RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2016
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 Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...
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These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page.
Homepage Archive Pages
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Click for Page 1 of the August 2015 homepage archives.
Here is a batch of electronics-themed comics that appeared in the July 1948 edition of Radio News. The comic on page 122 would probably elicit cries of racism or hate speech these days, even though there is nothing racist about it. My favorite is the one that appeared on page 175. There is a growing list of other comics at the bottom of the page ...
Men Who Have Made Radio: James Clerk Maxwell
Maxwell's inception of the theory of electromagnetic radiation is compared here to if Christopher Columbus had conceptualized the existence of America and mapped its features based solely on observations of how the known oceans and land masses interacted. I have always been amazed at the ability of people who formulate entirely new theories of science, finance, medicine, etc., and manage to detail and support their ideas with hard data and mathematics. Einstein did so with relativity, Dalton did so with atomic structure, Darwin did so with evolution, Pasteur did so with germ theory; the list is long. There are lots of geniuses out there, but a relative few change the world ...
Coilcraft Filter Designer by Nuhertz
Coilcraft recently announced a new version of their 'Filter Designer' software, which is a customized version of the Nuhertz Technologies' 'FilterSolutions' filter synthesis and analysis program. Filter Designer will generate schematics and response curves for 3rd-, 5th-, and 7th-order lowpass Elliptic filters that incorporate Coilcraft inductors. The functionality is therefore somewhat limited and, honestly, is probably more of an advertisement for the full-blown commercial version of the software, but I did find one aspect very instructive. If you have built a filter using real-world components, then you know how sensitive inductors are to package configuration, wire winding characteristics, and placement on the circuit board. A simulation can be utterly worthless in predicting the performance of a prototype filter if the modeling is ...
Simplified Coil Calculation
This might be one of the earliest printed instances of Harold A. Wheeler's simplified formulas for the three basic inductor forms. We all use them on a regular basis, but for most the origin was never known or has long since been forgotten (I fall into the latter category). I did some research on Wheeler's inductance formulas a few months ago when writing an app, so it was sort of déjà vu when this blurb appeared in a 1932 edition of Radio-Craft ...
App Note: Implementation Margin of a Satellite Communication System
Noisecom is part of the Wireless Telecom Group. Abstract: The Implementation Margin of a Satellite Communication System is defined as the degradation of the signal after travelling through the up and downlink equipment. In order to find this, an EbNo generator such as the Noisecom CNG-EbNo Series can first be used to carry out an IF loopback test of the modem in order to find bit error rate (BER) values at different Eb/No ratios. A plot of these values can then be compared with the theoretical curve for the digital modulation scheme being used. The resultant difference is termed the implementation loss of the modem, and this value is used as a reference level for the second part of the test, in which the implementation margin of the complete up and downlink is ...
Keysight Technologies Webcast: Power Module Design for Power Electronics
Power electronics engineers designing power modules face a number of challenges; namely, size, weight, efficiency, cost, and robustness. This free, 1-hour webcast will explore these challenges and lay out a new workflow for overcoming them. Topics include modeling and characterization of components and devices, such as GaN transistors, electrothermal co-simulation, and integration of GaN into power electronic circuits. Presented by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ingmar Kallfass, chair for Robust Power Semiconductor Systems at the University of Stuttgart, and sponsored by Keysight, the webcast ...
Wireless Engineering Crossword Puzzle
This week's Wireless Engineering crossword puzzle contains the usual collection of science, math, and engineering terms, and also includes a couple topics that have been in the technical news headlines lately (clues labeled with asterisk *). Enjoy ...
Linx Technologies Intros Pre-Certified, Low Cost RF Data Modules
Linx Technologies, a Merlin, OR based developer and manufacturer of Internet of Things (IoT) Products and Solutions, is pleased to introduce its new pre-certified, low cost RF data modules. The HumPRO™ Series transceiver is built on the popular Hummingbird platform, and is a frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) transceiver designed for the reliable transfer of digital data. Available today in 900 MHz, the HumPRO™ 900 MHz version outputs up to 10 dBm. This results in a line-of-sight range of up to 1600 m (1.0 mile). The HumPRO™ Series module is a completely integrated RF transceiver and processor designed to transmit digital data across a wireless link. It employs a fast-locking FHSS system for noise immunity and higher transmitter output power as allowed by government regulations ...
