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

Today in History -  1752: This was the last day of the Julian Calendar in Great Britain and the British colonies - the Gregorian Calendar designed to correct the extra leap year day problem went into... more

Tech Headline News

-  Archives -

Copper Shines as Flexible Conductor

Freescale Goes Mobile with Wireless Charging

Published Null Result Papers Skews Reliability of Those That Are Published

Galileo Satellites Incident Likely Result of Software Errors

First Images From World's Most Powerful Commercial Satellite

Radar and Alarm System for Construction Vehicles

Sensor Developed to Detect Tiny Individual Nanoparticles

NASA Probes Studying Earth's Radiation Belts to Celebrate 2 Year Anniversary

Watching the Structure of Glass Under Pressure

Broadcom Offers IoT Developer Kit

Apple Reveals the Most Common Reasons It Rejects Apps

Telstra Testing LTE Using 700 MHz Bands

Microchip in Pursuit of CSR

Here Is What Happens to Your Brain When You Drink Coffee (I can - and do - live with that)

Efficiently Finding Quantum Wave Functions


The Enormous Electron

The Enormous Electron, April 1944 Radio Craft - RF CafeAnyone who pays attention in present-day high school physics class would read this article from 1944 and immediately appreciate the advances that have been made in atomic theory during the ensuing 70 years. Even with modern knowledge, it is hard to believe that even in 1944 someone would seriously suggest that perhaps theorized sub-electronic particles might be responsible for supporting the propagation of electromagnetic energy. We still consider the electron to be an elementary particle (although now the proton and neutron are not), but at this point we are aware of many elementary particles other than the electron (some which make up protons and neutrons)...

Men Who Made Radio - C. Francis Jenkins

Men Who Made Radio - C. Francis Jenkins, November 1929, Radio Craft - RF Cafe'Father of Radiovision' (RV) was the title bestowed upon Charles Francis Jenkins for his work in what would eventually become known as television (TV), which is a very good thing because otherwise mass confusion would have ensued by now due to the ambiguousness of having to contend with a familiar reference to recreational vehicles (RV) when the 'other' RV is what was meant ;-)  Mr. Jenkins was also the inventor of the Phantoscope motion picture machine. BTW, did you know that the Coast Guard...

Anatech September 2014 Product Update

Anatech Electronics September 2, 2014 Product Update - RF CafeAnatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for up to 40 GHz. Anatech has released new designs for a 915 MHz ceramic BPF, 424/435 MHz ceramic duplexer, and a 2190 MHz ceramic BPF. All can be ordered directly through their AMCrf web store.

Career Advice Stories - Handling Failure

Career Advice Stories (handling failure) for September 1, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's collection of career advice has a somewhat dour theme of how to deal with personal failures (harsh word) and behavior at work. It ends on a high note, though, with an interesting piece on telecom service engineer jobs - a great opportunity if you like field work and don't mind getting your hands dirty.

- Verbal Coaching vs. Formal Written Warnings
- 5 Tips to Proactively Handle Project Failure
- What Your Manager Really Thinks of You
- Avoid Pitfalls That May Derail Your Career
- How to Beat Procrastination
- Telecom Service Engineers

RF & Microwave Crossword Puzzle, August 31, 2014

RF & Microwave Crossword Puzzle for August 31, 2014 - RF CafeThis week's crossword puzzle, like last week's crossword puzzle, and all the weeks before that, was custom made by me and contains only words and clues pertaining to science and engineering. Print it out and take it to your next diversity in the workplace meeting so you can honestly say you got some mental stimulation out of it. Enjoy!

New Round of Magazine Articles for 8/29/2014

RF & Microwave Magazne Articles for 8/29/2014 - RF CafeAfter you've turned off all the lab equipment and are sitting around waiting for the 3-day Labor Day weekend to start, kill some time with a couple of these new articles.

