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- RF Cafe Homepage -
RF, Microwave, Wireless, Cellular, Radar, Satellite, & Analog Engineering

Today in History - 1861: Robert Bosch, the German engineer and industrialist who was invented the spark plug and magneto, was born. 1962: "The Jetsons" premiered on ABC-TV, being the first program ...

Tech Headline News

-  Archives -

Make Your Own Bluetooth Smart Beacons with Estimote Stickers (this is neat-o)

Where's the Silicon in Silicon Valley?

Quick-Change Materials Break Silicon Speed Limit

Testing an Aircraft High-Power Laser Tail Gun

Waiver That Would Have Eased Barriers for FM Translators Denied

iPhone 6 Sales Top 10 Million in 1st Weekend

Half the World Will Be Online by 2017

U.S. Leads M2M Market

Sony to Lose $2.35b Despite Massive PS4 Sales

eBay Under Pressure as Hacks Continue

Apple Just Lost the Global Smartphone War to Google

Light Can Play Seesaw at the Nanoscale

Moving Silicon Atoms in Graphene with Atomic Precision

GaAs Device Market Posts Record Revenues in 2013

Here's Why Ice Cream Gives Us Brain Freeze

RFMD and TriQuint Unveil New Company Name Qorvo (huh?)

Oracle's Larry Ellison Steps Down

Gesture-Controlled Smartpones

Mechanical Watch Oscillator to Replace Escapement

More Time Spent on Pandora Than Facebook (tip: rdio is better and free)

Mechanism Behind Solid-Solid Phase Transitions Uncovered

A Bootcamp for Data Junkies


Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger

Remote Control Weapons

Remote Control Weapons, August 1944, Radio Craft - RF CafeWorld War II brought about the first wireless remotely controlled weapons. Prior to radio technology, bombs and missiles needed to either be within a distance serviceable by detonation wires, or were set off using mechanical or electrical timers. Both of those methods required the operator to gain access to the target area at a time relatively close to when the attack was to occur. Army battalions did have warheads with spooled wires attached that enabled them to control the time of detonation and even in some instances some degree of steering, but range was limited. Wireless...

6-Bit Digital ø-Shifter Supports Ku-Band Radar

TriQuint 6-Bit Digital Phase Shifter Supports Ku-Band Radar - RF CafeRFMW, Ltd. announces design and sales support for TriQuint's TGP2615 digital phase shifter. The TGP2615 covers Ku-band radar and communications applications in the 15-19 GHz frequency range. 6-bit control with 5.625° LSB offer high resolution and 360 degree coverage. Insertion loss of the TriQuint TGP2615 is 7 dB. RMS phase error is specified at 4° while RMS amplitude error is 1 dB...

Notable Tech Quote: Niels Bohr

Niels Bohr Quote (Wikipedia image) - RF Cafe"An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr, as quoted by Edward Teller, in Dr. Edward Teller's Magnificent Obsession, in LIFE magazine (9/6/1954, p62)

Coax Line R.F. Monitor

Coax Line R.F. Monitor, November 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeThis 60-year-old design for a coaxial line RF monitoring instrument uses components still readily available since it has no vacuum tubes and you can still buy the 1N34 germanium diodes that are used as detectors. Only 18 components (including jacks, meter, case, and switch) are used to indicate relative power, modulation percentage, and to monitor the signal modulation. Sampling is done with a high impedance tap on a through connection so that the impact on characteristic impedance on...

RF Engineers & Technicians Needed by Environetix

RF Engineers & Technicians Needed by Environetix Technologies - RF CafeEnvironetix Technologies Corporation is a technology-transfer spin-off from the University of Maine Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology. A dynamic research and development organization, Environetix is making rapid and exciting progress in the field of passive, wireless sensor systems for harsh environments. We have current openings for both RF engineers and technicians who will participate in a team effort to develop and manufacture wireless microwave sensors for custom high- temperature harsh environment applications...

Engineering Crossword for September 21, 2014

Radio & Radar Crossword Puzzle for September 21, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's Engineering crossword puzzle includes the new name conjured up by marketing gurus for the combined company formed by RF Micro Devices (RFMD) and TriQuint. According to the press release, "conveys the combined company's ability to deliver the core technologies and innovation that will enable customers to launch their next-generation designs even faster." Let me just say the name is as intuitive to me as 'Agilent' or Keysight.'

