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Homepage Archive - October 2020 (page 3)

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

Wednesday 21

Weather Detection Radar

Weather Detection Radar, October 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeRCA (Radio Corporation of America) is not really the first company name that comes to mind when thinking about radar, be it weather, aircraft navigation, or nautical navigation. Instead, I think of radios and televisions and even satellites; RCA developed the circa 1958 SCORE series. According to this 1955 article in Radio & Television News magazine, RCA designed and built a a C-band airborne radar system for detecting adverse weather conditions enroute, at a range of up to 150 miles. Operating at around 5.4 GHz at 75 kW peak, the AVQ-10 radar unit was primarily meant for weather avoidance rather than for terrain and aircraft avoidance. The installed weight of 125 pounds was rather amazing considering the use of vacuum tubes and a CRT display (also a vacuum tube), along with leaded passive components and bulky, heavy (relatively) transformers for providing high voltage...

PCBONLINE Blog: How to Create a Custom PCBA

PCBONLINE Blog: How to Create a Custom PCBA - RF CafePCBONLINE, a one-stop custom PCB/PCBA manufacturer for prototypes, small-batch, and massive production, recently published a technical blog to explain how to create a custom PCBA. It answers what is a PCBA, how to create a custom PCBA, the techniques used for manufacturing the PCBA, etc. When a PCB is mounted with electronic components, it becomes a PCBA (printed circuit board assembly), which is a semi-finished electronic product that achieves the vital function of an electronic device. PCBAs are used in almost all electronics industries. PCBAs manufactured by PCBONLINE include the high frequency PCBA, multilayer PCBA, rigid-flex PCBA, aluminum PCBA, etc. 1 to 100 layer PCBAs can be delivered in 3 days...

Printing High-Speed Low-Power Organic Transistors

Printing High-Speed Low-Power Organic Transistors - RF Cafe "For around 10 years, smartphones and computer screens have been based on a display technology composed of so-called thin film transistors. These are inorganic transistors that require very little power, and they have proven themselves capable, given their widespread adoption. But they have limits that researchers have been busy trying to overcome. 'We explore new ways to improve upon thin film transistors, such as new designs or new methods of manufacture,' said Gyo Kitahara, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Applied Physics. 'Organic thin film transistors, for example, have a bright future in LCD screen devices. Compared to the inorganic kind currently used..."

RCA Victor Advertisement from The Saturday Evening Post c1948

RCA Victor Advertisement from the November 6, 1948, The Saturday Evening Post - RF CafeHere is an advertisement by RCA Victor (Radio Corporation of America) from the November 6, 1948, edition of the The Saturday Evening Post. As was common in the day, the company specifically addresses Americans in an American magazine. Rarely anymore does a major American company use the word "America" or "American" in promotional material because of globalism and the fear of being too committed to the well-being of its native country. The same is true of most western countries' corporations, where their country names can be substituted for "America" in this piece. Up through about the 1980s it was commonplace to specifically address countrymen. Once manufacturers ramped up offshoring efforts the practice began disappearing. Offshoring is distinctly different from importing another...

ConductRF Low Smoke / Zero Halogen Cable Solutions

ConductRF Low Smoke/Zero Halogen Cable Solutions - RF CafeConductRF is pleased to offer Low Smoke / Zero Halogen Jacketed RF Cables for various applications Indoor and Outdoor for Naval Ship-Board applications. We have two ranges of solutions aimed at differing RF requirements with our SBA series aimed at Higher Frequency 18 GHz needs. These are 100% factory tested to exacting VSWR and Loss standards because, We know, Results Count! ConductRF manufactures a range RF Cables in support of Ship Board applications, where Low Smoke, Zero Halogen requirements are mandated. These cable have Low Smoke Polyolefin Jackets that are suitable for Ship Board Environments. The Cable solutions are commonly available in 3 sizes with cable OD of 0.240", 0.405" and 0.590"...

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

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.

