It's not as bad as theY2K disaster predictions
were, but if you are a user of GPS services, you should know that the
April 2019 Global
Positioning System (GPS) Week Number Rollover is upon us. "On April 6, 2019,
there will be an event affecting the electric transmission and distribution system
that has industry concerned about the potential for a major disruption. During the
Week Number rollover of the Global Positioning System, the week number that uses
the 10-bit binary system will reach its limit of 1,024 weeks and will be forced
to roll over and be reset to week 0. The initial week 0 started on January 6, 1980,
and the first week rollover occurred on August 21, 1999. However, a lot has changed
on the electric grid since the last rollover such as the addition of Phasor Measurement
Units (PMUs) ..."
MMIC has just introduced a new brochure that outlines its product offering. They
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more information and to download our new brochure.
There was a time when a sense of national
pride accompanied an ingrained a desire to perform a civic duty, particularly when
crisis or war was upon the country. Unlike today's environment of "rights" and entitlements
promised by politicians without any authority in the Constitution, people volunteered
to assist neighbors and friends for the good of not just their immediate neighborhoods,
but of their country. Rationing was imposed on many goods by the government for
the sake of the
war effort, but most folks were more than willing to comply since nearly everyone
had a son, father, uncle, or good buddy serving to defeat the Axis powers. Recall
the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life," where George Bailey and family served as volunteers
for the Red Cross, bottle and tire drives, and Civil Defense block wardens, while
younger brother Harry flew bombers ...
this quotation: "In some cases, the copper has been in the ground
for hundreds of years." That came from a communications company leader in a
speech rationalizing the need to totally replace copper cables with fiber based
on the high cost of maintenance of the latter. If he is referring to the copper
ore having been in the ground for hundreds (even millions) of years, then OK, but
news story I found about burying telephone wires
suggests the late 1880s in parts of NY City marks the first instance. A.G. Bell
patent his telephone until 1876. I'll buy "a"
hundred years, but not "hundreds" of years - that is unless you count the lines
buried by Hank Morgan in the 6th century as documented in
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
The Niche website has published its list
2019 Best Colleges for Engineering Methodology.
Ranking factors include: Overall Niche Grade, which incorporates statistics and
student surveys regarding all aspects of the student experience, such as academics,
value, professors, diversity, local area, campus quality, safety and student life.
Composite SAT/ACT scores of students majoring in Engineering at the school. Scores
are self-reported by students on Niche.com. Total expenditures dedicated to Engineering
research per full-time undergraduate student majoring in the field. Percent of total
annual Engineering graduates nationally that come from this program ...
Innovative Power Products (IPP) has over
30 years of experience designing & manufacturing RF & microwave passive
components. Their high power, broadband couplers, combiners, resistors, baluns, terminations
and attenuators are fabricated using the latest materials and design tools available,
resulting in unrivaled product performance. Applications in military, medical, industrial
and commercial markets. Take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how
IPP can help you today ...
Here is the promised follow-up on yesterday's
article, "TV X-Rays Are Back," from June 1969 issue of Radio-Electronics.
x-ray emission issue, whether legitimately a serious health problem or not,
was a big deal and was hyped up by the news media the way cellphones causing brain
cancer and laptop computers sterilizing men is done today. For a while it measurably
affected the volume of color television sales. X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation
(unlike microwaves which are not) and can thereby cause cancer by rearranging atoms
and molecules. At the root of the problem was the extremely high acceleration voltage
(HV) and beam current being used in the cathode ray tube (CRT). Potentials in excess
of 25 kV generated the most harmful level of x-rays, so manufacturers redesigned
sets to use lower voltages, and also incorporated ...
The good folks at Axiom Test Equipment have
just posted a new app note titled "When Temperature and Humidity Are Under Control."
It begins: "Environmental conditions can vary widely from place to place and season-to-season,
often making it necessary to evaluate electronic products while temperature and
humidity are well controlled. Testing a device under test (DUT) or equipment under
test (EUT) under adverse environmental conditions can often reveal problems in a
design and help discover ways to improve a design meant for use over temperature
and humidity extremes. An essential tool for performing such testing is an environmental
chamber capable of accurately controlling temperature and humidity ...
