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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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Berkeley Nucleonics IMS 2022 Booth 9072 - RF Cafe

Homepage Archive - June 2022 (page 4)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the June 2022 homepage archives.
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Friday the 1st

Thursday the 30th

TotalTemp Technologies in the Cloud

TotalTemp Technologies in the Cloud - RF CafeTotalTemp Technologies offers two new ways to elevate your testing with our thermal testing products. Beyond the normal ways that our Thermal Platforms and Chambers help you get the job done expeditiously, TotalTemp is offering: Thermal test equipment with Cloud Storage technology and also Outer Space Simulation chambers. Supporting the effort to get product testing done correctly, repeatedly with consistently reported results, Synergy Server and available cloud storage technologies let you have your test data quickly and easily organized, with traceability. The days of circle-chart recorders and hand plots are long gone, your test results can be reliably automatically stored. The efficient advantages of thermal platforms are a natural for conductive heat transfer in high vacuum applications. With all the new hardware going into space, where service calls are rare, thermal vacuum testing is important part of testing high altitude and satellite equipment...

Power Supply Filters

Power Supply Filters, December 1952 QST - RF CafeHere's a topic - power supply filter design - that never goes out of style. It was originally published in a 1952 issue of QST magazine. Without bothering to worry about source and load impedances, this brief tutorial on the fundamentals of power supply filter design using series inductors and parallel capacitor combinations. Author Gabriel Rumble offers a rule-of-thumb type formula for guessing at a good inductor value based on peak-to-average expected current. This is by no means a comprehensive primer on power supply filter design and is directed more toward someone new to the concept of removing or reducing noise and AC ripple from the output of a DC power supply...

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 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!

Wednesday the 29th

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, June 1952 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeI really like the electronics themed comic that appeared on page 36 of the June 1952 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine. Like with this one, many of the ideas for the comics are provided by readers, and then are incorporated by artists such as Frank Beaven, a frequent contributor. Note in that comic the name of the repair shop is the first name of the guy who submitted it - a sort of hat-tip to the guy. As with many of the comics, I have taken the liberty of colorizing them in order to spice them up a bit. The page 78 comic represents the frustration (and annoyance) a lot of in-home electronics servicemen had to endure from customers who desperately want their help, but then wouldn't leave them alone to do their jobs - and then often tried to cheat them out of the pay they earned...

More About "Man-Made" Static

More About "Man-Made" Static, May 1930 Radio-Craft - RF CafeManmade electrical noise (QRM) and natural electrical noise (QRN) has been the nemesis of communications - both wired and wireless - since the first signals were sent. While it is true that over the last century the amount of "background" noise has increased significantly, the ability of modern circuits to deal with (reject) it and/or accommodate (error correction) it has pretty much kept up with the advancement. You might be tempted to think that "back in the good old days" such problems did not exist, but operators were plagued by poorly designed and inadequately filtered transmitters as well as really deficient electrical service installation that spewed noise from transformers, inadequately grounded transmission lines, lousy connections, and arcing motor brushes. This 1930 article from Radio-Craft magazine was written by a serviceman who troubleshot and solved many of the issues prevalent in his day - a very interesting read...

Transparency on Demand

Transparency on Demand - RF Cafe"Scientists at the University of Rostock, in close collaboration with partners from the Vienna University of Technology, have developed a novel process that can render artificial materials transparent or even entirely invisible, on demand. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science Advances. Turning something invisible is a common trope in science fiction, such as the Cloak of Invisibility in Harry Potter. Certainly, it sounds cool, but the reason it is so common in stories is that it would be incredibly useful technology. The uses for espionage and the military are obvious, but there are far more applications. Given its immense usefulness, it may not come as a surprise that this is something scientists and engineers have been actively working on. They've had quite a bit of progress too, using molybdenum trioxide, metamaterials, metascreens, and dielectric materials to fashion invisibility cloaks. It all comes down to manipulating light in the proper way, and what is especially marvelous is that innovation in this

Please Visit Empower RF's Website 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.

