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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024
    Kirt Blattenberger,


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 typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Homepage Archive - February 2021 (page 4)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page. About RF Cafe.

Homepage Archive Pages

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2012:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the February 2021 homepage archives.

Sunday the 28th

Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for February 28th

Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for February 28th, 2021 - RF CafeThis Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for February 28th contains only words and clues related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. 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., Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

Friday the 26th

Twisted Trilayer Graphene High-Temperature Superconductors

Twisted Trilayer Graphene High-Temperature Superconductors - RF Cafe"Two's company, but three's a crowd - unless you're trying to make graphene superconduct at higher temperatures. That is the finding of researchers at Harvard University in the U.S., who discovered that the superconducting state in three stacked and twisted layers of graphene is more robust to temperature increase than the equivalent state in two-layer graphene. The researchers also found evidence that superconductivity in the trilayer system comes from strong interactions between electrons, rather than weak ones as in most conventional superconductors - corroborating a result reported a few days earlier by a separate team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A sheet of graphene consists of a simple repetition of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice..."

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...

THz Chip Spots Objects in 3D

THz Chip Spots Objects in 3D - RF Cafe"Princeton University has found a way to determine the direction to an object in three dimensions using only on-chip THz antennas with ~2°accuracy. It exploits frequency-dispersive leaky-wave antennas - end-fed strips, 1.7mm long, with transverse slots spaced at 43 μm intervals. The crucial property of these, is that injecting a frequency between 360 and 400 GHz into one end results in fan of energy leaving the antenna at right angles to its long axis (see diagram). The higher the frequency, the further tilted away from the feed end is the fan: 360 GHz leaves at right angles and 400 GHz tilts the fan at 40° to the normal, so scanning from 360 to 400 GHz sweeps the fan from 0° (normal) to +40°..."

Hobnobbing with Harbaugh - The Store

Hobnobbing with Harbaugh - The Store, June 1962 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"My husband wants a selenimum rectalfire, a silicode capasitator, and a 16 bome appleflyer." That is the caption of one of the "Hobnobbing with Harbaugh," comics that appeared in the June 1962 edition of Popular Electronics magazine.  Dave Harbaugh's "Hobnobbing with Harbaugh" was a monthly feature for a couple years that dealt with stereotypical (pun intended) behavior of technophiles and their often unwilling, often unwitting wives, girlfriends, kids, parents, workmates, and neighbors.

New for 2021! RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt was a lot of work, but I finally finished a version of the "RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols" that works well with Microsoft Office™ programs Word™, Excel™, and Power Point™. This is an equivalent of the extensive set of amplifier, mixer, filter, switch, connector, waveguide, digital, analog, antenna, and other commonly used symbols for system block diagrams and schematics created for Visio™. Each of the 1,000 or so symbols was exported individually from Visio in the EMF file format, then imported into Word on a Drawing Canvas. The EMF format allows an image to be scaled up or down without becoming pixelated, so all the shapes can be resized in a document and still look good. The imported symbols can also be UnGrouped into their original constituent parts for editing. Check them out!

Exodus Intros 1.0-18.0 GHz, 10 W, Broadband Amplifier

Exodus Advanced Communications Intros 1.0-18.0 GHz, 10 W, Broadband Amplifier - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications has introduced a broadband amplifier, model AMP1074−9, which covers 1.0 to 18.0 GHz and produces >10 Watts minimum power (15 W nominal). The AMP1074−9 has a minimum gain of 40 dB with -20 dBc harmonics. The unit is a compact Linear Class A/AB design for optimum reliability & ruggedness for all applications. Nominal dimensions of 140W x 160L x 27H mm with SMA female connectors. Features: Class AB GaN design, instantaneous ultra-wide bandwidth, broadband coverage of C, X and Ku Bands...

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.

