Today in Science History -
This is another example of a multi-part article
of which I happen to have discovered only one of installments - Part 9. As is often
the case, each article is pretty much stand-alone and does not require that you
have already seen the previous sections. In 1951, computers were still mostly analog;
digital circuits were just beginning to get serious research thanks to the recent
advent of solid state devices. Boolean algebra, truth tables, and combinational
logic were just beginning to be taught in engineering courses.
ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), first used in 1945 at
the end of World War II, was the world's first general purpose digital computer,
and its active elements were vacuum tubes - about 20,000 of them. As you might expect,
there was a lot of excitement in the electronics, scientific, and finance world
about digital computers that would be inexpensive enough that individual corporations...
Radio-Craft magazine solicited inputs
from its readers for a series of 'WittiQuiz'
questions and answers related to radio and electronics, with a stipulation being
that there had to be some aspect of humor included. That meant that some of the
multiple choice answer options needed to be inane. For most of the questions, the
process of elimination is pretty easy, but a couple could cause some head scratching
- especially if you are not really sure of the answer. This group starts at number
28, so obviously preceding issues had questions 1 through 27. At some point I will
probably acquire them and post other WittiQuizzes.
Triad 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.
For more than a decade, I have been posting
Radio Service Data Sheets for radios and various other audio and visual electronics
sets that appeared in vintage electronics magazines. This one for the Atwater Kent
Model 649 all-wave, 9 metal tube, superheterodyne console radio set was published
in the November 1935 issue of Radio Craft. "All-Wave" radios were popular
at the time because they provided access to shortwave bands so listeners could tune
in foreign broadband stations - often with the rudimentary built-in antenna. Short
Wave Listening was actually a worldwide sport that had its own cadre of enthusiastic
participants, including a dedicated magazine entitled Short Wave Listener.
Although not as popular today, there are still a few adherents remaining today.
"Does flaky Internet connectivity have you
scrounging for solutions? The COVID-19 pandemic increased our demand for Internet
service due to working from home, online learning for kids, and video conferencing
with colleagues and family members. For many people stuck at home, Internet connectivity
issues became more troublesome in recent months. To make matters worse,
Internet providers may be unwilling to send repair techs into your home to fix
your problems. Construction materials and interior design decisions can have an
adverse effect on how far your WiFi signal travels inside. They can slow down the
connection speed, especially when everyone is home using a slew of computing devices.
Put this do-it-yourself primer to work fixing what ails your home network..."
Copper Mountain Technologies develops innovative
and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all over the world. Copper
Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor
Vector Network Analyzers
include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows
PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface.
The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the
modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments.
Today has been a busy day, so a couple
electronics-themed comics from issues of vintage Radio & Television
News magazines help to relieve the stress a bit. I could never figure out why
these comics were buried deep inside most issues at the ends of article continuations.
These two were on pages 88 and 93. The top one is meant to demonstrate just how
obsessed the public was with the relatively new television phenomenon - just look
at what they chose to ignore on the display TV in order to get a peek at the inside
workings of a television set. The other comic, while clever in its intent, would
never pass editorial muster in today's world because of the great hazard it represents.
"Capella Space announced May 13 that it signed
a deal to provide
synthetic aperture radar to the U.S. Navy, even though the company has yet to
put a satellite on orbit. Unlike traditional electro-optical satellite imagery,
which can be degraded or denied by adverse lighting conditions or weather, SAR creates
images with radar, meaning it can produce images regardless of the weather or lighting
conditions. Additionally, SAR sensors can provide data on material properties, moisture
content, precise movements, and elevation, meaning that SAR can be used to build
3D recreations of a given geographical area. Capella says its planned SAR satellite
constellation will be able to collect sub-0.5 meter imagery, capable of identifying
various types of aircraft or vehicles at ground level..."
Whilst reading this Carl Kohler technodrama
Air My Foot!," I happened upon this word new to me: 'din,' as in "It was dinned
into me." OK, maybe you already knew that, but surely I should have been aware of
its alternate meaning other than being a loud noise ("the agitated cat made quite
a din."). Fortunately, I am not subject to a household of people who refuse to put
things back in their respective places when through with them, but this tale of
woe tells what might be a familiar scenario to you. To be honest, this could have
been written about me as a boy - before the U.S. Air Force taught me a thing or
two about organization and neatness - since I continually frustrated my father by
leaving his tools (and hardware and lumber and paint) scattered in forgotten places
around the house and yard...
Axiom Test Equipment allows you to
test equipment, repair
test equipment, or
sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer
service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several
practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs
and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic
test equipment. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment,
they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage
items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!
