RF Cafe Software
About RF Cafe
1996 - 2022
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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ConductRF Supports Your MIL-DTL-38999 RF Cabling Needs
ConductRF introduces custom Multi-Port RF Solutions using the Mil D38999 Standards for applications across both military and commercial markets from DC to 60 GHz. The D38999 standards provide a huge commonly available Multi-Port configuration range which ConductRF uses to enhance with both Mil Standard and precision RF solutions. With significant high frequency capabilities and its state of the art phase matching techniques, ConductRF provides support that includes state of the art phase ...
Peeling Electronics off Indefinitely Reusable Wafers
"Leveraging the so-called wetting transparency of graphene, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has taken a novel approach to semiconductor epitaxial growth, one that would leave the original substrate wafer intact and re-usable for the repetitive growth of new devices, indefinitely. To achieve defect-free crystalline semiconductor materials on a substrate, epitaxial growth requires a good lattice matching between the substrate material and the new semiconductor layers being grown (for the elaboration of electronic devices ..."
Bonanza: Look to the Stars - Albert Michelson Light Speed Measurement
Albert Michelson is a name known to anyone who has taken (and paid attention during) a course in physics for his being the first person to accurately measure the speed of light in air. Born in 1852 to Jewish parents in Poland, his family emigrated to America in 1855 initially settling in Virginia City, Nevada. That happens to be where the fictional TV family of the Cartwrights owned their sprawling Ponderosa ranch in the series Bonanza. Screenwriters for the show took a bit of historical liberty in depicting young Michelson as having attending primary school in ...
Please Welcome BBTLine as an RF Cafe Advertiser!
BBTLine offers a unique patented combiner / splitter design that allows for more compact devices while maintaining low insertion loss, excellent return loss and excellent amplitude/phase balance. These are not standard Wilkinson-style RF splitters. 2- and 4-way, broadband 0.5 - 6 GHz, low loss (0.7 dB @ 6 GHz), excellent amplitude / θ balance (±0.1 dB, ±1°), high power (20 W as splitter), surface mount & connectorized Purchase directly from the BBTLine website or use our Amazon.com storefront. Please visit BBTLine today to see how they can help with your project ...
Powerful mmWave Signal Generator to Revolutionize Wireless Comms
"Imagine this, your doctor waves a hand-held scanner over your body and gets detailed, high-resolution images of your internal organs and tissues. Using the same device, the physician then sends gigabytes of data instantly to a remote server and just as rapidly receives information to make a diagnosis. Integrated circuit researchers at the U. of California, Irvine have created a silicon microchip-based component that could make this a reality. Known as a 'radiator,' the tiny gadget emits millimeter-wave signals in the G band (110 to 300 GHz). Waves of this frequency easily penetrate solid ..."
Black Phosphorus Could Replace Silicon in Low Power Electronics
"In a recent discovery, researchers have found that black phosphorus could possibly replace silicon as the primary material for electronics. The research team from Yale University, led by Fengnian Xia, Yale's Barton L. Weller Associate Professor in Engineering and Science, states how the long forgotten element could play a crucial role in the future of electronic and optoelectronic devices. With silicon as a semiconductor, the quest for ever-smaller electronic devices could soon reach its limit. However ..."
Many Thanks to Res-Net Microwave for Continuing Support!
Res-Net Microwave has a complete line of precision RF & microwave components including attenuators, terminations, resistors, and diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications. Products range from the small flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power attenuators and/or terminations at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo etch and laser trim capability. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current project ...
5G Progress, Realities Set in at Brooklyn 5G Summit
"5G technologies are early in their development, and the business cases for them are a bit fuzzy, but wireless researchers and executives still had plenty to celebrate this week at the annual Brooklyn 5G Summit. They've made steady progress on defining future 5G networks, and have sped up the schedule for the first phase of standards-based 5G deployments. Now, the world is just three years away (or two, depending on who you ask) from its first 5G commercial service. Amid the jubilance, reality is also starting to set in. While attendees can agree that 5G networks will incorporate many new technologies—including millimeter waves, massive MIMO, small cells, and beamforming—no one knows ..."
