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"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." - H.G. Wells

Today in Science History

Tech Industry Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archive -

• Russia Warns Against Trump's 'Alarming' Plans for U.S. Space Domination

• Over 60% of Commercial Aircraft to be Connected by 2027 (hard to believe it'll take so long)

• Telenor Slapped with $96M Fine for Abuse of Power

• Reorg Puts DOD in Charge of Security Clearances

• Chrome on Android Lets Users Surf Web Without Internet

• U.S. DoD Project to Demo Waveguide Transparent Throughout MWIR and LWIR Bands

• High Court: Online Shoppers Can Be Forced to Pay Sales Tax

Huawei Hits Back at Australian Security Paranoia

• India Must Release Spectrum Soon, or Risk Falling Behind in 5G Race

Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines June 24

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines June 24, 2018At least 10 clues with an asterisk (*) in this technology-themed crossword puzzle are pulled from this past week's (6/18 - 6/22) "Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe homepage. For the sake of all the avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's theme, such as Hedy Lamar or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy ...

Bridge Circuit Quiz

Bridge Circuit Quiz, December 1966 Popular Electronics - RF CafeI found this Bridge Circuit Quiz in my stack of vintage Popular Electronics magazines. Your challenge here is to decide what the main function of each type of bridge circuit is. Most bridge circuits are designed such that a component of unknown value is inserted into one of its four branches, and then one or more variable components of known values are adjusted to balance the bridge and thereby create a minimum (null) between opposite (circuit-wise) nodes. Admittedly, I did not fare well, but it is because I do not recall having the names associated with many of these bridge circuits. Of course nearly everyone is familiar with the Wheatstone, Kelvin, and Wien bridges. Hyperlinks are ...

Quantum Transfer at the Push of a Button

Quantum Transfer at the Push of a Button - RF Cafe"In the new quantum information technologies, fragile quantum states have to be transferred between distant quantum bits. Researchers have now realized such a quantum transmission between two solid-state qubits at the push of a button. Data transmission is the backbone of the modern information society, on both the large and small scale. On the internet, data are exchanged between computers all over the world, most often using fibre optic cables. Inside a computer, on the other hand, information has to be shuttled back and forth between different processors. A reliable exchange of data ..."

More About Wide-Stage Stereo

More About Wide-Stage Stereo, March 1960 Electronics World - RF CafePerhaps one of the most frustrating situations to find yourself in if you are a hard core audiophile is being an unmarried enlisted man in the military, living in the barracks. Unlike residing in a college dorm where comparatively there is no iron hand of peaceful existence enforcement to quell a desire for music hall sound levels with bass saturation that can rock you off your chair (other than dorm mates threatening to beat you to a pulp), in a military establishment there is an immediate threat of arrest, rank demotion, monetary fines, or a letter of reprimand (aka nonpunitive punishment) for blasting a stereo (and your barrack mates might beat you to a pulp). One guy I shared a USAF barracks room with had a couple thousand dollars worth of stereo equipment in a 19" rack in the room. It had something like ...

10 Millionth U.S. Patent - A Century's Change in Demographics

10 Million Patents (Smithsonian magazine June 2018) - RF CafeSmithsonian magazine's Austin Clemens created this map (click thumbnail) of the U.S. showing where the innovation hubs were a century ago compared to now. The occasion is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) processing its ten millionth patent. America's westward expansion during the period is made obvious by the concentration of black dots (20th century) versus blue dots (21st century). You will eventually be able to read this online at Smithsonianmag.com (page 19), but for now you will have to get the magazine - try your library.

Continuously Emitting Microlasers with Nanoparticle-Coated Beads

Continuously Emitting Microlasers with Nanoparticle-Coated Beads - RF Cafe"Researchers have found a way to convert nanoparticle-coated microscopic beads into lasers smaller than red blood cells. These microlasers, which convert infrared light into light at higher frequencies, are among the smallest continuously emitting lasers of their kind ever reported and can constantly and stably emit light for hours at a time, even when submerged in biological fluids such as blood serum. These microlasers, which convert infrared light into light at higher frequencies, are among the smallest continuously emitting lasers of their kind ever reported and can constantly and stably emit light for hours at a time ...

