1970 just doesn't seem all that long ago, but holy
moly that is going on half a century! This quiz appeared in Popular Electronics
to test the hobbyist's knowledge of the
whereabouts of some of the major components and products companies. Many of the businesses
have gone defunct, been bought and absorbed by other companies, or if they do still exist,
are in new locations. It will take a real old-timer to score well on this quiz without
resorting to lucky guesses. Still, there are a couple stalwart manufacturers today that
even a newcomer can get right. Most of the Popular Electronics quizzes were
created by Robert P. Balin, but this one was dreamed up by Thomas Haskett ...
Over the past years, commercial micro and
mini UAVs, known as 'drones', have become an almost common sight. With the technology
becoming ever more affordable, a greater number of people uses these UAVs for different
purposes – especially in amateur photography, drones have come to deliver spectacular
results. Yet, with the emergence of this trend, potential dangers have surfaced as well.
Government facilities, airports, power plants – these are just a few examples of critical
infrastructure that relies heavily on secured airspace. In the past, UAVs have repeatedly
penetrated no-fly zones without authorization. Furthermore, drones are becoming more
and more capable of transporting potentially harmful payload ...
2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968
and based at least in part on Arthur C. Clarke's 1948 novel The Sentinel, was
more than just a science fiction movie. It was a reflection on the public's
and even some of the scientific community's trepidation over the potential power of run-amok
computers to be used for or even themselves commit evil (e.g, HAL 9000). Fear of
the unknown is nothing new. Noted
mathematicians and computer scientists quoted in this 1950 article from The Saturday
Evening Post worry about robots (aka computers) "going insane" or being used by
the likes of Hitler and Stalin to dominate the world with totalitarian rule. Others,
however, have a more optimistic outlook: "The men who build the robots do not share these
terrors. Far from destroying jobs, they testify, they will create new ones by the hundreds
of thousands ...
Alliance Test sells
used / refurbished test equipment,
we offer short- and long-term rentals. They also offer repair, maintenance and calibration.
Prices discounted up to 80% off list price. Agilent/HP, Tektronix, Anritsu, Fluke, R&S
and other major brands. A global organization with ability to source hard to find equipment
through our network of suppliers. Please visit Allied Test Equipment today to see how
they can help your project ...
Thanks to RF Cafe visitor WB for letting me know
that the equation for calculating the S21 parameter from
ABCD parameters was mislabeled
as S12. The fraction was correct, but the subscript was wrong. I apologize
for the error, and it has been corrected. The page it is on also contains an extensive
list of conversions back and forth between s-, h-, T-, Y-, Z-, and ABCD parameters ...
serves critical aerospace and defense missions by designing and manufacturing
RF, microwave, and mm-wave amplifiers, integrated
assemblies operating from low frequencies up to 100 GHz, and by providing high reliable
satellite communications. The company was founded in 2002 to become a worldwide reference
of advanced engineering, performance, reliability and ruggedness. Their catalogue of
standard amplifier modules comprises more than 100 different models, having also a high
capacity of customization for amplifiers and integrated assemblies. Some of products
have space heritage and are used in aerospace, commercial, military and scientific systems,
having a wide range of final applications ...
"According to Euroconsult's latest report,
China Space Industry 2018, the China space value chain had an estimated
size of more than $16B in 2017, with the downstream market accounting for just over 85%.
Satellite Navigation, one of the key satellite applications in China, was the main revenue
generator in 2017, ahead of Satellite Communications and Earth Observation. This premier
edition of the report provides a deep-dive analysis of the current Chinese space ecosystem
and future expected evolutions, from upstream to downstream, and covers each of the key
satellite applications in China: Satellite Manufacturing, Launch, Satellite Communications ..."
University of Southampton, England, professor
James Holbrook suggests in this 1968 Radio-Electronics magazine article an "easy-to-follow
substitute for the left- and right-hand rules," but I'm not so sure that the good professor's
Orbit Method" is any better or easier to remember. Admittedly, it is hard to remember
whether the use a left-hand rule or a right-hand rule for the various physical laws -
motor rotation direction, current induction, torque, vector cross products, etc. Those
involving current flow are made even more confounding because you need to know whether
the creator of the rule refers to conventional current flow (positive-to-negative) of
electron current flow (negative-to-positive). Note in Figure 110 from the Electricity
volume of Basic Navy Training Courses how the generator rule is described as a left-hand
rule with conventional current flow ...
