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Homepage Archive - June 2019 (page 4)

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.

Homepage Archive Pages

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See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the June 2019 homepage archives.

Sunday 30

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle June 30

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle June 30, 2019 - RF CafeHere is the last engineering- and science-themed crossword puzzle for June. These custom-made crosswords are done weekly for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. The jury is out on whether or not this type of mental challenge helps keep your gray matter from atrophying in old age, but it certainly helps maintain your vocabulary and cognitive skills at all ages. A database of thousands of words has been built up over the years and contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc. 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 ...

Friday 28

Radio Famine

Radio Famine, June 1941 Radio-Craft - RF CafeA shortage of aluminum for manufacturing seems impossible given its abundance in the form of bauxite - an ore of aluminum and iron - in many places of the world. It is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen (20% of the atmosphere) and silicon (sand)*, and is easy to mine because it is found close to the surface. Today, aluminum is extracted and processed primarily in Australia and - no surprise - China. The U.S., as with so many areas of production, has surrendered its aluminum mining operations to offshore sources, thus exposing its critical supply to the whims of trade deals. During the early days of World War II, aluminum was being produced domestically, but enough foreign sources were being used that the danger of shipping trade routes due to German U-boats ...

Analog Demodulation Measurements with Spectrum Analyzers

Analog Demodulation Measurements with Spectrum Analyzers - RF CafeMr. Dave Engelder, of Keysight Technologies, will on July 16 at 1:00 pm ET present a webinar entitled "Analog Demodulation Measurements with Spectrum Analyzers." "Learn the basics of amplitude and frequency modulation. This webinar reviews analog modulation types AM, FM, and PM to give you insights into your circuit performance. Two live demonstrations using a signal analyzer and application software reinforce these concepts. You'll see examples of: Advantages of an all-digital measurement architecture, IF sampler, and digital signal processing (DSP), How to use the functions and features of the N9063 analog demod app using your X-Series signal analyzer ..."

QuinStar Technology T-Shirt

QuinStar Technology T-Shirt - RF CafeIf you visited the good folks at the QuinStar Technology booth at the IMS show in Boston this year (2019), you were probably offered one of the T-shirts shown here. As you might expect from a company of engineers and scientists, the design on the T-shirt includes a thinking exercise. Rumor has it that this is the first question put to interviewees. Can you decode the license plate message? I asked Ms. Carol Clasby, who probably handed you your T-shirt at IMS2019 (if you got one), whether someone at QuinStar actually has the license plate and she responded not yet, but maybe in the near future. I went to the California Department of Transportation website to see what such a license plate might look like. It allowed me to reserve the plate, although of course ...

TVI and the Novice

TVI and the Novice, October 1953 QST - RF CafeTelevision interference (TVI) was a major concern for amateur radio operators back in the heyday of broadcast TV. Other than radio broadcasts, magazines, and newspapers, it was the only other major form of media available; there was no Internet. Even the lowest priced TV sets represented a significant portion of a typical family's disposable income. There was no government handout program that provided every household with a television set and antenna. Consequently, people were very irritated by nearby electrical or electronic equipment that dared to interfere with their reception - and rightly so. Ham radio operators broadcast on bands that were fairly well separate from the TV channel frequencies; however, harmonics and intermodulation products often fell in the TV bands, and that caused real problems with the public perception of amateur radio. Articles like this were aimed at helping people tame ...

Silicon Nanobot Swarms Coming Sooner Than You Think

Silicon Nanobot Swarms May Be Coming Sooner Than You Think - RF Cafe"Swarms of nanorobots (usually referred to as nanobots) are the stuff of science-fiction movies (mostly scary, some not). However, they're getting closer to reality as tiny, insect-like electromechanical ''creatures' are being created and evaluated. But why not instead use extensions of silicon-based IC processes and leverage the many attributes and high areal density of this well-known, low-cost mass-production technique to create nanobots without discrete mechanical parts? That's what a team headed by Prof. Marc Miskin, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania has done, fabricating their nanobots directly on special silicon wafers ..."

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.

