Texas A&M Study Finds We Think Better on Our Feet, Literally (as evidenced by all the witty cashiers in KMart)
What Does the Norwegian FM Shutdown Mean For the U.S.? (I can't pick them up from here, anyway)
A New Crop of RF & Microwave Articles is Ready
A new crop of articles on RF and microwave topics has been posted online by our industry's contemporary magazine publishers. Just as the hard copies arrive in our mailboxes at different times each month, so too do the online versions. We are treated to the usual mix of narrowly focused expositions on specific applications like "Compact Microstrip Lowpass Filter with Ultra-Wide Stopband Using a Modified Circular Resonator," as contrasted to ones covering broader subjects such as "Cut the Defense Budget? Sure, No Worries." A general rule of thumb seems to be the longer the title, the more specific the article. They're all worth reading, but alas, busy schedules limit most of us …
Empower RF Conducting Live Demos at MTT-S IMS 2015
Empower RF Systems is once again conducting live demonstrations of broadband, high power amplifiers with compelling performance, industry leading small size, and user interface / functionality that dares to challenge legacy products offered in the market. Next appearing at MTT-S IMS 2015 in Phoenix, AZ, we will be showcasing our 1 to 3 GHz, 1 kW HPA in a 5U chassis. This is an extraordinary design which includes an integrated (internal) dual directional coupler and instrument …
littleBits™ Modular System Electronic Building Components
Steve Ford had a little bit about littleBits™ in his "Eclectic Technology" column in the April issue of QST, and it looked interesting enough to mention here. "What is littleBits? littleBits makes an opensource library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. littleBits consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. Just as LEGO …
Welcome to RF Cafe Mobile!
This mobile version of RF Cafe is being made available primarily because it is expected in today's device environment. I request that you surf on over to the full-featured version of RF Cafe. While not optimal for mobile devices, any inconvenience caused by a need to scroll around the display will be offset by the wealth of information to be accessed there.
The Electrician's Trade Demystified! - A Review by Moi
The Electrician's Trade Demystified!, by David Herres, is, per the cover's claim, "Everything an aspiring electrician NEEDS to KNOW." That is a pretty bold claim for a book of 250 pages when considering how wide AND deep the field of electrical tradesmanship really is. However, because of the way in which David approaches the subject, I am convinced that within reasonable constraints of expectations, the book does an excellent job at informing an aspiring electrician with everything he needs to know. How can I corroborate the assertion, you might ask? Simple. There is no attempt to cover every chapter word by word or to impart a comprehensive knowledge of every topic to the reader. Instead, all chapters are addressed in terms of what kind of material is contained, how it is arranged, what material should be memorized by every electrician, and how the table of contents and …
Here are a couple more comics from magazines of the days of yore. Radio-Craft readers submitted ideas for funnies and then artist Frank Beaven would draw the comics based on their ideas. Some months had no comics, and some had as many as half a dozen. This month had two. There is also one from the May 1946 Radio News. Enjoy.
"-Tron" Teasers An Electronic Quiz
Thyratrons, klystrons, and magnetrons I've heard of, but trochotrons, charactrons, tonotrons I ain't heard of. That made this quiz more of a learning exercise for me than a test of any sort of knowledge possessed. Heck, I thought an 'ignitron' was a pejorative term for a really dumb techie wannabe. In all there are 17 types of '-tron' devices given for which to match from a list of descriptions. You'll probably do better than I did …
Notable Tech Quote RFCafe.sucks Domain Available
"I told my people the best way not to get included is not to suck." he says. New .Sucks Internet Domain: Extortion Or Free Speech? - J. Scott Evans, associate general counsel at Adobe Systems, in response to whether his company would succumb to what some consider extortion with the issuance of ".sucks" domain extensions. The extension, which some malicious SOP (son-of-a-pup) with too much money to spend could use to buy "RFCafe.sucks," would cost as much as $2,500 per year.
Anatech's April Newsletter
Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its April 2015 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar reports on the progress of the worldwide LTE rollout, the status of VoLTE (Voice over LTE ), and the DoD's efforts to reduce the cost of electronic systems acquisition (particularly EW). He also discusses how to handle a growing number of frequency bands that need to be accommodated by cell tower base stations …
Cobham's DAS Antenna Range Now Available on iBwave
The DAS antenna range has been designed to provide excellent and consistent performance. At the same time providing the opportunity for cost savings to installers and operators. A Distributed Antenna System (DAS), consists of a network of antennas that are connected to a common source which is able to provide wireless and radio coverage throughout buildings, terminals and open areas. The need for a system to support the changing face of mobile communications has been prompted by increasing use of mobile devices including phones, laptops, tablets and ‘Smart’ machinery …
Acoustinators & Wobbulators Radio Service Data Sheets
you do a search for "acoustinator,"
you get a certain model of acoustic guitar speaker manufactured by the UK-based company, Eminence. That, however,
is not the same as the "Acoustinator" developed by Motorola for their "Golden
Voice" series of car radios. It was essentially what we refer today to as a tone control, or as an equalizer.
