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Copyright 1999-2015

- RF Cafe Homepage -
"Stupidity can't be regulated, no matter how good the rules are." - Riley Hollingsworth

Today in History

Tech Headline News

- Archives -

Air Force Launces 9th GPS IIF Satellite as Delays Continue for GPS III

BT Returns to Mobile with Low-Cost 4G Service

Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow Contest Inspires Students to Pursue STEM

Wireless Connectivity Offers Distinct Advantages for Industrial Applications

Superhighway to Connect NY and London (I like it)

Boeing Patents a Real-Life Force Field

Radio Shack to Sell Customers’ Personal Information in Bankruptcy Sale

Stealing Data from Computers Using Heat

Crashing Drones Exposing Secrets About U.S. War Operations

Samsung's Galaxy S7 Could Fold in Half

Motorola Found Guilty of Infringing on Patent from Infamous Troll

Samsung Rumored to Be Eyeing AMD Acquisition

Army Considers Electro-Optical Camouflage Fabric

Engineering Correct-by-Design PCBs

China Aims for Industry 4.0 by 2025

5 Gitmo Terrorists Traded for Known Deserter (what difference, at this point, does it make?)

Anatech Electronics Newsletter
for January 2015

Anatech Electronics Newsletter for March 2015 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its March 2015 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar discusses the increasingly important issue of passive intermodulation (PIM) distortion products that originate in metal-to-metal contacts where dissimilar compositions are involved. New modulation schemes place PIM requirements into the -165 dBc realm, which is a difficult goal. Connector interfaces to cables and components are major sources of PIM interference. Being a major manufacturer of connectorized filters

Enterprise-E Control Line Stunt
Model Maiden Flight

Enterprise-E Control Line Stunt<br>Model Maiden FlightIn case you care - my Enterprise-E finally had its maiden flight today, and all went very well. The electric power system seems very appropriately fitted and provides way more than enough thrust. There is a lot of control surface throw available so the first flight was a bit shaky for the first few times around the circle, but the craft settled down after I got accustomed to it. Three flights were put in and I brought her home unscathed - that's success in anyone's book! A short video is posted on the web page

Radio Service Data Sheets

Zenith Models 430 and 440 12-Tube Superheterodyne Radio Service Data Sheet, February 1933 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIn a continuing effort to provide archival material for researchers and for anyone seeking information on a particular radio restoration project, these Radio Service Data Sheets for the Crosley "Chief" Model 132-1 and Zenith Model 430/440 radios from a 1933 edition of Radio-Craft are being posted. An Internet search will show that there are many people engaging in such activities. Restoring my Crosley Model 03BC console radio would have been more difficult if not for others who have done similar work to assist the 'community.' I generally despise the phrase "giving back" because it is usually uttered by people that really owe nothing to anyone, but somehow feel

MiniRF Low Cost Splitters
Support Broadband CATV

MiniRF Low Cost Splitters Support Broadband CATV - RF CafeRFMW announces design and sales support for MiniRF's low cost, 2-way splitter, model MRFSP0014. Covering the CATV bandwidth of 5 to 1002 MHz, the MRFSP0014 is designed for applications that require small, low cost and highly reliable surface mount components. Typical insertion loss is 0.5 dB with isolation of 30 dB. Amplitude balance measures 0.2 dB with phase balance of 1 degree. The MRFSP0014 can handle a maximum input power of 33dBm and comes in a 0.15 x 0.15 x 0.115", surface mount

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger

After Class: Subatomic Footprints

After Class, Subatomic Footprints, September 1956 Popular Electronics - RFCafeBy now, most people involved in science and engineering have seen the iconic photos of cosmic rays and other subatomic particles leaving a signature of their presence as streaks in a cloud chamber. Invented by Scottish physicist Charles Wilson, the cloud chamber is a sealed volume containing super-saturated water vapor that can be ionized by energetic particles passing through it. The result is a tell-tale whitish line that can be straight arced, or even a spiral, depending on the nature of the particle. First developed in the early part of the 20th century, many particles predicted by researchers were detected and identified. Many unexpected particles were also encountered that gave physicists reasons to sharpen their pencils and develop new theories to

