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"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." – David Sarnoff

Today in Science History

KR Electronics Intros 220 MHz BPF for Positive Train Control

KR Electronics Intros 220 MHz Bandpass Filter for Positive Train Control - RF CafeKR Electronics part number 3012-220 is a 220 MHz bandpass filter designed for Positive Train Control (PTC) applications. Encapsulated for enhanced shock and vibration resistance, 50 Ω source and load, N(F) to N(M) connectors. The filters are encapsulated/ruggedized for enhanced shock and vibration resistance. Thousands are currently installed and operating successfully in the field with major rail companies. Other frequencies and bandwidths are available ...

Nuclear Radiation & Detection

Nuclear Radiation & Detection, November 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafePart 1 of this 3-part series discussed the basics of radiation, and now author Ello delves into various methods of detecting and measuring radiation levels. Ionizing radiation measurement capability is needed for the safety of life forms due its ability to knock electrons away from their host atoms, thus generating ions that cause molecules to form that might not otherwise do so. If those molecules happen to part of a self-reproducing living cell, then a mutant - or cancerous - cell is the result. With luck, body defense cells will hunt down and kill it, but if not, a tumor will develop - maybe benign, but maybe malignant ...

Withwave Intros High Precision Flexible Microwave Cables

Withwave Intros High Precision Flexible Microwave Cables - RF CafeWithwave's W-Test cable assemblies are complete line of high precision flexible microwave cable assemblies, specially for stable phase testing. These WT series are designed by excellent microwave interconnection technologies. The WT500 & 670 cable assemblies, operating to 50 GHz and 67 GHz, respectively, have excellent insertion loss, high phase/amplitude stability in relation to temperature ...

Free eBook for Precision Antenna Measurements

Precision Antenna Measurements ebook - RF CafeAccording to Microwave Journal Editor Patrick Hindle, "Antenna measurements are difficult to make due to their multi-directional nature, their cables / connections to equipment and interfering signals in the environment. The measurement setup, surrounding environment and physical connections all need to be carefully specified and setup, paying close attention to the instruments and materials used." Copper Mountain Technologies collaborated with Microwave Journal to offer you this free eBook, Precision Antenna Measurements, on precision antenna measurements ...

Conformal Coatings for Printed Circuits

Conformal Coatings for Printed Circuits, October 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeDuring my tenure in the early-to-mid 1980s as an electronics technician at Westinghouse Electric's Oceanic Division, in Annapolis, MD, I assembled many a Mil-Spec printed circuit board. An initial week-long soldering class and then periodic refreshers were required to get NASA-certified for the type of critical work we did there. I have written before about the rigid inspection process that each PCB, cable harness, wire-wrap board, etc., was put through. Many of the assemblies for use in underwater vehicles and ship-based controllers needed to be conformably coated for protection against the corrosive salt water environment. The first step ...

Chinese Village Builds Giant Air-Viewable QR Code with Trees

Chinese Village Builds Giant Air-Viewable QR Code with Trees - RF Cafe"Officials in Xilinshui, in the city of Baoding, Hebei province, created the scannable [QR] code, which measures 227 m along each side, using about 130,000 Chinese juniper trees, Xinhua reported on Thursday. The evergreen trees, which are native to northeast Asia, are all between 80 cm and 2.5 m in height. While difficult to do, anyone who scans the greenery using a smartphone or tablet will be connected to the village's public WeChat account for tourism ..."

Skyscraper ICs That Beat Moore's Law

Skyscraper ICs That Beat Moore's Law - RF Cafe"Revolutionary, tower-style computer chips could boost microprocessor performance a thousand-fold. In the age of big data, cloud and the internet of things, our thirst for computing power has never been greater. Many of our readers will be familiar with Moore's law, the observation that predicts a doubling of computing capability every two years, as integrated circuits are packed ever denser with ..."

Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics

Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics - RF Cafe"As demand grows for more versatile, advanced robotics and other technologies, the need for components that can enable these applications also increases. Producing such components en masse has been a major challenge. But now, in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, researchers report that they have developed a way to help meet this need by printing electronics that can fold themselves into a desired shape. Creating small electronic pieces with specific architectural designs can now ..."

Notable Tech Quote: Kat McGowan

Notable Tech Quote: Kat McGowen - RF Cafe"There, his new specimens joined his collection and waited patiently as only rocks can until he could find time to analyze them." - Kat McGowan, "Where Did It Begin?" September / October 2017 Popular Science (p41).

