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Homepage Archive - July 2019 (page 1)
See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the July 2019 homepage archives.

Friday 5

The Quest for Compatibility

The Quest for Compatibility, May 18, 1964 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeThis story from a 1964 issue of Electronics magazine is close to home - literally. Well, it was close to home at the time, anyway. It reports on the work done by the Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center "...jutting out on a pier across the broad Severn River from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis." I grew up in the 1960s and 70s just a few miles from there and distinctly recall seeing all the antennas in the area, including the now decommissioned and removed acres-big ELF submarine communications antenna farm. The Annapolis location, with its proximity to Washington, D.C., was the home to many government and military installations and defense contractors. It was an electromagnetic signal-rich environment ...

Empower RF Ultra Broadband Microwave Amplifiers for Product Testing at EMC 2019

Empower RF Systems' Ultra Broadband Microwave Amplifiers for Product Testing at EMC 2019 - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems will be exhibiting in Booth #201 at the 2019 IEEE EMC Symposium, in New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from July 22 through 26, 2019. Please be sure to stop by and let us help you with your project needs. Three of our featured RF power amplifiers, perfectly suited for product developmental and assembly line testing, are presented here. Equally suited for the production floor, engineering lab, or anechoic chamber, the SKU 2223 comes complete with internal DDC, external forward and reverse sample ports, and an easy to use web served GUI. In depth health monitoring with alarms visible on the front panel are also pushed out the LAN port ...

Microwaves for the "Ham"

Microwaves for the "Ham", August 1952 Radio & Television News - RF CafeWhile this article is directed at amateur radio operators who want to explore working in the microwave bands, it is good fodder for anyone who wants a fundamental introduction to waveguides, resonant cavities, distributed elements, and atmospheric propagation. If that describes you, and particularly if you have formulaphobia, then start reading. Even though the article appeared in a 1952 issue of Radio & Television News, the list of frequency band allocations are not much different than today so the information is useful. Unknown to many is that in the early part of the last century Amateurs pioneered the use of microwave bands when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated the spectrum to them since many "experts" considered it unusable ...

Upcoming Webinar: Lizard Lessons with CMT's Brian Walker

Lizard Lessons with Copper Mountain's Brian Walker - RF CafeUpcoming Webinar: Lizard Lessons with Copper Mountain Technologies' Senior RF Design Engineer Brian Walker, on July 18 at 11:00 am EST. Mr. Walker will discuss several features of CMT's software, demonstrate various useful VNA measurements and answer viewer questions. CMT develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Our extensive line of unique form factor VNAs include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments.

Technology Will Connect Highways, Street Lights, and Vehicles

Internet of Things Technology Will Connect Highways, Street Lights, and Vehicles - RF Cafe"As more and more intelligent cars and autonomous vehicles hit the road, some engineers are thinking about what can be done to smarten up the streets on which they travel. Doing so could allow smart cars and trucks to exchange information with other vehicles, traffic-management centers, and private companies about traffic congestion, accidents, and weather conditions. The key to making it happen is an Internet of Things system that includes sensors embedded in the roadway and on traffic lights. Existing intelligent transportation systems provide some of those features. Information gathered by traffic-monitoring cameras ..."

QuinStar Technology: mm-Wave Active & Passive Components

QuinStar Technology designs and manufactures mm-wave products 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 project.

Thursday 4

Tracing a History of Test Solutions

Tracing a History of Test Solutions - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rental and sales company headquartered in Northern San Diego has published a blog highlighting American ingenuity in developing test equipment. The post takes you from the pioneering telegraph/radio work in the late 19th century, through World Wars I and II, all the way into modern day technologies and equipment for cutting edge markets. Many of those devices would not be designed, developed, or maintained if not for the creative efforts of innovative engineers at leading U.S. test equipment manufacturers, such as Amplifier Research, Chroma Systems Solutions, Fluke Corp., Keysight Technologies, and Tektronix ..."

Carl and Jerry: The Crazy Clock Caper

Carl and Jerry: The Crazy Clock Caper, October 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBefore there were clocks that synchronized themselves to a wireless low frequency (LF) time standard emanating from one of NIST's broadcast towers, a different method was used to keep all the clocks in a building (like a school) reading the same time. Many of the AC-powered mechanical master-slave clock systems are still in use today. This episode of Carl and Jerry has them teaming with a contract repairman to figure out why seemingly random clocks in their high school failed to synch with the master overnight. Author John T. Frye provides a pretty thorough overview of how the system operates using a power line carrier scheme. Of course the boys' keen troubleshooting skills ...

Skyworks' Latest 5G Antenna Tuning Solution

Skyworks' Latest 5G Antenna Tuning Solution - RF CafeSkyworks Solutions is pleased to introduce the SKY5™-9269-702LF, a high performance antenna aperture tuning switch. The wideband 16-state device is extremely compact and designed to deliver best-in-class efficiency and enhanced bandwidth coverage - from 600 MHz to 6 GHz for LTE Advanced Pro to emerging 5G standards - across a wide range of mobile platforms. This new solution is part of our Sky5™ portfolio enabling 5G applications and is fully-integrated in our Sky5™ Ultra and Sky5™ LiTE platforms. Skyworks' innovative antenna tuning solutions leverage proprietary design and process techniques to help drive antenna performance while meeting stringent linearity demands ...

