Parts 1 and 2 of this series covered the theory of
nuclear physics and laboratory investigation devices. This final installation talks about
commercially available test instruments for detecting and measuring nuclear radiation levels.
My introduction to Geiger counters was in the old The Adventures of Superman television
show (the originals with George Reeves) where they were used
by villains to verify that their stash of Kryptonite would be sufficient to disable our superhero.
I could not find anywhere whether Kryptonite's emission type is alpha particles
(helium nucleus; i.e., 2 protons and 2 neutrons), beta particles ...
Advanced Energy has devoted more than three decades
to perfecting power enabling design breakthroughs and driving growth for leading semiconductor
and industrial customers. Our precision power and control technologies, along with our applications
know-how, inspire close partnerships and perpetual innovation in thin-film and industrial
Engineer performs engineering work in applied research, design, development, testing,
manufacturing, and documentation of RF products or systems. In this role, you will work with
customers to understand their equipment ...
"Researchers at Harvard University have taken an important
step in the realization of 'spintronic' devices by developing a technique for both measuring and controlling
the spin voltage of electrons, also known as their spin chemical potential. This spin voltage
characterizes the tendency of electron spins to diffuse through a material. Whereas in a conducting
material electrons can physically move from point A to point B (an electric current), with
spin voltage the spin of an electron can be transferred to a neighboring electron. This communication ..."
News was a bit slow to spread prior to the Internet.
Unless you worked in a newsroom with a ticker machine clacking away all day heralding breaking
headlines from around the world, your access was relegated to the discretion of media editors
and producers. Items like the demise of radio pioneer
Guglielmo Marconi on July 20, 1937, due to a heart attack would surely have been broadcast
on radio shows (not many households had
TVs at the time) and printed in major newspapers, but long lead times
for magazines meant a four month delay for publications like Radio-Craft. This story
appeared along with separate editorial by Hugo Gernsback ...
FPA RF Cable Assemblies
provide a cost effective high performance solution for applications typically supported by
Semi-Rigid or high cost flexible precision cables. Our Multi-layer shielded cable provides
both flexibility and form-ability by combining a flexible spiral foil over which is a tin
plated copper braid which can be formed. This create a half-way situation, but with added
benefits of lower costs, improved performance and enhanced shielding. FPA Cables are available
on short lead-times with custom lengths and configurations. Precision SMA, 3.5 mm, 2.92 mm &
2.4 mm are our most common ...
"If you've been tuned in to Electronic Design's articles
this past year in the test and measurement arena, you're probably aware of a series by Colin
Mattson (Keysight Technologies) on advanced
oscilloscope triggering techniques. In the first article, he elucidates
on pulse and pattern modes, where the characteristics of a pulse and the uniqueness of a pattern
are utilized as the impetus of signal acquisition. In part two, he delves into edge-mode triggering,
where the edge characteristics of a signal are used to mark the trigger for waveform capture.
In part three, he ..."
Saelig Company announces the availability of two new
TBCGx Comb Generators for EMC testing. The TBCG1 is a radiating comb generator with an
internal dipole antenna and a base frequency of 100 MHz. It radiates a comb spectrum
that is characterized up to 6 GHz. The comb generator is intended as a quick reference
for testing radiated noise measurements in anechoic chambers, TEM/GTEM cells, shielded chambers,
or to gauge the effectiveness of cable shielding and other shielding materials. With its built-in
dipole antenna the TBCG1 can be used in three orientations to emit vertically- or horizontally ...
"Chinese researchers were paid an average of
$43,000 in 2016 for each paper published in Nature and Science, according
to a study by information specialists in China and Canada. Wei Quan from Wuhan University,
Bikun Chen at Nanjing University of Science and Technology and Fei Shu at McGill University
analysed 168 "cash-per-publication" policies at 100 Chinese universities from 1999 to 2016.
The researchers found that Chinese universities offer cash rewards ranging from $30 to $165,000
for papers that are published in journals indexed by Web of Science, with the average amount
increasing over ..."
Unlike Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) which is
responsible for your FM radio being able to display song title and station identification
via a digital subchannel (began in 1992),
Subsidiary Communications Authorization (SCA) has been around as an analog subchannel
for more than half a century. SCA (was) used for tasks such as book reading for the blind,
telemetry, paging services, and most familiarly - Muzak (aka 'elevator
music'). This article presents a simple circuit for stripping the subcarrier off of
the FM broadcast signal to permit a listener to avoid commercials, PSAs, weather reports,
and other items that are played between songs ...