Know Your Electronic Chemicals - Part 1

Know Your Electronic Chemicals (Part 1), February 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeLast week I posted Part 2 of this "Know Your Electronic Chemicals" series which appeared in two 1960 issues of Electronics World. Fortunately, I was able to obtain the previous edition with Part 1 (the vintage magazines I buy typically sell for $2-$3 apiece on eBay). Many, if not most, of the chemicals presented in the articles are not used anymore, but similar types are. Interestingly but typically, almost no emphasis is placed on the use of protective clothing, goggles, gloves, gas masks, etc. A lot of people were harmed unnecessarily due to not taking basic precautions, but it just was not part of normal operating procedure. To be honest, even though I know better, other than ...

Spin on Semiconductors Paves Way for Brain-Inspired Computing

Spin on Semiconductors Paves Way for Brain-Inspired Computing - RF Cafe"'Our brain is a fantastic computer,' says Professor Tamalika Banerjee from the University of Groningen in the northern Netherlands. The brain, after all, has the ability to process vast amounts of information with an energy efficiency far superior to that of today's computers. By integrating storage, memory, and processing into one unit, however, Banerjee and fellow physicists at the University of Groningen hope their semiconductor device someday supports a parallel computing architecture that rivals the workings of the brain. Banerjee's research group studies spintronics ..."

Coilcraft 1:1 Coupled Inductors Provide 1500 Vrms Winding Isolation

Coilcraft 1:1 Coupled Inductors Provide 1500 Vrms Isolation Between Windings - RF CafeCoilcraft has introduced a line of 1:1 coupled surface mount inductors (aka transformers) with 1,500 Vrms, one minute isolation (hipot) between windings. Key features include ultra-small package size (8.0 × 6.4 × 3.5 mm), 13 inductance values ranging from 4.7 to 150 µH, Peak current ratings up to 2.7 A - a 40% increase over previous generation products, provides significant size and cost reductions over conventional bobbin-wound alternatives. Free samples are available ...

Hypnotizing Test Engineers with Figures of Dubious Merit

Hypnotizing Test Engineers with Figures of Dubious Merit - RF CafeRansom Stephens has an interesting article on the EDN website titled, "Hypnotizing Test Engineers with Figures of Dubious Merit." Ever increasing specification complexity makes deciding which parameters to test for and even how to legitimately make the measurements. "Since the dawn of time, standards documents have specified maximum and/or minimum values for design parameters to assure product performance and compatibility. Maximum allowed values for jitter, noise, insertion loss, rise and fall times, minimum extinction ratios, eye height and eye width. Everywhere you looked, a simple measurement screamed yay or nay, stay or go ..."

Recent Developments in Electronics

Recent Developments in Electronics, February 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeThe reflected-beam kinescope (RBK) held high hopes for large video displays with shallow depths. A traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) is as deep from front to back as the width of the display, which means, as anyone who has owned a CRT television or computer monitor knows, a lot of space is required to accommodate a large display. Evidently the RBK never panned out as a manufacturable product. Its "inside-out" configuration resulted in a CRT that looks like someone reached through the front, grabbed the tail end, and pulled it back through the front. In other 1960 news was a high voltage ferroelectric converter ...

Tripling the Energy Storage of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Tripling the Energy Storage of Lithium-Ion Batteries - RF Cafe"Scientists have synthesized a new cathode material from iron fluoride that surpasses the capacity limits of traditional lithium-ion batteries. As the demand for smartphones, electric vehicles, and renewable energy continues to rise, scientists are searching for ways to improve lithium-ion batteries - the most common type of battery found in home electronics and a promising solution for grid-scale energy storage. Increasing the energy density of lithium-ion batteries could facilitate the development of advanced technologies with long-lasting batteries ..."

Future Quantum Technologies May Exploit Identical Particle Entanglement

Future Quantum Technologies May Exploit Identical Particle Entanglement - RF Cafe"Usually when physicists perform quantum entanglement between particles - whether it be qubits, atoms, photons, electrons, etc. - the particles are distinguishable in some way. Only recently have physicists demonstrated the feasibility of generating entanglement between particles that are completely identical. Interestingly, this entanglement exists just because of the indistinguishability of the particles, without any interaction between them. Now in a new paper, physicists have gone a step further, showing that the entanglement between identical particles can be harnessed and potentially used for quantum applications. The physicists, Rosario Lo Franco and Giuseppe Compagno ..."