Eliminate Risk of Fatal Electric Shock with the GFI
When I first started working as an electrician apprentice in the summer of 1974 as part of my high school vocational program, ground fault interrupter (GFI) receptacles and circuit breakers were not mandated by the National Electric Code (NEC). It was only a little more than a decade earlier that UC Berkeley professor Charles Dalziel invented the GFI circuit while researching the effects of electrical current on humans (electrocution). By the late 1970s, shortly before I enlisted in the USAF to begin ...
Engineering White Papers & Books, April 2017
The free whitepapers, pamphlets, books, magazines, and chapter examples listed here are a small sample of a lot of new items that are offered for FREE through TradePub. The publishers make them available to qualifying people as a promotional campaign for their full line of offerings. Note: I earn a few pennies (literally) when you download one of these or the many other pubs available, so please help yourself ...
PMI's April Product Announcement
Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) recently introduced three new products in their extensive line of RF and microwave components. One is the LNA-35-500M2D5G-0D6-25-12-SFF 35 dB low noise amplifier (LNA) covering 0.5 to 2.5 GHz. Another is a DTA-14G40G-32-CD-2, 32 dB 10-bit programmable attenuator (DTA) for frequency range of 14.0 to 40.0 GHz, and another is a 2-18 GHz 8-Bit, vector phase shifter (VPS) ...
Graphene Makes Infinite Copies of Compound Semiconductor Wafers
"Despite graphene's amazing properties and all the engineering that has gone into giving the wonder material a band gap, its prospects for digital logic remain as much in doubt as they have ever been. But the list of uses for graphene in electronics outside of digital logic continues to grow. The latest comes from research out of MIT in which graphene could make the use of exotic semiconductors more accessible to industries by preparing semiconductor thin films without the high cost of using bulk wafers ..."
Invasion of the Hardware Snatchers: Cloned Electronics Pollute Market
"In February 2014, the FBI charged a Florida man, Marc Heera, with selling a cloned version of the Hondata s300, a plug-in module for the engine computer that reads data from sensors in Honda cars and automatically adjusts the air-fuel mixture, idle speed, and other factors to improve performance. The plug-in also allows users to monitor the engine via Bluetooth and make their own adjustments. The clones certainly looked like the genuine product, but in fact they contained circuit boards that had likely been built in China, according to designs Heera had obtained through reverse ..."
Should Servicemen Be Licensed?
Hugo Gernsback, born in Luxembourg, made his fame and fortune in America as a serial electronics magazine publisher, science fiction author, inventor, and visionary. Radio Craft magazine, in which this editorial was printed, began in 1929 on the heels of Radio News, which began in 1919 and ran through 1959. Hugo Gernsback had a huge influence on the direction of communications electronics, and his opinions were widely sought. As has been the case since governments first regulated services and manufacturing, there was in the middle of the last century a debate over whether electronics servicemen should be required ...
Anokiwave Seeking a Test Engineer
Anokiwave is a fast growing fabless semiconductor company looking for an ambitious, conscientious, and thorough Test Engineer to join the Anokiwave team. The ideal candidate should possess a strong working knowledge of mmW measurements, calibration methodologies, semiconductor probing, and python script language. You will play an instrumental role in the growth and excellence of Anokiwave and our commitment to satisfying our customers. The successful candidate should demonstrate proven capabilities in the following ...
Thanks Much to TestPlace for Extending Support of RF Cafe
TestPlace is a start-up company determined to create a superior "MarketPlace for Test Equipment." Inventory is built by a community of engineers, technicians, students, and hobbyists looking to Buy, Sell, and Trade all types of test and laboratory equipment and accessories. Your participation is key to our success. This is a great opportunity to acquire test equipment at bargain prices ...
Triad RF Systems Intros 4400-5000 MHz, 25W Dual Bi-Directional SSPA
The TTRM1008D GaAs amplifier operates at a frequency range of 4400 MHz to 5000 MHz and has a power output of 25 Watts, while still maintaining a compact form factor of 5.63 x 6.13 x 0.69 inches. This unit also features internal protection against over/under voltage and excessive temperature conditions, which coupled with its rugged construction, ensure fault-free operation in even the most extreme environments. RF Systems Ships Dual Channel C-Band ...