Times has an article about a growing trend to harken back to website layouts reminiscent
of the early days of the Internet. RF Cafe, which began life in 1996 as
RF Tools on AOL, was there.
The RF Cafe logo at the top of this page is the original from 1999.
"Web designs have
come a long way in 20 years, but some are taking a step back to evoke a sort of hipster nostalgia
for the early days of the internet. They're tipping their hat to the 1990s,' said David Lee,
the chief creative officer of Squarespace.' 'I really
hate the modern internet,' Mr. Drake said. 'My vision is to bring back making websites
as a creative thing, not just as a business thing."
I couldn't agree more ...
a leading provider of RF modules, today announced that it has entered a global distribution
agreement with Digi-Key Electronics,
the industry leader in electronic component selection, availability, and delivery. Design
engineers around the world get access to RF modules and design tools from Radiocrafts with
short lead-times. Radiocrafts provides surface mount RF modules for wireless networking in
the ISM bands world-wide. The modules support industry standard protocols such as Wireless
M-Bus, Sigfox and KNX-RF ...
"Two important breakthroughs in the understanding of
iron-selenide superconductors have been made by two independent research
groups. One team has shown that the electrons responsible for superconductivity in the material
probably come from a specific atomic orbital. The other team, meanwhile, has measured the
interaction between electrons and atomic vibrations in iron selenide, which is believed to
be involved in its superconductivity. The research could shed light on the mystery of why
some materials based on iron selenide are superconductors at relatively high temperatures ..."
Controlling Heat and Particle Currents
OK, I admit that the
waterfall drawing caused me to post this. "Researchers from the Theory Department of the MPSD
have realized the control of thermal and electrical currents in nanoscale devices by means
of quantum local observations. Measurement plays a fundamental role in quantum mechanics.
The best-known illustration of the principles of superposition and entanglement is Schrödinger's
cat. Invisible from the outside, the cat resides in a coherent superposition of two states,
alive and dead at the same time. By means of a measurement ..."
A lot of us still use older test equipment at home
and even in the company lab. As discussed in this 1972 article from Popular Electronics magazine,
the displayed rise time on an oscilloscope display is not necessarily that true
rise time of a signal - particularly when the speed approaches the rated bandwidth of
the equipment. In that case, it is necessary to mathematically compensate for the rise times
of each individual component used for making the measurement. Hooking the o-scope probe tip
to the calibration point on the front of the instrument and adjusting the probe's trim capacitor
for a flat response is not always good enough. Most modern o-scopes ...
"The rapidly developing science and technology of graphene
and atomically-thin materials has taken another step forward with new research
from The University of Manchester. This research, published in Science, shows how a variety
of different electronic properties - essentially new materials - can be realised simply by
applying a magnetic field. Electrons inside materials move quite differently from a free electron
in vacuum: their properties are strongly affected by the electric potential of ions comprising
the crystal lattice. This interaction changes the mass of electrons and makes materials ..."
Pasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave and
millimeter wave products, has launched a new line of waveguide phase shifters in sizes ranging
from WR-42 to WR-10. Typical applications include instrumentation, test benches, product development
and characterization. Pasternack's new series of
waveguide phase shifters is comprised of seven models that operate in
the frequency range of 18 GHz to 110 GHz and in 7 waveguide bands from K to W band.
They provide phase shift range from 0 to 180° and 1 dB ...
"Phased array antennas, traditionally used in aeronautics, defense and
satellite communications settings, transmit a signal to a series of coordinated antennas which
work together to increase signal strength in a particular direction. Now, the technology is
being adapted to meet the needs of service providers looking to leverage high-capacity millimeter
wave frequencies for 5G systems. Ian Gresham is a distinguished fellow of technology at integrated
circuit firm Anokiwave, which produces highly integrated silicon core IC solutions and silicon
front end for millimeter wave applications ..."
25, 2017 Time: 8am PT / 11am ET. Sponsored by: Rohde &
Schwarz and Wolfspeed Presented by: Asif Anwar. Abstract:
Military satellite communications will continue to play an integral part
of the C4ISR jigsaw with an emphasis on data / video based communications requiring wider
bandwidth and higher linearity pushing the move towards Ka-band while also helping to alleviate
the bandwidth constraints at traditional C-band, X-band and Ku-band frequencies. However,
next generation 5G terrestrial networks will bring forth new challenges requiring mitigation
"In the U.S.,
the DC volt is legally defined by the Josephson array - a super conducting quantum device
with a highly repeatable output voltage. (The DC Volt,
Nuts & Volts, Jan. '97.) Banks of standard cells and temperature-stabilized Zener
diode references are used by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) to calibrate
DC meters for scientific and industrial customers. So how is the AC volt defined? As it turns
out, there is no 'standard' AC volt in the same way there is a standard DC volt. Instead,
the AC volt is defined by conversion to DC and comparison with a DC voltage standard ..."
