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Homepage Archive - March 2020 (page 5)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | of the March 2020 homepage archives.

Friday 3

A Few Winning Words on Hi-Fi

A Few Winning Words on Hi-Fi, July 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeComics in modern magazines are a rather rare phenomenon for some reason, but they were fairly regular features up until a couple decades ago. This set of comics from the July 1963 edition of Popular Electronics deals with high fidelity (Hi-Fi) stereo equipment, which was considered somewhat exotic and high-end for many people's budgets in the day. Inexplicably (not), that is about the time that increases in hearing losses among younger people were first being noticed in audiograms.

Skyworks Ultra-Low Power FEM Features 4X Range Extension

Skyworks Ultra-Low Power Front-End Module Features 4X Range Extension - RF CafeSkyworks Solutions is empowering the wireless networking revolution. Skyworks is pleased to launch the SKY66404-11, a 2.4 GHz front-end module (FEM) designed for Zigbee®, Thread, and Bluetooth® (including Low Energy) ultra-low power IoT applications spanning sensors, beacons, smart meters and thermostats, wireless cameras, smoke and CO detectors, and wearables including medical devices. Featuring high-performance in a compact form factor, SKY66404-11 provides increased efficiency, and more than 4X range extension over previous models. The integrated module includes a power amplifier, low-noise amplifier, low-loss bypass path, transmit and receive switches, and digital controls compatible with 1.7 to 3.6 V CMOS levels...

Mary Burke, W3CUL Wins 1956 Edison Award

Mary Burke, W3CUL Wins 1956 Edison Award, April 1957 Radio & TV News - RF Cafe$5,000 in 1956 currency is equivalent to about $46,000 in 2020, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Inflation Calculator." That is the value of the amateur radio equipment used by Mrs. Mary Burke in her work handling "an average of 3000 messages per month, principally for service personnel overseas." For her tireless wireless efforts, she was the first woman to win the coveted Edison Award Cup (sponsored by General Electric). Most of Mrs. Burke's communications was via Morse code, where she restrained herself to "about 30 words a minute to maintain accuracy". Way to go, Mary!

Wearable Device Camouflages Its Wearer Regardless of Weather

Wearable Device Camouflages Its Wearer Regardless of Weather - RF Cafe"Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes. It's a feat that current state of the art technology cannot match. The new technology can adapt to temperature changes in just a few minutes, while keeping the wearer comfortable. The device, which is at the proof-of-concept stage, has a surface that quickly cools down or heats up to match ambient temperatures, camouflaging the wearer's body heat. The surface can go from 10 to 38°C in less than a minute. Meanwhile, the inside remains at the same temperature as human skin, making it comfortable for the wearer. The wireless device..."

Electronic Design's 2019 Continuing Education Survey

Electronic Design's 2019 Continuing Education Survey - RF CafeElectronic Design's 2019 Salary & Career Survey asked readers, among other topics, what their attitudes were regarding continuing education. The main question in that sections was, "What are some of the ways in which you continue your engineering education?" I could not find the total number of respondents to the survey, but of those who did, 87% held a Bachelor's degree or higher. Among resources used to maintain currency in their professions, 60% say they use printed engineering & technology publications while 57% use similar websites. 60% use seminars and webcasts and 65% read whitepapers. 13% attend in-classroom instruction while 31% use online courses. About 45% of employers reimburse costs for seminars and trade shows, 32% pay for college courses, and 23% cover nothing at all. Click the link above for the full report, as well as to access the Job Satisfaction section from last week.

TotalTemp Technologies: Thermal Platforms for −100°C to +200°C

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.

Thursday 2

Antenna Principles - Directional Arrays for 300 MHz and Higher

Antenna Principles, April 1947 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis installment of the multi-month series of articles on antenna principles covers directional arrays for 300 MHz and higher. Keep in mind that in 1947 when this appeared in Radio-Craft magazine, wavelengths of a meter or less were considered to be at the upper end of the operational range. Parabolic reflector antennas were the domain primarily of ground-based installations due to the physical size and weight being prohibitive in airborne platforms, and even then they were rarely used at the time. Most ground and airborne installations were composed of dipole antennas with various configurations of reflector and director elements for desired gain and directivity characteristics. Special applications like for direction finding and longer wavelength radio communications used loop and long wire antennas, respectively. Highly directive dipole...