Antenna Pattern Editor 2.0 Software Introduced

Antenna Pattern Editor 2.0 Software Introduced - RF CafeCenter of Telecommunication Technologies (CTT) is proud to announce immediate availability of version 2.0 of their popular Antenna Pattern Editor. Antenna Pattern Editor 2.0 is a universal tool to view, create, edit and convert antenna patterns. See the New Features in Antenna Pattern Editor 2.0 list at the left. The main idea embedded in the program is to provide the user with the opportunity to quickly create an antenna pattern file using various methods. Antenna pattern file is a simple text or xml file that describes the main characteristics of the antennas - radiation patterns, gain, frequency range, name, manufacturer and other data. These files are used in various radio planning tools including our RadioPlanner, Indoor Radio Planner, and MLinkPlanner. There are a large number of antenna pattern file formats, but it often happens that there is no file in the required format. In this case, using the Antenna Pattern Editor, you can easily convert the file to the format you need. Sometimes the antenna information is just a picture of the antenna pattern. In such cases, using the Antenna Pattern Editor, you can prepare the necessary file in just a few minutes...

Measuring Inductance and Capacity

Measuring Inductance and Capacity, June 1931 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThis reactance measuring bridge circuit which appeared in a 1931 issue of Radio−Craft magazine employs a very unique element for generating an alternating current: an electromechanical buzzer which doubles as an audio source. Sure, it doesn't produce a pure sinewave, but for the method used here to determine inductance and capacitance it does not matter. Rather than attempting to measure an absolute value of inductance or capacitance, a known reactance is used as part of a balanced bridge. This is by no means a precision instrument since accuracy depends on the user's interpretation of the presence or absence of an audible "buzz" in a pair of headphones, but in an era when "real" test equipment was beyond the budgets of many (maybe most) hobbyists, the scheme was better than nothing at all...

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 Reactel for Their Long-Time Support!

Reactel Filters - RF Cafe

Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture of RF and microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer the generally known tubular, LC, cavity, and waveguide designs, as well as state of the art high performance suspended substrate models. Through a continuous process of research and development, they have established a full line of filters of filters of all types - lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, diplexer, and more. Established in 1979. Please contact Reactel today to see how they might help your project.

Tuesday the 28th

Making Modern Tubes

Making Modern Tubes, June 1932 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIn no way do I advocate going back to the "old ways" for manufacturing electronic components, but I do admire and like to give credit to the people who used to perform the tedious procedure of building vacuum tubes, hand-wire chassis assemblies, circuit boards, etc. This 1932 issue of Radio−Craft magazine article is good example. The process required being able to sit or stand at the same work station and perform the same range of operations day after day, often for years on end. Of course at the time, automation processes were not what they are today and machinery needed to be driven by mechanical means using motors, solenoids, and limit switches. That made employing people more financially rewarding than using a machine. You can find details on the algorithms and methodology for designing those contraptions in older engineering handbooks. It is an amazing sight to to tour a WWII vintage battleship and look at the hardware that stabilized and steered the cannons without an electronic computer in sight...

Smart Molecules Act as Computer Transistors

Smart Molecules Act as Computer Transistors - RF Cafe"Researchers have discovered a single-molecule switch that can act like a transistor and store binary information such as the 1s and 0s used in classical computing. The molecule is around five square nanometers in size - more than one billion of them would fit onto the cross-section of a human hair. The researchers believe that molecules like the ones they have discovered could offer information density of around 250 terabits per square inch, which is around 100 times the storage density of current hard drives. The smart molecular switches as seen with a scanning tunneling microscope. In the study, molecules of an organic salt can be switched using a small electrical input to appear either bright or dark, providing binary information. This information can be written, read, and erased at room temperature and in normal air pressures. These are important characteristics for practical application of the molecules in computing storage devices..."

Raytheon Bonded Electronic Technician

Raytheon Bonded Electronic Technician Ad, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeThere was a time when having a career in any field of electricity or electronics related work was an enviable mark of a person's technical prowess that conveyed a degree of respect. The whole controlling of electrons thing boggled the minds of most people, whether it meant wiring homes and buildings for lights, receptacles, and motors, or designing "all wave" radio sets for listening to the evening broadcast of "The Lone Ranger." Today, with nearly everyone alive having grown up with such conveniences, the "wow factor" is pretty much gone, except maybe with those of us who still chose to engage. If an electronics appliance or device stops working nowadays, it is discarded rather than repaired. This 2-page advertisement from a 1946 edition of Radio News magazine inviting men to become a "bonded electronic technician" is typical of those found in the era, and even in the 1920s and 1930s...

