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

Today in History -  1774: Jean-Baptiste Biot, co-developer of the Biot-Savart law of electromagnetic induction, was born. 1836: General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto... more Homepage
Archive

-- Tech Headline News --

All the News Fit to Link™
-Archive-

National Research Labs Decline - "New System Costs More to Perform Less Science"

World's 1st Carbon-Based 'Spaser' Could Lead to Printed Cellphones

Making Graphene in Your Kitchen

Ultrafast Snapshots of Light-Driven Superconductivity

'Exotic' Material is Like a Switch When Super Thin

After 8 Years FCC Shuts Down Pirate in Boston (perp using racism as an excuse yet again)

NASA: Engineer Vital to 1969 Moon Landing Dies

Impurity Size Affects Performance of Emerging Superconductive Material

Google Still Top Pick for Wall Street, Despite Mobile Ad Challenges

Dream Office of the Future: No Email

Device Turns Flat Surface into Spherical Antenna

Nokia Issues Safety Recall for 30,000 Chargers

LTE Investment Set to Accelerate Throughout Latin America in 2014

NFC Forum Updates Specs with Support for Pairing at a Distance

Wireless Power Transfer Achieved at 5-Meter Distance

Smartphone Kill Switch Gets Breath of Life

Many Thanks to ISOTEC
for Long-Time Support

IsotecSince our inception in 1996, ISOTEC has been a leading manufacturer of RF and microwave connectors such as SMA, MCX, SSMB, Low PIM, N, 7/16 type, and RF components such as attenuators, ISOTEC Componentsterminations, power dividers and more, for wireless service providers, and other RF systems designers. We provide recognized and trusted products and service to our customers in more than 60 countries worldwide. ISOTEC offers also an extensive product mix with RF Filters and Multiplexers and others.

A New Round of RF
Magazine Articles for April

Microwave Journal2014 is continuing to be a great year for magazine articles. These I have Microwaves & RF magazine - RF Cafeselected from Microwaves & RF and Microwave Journal are fine examples.

Synthesizers: Looking
    Beyond the Basics,
    Alexander Chenakin

Software-Defined-Radio
    Market Sees Increased
    Growth, S.h Mangiola

Differential Drive Optimizes
    Active Mixers, Q. Luu,
    B. Sam

Modern High Efficiency
    Amplifier Design: Envelope
    Tracking, Doherty and
    Outphasing, R. Pengelly,
    Z. Wang, D. Holmes,
    M. Acar, R. Wesson,
    M.P. van der Heijden

Cost Effective 3D Glass
    Microfabrication for
    Advanced RF Packages,
    J.H. Flemming, R. Cook,
    S. Sibbet, C.F. Schmidt,
    K. Dunn, J. Gouker

House Bill S.2206
Let Me Google That for You Act

"Let Me Google That for You Act" - RF CafeQuestion: What do Google, LinkedIn, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, Verizon, Microsoft, Sprint, etc., etc., etc., all have in common? Answer: They all willingly participate with the NSA, FBI, CIA, DHS, ATF, etc., etc., etc., in collecting as much data as possible about you and me. You might say the former group has become an unofficial branch of the later group. Well, it is about to become official based on House Bill S.2206 - Let Me Google That for You. It is just as well since the Google twins (not really twins) already get discount military jet fuel purchases and, along with other American royalty like Mr. Gates and Jeff Bezos, have open doors to the White House any time they demand it. The Act is ostensibly a cost-cutting measure...

Anatech Intros Cavity BPF,
Ceramic BPF, & 13 dB Coupler

Anatech Electronics Intros Cavity BPF, Ceramic BPF, & Directional Coupler, April 15, 2014 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics has released new designs for a 2,533 MHz cavity bandpass filter, a 749 MHz ceramic bandpass filter, and an 800-2,500 MHz 13 dB directional coupler. All can be ordered directly through their AMCrf web store.

Please Visit Orbel in
Appreciation of Their Support

Click to visit OrbelOrbel is the leading designer and manufacturer of RF Shielding and EMI/RFI Isolation Products for printed circuit boards and electronic Orbel Custom Stampingsenclosures. Board level shielding, EMI contact strips and rings, BeCu finger-stock and metalized fabric gaskets, connector gaskets. Orbel also specializes in thin gauge Photo Etched Metal Parts and Precision Metal Stampings made from a wide variety of material options.

MPN-13 GCA Radar Model by
USAF Tech Elbert Cook

MPN-13 GCA Radar Model by Elbert Cook - RF CafeElbert submitted photos of his completed MPN-13 GCA model with a spiffy real-looking camouflage paint job! It includes both the maintenance trailer and the operations trailer, complete with ASR antenna, PAR antennas (az/el), VHF and UHF antennas, and navigation hazard lights. The "M" part of "MPN" stands for "mobile." As such, I and hundreds - maybe thousands - of USAF radar technicians have over the decades disassembled, transported, and reassembled these radars many times. My radar shop at Robins AFB, GA, participated in what were code-named "Healthy Strikes" two or three times each year, whereby a claxon in the barracks rudely awoke 5th Combat Communications Group members at around 5:00 am to signify the beginning of what would be about a week...

