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4 | 5 of the June 2019 homepage archives.
Editorial: "The Serviceman's Follies"
"You get what you pay for," is an admonishment which has been around for a long time, and it applies generally to many situations. Radio-Craft magazine editor Hugh Gernsback took the occasion of a meeting with a successful radio repair technician to pen this piece illustrating how it is not only the consumer who gets hurt by low-cost hucksters. Gernsback's discussion with a for-real electronics technician from Ohio serves as a real-world example. A fictitious Serviceman, whom he assigns the moniker of Mr. G.O. Getter (a play on the vacuum tube term "getter"), suffers from the bad reputation brought to his electronics service business by price low-ballers that provide incompetent, low quality work. G.O. Getter contends that capable ...
China Satellite Navigation Conference Opens in Beijing
"The most recent achievements of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) will be displayed and discussed during the tenth China Satellite Navigation Conference that opened in Beijing Wednesday. The BDS is China's self-developed navigation system and is compatible with other navigation systems. According to Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, the construction of the BDS-3 primary system had been completed and has started to provide global service. In the future, it will offer new services such as satellite-based augmentation system and international search and rescue. The navigation signals will be improved globally, Ran said. An exhibition during the conference ..."
What Do You Really Know About Bypassing?
Lou Frenzel has a useful article on the Electronic Design entitled, "What Do You Really Know About Bypassing?" Coincidentally, a couple days ago I posted an article from a vintage Popular Electronics magazine entitled, "Getting to Know the Bypass Capacitor." He begins, "The seemingly ubiquitous bypass capacitor is an important component in design, especially when dealing with high frequencies. But what's the driving force behind its usage? Just recently, I was eavesdropping on several engineer acquaintances of mine discussing bypass capacitors. Also known as decoupling capacitors, these capacitors are everywhere. Some products contain hundreds of capacitors, many of which are bypass capacitors ...
Investigating Inverters as Part of a Solar Array
Axiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rentals and sales company headquartered in North County San Diego, has published a blog post entitled, "Investigating Inverters as Part of a Solar Array," which discusses the technical and test requirements for the subject. Solar power supplies are being used for remote and/or unmanned communications and data collection and reporting locations across the globe, and careful attention must be paid to component selection. RF Cafe visitor Joe Cahak published a great whitepaper entitled, "Solace in Solar," that provides a detailed look at his personal solar power installation project. Sophisticated test equipment is required ...
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.
Radar-Tracking Accuracy Increased
The many idiosyncrasies of atmospheric phenomena that affect long distance communications are certainly more well known and understood today than they were in the early days of radio. Ionization, temperature and pressure gradients, suspended particulate contamination, and other factors have been extensively studied, measured, and modeled. Daily and seasonal patterns are somewhat predictable and exploitable for purposes of general use, but short term variability that affects long distance radar measures of distance, altitude, and speed requires near instantaneous, pulse by pulse analysis of atmospheric conditions. Research and development of methods for accommodating short term variations that skew measurements are an ongoing science. An extreme example of atmospheric variation ...
Temperature Chamber Choices
John Booher, at TotalTemp Technologies has posted a blog entitled, "Temperature Chamber Choices." Thermal testing testing of products can't be ignored. Knowing your product stands up to the harshest environments it will be exposed to over the life of the product provides proof of the design and verified quality. With TotalTemp's Temperature Chambers and Thermal Platforms you can most effectively run thermal tests for burn-in or design / production verification. Products meant for consumers have to be tested, but it's safe to say, products going into space need far more rigorous verification. Life tests or inappropriate tests can go too far, thus shortening the life so it is important to ensure the proper testing is performed ...
The Amazing Surface Barrier Transistor
According to the Transistor Museum website, "The Philco Surface Barrier Transistor (SBT) was the 'hottest' transistor around until the late 1950s. This device performed very well at high frequencies and was used extensively in radio and computer circuits. Hobbyists were delighted to find such an inexpensive high frequency device... [Edwin] Bohr authored many well-remembered transistor construction projects in the 1950s/60s." Many of Bohr's construction articles featuring SBTs were published in Radio Electronics magazine, and this was one of them from 1957. The manufacturing process is described where jet streams of an electrolyte were shot at both sides of the germanium crystal to etch it as required - Neanderthal in nature ...