Finally... Proof That Communism Works !!!

Finally... Proof That Communism Works !!! - RF long as Capitalism in a Free Market environment is allowed to flourish. I know, the claim is a non sequitur, and today's Alibaba IPO is an ipso facto example. At the time of this writing, Jack Ma is worth $17.5B. Mr. Ma is a citizen of Communist China, where Chairman Mao, murderer of millions, is still idolized and his governmental tenets are still followed. Xinhua News Agency headline: "Alibaba's IPO to End US Dominance in Technology Sector." This comes as welcome news to many members of the U.S. Congress and political appointees who have publically and repeatedly cursed Capitalism...

Short Waves of Tomorrow

Short Waves of Tomorrow, January 1938 Radio Craft - RF CafeHugo Gernsback, in 1938, lampooned his contemporaries who boldly declared that by then there was nothing left to be invented regarding radio equipment for short wave communications. Wisely citing the well-known instance of a patent examiner who quit his post in 1870 because, as the man put it, all useful things had been invented and there was nothing meaningful left to patent, Mr. Gernsback challenged his readers to keep this article for 25 years and then go back and read it while being aware of all the new and wonderful short wave devices that had been invented since 1938...

RF Design/Wireless Position Available at Kenall

Electrical Engineer, RF Design/Wireless Position Available at Kenall - RF CafeThe successful electrical engineer candidate will be responsible for the development and design of wireless control systems which will be used in Kenall lighting, emergency and signage products. The Ideal candidate will have experience using WLAN, ZigBee, Bluetooth, low-voltage control and switching circuits. Kenall products are proudly manufactured in the USA.

Many New Titles Added to Book Drawing List

Electronic Warfare Receivers and Receiving Systems - RF CafeSatellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook - RF CafeUltrawideband Antennas for Microwave Imaging Systems - RF CafeAdvances in Statistical Multisource-Multitarget Information Fusion - RF CafeThanks the incredible generosity of Artech House publishers, there are now many new engineering books available for selection to the monthly RF Cafe Book Drawing winners. The four shown here are among seven new titles.

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Detective

Carl & Jerry: Electronic Detective, February 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeLong before their college days at Parvoo U., our two amateur electronics sleuthing buddies were on the job tracking down and trapping bad guys by using their combined knowledge of circuits and physics. In this episode, Carl and Jerry are tasked with helping a hobby store owner stop a rash of thefts that always seems to occur during a busy time right after school lets out for the day. Their first inclination was to devise a system like the big department stores were installing that used passive tags on items that would trigger an...

Practical Color TV for the Technician

Practical Color TV for the Technician, September 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeThe main purpose for bothering to reprint articles like this one on analog color TV theory is to reveal the complexity and ingenuity that went into cramming a lot of information into a relatively (at the time) small bandwidth. Signals within signals and signals riding on top of and below other signals was the name of the game, and pulling it off successfully required many well-designed and well-aligned circuits. Anyone old enough to remember watching a show on analog television can appreciate the difference between a high quality...

Please Thank Comdel for Supporting RF Cafe

Click to visit the Comdel websiteComdel designs and manufactures RF and DC power supplies and process instruments for the semiconductor, solar cell/photovoltaics, flat panel, and industrial heating industries. Comdel products are in use worldwide by the industry's major equipment and IC fab manufacturers.

A Visit to ARRL Headquarters

A Visit to ARRL Headquarters (EDN feature) - RF CafeEDN's Kenneth Wyatt visited the ARRL headquarters building recently and posted a short story and some photos on the EDN website. The focus of the visit was ARRL's RF test lab and its RF interference expert, Michael Gruber, but there are also has some photos of archival items from days of yore.

Many Thanks to 3Gmetalworx for Support!

3gmetalworxSince 1994, leading wireless electronics companies have relied on 3Gmetalworx to deliver cutting edge solutions for advanced RF/EMI PCB-level shielding requirements. From prototyping and design services to JIT manufacturing supply, our clients depend on us to provide a seamless service pathway supporting entire product lifecycle.