WithWave HFSS 3D Electromagnetic Connector Simulation Models

Withwave HFSS 3D Electromagnetic Connector Simulation Models - RF CafeWithwave offers ANSYS HFSS 3D EM(Electromagnetic) Simulation Model of board connectors and panel type connectors for customer design. These 3D models allows RF designers and engineers to simulate the RF performance of these connectors which is launched on various types of high frequency PCB. They can reduce time to assemble the connectors and verify the performance prior to placing an order. we hope to make a commitment to give customers better testing & Simulation environment. Design Assistance for ANSYS HFSS Models (version 17.0 or newer) for 3D EM Simulation and 3D Model for Mechanical Layout (STEP file)...

Bell Telephone Labs Project Echo

Bell Telephone Laboratories Project Echo, November 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeEcho 1 launched in August of 1960, finally allowing America to participate in the Space Race, which until then was roundly being won by the USSR. Electronics magazines of the day were filled with prognostications of the future of space communications. Electronics World dedicated most of their November issue to satellite Earth stations and advancements being made in ultra sensitive receivers and powerful transmitters. Since the earliest satellites were literally metallic balls for reflecting radio signals, it was necessary to optimize both ends of the communications path since there were no circuits onboard the satellite to perform signal processing and re-transmission. Bell Labs, of course, was at the forefront of the technology. In fact a famously serendipitous discovery was made by a couple scientists in 1964 using the very antenna featured in this advertisement...

ConductRF Performance TSA89 Flexible RF Test Cables to 40 GHz

ConductRF Performance TSA89 Flexible RF Test Cables to 40 GHz - RF CafeManufacturing of all our products continues to operate at full capacity as part of the "Essential Business" community. Professional high frequency TSA89 series of RF test cables with performance to 40 GHz. Connector choices include; SMA, Type-N, 3.5mm, 2.92mm, & 2.4mm. Key features: High-frequency point to point cable, light weight rugged flexible cable, low loss <0.68 dB/ft @ 40 GHz, low VSWR < 1.35:1 (Typical < 1.25:1), RF leakage >-100 dB to 18 GHz, temperature rated from -55ºC to 125ºC. Cables are in stock and available immediately from Digi−Key. Here is an interview with ConductRF founder Dean Gammell.

Ultra-Low Threshold Continuous-Wave Lasing in GeSn

1st Ultra-Low Threshold Continuous-Wave Lasing in GeSn - RF Cafe"Transistors in computer chips work electrically, but data can be transmitted more quickly with light. Researchers have therefore been looking for a way to integrate a laser directly into silicon chips for a long time. A team of physicists at the Centre de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies (C2N), in collaboration with researchers at Germany's Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and STMicroelectronics, have implemented a new material engineering method to fabricate a laser microdisk in a strained germanium-tin (GeSn) alloy. They have demonstrated the laser device with a group IV compound, compatible with Silicon, operating with ultra-low threshold and under continuous-wave excitation. Optical data transmission enables significantly higher data rates and ranges than conventional electronic processes, while using less energy. In data centers, optical cables of a length of around 1 meter are therefore standard..."

A Coronavirus (aka Wuhan Flu) Pandemic Thought

A Coronavirus (aka Wuhan Flu) Pandemic Thought - RF CafeWakeup call to everyone: By Ana Swanson in the March 11, 2020 edition of The New York Times newspaper, "While the United States remains a global leader in drug discovery, much of the manufacturing has moved offshore. The last American plant to make key ingredients for penicillin announced it would close its doors in 2004. Chinese pharmaceutical companies have supplied more than 90% of U.S. antibiotics, vitamin C, ibuprofen and hydrocortisone, as well as 70% of acetaminophen and 40 to 45% of heparin in recent years, according to Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations..."

Custom MMIC: Off-the-Shelf and Custom MMICs

Custom MMIC- RF CafeCustom MMIC is a fabless RF and microwave MMIC designer entrusted by government and defense industry OEMs. Custom and off-the-shelf products include switches, phase shifters, attenuators, mixers and multipliers, and low noise, low phase noise, and distributed amplifiers. From next-generation long range military radar systems, to advanced aerospace and space-qualified satellite communications, microwave signal chains are being pushed to new limits - and no one understands this more than Custom MMIC. Please contact Custom MMIC today to see how they use their modern engineering, testing and packaging facility to help your project. 