Smartphone Screen Replacement Kit

Smartphone Screen Replacement Kit - RF CafeHave you been living with a cracked smartphone screen protector glass because you don't want to spend the money and/or time to have someone else fix it? A few years ago I replaced the protective glass on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone in about an hour. I also bought a kit to replace the glass on my daughter's S8. The S4 was a piece of cake, but the S8 takes longer because disassembling it is a lot more work. There are plenty of how-to videos on the Web to help you through the process. Kits are available for iPhones, too, most for well under $50.

Algorithms to Antenna: Massive-MIMO Hybrid Beamforming

Algorithms to Antenna: Massive-MIMO Hybrid Beamforming - RF CafeBeam forming used to be primarily the realm of radars and sonars, but in the last decade or so cellphone and WiFi small cell technology has been using it to facilitate high traffic in dense user environments. Smart beam forming systems can simultaneously scan wide areas in search of new targets while tracking active targets. This article by Rick Gentile titled, "Algorithms to Antenna: Massive-MIMO Hybrid Beamforming," appears in Microwaves & RF magazine. It probably will not be long until smartphones begin implementing some form of phased array antenna ...

Bell Telephone Advertisement - Microwave Towers

Bell Telephone Ad, Microwave Towers, July 1959 Electronics World - RF CafeBell Telephone Laboratories was largely responsible for designing and building a communications system that was the envy of the world. Innovation on the part of Bell engineers, manufacturing staff that produced the equipment, and technicians who serviced the systems deserve the credit as do management types who made funds and opportunity available to the aforementioned. As the number of telephone service subscribers grew and reliability became even more vital to business, law enforcement, and national defense, new methods had to be devised. In the late 1950s, Bell introduced the concept of wireless microwave links at 11 GHz (X band) ...

Thanks to BBTLine for Continued Support!

BBTLine - BroadBand Transmission Line Products - RF CafeBBTLine offers a unique patented combiner / splitter design that allows for more compact devices while maintaining low insertion loss, excellent return loss and excellent amplitude/phase balance. These are not standard Wilkinson-style RF splitters. 2-, 4-, and 8-way, broadband 0.5 - 6 GHz, low loss (0.7 dB @ 6 GHz), excellent amplitude / θ balance (±0.1 dB, ±1°), surface mount & connectorized. Please visit BBTLine today to see how they can help your project ...

Inkjet-Printed Graphene + Laser Yields Washable Electronics

Inkjet-Printed Graphene + Laser Yields Washable Electronics - RF Cafe"Printing an ultrathin layer of graphene on a substrate and using direct-pulsed laser writing produced a structure for electronic circuitry that can be worn and even washed. When professors Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov of the University of Manchester (UK) discovered and isolated a single atomic layer of carbon for the first time - now known as graphene - there was both praise and concern. Some comments were similar to those which, decades before, accompanied the first demonstration of the optical ..."

Canada Puts Limit on R.F. Interference

Canada Puts Limit on R.F. Interference, February 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeIf you think the ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) unlicensed bands were a relatively new spectrum allocation, you might find this 1960 Electronics World news piece interesting. Individual countries generally acknowledge the ISM emissions specifications set forth by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which created the bands in 1947. The 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.8 GHz WiFi bands are well known to most people. 24 GHz is gaining traction as current spectrum gets more and more crowded and high bandwidth data channels are needed. Interestingly, the first few ISM bands are integer harmonics of the lowest (6.78 MHz, center of band 1). To wit: 2 * 6.78 = 13.56 MHz (band 2), 4 * 6.78 = 2 * 13.56 = 27.12 MHz (band 3), 6 * 6.78 = 2 * 13.56 = 40.68 MHz (band 4) ...

More Reliable Carbon-Based Microelectronics

Research Charts the Way to More Reliable Carbon-Based Microelectronics - RF Cafe"Carbon nanotubes - cylindrical formations of carbon atoms with incredible strength and electrical conductivity - hold great promise for creating new micron-scale low-power electronic devices. But finding a way to build a reliable computing platform based on the carbon material has been a major challenge for researchers. Now, a team of mechanical and materials engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology has devised a method for identifying performance variabilities in transistors made from carbon nanotube networks. The new approach could help researchers ..."

