John T. Frye's monthly "Mac's
Radio Service Shop" techno-drama, written in story form - was usually an incognito
lesson on circuit functionality or troubleshooting, how to deal with customers,
industry regulations and news, or an introduction to new components and equipment.
As the "Unusual New Equipment" title suggests, this time Mac described a few new
items added to the service shop to aid in their work. Often when reading one of
the episodes, I do a Google search on specific components or equipment mentioned
in the article. He describes a special-purpose CRT (Sylvania's new 5AXP4 Television
Receiver Check Tube) that could be used universally for troubleshooting in place
of a wide variety of installed picture tubes. I found one for sale on eBay for $39.95.
There is not much you cannot find on eBay if you watch long enough ...
ConductRF offers an extensive line of
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lengths and markings. Thousands of combinations of coaxial, power, and digital and
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Not very long ago I mentioned
(original assignee of W9QWN and later K2ORS call signs) as being one of my favorite
old-time radio broadcasters (1960s-1970s). Jean was famous for recounting stories
of his own life and for reporting news of the time in a way that could hold you
in rapt attention from beginning to end. His humor, wit, and command of the English
language was acknowledged by his contemporaries. If you listen to enough of his
broadcasts you will notice the frequent mention of electronics and his experiences
as a licensed amateur radio operator beginning at a tender young age. Just recently
I listened to him recount his first day in high school when a SNAFU in the computer-generated
(must have been a UNIVAC) class schedule mistakenly had him reporting to the girls'
swimming pool ...
Rohde & Schwarz USA (R&S USA) has
published an application note titled, "Group
Delay Measurements with Signal and Spectrum Analyzers." The available bandwidth
of RF channels are often limited by the bandpass characteristic of filters, amplifiers
and mixers. Detecting amplitude flatness and phase distortion is crucial in characterizing
the quality of a transmission channel. The amplitude flatness within the used bandwidth
may have an influence on the signal quality. Knowledge about phase distortion is
essential to maintain low bit error rates in data transmissions and VNAs (Vector
Network Analyzer) commonly perform amplitude flatness and phase distortion measurements.
Phase distortions in a transmission channel are determined using group delay measurements,
they must be as low as possible to maintain good signal quality ...
"A team of scientists has discovered the
first robust example of a
type of magnet - one that holds promise for enhancing the performance of data
storage technologies. This 'singlet-based' magnet differs from conventional magnets,
in which small magnetic constituents align with one another to create a strong magnetic
field. By contrast, the newly uncovered singlet-based magnet has fields that pop
in and out of existence, resulting in an unstable force - but also one that potentially
has more flexibility than conventional counterparts. 'There's a great deal of research
these days into the use of magnets and magnetism to improve data storage technologies,'
explains Andrew Wray ..."
Since 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently
provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly
services. It specializes in board level turnkey
PCB assembly for design
engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit boards.
Passive Components: Bittele Electronics is taking one further
step in its commitment of offering the best service to clients of its PCB assembly
business. Bittele is now offering common passive components to its clients FREE
of Charge ...
Having recently struggled a little with re-stringing
the dial cord on a vintage Realistic (Radio Shack) Patrolman−50 Radio, it really
became apparent why the
Sams Photofact Folders were of such value to electronics servicemen. Unlike
the tangled mess of dial cord shown in the ad, I had the advantage of being able
to carefully open the chassis and photograph the routing and wrapping of the broken
dial cord around pulleys and shafts. Even so, a lack of experience required some
trial and error to get the tensioning correct. No doubt many unqualified radio owners
attempted to fix their own broken dial cords prior to breaking down and committing
to spending a few bucks to have a pro do it correctly. The tight quarters in my
portable radio had me using tweezers to do some of the routing ...
On March 6, 2019, at 11 a.m. ET, NI AWR software
will be featured in an upcoming webinar titled, "GaN Electrothermal Modeling for 5G MMIC Power Amplifier Designs."
Featured is a 0.15 micrometer (μm) gallium nitride (GaN) process for 5G monolithic
microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifiers (PAs). Presented by Eric Leclerc,
field marketing manager at United Monolithic Semiconductors (UMS), the webinar examines
the characterization of a short gate-length process for millimeter wave (mmWave)
applications up to 40 GHz. The models developed by UMS are being organized
into a process design kit (PDK) for the NI AWR Design Environment platform, specifically
Microwave Office circuit design software, for release later this year. The resulting
PDK will support the development of MMICs targeting mmWave telecommunications ...