Wednesday 1

Mac's Service Shop: Development of a Modern ECG

Mac's Service Shop: Development of a Modern ECG, January 1974 Popular Electronics - RF CafeProbably the first exposure most of us have had to an electrocardiogram (ECG) is from a television show or a movie. Earlier instances appeared in hospital settings in a patient's room or in the operating room. Around the time this installment of "Mac's Service Shop" appeared in Popular Electronics magazine (1974), the TV show "Emergency" introduced my generation to the field-portable ECG machine as deployed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) responders Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto. I remember some of the first episodes had the emergency room doctors lamenting not having equipment available on the scene that could wirelessly send critical heart status parameters along with the standard fare of the victim's "vital signs." Then, one day a portable ECG unit was finally available, ostensibly revolutionizing the profession...

Keysight Technologies Launches Innovate Anywhere Program

Keysight Technologies Launches Innovate Anywhere Program - RF CafeKeysight Technologies, a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, has launched the Innovate Anywhere program in response to COVID-19, spanning three key areas: 90-day software trials, remote learning, and scalable live network testing. "At Keysight, we are committed to helping customers maintain their engineering productivity no matter where they are working," stated Marie Hattar, CMO at Keysight. "We recognize COVID-19 is causing drastic changes across the globe, in our communities, our homes, and our workplaces. We want to help provide a sense of normalcy and enable customers to do what they do best: to innovate, from anywhere..."

Honeywell Soon to Release "Most Powerful Quantum Computer Yet"

Honeywell Soon to Release "Most Powerful Quantum Computer Yet" - RF Cafe"Honeywell says that it will release the world's most powerful commercial quantum computer by mid-2020. The U.S.-based manufacturer of scientific and commercial equipment says that the device is based on trapped ions, which is a different technology than that being pursued by most other commercial developers including Google and IBM. Honeywell researchers have published details of a smaller version of the machine that has a 'quantum volume' of 16 and say that it should be straightforward to scale this up to 64. The fundamental requirement for quantum computation is a set of quantum bits (qubits) that can interact to form quantum logic gates that process quantum information. In principle, quantum computers can perform certain computational task much faster than conventional computers. However, qubits tend to be very fragile so creating practical quantum computers is a significant scientific and technological challenge..."

Z-Comm 6.75 GHz VCO in MINI Package w/Exceptional Φ-Noise

Z-Communications 6.75 GHz CRO VCO in MINI Package Delivers Exceptional Phase Noise - RF CafeZ-Communications' new CRO6750X2-LF utilizes a doubled CRO oscillator design to cover the frequency range of 6750-6750 MHz within a tuning window of 0.5-4.5 Vdc. This new ceramic resonator VCO features phase noise of -101 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and is available in Z-COMM's standard MINI-16-SM package measuring 0.5 in. x 0.5 in. x 0.22 in. The CRO6750X2-LF is well suited for radar systems requiring optimal spectral purity. This unmatched VCO is configured to deliver output power of 0±3 dBm into a 50 ohms load and covers the operating frequency with a low Kvco figure of 5 MHz/V all while operating over the industrial temperature range of -40 to 85°C. It is specified to run off a 5.0 Vdc supply while drawing only 30 mA of current. The CRO6750X2-LF suppresses both the ½ and 2nd harmonic to better than -20dBc while limiting pulling...

CB Radio wave Propagation

CB Radio-Wave Propagation, December 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeRaise your hand if you have ever owned a CB (Citizens Band) radio. Waaaaay back before everyone carried a cellphone (pre-late-1990s), the most common form of unlicensed communication was CB radio. Actually, up through the mid 1970s you were supposed to purchase a license from the FCC, although no test was required as it was for amateur radio. My first CB was a 23 channel job that I installed in my 1969 Chevy Camaro SS, during my senior year in Southern Senior High School. It was right in the middle of big CB radio craze with CW McCall's "Convoy" song topping the U.S. Billboard charts. My self-appointed 'handle' was "RC Flyer." Most people had no idea what it referred to (radio-controlled model airplanes). Now that all cellphones use internal antennas, almost nobody even thinks of them as being radios. CB radios reminded you of their true nature by requiring that a 1/4-wave vertical antenna (typically with a loading coil to keep it shorter than its 27 MHz operational frequency...

