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Homepage Archive - December 2019 (page 2)

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.

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See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the December 2019 homepage archives.

Friday 13

Space Radiation and Its Effects on Electronic Systems

Space Radiation and Its Effects on Electronic Systems - RF CafeHere is an interesting article by Murray Slovick entitled, "Space Radiation and Its Effects on Electronic Systems." With 10s or even 100s of 1000s of Internet-connectivity satellites being launched by SpaceX's Starlink constellation and others, collisions with space junk could soon be a bigger concern than radiation. "Increased demand for connectivity to high-speed data networks is leading to increased deployment of space platforms for services ranging from GPS to military intelligence to commercial high-speed data for home internet applications. Outside the Earth's atmosphere, though, the solar system is filled with radiation that can damage electronic devices. The effects range from degradation in performance to leakage currents, lowering the gain of a device, upsetting timing characteristics ..."

The "Twin-Lamp" Standing Wave Indicator

The "Twin-Lamp" Standing Wave Indicator, October 1947 QST - RF CafeEven if you have no use for building a "twin lamp" standing wave indicator for a twin lead transmission line (solid or open ladder type), this article makes an interesting read for its theoretical description of how the device works based on current phases in the circuit. A pair of flashlight bulbs and couple feet of wire is all that is needed. When operating properly, the "twin lamp" indicator indicates by virtue of whether one or both bulbs are illuminated whether there is a significant standing wave present on the line. Author Charles Wright warns that the VSWR level cannot be reliably determined based on relative brightnesses of the two bulbs; it is meant for use as a best case indication for tuning and/or as a gross fault indicator...

10 Tiny Satellite Technologies

10 Tiny Satellite Technologies - RF Cafe"If you're not certain as to the differences between nanosats and cubesats, or how these tiny satellites are launched and what they do, then read on. Tiny satellites have made space accessible to a new generation of university students, private companies and even helped cash-strapped government agencies like NASA. Generally known as nano-satellites (nanosats) or cube-satellites (cubesats), this technology has been made possible by the semiconductor driven miniaturization of electronic and electro-mechanical systems. In recognition of the trend, the IEEE has even launched a new journal on, 'Miniaturization for Air and Space Systems (J-MASS).' Mass is a premium consideration when placing anything into space. That's why the names of tiny satellites ..."

Windfreak Technologies: USB-Powered RF Synthesizers, Mixers

Windfreak TechnologiesWindfreak 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.

Thursday 12

Hershel Radio Company Advertisement

Hershel Radio Company Advertisement, January 1948 Radio-Craft - RF CafeAt the end of World War II, the U.S. government demonstrated an appreciation for the extreme sacrifices made by its citizens by making surplus materiel available for purchase at very low cost. Companies sprang up as distributors after bidding on and buying large lots of items at auctions. Herschel Radio Company was one of many. This 2-page advertisement on a 1948 issue of Radio-Craft is typical of what was seen in all sorts of technology publications in the late 1940s. A complete Fairchild model SCR 269/F airborne radio compass was offered at a mere $75 ($814 in today's money). A Hallicrafters model SX-28 communications receiver could be picked up for $129. Miscellaneous components sold for pennies - resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers, vacuum tubes, indicator lamps, wire, switches, hardware, tools, enclosures, motors...

Bending Organic Semiconductor Can Boost Electrical Flow

Bending Organic Semiconductor Can Boost Electrical Flow - RF Cafe"Slightly bending semiconductors made of organic materials can roughly double the speed of electricity flowing through them and could benefit next-generation electronics such as sensors and solar cells, according to Rutgers-led research. 'If implemented in electrical circuits, such an enhancement - achieved by very slight bending - would mean a major leap toward realizing next-generation, high-performance organic electronics,' said senior author Vitaly Podzorov, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University - New Brunswick. Semiconductors include materials that conduct electricity and their conductivity can be tuned by different external stimuli, making them essential for all electronics. Organic semiconductors are made of organic molecules (mainly consisting of carbon and hydrogen atoms) ..."