Lafayette Chassis Model B-100, -102, -103 Radio Service Data Sheet

Lafayette Chassis Model B-100 (Table Model B-103; Console Models B-101, B-102) Radio Service Data Sheet, August 1941 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe Radio Service Data Sheets that were published in Radio−Craft magazine usually seem to have more information included than those published in other magazines, at least in the same era (1940-ish). It might have to do with how much material is provided by the manufacturer rather than a decision by the magazine editors. Either way, here are the schematics, chassis layout, and service info for the Lafayette Model B−100 through B−103. As with most radios built in the era, the woodwork and artistic design of the cabinet are exquisite. There are still people searching for such data, but fortunately the Internet is making it much easier to locate. None of the three models show up on eBay as of this writing...

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

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 12,000 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 Aegis Power Systems for Their Continued Support!

Aegis Power Systems - RF CafeAegis Power Systems is a leading supplier of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies for custom and special applications. Aegis has been designing and building highly reliable custom power supplies since 1995. They offer a complete line of switch mode power supplies and power converters for a variety of markets including defense, industrial, aircraft, VME, and telecom. Supports military, aircraft, EV, telecom, and embedded computing applications. Design and manufacture of custom power supply solutions to meet each customer's exacting specifications. Please visit Aegis Power Systems today.

Monday the 27th

Trio Manufacturing Company Zig−Zag Antenna

Trio Manufacturing Company Zig-Zag Antenna, October 1952 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThis advertisement for a Zig−Zag Antenna, offered by Trio Manufacturing, appeared in a 1952 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine, states "patent pending." When I looked up "zig−zag antenna" at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the earliest assignment I could find for that configuration was US3213457A, "Zig−zag antenna," designed by John W. Carr and assigned to Lockheed Corporation, in 1961. Maybe Trio never received a patent, or my search wasn't thorough enough. The claim to fame from Trio's design is that the zig−zag pattern consisted of various element lengths that resonated on specific channels while all others acted as parasitic elements. I don't know if it is coincidence or intention (probably the latter), but there are twelve sections that might correspond to channels 2 through 13. There are not many (if any) zig−zag antennas being sold by companies today for amateur or other uses. It evidently was just another fad to have something different from all the rest - and there were lots of unique TV antenna configurations back in the day which promised to pull in far-away stations, reduce ghosts, noise, etc...

ESA's New Hybrid Channel Emulator for Satellite-Terrestrial 5G

ESA's New Hybrid Channel Emulator for Satellite-Terrestrial 5G - RF Cafe"The Hybrid Channel Emulator is one of the projects that is currently being developed as a part of ESA's ongoing ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems) program. The HCE is developed under a strategic goal namely 'Space for 5G' and the aim of the project is to design an emulator which can emulate radio propagation conditions of two bi-directional 5G carriers with accurate emulation of satellite-satellite and satellite-terrestrial link characteristics. The objective of the Hybrid Channel Emulator project is the development and validation of a single solution capable of emulating the radio propagation conditions of two bi-directional 5G carriers (satellite-satellite or satellite-terrestrial). This has the twin challenges of providing an emulator that accurately models the dynamics, and tightly controls the channel impairments, of a wide variety of scenarios, and one that covers frequency bands spanning nearly 30 GHz..."

Quantic PMI June 2022 Product Announcement

Quantic PMI June 2022 Product Announcement - RF CafeQuantic PMI, a leading supplier of custom, high-reliability MIC/MMIC components and subsystems for applications in space, military, communications, commercial and consumer electronics systems for more than three decades, recently introduced five new products in their extensive line of RF and microwave components. Included are an 8-12 GHz digitally tuned phase attenuator, a 333 to 368 MHz variable frequency comb generator, a 0.5 to 18 GHz 4−way power divider, an 8 to 12 GHz digitally tuned phase shifter, and a 0.1 to 40 GHz SP2T absorptive switch. Contact Quantic PMI today for more information...

SymMos Transfer Function Equation Generator

SymMos Transfer Function Equation Generator - RF Cafe Cool ProductThis item from Tarek Mealy showed up on my LinkedIn feed. He created a nifty software app called "SymMos" that allows you to use a drag-and-drop interface to create a schematic using MOSFETs, resistors, inductors, capacitors, bias voltages, and signal sources. Then, click on the appropriate button to get the transfer function equation for input impedance, gain, transconductance, or noise figure. SymMos is a work in progress and is available as a free download. After unzipping the file, you need to change the SymMos.txt file extension to .exe. Launch the executable and then you'll need to wait many seconds while the program loads (a black screen is displayed while waiting). BTW, Norton flagged the file as dangerous since it is new and hasn't seen it before, but I allowed it to run anyway with no problems. I recreated the example shown in the YouTube video and it works as advertised...

