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RF, Microwave, Wireless, Cellular, Radar, Satellite, & Analog Engineering

Today in History - 1888: U.S. explorer Richard Byrd, the first to make a flight over the North Pole, was born. 1890: Floyd Bennett, who piloted the airplane that flew Admiral Byrd, was born. 1960: The Accutron 214, the ...

Tech Headline News

-  Archives -

Reinvention of Broadcast TV: 10 Things to Know (the electronics renaissance man in me roots for the movement)

The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put a Man an the Moon

Broad-Bandwidth Amplifier That Ups Gain by More than 10 dB

Calling 911 on Your Cell? It's Harder to Find You Than You Think

China's 5-Year Plan Revealed

Man Who Jumped from Radio Tower: Forever 38

Ultra-Thin 3-D Display Tech Operates w/o Power Source

Industry Standards for Integrating RF and Microwave Components in EW and SIGINT Proposed

GaN Could Win over SiC for Power Design (GaN needs a high volume champion)

Magnetic Mirrors Enable New Technologies by Reflecting Light in Uncanny Ways

Let Isaac Asimov Lead Your Brainstorming Session

Hackable Flaws in Medical Devices Investigated

New Devices Based on Metamaterials

Woman Charged with Planting Spyware on Cop's Phone

FEMA Administrator Touts Radio and FM Chip

Spectrum Scarcity Sparks Need for Regulatory Support and Research

EEs Explore Life after CMOS

Nanofluid That Improves Heat Conductivity

Cosmic Rays Threaten Future Deep-Space Astronaut Missions

 

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Kirt Blattenberger

Radio: It's a Piece of Cake

Radio: It's a Piece of Cake - RF CafeThe November 2014 edition of ARRL's QST magazine had a couple photos of some way-cool looking cakes decorated to look like Ham radios. I figured there might be a few more out there so a Google search ensued using "radio cake" as the keywords. "Few" is not the most accurate word for describing the humongous number of radio cakes that have been made. Below is a small sample of specialty cakes you can find just in the Ham and antique radio categories. In the electronics topics alone there are cakes styled after cellphones, computers, telephones, boom boxes, alarm clocks, microwave ovens, ...

** Censored ** 1945 Fusite Advertisement

Cincinnati Electric Products Company Ad Mermaid, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeI'm guessing once word got out about the Fusite advertisement in the 1945 edition of Radio News, there was a sudden surge of interest in buying electronics magazines by young boys. Even by today's rather loose decency standards this mermaid depiction would undoubtedly cause an outcry. Imagine my shock in turning to page 90 and seeing this illustration! Why, I had to stare at it for many minutes to believe what was before my tender eyes ;-)  Of course since RF Cafe is a family friendly website I did the responsible thing and blurred the offending anatomical portion of Cincinnati Electric Products ...

Free Engineering White Papers - October 2014

Free Engineering White Papers - October 2014 - RF Cafe"We do less with less," is what a senior engineer at a major defense electronics contractor once remarked to me as he grew more and more infuriated with a malfunctioning antiquated component specification database microfiche machine the company insisted on keeping in spite of a modern computer-based alternative. Remember those frustrating contraptions? That instance came to mind when I saw this white paper titled, "The Engineering Workforce Problem: Doing More with No More." Since my last excursion to the TradePub website they have added a lot of white papers with topics on PCB design that might be interesting ...

Satellite Comms Ground and Earth Station Handbook

Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook - RF CafeThe Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook, by Bruce Elbert, explores the delivery end of the satellite link and its relationship to delivery of services. From international telephone network gateways to direct broadcast home receivers, today's broad range of ground systems and devices require satellite communication engineers and business managers to have a broad and sound understanding of the design and operating principles of earth stations and ground control facilities ...

Needed: Electronic Inventions

Needed: Electronic Inventions, January 1956 Popular Electronics - RF CafeI and others joke frequently about the promise of flying cars, automated homes, and miracle pills to cure any ill that were predicted to be commonly available by the end of the 20th century. Magazines like Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated, Science and Mechanics, et al, regularly printed stories about these and a host of other inventions that were just around the corner. Most have never been realized, but we're appreciative of the dreamers and those people who dedicated their lives - often to the point of financial and/or physical ruin - while trying to succeed. Taking a different approach, ...