Just when you thought sea-based wind farms couldn't
ugly-up the open waters any worse than they already do - enter
floating wind turbines on bright yellow floats. Imagine a horizon
filled with hundreds of these atrocities! "Developed by Portuguese firm Principle Power,
the WindFloat technology was installed by Bourbon Subsea, with Dutch company Vryhof providing
mooring solutions. Its semi-submersible platform allows a mooring system to be pre-installed
at sea while the turbine itself is readied at a nearby port. 'The WindFloat technology
is designed to be fully assembled at the quayside,' said Christian Cermelli, principal
naval architect at Principal Power. 'Then you go offshore, where you have pre-installed
a mooring system, so the lines are waiting for you ..."
Whitepapers, pamphlets, books, magazines, 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
Microwave Engineering Europe,
Electronic Design, and
Microwave Product Digest. Note: I earn a few pennies (literally) when
you download one of these or the many other pubs available, so please help yourself ...
Here is the very first episode of the "Carl &
Jerry" series that ran for many years in Popular Electronics magazine. In
the manner of The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, et al, Carl and Jerry are two teenage boys
who, in their pursuit of their electronics hobby, manage to get themselves involved in
crime scene investigations, in odd situations with friends and adults, and even while
horsing around in their basement laboratory. Every episode is an entertaining combination
of mystery, teamwork, drama, and technical discussion. Amateur radio was a key feature
of many of their adventures. John T. Frye authored every adventure as he developed his
sleuthing buddies over time to go from a frumpy Jerry Bishop with a "well-padded frame"
and a Farside-esque bespectacled Carl Anderson to a couple more stealthy, professional
looking investigators who sometimes employed MacGyver-like tactics during their antics ...
Copper Mountain Technologies and Compass Technology
Group are pleased to announce their new
Epsilometer solution for measuring the dielectric properties of materials. This solution
measures dielectric substrate materials at frequencies from 3 MHz up to 6 GHz
and can accommodate sheet specimens 0.3 to 3 mm thick. Dr. John Schultz of Compass
Technology commented, "Unlike previous dielectric analysis technologies, this new method
uses computational electromagnetic modeling to invert the dielectric permittivity and
loss. This represents a significant advance over conventional methods, which use analytical
approximations and are limited to frequencies below 1 GHz." With the launch of Epsilometer,
Copper Mountain Technologies delivers another solution that combines its metrology-grade ...
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. PA, LNA, bi-directional,
and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including tower mount,
benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology partner
than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please check to see
how they can help your project ...
"T-Mobile US has for some time pinned its nationwide
5G ambitions to its massive stash of
600 MHz spectrum. As the carrier works to repack that spectrum, Chief
Technology Officer Neville Ray took to Twitter this week to tout the success of a recent
low-band 5G transmission. According to Ray, 'The team just took another major step towards
nationwide 5G by broadcasting the world’s first low band 600 MHz 5G signal on the live
network, reaching hundreds of square miles. Proving again that low band is crucial for
a nationwide 5G solution.' The test took place in Spokane, Washington, and used Nokia
equipment. According to a T-Mo spokesman, 'The purpose of this test was to establish
a successful 5G signal ..."
It is hard to imagine anyone who has not heard
Dolby noise reduction process, even if he/she has no idea what it is. Dr. Ray
Dolby developed his process in 1965, although it was not patented until 1969 - the year
this article appeared in Radio-Electronics magazine. At the time, "Dolbyized"
audio systems were not available in the consumer marketplace because the price was prohibitively
high - $1,495* for a basic A301 system. Only about 25 units per month were being
produced, primarily for recording studios and reproduction factories. Dolby's magic that
can reduce noise by 15 dB works on the companding (portmanteau of compression and
expansion) principle, thereby eliminating or greatly suppressing the discernable "hiss."
Dolby B is still the most common version in use after nearly half a century ...
Lou Frenzel has a nice article titled, "How Phased Array Antennas Work," in the September / October issue
of Nuts & Volts magazines. He covers a lot of ground in providing
an introduction to phased arrays and their control. Self-driving cars and other systems
requiring relatively short distance situational awareness are using packaged ASIC phased
arrays like those from Anokiwave.
Small cell wireless
access nodes are using phased arrays to optimize service between devices and larger cells
by concentrating gain toward active users. It's a good read ...
My Uncle Brian was a
in the U.S. Navy during the end of the Korean War era. A great story teller, he used
to talk about his Navy experiences and later times as a United Parcel Service (UPS) tandem
semi trailer when he and others from my Buffalo side of the family would come to visit
during summers when I was a kid. He spent most of his enlistment on a gravy assignment
at the U.S. embassy in Australia, relaying messages between self-important bureaucrats
at the Pentagon and self-important bureaucrats at the U.S. embassy in Down Under. His
favorite saying about his time in the service is, "I joined the Navy to see the world,
and all I saw was the sea." I laugh every time I hear it ...