Nova Microwave: RF & Microwave Circulators & Isolators

Nova Microwave Circulators & Isolators - RF CafeNova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Available in single or multi-junction topographies, the Nova Microwave product line of is specifically designed for use in varied environmental and temperature extremes.

Tuesday 31

New Crystron Lapel Radio

New! Crystron Lapel Radio, April 1947 Radio-Craft - RF CafeAdmittedly, with all the reading I have done of vintage electronics magazines, news of this Crystron (crystal-electron) vacuum tube device invented by Mr. Mohammed Ulysses Fips, as reported in the April 1947 issue of Radio Craft magazine, evaded my attention. The article came only a couple months after publication of the 40th anniversary edition that celebrated Dr. Lee de Forest's invention of the Audion tube. According to Mr. Fips, his Crystron one-upped the Audion by virtue of its containing a small amount of radio isotope which obviated the need for the traditional "B-battery" concept also developed by de Forest to supply a high voltage for driving the output stage circuit. While not capable of powering a concert hall audio speaker system, it did make possible use of a small speaker as a nearby personal listening device rather than requiring headphones or earbuds. Without divulging the most critical and closely-held details of the Crystron as the U.S. Patent Office...

High-Power Electromagnetic Effects on Electronic Systems

High-Power Electromagnetic Effects on Electronic Systems - RF CafeArtech House today announced the publication of High-Power Electromagnetic Effects on Electronic Systems, by D.V. Giri, Richard Hoad and Frank Sabath. This is the first book that comprehensively addresses the issues relating to the effects of radio frequency (RF) signals and the environment of electrical and electronic systems. It covers testing methods as well as methods to analyze radio frequency. The generation of high-powered electromagnetic (HPEM) environments, including moderate band damped sinusoidal radiators and hyperband radiating systems is explored. HPEM effects on component, circuit, sub-system electronics, as well as system level drawing are discussed. The effects of HPEM on experimental techniques and the standards which can be used to control tests are described. The validity of analytical techniques and computational modeling in a HPEM effects context is also discussed. Insight on HPEM effects experimental techniques...

Many Thanks to MPDevice for Continuing Support!

MPDevice - RF CafeMPDevice (MPD) has become a trustworthy and reliable company in the global RF market as a manufacturer of passive RF Devices. Included are attenuators and terminations, coaxial connectors, adapters, and cable assemblies, DC blocks, surge arrestors, power combiner / dividers, and directional couplers. The Korean Telecommunication market is now entering into the era of hyperconnected society. With continuous enhancement in R&D capabilities and quality control, MPD will continue in an effort to become the No. 1 technologically innovative company with a focus on the emerging 5G marketplace.

"Chirp" - A New Radar Technique

"Chirp" A New Radar Technique, January 1965 Electronics World - RF CafePulse compression (aka 'chirp') radar was invented in the 1950s by Sperry and a couple other defense contractors. It was new enough by the time the radar I worked on as a technician in the USAF that it was not incorporated. Our MPN-13 and MPN-14 radar systems used simple single-frequency pulses. Pulse compression employs a swept frequency within a fairly narrow bandwidth to exploit the benefits outlined in this 1965 Electronics World article. If you were to listen to the signal used to sweep the RF pulse in frequency, it would sound a lot like a bird's chirp, hence the name. Treatment by author Donald Lancaster is fairly heavy in that it fearlessly presents the mathematical concepts of sin(x)/x waveforms, Fourier transforms, and weighting. He references Skolnik, Ridenour, et al. Even so, it is a quick read that provides a good introduction to chirp radar...

Electro-Photonics Intros 300 MHz-50 GHz RF & Microwave Filters

Electro-Photonics Intros 300 MHz-50 GHz RF & Microwave Filters - RF Cafe

Electro-Photonics LLC, a market leader in RF and Microwave components has released a new series of band pass filters featuring frequencies from 300 MHz – 50 GHz. Our new wide bandwidth filters future high stop band suppression and compact size. These RF/Microwave and mmWave filters can dissipate up to 20 W of continues wave power. Electro-Photonics, LLC, is a global supplier of high-frequency components and services. Our products include, SMT hybrid and directional couplers, high frequency test fixtures, evaluation test boards, and wire bondable passive components.

