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Homepage Archive - October 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.

Homepage Archive Pages

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2012:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 (no archives before 2012)

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

Friday 11

That Old Regenerative Set of Mine

That Old Regenerative Set of Mine, January 1968 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"...Or, Never Throw Anything Away, If You Can Help It." That is the full title of this story by Freb Ebel which appeared in a 1968 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. In order to "get it," you would need to have been the owner and operator (and preferably builder) of one of the vintage (now, not then) manually adjusted (often) regenerative receivers in order to optimize performance. Anyone who would have considered a regenerative "squealer" to be the electronics of yore in 1968 would be half a century older today. It might seem there would be few of those gents left, but judging by notes I get from RF Cafe visitors, their numbers must be fairly large, and I'm glad to know it.

Key Parameters for Selecting RF Inductors

Key Parameters for Selecting RF Inductors - RF CafeCoilcraft, one of the industry's largest and oldest inductor manufacturers, has published a whitepaper entitled, "Key Parameters for Selecting RF Inductors." It is just a couple pages and covers SRF, DC resistance, Q, etc. Whenever you go to a website - news or otherwise - and you are required to provide contact info for access to a paper or article (which puts you on a mailing list), do a search to see if it is available for download elsewhere without having to divulge your ID. It almost always is.

RF Cafe Quiz #7: Radar Fundamentals

RF Cafe Quiz #7: Radar Fundamentals - RF CafeAll RF Cafe quizzes would make perfect fodder in employment interviews for technicians or engineers - particularly those who are fresh out of school or are relatively new to the work world. Come to think of it, they would make equally excellent study material for the same persons who are going to be interviewed for a job. This particular quiz challenges your knowledge of radar fundamentals. Do you know what a "radar mile" is? Bon chance.

Teledyne Intros Radiation Tolerant 60 GHz Reflective 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 announces the availability of a rad-tolerant 60 GHz, Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) reflective RF switch, model TDSW0602T, that is ideal for use in high reliability, demanding space and defense applications. This new RF switch, developed with Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, will be available as flip chip die and is screened per MIL-PRF-38534 Class K for space applications. Until now, rad tolerant 60 GHz switch technology has only been available for less rigorous commercial application requirements. This product leverages monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) design techniques that deliver unprecedented performance in the K and Ka microwave and millimeter-wave bands ...

NextGen Alloys Hard as Ceramic & Tough as Steel

NextGen Alloys Hard as Ceramic & Tough as Steel - RF Cafe"A new way to calculate the interaction between a metal and its alloying material could speed the hunt for a new material that combines the hardness of ceramic with the resilience of metal. The discovery, made by engineers at the University of Michigan, identifies two aspects of this interaction that can accurately predict how a particular alloy will behave - and with fewer demanding, from-scratch quantum mechanical calculations. 'Our findings may enable the use of machine learning algorithms for alloy design, potentially accelerating the search for better alloys that could be used in turbine engines and nuclear reactors,' said Liang Qi ..."

Res-Net Microwave: Precision RF & Microwave Components

Res-Net Microwave Components - RF CafeRes-Net Microwave has a complete line of precision RF & microwave components including attenuators, terminations, resistors, and diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications. Products range from the small flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power attenuators and/or terminations at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo etch and laser trim capability. The company is a leader in development and production of the films required for these type of RF/microwave components. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current project.

Thursday 10

Circuitry Crossword, August 1958 Radio News

Circuitry Crossword, August 1958 Radio News - RF CafeGiven that this Circuitry Crossword was created at the peak of the post-war television popularity wave, it is no surprise that the main focus is on TV-related terms. Still, most people who lived during the era of "real" television sets with cathode ray tubes (CRTs), will probably have no problem completing it successfully. If you have ever adjusted the horizontal and vertical hold controls on a TV, you're in the club. After nearly two decades with LCD computer and television displays, the days of less than perfect images are fading like an over-the-air broadcast on a stormy day. Unlike the time it took me days to figure out that two heavy speakers sitting on a shelf over top of my CRT computer monitor was causing a weird distortion in the picture ...

SpaceX Starlink Satellites Ruin Telescope Views - RF CafeThis image from Lowell Observatory in Arizona shows the damage inflicted on Earth-based astronomy caused by SpaceX's Starlink satellite cluster. This is just the first 60 of a planned 12,000 satellites which will ostensibly provide global Internet coverage from space. The American Astronomical Society predicted such interference, but was assured by Starlink planners that the concern was unfounded since the satellites' brightness will decrease once in their final orbital positions. Worldwide governments (aka taxpayers) have many billions of dollars invested in telescope construction and operation, and the future of astronomical research hangs on whether Starlink and similar schemes are permitted to effect a dynamic light filter around the Earth.