Admittedly, the relevance of this post is
a stretch, but it is related to vintage "wireless," aka "radio," as opposed to being able to listen to stations on the
Internet (wired, at some point). Known to very few aficionados of 1960s through
early 1980s pop / rock music is that an ensemble of über musicians called "The Wrecking Crew" provided the instrumental
tracks for a huge number of artists (called singers and bands back in the day).
Even though the bands played their own instruments in live performances, recording
studio renditions often used "The Wrecking Crew." Melanie and I, both being products
of the 60s and 70s era of music, enjoyed the story told on this documentary produced
by one member's son. You'll be amazed at the bands they worked for, including the
Beach Boys, Sony & Cher, Ricky Nelson, the Monkees, the Byrds, etc. Our copy
came from the local library, but it costs <$10 on Amazon ...
RF Cafe's continued existence depends on
companies like ERZIA providing support. ERZIA produces
microwave and mm-wave
modular amplifiers and integrated assemblies operating from low frequencies
up to 100 GHz. 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
Bob Stasonis, Technical Product Specialist
at Pickering Interfaces and President of the PXI Systems Alliance, has an article
on the Aerospace & Defense Technology website titled, "Understanding the 'Black Art' of RF and Microwave
Switching" that addresses switching requirements for - you guessed it - 5G systems
(about which the majority of articles seem to be written these days). Writes, Bob:
"Understanding RF, especially microwave switching, can be a challenge. In many cases,
test systems have been compromised because a test engineer did not consider all
the components of their test system: instruments, switching, cabling, Mass Interconnect
(test fixture interface), fixture design, and so on. Each component has its own
set of characteristics. With RF and microwave components ..."
"Researchers from three Australian universities
have collaborated to develop a light-absorbing device using a new graphene-based
film that can absorb unpolarized incident light striking it over a wide range of
angles up to 60°. The 90-nm ultra-thin
metamaterial can rapidly heat up to as high
as 1600°C under sunlight in an open environment. The researchers believe the characteristics
of this new class of optical material make it suitable for a wide variety of uses,
including desalination of seawater, color displays, photodetectors, and optical
components for communication devices. 'Graphene has unique properties ..."
Since 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently
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for design engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit
boards. Free Passive Components: Bittele
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Withwave manufactures an extensive line of
metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch,
board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a fully automated vector network
analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors, attenuators,
terminations, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner. Frequency ranges
from DC through 20 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they can help
your project succeed.
Color television was a big hit with homeowners
and was adopted fairly rapidly in the 1960s even considering the relatively high
cost and low number of network color broadcasts in the beginning years. The enthusiasm
underwent a severe reduction when word got out that large doses of
x−rays were streaming out of the front of the CRT for sets that did not take
precautions to prevent it (which was the majority of sets initially). The major
cause was extremely high voltages applied between the electron gun and phosphorescent
raster grid - in the neighborhood of 35 kV or more - when the high voltage
regulator circuit malfunctioned. Note that even when everything was working properly,
a small amount of x−ray radiation was emitted. The x−ray problem ...
Blend? videos? "It seems like just about everybody on the planet has a cell
phone. Last year more than 1.4 billion were produced. Aside from communications,
they have become one of the major ways that we get our news, pay our bills, and
entertain ourselves. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, cell phones
have a life-expectancy of 4.7 years. Because cell phones are replaced every five
years, recycling needs to be an important part of mobile communication manufacturing.
materials make up a cell phone and are they valuable?
To answer that question, researchers at the University of Plymouth, in the U.K.,
came up with an interesting way to determine what's inside a cell phone ..."
Assuming that a couple creative teenage boys
could get away today with
electrifying weapons to dramatize a mock sword fight during a high school production
of a Roman battle, you can be sure the suit of armor required by safety monitors
would consist not of coats of mail, but coats of rubber and fire retardant material,
fully sealing OSHA-approved goggles for eye protection, ear plugs, and electrical
lineman's gloves. Offstage would be certified fire fighting professionals (formerly
called firemen) and an emergency response crew specially trained in high voltage
electrical contact with a hospital-style emergency room crash cart nearby. The audience
would need to sign safety release forms before being admitted to the auditorium ...
