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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

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...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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RF Cascade Workbook 2018 - RF Cafe

Homepage Archive - December 2021 (page 1)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the December 2021 homepage archives.

Tuesday the 7th

The Cosmotron

The Cosmotron, October 1952 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen I first saw this photo of the Cosmotron in a 1952 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine, I thought maybe it was really a recovered crashed UFO from Area 51. Of course it couldn't be since the image is very sharp and clear, and after a century of supposed UFO sightings nobody has ever produced anything better than a poorly focused blob with a few dim lights on it. The Cosmotron was a proton accelerator, the first of its kind to impart energies in the gigaelectronvolt (GeV) range. Built at Brookhaven National Laboratory by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1948, it reached full energy in 1953 and it continued being used for research until 1966. Interestingly, the Cosmotron used a Van de Graaff generator as a high voltage source for accelerating protons. The first particle accelerators were physically linear - long pipes. They were limited in how fast particles could go because greater acceleration requires more distance. Eventually, circular structures were built to facilitate essentially an endless path...

1-Chip, 3-Band GNSS Rx Boosts Automotive Positioning Accuracy

Single-Chip, Triple-Band GNSS Receiver Boosts Automotive Positioning Accuracy - RF Cafe"The STA8135GA is the first single-chip satellite-navigation receiver to integrate a triple-band positioning measurement engine. It manages all GNSS constellations. Triple-band has historically been used in professional applications such as surveying, mapping, and precision agriculture that demand millimeter accuracy with minimal reliance on correction data. Only available in chipsets or modules up to now, which are typically larger and more expensive than this single-chip solution, triple-band enables the receiver to efficiently acquire and track the largest number of satellites in multiple constellations simultaneously. This capability delivers superior performance in difficult conditions such as in urban canyons and under tree cover..."

Summer Radio

Summer Radio, July 1934 Radio News and The Short-Wave - RF CafeReceiving information wirelessly or even over a wire is taken for granted today, but 80 years ago it was considered a "miracle of God" - that's what Alexander Graham Bell called it. Some regarded radio as being of the devil. The same is true of today's omnipresent communications - some consider it a blessing while others call it a curse. I'm somewhere in the middle. In 1934 when this Radio News & Shortwave magazine was published, the telecommunications world was in its heyday of growth with a reported 17 million listeners of AM radio (no FM yet). Radio dealers and servicemen were gearing up for customers with unbridled enthusiasm for the fledgling commercial broadcast industry's offerings. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, people were joining in on the wireless craze in large numbers, and amateur radio operators were almost feared for their awesome ability...

1:15 Points of Light in Sky Will Be a Satellite

1:15 Points of Light in Sky Will Be a Satellite - RF CafeThis will forever change humankind's perception of the night sky: "In order to find out how badly the night sky is going to be affected by sunlight reflected from planned satellite megaconstellations, we built an open-source computer model to predict satellite brightnesses as seen from different places on Earth, at different times of night, in different seasons. We also built a simple web app based on this simulation. Our model uses 65,000 satellites on the orbits filed by four megaconstellation companies: SpaceX Starlink and Amazon Kuiper (U.S.), OneWeb (UK) and StarNet/GW (China). We calibrated our simulation to match telescope measurements of Starlink satellites, since they are by far the most numerous. Starlink has so far made some strides toward dimming their satellites since their first launch, but most are still visible to the naked eye. Our simulations show that from everywhere in the world, in every season, there will be dozens to hundreds of satellites visible for at least an hour before sunrise and after sunset..."

Interference from Left Field

Interference from Left Field, March 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBy 1970, the airwaves were really getting crowded. Lots of high power commercial and military gear was online, and the radio listening public was setting new record highs every year. As such, many new sources for radio interference (RFI) were being discovered, and sometimes the problems caused went well beyond just a little noise being superimposed on top of Neil Diamond's newly released Cracklin' Rosie or the lads from Liverpool's The Long and Winding Road. Often, the interference was overwhelmingly annoying. The FCC was being flooded with complaints. Digital computers were creating a whole new type of electronic havoc, and leaky cable television cables and amplifiers caused all kinds of headaches to over-the-air sets. Rusty bolts and chain link fences in the vicinity of high power radio and TV towers - and even radar installations - manifested themselves as detectors by virtue of their nonlinear nature. I remember when people at Robins AFB, in Georgia, would sometimes complain to our radar shop because their radios would blip once every four seconds as the search radar antenna swept past their radios...