Publicity Means Sales!

Publicity Means Sales!, December 1947 Radio News - RF Cafe"If you have dark eyes and blonde hair and are under 30, you're due for some easy squeezing. Milligan's Appliance Center, 84 Main Street, is giving every girl between 16 and 30 who has these striking features a newly patented orange squeezer, to introduce the new item ... Note: Any traces of recent peroxide rinse will disqualify applicants." That is advertising copy offered as an example of effective promotional material in a 1947 edition of Radio News magazine. My first reaction was to think how something like that would never fly today, but then I wasn't so sure. It seems there must be anti-discrimination laws in this "offend nobody" climate today that prohibits singling out a certain demographic for inclusion or exclusion; however, there are many such promotions run today such as members only, active military and student discounts, senior citizens, etc. It is clear that these days only certain privileged sectors of society are still allowed to discriminate...

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...

Many Thanks to Berkeley Nucleonics for Continued Support!

Berkeley Nucleonics Corp - RF CafeBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC) is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement, and nuclear research. Founded in 1963, BNC initially developed custom pulse generators. We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance. We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal, light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing procedures.

Sunday the 26th

Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for June 26th

Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for June 26th, 2022 - RF CafeWith few exceptions, I, RF Cafe webmaster Kirt Blattenberger, have for more than two decades designed a custom crossword puzzle every week for the benefit of website visitors. This Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for was created for June 26th, 2022. All crossword puzzles use a personally built dictionary of thousands of words and clues related to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical subjects. As always, this crossword puzzle 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!

Thanks to TotalTemp for Long-Time 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.

Friday the 24th

Supreme Publication Service Manuals

Supreme Publication Service Manuals, April 1948 Radio News - RF CafeSupreme Publications was another of the more prominent publishers of electronic equipment service manuals back in the middle of the last century. Howard W. Sams Photofact was of course the most well-known, but there were others including this one and Rider Service Manuals. Supreme Publications claims their content is provided by the manufacturers; to wit, " factory instructions for troubleshooting, repairing, and alignment." For a mere $2.00, a service shop could have the required data to service every AM and FM radio and television receiver produced for model year 1948, when this issue of Radio News magazine was published. According to the BLS Inflation Calculator, that's the equivalent of $24.56 in 2022 - a pretty good deal. A version of the manual with extra diagrams could be had for an additional 50¢...

1952 National Company Advertisement

National Company Advertisement, December 1952 QST - RF CafeAs the opening sentence indicates, National Company ran a very long series of advertisements in QST magazine that were in a format more reminiscent of a short essay than a company promotion. This installment for the December 1952 edition was number 224. Subjects ran the gamut from technical innovations from the company's research and development laboratory to social and political issues relevant to electronics technicians, hobbyists, students, and engineers. Being that it was a presidential election year in the U.S., National Company felt compelled to remind readers of their patriotic duty to vote. Although this was the December issue, it would reach readers' mailboxes prior to the election. Dwight D. Eisenhower ran against Adlai Stevenson. The latter won the South and the former won everything else. Note the thinly veiled criticism at the bottom about why amateur radio participation rate was down at the time...

Many Thanks to LadyBug Technologies for Their Continued Support!

LadyBug Technologies RF Power Sensors - RF CafeLadyBug Technologies was founded in 2004 by two microwave engineers with a passion for quality microwave test instrumentation. Our employees offer many years experience in the design and manufacture of the worlds best vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, power meters and associated components. The management team has additional experience in optical power testing, military radar and a variety of programming environments including LabVIEW, VEE and other languages often used in programmatic systems. Extensive experience in a broad spectrum of demanding measurement applications. You can be assured that our Power Sensors are designed, built, tested and calibrated without compromise.