SK Telecom and Samsung launch LTE-R in Korea
"Next-generation train-to-train wireless communications service LTE-R is being given the chance to prove itself in South Korea thanks to a collaboration between SK Telecom and Samsung. The new LTE-R service was launched along the 41km-long Busan Metro line 1 that covers 40 stations. It replaced an existing analogue wireless system for the Busan Transportation Corporation (BTS), indicating how overdue the new technology is. LTE-R needs to combine capacity, security, reliability and low-latency – many of the characteristics that will be ..."
"Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without," April 1944 Radio-Craft
"Use it up... Wear it out... Make it do... Or do without" - what a great slogan! It was coined by the War Advertising Council during World War II to promote the dual need to conserve scarce resources and to help keep prices down by not generating excess demand. Most of us have seen videos or read articles about neighborhood materials collection efforts to round up old tires, scrap metal, glass, tools, electronics equipment, cloth and clothing, and many other items that could be ...
Many Thanks to Nova Microwave for Continuing Support!
Nova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Please visit Nova Microwave today ...
Tone Modulator for R-C from April 1958 Radio-Electronics
Declaring any kind of straight LC tank circuit to be high stability is a bit of a stretch when compared the Q available simply by adding a crystal, even in 1958. Tone modulation was an early method for achieving remote control of model airplanes, boats, and cars. The number of channels with these tone modulation systems is two times the number of modern proportional systems in that moving the rudder left took one channel and moving it right took another. Up and down elevator likewise took two channels. Therefore, this four channel system is only two channels by today's terminology. Technology evolved into fully proportional ...
Whitepaper: What Makes a Good VNA?
Copper Mountain Technologies has published a whitepaper titled, "What Makes a Good VNA?" CMT manufactures Vector Network Analyzers with a USB interface. "Everyone knows that a good VNA should have both excellent hardware performance and an easy to use software interface with useful post-processing capabilities. But there are numerous VNAs in the market with different performance levels; some of them are economy grade, and others are truly laboratory test grade. So what ..."
Saelig Intros 200 MHz SDS1202X-E 'Super Phosphor' Oscilloscope
Saelig Company has introduced the Siglent SDS1202X-E 200MHz Digital Oscilloscope with improved Super Phosphor Technology at a remarkably affordable price. With a real-time sampling rate of 1 GSa/s, this new 200 MHz scope features waveform capture rates of up to 100,000 wfms/s in normal mode and 400,000 wfms/s in sequence mode. The SDS1202X-E has a waveform record memory of up to 14 Mpoints, and a 256-level color and intensity grading and color temperature display. Together, these technologies have been collectively dubbed by the manufacturer ...
Creating Signals That Look Real to Radar
Tektronix has published a whitepaper titled "Radar Signal Generation with a High-Performance AWG" that is available as a free download. "Generating radar signals is one of the most challenging tasks for a signal generator. The signals' combination of carrier frequency, modulation bandwidth, and, in most cases, their pulsed nature creates a series of requirements difficult to match with existing instrumentation. The increasing complexity of radar systems, the growing use of complex modulation techniques such as OFDM or UWB, and the signal quality ..."
Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for April 2017
Stories of interviewees being asked to solve engineering problems - basically working for free - have been around for a long time. Dilbert comic strips have been drawn about it. Job search forums have posts by people telling of ridiculous and/or insulting treatment. Fortunately, at least in the engineering world, those instances are relatively few and far between. This first article this month address the issue. The others cover both employers and employees - and prospective employees. I try to weed out the ones written by people who do nothing but give regurgitated advice to others without actually ...
How Advanced Are Tactical Airborne Laser Weapons?
"Laser weapons have been one of the most important topics of discussion in the Pentagon at least for the past five years, and several weapons programs involving high-energy lasers are in advanced development. There's the U.S. Navy's shipboard Laser Weapon System (LaWS) which was deployed for operational tests aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce. Then there's the Boeing truck-mounted High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) for use against air and ground targets. One of the most important potential future ..."
