having been the person who first switched on the signal for a commercial TV station in 1949, and then
be the one to shut if off again 60 years later! On June 12, 2009, 99-year-old WAGA engineer
Paul Cram did just that in a ceremony marking the FCC-mandated
switchover from analog to digital broadcasting.
Paul mentions how back in the day, a B&W TV with a 7" screen cost $1,000. BTW,
does the comment made by the reporter right after the signal goes dead strike you as odd?
It will take a little more than simply
downloading an app from the Internet for your iPhone to pull this off. Researchers at Freie University
of Berlin developed the application seen controlling a specially equipped car. I hope there was an emergency
kill switch incorporated to remove any possibility that it could run into that cool old airplane on
the other side of the hangar. ...the Rest of the story.
when laser power was measured in units of "Gillette power (GP)," when
rare earth minerals like ruby were the known medium for lasing? 1 GP was the laser power needed to cut
through a Gillette razor blade. That was in a lab environment. We've come a long way, baby. This video
shows the C-130-mounted Advanced Tactical Laser targeting a 1-ft square area on a truck hood. It burns
through the hood and the engine... from a moving platform. Wicked.
The IEEE has produced a few
videos in a series called Thank an Engineer. This one is titled "Thank an Engineer: Notebook PC." Although some of the scenes are a little hokey, I
can remember loading a CRT and CPU tower onto a cart to wheel it over to the meeting room as part of
a presentation. By the time I left the corporate world to go independent in the spring of 2007, it had
gotten to the point where everyone at meetings had a wirelessly connected notebook. They answered e-mail,
wrote reports, ran simulations, surfed, and occasionally listened to the speaker.
In 1971, Joe
Hafele and Richard Keating conducted an experiment to test the General Theory of Relativity's prediction
of time dilation, aka The Twin Clock Paradox. They synchronized two atomic clocks with a standard
and took one on a flight in a Boeing 747 while leaving the other behind. Einstein's equations predicted
a loss of about 40 ns in the W-E direction, and a gain of about 275 ns for E-W. Measured results were
within the calculated uncertainty. Here, Dr. DonZi explains away the "paradox" part of the Twin Clock
Project to the 10100 (that number is a googol, by the way), is "a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people
as possible." Google has committed $10M to implementation of winning ideas, which include the following
topics: community, opportunity, energy, environment, health. education, shelter, & everything else.
Call me a skeptic, but I consider all the money, equipment, and labor volunteered by people of their
own free will and then fume over governments telling me it is never enough. There is a lot of money
being made by legislators pandering to activists.
It is time for the Christmas video assortment. Here
is an eclectic mix of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Bing
/ David Bowie singing a duet, and a new
where Jack Bauer (24) interrogates Santa Claus.
from RF Cafe!
Many companies are creating videos
to pitch their products. This short clip from DowKey
Microwave demonstrates how to use their line of switches, filters, power dividers, etc., to easily
assemble switch matrices ranging from simple to quite complex. What I would like to see is videos showing
production processes like how a lumped element filter is assembled and tuned, how coaxial connectors
are machined, how to automate testing of amplifiers, etc. Most of those tasks do not qualify as trade
secrets, so broadcasting them is not competitive a risk. It could be a great public relations tool.
Ski season is nearly here again in the northern
hemisphere. It will be a few years before you are sharing the slopes with robots, but work is underway
at the Jozef Stefan Institute in Slovenia. This
little dude uses GPS receiver and USB camera feeds into a microprocessor to navigate the slalom course
set before it. Bojan Nemec first presented this
at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.
Beginning in humble Tibet (even though
it was produced in the U.S.) and zooming out to the very edge of the known universe (13.7 billion
light years), this video claims to contain an accurate 3D mapping of every cataloged object, including
gas clouds. A couple years ago there was a similar animation that began at the microscopic scale and
zoomed out to the cosmic level, but it was not based on a real mapping.
is another example of a video produced by an RF component manufacturer to pitch its products. Using
engineer characters that are sort of a cross between a
Weeble and a
South Park deviant, Giga-tronics
created a storyline about reliability and flexibility in their selection of signal generation and measurement
equipment. Again I suggest videos demonstrating component production processes like assembly, measurement,
Cal Poly claims in this video
to be the only university with an anechoic chamber for testing antennas. The Electrical Engineering department developed
this facility as part of their 'Learn by Doing' philosophy that gives students an opportunity
to get hands-on exposure to test set-ups and making measurements, as well as an ability to check theoretical
predictions against measured results. Having such experience will be a nice resume enhancement.