Kazakhstan Broadcast Facility in Balkhash

Kazakhstan Broadcast Facility in Balkhash - RF CafeRF Cafe visitor Jonathan Zane (KC2SHO) recently sent me a hyperlink to his collection of photos taken when he visited a broadcast facility in Balkhash, Kazakhstan. A sample of his extensive image cache is shown here. You can view the entire set that includes vintage electronic equipment, facilities, and city streets on his kc2sho.com website. You will see a huge stash of vacuum tube assemblies, large coaxial cables, operation and maintenance manuals, and spare parts. These kinds of treasure troves exist all over the world; it's a matter of finding them. Imagine what all that abandoned equipment and components would sell for on eBay! Along with requesting permission to post a few of his photos, I invited him to provide some text to accompany them. Here is what he wrote - you will definitely like the anecdote at the end. Many thanks to Jonathan for this!

40-Channel Optical Link Transmits 400 GB/s Data

40-Channel Optical Link Transmits 400 GB/s Data - RF Cafe"Researchers have demonstrated a silicon-based optical communication link that combines two multiplexing technologies to create 40 optical data channels that can simultaneously move data. The new chip-scale optical interconnect can transmit about 400 GB of data per second - the equivalent of about 100,000 streaming movies. This could improve data-intensive internet applications from video streaming services to high-capacity transactions for the stock market. 'As demands to move more information across the internet continue to grow, we need new technologies to push data rates further,' said Peter Delfyett, who led the University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) research team. 'Because optical interconnects can move more data than their electronic counterparts, our work could enable better and faster data processing in the data centers that form the backbone of the internet..."

Questions and Answers on Oscilloscopes

Questions and Answers on Oscilloscopes, April 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeSimpson Electric is a name most RF Cafe visitors are probably familiar with as being the maker of high quality analog multimeters, with the Simpson 260 line being the most famous (it is still manufactured today). Not as many people, however, know that Simpson also used to make oscilloscopes. This article from a 1957 issue of Radio & TV News magazine was written by a Simpson Electric engineer whose job was, in part, to respond to questions asked by users. It covers basic operations like how to calibrate the display, adjust the horizontal time base and vertical amplitude scales, and how to synchronize the display with the input signal. Some explanation of how to interpret periodic and pulse type waveforms is provided as well as tips on how to avoid overloading and possibly damaging the instrument...

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...

Many Thanks to Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) for Continuing Support!

Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) - RF Cafe ASC designs and manufactures hybrid, surface mount flange, open carrier and connectorized amplifiers for low, medium and high power applications using gallium nitride (GaN), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and silicon (Si) transistor technologies. ASC's thick film designs operate in the frequency range of 300 kHz to 6 GHz. ASC offers thin film designs that operate up to 20 GHz.

Thursday the 23rd

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, March 1954 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThe March 1954 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine provided five electronics-themed comics for readers to enjoy. Thanks to a certain individual who has posted hundreds of these vintage comics, you are able to also able to benefit from them. The themes are a bit dated and might not be familiar to those of you not familiar with the issues of concern to people of the era. Television was a fairly new technology for most households, and there was a mixture of joy and frustration by owners because while they were thrilled with being able to watch TV, signal reception and equipment reliability could be a real headache. Just as with today's rapid advance in electronics technology, the pace of new and wonderful products being introduced to the market was impressive, although many ideas were too far ahead of reality to facilitate a successful market introduction - like for instance the video-phone featured in the comic on page 106. Stereo sound was another high-end feature addressed in the page 104 comic. I won't even comment on the nudist colony comic...

Semi Market Struggling in 2022

Semi Market Struggling in 2022 - RF Cafe"The semiconductor market in 2022 is weakening, says Semiconductor Intelligence, driven by inflation, the Russian war on Ukraine, COVID-19 related shutdowns in China, and lingering supply chain issues. Four of the top 14 semiconductor companies (Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments) are expecting lower revenues in 2Q 2022 versus 1Q 2022. All four cited COVID-19 related lockdowns in China as a factor. China locked down several major cities including Shanghai and Beijing in April in May due to rising COVID cases. The shutdowns were lifted on June 1, but since then temporary shutdowns were re-imposed to fight emerging cases. The shutdowns significantly impacted manufacturing in China. Six non-memory companies expect revenue growth in 2Q 2022 from 1Q 2022 ranging from 3% to 7%. Three of these companies (Infineon Technologies, STMicroelectronics and NXP Semiconductors) have significant automotive business contributing to their growth..."