- Precision Validation of Radar System
   Performance in the Field, W. Yu
- Why Are Oscilloscope Probe Amps at the Tip?,
   A. Pini & L. Jacobs
- Selecting an RF Power Meter or Sensor (p.54),
   LadyBug Technologies
- Match Impedances When Making
   Measurements, S. Sandler
- On-Site Testing of Lightning Protection Devices,
   K. Rand
- Next Generation Communications for Next
   Generation Satellites, N. Kundtz
- Analyzing Active Cancellation Stealth,
   X. Sheng & X. Yuanming

Choosing Your Crossovers

Choosing Your Crossovers, October 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeAudio crossover networks have the same fundamental mission as RF multiplexer filters in radio systems, which is to separate and steer specific bands of frequencies into two or more signal paths. While simple in concept, implementation in hardware can be a major challenge depending on requirements for channel separation, feedthrough, phase and group delay, amplitude equalization, distortion, and other factors. This article discusses some of the decisions used by crossover network designers when considering where to make band breaks, while leaving actual circuit design rules to other authors. I built a set of custom speakers many moons ago and went through the frustrating process...

Envelope Tracking Power Amplifiers

Envelope Tracking Power Amplifiers - RF CafeEnvelope Tracking Power Amplifiers for Wireless Communications, by Zhancang Wang. Envelope tracking technology is seen as the most promising efficiency enhancement technology for RF PA for 4G and beyond wireless communications. More and more organizations are investing and researching on this topic with huge potential academic and commercial values. This is the first book on the market to give complete introduction, theory, and design considerations on envelope tracking for wireless communications...

Notable Tech Quote Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison Notable Quote (wikipedia image) - RF Cafe"It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or threes years ago was thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere." - Thomas A. Edison, New York World, November 17, 1895. This, from the man who reportedly tried more than 1,000 different materials for his incandescent light bulb before arriving at a coil of carbon filament.

Thanks Once Again to Anatech for Their Support!

Anatech Electronics RF & Microwave FiltersAnatech Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of RF and microwave filters at frequencies up to 40 GHz, as well as power dividers, directional couplers, and many other product types. We specialize in standard and custom designs for commercial wireless, public safety, satcom, and defense applications, and we can meet stringent military environmental specifications.

Delta Intros New 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN Series
of Low PIM Connectors

Delta Electronics Introduces New 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN Series of Low PIM Connectors - RF CafeDelta's 4.1 / 9.5 Mini DIN series of coaxial connectors are designed to meet the growing demands of today’s high performance mobile communications systems. Mechanically similar to the 7/16 series, the 4.1/9.5 Mini DIN's 30% smaller size and reduced weight, allow increased package density and flexibility in system design. Delta offers a wide range of standard 4.1 / 9.5 Mini DIN configurations including: male and female...

Job/Career Headlines for August 25, 2014

The 3 Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With (LinkedIn photo) - RF CafeLinkedIn's CEO Jeff Weiner hit a home run with his recent post titled The 3 Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With. The article's content is undeniably interesting, but I guarantee the fame factor is based on the Venn diagram that he created. It's simple and sure to get a chuckle out of you. Here are a few more useful articles:

 Running an Effective Long-Distance Job
—  5 Ways New Grads Can Get a Boost up the
      Corporate Ladder
 Fired at 50? Now What?
 How to Answer the 'Tell Me About Yourself'
      Interview Question  <more...>

Notable Tech Quote: Albert Einstein

The World as I See It, Albert Einstein - RF Cafe Notable Quote"A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving." - Albert Einstein, in The World as I See It.

Many Thanks to Windfreak for Continued Support!

Windfreak TechnologiesWindfreak Technologies: SynthNVWindfreak Technologies designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value radio frequency products such as RF signal generators, synthesizers, power detectors, mixers, up/downconverters. We develop high quality, reliable, low cost products to make life easier for RF engineers and hobbyists.

MWJ / Besser Webinar on RF Components for
Aerospace and Defense Set for September 10

NI (formerly AWR Corporation) will sponsor the Microwave Journal / Besser RF/Microwave Training Webinar Series on RF Components for Aerospace and Defense on September 10, 2014. Topics to be covered include defense versus commercial philosophy, standards and standards organizations, quality assurance in defense, military microelectronics, the difference in...