RCA "Ultrafax" System
Don't let the title fool you. This 'Ultrafax' system developed by RCA in the late 1940s was essentially the first attempt at video on demand, or streaming video. Rather than piping the signal over cable or local broadcast frequency towers, a microwave link was used. While initial system equipment space and financial requirements meant only corporations, universities, and governments could procure an Ultrafax, engineers who developed the system envisioned an eventual culmination of equivalent systems in every home. Even at the end of the last century it was still not possible for program providers to personalize broadcasts to individuals. It wasn't until broadband Internet came on the scene in the 2000s that such services were possible. Now, a decade later, people watch any video they want on cellphones while riding in a car ...
Van de Graaff Generator in the Tail Boom
Mechanically generated electrical noise has been the bane of wireless communications since the days of Marconi. I recently posted a 1930 article from Radio-Craft titled "More About 'Man-Made' Static" that addressed the plague. Electrical noise adversely affects electronics in a manner ranging from relatively harmless but annoying interference to destructive discharging. We are very familiar with ESD and the hazard it presents to electronic devices. Triboelectric charging and a subsequent rapid discharge is the culprit. Much research has led to ingenuous mitigation and prevention techniques that have practically eliminated the problem. Still, electrical noise crops up in some of the most unexpected places and must be dealt with. An article dealing with triboelectric charging and static discharge in radio controlled (R/C) helicopters, with the resultant radio interference ...
Fairview Portfolio with New Family of Waveguide Directional Couplers
Fairview Microwave, a supplier of on-demand microwave and RF components, introduces their new family of precision waveguide directional couplers. This release consists of 28 models covering a frequency range from 18 GHz to 110 GHz in seven popular frequency bands including K, Ka, Q, U, V, E and W bands. Fairview Microwave's waveguide couplers are available in waveguide sizes from WR-42 up to 18 GHz all the way to WR-10 up to 110 GHz. These directional couplers are offered with 10 dB or 20 dB coupling values and have high directivity of 30 dB typical with insertion loss is as low as 0.6 dB in certain models. Fairview’s new waveguide couplers are available in both standard and split block configurations and are also available in both E-Bend and H-Bend designs. They utilize a multi-hole ...
4 More Radio Service Data Sheets Added to the Rapidly Growing List
At least for now, I am going to only scan and post schematics & parts lists like the ones listed below, rather than use OCR (optical character recognition) software on them to separate the textual content. There are still many people who restore and service these vintage radios, and often it can be difficult or impossible to find schematics and/or tuning information. I will keep a running list of all data sheets to facilitate a search.
- RCA Victor Portable
- Atwater Kent Model 305Z 5-Tube
32 V. D.C. Superhet
- Kadette Jewel Model 40 Chassis
3-Tube Ultra-Midget Receivers
Models 41, 43, 44 and 48
- General Electric Model N-60 6-Tube
Carl & Jerry: Gold Is Where You Find It
You can buy a pretty good metal detector today for a hundred dollars that will find coins buried many inches deep and larger metallic items even deeper, and you even get discriminator functions to filter out unwanted objects like tin cans. They weigh just a couple pounds and can be used with one arm. Compare that to early metal detectors that had huge induction coils on a frame so heavy that shoulder straps were needed just to lug them around. Some models came on wheels for pushing or pulling like a cart. You could plan to spend a few hundred dollars (a thousand or more in today's dollars) for one. Even then, they were not as sophisticated as the $50 models sold in Walmart now. In classic fashion, teen electronics hobbyists Carl and Jerry use their technical prowess to design and build their own metal detector and then unintentionally using it to convince ...
Bell Labs Ad: Test Tube for Sound
A lot of people like to demean engineers and scientists for their propensity to want to conduct experiments and obtain measured, empirical data rather than 'winging it' and being satisfied with 'intuitive' knowledge or the contemporarily popular term 'gut.' If mankind had not adopted scientific methods and ventured beyond the 'cradle of civilization' on the African continent, we would all still be living in grass huts, hurling rocks at prey, and foraging for berries. Quantifying and categorizing all things in nature helps inventors create new and improved implements that help make life better. Early on it was mostly individuals like Archimedes, Euler, Newton, and Edison who built the pool of knowledge that fed and evolved into corporations, governments, and universities doing the vast majority of the work. Bell Laboratories is probably one of ...