Dr. Scott Best, of SiberSci RF
engineering services, sent information about the FREE general purpose
scientific and engineering plotting software library that includes Smith Chart
support. The graphics library was initially created at the Max Planck Institute
for Solar System Research beginning in 1985 by Mr. Helmut Michels. Its continual
series of upgrades is as recent as May 2020. The DISLIN library is available for
Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OSX, and MS-DOS systems. It supports a variety
of public domain and commercial compilers for Go, Perl, Python, Java, Ruby, TCL,
Julia, FreeBASIC, Free Pascal, R, C/C++, and Fortran (77, 90, and 95). If you are
a software developer, you probably know that most development platforms are supplied
with either no plotting components or very rudimentary versions of for-purchase
products. Many cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars...
Triad RF Systems, continues to add to its
THPR series of
ready-to-install amplified radios. Eliminating the need to integrate standalone
components to create a long-range wireless and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
(ISR) radio links working in S-band, Triad has combined high power RF subsystems
with a Microhard pMDDL2450 core radio that operates from 2402 - 2482 MHz. Triad
model THPR1006 is an efficiently packaged, highly reliable, dual-channel MIMO, turnkey
radio system that includes bi-directional amplifiers (BDAs), RF filtering, and optional
real-time power measurements, link diagnostics, and innovative SoC-based monitoring
and controls. This integrated amplified radio system delivers maximum power output
of 40 W at ~5 Mbps on its max power setting, and 10 W at ~20 Mbps
on its max data rate setting. Unmanned system engineers can expect...
Please 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.
crossword puzzle is a new type that uses a "free form" layout where the software
dynamically creates the word grid, rather than beginning with a predefined grid
that it then fills with words. It appears the longer it is allowed to run, the greater
the number of words and cross-links it creates. After about 5 minutes, this 19x17
grid is showing 57 words and 61 cross-links... and now an hour later it shows 62
words and 70 cross-links - not overly impressive in my view. The algorithm picks
from the same database of thousands of words which I have been creating for over
twenty years and contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science,
physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, familiar company names etc. You will
never find a word taxing your knowledge of a numbnut soap opera star or the name
of some obscure village in the Andes mountains. You might, however, encounter the
name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical location like Tunguska...
Electronics wizard, repairman, and experimenter
extraordinaire Mac McGregor, as sort of alter ego of author John T. Frye, provides
a brief lesson on electrostatics for his repair shop apprentice wing man Barney
(I don't think his last name was ever mentioned). In this 1973 Popular Electronics
magazine article, Mac had built two types of
electroscopes - one using a pair of pith balls suspended from silk strings and
another that was a cobbled-together version of a gold leaf electroscope. His motive
was two-fold. First and foremost was to accommodate his own interest in electrostatics,
and second to hopefully engender enough curiosity in Barney to cause him to do a
dive into science books to learn more. Given the potentially lethal levels of electrostatic
charge that builds on TV picture tubes they worked around, gaining a healthy respect
for an electrostatic charge...
"As countries around the world begin rolling
out 5G wireless networks, CEA-Leti, a technology research institute, is looking
6G technologies that will surpass the data-transfer capability of 5G. The wireless
communication in mm-Wave bands, ranging from 20 to 300 GHz, is expected to be a
key enabling technology for 6G wireless systems. This is because of the huge available
bandwidth that can accommodate ultra-high data-rate communications. Within that
range of mmWave bands, CEA-Leti's research is investigating D-band, a new spectrum
at 140 GHz that may play a major role in 6G wireless communication. In a paper written
for the 6G Wireless Summit, which was scheduled to take place in March but got cancelled
because of the coronavirus pandemic, CEA-Leti, and Siradel, a French engineering...
Frequency modulation (FM) was, is, and always
shall be: x(t) = Xc·cos [Ωct + β·sin (Ωmt)], where
the carrier is xc(t) = Xc·cos (Ωct), and the modulating
signal is xm(t) = β·sin (Ωmt). Yea verily, thus sayeth Edwin
H. Armstrong. Amen, brothers and sisters of radio. The methods for generating and
degenerating[sic] FM might vary, but the fundamentals do not vary. Mr. Armstrong
developed and patented his system of frequency modulation in the late 1920s and
early 1930s, so when this article appeared in QST in 1939, FM was still fairly new
- or even unknown - to most people. Household radio dials still had only markings
for the commercial AM band (520 - 1720 kHz) and, in a few cases, a couple shortwave
bands (also AM)...
Filters, Impedance-Matching Networks, and Coupling Structures," by Matthaei,
Young, and Jones, is another classic text that was a go-to reference for filter
designers before desktop synthesis software was commonplace. It is also available
on the Archive.org website - all 1,115 pages of it. While you are at Archive.org,
do a search on any topic of interest and likely you will receive more sources than
you ever dreamed were available on the Internet. That includes books, technical
reports, white papers, magazine articles, videos, audios, music, podcasts, and other
media formats. It is truly a unique and indispensible repository of information.
The WayBack Machine has been
capturing website pages for more than two decades. It has collected pages from RFCafe.com
during 888 sessions between October 13, 1999 and May 13, 2020.