Thursday 27

IRC List of Abbreviations for Radio Communication

International Radiotelegraphic Convention List of Abbreviations to be Used Radio Communication- RF CafeMy grandfather, Roland (my middle name) Somers, on my mother's side was a residential (aka house) builder. He owned and operated a small (2-3 employees) business in Mayo, Maryland in the middle of the last century. Being his only grandson, I got what survived of his books like this Audel's Handy Book of Practical Electricity, c1942, by Theo. Audel & Co. Publishers. I also have a couple of his carpentry and hand tool books of the era. The scanned page below is entitled, "List of Abbreviations to Be Used Radio Communication," as dictated by the International Radiotelegraphic Convention (IRC). Amateur radio operators will recognize the list as being a collection of the familiar "Q" Signals, although stated in sometimes archaic prose; e.g., QRN = "Are the atmospherics strong?" and QSB = "Is my spark bad? ...

Microsoft Office Deep Discount - Visio, Word, Excel, Outlook, Access

Microsoft Office Deep Discount - Visio, Word, Excel, Outlook, Access - RF CafeIt seems impossible that you can buy Visio Professional 2019 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019 for less than $10 each, but according to the research I did the offers seems to be legitimate. Evidently, sellers buy corporate subscriptions and then are licensed to distribute copies to it agents (we, the buyers). This is nothing new because I have seen it done for many years. After purchasing a product, you are provided with a hyperlink for downloading the software directly from the Microsoft.com website, and also an activation key. Heeding the old saying about if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't, I decided to test the system. Back in March, I purchased one copy each of Visio Professional 2019 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019 for $5.99 and $9.99 ...

Electronic Numbers Quiz

Electronic Numbers Quiz, December 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRobert Balin created many quizzes for Popular Electronics magazine back in the 1960s and 1970s. This particular "Electronic Numbers Quiz" presents various objects and your challenge is to match one of the provided numerical values to each item. For example, a tuning fork is most commonly, in the Western world, associated with a certain frequency for tuning musical instruments (electronic and mechanical). As is often the case, being familiar with the "standards" of the era is helpful on a few of the items like the tuning capacitor and the IF transformer, but you should be able to eliminate some options by knowing the impedance of the twin lead transmission line and the phase relationship of current and voltage in a pure inductance ...

MWJ Releases Podcasts of Its "Frequency Matters" Video Series

Microwave Journal Releases Podcasts of Its Well-Known Frequency Matters Video Series - RF CafeMicrowave Journal has released audio podcasts versions of its long running, popular RF and microwave update video series, Frequency Matters. All of the episodes for 2019 are now  and linked on the Microwave Journal home page's main navigation menu under "Multimedia." In addition, special audio interviews with industry analysts and executives will be included in this podcast series. Listeners can find the series on iTunes and Google Play and subscribe to the feed for easy listening on the go. If you don't have time to watch the videos, just download the podcasts to listen to them at your leisure in the car ride to work or on your flight to a business meeting. The Frequency Matters RF and microwave update series ...

Ultrafast Wireless Network to Rival Optical Fiber

Ultrafast Wireless Network to Rival Optical Fiber - RF Cafe"The radio frequency spectrum for wireless telecommunications, is a limited resource which needs effective management in order to satisfy the surplus data demands. In a bid to help operators manage these excessive demands posed by the growth in users of wireless internet access, researchers at IMDEA Networks have developed a novel communications architecture for future ultrafast wireless networks that can achieve data rates previously only possible with optical fiber. Global technology company, Facebook, initiated the Terragraph project that uses a mesh of reconfigurable millimeter-wave links to provide reliable, high-speed Internet access in urban and suburban environments. It previously experimented with networks of solar-powered drones ...

Alliance Test Equipment: Used & Refurbished, Purchase & Rental

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.

Wednesday 26

Stereo Scene: 10 Hi-Fi Fallacies

Stereo Scene: Ten Hi-Fi Fallacies, August 1971 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis installment of "Stereo Scene" was the 12th in a series run by Popular Electronics magazine in the early 1970s. As mentioned previously, stereo equipment was a big deal in the 1960s and 1970s. Amazingly - or maybe not amazingly - some of the issues of the day have persisted through today's audiophile community. One of the most fervently debated topic is whether audio power amplifiers that use vacuum tubes produce higher quality sound than do transistorized power amplifiers. The pro-tube argument holds that the physical flow of electrons and the ability of metal internal components to vibrate microscopically in response to signals imparts a quality to the output that rigid semiconductors cannot. Many attempts at designing circuits to artificially add such "quality" to transistorized amplifiers ...