Dig That Reel Flat Response!
This 1956-vintage article by techno-kidder Carl Kohler taught me a new word - 'darb,' as in "Isn't that a darb, now." According to Merriam-Webster, a darb is a slang term for something superlative. Mr. Kohler penned many tongue-in-cheek stories for Popular Electronics in the 1950s and 1960s, all of them based on his antics involving the latest electronics gadget and Mrs. Kohler's reaction to them. Maybe they are real (in this case, 'reel') and maybe not, but regardless, they are funny and even if made up, could easily be actual experiences. A list of other Kohler ...
Anatech Electronics Newsletter for April 2017
Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its April newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. In it, Sam Benzacar discusses, among other topics, the court battle battle between AT&T and Rivada Mercury Networks regarding the National Public Safety Broadband Network administered by FirstNet, build-out of IoT services, and Google fiber. Anatech's business is to make certain that system and circuit designers have capable filters available to assure successful ...
3-Photon Interference Measured at Long Last
"Quantum interference involving three photons has been measured by two independent teams of physicists. Seeing the effect requires the ability to deliver three indistinguishable photons to the same place at the same time and also to ensure that much more common single-photon and two-photon interference effects are eliminated from the measurements. As well as providing deep insights into the fundamentals of quantum mechanics, 3-photon interference could also be used in quantum cryptography ..."
Designing Electronic Warfare to Regain Airborne Military Dominance
"For decades, military aircraft have relied on electronic warfare (EW) solutions to protect assets and dominate airspace. The ability of the United States to detect and track aircraft, or avoid detection has played a major role in its ability to project power globally and maintain freedom of operation in the air. Today, that dominance is being challenged given the rapid advancements in, and widespread availability of, technology for adversaries. In order to make the best use of finite resources, EW ..."
Science & Electronics Crossword Puzzle for April 23, 2017
This week's tech-themed crossword puzzle, as is the case every week, contains only words pertaining to science, engineering, amateur radio, physics, mechanics, mathematics, etc. Making a special appearance is the name of the most recent company to support RF Cafe through advertising. You will see their banner graphical ad appearing in the right page border sometime this week. Enjoy ...
Many Thanks to Federal Custom Cable for Continued Support !
Federal Custom Cable is your direct source for RF & microwave and contract manufacturing (CM), cable prepping, kitting, labeling, rack & panel, modular assemblies, delay lines, inductors and toroids, semi rigid, stripping and bending, custom molding, Ø-matched, power and multi-conductor and shielded cables. Please contact Federal Custom Cable today for your project needs ...
$5.00 for Best Short Wave Kink
Here for radio hobbyists are a dozen handy-dandy 'kinks,' otherwise known as tricks, shortcuts, or clever ideas, that could prove useful while working in the lab at work or in your shop at home. One kink that might be worth trying calls for immersing an aluminum panel in a water-lye solution to achieve "a professional-looking finish." A satin look results. A Google search on etching aluminum turns up many other methods. Admittedly, most of these ideas would not ...
Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio
Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio is a quite interesting documentary about the struggle that Edwin H. Armstrong - inventor of the superregenerative and superheterodyne circuits, and of wideband frequency modulation (FM) - had with Lee DeForest - inventor of the Audio amplifying tube - and David Sarnoff - CEO of Radio Corporation of America (RCA). Extensive legal battles ensued between Armstrong and DeForest over vacuum tube patents, and Sarnoff's transition from biggest cheerleader to biggest thwarter of Armstrong's efforts are epic. A huge amount of historical information and vintage film clips ...
Semiconductor Nanofiber with Superb Charge Conductivity Developed
"A novel technology that embeds highly conductive nanostructure into semiconductor nanofiber has now been developed by researchers. The novel composite so produced has superb charge conductivity, and can therefore be widely applied, especially in environmental arena. A research team led by Prof. Wallace Leung develops novel semiconductor nanotubes with superb charge conductivity which can be widely used in different applications, especially in environmental arena ..."