Mysterious Short Waves

Mysterious Short Waves, March 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeIn 1935, not much was yet known about the ionosphere. Its existence was first theorized in 1902 by Arthur Kennelly and Oliver Heaviside, and Edward Appleton proved its presence in 1924 by conducting a series of broadcast experiments, but no direct measurements were possible until rocket-borne instruments could be launched. An Aerobee-Hi sounding rocket was launched in 1956 as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) project that made the first actual detection of ionized particles in what is now referred to as the D-layer. It is therefore forgivable that Hugo Gernsback, normally spot-on in his theories and postulations regarding RF propagation, incorrectly suggested in this editorial that based on observed time measurements from Europe to the USA, radio waves may vary in speed through the atmosphere by as much ...

Webinar: Accelerating the Engineering Workflow

Accelerating the Engineering Workflow Webinar - RF CafeKeysight Technologies will present a free webinar entitled, "Accelerating the Engineering Workflow" at 1:00 pm EDT on October 23rd. "In our fast-moving, competitive global economy, engineers are being asked to reduce the time between committing a change to a product while that change is being placed into normal production, ensuring high quality. Learn how to accelerate your overall engineering workflow from a simulation of early concepts through manufacturing and optimization of deployed systems. Learn how to optimize your test development workflow. Learn how workgroup and enterprise silos are slowing down product development and how to avoid it. ;Learn best practices implemented by other companies to accelerate their workflow ..."

Inventing the World's Strongest Silver

Inventing the World's Strongest Silver - RF Cafe"A team of scientists has made the strongest silver ever - 42% stronger than the previous world record. But that's not the important point. 'We've discovered a new mechanism at work at the nanoscale that allows us to make metals that are much stronger than anything ever made before - while not losing any electrical conductivity,' says Frederic Sansoz, a materials scientist and mechanical engineering professor at the University of Vermont [my alma mater] who co-led the new discovery. This fundamental breakthrough promises a new category of materials that can overcome a traditional trade-off in industrial and commercial materials between strength and ability to carry electrical current ..."

Axiom Test Equipment: Rent, Buy, Trade & Repair

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment, they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!

Wednesday 9

News Highlights, October 1972 Popular Electronics

News Highlights, October 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRF Cafe regulars know that the website's slogan of "Serving a Thoughtful Blend of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" is a very accurate description of the information presented on a daily basis. Having always been a firm believer that being aware of the people and events that brought us to where we are today is essential to forging paths towards tomorrow's successes, I take care to review and excerpt relevant historical passages from vintage newspapers, books, magazines, and videos. Some of the most interesting reads are noting historical perspectives from writers at a time that to us, today, is historical. Some of these "News Highlights" from a 1972 issue of Popular Electronics magazine are an example. The first item celebrates the 10-year anniversary of American satellite communications with the launching of the Telstar satellite ...

Many Thanks to ERZIA for Continued Support!

Many Thanks to ERZIA for Continued Support!RF Cafe's continued existence depends on companies like ERZIA providing support. ERZIA produces microwave and mm-wave modular amplifiers and integrated assemblies operating from low frequencies up to 100 GHz. Their catalogue of standard amplifier modules comprises more than 100 different models, having also a high capacity of customization for amplifiers and integrated assemblies. Some of products have space heritage and are used in aerospace, commercial, military and scientific systems, having a wide range of final applications.

Withwave Intros SMPM High Density Coax Connectors

Withwave Intros SMPM High Density Coax Connectors - RF CafeWithwave has introduced a line of SMPM connectors which cover a wide frequency range from RF to microwave with excellent frequency performance and high density. The proprietary internal insulator enables a simpler structure with higher performance compared to the conventional SMPM connectors. The best applications could be 5G complex mobile communications modules, satellite systems and various other wireless systems. Frequency range: DC to 26.5 GHz & 67 GHz, push-on mating for quick installation, high density SMT packaging available ...

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Intermittents Still Pursue

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Intermittents Still Pursue, February 1949 Radio & Television News - RF CafeMac McGregor, owner of Mac's Radio Service Shop, can always be counted on to provide his apprentice technician, Barney, with a lesson from his own life-long attendance at the School of Hard Knocks. Barney is your stereotypical young buck whose level of seriousness needs occasional alignment, just as do the radio and television sets he services. In this episode, I can't find where Mac actually solved the intermittent electrical condition believed to be causing the problem - weird. The "Mac's Radio Service Shop" series ran in Radio & Television News magazine for many years prior to a similar electronics story series called "Carl & Jerry" that appeared in Popular Electronics. Both were created by consummate storyteller John T. Frye ...