Axiom Test Equipment, a provider of efficient and cost
effective solutions customers' test equipment needs, offer the following special deals on
ground shipping is offered on all rentals! Axiom offers our customers several practical,
efficient and cost effective solutions for their business or projects' test equipment needs.
Whether you need to
rent & buy test equipment, repair test equipment,, sell or trade equipment, we are
committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment ...
The August 1972 issue of Popular Electronics
included a short quiz by William Shippee titled "Test
Your Knowledge of Semiconductors." I guessed wrong on question #2 and guessed right by
process of elimination on question #8 (although afterward I discovered that in 2012 I had
posted an article about it from Electronics World magazine). Go ahead and try your
hand at it. I'll bet Q2 has most people guessing, too ...
Power Products (IPP) is pleased to introduce many new resistor values to their line of Low Capacitance Resistive products. Due to their lower parasitic capacitance,
these resistors are perfectly suited as isolation resistors in high power RF combiners / dividers
and transistor feedback networks. Our resistors come in standard and custom values to support
many applications and typical delivery for standard values is 1 – 2 weeks ...
"Over two decades ago, researchers at Drexel University
identified a new kind of material they dubbed Max phase (the M is for transition metal, the
A for "A group" metal, and the X for carbon and/or nitrogen). At the time, the scientists
believed the material could serve as a kind of primordial goo from which all things came—it
contained all the elements but needed to be organized by scientists. Since 2011, Drexel researchers
have been working with an iteration of this Max phase goo called 'MXene.' It was essentially a two-dimensional (2D) material that derived
its name from the process of etching and ..."
For the sake of avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each
week I create a new
crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics,
and other technical words. Clues in this puzzle with an asterisk (*) are
pulled from this past week's (7/7 - 7/14) "Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe
homepage (see Headline Archives page) ...
Signaling with light goes back to ancient times when
militaries and towns communicated with simple encryption methods. Paul Revere relied on lamp
light signals (i.e., one if by land, two if by sea). Sailors
use(d) signal lamps relay simple messages. Even the Warning
Beacons of Gondor were a form of light beam communications (albeit
1 bit -- lit or not lit). To date, the farthest distance over which reliable
(at useful data rates)
terrestrial communications has been accomplished on a light beam is about 2 miles
(3 km). Atmospheric contamination and Earth curvature
(line-of-sight with a tiny bit of refraction assistance) are
the primary limiting factors. By contrast ...
Microwave Filter Company (MFC) continues to provide
C-band users worldwide with the largest variety of
elimination filters within the industry. In addition to our line of filters that reject
"close-in" radar and WiMAX signals, we also offer an array of filters that reject undesired
transmissions operating up in the higher frequency bands (i.e. – maritime & aeronautical
radio navigation bands, X-band and Ku-band). So, whether you need clean C-band reception at
your head-end or out on the open water, we have the right interference elimination filter
for your application ...
A lot of engineers and technicians who visit RF Cafe
design and/or service battery-operated
equipment like radios, wearable devices, games and toys, tools, etc. With battery
technology advancing quickly, it is important to keep abreast of cell chemistry, packaging,
and charge / discharge characteristics. An article by Bob Zollo introduces some of the concepts.
Another article introduces yet another filter design approach. After nearly four decades in
electronics, I am constantly amazed that there are areas of filter design that have not yet
been covered. Items move onto and off of all homepages quickly, so even if ...
Skyworks has introduced a new product category of high-power
Bluetooth® power amplifier solutions for mobile applications targeting Wi-Fi enabled smartphones,
tablets and other portable devices. The
SKY85018-11 is a highly integrated device that is particularly suited
for improving Bluetooth® connectivity ranges, which are required for music streaming. Multiple
output power ranges and a bypass mode ensure that the SKY85018-11 is extremely reliable for
high performance devices, providing a premium audio experience ...
"The government plans to create a mobile comms networks
for testing 5G technology to take a lead in the introduction of next generation mobile services.
5G research teams at King's College London and the Universities of Surrey and Bristol will
be awarded £16m to develop the
5G test network capable of processing huge amounts of data and supporting
applications such as sending virtual reality 3D TV clips to mobile devices. It is hoped the
end-to-end 5G trial network will be deployed early next year. It will also be used as part
of government plans to introduce autonomous vehicles, robotics, augmented ..."