CMT Release Compact Multiport VNAs with Improved Performance

Copper Mountain Technologies Release Compact Multiport VNAs with Improved Performance - RF CafeCopper Mountain Technologies (IMS 2022 Booth #10036) is excited to announce the unveiling of its Multiport USB VNAs during IMS2022 in Denver, Colorado. SN5090 vector network analyzers are a competitively priced, versatile multiport solution with excellent dynamic range and measurement speed available in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, and 16-port configurations. The SN5090 VNAs are an organic extension of the Compact VNA family. This enables the full complexity of VNA measurements, a streamlined calibration process, and reduced test times. The SN5090 hardware can fit a 19" rack and utilizes robust, durable port connectors with ergonomic positioning for simplified cable connection. SN5090 features CMT's next-generation software that delivers an intuitive and contemporary user interface compatible with both Linux and Windows OS. The SN5090 VNAs enable dependable and accurate testing of various DUTs: multiport antennas, integrated circuits, switches, interconnects, cable assemblies, diplexers, etc. Relevant applications include telecommunications, automotive, satellite, aerospace, defense, and many other industries that require multiple input/output components...

Printed Circuits for Home Use

Printed Circuits, January 1950 Radio & Television News - RF CafeWhen you think of printed circuits, probably what comes to mind is what is really a photo-etched circuit board. In the early days of printed circuits a lot of the circuits actually were "printed" on a substrate of some sort. A silkscreen process was often used for low resistance interconnects and printed inductors, as well as for printed resistors on materials like fiber, plastic, phenolic, and even (yikes) asbestos board. There is still what is called a thick film screen printing process used today primarily in military systems, but overwhelmingly the photo etching process is used to generate circuit boards. In the era of vacuum tubes, it was not uncommon to have grid biasing circuits printed directly on the glass enclosure using a resistive paint and then trimming for the target resistance by removing excess material. This 1950 Radio & Television News magazine article shows an example of a circuit printed on a 6J6 twin-triode tube...

SFC: PCB Component/IC Shortages Status Report

San Francisco Circuits: PCB Component / IC Shortages - Status Report 2022 - RF CafeSan Francisco Circuits (SFC) has released a report on the global integrated circuits/chip shortage that has impacted numerous industries around the world. This new PCB Component Shortage Report explains the key factors that have led to the shortage, how it is currently affecting many industries, and provides multiple mitigation strategies to help designers make it through this challenging semiconductor market. While the global pandemic certainly contributed to the current component shortage, supply disruptions were already happening well before factories began shutting down. Stockpiling specialized components, designing against obsolescence, and recycling chips are a few strategies that will help designers make it through these difficult times. Partnering with a PCB fabrication and PCB assembly provider is another key strategy that will help when sourcing components in short supply. SF Circuits has a strong reputation and many connections with various suppliers...

Radio Physics Course - Mutual Inductance

Radio Physics Course - Mutual Inductance, July 1934 Radio News and the Short-Wave - RF CafeHere is a brief primer on mutual inductance between inductors (aka coils), compliments of the July 1934 issue of Radio News and the Shortwave magazine. It is lesson #31 in a series. Mutual inductance is your circuit's friend if you want it to occur, as with a transformer, or it can be your circuit's mortal enemy if you don't want it to occur, as when two inductors "talk" to each other unintentionally because of proximity and relative orientation. One form of mutual inductance not mentioned here but of utmost importance (and necessity) to radio is that existing between elements in a directional antenna like a Yagi or log periodic configuration...

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 Exodus Advanced Communications for Their Support

Exodus Advanced Communications - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. Power amplifiers ranging from 10 kHz to 51 GHz with various output power levels and noise figure ranges, we fully support custom designs and manufacturing requirements for both small and large volume levels. decades of combined experience in the RF field for numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC and various commercial projects with all designing and manufacturing of our HPA, MPA, and LNA products in-house.

Wednesday the 22nd

Altair 8800 Minicomputer - Part 2

Altair 8800 Minicomputer Part 2, February 1975 Popular Electronics - RF CafeFollowing on the heels of the record-setting demand for the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine (Part 1), this February edition contains the second part of the Altair 8800 Minicomputer article. The first article covered theory of operation and constructions of the Altair 8800 Minicomputer, then the one introduces the concept of computer programming. BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) came about in the 1960's, but it was not until Altair BASIC (created by Microsoft) hit the community in 1975 that it really started being used by a larger cadre of programmers. It was for the Intel 8080 microprocessor, which the Altair 8800 used. Interestingly, BASIC is not referred to in this article; rather, machine language code is demonstrated. The authors probably did so in order to emphasize the relationship between the instructions being given and the actual machinations of the microprocessor and logic circuitry...