Rohde & Schwarz 5G NR Tour Resources
This month we ended our 5G NR Tour visiting over 10 cities across the US and Canada. Below for your reference are the slides to the different tracks, as well as other resources that you can request and/or download. If you would like to be one of the first to know when our 5G eBook center is launched, follow the link and complete the form to be added to our communications list. The 5G New Radio eBook from Rohde & Schwarz describes all relevant details of the 5G NR technology - the fundamentals and procedures. More importantly, it takes into account the relevant implementation aspects since test and measurement equipment is required to develop, manufacture and service 5G NR products. This eBook ...
Accuracy of 2-Qubit Calculations in Silicon
"For the first time ever, researchers have measured the fidelity - that is, the accuracy - of two-qubit logic operations in silicon, with highly promising results that will enable scaling up to a full-scale quantum processor. The research, carried out by Professor Andrew Dzurak's team in UNSW Engineering, was published in the world-renowned journal Nature. The experiments were performed by Wister Huang, a final-year PhD student in Electrical Engineering, and Dr Henry Yang, a senior research fellow at UNSW. 'All quantum computations can be made up of one-qubit operations and two-qubit operations - they're the central building blocks of quantum computing,' says Professor Dzurak ..."
D-Day, June 6, 1944 - 75th Anniversary
Time heals all wounds, as the saying goes. Since the days of gruesome wars, both victor and loser countries have managed to establish civil relations and forgiveness for past actions. Some have thrived, as between the U.S. and Japan and Germany, while others have not. Ultimately, it is the greed for money, quest for power, and/or religious zeal of a relative few at the top of national offices who cause the problems while their people pay the price. So, too, do people of countries that choose to oppose tyranny and free the world's oppressed. Time also erases memories of those actions of men and women that caused the wars and attendant suffering and loss. Today, very few people can tell you anything about D-Day. Socialism and its many forms are gaining popularity again based on ignorance. Nazism = National Socialism. Beware. Listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's D-Day prayer from June 6, 1944.
Centric RF: Attenuators, Adapters, Cable Assemblies, Power Dividers
Centric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today.
ABC's of Transistors
Sylvania was yet another bedrock American technology innovation company that in the last few decades has been bought by foreign concerns*, while retaining at least some semblance of its original identity - mostly for brand loyalty purposes. Along with pioneering lighting products, Sylvania produced vacuum tubes and semiconductors for use in its line of radios and televisions. Sylvania engineers published a lot of articles in electronics magazines introducing transistors and early integrated circuits to laymen, hobbyists, and professionals, some of whom were fledglings to the field and others who were transitioning tubes types. This particular article suggests methods for verifying operation of PNP and NPN bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) and for troubleshooting basic circuits ...
Custom MMIC Secures Raytheon's Top Supplier Honors
Custom MMIC, a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) is honored to be the only semiconductor MMIC supplier to receive Raytheon's Five Star Supplier Excellence Award for 2018 performance. This is the third consecutive year Custom MMIC has been named a Top Supplier by Raytheon. Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) recognizes the importance of cultivating, maintaining and nurturing strong business relationships with their supplier network to ensure mission readiness and success. An integral part of this program is the IDS Supplier Excellence Awards ...
Electronics Crossword Puzzle, April 1967 QST
QST, the monthly publication of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), occasionally ran a crossword puzzle with an electronics theme. This one appeared in the April 1967 edition. Unlike the weekly RF Cafe crossword puzzles, this one does have a few words that are not strictly technology and science themed. However, many of the clues and words require some familiarity with Ham radio subjects and lingo ...
Keysight Launches New Phase Noise Test System
Keysight Technologies today introduced a new phase noise measurement system for "power users," which enables them to optimize and prove performance of new designs, meet operational requirements, as well as remain on schedule and on budget. Phase noise is an unwanted phase modulation noise that emerges in nearly all radio frequency and microwave devices including oscillators, mixers, dividers, multipliers and amplifiers. Power users, including professionals responsible for developing high-performance aerospace and defense applications as well as cutting-edge device characterization for 5G and other wireless communication ...
Pushing High Frequency Transistor Performance Above 700 GHz
"Researchers based in South Korea and Japan claim record cut-off frequency performance for high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) with channels constructed from indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) quantum wells in indium aluminium arsenide (InAlAs) barriers. The team from Kyungpook National University and University of Ulsan in South Korea and NTT Device Technology Laboratories in Japan state: 'To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of both fT and fmax in excess of 700 GHz on any transistor on any material system.' The researchers see such devices as potentially contributing to the 'terahertz' (300-3000 GHz) radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) sector, where the wavelength is in the sub-millimeter range ..."
