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"We started the company in my basement. Because the only place we could go from there was up." - Don Shepherd, AR

Today in Science History

Electronics & Tech  Headlines

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe - Archive -

• FCC, NTIA Update Decades-Old Pact on Spectrum Coordination

• 75% of 5G Networks to Be Upgraded to 5G-Advanced by 2030

• Salem Radio Broadcast Revenue ^12%

• 232-layer NAND Announced

• UK's Ofgem Warns Households to Prepare for Expensive Heating Season

• Worldwide Silicon Wafer Shipments Set Record Q2 2022

• Indian Telcos Splurge in Mega 5G Spectrum Auction

• Proposed Amendment to the IEEE Constitution

• U.S. May Limit China NAND Producers to 128 Layers

Science Themed Crossword Puzzle for August 7th

Science Themed Crossword Puzzle for August 7th, 2022 - RF CafeHere is your custom made Science Themed Crossword Puzzle for August 7th, 2022. All RF Cafe crossword puzzles are custom made by me, Kirt Blattenberger, and have only words and clues related to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical subjects. As always, this crossword contains no names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort unless it/he/she is related to this puzzle's technology theme (e.g., Reginald Denny or the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...

Please Thank RF Superstore for Their Continued Support

RF Superstore coaxial cable, connectors, adapters - RF CafeRF Superstore launched in 2017, marking the return of Murray Pasternack, founder of Pasternack Enterprises, to the RF and microwave Industry. Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were sold. Partner Jason Wright manages day-to-day operations, while working closely with Mr. Pasternack to develop RF Superstore into a world class RF and microwave component supplier. RF coaxial connectors & adapters, coaxial cable & cable assemblies, surge protectors, attenuators. Items added daily. Free shipping on orders over $25. We're leading the way again!

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, July 1952 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeAs I often do on Fridays, I searched through my collection of vintage electronics magazines for some tech-themed comics. This group of five appeared in the July 1952 issue of Radio-Electronics. A couple of these were suggested by the magazine's readers, and staff artists turn the ideas into drawings. The Standing Waves comics gets my vote for the best of the lot for cleverness. Page 102's comic could be (almost) a depiction of a contemporary in-home entertainment center, given the size of televisions today. For some reason I'm not "getting" the gag in the page 113 comic, which features a buxom woman with big hair doing a juggling act on TV...

Algorithm Aces University Math Course Questions

Algorithm Aces University Math Course Questions - RF CafeI have to admit to being drawn to this story primarily due to the graphic. Although it does not appear on an RF website, there is a Smith chart and reflection coefficient equations included. I also like the striated blue motif. "Multivariable calculus, differential equations, linear algebra - topics that many MIT students can ace without breaking a sweat - have consistently stumped machine learning models. The best models have only been able to answer elementary or high school-level math questions, and they don't always find the correct solutions. Now, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from MIT and elsewhere, led by Iddo Drori, a lecturer in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), has used a neural network model to solve university-level math problems in a few seconds at a human level. The model also automatically explains solutions and rapidly generates new problems in university math subjects. When the researchers showed these machine-generated questions to university students, the students were unable to tell..."

Crosley Model 56TD-W Schematic & Parts List

Crosley Model 56TD-W Schematic & Parts List, November 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThese are the schematics and parts list for vintage Crosley model 56TD-W vacuum tube radio, as it appeared in the November 1947 issue of Radio News magazine. I scan and post these for the benefit of hobbyists and historians seeking such information. As time goes by, there is less and less likelihood that records of these relics from yesteryear's archives will be made available. As with all historical information, it takes someone with a personal interest in preserving the memories in order to fulfill the mission, and I am glad to be a small part of that cadre. Also, I found a short video (below) from someone who did an excellent job restoring a Crosley Model 56TD Duette tabletop radio...

Atek Midas Added to Vendor Pages

Atek Midas Added to Vendor PagesAtek Midas, based in Istanbul, Turkey, is a technology company working on high-frequency integrated circuit (RFIC/MMIC) products as its roadmap. Their main target markets are satellite communication, telecommunications, test & measurement and aerospace & defense. Atek Midas has been added to my collection of Vendor pages in the categories of RFIC/MMIC's, attenuators, power and low noise amplifiers, mixers, power dividers, filters, RF front ends. Please check out their website to see if they can help you with your project...

Checking Beam Antennas with the S-Meter

Checking Beam Antennas with the S-Meter, April 1939 QST - RF CafeAntenna radiation (beam) patterns published by manufacturers are obtained under ideal - or close to ideal - conditions with a carefully prepared and calibrated open air test site (OATS) or an enclosed anechoic chamber. Multipath, imperfect earth ground, obstacles both manmade and natural, misshapen elements, poor VSWR, antenna orientation (in both azimuth and elevation) are among the many factors which produce real-world operational results that do not jive with a manufacturer's datasheet. Without employing some far field 3-dimensional field strength scheme (see Drone-Based Field Measurement System™), there is no way to obtain a complete picture of how your antenna performs in all directions. This article presents a practical procedure for making measurements that will at least collect useful data for specific orientations...