Thursday the 25th

Electronic Puzzle Square

Electronic Puzzle Square, January 1945, Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis Electronic Puzzle Square, compliments of Lt. C.K. Johnson, appeared in the January 1945 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. It consists of electronics-related numerical questions whose answers, if correct, create a 4x4 matrix whose columns, rows, and long diagonals all add up to 45. Non-integer answers need to be rounded according to standard rules (do not just truncate). In case you left your slide rule at the office, a link is provided to assist with Q2. The biggest head scratcher question is Q4, since it requires the conversion from polar to rectangular coordinates, but hey, you're an engineer (or a crack technician). Having Euclid on-hand for Q5 might be helpful. A link is provided to a copper wire parameter table for Q9. Have fun.

Withwave Intros DC to 40 GHz Flexible Armored Cable Assemblies

Withwave Intros Flexible Armored Cable Assembly (W701): DC to 26.5 & 40 GHz - RF CafeWithwave's W701 Series are complete line of high performance flexible microwave cable assemblies. Specially, Flexible Armored W701 Series have low density PTFE structure to achieve velocity propagation of 76% and good phase and amplitude stability performance. They have excellent RF performance up to 26.5 GHz, and DC to 40 GHz with SMA and 2.92 mm connectors, respectively. Features: center conductor: silver plated copper, insulator: low density PTFE, outer conductor 1: silver plated copper foil, outer conductor 2: silver plated copper wire, jacket: FEP...

Inventors and Their Inventions

Inventors and Their Inventions, Kirt's Cogitations #325 - RF CafeWhen doing some research for creating a new quiz on inventors and their inventions, I decided to look for people according to their countries. I almost always do image searches since doing so does a good job of filtering out pages that merely mention the topic of interest. My first Google search was "american inventors." I expected to see the familiar faces of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, George Westinghouse, Marie Curie, Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, Edwin Armstrong, Hedy Lamarr, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Goddard, Albert Einstein, the Wright Brothers, Samuel Morse, William Shockley, etc. Those are the names that first come to my mind, and admittedly the list is dominated by White men. Imagine my surprise when the Google search results belied my perception. Take a look at the first few pages of results to see what I mean. Next, I moved on to an image search for "canadian inventors..."

Free-Space Optical Light to Provide High-Speed WiFi

Free-Space Optical Light to Provide High-Speed WiFi - RF Cafe"A team of researchers from Duke University, in partnership with Facebook's Connectivity Lab, have announced a major advancement towards the dream of ditching the fiber in fiber optics. Visible and infrared light can carry more data than radio waves, but has always been confined to a hard-wired, fiber-optic cable. While working to create a free-space optical communication system for high-speed wireless internet, the researchers showed that speed and efficiency properties previously demonstrated on tiny, single-unit plasmonic antennas can also be achieved on larger, centimeter-scale devices. The research appeared online in the journal Optica. In 2016, researchers from's Connectivity Lab..."

Anatech Electronics Intros Multiband Duplexer Filter

Anatech Electronics Intros Multiband Duplexer Filter - RF CafeAnatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Two new filters have been introduced: a 10.01 GHz cavity bandpass filter with a 320 MHz bandwidth and 1 dB of insertion loss, and an LTE Band 8 uplink / Band 3 downlink multiband duplexer filter with <50 dB isolation between bands and 1 dB insertion loss. Custom RF power directional coupler designs can be designed and produced when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements are such that a custom approach is necessary...

Choosing Your Crossovers

Choosing Your Crossovers, October 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeAudio crossover networks have the same fundamental mission as RF multiplexer filters in radio systems, which is to separate and steer specific bands of frequencies into two or more signal paths. While simple in concept, implementation in hardware can be a major challenge depending on requirements for channel separation, feedthrough, phase and group delay, amplitude equalization, distortion, and other factors. This article discusses some of the decisions used by crossover network designers when considering where to make band breaks, while leaving actual circuit design rules to other authors. I built a set of custom speakers many moons ago and went through the frustrating process of deciding where to place the breaks and which speakers to use...

Thanks Once Again to everythingRF for Long-Time Support!

everything RF Searchable Database - RF CafePlease 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 267,269 products from more than 1397 companies across 314 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.