"While U.S. regulators continue to hear arguments for
and against the mandate of Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), the FCC will be taking
up a decidedly less heated but somewhat related matter when it conducts its next open meeting
on July 13. On the agenda is a Report and Order that would address use of the 76-81 GHz band
to support a broad range of vehicular radar uses, such as collision avoidance and adaptive
cruise control systems, as well as to expand the types of fixed and mobile radar operations
permitted within airport ..."
Here is one of the most complete component color code
charts that I have seen. It covers resistors, capacitors, and inductors for EIA, JAN, and
commercial standards. If you are reading this, you have almost certainly memorized the color
/ number correlation (BBROYGBVGW = 0123456789, respectively) and know how to read a regular
carbon resistor's code for resistance and maybe even tolerance. However, if you encounter
a capacitor with an array of colored dots or a component with 5 colored bands, are you sure
how to read it? This handy-dandy chart will help. Or, you probably have an app on your phone
"According to a report by Transparency Market Research,
EMI shielding market is expected to rise to US$9.84 billion by 2025, increasing
from US$5.96 billion in 2016 (CAGR of 6.1%). A noticeable trend in the global EMI shielding
market is the focus of research and development by savvy companies to grow their shares. They
are also resorting to strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions to expand their
outreach. The global EMI shielding market is choc-a-bloc with players who are seen upping
the ante against one another through price, performance, support services ..."
ConductRF's skill in the manufacturing of
Phase Matched RF Cable Solutions is second
to none. We have phase matched a diverse array of solutions from Low Frequency RG and LMR
Cables to more premium exotic cables up to 70 GHz. With a broad base of standard connectors
and cables in stock, we turn solutions around fast. We have solutions across all standard
industry interfaces all the way to 70 GHz with 1.85 mm Solutions. We support all
variants of SMP/SMPM as well as all common standards including SMA, SMB ...
"On the eve
of the annual Semicon West tradeshow here, the Imec research institute described work with
new materials, process modules and architectures aimed at alleviating
interconnect challenges that loom just down the road for semiconductor manufacturing.
At Imec's annual U.S. technology forum here Monday (July 10), Zsolt Tokei, a distinguished
member of Imec's technical staff focused on interconnects, explained how chip interconnects
are being squeezed ever tighter with continued scaling. As chip dimensions shrink, so too ..."
"Government moves to promote the UK space industry
took shape this week with the introduction of the
Space Industry Bill in the House of Lords. The government wants the UK
to take advantage of the growing global space industry with multiple micro-satellite launches.
The Bill, which was outlined in the Queen’s Speech, represents the UK's commitment to enabling
commercial spaceflight from UK spaceports. Lord Callanan, Parliamentary under Secretary of
State for Transport introduced the Space Industry Bill, which is a joint initiative by the
Department for Transport, UK Space Agency and Civil Aviation Authority supported by ..."
"Creation of a single-chip
analog / hybrid computer reveals that special analog versions of computers
could be used to solve complex problems such as nonlinear differential equations. Just recently,
I received a note from Professor Yannis Tsividis of Columbia University, who happened to read
a blog I wrote in 2007 on analog computers. In that blog, I ended by saying that 'I sometimes
wonder if we shouldn't bring back a modern version of an analog computer.' Professor Tsividis
wanted to alert me to the fact that he and his colleagues had done just that. Indeed, they
created a single-chip analog / hybrid ..."
Only John T. Frye can turn an episode of an electronics
technician / tinkerer attempting to devise a method of blowing up mosquitoes with sonic waves
into a lesson in solving television and radio servicing issues by listening to the audio and
interpreting CRT test patterns, as applicable. Mac's young apprentice is introduced to the
recently released troubleshooting volumes - called 'Pict-O-Guides' - published by RCA which
presents a set of uniquely distorted television test patterns (recall
the Indian head test pattern) with an explanation of which circuit likely cased the
Anatech Electronics, Inc. offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance
standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military,
commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Anatech
has introduced 3 new products for your convenience: a 1.5 MHz stripline bandpass filter with
SMA connectors; a triplexer filter with N connectors for the 700 MHz, 5400 MHz, 8100 MHz
bands; and a 112.5 MHz cavity bandpass filter with type W connectors ...