Free for downloading is this "Take This Job and Shove
It - 7 Things to Think About When Resigning" book. There is a right way and a wrong
way to leave an organization, and it's in your best interest to get it right. We have
all been there or witnessed it: A job has run its course and it is time to move on. Emotions
run high on your last day of employment and there is more than likely a need to give
hugs, shed tears, or rant the frustrations that actually led to your departure. While
making a scene on your last day may feel therapeutic, it could also become something
that you will seriously regret later. Here are the 7 best steps to follow when departing
your employer ...
Providing full solution service is our motto,
not just selling goods. RF & Connector Technology has persistently pursued a management
policy stressing quality assurance system and technological advancement. From your very
first contact, you will be supported by competent RF specialists; all of them have several
years of field experience in this industry allowing them to suggest a fundamental solution
and troubleshooting approach. Coaxial RF connectors, cable assemblies, antennas, terminations,
attenuators, couplers, dividers, and more. Practically, we put priority on process inspection
at each step of workflow as well as during final inspection in order to actualize "Zero
"Insight SiP has launched the ISP1807-LR module,
which it believes to be the first fully compliant
Bluetooth 5.0 Long Range RF module in a miniature SIP package. This
miniature BLE module (measuring only 8 x 8 x 1 mm) is based on the nRF52840 chip from
Nordic Semiconductor and represents the latest in Bluetooth 5 Long Range module technology.
It offers a Bluetooth 5 stack including long range, high throughput, advertising extensions
and improved coexistence along with IPv6 connectivity and Mesh capabilities. With these
characteristics, the ISP1807-LR module is well-equipped to form the hub of IoT solutions. ..."
It is safe to say that all realms of semiconductor
technology have advanced significantly since the 1970s. Gate widths, wafer purity, doping
compounds, feature dimensions, layer stacking, power handling, operational frequency,
physical and ESD ruggedness, cost, reliability - like I said, all realms - have improved.
Laser diodes were a major development due to lower cost, compactness, spectral purity,
and lower operational voltage, as compared to lasers built from rare earth elements and
noble gases. Of course a solid state laser will never (probably) be able to shoot an
inbound ICBM out of the sky, but the vast majority of laser applications today require
only micro- or pico-power. Optical media read / write devices alone comprise a huge fraction
of the low power laser market. Modern laser diodes are employed in, among other things,
chemical analysis, range measurement, motion / position sensors, and even play toys for
cats and dogs ...
2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
runs January 8-11, in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is the world's gathering place for all those
who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground
for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years - the global stage where next-generation
innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology
Association (CTA), it attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers ...
It's hard to imagine a time when
unlicensed radio frequency bands were not the norm, but early in the history of radio,
strict spectrum control was necessary in order to prevent unintentional radiation from
crappy equipment interfering with services. Remember that even in the mid 1940s, many,
if not most, casual users were cobbling together their own transmitters and receivers
from scratch. Transmitter powers were easily high enough to interfere with nearby and
distant receivers, but even improperly shielded receiver oscillator ("exciters") could
cause interference with a neighbor's nightly Lone Ranger broadcast. Around 1945,
the FCC began entertaining the idea of allocating bandwidth for the use of the newfangled
"walkie-talkies" that were developed for field communications during World War II ...
Skyworks Solutions, an innovator of high performance
analog semiconductors connecting people, places and things, has published a new white
paper titled, "5G New Radio Solutions: Revolutionary Applications Here Sooner Than You
Think." It is available free for downloading. With a cover as nice as this is, it
has to be good ;-) "As demand grows for ubiquitous wireless connectivity and the promise
of new and previously unimagined applications – such as autonomous vehicles, artificial
intelligence, telemedicine and virtual reality – so does the anticipation for 5G. 5G
will be revolutionary, delivering higher data throughput, extremely low latency and speeds
up to 100 times faster than 4G. As a result, 5G is moving toward commercial reality faster
than many expected ..."
take a few moments to visit the
everythingRF website to see how they can assist you with your project.
everythingRF is a product discovery platform for RF and microwave products and services.
They currently have 227,460 products from more than 1210 companies across 285 categories
in their database and enable engineers to search for them using their customized parametric
search tool. Amplifiers, test equipment, power couplers and dividers, coaxial connectors,
waveguide, antennas, filters, mixers, power supplies, and everything else. Please visit
everythingRF today to see how they can help you ...