Tuesday 20

For the Record: Scatter Communications

For the Record: Scatter Communications, October 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIt seems Amateur radio operators in every country have perpetually been in a battle against government bureaucrats. Early on, Hams were allocated small segments of available "usable" spectrum and a fairly wide swath of the less desirable spectrum. That was especially true of the microwave bands when there was not a lot of components and equipment available that could operate at the higher frequencies. Those familiar with history are familiar with the situation where Amateurs developed a lot of the technology for operating in the upper MHz and into the GHz realm, and then the government snatched it from them for commercial and military use. Hams pretty much pioneered atmospheric scatter as a means for long distance (DX), over-the-horizon communications using those upper frequencies. This editorial from a 1955 issue of Radio & Television News magazine reports on a relatively newer variation dubbed "forward-scatter," which works in 40-80 MHz band (6-meters and VHF) when the transmitted power is sufficiently high. The military, which discovered the phenomenon and had recently declassified it, was considering allowing Amateurs...

Quietest Semiconductor Quantum Bits on Record

Quietest Semiconductor Quantum Bits on Record - RF Cafe"Researchers at UNSW Sydney have demonstrated the lowest noise level on record for a semiconductor quantum bit, or qubit. The research was published in Advanced Materials. For quantum computers to perform useful calculations, quantum information must be close to 100 percent accurate. Charge noise - caused by imperfections in the material environment that hosts qubits - interferes with quantum information encoded on qubits, impacting the accuracy of the information. "The level of charge noise in semiconductor qubits has been a critical obstacle to achieving the accuracy levels we need for large-scale error-corrected quantum computers," says lead author Ludwik Kranz, a Ph.D. student at UNSW's Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) working with the Centre's spin off company Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC)..."

Please Thank RF Superstore for Their Continued Support

RF Superstore coaxial cable, connectors, adapters - RF CafeRF Superstore launched in 2017, marking the return of Murray Pasternack, founder of Pasternack Enterprises, to the RF and microwave Industry. Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were sold. Partner Jason Wright manages day-to-day operations, while working closely with Mr. Pasternack to develop RF Superstore into a world class RF and microwave component supplier. RF coaxial connectors & adapters, coaxial cable & cable assemblies, surge protectors, attenuators. Items added daily. Free shipping on orders over $25. We're leading the way again!

Electronic Menu Quiz

Electronic Menu Quiz, August 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis Electronic Menu Quiz appeared in the August 1963 edition of Popular Electronics magazine. Robert Balin created many such quizzes for Popular Electronics over the years. It challenges you to match the common food-related term for a device with its picture. If you've been around electronics labs and/or read electronics hobbyist magazines for a while, chances are you have run across most of the terms. I suggest you click on the image to get a full-size view of the drawings to be able to see all the detail. A couple of the names I have to admit not being familiar, so they seem rather 'corny'... get it?

Military Mast Problems and Solutions

Military Mast Problems and Solutions - RF CafeEach month the ARRL's flagship magazine, QST, makes an article available for free to non-members. November's selection is entitled "Military Mast Problems and Solutions." Bob Dixon, W8ERD, begins: "Many of us use military surplus masts and tripods to hold up antennas, especially in portable situations. They work very well, but these masts have potential stability problems, because the adjacent mast sections and tripod are held together by their weight and by friction alone. If the mast is tilted by the wind or pulled by a wire, the mast joints and tripod can separate, and the entire structure can fall down catastrophically. Also, if you have a rotatable antenna on the mast, the mast sections can slip and rotate the antenna, or make it difficult to turn. These problems can be fixed by pinning all the mast sections and the tripod together..."

Skyworks Circulator for Radar Systems and Wireless Apps

Skyworks Surface Mount Circulator for Radar Systems and Wireless Applications - RF CafeSkyworks is pleased to introduce the SKYFR-001982, a small form factor surface mount circulator for L-Band radar systems and wireless applications in the 1200-1400 MHz operating range. This device offers high power level handling with minimal thermal rise, providing a flow path for the RF signal as well as protection for sensitive components from excess signal reflection. Packaged in a compact SMT housing, the SKYFR-001982 can be easily incorporated onto PCB boards with automated pick and place manufacturing. The SKYFR-001982 is the latest in Skyworks' broad portfolio of Circulator and Isolator products for radars for both military and commercial applications...

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.