Aluminum-Diamond Metal-Matrix Heat Spreaders for GaN Devices

Aluminum-Diamond Metal-Matrix Heat Spreaders for GaN Devices - RF CafeI'm not clear on the distinction between a heat sink and a heat spreader, other than maybe the former typically tends to have fins and the latter does not. This MWJ article by Kevin Loutfy, with Nano Materials International Corporation, titled, "Aluminum-Diamond Metal-Matrix Heat Spreaders for GaN Devices," describes use of synthetic aluminum-diamond material (which his company manufactures) to raise the operational temperature and reliability of high power GaN devices. Their metal-matrix composite (MMC) process was announced in 2011 ...

An Odd Sort of "Tube" Problem

An Odd Sort of "Tube" Problem, March 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeElectronics repair shops - what's left of them - probably don't experience the sort of problem illustrated in this story composed after the manner of John Frye's "Mac's Service Shop" dramas. However, similar situations can and almost certainly do crop up in many other customer service venues. The point of the article is how easily, especially in the span of an entire year, seemingly minor oversights repeated with regularity, can add up to alarmingly large numbers. Actually, the phenomenon occurs for you with many things when you bother to tally them up. Example: According to the U.S. census Bureau's 2017 report, the average one-way commute time is about 26 minutes both to and from work, or about 52 minutes per day. Allowing for two weeks of vacation, two weeks of ...

A Better Device for Measuring Electromagnetic Radiation

A Better Device for Measuring Electromagnetic Radiation - RF Cafe"Bolometers, devices that monitor electromagnetic radiation through heating of an absorbing material, are used by astronomers and homeowners alike. But most such devices have limited bandwidth and must be operated at ultralow temperatures. Now, researchers say they've found a ultrafast yet highly sensitive alternative that can work at room temperature - and may be much less expensive. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, could help pave the way toward new kinds of astronomical observatories for long-wavelength emissions ..."

Custom Dials for Your Equipment

Custom Dials for Your Equipment, March 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeSome day in the not too distant future, a generation of electronics enthusiasts will read magazines like Nuts & Volts, QST, Make, and other hobbyist publications and be amazed at how crude our present day methods for building homebrew projects were. They might even feel sorry for us. Having digital cameras, sophisticated graphics software, high resolution inkjet and laser printers, and vinyl cutting machines for adorning chassis and panels are a godsend here in twenty-teens compared to the film-based analog cameras, chemical-based photo processing labs, and rub-on lettering and shape stencils ...

RIGOL Announces New 7000 Series Digital Oscilloscope

RIGOL Announces New 7000 Series Digital Oscilloscope - RF CafeRIGOL Technologies announces a significant addition to its oscilloscope portfolio with the introduction of the new 7000 Series Digital Oscilloscope. The 7000 Series delivers unmatched price/performance capability in a mid-range oscilloscope. With 10GSa/sec Sample rate and up to 500M Record Length the 7000 Series can deliver 20X Oversampling on a 500 MHz signal providing unmatched signal resolution while still capturing a full 50 ms; significantly longer than available in competitive products. The core of the 7000 Series Oscilloscope is RIGOL's new UltraVision II architecture and its Phoenix chip-set ...

Scatter Radio Communications

Cover Story: Scatter Radio Communications, March 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeWhen this article on ionospheric and tropospheric scatter radio communications was published in 1960, satellite communications was in its infancy and only a very few subsea telephone and telegraph cables had been laid between continents. Wideband communications was typically considered to mean a few hundred kilohertz worth of data. Less than two decades had passed since it was discovered that the theoretical prediction of cripplingly high attenuation above a "smooth earth" would ultimately limit the usefulness of over-the-horizon (i.e., not line-of-sight) HF, VHF, and UHF transmissions to a few hundred miles. In fact, so thoroughly had the commercial broadcast community ...

Surprise 12 Volt Battery Mobile Device Charger

12 Volt Battery Mobile Device Charger (Gary Miller Chrysler/Jeep, Erie, PA) - RF CafeSitting in the waiting room in the local Jeep dealership, waiting for the technicians to do the annual inspection on the 2011 Patriot, I noticed a 12 volt car battery sitting on a table. At first I assumed it was just a sales pitch for a new battery, but then I noticed a bunch of small cables coming from its bottom edge. As you can see in the photo I took of it, those cables are mobile device charging cords with mating connectors for Apple, USB, and miniUSB ports. An Internet search did not turn up any of these things, so maybe Mopar engineers came up with it. Times sure have changed from when ...

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2018
Kirt Blattenberger,

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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