Configurable RF Platform Increases Capacity, Functional Modes

Configurable RF Platform Increases Capacity, Functional Modes - RF CafeFor the cost of an OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch, you, too, can own one of these Analog Devices highly configurable RF platforms that supports increased capacity and functional modes. "The apparently insatiable appetite for additional wireless capacity within the available spectrum is driving the demand for more and smaller cells. To address this need, Analog Devices is introducing what it calls a mixed-signal front-end (MxFE) RF data-converter platform. It combines high-performance analog processing with digital signal for 4G LTE and E-band 5G mmWave radios, broadband systems, and even phased-array radar, electronic warfare, and test-and-measurement systems." Both the AD9081 and AD9082 will be priced in the $1,500 range ...

KR Electronics: RF & Microwave Filters

KR ElectronicsKR Electronics designs and manufactures high quality filters for both the commercial and military markets. KR Electronics' line of filters includes lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop and individually synthesized filters for special applications - both commercial and military. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis and test methods are used to meet the most challenging specifications. All common connector types and package form factors are available. Please visit their website today to see how they might be of assistance.

Wednesday 3

Applied Microwave Magazine Article Archive

Applied Microwave & Wireless Magazine Article Archive - RF CafeThose of us whose were around in the RF industry in the 1990s and remember a very fine magazine entitled "Applied Microwave & Wireless." It was published by Noble Publishing Group. The Archive.org (aka the Wayback Machine, a la from Sherman and Mr. Peabody cartoon) website has an archive of 410 published articles (as of this writing) on a variety of topics including antennas, oscillators, filter design and tuning, direct conversion receivers, microstrip and stripline, RF link calculations, shielding, co-channel interference, power amplifiers, lightning protection, SAW devices, GPS, dielectric measurement, circuit and system computer simulation, transistor biasing, RF transformers ...

Reactance Chart

Reactance Chart, May 1959 Electronics World - RF CafeReactance charts were a dime a dozen (free, actually) and appeared as regular features in electronics magazines in the days before smartphone apps provided ready access to reactance versus frequency calculations. This one was in the May 1959 issue of Electronics World. Calculators are nice and indispensible in design work, but sometimes having "the big picture" of how various values of inductance and capacitance "react" with changes in applied frequency is often useful - especially if you are a newcomer to electronics. To paraphrase a popular saying, "A reactance chart is worth a thousand calculators."

Thanks to Transient Specialists for Continued Support!

Transient 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.

Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional

Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional - Airplanes and RocketsIf you are an Apollo and/or Buzz Aldrin fan (as am I), you can buy a 50th Anniversary gold Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional watch for a mere $9,650. "The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Chronograph has a unique place in the history of space exploration as the only piece of equipment used in all of NASA's piloted space missions from Gemini to the current International Space Station program. When Buzz Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface in 1969, he was wearing a Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch." Less expensive options are available for about half the cost. Beware of knock-offs being sold. I advise buying directly from Speedmaster. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I won't be owning one.

You Don't Need Sight to Read These Electronic Schematics

You Don't Need Sight to Read These Electronic Schematics - RF Cafe"Lauren Race has refined circuit symbols for use in tactile diagrams. When I was growing up, I remember reading in an electronics-for-young-folk book that good vision was a must-have if you wanted to build or design electronics: Even color blindness was a serious limitation. This was a myth. In fact, there's an active community of people with low or no vision who are using today's maker ecosystem to solve problems in their daily lives ..."

Innovative Power Products: RF & Microwave Passive Components

Innovative Power ProductsInnovative 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.

Tuesday 2

Symmetrical T, H, O, and Pi Attenuator Nomograph

Symmetrical T & H Attenuator Nomograph, May 1959 Electronics World - RF CafeEven after computers became commonplace in cubicles and laboratories, engineers and technicians kept design nomographs around for cobbling together attenuators, filters, voltage dividers, etc. Trade and hobbyist magazines like Electronics World used to print them as full-page features on a regular basis, and I have posted many of them on RF Cafe over the years. This particular "Symmetrical T & H Attenuator Nomograph" appeared in a 1959 issue. Maybe the editor thought that "Symmetrical T, H, O, and Pi Attenuator Nomograph" would be too long of a title and that's why the "O" and "Pi" was omitted even though they are clearly included in the chart. As can be seen by inspection of the circuit constructions, the T and Pi configurations are "unbalanced" while ...

NuWaves Engineering RF Downconverter for IFF Applications 

NuWaves Engineering Announces Development of an RF Downconverter for Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Applications - RF CafeNuWaves Engineering, an international Radio Frequency (RF) and Microwave solutions provider, announces the development of a high-efficiency, high-linearity power amplifier and low-spurious downconverter as the result of a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award. The Advanced Radio Frequency (RF) Environment Simulator for Mode 5 and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) (ADROIT) program has resulted in IFF simulator/stimulator hardware to enhance the Army's capabilities with regards to combined live, virtual and constructive (LVC) simulations. The hardware includes an enhanced VRG-1000SD from strategic partner ViaSat, which include software upgrades to increase the number of simultaneous IFF interrogators and transponders in a given simulation ...

