Being an old-school old guy (turn 62 this
year), I still work the daily
crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper - surely you've heard of it, that
antiquated print media form of which I am the only house on my street which has
it delivered daily. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes. Working the Sudoku
puzzles is also a pencil and paper exercise only because of my method of figuring
out the numbers. My older sister is a whiz at them, and she does them on her iPhone.
But I digress. In addition to the weekly RF Cafe Engineering and Science crossword
puzzles I create each week, I also like to post crosswords that appeared in the
vintage electronics magazines. This one appeared in a 1974 issue of Popular
Axiom Test Equipment, an electronic test
equipment rentals and sales company headquartered in North County San Diego, has
published a blog post entitled "Finding
Faults with TDR Test Instruments." It is about selecting and using time-domain
reflectometers (TDRs). This in-depth blog post goes over how TDRs work, which types
of test equipment can be used to make TDR measurements, and what performance parameters
should be compared when selecting a TDR for your particular test requirements and
test environment. Finding Faults with TDR Test Instruments "Time-domain reflectometers
(TDRs) are easy-to-use test instruments usually associated with finding faults in
cables and antennas. How they work is simple: send a pulse with fast rise time into
a cable under test and measure reflected signals that take place where the characteristic
I don't pretend to be a big reader of books
(2-3/year), which probably why I don't get invited to parties. Most of my reading
is in the form of magazines (8-10 titles/month) and online articles. My books tend
to be concerned with historical works on people and/or accomplishments of science
and mathematics. Fiction and harlequin romances just aren't my thing. I just began
reading Ian Stewart's "In Pursuit of the Unknown - 17 Equations That Changed the World."
An interesting item is Michael Faraday's supposed response to PM William Gladstone's
inquiry as to the practicality of the newly fashioned electromagnetics equations,
and could anything useful come of them. Mr. Faraday responded, "Yes sir. One
day you will tax it." There's nothing new under the son, as the saying goes. Politicians
will find a way to tax and regulate every form of human endeavor, whilst contributing
GaN-on-Si patent portfolio mainly relates to III-N transistors used in SoC ,
RF switches, ultra-short channel lengths, field plates, and III-N/Silicon monolithic
IC, says Yole. Intel has adopted a global patenting strategy with 17 patents pending
in the U.S. and 20 in Taiwan. Fujitsu with more than 40 patents and Macom with more
than 20 patents for its side, are leading the patent landscape in terms of enforceable
IP in the field of GaN-on-Si RF. Fujitsu's portfolio focused on GaN-on-Si materials,
especially on buffer layers, with inventions that might be implemented on others
substrates including SiC or for other applications. Like Intel, Fujitsu has adopted
a global patenting strategy. In contrast Macom's portfolio is more focused on GaN-on-Si
devices for RF, addressing..."
The U.S. army and navy were prime motivators
and financial backers of research and development in electronics because vital
communications and control functions depended on it. These "Basic Navy Training
Courses," and in particular NAVPERS 10622, have been heralded over the years as
some of the best courses ever developed for introducing young men to the concepts
of electricity and electronics. As mentioned before, employers seeking experienced
technicians used to (and may still) regard prior service members who graduated from
them as prize hires. The hands-on experience gained from working on highly complex
equipment under critical conditions served to hone those classroom lessons into
very capable skills...
Advanced Test Equipment Corporation (ATEC)announced
it is now offering
HILO-Test automotive test systems for rent. ATEC, a leading provider in test
and measurement equipment for automotive testing and numerous other industry tests,
now stocks the HILO-Test CAR PG 2804 and the HILO-Test CAR Test System 14 for immediate
rental. ATEC offers a growing inventory of products from top manufacturers, like
HILO-Test, with flexible rental options at affordable prices. ATEC sets the industry
standard for test equipment rentals, combining next-day shipping and reliable equipment
with knowledgeable customer support. ATEC simplifies the rental and testing process
to help clients complete...
to UK National Archives: "6,725 [V−1s] were launched at Britain. Of these, 2,340
hit London, causing 5,475 deaths, with 16,000 injured." Re the map: "This patch
of English woodland near the village of Bromley Green, about eight miles from the
Channel shore, was once a smoking crater. A
V−1 flying bomb - fired by Germany's Luftwaffe at London but shot down minutes
before getting there - crashed and exploded here around eight o'clock in the morning
on August 27, 1944, gouging a hole in the earth 10 feet deep and 20 feet across.
The blast of its warhead and fuel lifted the nearest house, more than 600 feet away,
off its foundations. Seventy-five years later, to the exact day, the old crater
is the site of an archaeological investigation led by two brothers who grew up hearing
stories of the terror wrought by Germany's V−1s. Colin and Sean Welch have searched
for fragments of the flying bombs over the past 10 years..."