MWJ Webinar: Mixers and Frequency Conversion

RF/Microwave Training Webinar
Title: Mixers and Frequency Conversion | Date: September 28, 2017 |Time: 8am PT / 11am ET | Sponsored by: National Instruments
Presented by: Allen Podell
Outline: Frequency conversion is a critical function in all wireless systems. A key component used to accomplish this is the mixer. Designers need to understand different mixer topologies and specifications in order to meet their system requirements. This webinar provides a brief overview of frequency conversion ...

Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary

Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary 2017-2018 - RF CafePay Scale has published their 2017-2018 list of college rankings, along with average starting salaries. For engineering pay levels, MIT tops the list at $84.7k, followed by Marietta College and Stanford. The U.S. Naval Academy ranks #6 at $79.9k (and free tuition). Harvard comes it at #8, and Mr. Einstein's' home of Princeton is #16. West Point, another institution with free tuition, is at #18. The score of my alma mater, UVM, is too embarrassing to mention, but it does go a long way toward explaining my rather lackluster financial status. See the entire list here ...

New Way Found to Manipulate Magnetism

New Way Found to Manipulate Magnetism - RF Cafe"In a pioneering effort to control, measure and understand magnetism at the atomic level, researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have discovered a new method for manipulating the nanoscale properties of magnetic materials. The ability to control these properties has potential applications in creating and improving the magnetic memory in consumer electronic devices, and developing a sensitive detector for magnetic nanoparticles. The discovery ..."

Mystery RF Transistor ID Challenge

Freescale RF LDMOS Transistor - RF CafeRF Cafe visitor Richard P. posted this challenge on my Facebook page. He would like a positive Id on the device in order to re-bias it for higher voltage operation. It is in a HF amplifier he bought on eBay. The package marking is smudged so that the full part number is indiscernible. I labeled the image with the limited info I could make out. The company logo is Freescale, which was once Motorola and is now NXP, so it is not a new device. The ceramic flanged package appears to be for an LDMOS transistor. I spent more than an hour searching, but had, in Richard's words, "no joy." If you can ID it, please send me an e-mail ...

'Hidden in Plain Sight' Concealment Facilitates Smart City Transformation

'Hidden in Plain Sight' Concealment Facilitates Smart City Transformation - RF Cafe"American Tower and Phillips Lighting partner on connected light poles to add network density for smart city applications Siting of wireless infrastructure in urban spaces is often a tricky proposition for wireless carriers and neutral host providers. Regulations vary between jurisdictions, which makes developing a scalable deployment model difficult and, in turn, drives up costs and extends project timelines. In the context of a smart city, ultra-dense network ..."

Wavelength Electronics Intros Laser Diode Power Source

Wavelength Electronics Intros Laser Diode Power Source - RF CafeThe LDMOUNT is ideal for pump and communication diode lasers. The LDMOUNT from Wavelength Electronics is designed for optoelectronic modules in a 14-pin butterfly package that require up to 5A. With integrated heatsinking, built-in safety features, and easy connection to eight different high performance Wavelength controllers, the LDMOUNT can be used in a variety of applications, mounted on an optics table or to a chassis ...

ConductRF Offers Phase Matching Cable Solutions

ConductRF Phase Matching Cable Solutions 9/19/2017 - RF CafeConductRF's skill in the manufacturing of Phase Matched RF Cable Solutions is second to none. We have phase matched a diverse array of solutions from Low Frequency RG and LMR Cables to more premium exotic cables up to 70 GHz. Flexible, conformable & semi-rigid, phase & amplitude stable, low loss & high power, phase differential as low as ±0.2 °/GHz, many connector types, indoor & outdoor solutions. A broad base of standard connectors and cables in stock, we turn solutions around fast ...

Opportunity Awareness

Opportunity Awareness, October 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeEach month (unless I forget) I post a list of articles with advice on career enhancement including tips on preparing resumes, conducting yourself properly at interviews, getting along well with co-workers, handling a difficult boss, etc. I also post links to polls and studies done on career satisfaction, pay rates, education and experience levels, years in the field, etc. Those types of articles have been around since Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press. In the 1970s, Popular Electronics ran a series of articles titled "Opportunity Awareness" that offered such advice, much of which in principle is still valid today. One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself ...