Carl & Jerry: Two Detectors

Carl & Jerry: Two Detectors, February 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeJust in time for Halloween, John T. Frye's teenage sleuths Carl & Jerry unexpectedly recorded a late-night conversation between two men where they plot how to dispose of the 'body' when death occurred as a result of prolonged choking. Employing their trademark technical prowess and scheming ability, the pair sets a trap for the perpetrators and dutifully summon the authorities as they complete their nefarious act of the night before. Halloween comes into play because the recordings were made for ...

Notable Tech Quote for October 21, 2014

Where Does Time Go? - RF Cafe"For disappearing acts, it's hard to beat what happens to the 8 hours supposedly left after 8 of sleep and 8 of work." - Doug Larson, columnist. This appears in the 2015 edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac. The article in which it appeared, "Where Does the Time Go?," has a lot of anecdotal information about how long people live, average sleep time, TV viewing time, work commuting time, pace of life, etc.

TriQuint 5 W SPDT Switch Covers 13 to 19 GHz

TriQuint 5 W SPDT Switch Covers 13 to 19 GHz - RF CafeRFMW announces design and sales support for a Ku-band SPDT switch capable of handling 5 W of RF power. The TriQuint TGS4310 is a SPDT reflective switch fabricated on TriQuint's 0.15 um GaAs production process. Operating from 13 to 19 GHz, the part handles +37 dBm input power with <0.1 dB compression and less than 1.7 dB insertion loss. The TGS4310 is available in a small 1.00 x 2.14 mm die size and requires very little control current allowing for ...

Scanning Electron Microscope for Radio Engineers

New Scanning Electron Microscope Revealed to Radio Engineers, September 1942, Radio Craft - RF CafeTelevision and radio facsimile machine electronics technology was credited for aiding in the development of a new type of scanning electron microscope (SEM) that could image the surface of opaque object to a resolution of 100 Å. The television contribution part of the technology was precisely controlling a raster path for the electron beam. The facsimile part was the knowledge of how to assemble a printed image from streaming data. It is interesting to note that in order for an object to be imaged via SEM, its surface must be electrically conductive. Accordingly, non-metallic ...

Test Equipment Crossword Puzzle

Test Equipment Crossword Puzzle for October 19, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's engineering crossword puzzle has a theme of test equipment. The four longest words are types of test equipment, and a few of the other are as well (or related to test equipment). All the other words are from my hand-selected library of a couple thousand terms related to engineering, science, mathematics, etc. Enjoy!

American Amphenol Tube Socket Wall Chart

American Amphenol Tube Socket Chart, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeEarlier this week I posted a page pointing to the many laboratory wall charts offered by Keysight Technologies. I mentioned how unlike modern charts that are full of color, the old ones were usually a single color or black & white. Here is an example from American Amphenol in the mid 1940s. Something like this would make a really cool decoration for today. I just looked on eBay and didn't see an Amphenol Tube Socket Wall Chart for sale, but that would probably be the bet place to latch on to one eventually. 

 

Television in Great Britain c1945

Television in Great Britain, January 1945 Radio News - RF CafeTelevision development was a distant memory for most people during the dark days of World War II. Germany's forces launched its second siege of the 20th century against Europe in Fall of 1939. By January of 1945, even the Brits were beginning to feel confident that the seemingly endless days of World War II were about to come to an end. Hitler's forces had been beaten back from its massive sprawl across Europe and into northern Africa. Eisenhower's D-Day campaign six months earlier had broken ...

PhotoMath OCR-Based Algebra Solver App

PhotoMath OCR-Based Algebra Solver App - RF CafeAlgebra class just got easier for high school math students with smartphones (ok, that last part is redundant). PhotoMath is an app that uses OCR technology to decipher a polynomial algebraic equation and perform operations on it - like solving for unknowns. microblink's "Vision" app provides the OCR (blinkOCR) part of the functionality since it already knows how to take a picture of text and convert it to ASCII type characters based on its 'text recognition, barcode, and ID scanning' algorithms. PhotoMath then takes the process  a step farther by figuring out what needs to be ...