Teledyne Announces 'Ruggedized PeeWee' HV Connectors

Teledyne Announces 'Ruggedized PeeWee' High Voltage Connector - RF CafeTeledyne e2v HiRel, producer of the longtime industry-leading PeeWee high voltage cable assembly, this week unveiled a major new addition to the high voltage product line called Ruggedized PeeWee, or "PWR." Built on decades of experience developing subminiature, high voltage connectors, the PWR's new robust design also benefits from Teledyne's extensive experience designing Space-level products. The new Ruggedized PeeWee line is fully compatible and inter-matable with all push-pull PeeWee assemblies. Download the Ruggedized PeeWee datasheet. With this new product, Teledyne has surpassed all previous industry standards for testing...

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad 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.

Peacetime Uses for V-2 Rocket, by Arthur C. Clarke

Peacetime Uses for V2 Rocket, by Arthur C. Clarke - RF CafeThis article by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame, suggested the use of surplus German V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2; i.e., Retribution Weapon 2) rockets for launching scientific payloads into space rather than for launching terrorizing attacks on European cities. The October 1945 publishing date was after Germany had surrendered in the spring of that year and Allied forces were rounding up war criminals and confiscating documents and equipment. Clarke describes how an "artificial satellite" could be caused to circle the earth "perpetually" and was published in the October 1945 edition of Wireless World magazine. The pilot-less V-2, along with the V-1 "Buzz Bomb," were launched from within Germany and caused massive structural damage and human death and suffering. For war progenitor and aggressor, Germany, to call it a retribution weapon was a gross misnomer...

Modelithics Releases Qorvo GaN Library v19.4.2

Modelithics Releases Qorvo GaN Library v19.4.2 - RF CafeModelithics is pleased to announce the release of version 19.4.2 of the Modelithics Qorvo GaN library for use with Keysight Technologies' Advanced Design System and National Instruments AWR Design Environment. The Modelithics Qorvo GaN Library is a set of non-linear models for Qorvo package and die GaN devices, designed for excellent accuracy, and validated with broadband S-parameters and load pull data at multiple frequencies. Each model has a detailed datasheet summarizing model features, development details, and model performance plots. Some devices are also represented with small-signal and noise models in addition to non-linear models. Version 19.4.2 of the Modelithics Qorvo GaN Library includes a total of 80 models containing 57 packaged power models, 17 GaN die power transistor products and 6 small-signal models...

San Francisco Circuits: PCB Fabrications & Assembly Service

San Francisco CircuitsSF Circuits' specialty is in the complex, advanced technology of PCB fabrication and assembly, producing high quality multi-layered PCBs from elaborate layouts. With them, you receive unparalleled technical expertise at competitive prices as well as the most progressive solutions available. Their customers request PCB production that is outside the capabilities of normal circuit board providers. Please take a moment to visit San Francisco Circuits today. "Printed Circuit Fabrication & Assembly with No Limit on Technology or Quantity."

Wednesday 11

Radio-Electronics Monthly Review

Radio-Electronics Monthly Review, January 1948 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIn the middle of the last century, progress in television and radio technology was the focus of public attention, similar to news of the latest advances in smartphones and Wi-Fi-connected gadgets are today. Then, it was the installation of microwave relay networks for long distance telephone and television interconnections as reported in this 1948 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. Now, media headlines tell of new 5G cellular network equipment and small cell stations being installed around the world. New portable pocket radios using a single low voltage "peanut" vacuum tube or a germanium transistor are today's iPhones, smartwatches, and IoT-connected appliances. The item that caught my attention was mention of General electric (GE) issuing warnings that radar-equipped cargo airplanes should not be used to transport photo-flash camera bulbs because experiments showed exposure to certain frequencies and power...