5G: The Solution to Broadband Infrastructure
towns and rural areas still do not have adequate internet access, if any at all. But there
are multiple efforts in place to solve that problem. Not everyone has access to high speed
broadband services. While most of us have had an internet service provider (ISP) for years,
those living in small towns and other rural areas still do not have adequate
internet access if any at all. But there are multiple efforts in place
to solve that problem. And financial assistance from the government in the form of infrastructure
Saelig Company has introduced the
CS448, a unique isolated high common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR) four-channel 200 MHz
14-bit oscilloscope. It has been designed to measure high voltage, fast slew-rate signals
such as those in a full or three-phase power electronic switching bridge (e.g. gate drives
to measure voltage and charge, power switching to measure loss and parasitic stress, output
signals to measure power and spectrum for EMC compliance, control system signals for gain
/ phase and stability, etc.) The CS448 includes a built-in isolated 65 MHz signal generator
to provide stimulus ...
"University of Washington researchers have invented
a cellphone that requires
no batteries - a major leap forward in moving beyond chargers, cords and
dying phones. Instead, the phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either
ambient radio signals or light. The team also made Skype calls using its battery-free phone,
demonstrating that the prototype made of commercial, off-the-shelf components can receive
and transmit speech and communicate with a base station. The new technology is detailed in ..."
We do not speak of 'minicomputers'
today, but if we did, what would come to mind is not an EIA 19" equipment rack packed full
of equipment. Only network servers with teraflops of computing power and/or petabytes of data
storage are configured thus these days. 'Minis' in 1972 sported microprocessors that handled
8- or 16-bit words and a whopping 32 kBytes of operating system and program execution memory.
FORTRAN, ALGOL, and BASIC were the languages of choice - with no object-oriented code in sight.
Don't laugh at the poor slobs of computer yesteryear or congratulate yourself for living in
an enlightened ...
most precise measurement ever of the
mass of the proton suggests that the particle is a tiny bit lighter than
the current accepted value. Although the difference is less than one part in 10 billion,
it has a statistical significance of 3σ. The measurement was made by Sven Sturm of the Max
Planck Institute for Particle Physics and colleagues, who compared the cyclotron frequency
of the proton to that of an ionized carbon-12 atom. The particles were held in a Penning trap
using magnetic and electric fields. The fields cause a charged particle to follow a looping
orbit that is defined by the cyclotron ..."
"This webinar will provide a brief overview of
spectrum analysis and traditional spectrum analyzers used by engineers
and technicians involved in modern RF and microwave communications and demonstrate how Anritsu
utilizes its patented non-linear transmission line technology to shatter the cost, size, and
performance barriers associated with these traditional spectrum analyzers. Recent technology
improvements in semiconductors, components, cable connectors and test equipment are now making
it possible for millimeter wave frequencies to be used ..."
"A new approach to sending
acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed
communications to activities underwater, including scuba diving, remote ocean monitoring,
and deep-sea exploration. Binary data representing the word 'Berkeley' is converted by a digital
circuit to information encoded in independent channels with different orbital angular momentum.
The transducer array sends the information via a single acoustic beam with different patterns.
The colors in the helical wavefront show different acoustic phases. By taking advantage ..."
Triad RF Systems announces the availability of their
bi-directional solid state power amplifier for UAS radio links utilizing MIMO technology.
It is capable of high 20 W output per channel for QPSK operation and 4 W/channel
for higher data rate applications such as 64QAM OFDM This class AB LDMOS module is designed
for both military and commercial applications. It is capable of supporting any signal type
and modulation format, including but not limited to 3-4G telecom, WLAN, OFDM, DVB ...
It is well known that American
automobile manufacturers really dropped the quality ball in the mid-1970s through about
1990. Foreign car makers were gaining increased access to domestic markets with designs that
had more efficient engines and transmissions with superior materials and techniques, and corrosion
control was much better than most American cars that often began to exhibit rust bubbles underneath
the paint within a year or two - particularly in regions where roadways were salted for controlling
ice and snow. People (like me) who bought used cars were leery
about a vehicle with more than 70k-80k miles on them because it was almost ...
3G Shielding Specialties offers synergistic solutions
incorporating metalwork, conductive elements, microwave absorbers and
thermal transfer solutions in a single, integrated, turn-key
package. Application specific and standard product lines. Design services available. Their
three primary areas of focus are waveseal enclosure shielding,
board level shielding, and wavexorb microwave
absorbers. Please visit the 3G Shielding Specialties website now to see whether they can help ...
Note the image is labeled with "S" and "D"
(source and drain) along with the symbol for a BJT. "By combining
graphene with another two-dimensional material, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology
in Gothenburg have created a prototype of a transistor-like device which uses electron spin
as the information carrier.
Spintronics, as it is called, can result in electronics that are significantly
faster and more energy efficient. What the research group at Chalmers University of Technology
has demonstrated is that graphene, which is an excellent electrical conductor, also has unsurpassed