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks (EIA 19", ETSI 21"), and more. Test equipment and racks are built at a 1:1 scale so that measurements can be made directly using Visio built-in dimensioning objects. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

Many Thanks to Reactel for Their Long-Time Support!

Reactel Filters - RF Cafe

Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture of RF and microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer the generally known tubular, LC, cavity, and waveguide designs, as well as state of the art high performance suspended substrate models. Through a continuous process of research and development, they have established a full line of filters of filters of all types - lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, diplexer, and more. Established in 1979. Please contact Reactel today to see how they might help your project.

The SCR Revolution

The SCR Revolution, February 1966 Electronics World - RF CafePrior to the invention of the silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR), most semiconductor devices were only able to handle powers in milliwatt range, with some reaching into the realm of a few watts or tens of watts. Voltage handling got up to around 1 kV (and 500 A) for diodes and 200 V for transistors. The higher power and voltage devices were exceedingly expensive and were used primarily in special applications. When this article appeared in a 1966 issue of Electronics World magazine and the SCR had been introduced less than a decade earlier, the price of an SCR had dropped from more than $300 to less that 50¢ apiece. Due to the construction of the SCR, it is more robust and can handle high power switching applications (it is generally not used as a signal amplifier). Unlike a triac, which can be controlled with a signal to turn the device both on and off while voltage is present across the anode and cathode, the SCR can only be used to switch off current...

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Safety in Servicing

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Safety in Servicing, January 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIt's time to gather 'round for another story about fictional radio service shop owner Mac McGregor and his trusted sidekick technician, Barney. In this January 1954 Radio & Television News episode, an errantly wired bypass capacitor on a chassis from one of the old AC/DC radio sets caused Mac to get a 300-volt wakeup call when his hand brushed against it. After explaining the situation to Barney and apprising him of the danger it poses to an owner who unwittingly sticks his/her hand into the back of the cabinet, Mac lists a few other common dangers to watch for. Radios that ran on either AC or DC power were very common back in the early days because there were homes and businesses that had both type systems wired in to the premises - in part due to the famous battle between Thomas Edison's preferred DC electrical distribution system and Nikola Tesla's preferred AC electrical distribution system. Another reason for DC compatibility was that prior to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, many homes not located in cities and nearby suburbs had no electric service at all. Farm homes often ran on DC power supplied by banks of lead-acid storage batteries, with wind- or water-powered generators providing the charging current. Radios, aka "wireless sets," were powered by those batteries. In order to accommodate both AC and DC supplies...

Cubic Boron Arsenide Best Semiconductor Ever?

Cubic Boron Arsenide Best Semiconductor Ever? - RF Cafe"Silicon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth, and in its pure form the material has become the foundation of much of modern technology, from solar cells to computer chips. But silicon's properties as a semiconductor are far from ideal. For one thing, although silicon lets electrons whizz through its structure easily, it is much less accommodating to "holes" - electrons' positively charged counterparts - and harnessing both is important for some kinds of chips. What's more, silicon is not very good at conducting heat, which is why overheating issues and expensive cooling systems are common in computers. Now, a team of researchers at MIT, the University of Houston, and other institutions has carried out experiments showing that a material known as cubic boron arsenide overcomes both of these limitations. It provides high mobility to both electrons and holes, and has excellent thermal conductivity..."

Modular Test Solution Speed Semiconductor Testing

Axiom Test Equipment Blog: Modular Test Solution Speed Semiconductor Testing - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, Inc., an electronic test equipment rental and sales company has published a new blog post entitled "Modular Test Solution Speed Semiconductor Testing," explains how to pick the right module when you need a solution with semiconductor testing. A well-designed mainframe that operates according to plug-in modules can not only pack a great deal of measurement power into a small space, but it can also be configured as needed by exchanging modules. Modular semiconductor parameter testers are capable of top-line mainframe accuracy along with the test speed and flexibility for high-volume production-line device testing. Modular units provide a more "compressed" approach to executing semiconductor parameter measurements. A modular unit consists...

Ken-Rad Radio Tubes

Ken-Rad Radio Tube Advertisement, April 1947 Radio News - RF CafeAchieving what we consider relatively simple results with electronics indicators used to be cutting edge technology. This 6AL7-GT Electron-Ray Indicator Tube by Ken-Rad (a division of General Electric) provided a dual-channel electrofluorescent (i.e., cathode ray) display of relative signal strength or tuning the new-fangled FM radio stations. It was promoted in this 1947 issue of Radio News magazine. The tube could also be used, of course, for many other applications where signal strength from any measured process: fuel level, voltage, temperature, stock price, phase angle, sound volume, speed, etc., needed to be measured. Today, we have electrochemical indicators so cheap that they are built into off-the-shelf batteries at Walmart...

