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Tech Topics Smorgasbord Archives - 36

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my rantings on various subjects relevant (usually) to the overall RF Cafe theme. All may be accessed on these pages:

 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36

Power Equivalent in the Electricity-Water Analogy

Power Equivalent in the Electricity-Water Analogy, Kirt's Cogitations #321 - RF CafeHave I mentioned that my YL, Melanie, decided she would earn her Amateur radio Technician license? After living in a household with a bilingual husband (English and Electronics) for nearly 38 years and having become fairly proficient at ETL (electronics as a third language*), Melanie decided to earn her Technician license. She has never delved into the technical aspects of electricity / electronics, but has, along with hearing me speak of it (too) often and having proof-read my writings and scanned and OCR'ed more than a thousand articles from vintage electronics magazines, her gray cells are permeated with the vocabulary, lingo, jargon, vernacular, slang, and argot of the realm. Being an expert test taker, she will undoubtedly pass the written test with flying colors. With much self-restraint, I have avoided offering my sage advice and knowledge during her studies of the ARRL's Ham Radio License Manual. The current edition is the 4th, being valid from 2018 through 2022. Melanie has asked for a little clarification on SWR, decibels and couple other minor topics, but otherwise has progressed...

The 3D Smith Chart: From Theory to Experimental Reality

The 3D Smith Chart: From Theory to Experimental Reality - R FCafeThe world was introduced publically in 2007 to the concept of a 3-dimensional Smith chart by Chris Zelley. In article published in IEEE Microwave Magazine entitled, "A Spherical Representation of the Smith Chart," the radically new concept was illustrated on the surface of a ping pong ball using a felt-tipped pen (thumbnail at left). Inspired by the sight, Andrei A. Muller and a small team of developers in 2013 created a version of the 3D Smith Chart in software using the Java language that allows it to execute on any platform. In 2017, an expanded functionality commercial version of 3D Smith Chart was released at a very modest price. A number of articles have been published on the topic extolling the unique ability of a 3-dimensional complex impedance volume to expose...


Morse Code in "Western Union" Song

Morse Code in the "Western Union" Song, Kirt's Cogitations #318 - RF CafeThe other day a song entitled "Western Union" played on my local over-the-air oldies radio station. It was released by the group The Five Americans in 1967. I've heard it many times before, but it finally occurred to me that the use of Morse code-like symbols in the refrain made it a perfect candidate for a spot here on RF Cafe. The full lyrics of "Western Union" can be found at the bottom of the page, but notice the "Dah-Dit-Dah-Dit-Dah" repeats in the refrain. Even though I'm a licensed (as of 2010) Ham, my shameful (according to some veterans) status as a post-Morse-code era did not require demonstration of code proficiency. As such, my lack of a Morse code deciphering ability required that I rely on an online translator for considering what the code might be. Depending on how you separate the dits and dahs, the string of characters can be interpreted as TETET (- . - . -), TAA (- .- .-), KA (-.- .-), NK (-. -.-), CT (-.-. -) or other combinations, none of which seem to mean anything in particular...


Buy & Sell Ham Radio Operator Homes

Amateur Ham Radio Operator Homes - Buy & Sell, Kirt's Cogitations #318 - RF CafeA couple years ago a house two streets away had an estate sale after the elderly gentleman who owned it passed on. There was a lot of old amateur radio gear for sale, and most of it had been bought early in the morning, right after the beginning of the sale according to the man's daughter who was on-hand. The newspaper notice mentioned the Ham equipment. In the back yard was a nice 40-foot crank-up tower that was a bit weather-worn, but otherwise appeared to be in good condition. She said that was the first item sold. I didn't ask how much she got for it. The house was to be sold, and they were glad to have the tower gone before listing it on the market. I have wondered in the past when seeing a "For Sale" sign in the lawn of a house with one or more radio towers in the yard how much they would impact the sale price. Some Hams would plan to take...


The Lincoln Vocational Technical Center - A Partial Autobiography - #317

The Lincoln Technical Center, Annapolis, Maryland, Kirt's Cogitations #317 - RF CafeLincoln Vocational Technical Center. One day in late spring of 1973 I found myself walking around the gymnasium of Annapolis Junior High School (AJHS) trying to decide which courses I would prefer upon beginning tenth grade the following fall. It was one of the final days of ninth grade, which had been by far my least happy year in school. Living in Mayo, Maryland, I and my fellow neighborhood ninth graders should have attended Southern Senior High School (SSHS) in Harwood, Maryland, where our predecessors had gone for ninth grade, but overcrowding caused the Anne Arundel School Board wizards to decide that for at least that year, we would remain at AJHS for another term. Historically, kids from my area went to AJHS only for seventh and eighth grades and then switched to SSHS. Annapolis, being the capital city of Maryland, was significantly more urban than the rural areas which SSHS type people were accustomed to. The clientele was much more aggressive in the big city. Sure, we had our "red neck greaser" rowdies in the southern part of the county, but at least their parents would whip them if they got caught getting into trouble. The north county parents, we believed at the time...


How to Remove Clutter from Online Document Displays - #316

How to Remove Clutter from Online Document Displays, Kirt's Cogitations #316 - RF CafeIf you are annoyed by pop-ups and extraneous framework elements and/or SEO (search engine optimization) tracking code accompanying application notes, white papers, and images, and videos, many times you can get rid of them by editing the URL displayed in your browser address bar. Compare the displays in this set of screen captures based on the original URL provided in an e-mail (top) to the one where all the extraneous terms have been removed from the URL (bottom). Note that the yellow highlighted components have been eliminated. Often, I remove that stuff from hyperlink URLs before sending my visitors to websites. Companies don't particularly like me doing that, but doing so helps maintain your privacy. URLs in e-mails are particularly likely to contain appended code that contains one or more "&utm_" parts. UTM is the Urchin Tracking Module introduced by Google Analytics' predecessor Urchin and are now supported by Google Analytics. They typically ....



Miscellaneous Earlier Smorgasbords and Factoids:



Windfreak Technologies MPDevice microwave devices - RF Cafe
Res-Net Microwave - RF Cafe Berkeley Nucleonics Academy - RF Cafe
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    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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