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

Today in History -  1843: Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh, inventor of the rubberized raincoat that bears his name, died. 1857: Frank Julian Sprague, prodigious electrical design engineer, was born... more

-- Tech Headline News --

Mobile Network Security Will Be Laid Bare by Attacks on Small Cells

Cell Towers and the 'Silent Majority'

Radio Amateurs Named to Order of Canada

Discovery is Key to Metal Wear in Sliding Parts

Smartphone Apps Claim to Repel Mosquitoes with High Frequencies (some of what comes from smartphones repels me)

FCC Sets Rules for $10.5B AWS-3 Auction

Brazil 4G Auction Could Spur Telecom Merger

Nano-Supercapacitors for Electric Cars

Nike Krypton Laser Achieves Spot in Guinness World Records (who knew GWR had a spot for lasers?)

Qualcomm Accuses Chinese Firms of Misrepresenting Sales

Tailored Golf Balls Might Improve Golfing Performance

Facebook Gain Makes Zuckerberg Wealthier Than Google Guys (OWS crowd on Facebook protesting his wealth)

The Physics of Lead Guitar Playing

60 GHz Startup Targets Mobile

Quantum Entanglement in Amplified Signals

Custom Interconnects 40 GHz
Test Reports for Fuzz Button

Custom Interconnects Announces Release of New 40 GHz Test Reports for Fuzz Buttons® - RF CafeCustom Interconnects announced the release of the most detailed RF characterization conducted to-date on their flagship Fuzz Button® technology platform. The reports are geared towards 50 Ohm impedance matching at high frequencies and include bandwidth measurements, S-parameters and VSWR, as well as SPICE Models. The reports were released as a follow-up to the recent IEEE IMS held in Tampa and are expected to draw a great deal of interest from the RF design community who were eagerly awaiting their arrival...

News from the IRE 1958 Meet

News from the IRE 1958 Meet, June 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThe International Microwave Symposium (IMS) is arguably the largest single annual event for radio and microwave engineers. According to IMS2014 event officials the show in Tampa, Florida, boasted of a 7,500-visitor attendance. European Microwave Week (EuMW) runs a close second place at around 7,000. In 1958, 55,000 engineers attended the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE - eventually became the IEEE) in New York City. IMS and EuMW would love to have numbers like anywhere near that. Maybe the large number of attendees was because dissemination of information was not nearly as instant (or eventual for that matter), and the absence of the Internet or...

TV DXing, and the
Dog on the Roof

TV DXing, and the Dog on the Roof - RF CafeBecause I was born in 1951, I grew up without the benefit of 1,000 cable channels available whenever I wanted them. This was during the 1950s and 1960s when we lived in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. Instead we had to make due with four - that is four - VHF television stations that we could receive on a black and white TV (actually it wasn't strictly BLACK and WHITE; there were various shades of gray). There was one TV station for each network: CBS, ABC, and NBC, plus one 'Educational' (PBS) station. Later on, we got two independent UHF stations. This was also the era when the 'blackout rule' was largely in effect for sports broadcasts, and if you didn't go to the stadium for a home game...

A Decibel Nomograph

A Decibel Nomograph for Voltage, September 1945, Radio Craft - RF CafeYes, it's another nomograph. This one is for calculating the number of decibels required to amplify or attenuate a voltage level. The chart came from a 1945 edition of Hugo Gernsback's Radio Craft magazine, but decibels are still defined today the way they were nearly 70 years ago. A hard copy of a nomograph residing in a notebook or on the wall is still a handy tool when you need to do a quick calculation. Unless you have a voice-commanded app where Siri will instantly respond with a conversion for you, printing out one of these nomographs might be a really handy aid...

Anatech July 2014 Newsletter

Anatech Electronics Newsletter for July 2014 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its July 2014 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry events, regulations, and standards. This month, Sam Benzacar offers his views on the subjects of power line EMF exposure, microwave device market growth, LTE TV, GM's LTE in-automobile hot-spot, and switching consciousness on and off. He also has a short article titled, "Curing Interference: Never Too Late."