My mother loved
Norman Rockwell paintings
for their ability to get to the heart of Americana. She was an avid collector of
books on Rockwell and decorated plates for display - as avid as one can be on my
newspaper classified ad manager father's feeble salary, anyway. I, too, have a great
appreciation for Rockwell's great talent to choose his subject matter and models
and to, when fitting, include a nearly photographic level of detail within. The
Saturday Evening Post magazine featured many of his works spanning from 1916 until
1971 - from the middle of World War I and on through World War II, Korea,
and Vietnam. Summer, spring, fall, and winter; Christmas, Easter, Veteran's Day,
President's Day, Mother's Day, New Year's, and other annual events; experiences
of love, happiness, joy, surprise, sadness, and a host of other emotions ...
Saelig Company announces the compact
ThinkRF D2030 RF Downconverter, engineered to work seamlessly with existing
spectrum analysis equipment by down-converting RF signals from the 27-30 GHz
frequency bands down to an intermediate frequency (IF) of 3.55 GHz or 5.6 GHz.
The D2030 RF Downconverter works with existing test equipment, RF signal detectors,
and interfaces, minimizing user training requirements, and enabling these products
to offer 5G analysis capabilities. This RF downconverter features 10 MHz input
and output clock references for multi-unit synchronization. As 5G mobile and wireless
communication technologies continue to draw on wider bandwidths and higher frequencies,
users can run multiple D2030 ...
"SatixFy UK Limited introduced the world's
first ESMA (Electronically Steered Multi-Beam Array) Ku-band 256 element
array antenna at this week's SmallSat Symposium 2019 in Mountain View, CA. Utilizing
the company's fully digital beam forming technology, the new antenna array is being
demonstrated working in an Antenna Micro Test Range to show multi-beam capabilities,
antenna patterns and other performance parameters. The ESMA antenna can serve both
as a stand-alone IoT terminal or a building block for a larger sized antenna and
is currently available in 11-12 GHz receive and 13.75-14.5 GHz transmit frequencies.
SatixFy is in the final stages of developing a complete terminal with an integrated
SatixFy modem based on its ASIC ..."
Windfreak Technologies designs, manufactures,
tests and sells high value USB powered and controlled radio frequency products such
as RF signal generators, RF synthesizers, RF power detectors, mixers, up / downconverters.
Since the conception of WFT, we have introduced products that have been purchased
by a wide range of customers, from hobbyists to education facilities to government
agencies. Worldwide customers include Europe, Australia, and Asia. Please contact
Windfreak today to learn how they might help you with your current project
sounds about as serious as 'Wonkavision,' but unlike the candy maker's fictional
machine that transported chocolate bars across the room, Stratovision was in fact
a serious proposal. It was an early form of satellite television. Since orbiting
communications satellites would not be practical for another decade, Westinghouse
devised a system in 1945 using aircraft flying at high altitude to relay television
signals. Engineers calculated that 14 airplanes circling at 25,000 feet could provide
coverage to 78% of the country. By 1950 they had a working system, but needless
to say (because nobody has ever heard of it... except you, now), the concept ultimately
did not pan out. It was not because the system failed to work as designed, but because
there was not enough demand ...
Modelithics® has released version 19.0 of
COMPLETE Library for Keysight Advanced Design System. Version 19.0 is compatible
with the latest ADS release, ADS 2019, and adds 52 new models for passive and active
components from multiple leading vendors. The Modelithics COMPLETE Library™ is a
collection of highly accurate scalable simulation models for many passive component
families and active devices. Advanced model features include substrate scaling,
pad scaling and part value scaling for LCR component series, and bias-dependence
and temperature effects for active devices. All models are validated with precision
broadband measurements and come with a detailed model datasheet ...
While not a second-hand store junkie, I do
like to occasionally make the rounds of the local Salvation Army, Goodwill, and
other independent shops to see what kind of relics are donated. Since eBay, Etsy,
and their kind have gained immensely in popularity, it is getting harder to find
anything useful other than clothes and kitchen wares. A few months ago Goodwill
had a 1910s vintage
cabinet -style Edison disc phonograph (as opposed to wax cylinder) that was
in very good condition, complete with a handful of styli and a couple old records.
The original finish over smooth mahogany and burl veneers had only a few scratches
and could easily be polished to look practically new. The metal hardware could have
stood a fresh coat of black paint due to nearly a century of oxidation. Even the
original nomenclature plate looked factory-new, and a clearly legible paper plaque ...
Z-Communications announces a new RoHS compliant
fixed frequency phase locked loop model
SFS9280C-LF operating in the X-band. The SFS9280C-LF is a plug and play PLO
allowing for quick integration and designed to produce a fixed signal at 9280 MHz
when utilized with an external 10 MHz reference oscillator. This simple to
use PLO features a typical phase noise of -80 dBc/Hz, -100 dBc/Hz, and
-120 dBc/Hz at the 1 kHz, 10 kHz and 100 kHz offsets, respectively.