Copper 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.
The world is full of geniuses who have ideas
with the potential to introduce history-making products and services to mankind.
Thankfully, many of them manage to draw the attention to themselves and make their
contributions available. Some of those same people have the talent to prepare their
inventions and concepts for distribution, while others require the know-how of others
- nowadays known as manufacturing engineers - to figure out how to mass produce
a product with enough efficiency to make things affordable. Thomas Edison, Henry
Ford, George Westinghouse, Lee de Forest, and other recognizable inventors
depended on assistance for ultimate success. I will soon be posting stories of de Forest's
long, hard-fought path to success with his Audion tube which will make you wonder
how people can have the fortitude to continue...
Triad RF Systems, a leading designer and
manufacturer of high performance RF/Microwave amplifiers and integrated radio systems,
has recently announced the launch of a new brand identity and website. Founded in
2013 by three partners with decades of accumulated knowledge of RF/Microwave amplifier
and integrated radio system design and manufacturing experience, Triad is making
a strategic move to continue its dominance within high-performance radio system
applications. Already respected by the military, defense, commercial radio, and
UAV marketplace for making high quality, state-of-the-art RF/Microwave amplifiers
and subsystems, their new logo and website is a move that clearly is intended to
help further position them as leaders in their field. Visitors to their new website
will discover Triad's track record of creating RF/microwave amplifier products...
Ode on a Power Supply? Well, maybe not really
an ode, but this poem entitled, "Power Supply," written by Eileen V. Corridan,
appeared in the September 1942 edition of the ARRL's QST magazine. It is
really quite entertaining and instructive! It applies to the original tube-based
circuit as well as to modern solid state versions. I somehow get the feeling that
this poem will now be republished in many places...
"New program aims to develop wideband adaptive
RF circuit technology to
mitigate interference from external and self-generated signals. Today's electromagnetic
(EM) spectrum is a scarce resource that is becoming increasingly congested and contested
as friendly, unfriendly, and neutral entities vie for available spectrum resources
at any given time, location, and frequency. Within the Department of Defense (DoD),
radio frequency (RF) systems, such as communications networks and radar, must operate
within this congested environment and contend with mission-compromising interference
from both self- and externally generated signals. A desire to support wideband EM
spectrum operations also adds to the burden, as current approaches to mitigating
wideband receiver interference..."
ConductRF offers many lines of Lab &
Production RF Test solutions for DC to 40 GHz.
TESTeCON and TESTeCON RF Cable lines feature standard connector choices include
straight male, female, and bulkhead, and right angle male. Standard interfaces include
type-N, TNC, SMA, 3.5 mm, and 2.92 mm. Phase stable testing ±4° to 18 GHz,
amplitude stable to ±0.2 dB to 18 GHz, max power 170 W @ 18 GHz,
flex life over 10,000 cycles, cable loss <0.330 dB/ft @ 18 GHz, VSWR <
1.30:1 (typical < 1.20:1). ConductRF also offers RF Engineers a large selection
of Hi Flex cable for vector network analyzers (VNAs)...
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.
We're about due for another round of
electronics-themed comics, this time from a circa 1948 Radio-Craft
magazine. The post World War II era in America experienced a surge in consumerism
after half a decade of intense war that required major sacrifices on the parts of
both servicemen and civilians. Factories previously built and run for the manufacturing
of household items, automobiles, clothing, and other items had been converted to
support production of implements of war. Massive efforts across the nation were
carried out to collect all forms of metal, fabric, plastic, rubber, electrical and
electronic components, engine parts, and other such things that could be repurposed
or used directly in the effort. Once the world was finally safe from imminent overrun
by Imperialist, Socialist, and Communist regimes, not much time was required to
shift back into pre-war production mode...
Exodus Advanced Communications is a multinational
RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial
and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. Power amplifiers ranging
from 10 kHz to 51 GHz with various output power levels and noise figure
ranges, we fully support custom designs and manufacturing requirements for both
small and large volume levels. decades of combined experience in the RF field for
numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC
and various commercial projects with all designing and manufacturing of our HPA,
MPA, and LNA products in-house.
In 1931, QST reader John H. Miller, Electrical
Engineer, of the Jewell Electrical Instrument Company, wrote to the editor regarding
the story "What Is This Thing Called Decibel?," by James L McLaughlin and James
J. Lamb, which appeared in the August issue of that year. Mr. Miller wished to inform
(or remind) readers that the
American Wire Gauge
system for assigning sizes to wire cross-section ratios closely follows a decibel
(i.e., logarithmic) relationship. Applying his information: A 28 AWG solid wire
has a cross-section of 160 circular mils, so at 3 sizes larger, 25 AWG should be
320 circular mils. In fact, it is 320 circular mils. A 12 AWG solid wire has a cross-section
of 5,630 circular mils, so at 3 sizes larger, 9 AWG should be 13,060 circular mils,
and it is 13,090 circular mils. That verifies the 3 dB per three differences
in gauge for two cases using small and large wire sizes. What about, say, 5 dB
for 5 wires sizes in difference? Using 28 AWG again as a reference, a 5 dB
increase in size for 28-5=23 AWG wire should be about...
