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

Friday 31

Transmission Lines

Transmission Lines, June 1956 Radio & Television News - RF CafeLots of RF transmission cable parameter charts are available on the Internet, but what sets this one apart is that is has entries for some of the popular 300 Ω twin-lead cables of the rooftop television antenna era. It appeared in a 1956 issue of Radio & Television News magazine. Mentioned in the article is the reason most TV lead-in cable was colored brown was to help keep the sun's ultraviolet rays from penetrating and deteriorating the plastic. Author Robert Gary claims silver coloring was also used to reflect the UV, but I don't recall ever seeing silver twin-lead - maybe it was a regional thing like for in the southwest. At the time, μμfd (micro-microfarad) was commonly used rather than pF (picofarad). He also mentions the G-Line transmission cable used by many of the...

Tuning Electrically Short Antennas for Field Operation

Tuning Electrically Short Antennas for Field Operation - RF CafeKazimierz Siwiak and Ulrich L. Rohde have a great piece in Microwave Journal entitled, "Tuning Electrically Short Antennas for Field Operation." It sounds like the title of an article you might find in the ARRL's QST magazine, especially with seeing Mr. Rohde's (a renowned Ham and über RF design engineer) name associated with it. "Even as the current sun spot cycles do not favor radio operation in the HF band (defined here as 1.5 to 30 MHz), there are military and amateur radio applications for 20 W battery-operated radios with whip antennas. In general, the whip antenna which makes the radio portable is not optimized for signal propagation: a whip antenna has no ground return or proper counterpoise. While some users drag a wire up to 8 m behind ..."

Custom MMIC Adds 4 New Products to Its Portfolio

Custom MMIC Expands Its Standard Product Portfolio to Over 170 High Performance MMICs with Four New Product Releases - RF CafeCustom MMIC, a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), is excited to introduce four new MMIC devices to its growing portfolio of standard products that now numbers over 170. These new products further demonstrate Custom MMICs commitment to continuous innovation and delivering the highest performing RF and Microwave MMICs in the industry. Please be sure to visit Custom MMIC at the IMS 2019 show in Boston at Booth # 1350.

Red and Fuzzball on Convergence

Red and Fuzzball on Convergence, January 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeI'm not sure when storytelling as a style of technical writing went the way of vacuum tubes (probably about the same time, come to think of it), but this article from the January 1958 edition of Radio-Electronics is a prime example of how such prose was utilized. Two characters, Red and Fuzzball, meet at a coffee counter and discuss the intricacies of color convergence in color television sets. Such issues are not a concern with today's electron-beam-less displays, but back in the day, it made the difference between an acceptable picture and frustrating images with color fringing. Maybe you remember those days. After having read many articles on troubleshooting, repairing, and aligning TV sets prior to LCD and LED displays ...

Signal Hound Announcing 2 New Devices at IMS 2019

Signal Hound Announcing Two New Devices at IMS 2019 in Boston - RF CafeSignal Hound, a developer of highly optimized solutions for RF signal test and measurement, is exhibiting June 4th-6th, 2019 in Boston (Booth #123) at the IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium (IMS), the premier annual international meeting for technologists involved in all aspects of microwave theory and practice. Signal Hound will be demonstrating their range of products and are highlighting two new devices - the SM200B 20 GHz spectrum analyzer ($12,300 U.S. retail) and the VSG60A 6 GHz signal generator ($2,350 U.S. retail). Both products are scheduled for general availability later this year.

Copper Mountain Technologies: Vector Network Analyzers

Copper Mountain TechnologiesCopper Mountain Technologies develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor Vector Network Analyzers 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.

Thursday 30

Sangamo Electric Company High Reliability Capacitors

Sangamo Electric Company High Reliability Capacitors, June 1956 Radio & Television News - RF CafeWhen I look at a photograph of ancient buildings, bridges, and other constructs that required years of planning and labor to complete, I think of how unfortunate it is that a history of drawings and/or paintings do not exist that document the construction process that went into it. Other than more contemporary renditions of what an artist thinks the sites of the Great Pyramids, the Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, etc., might have looked like as workers (often slaves) and engineers progressed throughout the projects, very few instances exist. I also wish to see the off-site manufacturing of columns and pillars, carved wooden and stone facades, stained glass windows and decorations, furniture ...

