggle combine forces
with the European Parliament and the Council to drive free public WiFi hotspots throughout
all of its member states. Forming part of Digital Single Market strategy, the play for public
WiFi will see €120 million made available for up to 8000 municipalities throughout the European
Union. It took ..."
Designing a Receiver for Cable TV... Bye-Bye to Interference
In the early 1970s when this story was written, the
television industry was just getting started with building out infrastructure for cable delivery
to homes. All signals were analog of course, and there was very little digitization of receiver
circuitry in TV sets; i.e., synthesized tuners. A large percentage of televisions used vacuum
tubes and relied on
twin lead transmission cable between a rooftop antenna and the back of the set. The plug-in
connection of vacuum tubes often caused problems due to high resistance contacts (or no contact)
between the tube pins and the sockets, and could also suffer from passive intermodulation
(PIM) signals ...
WHO Ambient Air Pollution Map
The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a map
air pollution levels present worldwide. "The mean annual concentration
of fine suspended particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameters is a common measure of air
pollution." Darker indicates higher levels of pollution. If a picture is worth 1,000 words,
this one speaks volumes. "India's Air Pollution Rivals China's as World's Deadliest" - NY Times...
Vaunix Intros Attenuators and Signal Generator in IMS2017 Booth #848
a leading developer of programmable wireless test devices, will be introducing their latest
attenuators and signal generator in the 5G/IoT Pavilion at booth #848 at IMS 2017 in Honolulu,
Hawaii, June 6th-8th. Capable of bidirectional fixed attenuation, swept attenuation ramps,
and fading profiles, the Vaunix LDA-602Q 4 port programmable attenuator provides up to 120 dB
of control range with a 0.1 dB step size from 200 MHz to 6 GHz. Each of 4 RF
ports of this device has a 50 ohm impedance with VSWR less than ...
D-Day Article in Air & Space Smithsonian Magazine
"Even more difficult to explain is the moment I placed
my hands on the grave of my Silent Hero and felt as if our times, his and mine, were not so
far apart" - Erin Stender in "Mac and Me,"
June/July 2017 Air & Space magazine. That line stood out to me when reading the
short story written by a high school girl who visited the
Normandy Memorial Cemetery as part of voluntary assignment. It is nice
to see a young person display a positive emotional response to the memory of our brave servicemen
-- Army Air Forces Captain Malcolm A. Smith in this case. "Mac" gave, in President Lincoln's
words, "the last full measure of devotion," on D-Day, June 6, 1944 ...
Budget Proposal Puts NASA Satellite Servicing
Mission in Doubt
"NASA plans to shelve a robotic demonstration mission
to refuel an aging Landsat Earth-imaging observatory and join forces with the private sector
and a U.S. military research and development agency in a public-private partnership to commercialize
satellite servicing technologies, according to language in the White House's
budget request released Tuesday. A blueprint of the White House proposed budget in March indicated
the Restore-L satellite refueling mission would be 'restructured,' calling the effort ..."
New Method of Characterizing Graphene
"New method of characterizing graphene - ScienceDaily
Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene's properties without applying
disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum
capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss
Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel's Department of Physics reported their findings
in the journal Physical Review Applied. Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms ..."
IEEE '69 International Convention & Exhibition Advertisement
This being the beginning of the IEEE's Microwave Theory
and Techniques Society's (MTT-S) International Microwave Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii, it
is the perfect time to post this advertisement from the January 1969 issue of Electronics
World. Per the MTT.org website, the very first IMS show was held in 1995, in Orlando, Florida.
1969 IEEE International Convention & Exhibition, which was not specifically a microwave
electronics theme, was held in the New York Coliseum, located in New York City ...
Free Engineering Magazines & Whitepapers
Whitepapers, pamphlets, books,
and chapter examples listed here are a small sample of a lot of new items that are offered
for FREE through TradePub. The publishers make them available to qualifying
people as a promotional campaign for their full line of offerings. Whitepaper topics include
careers, manufacturing, and engineering, while magazine titles include Microwaves & RF,
Military & Aerospace Electronics, and Microwave Product Digest. Note: I earn a few pennies
89th ARFTG Microwave Measurement Symposium
ARFTG (Automatic Radio Frequency Technologies Group)
is a technical organization interested in all aspects of RF and Microwave test and measurement.
It is conducting the 89th ARFTG Microwave Measurement
Symposium on Friday, June 9th, 2017, at the Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii, which is
during the IMS 2017 show. Chairs will be Jon Martens of Anritsu, Dave Blackham of Keysight
Technologies, Jeff Jargon of NIST, and Ron Ginley of NIST ...
everythingRF Reporting on IMS2017
everythingRF will again this year be providing
up-to-the-minute coverage of the IMS2017 show in Honolulu ...
The Most Complex 2D Microchip Yet
hope that two-dimensional materials such as graphene or
molybdenum disulfide will allow Moore's Law to continue apace once it
becomes impossible to make further progress using silicon. A 3-atom-thick microchip developed
by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (VUT) may be the first example of 2D
materials following the seemingly inexorable growth in the number of transistors in integrated
circuits that Gordon Moore observed decades ago. Previously, the number of transistors on
ICs made from 2D materials ..."
RF Systems Analysis Crossword Puzzle for June 4
This week's crossword puzzle has an
RF system analysis
theme with words are terms you will find in cascade calculators such as RF Cascade Workbook.
Avid cruciverbalists amongst us appreciate that each week I create a new crossword puzzle
that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical
words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical
endeavor (e.g., Hedy Lamarr). Enjoy ...