Lockheed Martin Recognizes Custom MMIC for Outstanding Performance

Lockheed Martin Recognizes Custom MMIC For Outstanding Performance - RF CafeLockheed Martin recognized 27 small business suppliers that made exemplary contributions to its Missiles and Fire Control business area's products and services in 2018. Custom MMIC received an award for their exemplary work in helping Lockheed Martin deliver crucial missions to their customers. Paul Blount, President and CEO of Custom MMIC, and Charlie Trantanella, Chief Scientist, attended the award ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of the Custom MMIC team. "We are excited and honored to have been selected for this prestigious award from Lockheed Martin," said Paul Blount ...

Behind the Giant Brains

Behind the Giant Brains (Part 1), January 1957 Radio & Television News - RF CafeRadio & Television News ran a two-part article on the state of the art of computers in the late 1950s (this is part 1). It had only been since ENIAC's (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) debut in 1946 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that the public (or science community for that matter) was getting used to regularly hearing about computers in the news. By 1957 there were many companies popping up with electronic computer offerings. Originally the exclusive purview of university research labs and defense installations, the size and cost of computers was moving into the realm of affordability by corporations that used them for accounting and bookkeeping, and in some cases even rented idle time to outside users. Desktop PCs and notebook computers were still the realm of crazy dreamers ...

All-Digital Antennas for mmWave Systems

All-Digital Antennas for mmWave Systems - RF CafeMr. Mike Kappes, of IQ−Analog Corporation, has an article in Microwave Journal entitled, "All-Digital Antennas for mmWave Systems." It begins: "To realize high performance mmWave communications, beamforming antenna systems will need to be smarter, faster, smaller, lower power, cost less, have lower latency and be easier to integrate than current technologies. Much like with previous telecommunication systems, integrating important processing and signal conditioning functions will enable more cost-effective and compact mmWave beamforming antennas. The development of complex mmWave RF and analog hardware for 5G ..."

Army Researching IoT Sensor Networks for LoRaWAN Technology

Army Researching IoT Sensor Networks Based on LoRaWAN Technology - RF Cafe"The U.S. Army is researching how to leverage smart cities of the future where networks of sensors will be used to enable services for civilian and government use, such as environmental monitoring or traffic flow optimization. Smart city environments have emerged from continued growth in urban internet of things, or IoT, infrastructure, where devices connect to the web, integrate capabilities and use data analytics to extract meaningful information. Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory, the Army's corporate research laboratory also known as ARL, are investigating how IoT could complement the capabilities of military assets in urban operations ..."

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 25

Integrated Circuit: Is Price War On?

Electronics Newsletter - Integrated Circuit: Is Price War On?, May 18, 1964 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeWhen you read about price wars in the integrated circuit (IC) realm, you naturally think of manufacturers in Asian countries, since even the products of American companies are made overseas nowadays (unfortunately). Such was not the case in the early days of ICs when corporations kept their trade secrets within the shores of their home countries, and government technology export laws prohibited practices that would have required processing knowledge and equipment to be located offshore in order to be successful. In the 1960s, it was companies like Fairchild, Clevite, Motorola, Texas Instruments, IBM, Westinghouse, General Electric, et al, who were in fierce competition to dominate the semiconductor markets. Lead design engineers and scientists were offered significant salary and benefit deals to bring their expertise onboard. Magazine articles of the era ...

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 we can help your project ... Please check to see how they can help your project.

Get More Out of Your Instruments with FPGAs

Get More Out of Your Instruments with FPGAs - RF CafeKeysight Technologies is conducting a free webinar on June 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m. ET entitled, "Get More Out of Your Instrument with FPGAs." Planned speakers are Eric Wilson, R&D engineer, Brian Durwood, planner for PathWave FPGA, and Dr. John Guilford, R&D engineer, and Eddie Rodriguez, real-time software architect. "FPGA enabled arbitrary waveform generators, digitizers and DSP modules offer new levels of control and customization that can shave months off of prototyping your high frequency project. Join us to learn how to program these instruments and insert your custom logic, in-line with the signal path ..."

Uncommon Ground Difficulties

Uncommon Ground Difficulties, April 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF Cafe"Ground is ground the world around," is an oft repeated saying when talking about making electrical connections to Earth ground. In a general sense that is true, especially when referring to electromagnetic radio signals and antenna systems that are in some manner dependent on the common connection. However, when you are working within the confines of a localized electronic circuit such as on a printed circuit board or inside a chassis, there is no guarantee that without proper precautions ground is not at the same potential everywhere. Poor (high impedance) soldered, crimped, and bolted connections are among the prime offenders that cause voltage differentials to arise between points intended to be equipotential. RF frequency signals are particularly sensitive to even a minor divergence ...