Wednesday the 24th

Constant K Type High-Pass Filter Design

Constant K Type High-Pass Filter Design, August 1952 Radio News - RF CafeConstant K filters are not seen much in modern designs, but were some of the earliest types of controlled impedance frequency selective networks. George Campbell is credited with inventing constant K filters in the early days of the last century. He referred to the circuits as "electric wave filters." Campbell's filters consisted of identical cascaded sections of "T" and "pi" inductor and capacitor combinations, yielding arbitrarily high (theoretically) out-of-band cutoff and band edge steepness. Less than ideal quality factor of the components causes realizable filters to exhibit increasing insertion loss and reduction in band edge corner sharpness as sections are added. Within a couple decades as improved filters became necessary...

Radiation Effects on Electronics in RadCNT

Radiation Effects on Electronics in Aligned Carbon Nanotube Technology - RF Cafe"Characterizing the fundamental mechanisms and charge transport phenomena governing the interactions between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation with carbon-based (nanotube and graphene) field-effect transistors (FETs) devices and integrated circuits (ICs). The main objective of the RadCNT program was the characterization of fundamental mechanisms and charge transport phenomena governing the interactions between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation with carbon-based (nanotube and graphene) field-effect transistors (FETs) devices and integrated circuits (ICs). This effort was supported through the fabrication of aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) FETs at the University of Southern California's (USC) Nanotechnology Research Laboratory and through a collaboration with the Naval Research Laboratories (NRL) for radiation testing and expertise..."

Hams on the Alaska Highway

Hams on the Alaska Highway, April 1945 QST - RF CafeEven though my fingers stop working when exposed to temperatures below freezing, I love the northern climate - four full seasons, snow, iced-over lakes, migrating birds, fiery autumns, cool summers, the whole experience. Having the option of not participating in the cold outdoor environs is what makes it good. However, the U.S. Army Signal Corps guys pulling duty in Alaska during World War II did not have that luxury. As told by radio engineer Major Colvin in this story from a 1945 edition of ARRL's QST magazine, winter life in Alaska at -40° was a real challenge. It was a world where Prestone antifreeze froze, the sun shone only a few hours a day, vehicles had to be left running 24/7 or risk not being able to be re-started, and mile-long treks between buildings was common. There were no snowmobiles. The success of the communications station...

Cool Product: BridgeCom BCD-144250 Rack Mount VHF Duplexer

Cool Product: BridgeCom BCD-144250 Rack Mount (250 W) VHF Duplexer - RF CafeFor the past few months, this full-page BridgeCom advertisement has been running in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) magazine QST. When I first saw it I though it might be one of those research laboratory hydraulic apparatuses for generating the kind of pressure found at the center of the Earth. Scientists use such devices to synthesize diamonds by compacting coal. In actuality, the four cylinders are part of the BridgeCom BCD-144250 Rack Mount VHF Duplexer. Per their website: BridgeCom Systems' BCD-144250 Duplexer for amateur and commercial applications. The BCD-144250 utilizes four high-quality cavities that results in uncompromising duplex isolation. It will handle up to 250W continuously for the most demanding applications...

ConductRF TSA89 TESTeLINK Flexible RF Cables to 40 GHz

ConductRF Performance TSA89 TESTeLINK Flexible RF Test Cables to 40 GHz, February 16 - RF CafeConductRF announces availability of professional high frequency TSA89 series of RF test cables with performance to 40 GHz. Precision connector choices include; SMA, Type-N, 3.5mm, 2.92mm, & 2.4mm. Key features: High-frequency point to point cable, light weight rugged double-shielded, 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. 100% factory VSWR and insertion loss tested. Wide selection of configurations & lengths. Cables are in stock and available immediately from Digi−Key...

Many Thanks to KR Electronics for Helping Deliver RF Cafe!

KR ElectronicsKR Electronics designs and manufactures high quality filters for both the commercial and military markets. KR Electronics' line of filters includes lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop and individually synthesized filters for special applications - both commercial and military. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis and test methods are used to meet the most challenging specifications. All common connector types and package form factors are available. Please visit their website today to see how they might be of assistance. Products are designed and manufactured in the USA.