Chalco Paper Tape Reader
Restoration by Mark Blair

Chalco Paper Tape Reader in TPN-19 (Mark J. Blair) - RF Cafe RF Cafe visitor Mark J. Blair (NF6X) wrote to let me know about the Chalco Paper Tape Reader that he procured and restored. The Chalco unit was used in the TPN-19 ground-based mobile airport surveillance and precision approach radar. Mark would appreciate being contacted by someone who actually worked with the reader on the TPN-19. Mark has a very interesting website that you might enjoy. Says he, "I like to collect, restore and play with military surplus equipment, and that's mostly what this web site is all about."

Carl & Jerry: Tussle
with a Tachometer

Carl & Jerry: Tussle with a Tachometer, July 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis is a great example of how Popular Electronics and John T. Frye used the "Carl & Jerry" series to teach some basic electronics design principles through story telling. In this adventure, the guys decide to build a tachometer from schematics they found in a magazine. They debate amongst themselves how the circuits works, the best way to assemble the circuit, component selection, vibration- tolerant mounting, and how to properly calibrate the tach to accurately display engine revolutions per minute.

Dave's & Bill's Garage
Restoration (HP Beginnings)

HP Garage Restoration Project - RF CafeEven though you would never know by today's Hewlett Packard (HP), the company's roots are in electronics test equipment (never thought I might have to explain that!). Most people who have been in the electronics realm are familiar with the story of Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett starting their business in the 12'x18' single-car garage where Dave and his wife lived at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California. Bill, yet a bachelor, moved into the garage in 1938 (an early entrepreneurial engineer trend setter who literally lived in his office). Their first commercial product was the Model 200A Audio Oscillator. Hewlett Packard went on to become the world's foremost maker of electronic test equipment for communications, medical, basic research...

Please Visit PMI in Appreciation
of Their Ongoing Support

Planar Monolithics (PMI)PMI's organization has been setup to design, develop, manufacture, test, and market complex state-of-the-art PMI - LNAhybrid RF MIC and MMIC components, supercomponents, and subsystems. Unique products PMI - limiterfor applications in space, military, commercial, telecommunications, and consumer electronics systems. DC to 40 GHz.

Rosenberger Micro-RF Test
Switch Connector by RFMW

RFMW Announces Design and Sales Support for Rosenberger's Micro-RF Test Switch Connector - RF CafeRFMW, Ltd. announces design and sales support for Rosenberger’s 15K101-40ME4 Micro-RF test switch connector. The 15K101-40ME4 Micro-RF test switch is an ultra-miniature (1.8 mm x 1.9 mm, height 1.5 mm), low-cost, surface mount, coax "switch" connector for the verification of antenna/circuit performance in any kind of small device. The connector can be used for applications that require a low-cost, SMD, coax, point-of-entry to a PCB and/or a switch for temporarily disconnecting the on-board...

Career News & Tips

Career and Job Hunting Advice for July 23, 2014 - RF CafeIt's time for another round of job hunting and career advice stories. There is no limit to the amount of advice offered by helpful 'experts.' Many of these particular bits of guidance for your life come from authors on LinkedIn, Monster, Money, etc., which typically do have good content. Considering, however, the quality of helpful suggestions offered by your friends and acquaintances in the real world, it would be wise to learn a little about the source before potentially risking your future.

- Refresh Your Retro Resume
   in 6 Steps
- Interview Take-Along
- 5 Words to Avoid Saying
   During a Job Interview
- Top 10 Tips for Salary
   Negotiations - more... 

National Union Radio Corp. Ad
- Women Engineers Needed

National Union Radio Corporation Ad, April 1945, Radio Craft - RF CafeNational Union Radio Corporation was ahead of its time in terms of hiring women engineers. Admittedly, they and all other manufacturers were dealing with a shortage of male engineers due to the ongoing need by the military for fending off the scourges of fascism, Nazism, communism, socialism, and all the other 'isms' of the day that threatened to overtake the world. However, they should receive due credit for going out of the way to promote the sciences as careers for the fairer gender. The advertised positions required the successful applicant to have earned a bona fide degree in physics, electrical engineering, chemical engineering...

Newly Announced K-1B Visa
for High Tech Workers

Newly Announced K-1B High-Tech Worker Visa Program - RF CafeSomeone had to take the initiative to launch an improved high-tech immigrant worker program. Accordingly, I took the liberty of creating a K-1B Visa for high technology workers. Congress has not officially written it into law, but American politicians and executives make no pretense of enforcing law they disagree with anymore, so it really does not matter. Here is how the K-1B Visa program works: It is widely known that the United States now considers itself to be a country without a southern border. All anyone needs to do to become an accepted American citizen (the new definition, not the old) and enjoy all the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution (well, except the parts...