Carl & Jerry: Aiding an Instinct

Carl & Jerry: Aiding an Instinct, December 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBy 1962, John T. Frye's techie troubleshooting teenagers Carl and Jerry had graduated from high school and were attending Parvoo University (PU?) as electrical engineering students. It was a natural progression. Unlike many of the company names and products - like the Delco DN278 transistor mentioned here - that appeared in the Popular Science series, the college's name is fictional. Maybe author Frye had a connection to Porvoo, Finland, and Anglicized the name. I ran "parvoo" through a couple online anagram solvers to see if it was a disguised name (which would be apropos for a detective story) and the closest it came to a real word is 'vaporo,' which is an Esperanto term...

!!! FREE SMA Finger Wrench !!!
Courtesy Bracke Mfg.

SMA Finger Wrench Available from Bracke Manufacturing - RF CafeWe now have a source for those much-sought-after plastic SMA finger wrenches! Bracke Mfg manager Lawrence P. sent me an email today saying that Bracke will be glad to mail anyone who requests them a sample of up to 5 of the SMA finger wrenches - what a guy! I'm guessing he saw the plea posted here on RF Cafe and on various forums for people looking desperately for the things. The SMA finger (thumb) wrench, known also by its Latin binomial nomenclature of 'digitus divellit,' is a rare breed of tool for the RF / microwave engineer, and appears to be indigenous to industry trade shows like MTT-S and European Microwave Conference...

New RF Cafe Quiz:
Microwave Circulator Design

RF Cafe Quiz: Microwave Circulator DesignThis 10-question quiz tests your knowledge about microwave circulator design. Circulator design has advanced significantly since the first edition of this book was published 25 years ago. The objective of this second edition is to present theory, information, and design procedures that will enable microwave engineers and technicians to design and build circulators successfully. This resource contains a discussion of the various units used in the circulator design computations, as well as covers the theory of operation. This book presents numerous applications, giving microwave engineers new ideas about how to solve problems using circulators.

Cover Sistemi Uses Microwave
Office to Design UWB Receiver

Cover Sistemi Relies on AWR Software to Design  - RF CafeCover Sistemi, an Italian electronics developer, used AWR software to design a UWB receiver from concept to final production in a single pass. Specifications were for a complete design starting from the antenna through to the entire RF/baseband analog chain down to the AD converter. Cover Sistemi used Microwave Office® for the circuit design and AXIEM® for the EM simulation. The scope of work included all design phases, from high-level simulation to circuit-level design and final verification of pre-layout and post-layout.

New Dilbert Book: I Sense
a Coldness to Your Mentoring

I Sense a Coldness to Your Mentoring: Dilbert - RF CafeYou can't go wrong with a good Dilbert book like I Sense a Coldness to Your Mentoring, by Scott Adams. Dilbert is the most photocopied, pinned-up, downloaded, faxed, and e-mailed comic strip in the world. Dubbed "the cartoon hero of the workplace" by the San Francisco Examiner, Dilbert has been syndicated since 1989 and now appears in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and 25 languages.

Notable Tech Quote

President Kennedy's address to the Irish Parliament in June 1963 - RF Cafe Notable Quote"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not." - President Kennedy's address to the Irish Parliament in June 1963, JFK Presidential Library

Wireless Crossword Puzzle
for April 20, 2014

Wireless Crossword Puzzle for April 20, 2014 - RF CafeI considered not bothering to create these custom engineering themed crossword puzzles anymore, but in checking the website statistics, I discovered that my collection of crosswords that began more than a decade ago has generated more than 58,000 page views just in the last year alone. Evidently there are people who are interested. Since I make each one new every week, it is easy for me to create a custom puzzle for your company, school, club, event, etc. Send me an email if you have a request.

Walter Drake Releases Guide
to Thermoformed Packaging

Walter Drake Releases Guide to Thermoformed Packaging - RF CafeWalter Drake, a thermoformed packaging manufacturer, has recently released the "Purchasers Guide to Thermoformed Packaging". The guide will assist buyers and Purchaser’s Guide to Custom Thermoformed Packagingspecifiers in the correct selection of thermoformed packaging such as plastic clamshells, thermoformed trays and blister packs. Walter Drake designs and manufactures custom thermoformed plastic packaging in the form of clamshells, trays and blisters for the medical, pharmaceutical, electronic (ESD, static dissipative), consumer and industrial packaging applications.

ECM Announces Distribution
Agreement w/MECA Electronics

ECM - East Coast Microwave Distributors, Inc. Announces New Authorized Distribution Agreement with MECA Electronics, Inc. - RF CafeECM announced a new authorized distribution agreement with MECA Electronics to supply the manufacturer's line of USA made rugged & reliable RF/microwave passive DC – 20 GHz microwave components and solutions globally.MECA Electronics MECA serves all areas of the RF/Microwave industries including world class network providers. They have long been the "backbone" of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications, satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry applications, mobile radio, aviation and air traffic communications...