IMS 2019 Conference Proceedings and Workshop Notes

IMS 2019 Conference Proceedings and Workshop Notes - RF CafeIf you have a Badge ID and e-mail on record for attending the International Microwave Symposium, the entire set of IMS 2019 Conference Proceedings and Workshop Notes can be downloaded ahead of time. Eligibility for access to specific files depends on your show admission privileges. Amongst the files are: IMS Electronic Conference Proceedings, RFIC Electronic Conference Proceedings, ARFTG Electronic Conference Proceedings, Sunday Workshop Proceedings, Monday Workshop Proceedings, Friday Workshop Proceedings, RF Boot Camp, Industry Workshops, and MicroApps.

Carl and Jerry: El Torero Electronico

Carl and Jerry: El Torero Electronico, April 1960 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"So if I can work out a really efficient way of changing part of this wasted noise into electrical energy, it can be charging batteries and taking some of the load off the plane's generating plant." That passage, from the April 1960 Carl and Jerry adventure story, reads like a modern day energy harvesting project. Each month Popular Electronics included an electronics saga that normally included some high tech sleuthing by the teenagers a la the Hardy Boys. This is a particular favorite of mine because it involves a radio controlled airplane model. BTW, according to the Google translator, the title of this story is "The Electronic Bull."

Z-Comm Announces AS9100D with ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Z-Communications Announces AS9100D with ISO 9001:2015 Certification - RF CafeZ-Communications, Inc., the world leader in the manufacture of VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators) and PLLs (Phase-Lock Loops), today announced that its manufacturing facility located in San Diego, California as of April 2019 has successfully achieved the Aerospace Management System AAS9100D with ISO 9001:2015 Certification. "AS9100D certification signifies that we as a supplier have established, maintained, and continually improve our comprehensive quality management system to ensure supply of safe and reliable products to the aviation, space, and defense industries as well as complying with civilian and military requirements. I am extremely proud of the entire Z-Communications team. It is a testament to the dedication ...

Aircraft-Towed EW Decoy for Radar-Guided Missiles

BAE Systems EW Aircraft-Towed Decoy for Radar-Guided Missiles - RF CafeSome things just don't look right. This is one of them. "Experts at BAE Systems will demonstrate a new dual-band towed decoy to help U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F jet fighter-bomber pilots avoid modern sophisticated enemy radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles. The DBD towed decoy project, launched last June, seeks to meet an urgent Navy need to protect crews of area-penetrating attack jets like the F/A-18E/F from enemy radar-guided missiles that operate on two separate frequencies, such as X-band and S-band. Dual-band radar is particularly difficult to jam, and poses a serious threat to U.S. aircraft that must operate in contested airspace. A towed decoy trails behind the aircraft ..."

ERZIA: Microwave & mm-Wave Modular Amplifiers

Many Thanks to ERZIA for Continued Support!ERZIA serves critical aerospace and defense missions by designing and manufacturing RF, microwave, and mm-wave amplifiers, integrated assemblies operating from low frequencies up to 100 GHz, and by providing high reliable satellite communications. The company was founded in 2002 to become a worldwide reference of advanced engineering, performance, reliability and ruggedness. Their catalogue of standard amplifier modules comprises more than 100 different models, having also a high capacity of customization for amplifiers and integrated assemblies. Some of products have space heritage and are used in aerospace, commercial, military and scientific systems, having a wide range of final applications ...

Wednesday 29

15 Things We Do Know About Phono Cartridges

15 Things We Do Know About Phono Cartridges, June 1971 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAs the planet's population grows older and people have an increasing amount of disposable income and spare time, the opportunity to engage in nostalgic endeavors has gone up. That includes collecting, restoring, and operating equipment and peripherals that were the mainstay of their lives during their halcyon days of youth. In recognition of the new marketing opportunities, industries are popping up to feed the frenzy. Look no farther than eBay and the amount of vintage items available for purchase - at ever increasing prices. Having myself been an eBay buyer of memorabilia from my early model airplane, model rockets, and electronics hobbies, I have watched prices soar in many cases. Turntables (aka phonographs, or for the lowbrow types, record players) are being manufactured again ...