John Howard and Steve Jalil have a good article
over on the High Frequency Electronics website titled, "Multi-Beam Antennas: Increased Wireless Capacity
with Enhanced Spectral Efficiency" reporting on an antenna initially produced
in 2006 that fits the bill for up and coming 5G cellular systems. "Multi-beam antennas
provide increased wireless capacity with enhanced spectral efficiency. Typically,
wireless providers use three sectors in a 360° coverage area. With multibeam
antenna systems, spectrum and capacity are multiplied. In this paper, a 5 GHz,
6-dual polarized beam system is presented. The system covers 90° in the azimuth
and was deployed at the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. Live data was gathered
at street level and presented ..."
Rohde & Schwarz develops, produces and
test & measurement, information and communications technology.
Focus is on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications,
monitoring and network testing. Markets serviced are wireless, the automotive industry,
aerospace and defense, industrial electronics, research and education, broadcast
and media network operations, consumer electronics, cybersecurity for business and
governments, communications and security solutions for critical infrastructures
and the armed forces, reconnaissance equipment for homeland and external security,
and much more ...
"Using a complex hydride with
superionic conductivity in a solid electrolyte
may move the needle forward in the development of solid-state lithium batteries.
As regular Design News readers will know, the hottest topic in battery
technology these days is solid-state lithium batteries. It seems every week a new
breakthrough or innovation is announced that will make this promising new technology
possible. At DN, we feel obligated to report on much of this research - not because
we want to add to the hype, but because solid-state lithium batteries hold so much
promise to dramatically improve the lithium ion batteries that are commercially
available. As a case in point, researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have announced,
via a news release, a new solid electrolyte ..."
Windfreak Technologies designs, manufactures,
tests and sells high value USB powered and controlled radio frequency products such
as RF signal generators, RF synthesizers, RF power detectors, mixers, up / downconverters.
Since the conception of WFT, we have introduced products that have been purchased
by a wide range of customers, from hobbyists to education facilities to government
agencies. Worldwide customers include Europe, Australia, and Asia. Please contact
Windfreak today to learn how they might help you with your current project
Ah, those were the good old days, when governments
used their limited
reconnaissance ability to spy on people, places, and things deemed to be a clear
and present threat to the well-being of country. In 1964, during the height of the
Cold War, collecting and interpreting communications data was still a very human-intensive
chore, so assets were necessarily allocated based on highly strategic targets. Today,
data collection collection, storage, and analysis is cheap and is done mostly unattended
by humans until a red flag goes up. The possibility of a nuclear attack from the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) was a very real and even likely possibility.
The strategic advantage of a first strike was immense, so it was to the world's
advantage to monitor and react as quickly as possible. The Soviet Socialists liked
to propagandize about being ...
Z-Communications, Inc., announces a new RoHS
compliant fixed frequency phase locked loop model SFS1520C-LF operating in the L-band.
The SFS1520C-LF is a plug and play PLO allowing for quick integration and designed
to produce a
fixed signal at 1520 MHz when utilized with an external 10 MHz reference
oscillator. This simple to use PLO features a typical low phase noise performance
of −100 dBc/Hz, −110 dBc/Hz, and −133 dBc/Hz at the 1 kHz,
10 kHz and 100 kHz offsets, respectively. The SFS1520C-LF is designed
to deliver a nominal output power of +3 dBm while operating off a VCO voltage
supply of 5 Vdc ...
"Ask a layperson about technology developed
during the second World War and you'll likely get answers referring to the invention
of atomic bombs, long-range ballistic missiles, or perhaps digital code breaking.
Ironically, radar is often forgotten, despite it having a dramatic and direct impact
on aerial combat during the war, and being a much bigger part of modern daily life
than, say, atomic bombs or rockets. A Duxford Radio Trust team at Britain's Imperial
War Museum Duxford is offering visitors some hands-on experience of World War II
radar by giving them the warts-and-all view of the
radar display as seen by a navigator on a Lancaster
bomber. Thanks to an amazing hodge-podge of technology, visitors ..."
Some topics are timeless. This is one of
them. The term "Value
Engineering" is not so familiar these days, since ostensibly it was developed
by General Electric back in the World War II era. Per Wikipedia, "Value engineering
(VE) is a systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products and services
by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of function
to cost. Value can therefore be increased by either improving the function or reducing
the cost. It is a primary tenet of value engineering that basic functions be preserved
and not be reduced as a consequence of pursuing value improvements ." This article
from the August 1967 Electronics World was a good read then, and it is
a good read in 2019 ...