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

Semiconductor Industry Records Best 2nd Quarter in 3 Years

Cellular Calls Home Appliances

New 10-GHz Earth-Moon-Earth World Record Set

Chip Consolidation Nearly Over, Analyst Says

How Many Ways Might iPhone X's Face ID Go Wrong?

Amateur Radio Emergency Net Active in Wake of Mexico Earthquake

Apple Watch Has Connectivity Issues

Google Acquisition Rumors Heat up As HTC Halts Stock Trades

LTE-Enabled Smart Watches to Drive Wearables Growth

Enrollments, Budgets Fall at 'Social Justice Warfare' Universities

AlGaN Transistors on Silicon-on-Insulator Substrate

Aluminium Gallium Nitride Transistors on Silicon-on-Insulator Substrate - RF Cafe"Chang Gung University and Episil-Precision in Taiwan claim the first demonstration of in-situ silicon nitride (SiNx) gate dielectric aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) barrier metal–insulator–semiconductor high-electron-mobility transistors (MISHEMTs) on 6-inch silicon on insulator (SOI) substrates. The devices showed improved DC, dynamic and radio frequency (RF) performance over the same structures grown on HR Si ..."

Circularly Polarized Antennas Explained, Without the Math

Circularly Polarized Antennas Explained, Without the Math - RF CafeGlenn Robb, owner / engineer from Antenna Test Lab Company sent me this very excellent whitepaper he just wrote titled "Circularly Polarized Antennas Explained, Without the Math." As promised, his tutorial introduces the concept of circular polarization in electromagnetic waves and then describes how he measures and reports results in a spreadsheet using automated antenna positioning and frequency sweeping. Antenna Test Lab Co's evaluation service includes fully circular polarization antenna evaluations at no extra charge. Practical antenna evaluations with 2D or 3D patterns in hundreds of test directions (and frequencies) are available for $450 ...

Bluetooth: "mesh is here"

Bluetooth "mesh is here" - RF CafeMaybe I'm just easily impressed by effective simplicity, but I really like the Bluetooth homepage animation demonstrating the ubiquitous connectivity theme of "mesh is here." Interconnecting lines in the mesh moving in relation to all the nodal points is a great way to illustrate the flexibility of the system. The one scenario the Bluetooth SIG doesn't show is how "mesh" enables tracking of your movement, which can easily be correlated with cellphone activity, credit card usage, etc. Surely the collective data would never be abused. If you're not doing anything wrong, then there's nothing to worry about -- right? ...

UK Dragonfire Laser Cannon Unveiled at DSEI

UK Dragonfire Laser Cannon Unveiled at DSEI - RF Cafe"Under development by an MBDA-led consortium which includes Qinetiq, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Arke, BAE Systems, Marshall and GKN the so-called Dragonfire system will be a 50 kW class directed energy weapon designed for use on both land and sea. Laser weapons have key advantages over traditional systems: the munition is potentially unlimited, and it operates at the speed of light so the time from when you say "fire" to the weapon hitting its target is more or less instantaneous. According ..."

DARPA Funds New Electronics Revolution

DARPA Funds New Electronics Revolution - RF Cafe"Building on a half century of unprecedented chip scaling and technology innovation, DOD is going back to basics in an attempt to reseed a U.S. electronics sector that has contributed mightily to the nation's economic and national security. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency put more skin in the game with a batch of program announcements worth $75 million over the next year as part of its Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) launched in June ..."

Communications, October 1970 Popular Electronics

Communications, October 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafePopular Electronics ran a monthly news roundup feature titled, simply, "Communications." Included were tidbits on CB, SWL, HAM, RTTY, FAX, TV, SSB, AM, FM, CW, and ISB. I know that because those are the acronyms in the string along the perimeter of the page's title. This particular column was chosen because of the weird-looking Elser-Mathes Cup that will commemorate the 1st amateur radio 2-way communications between Earth and Mars." I thought it was an artifact of some primitive tribe's religious rite, but in fact those are Martians in the carving, not Earthly savages ...

Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Holds 2nd Annual Meeting

Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Holds 2nd Annual Meeting - RF Cafe"The Amateur Radio Club at Yale University (W1YU) was the host for the 2nd annual Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) forum at the ARRL New England Division Convention, September 8–10, in Boxboro, Massachusetts. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, who — in light of the increasing number of reactivated and newly formed radio clubs at colleges and universities — has been a prime mover behind the League initiative, opened the session. Four presentations by participating institutions followed. Sean Barnes, N3JQ, of Harrisburg ..."

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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 Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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