Empower RF Systems Patent Approval "Combiner for an RF Power Amplifier"
United States Patent 9,093,731 B2, recently awarded to Empower RF Systems, validates the uniqueness of the hardware architecture in use on Empower's high power, next generation amplifiers. The embodiments of this patent protection are related to the design, associated materials, and integration of the high power combiner that is integral to delivering multi-kW broadband power (CW) and narrow band pulse in an air cooled, 5U chassis (and other combinations of power and chassis sizes utilizing this architecture). "We are pleased to receive this additional recognition and patent protection for our next generation amplifiers," said Jon Jacocks, CEO. "This is a second award this year that is specific to our next ...
Ransom Olds' Historical Site Now a NAPA Auto Parts Store
I receive very little feedback overall on RF Cafe content. Surprisingly, though, the 'Day in History' feature on the homepage generates the most e-mails either due to a typo by me or someone commenting on a particular item. It's nice to know they're read. Website visitor Steve Gilbert just wrote regarding Oldsmobile founder Ransom E. Olds' entry from August 26. Says Steve, "Ransom Olds was born just a few blocks away from where your friends at Tegam have their business located in Geneva, Ohio. Fittingly the site of Ransom Olds' birthplace is today an auto parts store." A quick Google search turned up a historical marker located on Old's property, and it gave the GPS coordinates. Plugging those into Google Maps placed me right at the spot, and then a Street View ...
More About "Man-Made" Static
Manmade electrical noise (QRM) and natural electrical noise (QRN) has been the nemesis of communications - both wired and wireless - since the first signals were sent. While it is true that over the last century the amount of 'background' noise has increased significantly, the ability of modern circuits to deal with (reject) it and/or accommodate (error correction) it has pretty much kept up with the advancement. You might be tempted to think that 'back in the good old days' such problems did not exist, but operators were plagued by poorly designed and inadequately filtered transmitters as well as really deficient electrical service installation that spewed noise from transformers, inadequately grounded transmission lines, lousy connections, ...
WiSilica Launches Smart Environment Platform for a More Intelligent IoT
WiSilica, the smart environment enabler creating a more intelligent IoT, has launched an end-to-end solution for connecting millions of devices that can understand their environment and use predictive intelligence to improve the user experience, reduce cost and improve efficiency. Taking advantage of the existing smartphone ecosystem and WiSilica's proprietary mesh networking technology, the WiSe platform enables customers to easily configure smart homes, buildings, lighting, sensors and wearables into intelligent devices that they can manage via mobile apps and in the cloud. "WiSilica provides customers with the building blocks and framework to create complete smart IoT environments," ...
2 New Titles Available to RF Cafe Book Drawing Winners! Watch Your E-Mail !
month I randomly select one or two people from my e-mail inbox who are entered for the
FREE book drawing (I pay the shipping
cost from my ever-thinning
To date I have shipped over 120 books that are typically valued at over $100 each; all are recently released volumes
by top engineering publishers like Artech House
and Cambridge University Press. These two
titles have been added for the September drawing:
- RF Positioning: Fundamentals,
Applications, and Tools (GNSS
Technology and Applications)
- The Art and Science of
RCA T&M Equipment Advertisement
Just as the test and measurement equipment manufactures scrambled to produce lines of spectrum, network and communications analyzers, oscilloscopes, power meters, electromagnetic field sensors, and many other types of products specifically for the cellphone and Wi-Fi industries, companies were scrambling to provide for the needs of FM radio and television development labs and production lines. This 1947 advertisement from Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is an example that appeared in Radio News magazine. In fact, TV was so new that just a few months later, in September of 1948, editor Hugo Gernsback changed the publication's name to . BTW, did you even know RCA made ...
Featured Book: Essentials of RF and Microwave Grounding
Essentials of RF and Microwave Grounding, by Eric Holzman, Grounding is a widespread and serious problem in microwave and RF engineering and, up until now, there hasn't been a practical, authoritative resource dedicated to the topic. This first-of-its-kind volume offers professionals a comprehensive understanding of the proper grounding techniques to use when working on varied microwave circuit and antenna design projects. Practitioners learn what problems can occur when grounding design is inadequate, and how to avoid them. The book covers a wide range of critical topics, from the fundamentals of low frequency circuit theory and the differences between DC and RF short circuits...to grounding in active microwave component design and ...