"Researchers long have known that graphene
is a useful material for next-generation electronic applications because of its
light weight and high electric conductivity. Now researchers in Denmark have solved
one of the biggest challenges in the way of developing useful and effective
graphene-based nanoelectronics, paving the way
for future design of these devices, they said. A team at The Center for Nanostructured
Graphene at DTU Physics and Aalborg University has solved a simple but key problem
with using graphene for nanoelectronics by figuring out how to induce a band gap,
which is crucial for making transistors and optoelectronic devices, they said. Every
atom is critical ..."
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RF Superstore launched in 2017, marking
the return of Murray Pasternack, founder of Pasternack Enterprises, to the RF and
microwave Industry. Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were
sold. Partner Jason Wright manages day-to-day operations, while working closely
with Mr. Pasternack to develop RF Superstore into a world class RF and
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For a few years, Popular Electronics
magazine ran an electronics-themed single-panel comic feature called "Parts
Talk." Jack Schmidt was the artist for the series, and is evident by the "Thanks
Joe Cox" on the page 49 comic, he must have used ideas for topics submitted by
Popular Electronics readers. From today's perspective of grain-of-salt
size surface mount components, the claim of "It's a small world," by that vertical-mount
capacitor doing the talking is very dated. Compared to its previous generation of
vacuum tubes and discrete components that needed to handle higher voltages and power
dissipation, these through-hole printed circuit board (PCB) components are a small
world. Another half a century from now, the need for discrete, off-chip components ...
This story about a drone that shoots down
other drones using an onboard shotgun appears on the Interesting Engineering website. The
flying shotgun airframe uses a "canard" configuration, named so for its duck-like
appearance in flight. "Drones are capable of all sorts of weird and wonderful things
like shutting down airports to delivering medicines. Now a new drone developed in
Russia can even shoot other drones out of the sky. The Russian defense contractor,
Almaz Antey has created a drone equipped with a
Vepr-12 shotgun with a 10-round magazine. The
drone is able to take off vertically but then flies like an airplane hunting down
fellow UAVs. The drone is controlled by a pilot who wears a visor-wearing operator
which connects via video link to the drone's camera. The pilot can direct the drone
and aim the weapon ..."
The April 1933 issue of the American Radio
Relay League's monthly publication QST (Q-code for "general call to all
stations") was chock full of gags, much to the delight of readers based on subsequent
letters to the editor. The editors must have felt a need to alert readers that some
of the material was not to be taken seriously since the Table of Contents lists
them as being in the "April Fool Section."
I have posted a few of them. As with so many of these vintage articles, being privy
to the customs and equipment of the era is essential to "getting" the joke. I will
refrain from spoiling these, but if you need some insight from an old guy (61 years
in August), send me a note and I'll try to put them into perspective. One gag takes
careful observation to notice, and you don't need gray hair to figure it out
NI AWR Design Environment platform will be
on display at the Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON) 2019, being
held April 8-9 in Cocoa Beach, FL. NI is silver sponsor of this event, and AWR Group,
NI expert technologist Dr. John Dunn will be presenting at two technical sessions
as well as a panel. Sessions include: Network Synthesis Automates Interactive Matching-Circuit
Design, Monday, April 8, 1:30 p.m. | Leveraging a System-Level Design Methodology
to Achieve RFIC Performance Goals, Monday, April 8, 2:10 p.m. | Emerging Simulation
Technology: Can Today's EDA Tools Solve Tomorrow's Designer Challenges?, Tuesday,
April 9, noontime ...
"A new organic plastic material allows electronics
to function at
extreme temperatures without sacrificing performance.
Most electronics only function within a certain temperature range but blending two
organic materials together creates electronics that withstand extreme heat. The
new plastic material could reliably conduct electricity up to 220 °C (428 °F).
One of the materials is a semiconductor that can conduct electricity and the other
is a conventional insulating polymer. One of the plastics transports the charge
and the other can withstand high temperature. When blended together, the correct
ratio must be found so that one material ..."
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