Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors Engineer Jobs LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations Engineering Event Calendar RF Engineering Quizzes USAF radar shop Notable Quotes App Notes Calculators Education Engineering Magazines Engineering magazine articles Engineering software Engineering smorgasbord RF Cafe Archives RF Cascade Workbook 2018 RF Stencils for Visio RF & EE Shapes for Word Advertising RF Cafe Homepage Sudoku puzzles Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!

Multiple RF Engineers Needed by Itron - RF Cafe Forums

The original RF Cafe Forums were shut down in late 2012 due to maintenance issues - primarily having to spend time purging garbage posts from the board. At some point I might start the RF Cafe Forums again if the phpBB software gets better at filtering spam.

Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.

-- Amateur Radio
-- Anecdotes, Gripes & Humor
-- Antennas
-- CAE, CAD, & Software
-- Circuits & Components
-- Employment & Interviews
-- Miscellany
-- Swap Shop
-- Systems
-- Test & Measurement
-- Webmaster

Kirt Blattenberger
Post subject: Multiple RF Engineers Needed by Itron Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:21 am

Site Admin


Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Erie, PA
Greetings:

Itron Inc. is a leading technology provider to the global energy and water industries. Itron Inc. consists of Itron in North America and Actaris outside of North America. Our company is the world’s leading provider of metering, data collection and utility software solutions, with nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on our technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Our products include electricity, gas and water meters, data collection and communication systems, including automated meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI); meter data management and related software applications; as well as project management, installation, and consulting services. Please click on the banner below to learn about the RF engineering jobs now available.

http://www.itron.com/pages/careers.asp

I worked for Itron in the early 1990s as an RF design engineer in Waseca, MN. The Waseca location began life as Enscan ("Engergy scanning," I think), which was born of a project developed by the EF Johnson company and the University of Minnesota. Itron had bought Enscan shortly before I arrived, while the company was still operating out of a portion of the EF Johnson building. Just about everyone was a former EF Johnson employee. The company's biggest product achievement was the ERT (Encoder-Receiver-Transmitter), which is the radio modem unit that is embedded in utility meters. A high volume production facility was in operation that turned out thousands (maybe 10s of thousands) of units each day, running 24/7 shifts. A custom ASIC handled the digital data and control of the unit, while an ingenious RF circuit that used a single transistor as both the transmitter PA and the receiver front end worked in the 900 MHz ISM band. The simple superregenerative receiver would be "wakened" once every second or so to listen for an interrogator. If it heard its unique ID code being called, the transistor switched into PA mode and blasted out a consumption message using a frequency hopping spread spectrum format. If its name was not being called, it went back to sleep. This scheme permitted the ERTs to run on a lithium battery with a published life expectancy of around 12 years - an truly significant accomplishment for its day. Remember that this all predated cellphones. Those EF Johnson guys were a very talented bunch. I worked on the interrogation system that was mounted in a van with a 1/4-wave whip antenna on the top. It had already been designed and field proven, but the steadily rising ambient noise in the 900 MHz ISM band was beginning to cause meter read rates to decrease (meaning either a human would have to go read the missed meter, or a second pass with the van would be needed). My job was to redesign whatever parts were necessary to get the read success rate back to where it should be. Today, Itron still uses the Waseca facility to manufacture its ERTs - a rare thing in a day when it seems like everything electronic is made offshore.

Worth mentioning is that one technician I worked with was actually a crewman on the famous Edmond Fitzgerald coal freighter that went down in a storm in Lake Superior. Fortunately he, Grant, was not onboard during the fateful voyage. Now I feel an urge to listen to Gordon Lightfoot's song about it...

Oh, must give my buddy Bob an honorable mention. Bob could single-handedly lift the 200+ pound interrogation chassis into and out of the van. My guess is that the unit has since been repackaged into a suitcase-sized chassis.

Take care.

_________________
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster





Posted  11/12/2012
Qorvo / Custom MMIC Eliminating Mixup over Mixers - RF Cafe ConductRF Precision RF VNA Test Cables - RF Cafe
Res-Net Microwave - RF Cafe Axiom Test Equipment - RF Cafe
About RF Cafe
Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster
Copyright: 1996 - 2024
Webmaster:
    Kirt Blattenberger,
    BSEE - KB3UON

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 World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

My Hobby Website:  AirplanesAndRockets.com

spacer

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

These Are Available for Free