Manufacturing Engineer Pay: The Top 15 U.S. Cities

Manufacturing Engineer Pay: The Top 15 U.S. Cities - RF CafeNo surprise here: California had most of the top paying slots, but of course it is one of the highest cost of living areas, so "real" pay might not be so good. "Welcome to Manufacturing Day. The world of production has changed remarkably in recent years. Manufacturing plants are now clean and relatively quiet. When I [Rob Spiegel ] was young and growing up in the Detroit area, manufacturing jobs were easy to come by. They paid very well, but they were hard on the body and soul. The work was repetitive, the plant factory was loud, the smell was heavy with grease, and there were physical dangers if you weren't careful. I lost the tip of a thumb to a small stamp welder ..."

Heat-Free Technology Developed for Fabrication of Flexible Electronics

Heat-Free Technology Developed for Fabrication of Flexible Electronics - RF Cafe"Scientists can fabricate metal interconnects for electronic devices without using heat, creating new options in material use and scientific and commercial applications. To create parts made of metal in electronic devices, engineers have traditionally used heat, as metals must be molten to be formed. Researchers now have devised a way that eliminates the need for heat when creating electronic interconnects, facilitating the design of flexible and wearable electronics, they said. Researchers at Iowa State University demonstrated a way to print flexible electronics that doesn't require heat. A team at the designed the method, which pre-heats metal - in this case, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin ..."

Centric RF: Attenuators, Adapters, Cable Assemblies, Power Dividers

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today. 

Tuesday 8

The Medical Electronics Technician

The Medical Electronics Technician, October 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBack in my electronics technician days I tried to get a job at a couple of the local hospitals as an on-site equipment maintenance man. That was sometime in the early 1980s. Then, as now, being a part of the healthcare system is a good way to assure job security since it is a field that keeps growing with - even outpacing - population increases. Some of the larger hospitals, similar to electronics design and manufacturing companies, used to have their own test equipment repair and calibration departments, but most of that is outsourced nowadays. This article from an 1972 issue of Popular Electronics magazine highlighted some of the challenges that promised to make a career as a medical equipment technician rewarding. You might also be interested ...

A Race Horse Named Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Race Horse Malta, Colorado - RF CafeWhile searching for some turn-of-the-20th-century newspaper articles on Nikola Tesla, I ran across this piece in the September 3, 1900, issue of a Leadville, Colorado, paper entitled, "The Herald Democrat." Canadian owner Dr. L.M. Homes entered his noble steed named in honor of the world-famous high voltage experimenter Nikola Tesla in the races at Malta, CO, which is a few miles west of Leadville. He took 2nd place in a close contest with 1st place winner Know Me. Leadville is situated at a little over 10,000 feet, so the oxygen level at that altitude is a real challenge to any air-breathing man or beast; racing there must have been an interesting experience. The "real" Nikola Tesla was at the time living and working in his laboratory in Colorado Springs, CO, located on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. I visited Leadville sometime around 1992 while living in Colorado Springs.

11 Tons of Water & "Special Container" to Extinguish Burning Tesla

11 Tons of Water & "Special Container" to Extinguish Burning Tesla - RF Cafe"It was just days ago that we reported that the NHTSA was opening an inquiry into the use of Tesla's 'Smart Summon' feature. Then, just hours ago we followed up by reporting that a petition had been filed with the NHTSA claiming that Tesla was using over the air software updates to cover up dangerous battery issues. Just because the NHTSA has started to perk up its ears, doesn't mean that Teslas haven't stopped going up in flames all over the world. The most recent example comes from Austria, where after a Tesla was involved in an accident and caught fire, firefighters had to use a special container to transport the remains of the vehicle and the battery. In order to put out the fire, the street had to be closed and fire authorities had to bring in a container user to cool the vehicle. The container held 11,000 liters (11 tons) of water ..."

The Essential Signal Generator Guide - Part 2

The Essential Signal Generator Guide, Part 2 - RF CafeThis is Part 2 of Keysight Technologies' "The Essential Generator Guide - Building a Solid Foundation in RF." Part 1 covered signal generator key attributes, power, accuracy, and speed, and this follows up with IQ modulation, spectral purity and understanding phase noise requirements, distortion performance, and finally software. Looking at Figure 4.3 in Part 1, having that long connection of components, a power meter head, and some cables cantilevered off the end of the signal generator SMA (2.4 mm) connector worries me a bit. I'm surprised it was put in the paper. Elsewise, there is a lot of good information in the two app notes.

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. Please contact TotalTemp Technologies today to learn how they can help your project.

UK Space: A New World of Opportunity

UK Space: A New World of Opportunity - RF Cafe"The UK has more than its fair share of unsung engineering success stories, but there are perhaps few more striking examples of Britain hiding its industrial light under a bushel than its buoyant space sector. Despite a relatively low public profile, UK space is at the forefront of areas including the manufacture of telecoms satellites, the development of small systems that can be launched at a fraction of the cost of traditional technology, and the design of robotic probes and rovers for planetary exploration. Meanwhile, with several proposed spaceports under consideration, alongside the development of innovative propulsion technologies such as Reaction Engines' SABRE engine, the UK is even beginning to take significant steps towards the development of its own domestic launch capability ..."