The SFS9280C-LF is designed to deliver an output power of 0۬±3 dBm while operating
off a VCO voltage supply of 5 Vdc and drawing 90 mA and a phase locked
loop voltage of 3 Vdc while drawing 11 mA. This unmatched product features
a typical harmonic suppression of -30 dBc and spurious suppression of -65 dB ...
"When it comes to realizing low-power electronic
devices, spintronics looks promising. However, to generate a suitable
spin current, you need a relatively large magnet. An alternative
method that uses a special type of molecule has been proposed, but the big question
is: does it work? Researchers have constructed a theoretical model which describes
how to put this new method to the test. When it comes to realizing low-power electronic
devices, spintronics looks promising. Spin is a quantum-mechanical property of electrons
that can best be imagined as electrons spinning around their own axis, causing them
to behave like small compass needles. A current of electron spins could be used
in electronic devices. However, to generate a suitable spin current ..."
SF Circuits' specialty is in the complex,
advanced technology of
PCB fabrication and assembly, producing high quality multi-layered
PCBs from elaborate layouts. With them, you receive unparalleled technical expertise
at competitive prices as well as the most progressive solutions available. Their
customers request PCB production that is outside the capabilities of normal circuit
board providers. Please take a moment to visit San Francisco Circuits today ...
According to this full-page advertisement
in the June 1955 issue of Radio & Television News magazine, Bell Telephone
Laboratories was responsible for designing and fielding "waveguide
pipe," aka flexible circular waveguides. According to other historical sources,
both George Southworth of Bell Telephone Laboratories and Wilmer Barrow of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) independently and simultaneously developed circular
waveguide, but the early devices were rigid pipe rather than being fabricated from
tightly wrapped, insulated wire that permitted it to be bent rather than requiring
separate corner and offset pieces. Insertion loss and VSWR is typically not as good
as with rigid waveguide, but the ease of installation in many situations justifies
the poorer electrical performance. Bell Telephone Laboratories was responsible ...
HAM RADIO 2019 and the 70th Lake Constance
Convention, both organized by the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC), Germany's
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society, will take Friday, June
21, until Sunday, June 23, in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. "We very much hope
that, again, many representatives of the IARU member-societies will be able to attend
HAM RADIO," said DARC Secretary for International Affairs Thomas Wrede, DF2OO. An
informal meeting for representatives of IARU member-societies will take place on
June 21. Youth days and a ham rally will take place on Friday and Saturday ...
from EverythingPCB, wrote recently asking me to let RF Cafe visitors know about
his award-winning website. "EverythingPCB is a Printed Circuit Industry product, service
and resource guide listing everything from software to manufacturers to assembly
services and everything in-between. This service was created by and for professionals
in the printed circuit board industry to provide faster access to telephone numbers,
addresses, web sites, product listings and other information that is typically available
through other publications. Industry professionals can now perform instantaneous
searches by product or company, or with the click of a mouse, hyperlink to the companies
web page ...
If you were hanging around here in 2014,
you might recall a paper I published titled, "Drone-Based Field
Measurement System™ (dB-FMS)™." Since that time, I have seen news items about
a few companies using drones to measure antenna radiation patterns (here,
and many more - others are coming online all the time). Some amazing working systems
have been implemented that seem to perform very well. I'm not saying they got the
idea from my article because more than one person can have the same brilliant idea
;-). It's just good to know that my concept had some merit in the real world ...
VidaRF, a manufacturer of high performance
RF and microwave high performance isolators, circulators, power dividers, couplers,
and other passive components, is proud to introduce the
VCI-80180-X. The VCI-80180-X is a Broadband, Low Magnetic Field Coaxial Isolator
that operates from 8 − 18 GHz. It provides isolation of 16 dB
with an insertion loss of 0.70 dB and a VSWR of 1.40:1. The device can handle
average power of 5 W (forward) and 1 W (reverse). It is available in a
module format with SMA connectors. These Isolators are stackable for space savings.
VidaRF's product line includes drop-in, coaxial, and waveguide configurations for
many items. Custom designs available ...
"Kijeong Han and BJ Baliga of North Carolina
State University in the USA have developed 4H-polytype silicon carbide (4H-SiC)
octagonal cell power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors
(MOSFETs) with reduced gate capacitance and charge, giving improved high-frequency
figures of merit (HF-FOMs) over conventional linear-layout devices. The work represents
the first 'experimental demonstration of improved HF-FOMs for 4H-SiC power MOSFETs
by using an octagonal-cell topology,' according to Han and Baliga. The devices were
aimed at 1.2kV-rating applications. The accumulation-mode channel (Accu) 'OCTFET'
used straight-edged structures ..."