Accurate Impedance Measurements Using a VNA

Accurate Impedance Measurements Using a VNA - RF CafeMr. Brian Walker, Senior RF Design Engineer at Copper Mountain Technologies, has a great article on the Microwaves & RF website entitled, "Make Accurate Impedance Measurements Using a VNA." It presents three methods - shunt, through, and series - for making accurate and repeatable measurements of discrete passive components. "A vector network analyzer (VNA) is a very useful test instrument for characterizing RF circuits and amplifiers. But what about measurements of simple passive components? What's the best way to characterize a chip capacitor or an inductor—or even a resistor? In the past, without giving it much thought, this author has measured chip capacitors by grounding one end ..."

Thanks to TotalTemp Technologies for Continued Support!

TotalTemp Technologies - RF CafeTotalTemp Technologies has more than 40 years of combined experience providing thermal platforms. Thermal Platforms are available to provide temperatures between -100°C and +200°C for cryogenic cooling, recirculating circulating coolers, temperature chambers and temperature controllers, thermal range safety controllers, space simulation chambers, hybrid benchtop chambers, custom systems and platforms. Manual and automated configurations for laboratory and production environments.

Magnet Sets World Record at 45.5 Teslas 

Magnet Sets World Record at 45.5 Teslas - RF Cafe"A new multicomponent, partially-superconducting electromagnet - currently the world's strongest DC magnet of any kind - is poised to reveal a path to substantially stronger magnets still. The new magnet technology could help scientists study many other phenomena including nuclear fusion, exotic states of matter, 'shape-shifting' molecules, and interplanetary rockets, to name a few. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida is home to four types of advanced, ultra-strong magnets. One supports magnetic resonance studies. Another is configured for mass spectrometry. And a different type produces the strongest magnetic fields in the world. (Sister MagLab campuses at the University of Florida and Los Alamos National Laboratory ..."

Bittele Electronics: PCB Fabrication & Assembly

Since 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly services. It specializes in board level turnkey PCB assembly for design engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit boards. Free Passive Components: Bittele Electronics is taking one further step in its commitment of offering the best service to clients of its PCB assembly business. Bittele is now offering common passive components to its clients FREE of Charge.

Monday 1

RC Circuit Quiz

RC Circuit Quiz, June 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHaving worked around resistors and capacitors for more than four decades comes in handy when presented with 'simple' quizzes like this one that appeared in a 1963 Popular Electronics dealing with RC circuits. Still, there is always some trepidation involved when being subject, even voluntarily, to a test of any sort, regardless of whether you are fairly confident that it will be a lead pipe cinch, a cake walk, child's play, so to speak. Even if nobody else will bear witness to your effort, you would feel like a real moron if you missed even one of those simple questions that anyone with your level of experience should get right without even having to think about it. Such is the irrational fear I have when taking these quizzes ...

ConductRF RF Test Cables for Field Engineers

ConductRF RF Test Cables for Field Engineers 6/25/2019 - RF CafeConductRF's SiteFlex Range of ruggedized Field RF Test Cables are designed specially for Field Test Engineers working in applications that require on site RF Testing. These cables are directly compatible with Hand-Held Network and Spectrum analyzers. Common options include: DC to 7 GHz, through DC to 50 GHz. ConductRF's principle U.S. manufacturing location is in Methuen, MA, where we maintain a highly skilled team of technicians and skilled production staff. Our factory is ISO9001 certified and also ITAR registered.

Pulse Modulation

Pulse Modulation, October 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafePulse modulation comes in many forms, including pulse position modulation (PPM), pulse width modulation (PWM), pulse frequency modulation (PFM), pulse amplitude modulation (PAM), and pulse code modulation (PCM). In addition to providing a nice introduction to the concept of pulse modulation, author Herbert Kondo covers the basics of each type and then discusses their application in various communications systems. The first time I recall encountering pulse modulation was in the mid-1970s with radio control systems for model airplanes. Pulse position modulation was the scheme used in both AM and FM sets. Modern R/C systems use frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS), or a combination thereof ...

Restored Mission Control Comes Alive 50 Years After Apollo

Restored Mission Control Comes Alive 50 Years After Apollo - RF Cafe"Gone is the haze of cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke. Gone are the coffee, soda and pizza stains. With only a few exceptions, NASA's Apollo-era Mission Control has been restored to the way it looked 50 years ago when two men landed on the moon. It gets the stamp of approval from retired flight director Gene Kranz, a man for whom failure - or even a minor oversight - is never an option. Seated at the console where he ruled over Apollo 11, Apollo 13 and so many other astronaut missions, Kranz pointed out that a phone was missing behind him. And he said the air vents used to be black from all the smoke, not sparkly clean like they are now. Those couple of details aside, Kranz could close, then open his eyes, and transport himself back to July 20, 1969, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's momentous moon landing ..."

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.

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