Electrical Quantities

Electrical Quantities, December 1942 Radio Craft - RF CafeWhen civil engineers and mechanical engineers take their introductory classes in hydraulics, are the taught that the functional equivalent of water pressure in a pipe is equivalent to voltage in a battery, and that the rate of water flow is equivalent to current in a circuit, and that the diameter and surface finish of pipes are equivalent to resistance in electricity... in the same manner that electronics students are taught from the opposite point of view? The answer is 'yes,' they are. It's kind of funny how for some reason using an analogy from another familiar...

Radio Service Data Sheets

Philco Model 200-X Radio Service Data Sheet, December 1934 Radio Craft - RF CafeAdmiral "Aeroscope" Models 161-5L, 162-5L and 163-5L Midget Set Radio Service Data Sheet, August 1939 Radio Craft - RF CafeAt least for now, I am going to only scan and post Radio Service Data Sheets like these featuring the Philco Model 200-X, the Knight (Allied Radio Corp.) E10716 Battery Portable, and Admiral "Aeroscope" Models 161-5L, 162-5L and 163-5L Midget Set in graphical format, rather than run OCR on them to separate the textual content. There are still many people who restore and service these vintage radios, and often it can be difficult or impossible to find schematics and/or tuning information...

Terry Butman Joins Honored Radar Tech List

Terry Butman, USaF Radr Technician, AN/MPN-13/14 - RF CafePlease welcome MSgt. (ret) Terry Butman as the newest member of the prestigious USAF Radar Technician Hall of Fame (unofficial, though, it is). Terry recently contacted me with his 20+ years of service information. Although not in a mobile communications group, Terry spent most of his career working on mobile radars like the MPN-13, MPN-14, and CPN-4. BTW, original manufacturer ITT Gilfillan's radar division now goes under the name Exelis.

Congrats to Book Winner Wouter U.!

Understanding Quartz Crystals and Oscillators - RF CafeCongratulations to Wouter U., of The Netherlands, for being one of two winners in the August RF Cafe book drawing. Wouter selected Understanding Quartz Crystals and Oscillators, by Ramon M. Cerda. I pay shipping so it costs the lucky winners nothing. Graciously provided by Artech House

Comics with the Potential to Make You Laugh!

Comics with the Potential to Make You Laugh! - RF CafeThere is a plethora of comics with just about any theme on the Internet: electronics, physics, mathematics, finance, amateur radio, sports, and politics, to name a few. I could provide pages full of replications for your enjoyment, but one of the best ways to sample available comics for personal consumption and/or use in reports, presentations, etc., is to use the Search function on a website like CartoonStock. The above thumbnail image is a great example of an electronically-themed comic. In it, the anatomically correct mother, father, and son socket and plug family have the inscription, "Sparky! Your mother and I are shocked at your current behavior...

Thanks to LadyBug for Continued Support

LadyBug TechnologiesLadyBug LB480A Power Sensor - Small SizeLadyBug Technologies manufactures the PowerSensor™ line of miniaturized USB RF & microwave power sensors. LadyBug manufactures high accuracy average, pulse, and pulse profiling sensors with GUI interfaces covering up to 26.5 GHz and 80 dB dynamic range. These sensors set a, patented industry standard, No Zero/No Cal technology. There is no need to disconnect or wait for internal zeroing and calibration.

Decoding the Heavens: Antikythera Mechanism

Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000-Year-Old Computer - and the Century-long Search to Discover Its SecretsDecoding the Heavens: A 2,000-Year-Old Computer - and the Century-long Search to Discover Its Secrets, by Jo Marchant. Discovered a century ago in an ancient Mediterranean shipwreck, the Antikythera mechanism instantly attracted scientific interest. It had gears, which was and remains unique among artifacts from Greco-Roman civilization. So begins Marchant's mystery about the object, a tale that ends in triumph but not before inveigling individuals who not only puzzled over the device but also became obsessively devoted to figuring it out. Tantalized by the Antikythera mechanism, scholar Derek de Solla Price felt it was the clue with which he could...

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RF Cascade Workbook
RF Cascade Workbook is a very extensive system cascaded component Excel workbook that includes the standard Gain, NF, IP2, IP3, Psat calculations, input & output VSWR, noise BW, min/max tolerance, DC power cauculations, graphing of all RF parameters, and has a graphical block diagram tool. An extensive User's Guide is also included. - Only $35.
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