Alliance Test sells
used / refurbished test
equipment and offers short- and long-term rentals. They also offer repair, maintenance
and calibration. Prices discounted up to 80% off list price. Agilent/HP, Tektronix,
Anritsu, Fluke, R&S and other major brands. A global organization with ability
to source hard to find equipment through our network of suppliers. Please visit
Allied Test Equipment today to see how they can help your project
Transient Specialists, a leader in EMC test
equipment for over 30 years, announces that they will be the sole U.S. Distributor
Teseq and EM Test electrostatic discharge generators. They offer quick delivery
times and options for A2LA accredited calibrations upon request. With a large inventory
of rental simulators, they provide an ideal solution when looking to test a simulator
before purchase. Many of the simulators, including the NSG 435, NSG 437, and NSG
438 have the ability to test to a variety of standards and applications. These immunity
test generators have the ability to test to 30 kV and offer a variety of networks.
Transient Specialists, conveniently located in the mid-west, also offers a variety
of EMC test equipment rentals ...
"If the car is parked in a dark remote spot
it is better to do the job where the car is. This is because auto burglary is a
lesser crime than stealing the whole damn car." That remark was made by a 'former'
thief who ostensibly gave up a life of crime after spending nearly two decades in
the slammer for various infractions of the law. One of his specialties was breaking
into cars to
- AM, FM, CB, Ham, or whatever was available. Mr. X volunteered his insight
for the benefit of QST readers who might want to take proactive steps to help minimize
the chance of being a victim. The year was 1967, but you can bet the same mindset
pervades the thinking of modern day break and grab thieves today. Even though most
modern portable electronics equipment is protected from access by passwords, that
wouldn't stop a thief from stealing ...
Erin Stucker, of Axiom Test Equipment, let
me know about a new blog on his Axiom test Equipment website titled, "Finding the Right Oscilloscope for Your Next IoT Measurement."
It begins, "As much as the Internet has become as part of daily lives and businesses,
the Internet of Things (IoT) and billions of tiny electronic devices will soon provide
the means to quickly identify an unlimited number of associated things at home,
in businesses, even for personal health. The oscilloscope, with its measurement
flexibility and versatility, will be an important tool in helping to design and
maintain the many low-power IoT sensors that will be needed in the future. Of course,
all oscilloscopes are different ..."
JP Wilson ran across my list of fellow USAF
radar maintenance techs (AFSC 303x1), and graciously provided this photo of the
MPN-14(G) mobile radar control center he worked on at Zaragoza AB, Spain, in the
late 1970s. Interestingly, one of my Keesler tech school classmates,
Jim Flinn, was his replacement at K.I. Sawyer
AFB, Michigan, in 1979. If you were - or still are - a USFA Radar Shop tech and
would like to be added alongside your comrades, please send me an e-mail with your
service info. Equipment photos are
especially welcome since people love seeing reminders of their past - an era when
everyone wasn't running around with a camera in a cellphone ...
Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has organized
and executed a successful conference on Licensing Practices in 5G Industry Segments
with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), bringing various experts from
around the world together to discuss licensing practices and challenges of 5G. The
conference featured moderators and speakers from some of the biggest names in telecoms,
including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Ericsson, Nokia, and Microsoft.
Also in attendance were key stakeholders of vertical industries, including Audi,
Bosch, Panasonic and u-Blox, and patent pool administrators, namely Avanci, MPEG-LA,
Sisvel and Via Licensing, who co-sponsored the event, the European Telecommunications
Standards Institute ..."
At VidaRF, the phrase 'Providing Simple
Solutions for Complex Connections' is more than just a slogan – it's a mindset,
a mission, and a driving force behind everything we do. Their pledge is to design
and distribute high performance, cost effective
RF Microwave products to fit each customer's unique applications.
Please visit VidaRF today to see how their lines of attenuators & terminations,
directional couplers, power dividers, coaxial connectors, and circulator & isolators
can be of use to your project. "When the standard just will not do, VidaRF has the
solution for you!" ...
Beginning in 2000, I have created hundreds
of custom technology-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit and
pleasure of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. The jury is out on
whether or not this type of mental challenge helps keep your gray matter from atrophying
in old age, but it certainly helps maintain your vocabulary and cognitive skills
at all ages. A database of thousands of words has been built up over the years and
contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy,
mathematics, chemistry, etc. You will never find a word taxing your knowledge of
a numbnut soap opera star or the name of some obscure village in the Andes mountains.
You might, however, encounter the name of a movie start like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical
location like Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might
surprise you ...
Transient Specialists specializes in
EMC test equipment rentals
and carries a complete line of ESD guns, surge immunity test equipment, and EFT
generators. Rentals available for military (Mil-Std 461), automotive (ISO 7637),
and commercial (IEC 61000-4) EMC testing. Flexible terms, accredited calibrations
and technical support on EMC testing equipment offered. Equipment consists of top
EMC Test System manufacturers, including Teseq, Thermo Keytek, EM Test and EMC Partner ...