Network Analysis Measurement Science Poster

Network Analysis Measurement Science Poster (Keysight Technologies) - RF CafeKeysight Technologies is offering a nifty Network Analysis Measurement Science Poster. For the price of providing them with your e-mail address, you can either download the poster in a PDF file format, or have a hard copy mailed to you (I suggest the latter option). This kind of posters are reminiscent of the pre-smartphone days when office and lab walls were lined with cool and useful posters. "This poster guides you through the essentials and equip you with the right knowledge on network analysis measurement science, from S-parameters basics, to common measurement applications and tips to perform complex measurements with your vector network analyzer ..."

The Reality of Millimeter Wavelength for 5G

The Reality of Millimeter Wavelength for 5G - RF CafeA recurring theme is appearing in articles regarding the promises made for ubiquitous and omnipresent 5G and its high bandwidth data: Atmospheric absorption is severe at the higher carrier frequencies, which limits range and requires denser base station populations. This Pasternack article in Microwave Product Digest entitled, "The Reality of Millimeter Wavelength for 5G" touches on the issue. "Amid the attention to the coming fifth generation of 'cellular' technology, the use of spectrum at 28 GHz and higher is generating some of the attention. Most media coverage recites the well-known challenges associated operating at millimeter wavelengths and how it will require a huge number of small-cell case stations, massive MIMO ...

Vacuum Tubes: Boiling Electronics

Vacuum Tubes: Boiling Electronics (NAVPERS 10622, Chapter 19) - RF CafeIn July, it will have been twenty years since RFCafe.com made its debut on the World Wide Web (that's what the Internet was still referred to by many people in 1999). At the time, the electronics world was long past the vacuum tube era, but there was still enough of the vintage equipment around that a lot of hobbyists had an interest in the theory and operation of tubes. Two decades later you might think interest levels would have waned, but thanks to the Internet, there are probably more people than ever who are preserving, restoring, and using vacuum tube gear. New books are being written about them. For the layman wanting to be educated on the art of tubes, the military's electronics training courses are still some of the finest sources available - and they're in the Public Domain  (aka "Free") now ...

Entangled-Photon Gyroscope Overcomes Classical Limit

Entangled-Photon Gyroscope Overcomes Classical Limit - RF Cafe"Fiber optic gyroscopes, which measure the rotation and orientation of airplanes and other moving objects, are inherently limited in their precision when using ordinary classical light. In a new study, physicists have experimentally demonstrated for the first time that using entangled photons overcomes this classical limit, called the shot-noise limit, and achieves a level of precision that would not be possible with classical light. The physicists, led by Matthias Fink and Rupert Ursin at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, have published a paper on the entanglement-enhanced fiber-optic gyroscope ..."

Triad RF Systems: RF/Microwave Amplifiers and Amplifier Systems

Triad RF Systems designs and manufactures RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad RF Systems comprises three partners (hence 'Triad') with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. PA, LNA, bi-directional, and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including tower mount, benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please check to see how they can help your project ...

Tuesday 28

Unitrode's Fully Encapsulated Diode Package

Unitrode's Fully Encapsulated Diode Package, May 4, 1964 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeWe really have it good today compared to the early days of the semiconductor revolution. Most of the most difficult problems were solved long ago. Point contact devices were still fairly commonplace even in 1964. Recall that the very first manufactured solid state diodes and transistors were the point contact type that were encapsulated in glass with a space gap where the contact was made. That left the device vulnerable to vibration and impact damage and to contamination if the hermetic seal failed between the metal lead and the junction(s). Unitrode claims to have been the first to eliminate that issue with essentially a fully bonded package. Keep in mind, however, that even the early semiconductor device packaging was no worse that the vacuum tubes that they replaced, since the tubes also suffered from the same vulnerabilities due to their construction. In fact, the process used with the early solid state device packaging descended directly from vacuum tube construction ...

The Whys and Wherefores of Watts

The Whys and Wherefores of Watts, January 1957 Popular Electronics - RF CafeMost visitors to RF Cafe are either engineers, technicians, or hobbyists who deal with watts in terms of electrical power. This article from the January 1957 edition of Popular Electronics deals primarily with watts in terms of acoustic power, but it also addresses how obtaining acoustic watts relates to electrical watts. Audiophiles will appreciate the table of speaker watts needed based on your room volume as well as rules of thumb for selecting the amplifier power required to deliver that sound effectively. You will note that back in the day the common abbreviation for decibels was all lower case (db) ad opposed to how we do it today (dB). A tech-related comic was on a page in the article so I included it as well ...