Monday 19

Synkote Wire & Cable

Synkote Wire & Cable, November 1953 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeI'm always tempted to wax nostalgic over ads like this one since they remind me of more care-free childhood and early teenage years when our household had the typical single television set with an antenna on the roof and a 300 Ω twin lead cable running haphazardly down the roof surface and over the metal gutter, stretching under the eave to where it was crushed between the window sill and lower window pane, and snaked along the wall and floor to the TV. In the early days, our antenna was fixed (no rotator). Situated in Mayo, Maryland, about midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., where our nearest broadcast stations resided, we somehow managed to get acceptable reception on our low-end black & white television. I don't recall in which direction the antenna was pointed (maybe northwestish to cover both directions equally). It wasn't until sometime in the early 1970s that we finally got our first color TV that the system showed its weakness...

Military Renaissance in High Frequency Communications

Military Renaissance in High Frequency Communications - RF Cafe"Special operations commands across Europe are ramping up their capabilities with high-frequency communications to ensure connectivity on the battlefield. Leaders there are turning to high frequency communications as a way to optimize properties that provide a low probability of interception and detection. Special forces in France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine continue to receive high-frequency, or HF, systems as a way to diversify communications plans, industry sources confirmed to C4ISRNET. Some special operations organizations have selected L3Harris' AN/PRC-160(V), industry sources said. Enhancements in HF come at a time when NATO members and partner forces..."

Mathematical Puzzles, 1974 Old Farmer's Almanac

Mathematical Puzzles, 1974 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF CafeAs mentioned in an earlier post, a while back I bought a box full of vintage Old Farmer's Almanacs (OFA) at a yard sale, figuring there would be a bunch of good items to post here on RF Cafe and on my Airplanes and Rockets hobby website. Chief amongst the postworthy features is the Mathematical Puzzles section. They are a fair challenge to an engineer's cerebration, contemplation, and deliberation. These particular mathematical posers appeared in the 1974 issue of OFA. #10, while rated a difficulty of 4 (where 5 is most difficult), is really not even a mathematical challenge when you think about it (hint - it's an old riddle you've probably seen before). Enjoy!

A Self-Contained Handie-Talkie

A Self-Contained Handie-Talkie, June 1944 QST - RF Cafe"Handie-Talkie" was the name given to early walkie-talkies used in the field by military communications troops. Having been written during World War II, the author of this QST article just assumed that any reader would be familiar with the WERS acronym - it stands for War Emergency Radio Service. Per the Wikipedia entry: "At the start of the Second World War the United States Congress had suspended all amateur radio activity throughout the country. WERS was established by the Federal Communications Commission in June 1942 at the insistence of the American Radio Relay League. WERS would remain in operation in through the end of the Second World War in 1945. WERS was to provide communications in connection with air raid protection, and communications during times of natural disaster. WERS licenses were given to communities and not individuals...

Many Thanks to Anatech Electronics for Long-Time Support!

Anatech Electronics logo - RF CafeAnatech Electronics (AEI) manufactures and supplies RF and microwave filters for military and commercial communication systems, providing standard LP, HP, BP, BS, notch, diplexer, and custom RF filters, and RF products. Standard RF filter and cable assembly products are published in our website database for ease of procurement. Custom RF filters designs are used when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements dictate a custom approach for your military and commercial communications needs. Sam Benzacar's monthly newsletters address contemporary wireless subjects. Please visit Anatech today to see how they can help your project succeed. 

AARRL Lightning Calculator Type B Modified

ARRL Lightning Calculator Type B Modified, front (Joseph Birsa) - RF CafeThis is not something devised by Benjamin Franklin. Rather, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) sold a variety of these "Lightning Calculator" slide rules in the days before electronic calculators. This "Type B" version (copyright 1932, W.P. Koechel) calculates Ohm's Laws values for resistance, voltage, current, and power. As shown here, it indicates an alignment of 1 V, 1 A, and 1 Ω. The Lightning Calculators" were rather large at 8½" wide by 11" high. Being the size of a sheet of paper, it is surprising they did not come with holes for a 3-ring binder. There were six varieties of "Lightning Calculators," as shown in the 1939 QST magazine advertisement. Thanks to Joe Birsa (N3TTE) for the donation.