Telemakus App Note on Phase Shifter Fundamentals

Telemakus Releases Application Note on Phase Shifter Fundamentals - RF CafeRFMW announces an application note detailing the fundamentals of phase shifters including theory of operation, critical parameters, and applications for test and measurement. Telemakus offers USB controlled phase shifters covering 1-8 GHz with 12-bit DAC resolution and greater than 400° of phase control. Models extending the frequency coverage to 18 GHz are discussed. The application note outlines key phase shifter parameters and how the Telemakus phase ...

Coil Coupling Problems

Coil Coupling Problems, November/December 1941 Radio Craft - RF CafeWhen you look at the circuit board and/or chassis of a radio set - new or old - you see a lot of components including resistors, semiconductors (and/or vacuum tubes), inductors, capacitors, transformers, switches, potentiometers, shielded cables, shielded compartments, displays, indicator lights, connectors, etc. With the possible exception of some semiconductors, the function of just about every component can be discerned by most people who are at all familiar with radio electronics by ...

Sherlock Ohms: The Singing Telephone Switch

Sherlock Ohms: The Singing Telephone Switch - RF CafeThis adventure of Sherlock Ohms is useful to read because it demonstrates the importance of finding the root cause of and truly correcting a problem rather than stopping when a lesser solution that is merely a 'band aid' type cure would be easier. The less desirable action would have been to de-rate the number of circuits that could be serviced by each system since it was initially discovered that the problem only occurred when the board count went above ...

ATEC Needs a Calibration Technician

Advanced Test Equipment Corporation Needs a Calibration Technician - RF CafeAdvanced Test Equipment Corp is a nationwide company that focuses on the rental of a wide variety of equipment working in a fast paced environment. We are looking for and experienced Calibration Technician to calibrate, troubleshoot, and repair a wide variety of equipment, including but not limited to: analyzers, GPTE, fiber optic, scopes, meters, power supplies, and more.

Construct a 56 Megacycle Magnetron Transmitter

How to Construct a 56 Megacycle Magnetron Transmitter, September 1932 Radio News - RF CafeMagnetrons are fairly ubiquitous in society these days for use in heating, radar, and even lighting. They were probably the first useful means of producing high power microwave signals. The concept was first brought to fruition in the early 1920s as a laboratory curiosity and rapidly developed into a practical type of device with many applications and spin-off products like the klystron, the traveling wave tube, and the cross-field amplifier. This ...

Tech Comics from Keysight (cum Agilent cum HP)

Tech Comics from Keysight (cum Agilent cum HP) - RF CafeWhile researching lab wall charts last week, I happened upon a large collection of electronics-related comics on the Keysight website. They are clever puns on familiar engineering themes, professionally drawn by artist Rand Kruback, and very colorful. Permission for usage, presumably with proper attribution to the source, is granted "For your lectures or in your labs." Screen savers are somewhat passé these days, but if you are one who still sports such things, you can download ...

Vintage Radio Schematics & Parts Lists

Vintage Radio Schematics & Parts Lists - RF CafeHere are another half dozen sets of schematics and parts lists for vintage radio sets. These are being posted for the sake of the relatively few hobbyists who still take on the challenge of restoring these old relics of yesteryear. I've finally resumed work on my Crosley 03CB console cabinet radio. My nostrils are filled with 70+ year old walnut wood dust from doing the final sanding in preparation for staining and polyurethaning.

I Have a Few Questions About Ebola

I Have a Few Questions About Ebola - RF CafeI listen to a fair amount of radio and read news headlines throughout the day, so I have heard and read a lot about the lurking Ebola epidemic. Like most RF Cafe visitors, I am at least as informed on topics like viruses as the average citizen of the world. We know that there is no 'cure' for a virus per se, just a possibility that it can be subdued by disrupting its ability to replicate. Unlike bacteria which are cellular and have their own support system, viruses require the metabolic mechanisms of a host in order to ...

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