123D Circuits
for Arduino Development

123D Circuits for Arduino Development - RF CafeIf you haven't yet heard about the Arduino single board computer (SBC) experimenter's platform, then either you have been in a coma or you are just now entering the tech world. Think of Arduino as the electronic version of the famous mechanical Erector Set that was popular beginning in the early 20th century. Or, consider it the "grown-up" version of Lego's computerized Mindstorms building sets. Per the official website, "Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments...

After Class:
Explaining Tuned Circuits

After Class: Explaining Tuned Circuits, May 1961 Popular Electronics - RF CafeFundamentals of resonant tank circuits has not changed since they were first investigated more than a century ago. This "After Class" tutorial that ran in the May 1961 edition of Popular Electronics is typical of the series where the author speaks as though he was giving an impromptu lesson to a gathering of students after the scheduled classroom period was over or, in this instance as though he was having a casual discussion with a friend who was perplexed by a particular electronics phenomenon. Figures and equations are often drawn by hand to augment the informal setting rather than being typeset. Here, "Larry" is amazed...

What to Do with a Tape
Recorder (until the hi-fi arrives)

What to Do with a Tape Recorder (until the hi-fi arrives), February 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRemember tape recorders? They began going the way of the typewriter about two decades ago when solid state voice recorders hit the market, but now smartphones with sound recording have made even those devices seem outdated. In fact, when my daughter's house burned down a few weeks ago, all of the on-site conversations with the insurance adjuster, fire marshal, and housing contractors were recorded to ensure an accurate account of what was said by all parties. Even though I was 800 miles away at the time, I was still able to listen to the dialog. In North Carolina, law does not require you to apprise other parties... 

MegaRF Design Services

MegaRF Design: "Making Technology Happen Today" - RF CafeMegaRF Design, of Escondido, CA, is a relatively new startup engineering design and development service. Owner Steve Massey, with his many years of circuit and system experience, is currently consulting with major RF and microwave companies to provide engineering design services to develop products for the commercial communications and military marketplace. All levels of service are provided. He will work with you from conception to schematics to layout to physical products, and everything in-between. RF testing and PCB prototyping services are available to complement the consultant design services (see extensive list of in-house equipment and software). Please call Steve at 760-748-MEGA (6342) to learn more. "Let's go get it done!"

Do You Need an Expert
to Sue an Expert?

Do You Need an Expert to Sue an Expert?, by IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeThis article by Bob Ambrogi, of IMS Expert Services, rhetorically asks the question of whether an 'expert' is required in order to sue another 'expert' because of his sworn testimony. Bob Ambrogi, IMS ExpertServicesIn this particular case an expert was hired to help prove claims of wrongdoing by a neighboring industrial complex. Being declared qualified as an 'expert' varies from state to state, but it usually requires extensive documented professional experience, and/or an advanced college degree, and/or professional registration as a result of special testing. I, for example, would likely not qualify to serve as an expert witness in a trial. Like it or not - and many people believe it to be a form of acceptable payola...

Don't Quit!

Don't Quit!, December 1940 January 1941 National Radio News - RF CafeWhen I first saw the title of this poem from a 1941 edition of National Radio News, I thought it was going to be a plea to amateur radio operators not to give up their hobby just because the government would eventually prohibit broadcasting during the World War II years. As it turns out, the poem predated that era and is instead a generic encouragement to the magazine's readers to press on regardless of obstacles. It did show up in the Christmas issue, so maybe it was simply a message in the spirit of peace on Earth and goodwill toward man. In these harsh years of the government fomenting division and class envy amongst its citizens, it's kind of hard to relate to such a gentle, kindly mindset, but indeed it did once exist in America. Anyway, I though it was worth reprinting here. "Don't Quit" is sort of a simpler version of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem of inspiration titled "If."

Space Electronics:
Satellites and ET EM Waves

Space Electronics: Satellites and ET EM Waves, May 1961 Popular Electronics - RF CafePrior to around 1960, the nature of electromagnetic radiation outside the Earth's atmosphere was entirely a matter of scientific conjecture. As is evidenced by this 1961 article, at the time it was still not known for certain whether electromagnetic energy outside the bands transmitted through the ionosphere existed for sure. There was of course no reason to believe that low frequency, long wavelength radio waves were not present along with the rest of the spectrum, but experiments needed to be developed that would launch satellites above the atmosphere to detect probable out-of-band signals and then re-transmit them on frequencies known to easily penetrate the 'ether.' Many failures occurred along the way, but persistence paid off...

An Interesting Experiment
in Weighing the Electron

An Interesting Experiment in Weighing the Electron and What It May Mean, September 1932 Radio News - RF Cafe"We might say almost, that all modern scientific investigation in the basic sciences, and a good deal of all practical developments, are connected in some way or other with the electron." So writes Dr. Irving J. Sax in 1932 regarding the incentive for determining as precisely as possible the mass and electrical charge of an electron. The Bohr atomic model had just been introduced two decades earlier, so the entire concept of particle physics was still in its infancy. As with most areas of physics, experiments are conducted with particular biases and expectations such that often the results are manipulated as needed to conform to preconceptions. Look no further than the complex retrograde motion planetary models devised and perfected by early astronomers...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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