Antenova Affini Antenna for 4G/LTE and 5G NR, w/Band 71

Antenova Intros Affini Cellular Antenna for 4G/LTE and 5G NR, w/Band 71 - RF CafeAntenova Ltd, the UK-based manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for M2M and the IoT, is announcing "Affini," part number SRFL064, which is a flexible printed circuit (FPC) antenna for the LTE, 4G and 5G NR networks in global markets. This antenna covers all main 4G bands plus 617-698 MHz which offers 5G coverage and the popular Band 71. The Affini antenna measures 78 mm x 17 mm x 0.15 mm, which is small, yet it delivered high efficiency in tests. It has an I-PEX MHF1 connector, so it is easily designed in and it suits small devices that need to operate across wide areas...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 16,000 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. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

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. 

Monday the 6th

What's Your EQ (Electronics Quotient)?

What's Your EQ (Electronics Quotient)?, December 1961 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeIn May of 1961, Radio-Electronics magazine began running a monthly quiz type feature called "What's Your EQ?" EQ stands for Electronics Quotient. For the first year or so, solutions were provided in the next month's issue, but, probably at the request of readers, solutions were printed in the same month's issue. The EQ challenges were provided by readers who were paid $10 when published. $10 in 1961 was the equivalent of about $93 in 2021 money, so it wasn't chump change. "Black Box" problems were very popular, and arriving at a workable solution (sometimes there was more than one) often took some creative thinking. The box might contain relays, vacuum tubes, semiconductors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers, neon bulbs, etc. My approach is to say there is an elf inside who...

ARRL Seeks News Editor

ARRL Seeks News Editor - RF CafeARRL is seeking a ham with a professional journalism background to handle ARRL's news function on a contract, remote basis. Candidates for ARRL News Editor should be plugged into the ham radio community, with a broad awareness of the major players (past and present) and the main issues (past, present, and potentially future) in the world of ham radio. Ideally, candidates will have professional journalism experience - in particular, having a well-developed sense of knowing a potential news story when they see one, as well as how and where to research leads. The News Editor creates news stories that are posted on ARRL's home page, and is responsible for publishing the weekly e-newsletter...

DC Power Supply Review

21 Best DC Power Supplies for Any Lab Budget - RF CafeWebsite visitor Tommy Reed, whose article entitled "17 Best RTL-SDR Software Defined Radio Dongles," I posted a link to earlier this year, has recently added "21 Best DC Power Supplies for Any Lab Budget" to his website, From DC to Daylight. He has many topics on RF, test equipment, radios, power supplies, etc., in his blog repertoire. "If there was a singular piece of test equipment that is absolutely vital, it would have to be a great DC power supply. This humble little box was the topic of a recent “Ultimate Guide to DC Power Supplies” post we did. At the end of that post, there were a handful of top DC power supply options that are extremely powerful. Given the importance and sheer range of options we wanted to do a dedicated list post to cover a broader set of DC power supply options. To that end, we compiled a list of 21 great DC power supply options below..."

Subminiature Construction Techniques for Home Builders

Subminiature Construction Techniques for the Home Builder, February 1957 Radio & Television News - RF CafeI suppose the term "Subminiature" as it applies to electronics components is as relative as the word "Modern" is in book titles. They might be accurate at the time of the writing, but passage of time renders them ambiguous. Subminiature in 1957, when this Radio & TV News magazine article appeared, meant anything other than full-size vacuum tubes, huge power transformers, multi-layer wafer switches, and hookup wire larger than 20 AWG. The advent of peanut tubes, very early versions of transistors and solid state diodes, and ever-higher operational frequencies permitted component sizes to be shrunk by a factor of two or more. Rather than using a pistol-style soldering gun or a soldering iron designed for assembling copper guttering, a precision pencil-type iron could be used and greasy tools from the garage no longer sufficed for turning screws and nuts. A lot of the material in this article is still useful for hobbyists and even electronics professionals in the lab...