Please Check in Appreciation of Their Support

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 18

Science & Engineering Themed Crossword Puzzle for October 18th

Science & Engineering Themed Crossword Puzzle for October 18th, 2020 - RF CafeOctober 18th's custom Science and Engineering Technology themed crossword puzzle contains only only words from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. (1,000s of them). You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, find someone or something in the otherwise excluded list directly related to this puzzle's technology theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort.

Friday 15

OSCARs Help Dedicate New Air and Space Museum

OSCARs Help Dedicate New Air and Space Museum, September 1976 QST - RF CafeThat would be President Ford in the background atop the platform, behind where the OSCAR ground station was set up. He was there as part of the dedication of the new National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., in 1976. The event was part of the nationwide series of bicentennial celebrations marking America's founding with the signing of the The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America. Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins directed the event. The Space Race was in its heyday and most people were still in awe of anything related to spacecraft - both manned and unmanned. Just about anyone other than a Ham radio operator believed communicating with a satellite was the exclusive domain of governments, so the presence of AMSAT...

Memristor Acts Like a Neuron

Memristor Acts Like a Neuron - RF Cafe"Analog computing with neuron-like devices could efficiently solve problems traditional computers struggle with. One thing that's kept engineers from copying the brain's power efficiency and quirky computational skill is the lack of an electronic device that can, all on its own, act like a neuron. It would take a special kind of device to do that, one whose behavior is more complex than any yet created. Suhas Kumar of Hewlett Packard Laboratories, R. Stanley Williams now at Texas A&M, and the late Stanford student Ziwen Wang have invented a device that meets those requirements. On its own, using a simple DC voltage as the input, the device outputs not just simple spikes, as some other devices..."

Ionosphere and Radio Transmission

The Ionosphere and Radio Transmission, March 1940 QST - RF CafeReading through this article reminds me of studying for the amateur radio exams. In fact, the information presented in this 1940 QST piece does not seem to be lacking anything that contemporary discussions include. My point is that a great amount of knowledge had already been amassed about earth's upper atmosphere a mere four decades after the first transatlantic radio communications were accomplished by Marconi on December 12, 1901 from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada. Considering that at the time no instrumented sounding rockets had been launched into the extreme upper layers (F1 & F2, beginning at around 120 mi | 200 km), a lot had been discerned about characteristics as they pertain to radio communications. Balloons were used for direct measurements...

Review of the 2020 Virtual IMS (vIMS)

Review of the 2020 Virtual IMS (vIMS) - RF CafeIn his latest The Accidental Engineer blog post, Reactel's Jim Assurian offers his assessment of the first-ever Virtual IMS (vIMS), made necessary by the COVID-19 worldwide epidemic this year compliments of Wuhan, China. Jim begins: "Some contemplative reactions to the Virtual IMS from an Exhibitor - the comments are my own and may not be indicative of other's experience or their impression of the vIMS. The live portion of the Virtual IMS concluded on August 6th though much of the Conference is available On-Demand thru September 30th. I encourage you to visit the Conference website. If I had to rate my experience with the vIMS on a scale of 1 thru 5, I'd give it a 1. I was underwhelmed by the interface as I noted in my earlier blog post, and the 'traffic' through my booth was minimal at best. Once I subtracted out the industry friends who swung past for a look..."

Free Engineering White Papers & Books

Engineering White Papers & Books, October 2020 - RF CafeReading trade journals is always given as one of the main ways cited by engineers on career surveys for continuing education. Engineering whitepapers, pamphlets, books, magazines, and chapter examples listed here are a small sample of a lot of new items that are offered for FREE through TradePub. The publishers make them available to qualifying people as a promotional campaign for their full line of offerings. Whitepaper topics include careers, manufacturing, and engineering, while magazine titles include NASA Tech Briefs, Electronic Component News, and Microwave Product Digest. Note: I earn a few pennies (literally) when you download one of these or the many other pubs available, so please help yourself.

Please Visit Res-Net Microwave in Appreciation of Support!

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.

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