Tuesday the 23rd

Age of Zero-Emissions Heavy-Duty Trucks Begins

Age of Zero-Emissions Heavy-Duty Trucks Begins - RF Cafe"Zero Emissions" has got to be one of most egregiously contrived, deceptive terms in the history of technology. Likewise for "Green Dollars," which really means government subsidization for something that citizens will not pay for. Per the story: "Despite accounting for only 9% of the global vehicle stock, large diesel truck engines represent 39% of the transport sectors' greenhouse gas emissions, and about 5% of Co2 emissions from fossil fuels. But this may soon change. For those in the automotive world trying to convince the boss that climate change is an important strategic issue for business, something important is happening: Companies are going after green dollars, money spent to reduce pollution and waste, and in doing so, they're also demonstrating good corporate citizenship."

Please Thank Lotus Communication Systems for Their Support!

Lotus Communication Systems Modular RF/Microwave Components - RF CafeLotus Communication Systems began in 2009, setting up CNC machine shop and RF/microwave assembling and testing lab in Middlesex Country, Massachusetts. Lotus is committed to highest quality and innovative products. Each RF/microwave module meets exceedingly high standards of quality, performance and excellent value, and are 100% MADE IN USA. Lotus' RF/microwave products cover frequency band up to 67 GHz. Lotus also offers an COTS shield enclosures for RF/microwave prototyping and production. All products are custom designed. We will find a solution and save your time and cost. Lotus has multiple 4 axis CNC machines and LPKF circuit plotters.

Qorvo® Fellow Awarded 2021 Outstanding Young Engineer Honor

Qorvo® Fellow Awarded Prestigious 2021 Outstanding Young Engineer Honor - RF CafeQorvo, a leading provider of innovative RF solutions that connect the world, today announced that Dr. Michael Roberg, a Qorvo Fellow, has received this year's prestigious Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the Institute of Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S). This award recognizes an outstanding young MTT-S member who has distinguished himself/herself through a sequence of achievements which may be technical (within the MTT-S field of interest), may constitute exemplary service to the MTT-S, or may be a combination of both. Doug Bostrom, vice president of Engineering, Infrastructure and Defense Products, said, 'We are proud of Dr. Roberg's accomplishments and important contributions to Qorvo in advancing our RF leadership and innovation..."

How to Break into the Aviation Radio Game

How to Break into the Aviation Radio Game, April 1932 Radio News - RF CafeYes, this is another article that will probably appeal to a small percentage of RF Cafe visitors, but please countenance my indulgence in things aeronautical as well as things electrical. The early 1930s was a time when both airplanes and electronics were a wonder and a mystery to most of the public worldwide. Of course today both are still a mystery to the public but the wonder is gone - it's merely taken for granted. Many idiosyncrasies of airborne electronic communications were encountered for the first time, like the need for proper grounding and static electricity dissipation. Ruggedization of chassis assemblies in terms of mechanical vibration and shock as well as for temperature extremes was a real challenge to engineers, technicians, and pilots...

Evolution of RF Signal-Observation Tools

Evolution of RF Signal-Observation Tools - RF CafeSpectra Labs' Sean Wallace has a nice rundown of the evolution of RF signal-observing tools in an article by that name, posted on the Microwaves & RF website. H begins with swept-tuned spectrum analyzers and progresses through FFT spectrum analyzer, the real-time spectrum analyzer, and finally the RF recorder. Says Sean: "Tools used to visualize RF signals have evolved over time from the spectrum analyzer to today's RF recorders. However, each era's tools have had limitations. This article shows how the modern approach builds on the best aspects of what's come before..."

Many Thanks to ISOTEC for Continued Support!

ISOTEC Corporation - RF CafeSince 1996, ISOTEC has designed, developed and manufactured an extensive line of RF/microwave connectors, between-series adapters, RF components and filters for wireless service providers including non-magnetic connectors for quantum computing and MRI equipments etc. ISOTEC's product line includes low-PIM RF connectors components such as power dividers and directional couplers. Off-the-shelf and customized products up to 40 GHz and our low-PIM products can meet -160 dBc with 2 tones and 20 W test. Quick prototyping, advanced in-house testing and high-performance. Designs that are cost effective practical and repeatable.