everything RF On-the-Spot Coverage of IMS 2022

everything RF On-the-Spot Coverage of IMS 2022 - RF Cafeeverything RF is once again covering on-the-spot coverage of the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2022), this year being held in Denver, Colorado. Please stop by an greet them in Booth #6016. This event is planned to be a live show with various technical programs. New in 2022 will be the Systems Forum, which is a three-day forum that will bring together the latest in telecommunications, radar and space applications. The organizers have announced an Industrial Showcase, an Industry Paper Contest and an Interactive Forum. The Industrial Showcase will have industrial authors showcase their work and answer questions regarding their work or organization. There will be contributions from MTT-S Sister Societies, RFIC and ARFTG. The IMS2022 will also continue the program where the 50 top-ranked papers, as determined by the Technical Paper Review Committee, will be invited to submit the paper to the IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters (MWCL) for publication.

National Schools Radio Television & Electronics Training

National Schools Radio Television & Electronics Training Ad, September 1945, Radio-Craft - RF CafeIt wasn't all that long ago that deadlines for magazine printing cycles were measured in months - unlike today where electronics on-demand printing has cut lead times to weeks and even days. Accordingly, this National Schools advertisement pitching "after the war" training in electronics servicing that appeared in the September 1945 edition of Radio−Craft magazine was likely designed and submitted two or three months ahead of the publication month (e.g., in June or July). How could they be so sure that their scarce advertising dollars wouldn't be wasted? Simple. By that time, the entire country seemed to have a sense that World War II would come to an end soon since Hitler's, Mussolini's, Tojo's, and other Axis Powers' forces were under severe stress and suffering profound defeats in every theater. Surrender was deemed imminent. It was as if word had leaked earlier in the year that Little Boy and Fat Man were under construction and about to deliver the debilitating and psychologically devastating blow that would finally end the saga. It turns out they were correct...

Innovative Power Products 2022 Catalog Available

Innovative Power Products (IPP) 2022 Catalog Available - RF CafeInnovative Power Products (IPP), a designer and manufacturer of RF and microwave passive components for more than three decades, is pleased to introduce its 2022 Catalog. IPP has been designing and manufacturing RF and Microwave passive components since 2005. We use the latest design tools available to build our baluns, 90 degree couplers, directional couplers, combiners/dividers, single-ended transformers, resistors, terminations, and custom products. For us, "Engineering Driven, Customer Focused" is not just a tag line but the way we do business. This catalog contains a list of our most popular products. Please visit our website for a more comprehensive and current product listing containing detailed mechanical drawings with electrical specifications, performance data, S-parameters, and .STP files. Come visit us at booth #4110 at the IMS show June 21 – 23 in Denver!

American Radio Relay League Membership Postcard

American Radio Relay League Membership Postcard, June 1940 QST - RF CafeMembership in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is currently $49.00 per year, and includes a subscription to its flagship publication, QST. According to this postcard insert that I found in a June 1940 issue of QST, membership then was a whopping $2.50, and it also included the magazine subscription. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' online Inflation Calculator, $2.50 in 1940 bought you what you buy for $51.83 in 2022 (it was $42.59 in 2016 when this was first posted). Because of the extremely high rate of inflation today (2022), the effective cost of ARRL membership is less today than in 1940. To wit, $49.00 in 2022 would have been $2.36 in 1940. BTW, postage for mailing a postcard in 1940 was a mere 2¢, and today is 40¢. In inflationary terms, 2¢ in 1940 bought...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

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!

Many Thanks to Withwave for Long−Time Support!

Withwave RF & Microwave Components - RF CafeWithwave manufactures an extensive line of metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch, board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a fully automated 4-port vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors, attenuators, terminations, DC blocks, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner. Special test fixtures for calibration and multicoax cable assemblies. Frequency ranges from DC through 110 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they can help your project succeed.