Many Thanks Once Again to Dow-Key for Support

Dow Key MicrowaveDow-Key Microwave is the world's largest manufacturer of electro-mechanical and solid state Waveguide Switches, Dow-KeyRF switches. We are AS9100 / ISO-9001 certified and committed to providing unparalleled customer service, competitive pricing, on-time delivery and products that are distinguished by quality and reliability.

National Schools Radio TV & Electronics Training Ad

National Schools Radio Television & Electronics Training Ad, September 1945, Radio Craft - RF CafeIt wasn't all that long ago that deadlines for magazine printing cycles were measured in months - unlike today where electronics on-demand printing has cut lead times to weeks and even days. Accordingly, this National Schools advertisement pitching 'after the war' training in electronics servicing that appeared in the September 1945 edition of Radio Craft was likely designed and submitted two or three months ahead of the publication month (e.g., in June or July). How could they be so sure that their scarce advertising dollars wouldn't be wasted? Simple. By that time, the entire country seemed to have a sense that World War II would come to an end soon since Hitler's, Mussolini's, Tojo's...

Substitution Jigs Speed Service

Substitution Jigs Speed Service, October 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeSure, you do it all the time, but at some point either someone suggested and/or showed you how to clip substitute components into a circuit in place of a suspected bad component while troubleshooting or maybe during the design or tuning process. Miniature circuits of today pretty much rule out using alligator clips to patch in a part, but sometimes it is possible to use miniature J clip leads or even pin probes to make the connection long enough to take a measurement. Since I do a fair amount of circuit work on other-than-RF applications, I often find myself using short insulated, stranded wires with mini alligator clips on each end to make connections.

Carl & Jerry: Therry and the Pirates

Carl & Jerry: Therry and the Pirates, April 1961 Popular Electronics - RF CafeYou can still buy from Moog today the same sort of Theremin that was described in this 1961 Carl & Jerry episode. Ever the early adopters of breaking technology, the teenagers exploit the motion-sensitive feature of the Theremin in hopes of improving Carl's basketball game. As usual the boys, in mock dialog, describe the Theremin's operational theory for the benefit of readers not familiar with the musical instrument. They do not, however, mention that the device is named after its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. Read on to discover how a Theremin strapped to Jerry's back...

Precision Steering at 18,000 M.P.H.

Precision Steering at 18,000 M.P.H., September 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeThese days, I'm always a bit hesitant to publish or do Internet research on items mentioning chemical compounds any more toxic than rubbing alcohol. This article reports on early plans of the Vanguard satellite launch platform for America's first orbiting satellites. Although the main focus is on the electronic steering and stabilization systems, it mentions the fuel composition of nitric acid and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine. That's probably enough to cause a federal agent to come knocking on my door... or at least put me on some sort of surveillance list. Less exotic fuels like LOX (not to be confused with the fish used on bagels), kerosene...

Please Thank Test Equipment Connection for Support

Test Equipment ConnectionTest Equipment Connection Corporation is your single source test & measurement solution. We offer over 300 test equipment manufacturers including Agilent, Tektronix, Anritsu, Test Equipment ConnectionRohde & Schwarz, Advantest and Fluke, plus thousands of New, Used, Second Hand, and Refurbished test equipment products. We buy and sell bench top, general-purpose test and measurement equipment. $2M is budgeted each month for the purchase of surplus equipment.

"Sweater Girls" Are Really in Demand at This Plant

"Sweater Girls" Are Really in Demand at This Plant, November 1944 Radio Craft - RF Cafe"He no sooner gets alone with a sweater girl than he's trying to pull the wool over her eyes." That's a really old joke that only old guys remember. 'Sweater girl' was a term used to describe... how do I properly put it?... Dolly Parton types (you know, having a good singing voice Winking Smiley - RF Cafe). Anyway, I thought you might need to be apprised of the origin of the term to appreciate the title of this article from a 1944 edition of Radio Craft. You're welcome.

IMS2014 Student Design Contest Winners Awarded

IMS2014 Student Design Contest Winners Awarded NI AWR Design Environment Licenses - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) awarded the first-, second- and third-place winning teams of the IMS2014 Student Design Contest for High-efficiency Power Amplifier and High-sensitivity Radar complementary one-year licenses of NI AWR Design Environment™ software.

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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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