MECA Intros 6 GHz RF Attenuators
MECA is pleased to announce the addition to our 662 series, 2 watt SMA attenuators operating now up to 6 GHz! The 662-dB-1F6 series attenuators cover all wireless applications from Hz – 6.0 GHz and available in standard values of 3, 6, 10, 20 & 30 dB. And as always made is USA carrying MECA's 36 month warranty ...
NI AWR: ADF 2015 China - Agendas Finalized and Registration Opened
NI (formerly AWR Corporation) announces that the agenda has been set and registration opened for the AWR Design Forum 2015 (ADF) in Chengdu, China on Wednesday, Sept. 16 and in Nanjing, China on Friday, Sept. 18. Celebrating its fifth year, ADF is an open forum that brings together NI AWR software customers, partners and microwave/RF engineering professionals to learn, network and collaborate on the design of today's microwave and RF circuits and systems. Highlights of ADF include technical presentations featuring NI AWR Design Environment™, select customer and keynote presentations and live demonstrations/exhibition area. The presentations slated for ADF 2015 Chengdu and Nanjing ...
Measuring Inductance and Capacity
This reactance measuring bridge circuit employs a very unique element for generating an alternating current: an electromechanical buzzer which doubles as an audio source. Sure, it doesn't produce a pure sinewave, but for the method used here to determine inductance and capacitance it does not matter. Rather than attempting to measure an absolute value of inductance or capacitance, a known reactance is used as part of a balanced bridge. This is by no means a precision instrument since accuracy depends on the user's interpretation of the presence or absence of an audible 'buzz' in a pair of headphones, but in an era when 'real' test equipment was beyond the budgets of many (maybe most) hobbyists, the scheme was better ...
Hitler Takes up Television
I am constantly amazed when reading stories about how easily Adolph Hitler rose to power in Germany by encouraging and exploiting resentment of his countrymen over being forced, among other concessions outlined in the Treaty of Versailles, to disarm militarily and make reparations for atrocities committed in World War I. Part of the Nazi (National Socialist) party success was extensive use of propaganda via print, radio, and the relatively new technology of television. Government exercised complete control over the mainstream media (i.e., not 'underground') by dictating content that promoted the proclaimed virtues of Nazism and the Aryan race and the vices of just about every other form of government and race (particularly Jewish). At the height of Hitler's reign of terror during the Third Reich era, radio and television sets were only permitted to use crystals tuned to state-sponsored ...
Notable Quote: Benjamin Peirce
"Gentlemen, ei*π + 1 = 0 is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be truth." - Benjamin Peirce (not to be confused with Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce ), 19th century Harvard mathematician. ei*π + 1 = 0 i, BTW, is known as Euler's identity - engineers live by it.
Keysight Technologies Offers IMS2015 MicroApps CD
The MicroApps program at the annual International Microwave Symposium (IMS2015) contained nearly 80 presentations covering the hottest topics in RF/uW. If you missed this important event, the presentation slides are now available compliments of Keysight Technologies. Order your official IMS2015 MicroApps CD while supplies last. Here's the catalog of titles/abstracts, download this to "See What's Inside".
Please Welcome Triad RF Systems as a Supporter of RF Cafe!
Triad RF Systems comprises three partners with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. "Our market knowledge has enabled partnerships with some of the leading radio manufacturers to build state-of-the-art solutions that give them an advantage in transmission distance and signal purity. We also understand the market pressures for increasing data transmission while simultaneously requiring less DC power." Triad RF Systems' offerings include power, bi-directional, frequency-translating, tower-mount, and low-noise amplifiers, rack systems, and custom amplifier systems. Please visit them today to see whether you can benefit from their products and services.
Surgery (and Soldering) in Space
Air & Space magazine has an article in the September 2015 issue that discusses medical issues for consideration during extended stays in space - whether it be in orbit around Earth or during a journey to or from the moon or a planet. Believe it or not, to this day there is no practical method of performing invasive surgery in zero gravity conditions. The problem is controlling escaping blood. Even inside a glove box type contraption ('hermetic surgery') the free-floating blood interferes with an operation enough to jeopardize procedures. Even orthoscopic methods are difficult because at some point blood tends to escape the body. As part of planning for every conceivable emergency, NASA, ESA, RFSA, and CNSA have agreed that the only reasonable ...