PCB Directory: Printed Circuit Board Fabrication & Assembly

PCB  Directory - RF CafePCB 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 (FR-4, Rogers, flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. Fast turn-around on quotations for PCB fabrication and assembly.

Spot Radio News 

Spot Radio News, April 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeTwo major radio events were covered in this 1954 issue of Radio & TV News magazine's monthly "Spot Radio News" column - the rapid advance of microwave technology for building out high capacity voice and television transmission systems, and the ever-increasing number of new TV station operation license grants since the ending of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moratorium in 1952. In 1944, the FCC stopped issuing broadcast permits due to serious unforeseen interference from co-location interference issues as post-war households enthusiastically adopted TV. Unlike today's microwave relay networks, in the 1950s most systems were still analog in nature. Coaxial cable installations were good, but use over extra long distances and in difficult to access areas limited their applicability. Line-of-sight limitations between relay towers required building more sites than might otherwise be required, but the advantage...

Receiver Noise from Antenna to Detector

Receiver Noise from Antenna to Detector, August 1965 Electronics World - RF CafeHere from a 1965 issue of Electronics World magazine is a really nice write-up on electrical noise, both how it originates and how it affects receiver systems. Although vacuum tubes were still the predominant active amplification components in 1965 (the date of this article), semiconductors were already solidly ensconced in the signal detector role. I have to confess to learning a new term that I probably should be familiar with: Equivalent-Noise-Sideband-Input, or ENSI. It appears also in Reference Data for Engineers: Radio, Electronics, Computer, and Communications. Interestingly, this is the first time in a long time I have seen noise referred to as "grass;" the drawings make it clear why the moniker was created. We were taught to use "grass" in USAF radar tech school and used it in common parlance...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe for as Little as $40/mo.

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeRF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday and about half that on weekends. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 13,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be. Advertising begins at $40/month.

Ham Radio on TV, in Movies, & Documentaries

Ham Radio on TV, in Movies, & Documentaries - RF CafeThe first video below is my favorite. It is a one-minute clip from a 1960s episode of "The Twilight Zone" television show. It is an outrageous slam on amateur radio operators by a family whose radio and TV shows are being interrupted by interference. Dad looks out the window and sees what are actually television antennas on the guy's roof and when Mom asks if there is anything they can do about the neighbor, he walks toward the telephone saying he can at least check to find out whether neighbor man has a license to operate. Mom then says, "Do you think you should, Stu? Those men seem kind of...threatening somehow." Those d**n evil Hams! As you might expect if your are familiar with the series, it turned out to be aliens making contact with Earthlings...

Millimeter-Scale Transceiver Boosts Ingestible Sensors

Millimetre-Scale Transceiver Boosts Ingestible Sensors - RF Cafe"Sensing from the inside A mock-up of an ingestible pill containing the wireless transceiver. Researchers at Imec, a Leuven, Belgium-based center for nanoelectronics and digital technologies, have developed a wireless receiver and transmitter small enough to fit inside a millimeter-scale capsule. The transceiver, which was presented at the International Solid-State Circuits conference in San Francisco, U.S., last month, is 1/30th the size of today's state-of-the-art systems and could be used in a broad range of so-called 'ingestibles' - sensors that monitor health conditions from inside the human body. Like their external, wearable cousins, ingestible sensors..."

Monday 30

Empower RF Systems: RF & Microwave Power Amplifiers

Empower RF Systems - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems is a global leader in power amplifier solutions. Empower RF Systems is an established and technologically superior supplier of high power solid state RF & microwave amplifiers. Our offerings include modules, intelligent rack-mount amplifiers, and multi-function RF Power Amplifier solutions to 6 GHz in broadband and band specific designs. Output power combinations range from tens of watts to multi-kilowatts. Unprecedented size, weight and power reduction of our amplifiers is superior to anything in the market at similar frequencies and power levels.

Sunday 29

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for March 29

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle March 29, 2020 - RF CafeThis March 29, 2020, tech-themed crossword puzzle contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc., which I have personally built 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 surprise you...

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.

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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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