3D Smith Chart Application Article

3D Smith Chart article in Nature magazine - RF CafeAndre Muller and colleagues just published a major paper in Nature magazine demonstrating the unique aptness of his 3D Smith Chart in the design of applications where complex frequency dependencies must be assessed, as with Metal-Insulator-Transition (MIT) materials. You'll need to have your thinking cap on for this one ;-)  "In this work, we develop and use 3D Smith charts for devices and circuits having complex frequency dependences, like the ones resulting using MIT materials. The novel foundation of a 3D Smith chart involves here the geometrical fundamental notions of oriented curvature and variable homothety in order to clarify first theoretical inconsistencies in Foster and Non Foster circuits, where the driving point impedances exhibit mixed clockwise and counter-clockwise frequency dependent (oriented) paths on the Smith chart as frequency increases. We show here the unique visualization capability of a 3D Smith chart, which allows to quantify orientation over variable frequency ..."

Mexican Students Launch CubeSat to ISS

Mexican Students Launch a Small Satellite to International Space Station - RF Cafe"The first satellite built by students in Mexico for launch from the International Space Station is smaller than a shoebox but represents a big step for its builders. The project is part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which offers universities, high schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to fly small satellites. Innovative technology partnerships keep down the cost, providing students a way to obtain hands-on experience developing flight hardware. A multidisciplinary team of students at Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), in Puebla, Mexico, built the CubeSat for AzTechSat-1. The investigation demonstrates communication within a satellite network in low-Earth orbit ..."

World Distance Charts from NYC and San Francisco

World Distance Charts from NYC and San Francisco, July 1934 Radio News & The Short-Wave - RF CafeBefore the Internet, cellphone apps, and personal computers, many calculations began with a lookup table, chart, or nomograph. In the case of long distance radio operators [Ham, Short Wave Listener (SWL), and professional types] seeking distance and direction information for pointing antennas, it took a map like this one published by Radio News & Short-Wave magazine in 1934 to estimate an optimal configuration. Such tools were essential in order to determine the best direction to point the antenna, which over a long distance is usually much different than what might be assumed by looking at a flattened projection map of the earth (see "Distance Lends Enchantment" below). Distances in Chart No. 1 are all relative to New York, so operators in other locales need to compensate. Here is one example of many online great circle calculators...

Many Thanks for Alliance Test Equipment's Support!

Allied Test Equipment Products - RF CafeAlliance Test sells used / refurbished test equipment and offers 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.

W1AW Commemorates 98th Anniversary of 1st Amateur Radio Signals to Span the Atlantic

W1AW Commemorates 98th Anniversary of 1st Amateur Radio Signals to Span the Atlantic - RF CafeDecember 11 marks the 98th anniversary of the success of ARRL's Transatlantic Tests in 1921, organized to see if low-power amateur radio stations could be heard across the Atlantic using shortwave frequencies (i.e., above 200 meters). On that day, a message transmitted by a group of Radio Club of America members at 1BCG in Greenwich, Connecticut, was copied by Paul Godley, 2ZE, in Scotland. While the first two-way contact would not take place until 1923, the 1921 transatlantic success marked the beginning of what would become routine communication between US radio amateurs and those in other parts of the world - literally the birth of DX ...

VidaRF: Passive RF & Microwave Components

vidaRF passive RF & microwave components - RF CafeAt VidaRF, the phrase 'Providing Simple Solutions for Complex Connections' is more than just a slogan – it's a mindset, a mission, and a driving force behind everything we do. Their pledge is to design and distribute high performance, cost effective RF Microwave products to fit each customer's unique applications. Please visit VidaRF today to see how their lines of attenuators & terminations, directional couplers, power dividers, coaxial connectors, and circulator & isolators can be of use to your project. "When the standard just will not do, VidaRF has the solution for you!"

Tuesday 10

Carl & Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers

Carl & Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers, December 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWere strings of miniature Christmas tree lights not available for purchase in 1955? This adventure of "Carl & Jerry" seems to imply that was the case since it concerns the design and constructions of such a circuit using low voltage panel lamps (light bulbs). Although usually the two techno-teenager are co-conspiring on various tasks of high tech sleuthing or radio-related pursuits, but in this case if it Jerry who has been doing the hard work. Author John Frye might not know how prescient he was when describing the two inventions he conjured up for Carl and Jerry. The first is the aforementioned miniature Christmas light string and the second is a voice recording device that can capture a short message and then quickly play it back. The playback scheme involves kids reciting their Christmas wish list to a fake Santa Claus and then having him read it back to them in a different voice...