"As the FCC digs into its latest spectrum auction,
and as T-Mobile prepares to light up 5G services on its
600 MHz spectrum, the time is right to take stock of the nation's
600 MHz landscape. The FCC's 600 MHz incentive auction of TV broadcasters' unwanted spectrum
was a noteworthy event. It was the culmination of years of work by officials at the FCC
- it initially arose from Congress' National Broadband Plan in 2010 - and it featured
'beachfront' low-band spectrum ideal for long-distance connections. Further, the auction
itself sported a unique 'reverse' auction that paid TV broadcasters for their unwanted
spectrum licenses, and then made that spectrum available to wireless carriers and others
through a traditional 'forward' auction ..."
When Charles Feldman published this article on
thin-film transistors (TFTs) in a 1964 issue of Electronics magazine, he had no idea
that the devices would eventually play a major role in liquid crystal displays (LCDs)
in everything from wristwatches to large screen television and computer displays. Materials
and fabrication techniques have evolved considerably since 1964, but the fundamentals
remain the same. Other than LCDs and some solid-state sensors, I am not familiar with
any other applications that are heavy users of TFT technology. This 2016 paper titled,
"Review on thin- film transistor technology, its applications, and possible new applications
to biological cells," gives a little historical perspective and a comparison of CMOS
versus TFT ...
Microwave Journal is presenting a webinar titled,
"5G Massive MIMO: A Paradigm Shift in Base Station Antenna Testing,"
on November 27, 2018, at 11 am ET. It is sponsored by The Microwave Vision Group
(MVG) and is presented by Mathieu Mercier, Technical Director in MVG Asia Pacific.
Abstract: Massive MIMO has been put forward as one
of the most promising potential technologies for 5G networks. Compared to the past technology
where the BTS sectors were fixed, Massive MIMO makes it possible to increase data throughput
and coverage by bringing beamforming (spatial multiplexing) to the base stations and
user devices. Massive MIMO now allows to steer the energy toward an individual user to
create a direct link, improve the S/N ratio and the throughput. Such active antenna arrays,
scannable and steerable, are essential ..."
Bell Telephone Laboratories used to run some pretty
interesting advertisements in magazines back in the 1940s through 1960s that touted the
many communications innovations coming from their scientists and engineers. They built
what was indisputably the worlds best, most reliable telephone network. It, along with
the Interstate Highway System, is credited for a large part of what fueled America's
growth so significantly after World War II. This ad from a 1949 issue of Radio &
Television News magazine tells how repairmen used a specially designed sensor to
trace out faulty phone lines by listening for a test signal sent out by the central office.
What caught my attention about this ad was the uncanny resemblance the man in the photo
has to Melanie's father - especially with the ball cap and glasses ...
A partnership of three Cornish companies has secured
funding of £148,000 to develop state-of-the-art technology to enable faster and more
accurate communication with satellites.
Flann Microwave, Teddington Systems and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd will be working
together to create miniaturised components for the next generation of tiny communications
satellites, known as nanosatellites and CubeSats. Bristol-based Thales Alenia Space will
support the project with advice on end-user acceptance aspects and environmental aspects.
The project is expected to create 14 new jobs and is a further boost to Cornwall's ambitions
to develop space sector manufacturing, servicing and launch capabilities ...
If you are a
vintage radio fan - or just a vintage radio fan in general - you will want to surf on
over to Tom Bavis' "AudioPhool"
website where he waxes eloquent on his vintage electronics hobby. The
includes Crosley, General Electric, Heathkit, Motorola, Zenith, Silverton, and other
familiar names. A very extensive collection of photos, descriptions, and hyperlinks to
data sheets and Sam's Photofacts documentation is posted for the Stromberg-Carlson radios.
Sam's still sells some vintage radio and television Photofacts packages, but a lot of
the models are no longer available. Guys like Tom help make sure service data is still
QuinStar Technology designs and manufactures
for communication, scientific, and test applications along with providing microelectronic
assembly, rapid prototyping, and mass customization. Amplifiers, Oscillators, Switches,
Attenuators, Circulators, Isolators, Filters, Waveguide, Antennas, Phase Shifters, Transceivers,
Mixers, Detectors. QuinStar specializes in cryogenic amplifiers,
circulators, and isolators. Please visit QuinStar today to see how they can help your
"We are reaching the limits of silicon capabilities
in terms of data storage density and speed of memory devices. One of the potential next-generation
data storage elements is the
skyrmion. A team at the Center for Correlated Electron Systems, within the Institute
for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), in collaboration with the University of Science
and Technology of China, have reported the discovery of small and ferroelectrically tunable
skyrmions. Published in Nature Materials, this work introduces new compelling advantages
that bring skyrmion research a step closer to application. It is envisioned that storing
memory on skyrmions - stable magnetic perturbations of whirling spins ..."