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

PCB  Directory - RF Cafe

PCB 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 (e.g., material, flexible, rigid), Geographical location, and more.


DoT Looking for Backup Positioning Solution for If GPS Fails

DoT Looking for Backup Positioning Solution for If GPS Fails - RF Cafe"The US Department of Transportation put out an announcement of the 3rd of June informing companies that they are looking to conduct field demonstrations of technologies capable of providing backup and/or complementary positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) in the event of a temporary disruption to GPS. In response to this Globalstar and Echo Ridge have informed the U.S. Department of Transportation that the companies have developed and are prepared to participate in and support a live field demonstration of a stand-alone positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) capability that can provide accurate and reliable PNT services ..."

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 24

Solid State

Solid State, July 1971 Popular Electronics - RF CafeFrom the mid 1950s and through mid 1970s, Popular Electronics magazine ran a series of articles entitled "Solid State" in order to facilitate the electronics industry's effort to move people from vacuum tubes to semiconductors. In fact, if Solid State ran every months since its beginning, this being installment 182 means it began in 1956 - just eight years after the transistor was invented. Even though the commercial industry had already shifted to almost exclusively transistorized products, a large part of the consumer base had been raised on tube radios and televisions. In this case, the news is in regard to Bell Telephone Labs' recent invention of the semiconductor charge coupled device (CCD) - the heart of all modern imaging systems. Prior to the CCD, a vidicon tube, which as the name ...

ConductRF Rugged Replacement VNA Cables

ConductRF Rugged Replacement VNA Cables - RF CafeConductRF offer RF Engineers a large selection of Hi Flex cables for RF vector network analyzers (VNAs). We have standards for applications at 18-40 GHz, 50 GHz & 70 GHz. Our torque resistant connector heads and phase stable constructions ensure great performance for many tests to come. Other key features include: 2.92 mm, 2.4 mm & 1.85 mm connector options, low VSWR & insertion loss, low phase change with flexing, options available swept right angle connectors ...

Raytheon Manufacturing Company Needs Vacuum Tube Engineers

Raytheon Manufacturing Company Needs Vacuum Tube Engineers, July 1944 QST - RF CafeYou don't see jobs advertisements like this anymore. Here is an ad that appeared in the the July 1944 edition of QST (the American Radio Relay League's, ARRL's, monthly magazine), placed by Raytheon Manufacturing Company (now just Raytheon Company), looking for tube design, test, and processing engineers. Licensed amateur radio operators were in high demand during the war years because of their knowledge and enthusiasm for electronics and wireless communications. I hope you didn't come to this page hoping to really find a tube designer job available. Of course, there are still vacuum tubes being designed for TWTs and magnetrons, but those are few and far between ...

SF Circuits Launches Expanded PCB Testing and Inspection Capabilities

San Francisco Circuits Launches Expanded PCB Testing and Inspection Capabilities - RF CafeSan Francisco Components (SFC), a recognized leader in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) fabrication, assembly, and testing, is now offering expanded PCB testing and inspection capabilities to its customers, further ensuring high-yield PCBs that meet rigid design and performance specifications across all applications and industries. San Francisco Circuits offers PCB testing for Bare Boards (before the board is assembled) and Assembled Boards (once the board is assembled), that will detect and minimize issues that would affect performance. "PCBs need to be tested early in the design and production phases in order to control component tolerances, part-to-part performance variations ..."

Tactical Military Cellphone and Cloud Computing Technologies

Tactical Military Cellphone and Cloud Computing Technologies - RF Cafe"U.S. Navy communications experts plan to approach industry for a prototype low-power secure military cell phone network for warfighters operating on the forward edge of the battlefield. Officials of the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic in North Charleston, S.C., issued a planning document on Tuesday (N65236-19-R-T006) for two initiatives in the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP). Solicitations for these projects should be released around 25 June 2019. The first project, called Tactical Microcell (19-LANT-0072), seeks to develop a military ground microcell for forward-deployed warfighters that uses software-defined radios to create communications microcells ..."

Many Thanks to Reactel for Their Long-Time Support!

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

Sunday 23

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for June 23

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle June 23, 2019 - RF CafeSince 2000, I have been creating custom engineering- and science-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. The jury is out on whether or not this type of mental challenge helps keep your gray matter from atrophying in old age, but it certainly helps maintain your vocabulary and cognitive skills at all ages. A database of thousands of words has been built up over the years and contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc. 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 ...


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    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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