Flashing Red Light - RF Cafe Cadence to Acquire AWR Corporation from National Instruments

Cadence to Acquire AWR Corporation from National Instruments - RF CafeI didn't see this one coming, but it seems like a great move - Cadence Design Systems and National Instruments Corporation today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Cadence expects to acquire AWR Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Instruments (NI). AWR is an industry leader in high-frequency RF EDA software technology and will bring a highly talented RF team to Cadence. Concurrently, Cadence and NI also entered into a strategic alliance agreement to expand their relationship to enhance electronic system innovation with a focus on communications. AWR software is used by microwave and RF engineers to design wireless products for complex, high-frequency RF applications. The technology helps customers accelerate the design and product development cycle of systems used in communications, aerospace and defense, semiconductor, computer, and consumer electronics...

Thanks to Transient Specialists for Continued Support!

Transient Specialists - RF CafeTransient Specialists specializes in EMC test equipment rentals and carries a complete line of ESD guns, surge immunity test equipment, and EFT generators. Rentals available for military (Mil-Std 461), automotive (ISO 7637), and commercial (IEC 61000-4) EMC testing. Flexible terms, accredited calibrations and technical support on EMC testing equipment offered. Equipment consists of top EMC Test System manufacturers, including Teseq, Thermo Keytek, EM Test and EMC Partner. Contact Transient Specialists today for your ESD / EMC / RFI testing needs.

NAVPERS 10622 Chapter 20: Transformers

NAVPERS 10622 Chapter 20: Transformers: Basic Navy Training Courses - RF CafeElectronics technicians trained by the U.S. Navy (and, ahem, the U.S. Air Force) have always been highly regarded in private industry because of the excellent classroom instruction, rigorous on-the-job training (OJT), and hands-on experience maintaining both legacy and state-of-the-art equipment. Electronics tech schools begin with teaching the fundamentals of electricity and electronics, and then branches off into areas of specialty, depending on the type of equipment the enlistee will be assigned to maintain. The military works under the assumption that you have no significant former knowledge of the topic - although being admitted into certain programs requires passing an aptitude exam prior to enlistment. In my case, it was six weeks of BET (Basic Electronics Training). followed by 26 weeks of Specialty Electronics Training School (SETS). Yes, the government has an acronym for everything. Six more months of self-study course material (with testing) was required during the initial OJT period...

Rigid Flex PCB Application & Design Guide

Rigid Flex PCB Application & Design Guide - RF CafeWhen designing a rigid flex PCB, it is important to consider all of the relevant factors that will go into producing the right board for your application. Rigid flex printed circuit boards (PCBs) are hybrid circuit boards that combine the characteristics of hardboards and flexible circuitry, with areas that are rigid for component assembly providing the same density as hard boards, and flexible areas connecting the rigid boards to one another. The design and construction of these circuits include multiple layers of rigid boards and flexible circuits. In our "Rigid Flex PCB Application & Design Guide," we outline what you need to know about: The applications and environments in which rigid flex PCBs excel, How to successfully assemble and install your rigid flex PCB.

RF Superstore: Supplier of RF & Microwave Components

RF Superstore coaxial cable, connectors, adapters - RF CafeRF 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 microwave component supplier. RF coaxial connectors & adapters, coaxial cable & cable assemblies, surge protectors, attenuators. Items added daily. Free shipping on orders over $99. We're leading the way again!

Monday 9

Plane at 20,000 - Pilot at Altitude Zero

Plane at 20,000 - Pilot at Altitude Zero, December 1974 Popular Mechanics - RF CafeRF technology has been a large part of new and upgraded aircraft development not just for studies of radio and radar performance, but also for remote control (R/C) of small- and full-scale prototype models. R/C began life as bulky vacuum tube systems with transmitters that needed to sit on the ground with a hand-held command box. Airborne systems carried lead-acid batteries for power*. Frequencies in the U.S. were in the 27 MHz Citizens Band, and then moved into 53 MHz (Ham band), 72 MHz (airborne only), and 75 MHz (ground only) bands. All modern R/C systems operate in the 2.4 GHz ISM band using spread spectrum modulation (FHSS and DSSS). Having been a builder and flyer of R/C models since the 1970s, I have read many articles about the role played by modelers over the years in modeling magazines and more general purpose magazines like this one in a 1974 issue of Popular Mechanics. Prior to the availability of super-powerful computers and sophisticated fluid dynamics simulation programs...