Saelig Intros Economical Line Impedance Stabilization Network
Saelig Company, Inc. announces the availability of the TBLC08 Line Impedance Stabilization Network (LISN) which enables measurements of line-conducted interference within the range of 9kHz to 30MHz, according to the CISPR16 or other standards, before any formal testing commences. The TBLC08 is designed especially for pre-compliance testing of single phase, AC-powered equipment with supply voltages up to maximum 260V. Noise transmitted on the line and neutral conductors coming from equipment under test can now easily be measured. The TBLC08 is also equipped with a switchable limiter/attenuator and an artificial hand connection for simulating handheld equipment ...
Family Jewel Protection Against Wireless Device Radiation
This being a family-friendly website prevents me from showcasing the actual merchandise that is the topic of this feature. A regular RF Cafe visitor and contributor sent me a hyperlink to a company called Wireless Armour which manufactures a line of clothing that addresses and solves the problem of a fairly recently identified and verified issue facing the future of the human race. Indeed, I have posted a large number of news stories on the subject in the past decade. Per the company's website, "Wireless Armour is a new line of 'smart, wearable tech' Wi-Fi shielding men's underwear that aims to protect male fertility against 99.9% of harmful electromagnetic radiation emitted by Wi-Fi devices including smartphones and laptops." I have yet to see a Surgeon General's warning label on laptop computers to admonish people against placing them on their laps ...
A Crystal Receiver with Transistor Amplifier
Considering that not much more than a year before this article was written that the transistor had been invented, it is impressive that already Raytheon was producing a commercially available CK703 'crystal triode.' That nomenclature was a natural extension of the preceding crystal diode already being widely adapted in circuit design. If you have wondered how the transistor schematic symbol came to be as it is, you will learn why here where the emitter and collector symbols actually both have arrows on the ends that contact the base, indicating the 'point contact' physical arrangement of the semiconductor junctions. Shortly thereafter the arrow on the collector port was eliminated, primarily, I suppose to avoid confusion when the E, B, and C labels are not present ...
Anatech Electronics Newsletter - August 2015
Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its August 2015 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, along with presenting some relevant industry news tidbits, Sam Benzacar discusses the importance of assuring high integrity RF cable and connector installation. Being a major manufacturer of connectorized filters, Anatech Electronics' products rely on proper interconnections to help guarantee specified performance. Filter responses are dependent upon the impedances of the input and output ports being very close to design-for values - typically 50+j0 Ω or 75+j0 Ω. Anything else will result in a curve that deviates from the shape obtained when tuning into a calibrated network analyze; the greater the impedance, the greater ...
Peregrine Semiconductor Announces Next Chapter in Intelligent Integration
Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, announces the next chapter in intelligent integration - integrated phase and amplitude control at microwave frequencies. In the fall of 2014, Peregrine introduced intelligent integration, a unique design capability of UltraCMOS® technology that enables the integration of RF, digital and analog components onto a single die. Peregrine uses this design capability to offer benefits such as configurability, flexibility, enhanced performance, reliability, repeatability, ease-of-use and a reduced form factor. By enabling phase and amplitude control at higher frequencies, Peregrine can provide clear benefits to markets and ...
Networks for Television
Nationwide commercial television broadcasting companies wasted no time stringing coaxial cable and microwave towers from sea to shining sea once the NTSC format standard was adopted and manufacturers had spooled up production after World War II. Adoption of cable services was slow because a fee was involved, but once purely cable channels started being added the perceived value increase convinced consumers to open their wallets. Eventually cable eclipsed over-the-air broadcasts for all but extremely rural areas that were not serviced by cable. Along came satellite TV to take care of filling that void. Once a small, inexpensive, unobtrusive Ka-band antenna replaced the huge S-band backyard parabolic dishes and subscription prices dropped significantly, suburbanites and city dwellers picked it up. Soon, cable companies were feeling the pinch as their customer bases shrunk. Not ones to sit ...
Keysight Technologies University Educational Support Programs
The Keysight EDA University Programs offer full versions of Keysight EDA software to qualified academic institutions for instructional use. This software is used in industry and creates a full wireless communication EDA experience that helps students develop skills that will serve them well throughout their careers. "Students love being able to access a student license download," said Kathleen Melde, professor at the University of Arizona. "The process is so easy and there's 24/7 access, so I often joke about how students can use the Keysight EDA tools to fix problems that bug them in the middle of the night. More importantly though, the student license is allowing our students to master the use of industry-standard tools and that's ...