Please Visit Triad RF System to Thank Them for Their Support
Triad RF Systems designs and manufactures
RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad RF
Systems comprises three partners (hence 'Triad') with over 40
years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture,
market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. "We view Triad more
as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line."
Please check to see how we can help your project ...
Saelig Company has announced the availability of the
Teledyne LeCroy WaveSurfer 510 oscilloscope, which combines advanced 1 GHz 10 GSa/s
specifications including MAUI with OneTouch user interface, powerful waveform processing,
as well as advanced math, measurement, and debug features, to create an engineering tool that
can help quickly analyze and find the root cause of circuit problems. The 12.1" touch-screen
display of the WaveSurfer 510 is the largest in its class and makes viewing intricate waveforms
fast and easy. The WaveSurfer 510 Oscilloscope ...
Nanogenerators Could Charge Your Smartphone
"Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology
have been exploring the applications and commercial potential for
triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) since 2012. These so-called TENGs
essentially harvest static electricity from friction. Now a team of researchers at Ulsan National
Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea have overcome one of the hurdles
preventing the technology from gaining wider adoption: low power output. To do this,
they have developed a new polymer that serves as a dielectric material ..."
Electronics-Themed Comics from Radio & Television News
Once again I provide here for your Friday, winding down
the week amusement, three
electronics-themed comics from vintage Radio & Television News magazines. I'm not
sure what the horse racing comic is meant to depict, other than maybe 'now' you can watch
your pick lose the horse race on the TV rather than needing to actually be at the track. Enjoy ...
Lotus Communication Systems Added to
RF Cafe Vendor Pages
Systems, located in Weston, Massachusetts, offers a line of RF modular system components
up to 20 GHz including amplifiers, filters, attenuators, limiters, oscillators, bias-Ts. Also
COTS shielded enclosures w/SMA connectors for RF / electronics prototyping. Customization
to your specification from prototype to production ...
Triad RF Systems Intros 3000-3600 MHz Broadcast Power Amplifier
The new TA1205 is a GaN amplifier that operates at 3000-3600 MHz and offers
an output power of up to 10 watts. It boasts a small form factor and light weight, while
keeping a high power output which makes it ideal for ENG Broadcast applications where distance
and mobility is key. This class A, GaN module is designed for both military and commercial
applications. It is capable of supporting any signal type and modulation format, including
but not limited to 3-4G telecom, WLAN, OFDM, DVB ...
South Korea to Launch 1st Commercial 5G Network
"The government said that 5G subscribers will probably
account for 5% of total base by 2020 South Korea aims to complete the deployment of a
commercial 5G mobile network in the second half of 2019, Heo Won-seok,
director of ICT and Broadcasting Technology Policy at South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT
and Future Planning, said during a keynote presentation at the Global 5G Event, taking place
this week in Tokyo, Japan. The official said that the Korean government estimates that 5G
technology will have a penetration rate of nearly 5% ..."
MWJ Offers 5G mmWave Communications Course and eBook
Microwave Journal is now providing Professor Ted Rappaport's 2-day online
course, slides and eBook. Previously recorded by IEEE Com Soc, the course covers the fundamental
communications, circuits, antennas and propagation issues surrounding emerging 60 GHz
wireless LAN and mmWave cellular / backhaul applications. The course was developed and delivered
by Professor Theodore (Ted) Rappaport, a pioneering researcher and educator in mmWave wireless
communications, wireless systems and radio propagation ...
The Radio Month in Review, May 1936 Radio-Craft
In 1936, the FCC was busy regulating radio broadcasting
transcription programs (pre-recorded segments), deciding that listeners deserved to be
warned at least every 15 minutes that they were not listening to a live announcer. A note
on the death of ARRL founder Hiram Percy Maxim was reported to have succumbed to a throat
infection, which (my conjecture) might have proven non-fatal had penicillin been in use in
the day. Miniature 'pocket-sized' radio transmitters and receivers were introduced for those
who wore ...
Diamond Sensors Boost NMR Resolution
"A new way of boosting the resolution of
quantum magnetic sensors has been developed independently by three teams
of physicists. The technique has already been used to achieve a huge improvement in nuclear
magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Quantum sensing is used to measure frequencies in multiple
areas of physics, but for a quantum sensor to measure anything, it must interact with its
environment. This degrades its quantum properties very quickly - and this limits the measurement
accuracy. Now, however, three ..."
Lightning Protection Systems
If you have ever seen the result of a lightning strike
on electronic equipment, then you know how devastating it can be - often total destruction
that includes molten metal. Woe be unto any human operator who happens to be in contact with
it at the time of the strike. Unprotected antennas are begging for contact. Shortly after
leaving a company where I worked on a Tx/Rx system for a phased array weather radar I got
word that the indoor equipment rack took a major hit because the guy who maintained the site
forgot to reconnect a
lightning rod system cable after moving it during ...
ConductRF Low-PIM Cable Assemblies - DC to 110 GHz - RF Cafe
ConductRF offers Straight & R/A
low PIM connectors
for 7/16, N, SMA, QMA, 4.1/9.5 and 4.3/10 interfaces. PIM levels vary depending on cable and
configuration. We also offer Adapters. Download our datasheets by clicking the pictures above
for more detail of call us at +1 978 374 6840 ...
Method to Control Light Propagation in Waveguides
"A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by
Applied Physics Assistant Professor Nanfang Yu, has invented a method to control
light propagating in confined pathways, or waveguides, with high efficiency
by using nano-antennas. To demonstrate this technique, they built photonic integrated devices
that not only had record-small footprints but were also able to maintain optimal performance
over an unprecedented broad wavelength range. Photonic integrated circuits (ICs) are based ..."
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