Get Your Custom-Designed RF Cafe Gear!

Custom-Designed RF-Themed Cups, T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks (Cafe Press) - RF CafeThis assortment of custom-designed themes by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins, Purses, Sweatshirts, and Baseball Caps. Choose from amazingly clever "We Are the World's Matchmakers" Smith chart design or the "Engineer's Troubleshooting Flow Chart." My "Matchmaker's" design has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please be sure to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. My markup is only a paltry 50¢ per item - Cafe Press gets the rest of your purchase price. These would make excellent gifts for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company events or as rewards for excellent service. It's a great way to help support RF Cafe. Thanks...

Many Thanks to Berkeley Nucleonics for Continued Support!

Berkeley Nucleonics Corp - RF CafeBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC) is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement, and nuclear research. Founded in 1963, BNC initially developed custom pulse generators. We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance. We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal, light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing procedures.

Pedro and the Incentive Plan

Pedro and the Incentive Plan, March 1952 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeThis is a pretty good electronics-related detective story. Admittedly, it did not turn out the way I expected, which is a good thing because the unexpected curve it threw me caused me to like the adventure even more. The author is Guy Slaughter, but it could have easily been one of John T. Frye's "Carl & Jerry" techno-adventures. I say that because (without giving away the ending) the sleuthing "good guy" uses his electronics communications savvy to solve the crime, the way Carl and Jerry are famous for doing. The setting is the early 1950s when electronics repair shops were commonplace and some customers did their best to swindle the proprietors out of honestly earned money - and sometimes products. Guy Slaughter wrote earlier pieces featuring Pedro for Radio−Electronics magazine...

Planck Quantities Explained

Planck Quantities Explained (Astronomy September 2022) - RF CafeIn the "Astro Letters" section of the September 2022 issue of Astronomy magazine, a reader wrote to ask why Planck mass uses units of 10-5 grams, while the other two Planck-scale constants (length at 10-33 cm and time at 10-44 s) are many orders of magnitude smaller. Stan Odenwald responded: "Using only the three natural constants - the speed of light (c=3x108 m/s), Newton's gravitational constant (G=6.67x10-11 m3/kg s2), and Planck's constant (h=6.6x10-34 m2 kg/s) - you can create three 'fundamental scales': length = (hG/c3)½, time = (hG/c5)½, and mass = (hG/c)½. But these scales are experimentally inaccessible. Although the Planck mass appears reachable (i.e., larger than the other quantities), it actually represents an energy of 1019 gigaelectronvolts crammed into a Planck-scale volume, which cannot be replaced by humans (yet). By comparison, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN achieves only 104 GeV in a volume of space 1010 time larger then the Planck scale." I'd like to be able to answer a question like that!

Telecan Robot: A Unique Attention Getter

Telecan Robot - A Unique Attention Getter, June July 1940 National Radio News - RF CafeExcept for a few notable examples such as the incredibly life-like humanoid robots coming from Japan, the overwhelming majority of robots today are either educational tools, special function equipment for performing highly precise tasks (surgical, exploratory, search & rescue), or part of high volume production lines. Back in 1940 when this "Telecan" robot debuted and appeared in National Radio News magazine, people though of robots almost exclusively as autonomous devices that would some day make life easier for the human race... or eventually conquer and subdue the human race into slavery. Constraining robots to the relatively inefficient layout and proportions of homo sapiens, as engineers have discovered, greatly limits their utility...

Antenna Design Considerations for 5G

Antenna Design Considerations for 5G - RF CafeMaurizio Di Paolo Emilio has an article on the EE|Times website entitled ,"Antenna Design Considerations for 5G Applications," which discusses some of the issues needed to be addressed for mobile hardware, namely multiple frequency bands and increased bandwidth. He begins, "A 5G mobile device's antenna design needs specific consideration to maintain performance. The entire performance is impacted by the ground plane, the antenna positioning on the board, and other associated components. The reliability needed by wireless devices is made possible by analyzing and making corrections from the very beginning of design. In order for smartphones to function well over a wider variety of RF frequency bands and support the transition to 5G and other technologies, tuning the aperture of an antenna is crucial..."

Please see the RF Cafe Homepage Archives for previous items of interest...

Boonton RF Power Measurement
withwave microwave devices - RF Cafe
Anritsu Test Equipment - RF Cafe
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 by RF Cafe
Innovative Power Products Passive RF Products - RF Cafe

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    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 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 tying 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.

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