BBTLine Intros Unique Line of Broadband Power Combiners / Dividers
BBTLine LLC (Broadband Transmission Line) has introduced a unique patented design which allows for more compact devices while maintaining low insertion loss (higher RF power handling... > 20 watts as a splitter), excellent return loss and excellent amplitude and phase balance. Although there are endless RF power splitters / combiners to choose from on the market, once you start narrowing the search criteria down to 1) Broadband, 2) Surface Mount, and 3) Higher RF Power Rating characteristics, the number of choices is reduced considerably. BBTLine's line of surface-mount ...
Space Debris Problem Getting Worse
"Scientists sounded the alarm Tuesday over the problems posed to space missions from orbital junk - the accumulating debris from mankind's six-decade exploration of the cosmos. In less than a quarter of a century, the number of orbiting fragments large enough to destroy a spacecraft has more than doubled, a conference in Germany heard. And the estimated tally of tiny objects - which can harm or degrade spacecraft in the event of a collision, and are hard to track - is now around 150 million. - We are very ..."
Saelig Intros Economical 6½ Digit Benchtop Multimeter
Saelig Company has introduced the Siglent SDM3065X - an economical 6½ digit dual-display digital multimeter that is suited to high-precision, multifunction, and automation measurement applications. It combines basic high-accuracy measurement functions, with multiple math and display choices, and special features including histogram, trend chart, bar chart, statistics, hold measurement, dBm, etc. The SDM3065X multimeter's front panel features a 4.3" (480 x 272) high resolution color TFT-LCD display ...
15 Member States Oppose EU 25 Year Spectrum Licenses
"Reuters reports that EU plans to try and standardize on a minimum 25-year lifetime for spectrum licenses are opposed by 15 out of the 28 member states. The 15 are: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. The refuseniks have produced a position paper saying the EU proposal is 'disproportionate and insufficiently flexible to be able to respond to market developments.' It says that over-long license periods run the risk of 'preventing innovation if relevant frequency bands are ..."
Building Flexible Microprocessors from 2D-Material Transistors
"Using transistors made from layers of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), a 2D material, researchers from the Graphene Flagship have devised an ultra-thin processor chip integrating 115 transistors and capable of 1-bit logic operations, all in a 0.6mm2 area. The device can execute user-defined programs stored in an external memory, perform logical operations and communicate with its periphery. What's more, the design is readily scalable to multi-bit data, the researchers claim, hoping these ultra-thin devices, flexible Their paper 'A microprocessor based ..."
Solid State Batteries Aim to Top Li-Ion
"Batteries could be transformed from our slowest growing technology to our fastest growing advanced technology if Ilika Technologies Ltd. (University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton U.K.) can realize its dream of self-powered systems-on-chip (SoCs). By eliminating the liquid cores of every other battery technology under the sun - especially the flammable lithium ion (Li-ion) - into the solid-state micron-thin-layers of an SoC, each chip in an electronic circuit could become self-powered, simplifying printed circuit boards and eliminating the big-iron power supplies required today ..."
2D Materials Go Ferromagnetic, Creating a New Scientific Field
"Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have successfully demonstrated that two-dimensional (2D) layered crystals held together by van der Waal forces—these include graphene and molybdenum disulfide—can exhibit intrinsic ferromagnetism. Not only did the team demonstrate that it exists in these materials, but the researchers also demonstrated a high degree of control over that ferromagnetism. The discovery could have a profound impact for applications including magnetic ..."
RCL Microwave Characterizes 32 GHz Broadband Dielectric
Microwave engineers at RCL Microwave have executed their first successful test and dielectric measurement of a thin, flexible 200 micron thick glass material using novel measurement fixtures and methods capable of broadband dielectric material characterization. The test was performed and successfully completed using unique broadband measurement fixtures and the phase difference method, which provides 10,000 data points from 1 MHz to 32 GHz. A 32 GHz broadband test fixture has been combined with the Phase Difference Dielectric Characterization Method to generate data across the entire frequency spectrum of interest. This eliminates the need to interpolate dielectric constants based on a small number of data points ...