10 Million Egyptian Cars to be Tracked via RFID

10 Million Egyptian Cars to be Tracked via RFID - RF Cafe"Egypt's Ministry of Interior (MOI) plans to identify millions of vehicles as they travel on the country's roads, using an RFID solution from Go+, with hardware and software provided in cooperation with Wireless Dynamics. The system, which will be implemented across approximately 10 million of the country's vehicles throughout the next five years, consists of passive UHF RFID stickers attached to each car's windshield, as well as tags on headlamps that respond to interrogation from readers installed above roadways, even at high speeds. The nation of Egypt faces a growing challenge related to traffic and the management of all cars operating on its roadways ..."

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

PCB  Directory - RF CafePCB Directory is the largest directory of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Manufacturers, Assembly houses, and Design Services on the Internet. We have listed the leading printed circuit board manufacturers around the world and made them searchable by their capabilities - Number of laminates used, Board thicknesses supported, Number of layers supported, Types of substrates (FR-4, Rogers, flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. Fast turn-around on quotations for PCB fabrication and assembly.

The Tunnel Diode

The Tunnel Diode, September 1960, Popular Electronics - RF CafeLeo Esaki invented the tunnel diode (aka the Esaki diode) in 1957 while working at Sony (Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo at the time). Tunnel diodes have a very narrow, heavily doped p-n junction only around 10 nm (100 Å) wide that exhibits a broken bandgap, where conduction band electrons on the n-side are approximately aligned with valence band holes on the p-side and thereby facilitate the quantum mechanical tunneling process after which the diode is named. A negative differential resistance in part of their operating range makes them useful for high frequency oscillators. This article in a 1960 edition of Popular Electronics introduces the device's characteristics and potential uses. Interestingly, if you want to buy a tunnel diode today, you will likely have to find old stock on on eBay or Amazon since I could not find anyone who sells new stock (Digi-Key, Newark, Mouser...

Teledyne e2v HiRel Radiation Tolerant 60 GHz SPDT RF Switch for Space Apps

Teledyne e2v HiRel Releases Radiation Tolerant 60 GHz Reflective SPDT RF Switch for Space Applications - RF CafeTeledyne e2v HiRel today announced the availability of a new RF power limiter, the 2.5 GHz, 100 W TDLM025100. The limiter is a monolithic integrated circuit based on a Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology that is ideal for use in high reliability aerospace and defense applications. This new integrated device provides customers with a more reliable and robust power protection solution compared to the traditional industry alternative, discrete GaAs PIN diode circuits with multiple external components. The power limiter delivers low insertion loss and high linearity under non-limiting power levels and extremely fast response time in a limiting event, ensuring protection of sensitive circuitry...

Reactel: RF & Microwave Filters of All Types

Reactel Filters - RF CafeReactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture of RF and microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer the generally known tubular, LC, cavity, and waveguide designs, as well as state of the art high performance suspended substrate models. Through a continuous process of research and development, they have established a full line of filters of filters of all types - lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, diplexer, and more. Established in 1979. Please contact Reactel today to see how they might help your project.

Sunday 8

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for December 8

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle December 8, 2019 - RF CafeAs with my hundreds of previous engineering and science-themed crossword puzzles, this one for December 8, 2019, contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc., which I have built up over nearly two decades. Many new words and company names have been added that had not even been created when I started in the year 2002. You will never find a word taxing your knowledge of a numbnut soap opera star or the name of some obscure village in the Andes mountains. You might, however, encounter the name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical location like Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might surprise you...

Windfreak Technologies Frequency Synthesizers - RF Cafe
withwave microwave devices - RF Cafe

KR Electronics (RF Filters) - RF Cafe

Rigol DHO1000 Oscilloscope - RF Cafe