Dan F., of
Cellular Tracking Technologies (CTT®),
wrote to ask that his company be listed on the RF Cafe categorized vendor pages.
Per their website, the founders of CTT have over 40 years of telemetry research
experience between them. In 2007, when not satisfied with the current products on
the market, they created Cellular Tracking Technologies in order to bring the newest
innovations and highest levels of service to the wildlife research market. They
offer a full complement of GPS / GSM / ARGOS and digitally coded radio products
that can be used for tracking wildlife, pets, disabled family members, etc. All
products can be fit into almost any case design, from standard backpacks to ultra-customized
solutions. CTT is located in Rio Grande, NJ (who knew there was a Rio Grande in
"In the race for ever smaller semiconductor
structures, the chemical compounds indium selenide and gallium selenide are considered
promising candidates. As extremely thin layers, they form two-dimensional semiconductors.
So far however, they are hardly ever used because they change during production
and through contact with air. A new technology makes it possible to integrate the
sensitive materials into electronic components without losing any of their desired
properties. A research group at the HZDR Institute for Ion Beam Physics and Materials
Research in Dresden has succeeded in producing
encapsulated transistors based on indium selenide and gallium selenide. The
encapsulation technique protects the sensitive layers..."
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.
Camouflaging amateur radio antennas and their
mounts is not a new concept, although an increasingly large amount of prohibitions
by community organizations and/or municipalities have made the lives of many hobbyists
more difficult. The ARRL's QST magazine issues are replete with articles
describing how desperate and determined Hams have managed to erect successful antennas
in spite of imposed limitations. Flag poles have long been the means of disguising
vertical antennas of the 1/4-wave, 1/2-wave, J-pole, and other formats that are
constructed in a long, straight line. Some authors are just-the-facts types and
aptly present all the required information for getting the job done. Others, like
Roland McMahan, throw in a bit of humor to help take the bite out having such an
otherwise unnecessary task imposed upon him - in this case at the "request" (pronounced
"insistence") of his YL...
Many items require
thermal environmental testing. Items going through product development, requiring
validation for high reliability applications and products exposed to extreme environments
among others require specific thermal testing. Diligent adherence to requirements
results in performing meaningful test and ultimately higher quality products as
opposed to simply taking the easiest route to put a testing checkmark in the box.
A few important aspects to the testing can help ensure that best practices in thermal
testing are followed to get real results from testing efforts. Testing can be time
consuming. Properly applied automation will increase the repeatability and can produce
consistent results. Test results...
Innovative 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.
"Say again." That phrase is heard often in
telephony conversations both wired and wireless. It was coined near the end of World
War II by Air Corpsman 2nd Lt. Byron A. Susan, as reported in the January
1945 edition of Radio Craft magazine. Lt. Susan was responsible for setting
standards for "radio
phraseology" to eliminate ambiguity between aviators and ground forces. "Say
again" replaced "Repeat" because the latter is an artillery term used to order another
round of assault from a gun salvo. The history of the confirmation "Roger"
is murky, but many agree it comes from the older military phonetic pronunciation
of the letter "R" being "Roger," and in radio the letter "R" meaning "received."
Another common bit of radio phraseology is "Wilco," which is a contraction of the
words "will comply."
2176 is a compact high power GaN on SiC solid state CW amplifier. Standing 27
inches tall, it's less than half the size of the typical legacy uplink HPA's that
it replaces. The slightly broader band brings flexibility to transmit in either
of the two uplink channels. Besides the dramatic size reduction, the upgrade from
legacy design to a next generation SSPA from Empower RF brings greater reliability
and improved spectral purity for increased data rates. The 2176 is based on Empower's
established and field proven Next Generation architecture that is tactically deployed
and operating on multiple levels in support of a variety of critical DOD missions...