RFMW Intros Qorvo SPDT Switch for Ku-Band Radar
RFMW announces design and sales support for the Qorvo TGS4310-SM single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) reflective switch. The TGS4310-SM is specified for operation from 13 to 19 GHz and features low insertion loss of <1.7 dB with isolation >20 dB. Switching speed is 20 ns and the switch control voltages are 5V/0V. Capable of handling 2 W of input power, the TGS4310-SM is ideal for Ku-band Radar applications as well as communication systems and instrumentation operating in these frequencies ...
KVG Quartz Crystal Technology GmbH Added to Oscillator Vendor Page
KVG Quartz Crystal Technology GmbH has been added to the Oscillator, VCO, PLL, Frequency Source & Synthesizer Manufacturers and the Filter, Diplexer & Duplexer Manufacturer pages on RF Cafe. They have been making ceramic & crystal oscillators and filters since the 1930s. Both surface mount and connectorized packages are available.
Hands That See: NY Institute for the Blind Prepares Students for Ham License
Life for the blind has always been fraught with obstacles that we who can see will never be able to fully appreciate. Society has come a long way in accommodating the special needs of those with no or severely reduced eyesight. Recent news stories report of experiments with electronic implants that use implants set into the eye and couple somehow with the retina to send image information to the person's brain. While in no way close to being able to be called sight, it has at least allowed the guy or girl with training to detect and avoid obstacles based on changes in scenery shading. We are probably a century away from true bionic vision, incremental improvements will thankfully improve the lives of our thusly challenged brethren. This article from a 1947 edition of Radio News reports on efforts made by the New York Institute for the Educations of the Blind to make amateur radio ...
Pasternack Enterprises Has an Opening for a Technical Writer
Pasternack Enterprises, a global supplier of RF and Microwave components and assemblies, is looking for a Technical Writer to join the team as soon as possible! Job Summary: Make everything we do better by being the voice of Pasternack, developing impactful technical marketing content that would include, but not be limited to, product descriptions, white papers, newsletters, email, direct mail, print advertising, press releases, blogging, and social media. Skills and/or Experience: Bachelor's degree Experience working with engineers and within a marketing organization, 5+ years of experience ...
Copper Mountain Technologies Expands Team to Support Growth
As demand for vector network analyzers (VNAs) increases, Copper Mountain Technologies (CMT) has hired two new employees to support the company’s growth. Masud Al Aziz and Rick Hollowell will both play strong roles when it comes to helping customers improve their RF and microwave testing processes via the company’s affordable, lab-grade equipment. As the new senior applications engineer and RF specialist for CMT, Al Aziz brings extensive experience in microwave engineering, RF circuit design, antenna design and digital signal processing to the company. Hollowell is the new national business development manager for CMT and will focus on expanding the company’s market position by implementing new strategic goals ...
Mac's Radio Service Shop: Barney Talks A.C.-D.C.
Have you ever heard of a 'globar' resistor? They have been around since the early days of radio and were used, among other things, to protect vacuum tube heater elements from burning up due to high inrush current when first turned on. Globars have a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) of resistance so that, opposite of standard carbon and metal film type resistors, they exhibit a higher resistance when cold than when hot. Mac and Barney discuss their use in this episode of "Mac's Radio Service Shop." You might be more familiar with the name 'thermistor' for such devices, but globars are unique elements in that their construction from non-inductive ceramic material makes them useful at high power levels and high frequencies. Globar appears to now be owned by Kanthal (aka Kanthal Globar). Interestingly, Keysight Technologies (formerly ...
Radio Service Data Sheets
Here are three more Radio Service Data Sheets added to the online archive. As mentioned many times in the past, I post these for the benefit of hobbyists looking for information to assist in repairing or restoring vintage communication equipment. These particular radio models - Emerson Model 20A and 25A, Pilot Model B-2, General Electric Model K-40-A - were featured in a 1933 edition of Radio-Craft magazine ...
RF Components for Aerospace and Defense Webinar w/NI AWR Software
NI (formerly AWR Corporation) announces that it is sponsoring a Microwave Journal training webinar entitled RF Components for Aerospace and Defense. This webinar covers defense versus commercial philosophy, standards and standards organizations, quality assurance in defense, military microelectronics, and microwave areas of radar systems and electronic warfare systems in defense. Outline: Defense vs. Commercial philosophy, Standards and standards organization, Quality assurance in defense, Military microelectronics, The difference in space, Microwave areas in defense radar systems ...