MECA Electronics: Passive RF & Microwave Components

MECA Electronics

Since 1961, MECA Electronics has designed and manufactured an extensive line of RF & microwave components for in-building, satellite, radar, radio, telemetry, mobile radio, aviation & ATC. Attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators & circulators, power dividers & combiners, loads, DC blocks, bias-Ts and adapters & cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone' of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications, satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry applications, mobile radio, aviation & air traffic communications.

Monday 7

CBS Tubes Advertisement

CBS Tubes Advertisement, August 1958 Radio News - RF CafeThis full-page advertisement by CBS Tubes caught my eye because of the vast array of vacuum tube shapes and sizes. Most people, even back in the era of tube-based electronic equipment, think of the standard 12AX7 type rounded top, cylindrical glass package with a plastic or phenolic base and some metal pins sticking out of the bottom. Television and radio sets were full of them, and those are what you or your parents or grandparents would yank from the chassis and take to the local drug store or electronics shop to plug into the big tube tester that was commonplace back then. However, as this photo shows there was a great variety of special glass and inner electrode configurations. If you have ever attended the MTTS (IMS) show, you might have seen the equipment display provided by the National Electronics Museum ...

RF Cascade Workbook 2018

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 Is Available Now! - RF CafeRF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features ...

Free Microwave & RF eBook Downloads

RF System & Circuits eBook Downloads, by Dr. Michael Steer - RF Cafe Cool ProductDr. Michael Steer, Lampe Distinguished Professor of Electrical and computer Engineering at the NC State University, has released half a dozen of his books on RF system and circuit design in the form of OpenAccess eBooks, and are downloadable at no cost on the NC State website. Dr. Steer is a prolific author whose books are chock full of highly useful illustrations and photographs. The first five "Microwave and RF Design" books, volumes 1 through 5, cover a wide swath of ground with concentrations in radio systems, transmission lines, networks, modules, and amplifiers and oscillators. The final book, "Fundamentals of Microwave and RF Design," is a summary of the first five that will prove useful to newcomers in the field. Excerpts of the books' contents are quoted ...

Put Your Aerial Underground

Put Your Aerial Underground, February 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeBurying any antenna in the ground seems like a bad idea from radiated field pattern and efficiency perspectives. As determined in a 1974 paper published by the National Bureau of Standards, most of the energy from a buried dipole antenna that is not absorbed by the ground is radiated nearly straight up (many studies of underground antennas can be found). Motivating the NBS's burial study was a desire to conceal radio communications antennas in covert operations. This short piece in a 1935 edition of Short Wave Craft reports on a case Hams were experimenting with buried antennas in order to avoid the expense and trouble of an overhead installation. These days, Hams want to bury antennas for those same reasons AND to get around restrictive neighborhood and town restrictions prohibiting certain antenna installations ...

Pack a Punch for High-Power Semiconductor Device Testing

Axiom Test Equipment Blog – Pack a Punch for High-Power Semiconductor Device Testing - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rentals and sales company, has published a blog post entitled "Pack a Punch for High-Power Semiconductor Device Testing," explaining how to source the right electronic load for your next project. Semiconductor devices are rapidly gaining in output-power capabilities, whether used in continuous-wave (CW) circuits or in pulsed applications. Because they have continued to increase power levels while remaining at such smaller sizes, power semiconductors have made vacuum-tube devices such as klystrons, magnetrons, and travelling-wave tubes (TWTs) all but forgotten except for designs at the highest power levels. But packing so much ...

German Radar Vendor Says It Tracked the F-35 Stealth Fighter

German Radar Vendor Says It Tracked the F-35 Stealth Fighter - RF Cafe"In the illustrious history of the F−35 fighter jet, add a pony farm outside Berlin as the place where one company claims the plane's stealth cover was blown. The story that follows is a snapshot in the cat-and-mouse game between combat aircraft - designed to be undetectable by radar - and sensor makers seeking to undo that advantage. In the case of the F-35, the promise of invisibility to radar is so pronounced that it has colored much of the jet's employment doctrine, lending an air of invincibility to the weapon: The enemy never saw it coming. But technology leaps only last so long, and Russia and China are known to be working on technology aimed at nixing whatever leg up NATO countries have tried to build for themselves. The company's passive radar system, named TwInvis, is but one of an emerging generation of sensors and processors so sensitive ..."

ConductRF: Precision & Standard Grade RF Cable Assemblies

ConductRF coaxial cables & connectors - RF CafeConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project! 

Sunday 6

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for October 6

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle October 6, 2019 - RF CafeFor two decades, 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. This October 6, 2019, puzzle contains the names of at least ten advertisers who help deliver RF Cafe to you every day. Otherwise, it uses a database of thousands of words which I have 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, encounter the name ...

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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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