Ultra-Clean Fabrication Produces Nearly Ideal 2D Transistors

Ultra-Clean Fabrication Produces Nearly Ideal 2D Transistors - RF Cafe"Semiconductors, which are the basic building blocks of transistors, microprocessors, lasers, and LEDs, have driven advances in computing, memory, communications, and lighting technologies since the mid-20th century. Recently discovered two-dimensional materials, which feature many superlative properties, have the potential to advance these technologies, but creating 2D devices with both good electrical contacts and stable performance has proved challenging. Researchers at Columbia Engineering report that they have demonstrated a nearly ideal transistor made from a two-dimensional (2D) material stack with only a two-atom-thick semiconducting layer ...

RF & Connector Technology: Coax Connectors, Cable, Passive Components

RF & Connector Technology - RF CafeProviding full solution service is our motto, not just selling goods. RF & Connector Technology has persistently pursued a management policy stressing quality assurance system and technological advancement. From your very first contact, you will be supported by competent RF specialists; all of them have several years of field experience in this industry allowing them to suggest a fundamental solution and troubleshooting approach. Coaxial RF connectors, cable assemblies, antennas, terminations, attenuators, couplers, dividers, and more. Practically, we put priority on process inspection at each step of workflow as well as during final inspection in order to actualize "Zero Defects ..."

Monday 27

Reader Letter: Waveguide

Reader Letter: Waveguide, May 4, 1964 Electronics Magazine - RF CafeThis letter submitted to Electronics magazine by reader Fred Standish really should have been saved for the next April issue. He writes concerning an attempt to mathematically describe the three-port circular-to-rectangular waveguide transition for the pictured configuration. If I remember correctly, the first time I saw that optical illusion was sometime in the early 1970s. The drawing showed Alfred E. Neuman (the red-haired, freckled-faced "Me Worry? guy from Mad magazine) attempting to don a pair of pants (a triplet of pants in that case?) sewn to resemble the three-legged configuration - known unofficially as the "Impossible Trident." I was in my early teens at the time and though it was awfully clever. After doing a little research, I found that the first instance of the Impossible Trident in Mad magazine was on the cover of the March 1965 issue ...

Landing System Made to Enter Spoofing Zone

Landing System Made to Enter Spoofing Zone - RF Cafe"Just what the airplane passenger who is always skittish does not want to hear: Radio navigation on planes for landing purposes is not secure; signals can be hacked. In a video demonstration of the attack by researchers, 'Wireless Attacks on Aircraft Landing Systems,,' spoofing starts automatically as soon the aircraft enters 'the spoofing zone. The attacker signal is in real-time generated accounting for the maneuvers of the aircraft.' What does the spoof actually do, to trick the pilot? Dan Goodin in Ars Technica said the researchers can spoof airport signals in a way that causes a pilot's navigation instruments to falsely indicate ..."

Burning out Your Circuits Without Really Trying

Burning out Your Circuits Without Really Trying, May 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAcrylic wall-to-wall carpeting really came into vogue in the late 1960s to early 1970s - just in time for the arrival of miniaturized microelectronics (is that redundant or just superfluous?). Gate widths were being shrunken rapidly as the birth of the Moore's Law era was in its infancy (born in a 1965 paper written by Intel engineer and co-founder Gordon Moore). The result was copious quantities of electronic gadgets being zapped when the unsuspecting user would walk across the Van de Graaff generator in the form of floor covering and reach for a dial or switch. A couple thousand volts could easily build up on a body clad in lime green polyester pants (remember the era), then fzzzzt, there goes the clock radio or AM/FM tuner. Vacuum tube circuits from a decade earlier ...

Memorial Day 2019

A Memorial Day Tribute (Kirt's Cogitations #24) - RF CafeOn May 27, 1868, the first Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was celebrated to honor the country's fallen during the Civil War. By proclamation of General John A. Logan, "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit." Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery ..."

Rohde & Schwarz USA: RF & Microwave, Analog, Digital, & Optical Test Equipment

Rohde & Schwarz USA Pocket Guides - RF CafeRohde & Schwarz develops, produces and markets 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 ...

Sunday 26

Memorial Day 2019 Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle

Engineering & Science Memorial Day Crossword Puzzle May 26, 2019 - RF CafeHere is a specially constructed crossword puzzle in honor of our fallen service members for this Memorial Day. Since 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 ...

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