Apollo 11's 45th
Anniversary Crossword Puzzle

Apollo 11's 45t Anniversary Crossword Puzzle for July 20, 2014 - RF Cafe"Houston… tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed." Where were you 45 years ago when you heard on radio watched on a B&W TV like I did as Apollo 11's 'Eagle' lunar module touched down on the moon - with Apollo 11 mission patch (NASA image) - RF Cafeless than 30 seconds of fuel remaining? A short while later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became humans #1 and #2, respectively, to step onto the lunar surface. "We came in peace for all mankind," was plaque attached to the part of the lunar lander that stayed behind. Poor Michael Collins had to be content with orbiting the moon while is shipmates went to the surface. I created this special crossword puzzle this morning to commemorate the Apollo 11 mission...

Electronics Themed Comics

Electronics Themed Comics, September 1945 & December 1947 Radio Craft - RF CafeHere are a few more comics from magazines of the days of yore. It is rare to find a comic in a technical or hobby magazine these days. I don't know why that is. Enjoy.

Research at the Threshold
of Space

Research at the Threshold of Space, May 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeAtmospheric scientists suspected as recently as early 1957 that Earth's upper atmosphere (ionosphere and beyond) temperature might be around 1,000° K. I say 'suspected' because we had not yet launched instruments there to make actual measurements. Soundly posited and agreed upon theory was validated a short time later when sounding rockets reliably reported a maximum of about 1,300° K in the upper ionosphere. We did not know for sure what electromagnetic wavelengths and their respective energy densities would be outside the protective layers of gases encompassing Earth. Much more was known about the depths of the planet's oceans than of its atmosphere. Scientists knew that life was abundant...

Thanks Once Again to
ATEC for Support!

Advanced Test Equipment RentalsAdvanced Test Equipment Rentals provides the latest models of test and measurement equipment from top name manufacturers like Advanced Test Equipment Rentals Company PhotoAgilent, Fluke, Anritsu, R&S, Tektronix, and Yokogawa. Our primary focus is providing a complete rental solution of test and measurement equipment to industries such as aerospace, defense, EMC, and communications.

Featured Book:
Finance for Engineers

Finance for Engineers: Featured Book - RF CafeFinance for Engineers: Evaluation and Funding of Capital Projects, by Frank Crundwell. I saw this book over on the EE Times website and figured it would be a good subject for my Featured Book spot. With flair and an originality of approach, Crundwell brings his considerable experience to bear on this crucial topic. Uniquely, this book discusses the technical and financial aspects of decision-making in engineering and demonstrates these through case studies. It's a hugely important matter as, of course, engineering solutions and financial decisions...

Unlocking the Mysteries
of Radar - AOC Webinar

Unlocking the Mysteries of Radar (AOC webinar) - RF CafeWhen: TODAY, July 22 from 4-5 pm EDT.
Cost: FREE.
There is still time and space available to register for this afternoon's webinar presented by Fernando C Gonzalez. This interactive journey, from the humble electron all the way up to the self-driving car, explores sound and light, size, wavelength and frequency. Overview of the history and evolution of radar. From the origins of radar prior to WWII, through pulse Doppler, CW, monopulse radars, and to modern active electronically scanned arrays (AESA), the attendee will understand the fundamentals of how radars work. A 10-15 minute Q&A follows.

Notable Tech Quote

Dr. Robert Goddard (NASA image) - RF Cafe Notable Quote"It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." - Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard

NI's Analyst Update Reduces
Simulation Times Up to 70%

Analyst Update in NI AWR Design Environment V11.01 Dramatically Reduces Simulation Times – Up to 70 Percent - RF CafeNI (formerly AWR Corporation) has released V11.01 of the NI AWR Design Environment™ with enhancements to Analyst™ 3D FEM EM simulation engine that cuts simulation times by as much as 70% over previous versions. The updates in V11.01, which are specific to Analyst, include algorithm reformulations/enhancements to both automatic mesh refinement (AMR) and fast frequency sweeps. For high-port-count designs (10+ ports), the speed improvements seen with Analyst are the most pronounced...

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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.
RF system analysis including
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