IEH Joins Modelithics MVP Program at Sponsoring Level

IEH Joins Modelithics MVP Program at Sponsoring Level - RF CafeModelithics, the leading RF and Microwave simulation model provider, is pleased to welcome IEH Corporation, a leader in hyperboloid PCB connector products, into the Modelithics Vendor Partner (MVP) Program at the Sponsoring level. In addition to becoming a Sponsoring MVP, IEH and Modelithics are collaborating to develop 3D models for the HGM, HMK, HMM, HRM, and HVM hyperboloid PCB connector series. 3D models are also in development for the HKC and HKX Hyperkinetic connectors, which are high-speed, high-density hyperboloid modular interconnects. Through the MVP Program, these models will be available for free extended 90-day trial use of all Modelithics models available for IEH components to approved customers. The new 3D models for IEH connectors will be available in the Modelithics COMPLETE+3D Library...

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size drawing page templates (or can use your own). Stencils are provided for equipment racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics. Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing. The file format is XML so everything plays nicely with Visio 2013 and later...

Many Thanks to Centric RF for Their Continued Support!

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.

Sunday the 5th

RF & Microwave Theme Crossword Puzzle for December 5th

RF & Microwave Theme Crossword Puzzle for December 5th, 2021 - RF CafeThis RF & Microwave themed crossword puzzle for December 5th contains only clues and words are directly to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other science subjects. As always, this crossword contains no names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort unless it/he/she is related to this puzzle's technology theme (e.g., Reginald Denny or the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

Get Your Custom-Designed RF Cafe Gear!

Custom-Designed RF-Themed Cups, T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks (Cafe Press) - RF CafeThis 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 Cafe. Thanks...

Many Thanks to ConductRF for Continued Support!

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! 

Friday the 3rd

National Schools - Television & Radio Electronics Servicing

National Schools - Television & Radio Electronics Servicing, October 1945 Radio News - RF CafeMany of the technically-oriented magazines in the pre-post-war era were going all out with advertisements promising training for careers for servicemen in the post-war era. This one by National Schools in a 1945 issue of Radio News is a good example. By January of 1945, the attitude of people in America and Europe was that the end of World War II was imminent, and life would soon return to a peacetime normal state. There would be a lot of rebuilding to do in Europe that would drain tech companies of some desperately needed engineers, technicians, and assembly workers. In America, labor markets were flooded with workers hoping to exploit the skills learned and practiced while beating back the forces of Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Marxism, and other "isms." Institutions like National Schools offered opportunities...

Chip Hides Wireless Messages in Plain Sight

Chip Hides Wireless Messages in Plain Sight - RF Cafe"Emerging 5G wireless systems are designed to support high-bandwidth and low-latency networks connecting everything from autonomous robots to self-driving cars. But these large and complex communication networks could also pose new security concerns. Encryption methods now used to secure communications from eavesdroppers can be challenging to scale towards such high-speed and ultra-low latency systems for 5G and beyond. This is because the very nature of encryption requires exchange of information between sender and receiver to encrypt and decrypt a message. This exchange makes the link vulnerable to attacks; it also requires computing that increases latency..."

2021 Top 50 Electronics Distributors List

2021 Top 50 Electronics Distributors List - RF CafeSource Today website just posted their ranking list of the Top 50 Electronics Distributors for 2021. You will not be surprised to learn that the top four positions are occupied by Arrow Electronics, Avnet, Future Electronics, and Digi-Key, respectively. Mouser Electronics, shown on the page header graphic as a Platinum Sponsor, came in at 7th place, which at least shows the survey is not biased by sponsorship. Other distributors familiar to RF and microwave types are Newark (in 9th place -- now known as Farnell), RFMW (22nd place), and Richardson Electronics (25th place). No information is provided on the webpage regarding metrics used for the rankings, but there is a PDF file you can download if you fill in a form - which I did so that you don't need to. A lot of info is provided on distribution issues in the past year and since the beginning of the plandemic.