Narda Intros Remote Analyzer
with System Antennas

Narda Intros Remote Analyzer with System Antennas - RF CafeThe new generation of NRA RX 19” Remote Analyzers from Narda Safety Test Solutions automatically detect and take into account the calibration data of Narda’s own brand of antennas and RF cables, so monitoring and safety measurements in electromagnetic fields can now also be made without the need for conversion calculations. Narda Safety Test Solutions has added the “Antenna Control” option to the RX version of the NRA Remote Analyzer. This allows direct use of all Narda antennas and cables. The antenna factors and calibration data are detected and automatically taken into account by the NRA RX devices, so that the measurement results are

United Screw and Bolt Corp.
Clutch Head Screw Ad

United Screw and Bolt Corporation Advertisement, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeClutch head screws were one of the original 'security' or 'tamper-proof' type fasteners. United Screw and Bolt Corporation undoubtedly hoped their patented design would become the new standard in screw heads and drivers. Clutch head screws are still available today, but many do not include the round shape in the middle of the 'bowtie' shape. Fortunately for Mr. Henry Phillips, his eponymous screw head design, first introduced a decade earlier than when this advertisement appeared in Radio News, won out in the battle to replace the straight slot screw type. Any kind of screw head that captures the driver to prevent it from slipping off the head

Inductors & Inductance
Formulas Page Updated

Inductors & Inductancee Calculations Formulas Equations - RF CafePart of my reason for suspending private advertising on RF Cafe was to free up time to update a lot of the website content. All of the existing data is still valid of course, but I have been wanting to add to it for a long time. Since I also am fiddling around with writing an app for cellphones, this effort will serve a dual purpose in providing fresh fodder for the app as well. Please take a look at the newly updated Inductor & Inductance Formulas page.

Using Simulation Tools to
Debug an Oscillating Amplifier

Using Simulation Tools to Debug an Oscillating Amplifier (by Ed TRoy) - RF CafeEd Troy, owner of Aerospace Consulting, LLC, was kind enough to offer a few of his articles for posting on RF Cafe. This fourth paper discusses the benefits of modeling and simulating an amplifier circuit as part of an effort to troubleshoot an oscillating amplifier design. It comes to us in a timely manner after my recent Notable Tech Quote highlighting the often uttered "Amplifiers are oscillators that don't and oscillators are amplifiers that do" aphorism. The amazing accuracy of modern high-end simulators makes such exercises useful for many types of troubleshooting efforts

Engineering Career and Job
Hunting Advice for Q1 2015

Sisyphus Monument - RF CafeThe first third of the year is gone now. If one of your New Year's resolutions was to explore alternative career options and you have not even started yet, you had better get going. Sorting through all the friendly advice online, around the office, and at the bowling alley can be rough, so I have taken the liberty of finding a few for you. One article admonishes you not to be a Sisyphus. A sissy-what? If you're no up on Greek mythology, this will educate

- GE Icon Jack Welch Warns
   Which Common Pitfalls Will
   Keep You from Getting
- Want People to Accept Your
   LinkedIn Requests?
- I Switched to a Standing Desk,
   So Now You Should, Too
  (satire and comic relief)  <more> 

Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad

Bell Telephone Laboratories Advertisement, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeI don't know about you, but I really miss the hard-wired POTS (Plain Ordinary Telephone System) days of remote communications. Unless the conversation was with an overseas telco system, there was never a noticeable delay where both parties were constantly either 'stepping' on each other's words or having to consciously wait before speaking to make sure the other guy has finished. Whether it be cellphone-to-cellphone or cellphone-to-VoIP, nearly every conversation is annoying. Sometimes when one party is on the POTS line with either a cell or Internet connection it can go well, but if you want a hassle-free conversation (assuming the person you're talking to is not a PiTA), you

Do You Use LinkedIn?

Official RF Cafe Website Poll

XMA Corporation Announces
CRYOGENIC Product Line

XMA Corporation Announces Cryogenic Product Development - RF CafeXMA Corporation, an industry leader in microwave and RF component technology, announced further developments of their CRYOGENIC product family of attenuators, adapters, and terminations, expanding performance parameters into the 4 Kelvin (-273.15°C) temperature range. Technical advancements with thin film design and fabrication at XMA, allows performance levels to reach new milestones with Millimeter and Microwave RF products. XMA Corporation, powered by Omni Spectra®, now offers a complete line of CRYOGENIC RF, coaxial passive components that range from

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 - RF CafeGuerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics, by Jay Conrad Levinson. That's a long title. "New chapters integrate using social media and social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and ZoomInfo in your job search, along with case studies from successful guerrilla job hunters that detail what works in today's hyper competitive job market with commentary from America's top recruiters." According to the current unofficial RF Cafe Poll (on the homepage), 1/3 of visitors are at least considering looking for a new job. This book gets the highest rating from readers for usefulness - even higher than the well-known What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015.