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Antenova Low-Power GNSS Rx Module Extends Runtime by 500%

Antenova Compact Low-Power GNSS Receiver Module Extends Runtime by 500% - RF CafeAntenova Ltd, the UK-based manufacturer of antennas and RF modules for M2M and the IoT, is launching GNSSNOVA M20071, a brand new GNSS receiver module, with power consumption reduced five-fold to enable smaller tracker designs, and trackers that run for five times longer. The M20071 module is for small tracking devices that operate from Li-ion batteries, where a lower power requirement is a clear advantage. These are typically small mobile trackers, pet trackers, personal fitness devices, and location trackers for bikes and e-scooters. The M20071 tracks the GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou constellations simultaneously, this improves position accuracy particularly in urban environments. Based on the latest generation chip from Mediatek, it draws 17 mW of power when receiving GPS only, and 21 mW receiving all constellations. GNSSNOVA M20071 measures 9.0 mm x 9.0 x 1.8 mm. Pairing this with one of Antenova’s compact SMD antennas makes a compact RF solution and a way to realise slimmed down tracker...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering Job Opening

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

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 12,000 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.

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...

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 stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks (EIA 19", ETSI 21"), and more. Test equipment and racks are built at a 1:1 scale so that measurements can be made directly using Visio built-in dimensioning objects. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

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!

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...

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...

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...

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 area can also significantly..."

Transceiver Receives Power and Data Simultaneously

Transceiver Receives Power and Data Simultaneously - RF Cafe"The quest to transmit electric power wirelessly and over distance has been a goal of electrical engineers since the end of the 19th century, when Nikola Tesla tried his hand at it, to no avail. In the 1970s, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy engineers achieved some notable successes in wireless power transfer (WPT) in the kilowatt-kilometer range, their efforts spurred on by the energy crises of the time. Interest waned, however, as energy became plentiful again. Now, with the advent of 5G and its ability to transmit at high frequencies in the millimeter-wave-band range, new opportunities and approaches are opening up for WPT. Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a prototype 64-element millimeter-wave-band phased-array transceiver that can send and receive data while simultaneously receiving power. The aim is to employ the transceiver initially as a 5G relay, and later to integrate into Internet of Things (IoT) devices..."

Measuring AI's Carbon Footprint

Measuring AI's Carbon Footprint - RF Cafe"Machine learning models are growing exponentially larger. At the same time, they require exponentially more energy to train, so that they can accurately process images or text or video. As the AI community grapples with its environmental impact, some conferences now ask paper submitters to include information on CO2 emissions. New research offers a more accurate method for calculating those emissions. It also compares factors that affect them, and tests two methods for reducing them. Several software packages estimate the carbon emissions of AI workloads. Recently a team at Université Paris-Saclay tested a group of these tools to see if they were reliable. 'And they're not reliable in all contexts,' says Anne-Laure Ligozat, a co-author of that study who was not involved in the new work. The new approach differs in two respects, says Jesse Dodge, a research scientist at the Allen Institute for AI and the lead author of the new paper, which he presented last week at the ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAccT)..."

Human Brains Can Beam Radio Waves

Human Brains Can Beam Radio Waves - RF Cafe"Mind-controlled 'metasurfaces' could be used in health monitoring, 5G/6G communications and smart sensors, according to Chinese researchers. Mind-controlled 'metasurfaces' could be used in health monitoring, 5G/6G communications and smart sensors, according to Chinese researchers. Chinese researchers say they have made it possible for humans to beam radio waves with their brains in a breakthrough that could have uses ranging from health monitoring to mind-controlled military radar. In an air force laboratory experiment, researchers showed that brainwaves could control and interact with electromagnetic waves remotely. 'Our design provides users with a universal way to manipulate electromagnetic waves using brainwaves,' said Professor Wang Jiafu, leading project scientist with Air Force Engineering University in northwestern Shaanxi province..."

From Transistor to Memristor Switching Technologies

From Transistor to Memristor Switching Technologies - RF Cafe"The invention of the transistor by Bell Laboratory in 1947 ushered in an era of electronic devices that were smaller and ran cooler using far less power than their bulky and fragile vacuum tube counterparts. Transistors function as a binary switch to facilitate electrical current from off to on states. Radios, calculators and telephones were among the first wave of instruments to replace vacuum tubes with the new semiconductor technology. As the technology scaled smaller and smaller, subsequent decades saw the steady integration of silicon transistors into devices, and today's computers, cell phones, watches, pacemakers, and virtually every kind of electronic device relies on them for high-speed processing and memory. Enter the memristor, an electronic device that emulates the binary switch using a two- and also three-dimensional matrix configuration, or cross bar array, to regulate states of conductivity based on current resistance..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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