TekBox EMC Pre-Certification Testing
TekBox Digital Solutions has a presentation in PDF format which discusses product EMC certification testing and the reality that greater than 50% of items fail the first go-round. Since the formal, on-the-record testing is usually an expensive proposition, it behooves companies to perform pre-compliance testing that will provide a high level of confidence that the product will have success on the first pass. Most consumer type devices can be tested in a tabletop-size TEM cell (transverse electromagnetic wave) with proper instrumentation that includes calibrated antennas / RF probes and measurement test equipment. About 15 years ago I was involved in a lot of RF emissions testing that involved using TEM cells, and can remember ...
The Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook
The Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook, by Bruce Elbert. This updated and expanded second edition reflects the state of earth station design and ground segment architecture. From international telephone network gateways to direct broadcast home receivers, today's broad range of ground systems and devices require satellite communication engineers and business managers to have a broad and sound understanding of the design and operating principles of earth stations and ground control facilities. This book explores the delivery end of the satellite link and its relationship to delivery of services. Authored by a leading authority in the field, the book provides engineers and managers with the knowledge ...
MegaPhase's New Power Dividers & Directional Coupler Component Line
MegaPhase is pleased to announce the release of its New Component Line that contains both the 0.5-6.0 GHz Band Power Dividers and the Wide Band Directional Couplers. While the MegaPhase 0.5-6.0 GHz Band Power Dividers and Wide Band Directional Couplers are offered with a standard design, MegaPhase can provide customized solutions to meet any electrical, mechanical or environmental application with a turnaround time atypical of the industry standard. MegaPhase now designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of high performance RF coaxial cables, connectors and components. ...
World's First Photon Counter
Decades before there were highly sensitive CMOS-based light sensors and charge-coupled devices (CCDs), light detection for image capturing was performed by vacuum tubes called photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). They amplify light by releasing electrons in response to a detector surface that answers to photon impingement. PMTs are still more sensitive and of lower noise level than the silicon devices. In fact, super-sensitive elements for many atom smashers and subterranean neutrino detectors still use photomultiplier tubes for that reason. My first encounter with a PMT was as part of a video map rendering system used on the airport surveillance radar (ASR) display that I worked on in the USAF. Air traffic controllers etched an overlay map of the airport area on a plate of coated glass. It was placed in a box that swept a light beam in synchronization with the ATC ...
Fairview Intros New Coaxial HP RF,
Microwave and mm-Wave Limiters
Fairview Microwave, a supplier of on-demand microwave and RF components, introduces a new family of broadband, high power limiters that aid in protecting sensitive RF receivers and components such as LNAs that are in close proximity to high power signals. The new high power limiters from Fairview Microwave operate over broad frequencies ranging from 0.5 GHz to 40 GHz depending on the model. This release contains seven limiter designs featuring limiting thresholds between 3 to 10 dBm and low leakage power of 10 to 15 dBm. Fairview's new selection of coaxial limiters exhibits high CW power handling up to 200 Watts peak ...
Anatech Intros 910-920 MHz, GSM 900
Cavity BPF for In/Outdoor Apps
Anatech Electronics today introduced the AB915B656 rugged indoor/outdoor GSM-band cavity bandpass filter designed for both commercial and defense wireless applications that combines high rejection, low return loss and the ability to remove nearby interference. The AB915B656 has a passband of 910 to 920 MHz, insertion loss of 1.5 dB, return loss greater than 16 dB, and out-of-band rejection of 75 dB from 850 to 894 MHz and 929 to 950 MHz. It can handle 20 W CW and uses Type-N female connectors (others available). The filter measures 140 x 80 x 53 mm, has an operating temperature range of -45 to +85 °C, and is designed to be weatherproof ...
AAnother Round of RF & Microwave Engineering Articles
More than a month has passed since I last posted links to RF & microwave engineering articles. You don't need me to suggest reading material, but this can at least serve as a reminder that there are many great new articles available. Some magazines have been printing an abbreviated version of an article and then posting the entire article online. Often, even if the entire text is printed, there are additional sketches and photographs posted online. Enjoy ...