Not satisfied with creating just one futuristic sounding techno-term, Motorola also came up with the 'wobbulator'
for use in tuning the receiver IF response …
Notable Quote on the Future of Missile Mail
"Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to England, to India or to Australia by guided missiles." - Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General. On June 8, 1959, in a move that PG Summerfield heralded as "of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world," the Navy submarine USS Barbero fired a guided missile carrying 3,000 letters towards the naval auxiliary air station in Mayport, Florida. Racing along at about 600 miles per hour, the guided missile traveled the more than 100 miles from the deck of the submarine off the coast of Florida to the air station in about 22 minutes …
The Aircraft Radio Serviceman
Aircraft electronics has always been on the bleeding edge of technology because of the ever-increasing need to fly in the widest range of atmospheric conditions possible. Accordingly, skills needed by avionics servicemen are amongst the highest required in any electronics field. There are still many pieces of vintage equipment in service that need to be maintained, but even 20- to 30-year-old airborne radars and navigational units require top-notch techs to troubleshoot and align. One topic in particular that plagues electronics operation even in modern airframes is that of static electricity build-up and lightning strikes. We all face those kinds of static discharge hazards in non-aviation environment, but for the most part a failure on the ground or water is not as imminently …
Please Welcome Saelig Co. as a New Advertiser!
Saelig Company, Inc. (bottom 728x90-pixel banner ad) is a New York State corporation operating as a Sales and Marketing Agent and Distributor for more than 100 manufacturers from all over the world. Founded in 1988 by Alan Lowne, Saelig has earned a growing reputation for having notable products not found elsewhere. “Saelig” is an Olde English word which means “happy, prosperous, blessed”. We sell and support a wide range of electronic control and instrumentation equipment and components to customers ranging from Fortune 500 industrial users, military, educational institutions and hospitals to individual end-users …
Google "Matched Content"
NI AWR Software Showcased During IMS2015
NI (formerly AWR Corp), showcases NNI AWR software throughout the International Microwave Symposium 2015 (IMS2015) in a number of ways. A preview of V12 NI AWR Design Environment™ software, including new load-pull and antenna features, as well as ease of use, speed enhancements and third-party integration flows, will be on display inside NI booth #2431. IMS2015 runs from May 17-22 in Phoenix. NI AWR Software Demonstrations What’s New in V12 –preview the new features in the upcoming V12 release of the NI AWR Design Environment and you’ll be entered into our GoPro raffle …
Decibel Level vs. Decibel Gain
Arithmophobia (a real word) is likely the root cause of of decibelphobia (that one's made up), a condition that causes some otherwise rational people to curl in the fetal position in an attempt to avoid the topic. As with most subjects, the more often you engage in using a term, the more comfortable you become with it. Technicians and engineers who deal in voltage and power levels in terms of dividing quantities or transmitting them from one location to another would find conversation and writing without the use of decibels quite inconvenient. It is tempting to point out that using decibel units to express ratios or relative levels, thereby permitting use of simple addition and subtraction rather than multiplication and division,respectively, is no different than using logarithms to…
Radio Amateur Course -Vacuum Tubes -
Just the other day I was using the familiar analogy that relates water pressure, hose diameter, and flow rate to electrical voltage, resistance, and current, respectively, in an explanation to my daughter regarding why the water flow rate in her rebuilt house (original burned down a year ago) is not what it was in her original house. The cause, I surmise, is due to use of the plastic PEX tubing which has a smaller inside diameter than the old copper pipe. The submersible pump and holding tank supply the same 50 psi as before, but since that pressure now has to force the water through a path inside the house that has more resistance to the water flow, the delivery rate to fixtures is now lower. When I hold the contacts closed on …
Send Me Your Press Releases!
There is a very easy - and FREE - way for you to get your company's products and services in front of RF Cafe visitors: Press Releases. Serving between 7,000 and 10,000 pages each weekday provides a valuable amount of exposure to people like you - serious engineers, technicians, students, and hobbyists. If your company makes products that I deem relevant to my readership, I will gladly post your press release, company news, product announcements, etc. Please send the information, along with images (or links to online images), hyperlinks to featured product pages, contact information, an About Us statement, and other such content usually associated with press releases. I do …
Saelig Introduces Pre-Compliance EMC Probe Kits
Saelig Company, Inc. announces the availability of the TBPS01-TBWA2 EMC Probe Kit, which includes investigative near-field probes and a wideband amplifier to increase the versatility of economical spectrum analyzers to identify EMC issues. The economical TBPS01-TBWA2 EMC Probe Kit consists of four rubber-handled near-field probes (three H-field and one E-field), a 20 dB or a 40 dB wideband amplifier, and associated cables, supplied in an attractive wooden case. The shielded probes have built-in ferrites and insulated rubber handles to insure that measurements are insensitive to the human hand. The H- or E-field probes are useful for detecting radiated …