This assortment of custom-designed themes
by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins,
Purses, Sweatshirts, and Baseball Caps. Choose from amazingly clever "We Are the World's Matchmakers"
Smith chart design or the "Engineer's Troubleshooting Flow Chart." My "Matchmaker's"
design has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please
be sure to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. My markup is only a paltry 50¢ per
item - Cafe Press gets the rest of your purchase price. These would make excellent
gifts for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company
events or as rewards for excellent service. It's a great way to help support RF
"The General Motors
electrical integration lab at the Warren Technical Center wades through the
chore of testing the multitude of electronic devices in modern cars. Time was when
General Motors' engineering and validation functions were part of the same organization,
according to Gary Bandurski, executive director of global electric components and
subsystems. That was before the disastrous GM ignition key scandal, when cars inadvertently
switched off while driving. Checking your own work is a bit of the fox guarding
the henhouse, Bandurski observed, so now GM has a separate global validation organization
led by executive director Kristin Siemen to check out the engineering team's innovations."
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.
Contact Transient Specialists today for your ESD / EMC / RFI testing needs.
In this "Pi
in the Sky and Big Twist" episode of John Frye's "Carl & Jerry" series,
the boys are by now into their college years at Parvoo University. Having been a
mix of electronics experimenters, Ham radio operators, and high tech sleuths since
high school times, the two friends find themselves once again participating in an
event that depends upon cool heads and quick thinking. As is typical of Mr. Frye's
tales, more than one topic is woven into the story, and usually real-life products,
companies, and scenarios are incorporated in an effort to inform his readers. The
Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction (MPATI) mentioned was an out-of-the-box
idea in the pre-satellite era for broadcasting educational programming to areas
that otherwise did not experience good quality over-the-air reception...
"What makes a job nearly perfect? It's a
combination of salary, demand (the number empty posts waiting to be filled), and
job satisfaction, according to job search firm Glassdoor, which this week released
a list of the
best jobs in America for 2020. Using median base salaries reported on Glassdoor
in 2019, the number of U.S. job openings as of 18 December 2019, and the overall
job satisfaction rating (on a scale of 1 to 5) reported by employees in those jobs,
the company put front-end engineer in the number one spot, followed by Java developer
and data scientist. That's a switch previous trends; data scientist held the number
one spot on Glassdoor's top jobs list for the four previous years. In fact, you
don't hit a non-tech job until the 8th ranking, where speech language pathologist
claims the spot, boosted by astronomical demand..."
Custom MMIC has made installing and updating
our SystemVue™ and Genesys™
compatible component libraries even simpler, just follow the step-by-step instructions
provided on the download page. SystemVue or Genesys must already be installed on
the user's computer. Click on the version of the specific link to download the library
installer. Ensure SystemVue or Genesys is shut down before running installer. Run
the library installer executable. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish the installation.
Open Keysight's SystemVue or Genesys and start using your updated Custom MMIC Library...
Here is a very nice
primer on capacitors that appeared in the April 1960 issue of Popular Electronics.
A lot of ground is covered including history, form factors, dielectric types (ceramic
mentioned as a new variety at the time), applications, etc. Interestingly, units
of picofarads (pF) were still being referred to as μμfarads. In fact, since not
a lot of work was being done yet in the GHz realm, there was not much use for pF
other than maybe to tune a filter response. Author Ken Gilmore reveals a sense of
humor when writing of early capacitance experiments as he says, "Since they couldn't
think of much to do with the Leyden jar except stand around and shock each other,
they didn't have any need for an accurate system of measuring the stored charge,
or the capacitance, of the jar."
Ryan Foster, of NuWaves Engineering, posted
an app note entitled, "Understanding
Constellation Diagrams and How They Are Used." It begins: "Constellation diagrams
are an important tool in an engineer's arsenal when determining whether or not a
digitally modulated RF signal is behaving correctly, and troubleshooting the underlying
issues when it is not. However, before delving into constellation diagrams and how
they are used, it is important to understand the fundamentals behind digital modulation
schemes and why they are used. Background on Signals and Modulation Types Transmitting
data wirelessly from one point to another, while complex in practice, is simple
in concept. In a very broad sense, there are only three main steps in this process:
(1) generation of a pure carrier signal (i.e. an unmodulated sine wave) at the transmitter;
(2) infusing the carrier signal with information via modulation...
Please take a few moments to visit the
everythingRF website to see how they can assist you with your
project. everythingRF is a product discovery platform for RF and microwave products
and services. They currently have 227,460 products from more than 1210 companies
across 285 categories in their database and enable engineers to search for them
using their customized parametric search tool. Amplifiers, test equipment, power
couplers and dividers, coaxial connectors, waveguide, antennas, filters, mixers,
power supplies, and everything else. Please visit everythingRF today to see how
they can help you.
As with my hundreds of previous
science and engineering-themed crossword puzzles, this one for February 2, 2020,
contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy,
mathematics, chemistry, etc., which I have built up over nearly two decades. Many
new words and company names have been added that had not even been created when
I started in the year 2002. You will never find a word taxing your knowledge of
a numbnut soap opera star or the name of some obscure village in the Andes mountains.
You might, however, encounter the name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical
location like Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might