Impact of Antenna Design, Tune
and Match on Wireless Range
- Fast, Low-Noise JFET Amp is
Stable Over Temperature
- Reflectionless Filters Improve
Linearity and Dynamic Range
- History of Jitter Part 5: PLLs and
Jitter Analysis <more>
"... in the past month Trump has b*slapped the entire Republican Party"
"If you're keeping score, in the past month Trump has b*tch-slapped the entire Republican Party, redefined our expectations of politics, focused the national discussion on immigration, proposed the only new idea for handling ISIS, and taken functional control of FOX News. And I don't think he put much effort into it. Imagine what he could do if he gave up golf." - Scott Adams, Dilbert comic strip creator, in his August 13, 2015 Scott Adams' Blog entry titled "Clown Genius."
Publicity Means Sales!
"If you have dark eyes and blonde hair. and are under 30, you're due for some easy squeezing. Milligan's Appliance Center, 84 Main Street, is giving every girl between 16 and 30 who has these striking features a newly patented orange squeezer, to introduce the new item ... Note: Any traces of recent peroxide rinse will disqualify applicants." That is advertising copy offered as an example effective promotional material in a 1947 edition of Radio News. My first reaction was to think how something like that would never fly today, but then I wasn't so sure. It seems there must be anti-discrimination laws in this 'offend nobody' climate today that prohibit singling out a certain demographic for inclusion or exclusion; however, there are many such promotions run ...
R&S T&M Expert for Challenging
MMicrowave Applications at EuMW 2015
This year's European Microwave Week in Paris is transforming the city of love into the city of microwaves. Rohde & Schwarz will take advantage of the occasion to present its T&M highlights for the highest frequencies. The company will showcase its new R&S FSWP phase noise analyzer and VCO tester for the first time in Europe. The company will present its solutions as well as many minor and major innovations at booth 113. This year, the Rohde & Schwarz specialists will again share their expert knowledge in twelve workshops and seven seminars ...
An incredibly glaring example of the famous admonishment* that those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, Radio-Craft editor Hugo Gernsback wrote in May of 1941, a full half year before the United States of America officially entered World War II, about how current conditions regarding domestic commercial radio broadcast stations were likely being used by German agents to send coded messages to offshore vessels (ships, submarines, and aircraft). In example, he cited, amazingly, an article he himself published in 1915 in The Electrical Experimenter accusing Dr. K. G. Frank, of the German Telefunken company, of conducting spy operations from the Sayville, NY, station on Long Island. A copy of the letters that were exchanged between Mr. Gernsback and Dr. Frank were reprinted in this edition (see "Sayville Once More"). Spoiler alert in ...
"Sayville Once More"
TThese letters represent an unfriendly exchange between The Electrical Experimenter editor Hugo Gernsback and Dr. K.G. Frank, of the Telefunken System of Wireless Technology, of Germany. Gernsback correctly accused Dr. Frank of engaging in espionage for Germany and against the United States of America, during World War I at a time we were not officially at war with the Axis powers. He was arrested and interred for the duration of the war for sending out "unneutral messages" from the broadcast station at Sayville, Long Island, New York. See "Radiobotage" in this month's (September 1941) editorial ...
Radio Training Association
of America Advertisement
Imagine having a serviceman of any sort arrive at your house, fix your problem, and present you with a bill of $6 - parts included. He would walk away satisfied that he had done a good job and was well compensated for the work considering the effort invested in training and qualification. $6 in 1932, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator is worth $104.51 in 2015 money - that's a cheap service call even in today's economy. Further, the $14 stated as a day's earnings is $243.86 in 2015, which equates to 50 (work weeks/year) x 5 (days/week) x $243.86 (/day) = $60,965.00 (/year) - not too shabby. Just between you and me, that's more than I'm currently making per year ...
AFM Microelectronics App Note on MLCC
Resonances and SPICE MLCC Models
AFM Microelectronics has just published an application note titled "MLCC (Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitor) Resonances and SPICE MLCC Models" that advises how to develop a simulation model that will accurately represent the component's behavior under real-life conditions. The process involves making measurements on a carefully calibrated vector network analyzer (VNA), with a caveat about the instrument's ability to adequately ((or inadequately) determine some parameters, such as Rs (series resistance) because the VNA's value often is on the same order as the DUT (device under test) ...
Radar Engineering Crossword
Many of the words in this week's crossword puzzle pertain to radar engineering. All the rest of the words are related to technology, engineering, science, mathematics, aeronautics, ham radio, chemistry, etc. There are no names of Hollywierd actors, shoe designers, or romance novel titles. I will be glad to create a special edition crossword for your newspaper, newsletter, etc. Enjoy ...