Monday the 22nd

Serviceman's Experiences

Serviceman's Experiences, August 1938 Radio News - RF CafeSince there does not seem to be service-related trade magazines - at least for electronics - anymore, most people have never gotten first-hand experiences of the kinds of travails endured by servicemen as imposed by customers. Radio News, Radio-Electronics, Popular Electronics, Radio-Craft, and other such magazines regularly carried articles and sometimes regular monthly columns with content contributed by guys in the repair shop and in homes. Some were actual scenarios and others were fictional based on typical experiences. The most entertaining were told in story form, and were undoubtedly embellished a bit in order to increase the drama factor. This Serviceman's Experiences feature ran in Radio News for a few years. I have to admit to not quite getting the "Leg Department" comment, unless it means he was treated as a gofer (i.e., go for this and go for that, using his legs). Optional theories are welcome...

Qorvo Compact I/Q GaAs Mixer Product Family

Qorvo Compact I/Q GaAs Mixer Product Family - RF CafeQorvo®, a leading provider of innovative RF solutions that connect the world, today introduced a family of compact Quadrature IF Mixers, or IQ Mixers, that address the needs of wideband and high frequency applications such as phased array radar, satellite communications and electronic warfare (EW). These four new I/Q mixer products, QPX0001, QPX0002, QPX0003D (die) and QPX0004D(die) help to extend and strengthen Qorvo's existing mixer portfolio by delivering industry-leading broadband performance while covering an impressive operating frequency range from 2.5 GHz up to 40 GHz. They offer excellent image rejection (>20 dB) and are a much smaller alternative to higher cost hybrid I/Q mixers and single sideband...

Electrical Quantities

Electrical Quantities, December 1942 Radio-Craft - RF CafeWhen civil engineers and mechanical engineers take their introductory classes in hydraulics, are they taught that the functional equivalent of water pressure in a pipe is equivalent to voltage in a battery, and that the rate of water flow is equivalent to current in a circuit, and that the diameter and surface finish of pipes are equivalent to resistance in electricity... in the same manner that electronics students are taught from the opposite point of view? The answer is 'yes,' they are. It's kind of funny how for some reason using an analogy from another familiar physical process always seems to help make more sense of the subject at hand. In fact, for macro level problems, the mathematical equations that govern mechanical and electrical systems are identical, with only the objects and units being different. Oscillating LC (inductor and capacitor) tank and damping circuits have equations that look just like spring and dashpot systems...

EMC Resonance Part I: Non-Ideal Passive Components

EMC Resonance Part I: Non-Ideal Passive Components - RF CafeBogdan Adamczyk has an interesting a paper on the InCompliance website entitled "EMC Resonance Part I: Non-Ideal Passive Components." "This article is part of a two-article series devoted to the concept of resonance in EMC. In Part I the fundamental circuit background is presented and illustrated by the resonance phenomenon in the non-ideal models of passive circuit components: capacitors, ferrite beads, resistors, and inductors. Part II (to appear in the next issue) describes the resonance in the decoupling capacitor circuits. Resonance in RLC Circuits In circuit courses, the study of resonance is usually limited to the two classical 2nd-order circuits, series and parallel RLC configurations. These circuits, shown in Figure 1, contain a single lumped capacitor and a single lumped inductor connected either 'purely' in series or 'purely' in parallel..."

Triad RF Amplified Radios Used in Army's Lakota Helicopters 

Sierra Nevada Awards Triad RF Contract for Amplified Radios Used in Army's Lakota Helicopters - RF CafeTriad is proud to announce we've been awarded a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation to provide turnkey amplified radio systems for use on the U.S. Army's and National Guard's latest fleet of Lakota helicopters. The integrated radio solution is a component of the U.S. Army/National Guard (ARNG) Mission Equipment Package (MEP) program. This MEP enables multi-role helicopter missions and operations that range from homeland security and medical evacuation to drug interdiction, support, and logistics. These versatile, high-powered radio kits are providing the next-level position/location/navigation voice, data, and video communication capabilities needed to improve efficacy of tactical maneuvers and increase soldier safety...

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.

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