Calculus and Its Application in Radio

Calculus and Its Application in Radio, March 1933 Radio News - RF CafeIt has been a while since I saw the quotient rule for derivatives applied. Probably the last time was in a college text book, because I'm pretty sure I haven't had the occasion to use it since then - except maybe back in the days when I was writing my RF Workbench software and needed to derive closed form solutions for group delay in filters. This 1933 article from Radio News magazine presented the quotient rule as part of a discussion for finding the impedance of a load for maximum power transfer. Pure resistances were used in the example, but the method applies as well to complex impedances...

Picocom 5G NR Small Cell System-on-Chip for Open RAN

Picocom Intros Industry's 1st 5G NR Small Cell System-on-Chip Designed for Open RAN - RF CafePicocom, the 5G Open RAN baseband semiconductor and software specialist, today announced the introduction of its PC802 SoC (system on chip). The company's flexible, low power device empowers the innovation of a new breed of 5G NR open small cell products. The PC802 is the world's first 4G/5G device dedicated to developing small cells with integrated support for Open RAN (Radio Access Networks) standards. It supports disaggregated 5G small cell platforms, including indoor residential, enterprise and industrial networks, neutral host networks and outdoor networks. "I am honoured to announce the PC802, the culmination of three years' work and a milestone achievement for the company by the whole Picocom Team," said Peter Claydon, President of Picocom. "We will deliver product to our lead customers...

$5.00 for Best Short Wave Kink

$5.00 for Best Short Wave Kink, May 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeIf you need a cheap, quick lightning arrestor for your antenna or just about any type of wired system, this idea from Mr. Burgess Brownson looks like a good idea. He used an automotive spare plug. Voltage breakover points can be set by varying the spark gap distance. The old vacuum tube transmitters and receivers had a better of chance of surviving a lightning strike because the components were able to handle much more of a shock than our modern semiconductor sets with miniature, closely spaced components. Still, the spark plug setup is better than nothing, if for no other reason than to protect the shelter. it should suffice. This and many more "kinks" are offered in this 1935 issue of Short Wave Craft magazine...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 16,000 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. I also re-broadcast homepage items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the place to be.

Thanks to Copper Mountain Technologies for Continued Support

Copper Mountain TechnologiesCopper Mountain Technologies develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor Vector Network Analyzers include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface. The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments.

Thursday the 2nd

Bell Telephone Laboratories - Miniaturization

Bell Telephone Laboratories - Miniaturization, November 1949 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen many people hear the name of Bell Telephone Company, the first thing they think of is the court-directed breakup of Bell System into what became known as "Baby Bells" after being sued for monopolistic policies. What is too often forgotten - or more likely never realized - is the immense role Bell played in the building of America into an industrial and technology giant. Vintage magazines like this 1949 issue of Radio-Electronics as well as many other types including The Saturday Evening Post, Popular Mechanics, Family Circle, and many other publications commonly found in homes, contained full-page advertisements by Bell Telephone Laboratories promoting their work and reminding subscribers of how their hard-earned money was being invested on improvements. Along with the Interstate Highway System, America's robust, dependable, and high quality personal communications...

Technical Aspects of Naval Communications

Technical Aspects of Naval Communications, December 1950 Radio & Television News - RF CafeThe December 1950 issue of Radio & Television News magazine ran a series of articles on Navy communications. This was a mere four years after the end of World War II and right at the beginning days of the Korean War. Communist and fascist regimes never give the world a moment's rest (some - not me - think just being nice to them will cause them to be nice in return). Discussed here are issues still relevant to modern outfitting of naval assets with new or updated communications equipment. Unlike land-based systems, naval environments impose increased requirements for ruggedness due to harsh vibration, impact, and corrosion issues. Weight added above the waterline needs to be offset with weight below the water line to preserve stability. Reliability and personnel training also need to be increased because being at sea means access to replacement parts, operators, and service technicians are harder to accommodate...