RF Power Output Measurements

R.F. Power Output Measurements, October 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeHere is a nice article on various types of power measurement instruments and their uses. The calorie wattmeter, calorimeter wattmeter, photometric wattmeter, thermo-ammeter, RF voltmeter, reflectometer, in-line meters, and slotted line are covered. Suggestions for selecting the proper instrument for measurement and operation is touched upon. Although the article was written in 1963, many of these instruments - or close descendants of them - are still in use today. 

Simple Dual Proportional
R/C System

Simple Dual Proportional R/C System, September 1956 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and Rockets (and Telescopes, Cars, Helicopters, Boats)If you are relatively new to radio control (R/C) operation, whether for the latest 'drone' craze (technically multi-rotor aircraft), model cars, model boats, helicopters, or airplanes - or even robots, then you might be interested in discovering a little about the systems which pioneers in the sport had to work with. In the mid 1950s when this article appeared in Popular Electronics magazine, multi-rotors and helicopters were not even in the list of model types. As with radios and television sets, before the convenience and performance increase brought about by the advent of solid state components, R/C modelers struggled with vacuum tube equipment, too. If you are old enough to remember needing to re-tune your radio or TV occasionally due to

Newark Electric Company Ad

Newark Electric Company Ad, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeWho among us has not ordered electronic components or hardware from Newark Electronics? Now known officially as "Newark element 14" (silicon?), and before that Newark Electronics, the company began life as Newark Electric Company, as shown in this 1946 advertisement that appeared in Radio-News. In the days before Digi-Key and the Internet, Newark and Allied were the standards for me when ordering stuff in the lab. Weekly long distance phone calls (remember when they were called that?) to Newark were the routine. Unless a project was really hot, standard U.S. Post Office delivery was used since at the time UPS and FedEx were deemed by the bean counters

Beyond the Kite & Key

Beyond the Kite and Key (Ohio U.) - RF CafeJordan O., of Ohio U.'s Russ College of Engineering and Technology, contacted me about their newest infographic titled Beyond the Kite & Key - Amazing Electrical Experiments That Furthered Engineering Innovations. Says Jordan, "While we may not know what the next revolutionary engineering achievement is, the future of engineering truly depends on accomplishments laid out in it’s past. Without Franklin and his kite or Bell and the wire, our modern knowledge of electrical engineering would cease to exist." "The graphic incorporates landmark experiments that sparked electrical engineering progress. It represents a timeline of "

FM Radio in Canada

FM Radio in Canada, January 1946 Radio News - RF CafeDepending on which news story you believe, both AM and FM (and TV for that matter) over-the-air broadcasting is dying out at an increasingly rapid rate. Between recordable podcasts, wired Internet connections, and the growing ubiquity of Wi-Fi connectivity, a large majority of people in the civilized world are getting their broadcasts via the Web. If you 'follow the money' in broadcast advertising, the lion's share of dollars have shifted to online venues, simultaneously draining revenue from local stations. When this story was written in 1946, OTA radio was king for real-time and free reception of information - particularly in a mobile environment. A dilemma arose in the form of RF spectrum allocation in border regions

NI AWR Design Environment
Showcased at EDI Con 2015

NI AWR Design Environment Software Showcased at EDI Con 2015 - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corp) will be showcasing NI AWR Design Environment™ software in its Booth #315 at the Electronic Design Innovation Conference 2015 being held April 14-16 in Beijing, China. Additionally, NI AWR Design Environment software will be showcased in four 20-minute talks as well as one 40-minute workshop during the week. These NI AWR software presentations and demonstrations include: NI AWR Design Environment V11 – What’s New, Microwave Office for MMIC, RF PCB and Module Design

Your RF Cafe
Progenitor & Webmaster

Click here to read about RF CafeKirt Blattenberger… single-handedly redefining what an engineering website should be.

View the YouTube RF Cafe Intro Video Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

5th MOB: My USAF radar shop

Airplanes and Rockets: My personal hobby website

Equine Kingdom: My daughter Sally's horse riding website