Counterfeited Goods 2.5% of Total World Trade

2.5% of Total World Trade Involves Counterfeited Goods - RF Cafe"The trade of fake goods continues as the COVID-19 pandemic, chip shortages and other events push more criminals to find new ways to take advantage of unknowing buyers. Trading fake goods is bad for any industry, but it's particularly dangerous in the industrial electronics sector, where counterfeit components pose threats like short circuits, electrical shocks, fires, explosions and equipment failures. 'Counterfeiters work hard to mimic not only the product packaging but the actual product as well. Distinguishing fakes from real parts becomes very hard for consumers..."

Anatech Electronics November Newsletter

Anatech Electronics November 2021 Newsletter - RF CafeSam Benzacar of Anatech Electronics, an RF and microwave filter company, has published his November 2021 newsletter that features his short op−ed entitled "C-band and Altimeters: Bad Company? ," where he notes that even though FCC concluded that the AVSI study "does not demonstrate that harmful interference would likely result under reasonable scenarios," there is enough concern in the non-standardized radar altimeter realm to raise a red flag. As Sam points out, there is a full 500 MHz separation between the C-band wireless band and radar altimeters. Sam also presents some relevant industry news items as well, including Amazon planning to launch Kuiper satellite prototypes, and the DoD funding research that combines 5G and optical sensors.

Color TV Today

Color TV Today, September 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen color televisions hit the stores in 1954, most households could not afford one. For that matter, most households could not afford a black and white TV, either. By 1959 when this article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, TV in general was still a novelty to most people. It is amusing to read about how much more lifelike everything would appear when broadcast in "living color." Well, duh. It's as if it never occurred to anyone that the images previously did not contain color like the real world did. I was born in 1958, and remember that my family's was last of all the households I knew of to own a color television set. We never even had a console floor model, just small tabletop pieces of junk. It was a big deal the day I, at about age 16, bought and installed a remote rotor for the rooftop antenna so we could receive more than three stations. There was no cable TV service in our neighborhood...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built symbols, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Symbols available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size drawing page templates (or can use your own). Symbols are provided for equipment racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics. Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing. The file format is XML so everything plays nicely with Visio 2013 and later...

Many Thanks to Atenlab for Their Continued Support!

Atenlab microwave components - RF CafeAtenlab has been operating in Taiwan for more than a decade, and has sold and installed hundreds chambers around the world. Holistic, affordable Over-the-Air (OTA) measurement systems perform comprehensive measurement and test in a controlled environment. Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) with one-touch operation supports multiple systems - 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G - and major instrument brands. [M]ulti-probe OTA measurement systems offer reduced time measurements over single-probe systems.

Wednesday the 1st

ARRL QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, SK

Joel Hallas, W1ZR, Silent Key - RF CafeJoel Hallas, W1ZR, Silent Key - RF CafeThis is indeed unexpected and sad news. Joel Hallas, W1ZR, a long-time columnist for American Radio Relay League (ARRL) publications and an author of multiple books, has left this old world after 79 years. Since joining the ARRL in 2010 and receiving the monthly QST magazine, his "The Doctor Is In" column was always the first thing I read. Mr. Hallas was a master at using EZNEC (soon to be free) antenna simulation software and used it often to answers readers' questions. Decades of hands-on experience setting up, operating, troubleshooting, and teaching amateur radio subject made him an encyclopedia of knowledge. Joel's family surely knows how admired he was by the hundreds that knew him personally and the thousands of us who knew him through his works. RIP, Joel Hallas.

Simpson Electric Company Vacuum Tube Volt-Ohmmeter

Simpson Electric Company Vacuum Tube Volt-Ohmmeter, November 1949 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThose of us old enough to remember the classic Simpson volt-ohmmeter (VOM) from the 1970s will look at this 1949 model appearing in Radio-Electronics magazine and probably not notice much if any difference. The basic case design is similar and it appears to be about the same physical size. The selector switches and potentiometer knobs look familiar as well. The primary difference is what is inside - a vacuum tube rather than a field-effect transistor (FET). The Simpson Model 303 is a vacuum tube voltmeter (VTVM - actually a VTVOH). Prior to the availability of FETs with their very high input impedance characteristic (10 MΩ or greater), a vacuum tube input stage was needed to isolate the device (or circuit) under test (DUT) from the relatively low impedance of the resistor-based volt-ohm meter (VOM - as with the Simpson Model 260) meter circuitry. The problem is that a low VOM impedance...

RF Control of Superconducting Quantum Processors

RF Control System of Superconducting Quantum Processors - RF CafeA team of physicists and engineers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory successfully demonstrated the feasibility of low-cost and high-performance radio frequency modules for qubit controls at room temperature. They built a series of compact RF modules that mix signals to improve the reliability of control systems for superconducting quantum processors. Their tests proved that using modular design methods reduces the cost and size of traditional RF control systems while still delivering superior or comparable performance levels to those commercially available. Their research, featured as noteworthy in the Review of Scientific Instruments and selected as a Scilight by the American Institute of Physics..."

Rationalizing Pi

Rationalizing Pi, Kirt's Cogitation #262 - RF Cafe...During my last session on the cursed elliptical machine, for some reason I was contemplating pi (π). Pi has been an enigma in the realm of mathematics and physics since it was first recognized as being irrational The fact that the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is an inexact number has caused enormous amounts of consternation for dogged investigators of the aforementioned phenomenon. Pythagoras is believed to have first noticed the irrationality of certain numerical ratios when even something as basic as the corner-to-corner diagonal of a unit square could not be calculated to a finite precision. In some religious circles even contemplating such thoughts caused souls to be burned at the stake for daring to assert that such an imperfection could exist in a perfectly created world. Recall that Galileo was excommunicated for asserting that the earth was not the center of the universe...

R&S Demos Robust Data Link Comms for Rotary Wing Aircraft

Rohde & Schwarz Demos Robust Data Link Communication for Rotary Wing Aircraft - RF CafeRohde & Schwarz, together with ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and representatives of the German armed forces (Bundeswehr), successfully carried out stationary tests on the premises of the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment (WTD 61) in Manching. The influence of rotors on radio waves was tested on two types of helicopters, operational with the Bundeswehr, the CH53 and Tiger, as well as on the rotary wing UMAT R-350 UAV from ESG. Piloted and unpiloted rotary-wing aircraft of the Bundeswehr need to be able to send data links through one or more rotor planes, where interference can by caused by rotor blade modulation. The successfully completed tests demonstrated how robust the radios are against level drops, phase shifts and diffraction at rotor blades' edges; while digital voice and data transmission was possible at the highest sensitivity. In addition, a comprehensive set of data was collected to develop robust waveforms for broadband data transmission...

Super-Radars for Missile Ships

Super-Radars for Missile Ships, July 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeThe term "super-radar" would be sort of meaningless these days since just about everything is "super" anymore, especially with regard to military, space, or aerospace systems. Not so in 1957 when this Radio & TV News magazine article appeared. Lately, when I hear the term "super-something," I think of a really funny radio commercial with a meeting of super-geniuses. I don't recall the exact subjects, but the chairman asks his members for items to add to their agenda of things to do. Someone pipes up with an idea to solve world hunger, then another suggests they design a nuclear fusion generator to power the world with clean energy, etc. Enthusiasm exudes from the empaneled super geniuses. Finally, someone suggests that they do whatever it is the commercial is trying to promote (I don't remember what it is), upon which silence falls over the room and an incredulous person says, "We're super geniuses, but we're not super super geniuses...

Post Your Engineer & Technician Job Openings on RF Cafe for Free

Engineering Job Board - RF CafeRF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable job openings. HR department employees and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting at no charge. 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from RF Cafe's high quality visitors...

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad 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.

   

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