Since 1961, MECA Electronics has designed and manufactured an extensive line of RF & microwave components for in-building, satellite, radar, radio, telemetry, mobile radio, aviation & ATC. Attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators & circulators, power dividers & combiners, loads, DC blocks, bias-Ts and adapters & cables. MECA has long been the 'backbone' of high performance wired and air-interfaced networks such as in-building applications, satellite communications, radar, radio communications, telemetry applications, mobile radio, aviation & air traffic communications.
Bell Telephone Laboratories Waveguide Isolators
This full-page advertisement by Bell Telephone Laboratories in the June 1956 issue of Radio & television News seems to imply that their Dr. S. Weisbaum and/or his contemporaries was/were the original developer/s of the waveguide isolator. If so, it would be no surprise since Bell Labs was responsible for many technology innovations during its history - RF, microwaves, telephony, switching, transmission lines, test and measurement, and much more. Other information available on the Internet assigns credit to Bell Labs in the same timeframe. From the ad: "This isolator is a slab of ferrite which is mounted inside the waveguide, and is kept magnetized by a permanent magnet strapped to the outside. The magnetized ferrite ..."
Teledyne Defense & Space RF/MW Solutions at IMS
Teledyne Defense Electronics (TDE) will be featuring a comprehensive mix of the most advanced RF & Microwave products and capabilities next week at the annual International Microwave Symposium 2019 in Boston in Booth 1124. Eight separate Teledyne brands currently offer a wide variety of RF/MW solutions to leading companies and government agencies worldwide. These TDE brands together serve global customers in markets spanning Airborne, Electronic Warfare, Missiles, Space, Radar, Test and Measurement, and Satellite Communications. Participating Teledyne companies at Booth 1124 will include Teledyne e2v Semiconductors, Teledyne e2v RF Power - Defence, Teledyne Labtech ...
Getting to Know the Bypass Capacitor
Bypass capacitors play a vitally important role in electronic circuit design. Many people do not know the proper way for deciding which capacitor or capacitors is/are needed for effective noise and/or signal bypassing without either overdoing or underdoing it. Needs change over the years as frequencies and signal characteristics occupy new realms of the spectrum. A Fourier analysis of some of today's complicated waveshapes for switching power supplies shows how sometimes tailored responses to bypassing is required. This article from the January 1962 Popular Electronics does not delve into the intricacies of complex filters, but it does provide a nice introduction to the need for bypassing and how to stand a good ...
RCL Microwave Intros 60 GHz High Gain Antennas
RCL Microwave, in Booth #785 at IMS2019, has introduced a new line of 60 GHz high gain antennas. "Our antennas deliver outstanding performance at an affordable price. Gain is available between 10 dBi and 20 dBi and the frequency can be tuned from 10 GHz to 100 GHz with a 10% bandwidth. Our antennas are available with industry standard RF connectors or PCB Mount Flange Connectors. Our antennas deliver outstanding performance, in a very compact package and we deliver antennas at an industry leading price."
Many Thanks to Axiom Test Equipment for Continued Support!
Axiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!
Radar for Your Wrist
"Tired of trying to tap icons on small smartwatch screens? Some day you could just swipe right through the air above them thanks to miniaturized radar technology and its accompanying gesture recognition technology in development at imec, the Belgium-based R&D center. Imec's radar chips operate at around 145 GHz, well above the bands used for car radar. That high up in the electromagnetic spectrum, the chip can take advantage of a full 10 gigahertz of bandwidth, which leads to millimeter-scale resolution, its inventors say. 'Gestures allow a lot of capabilities where screens are becoming too small for fine movements,' says Kathleen Philips, program director for IoT at imec ..."
ConductRF: Precision & Standard Grade RF Cable Assemblies
ConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project!
RF Cascade Workbook 2018
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. It is a full-featured RF system cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere $45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features ...
Anatech Giving Away Samsung Tablet at IMS 2019
Anatech Electronics will be featuring many products ranging in frequencies from 10 MHz to 40 GHz at the IMS2019 in Boston, Booth #282. The products in our showcase include all type filters, as well as related RF products, such as Bandpass Filters, Low Pass filters ,High Pass Filters, Band Stop Filters, Duplexers, Power Dividers, Directional Couplers, Circulators, Isolators and more. Our technical staff will be there to answer any technical questions you might have and provide guidance to the type of solutions we can provide. Anatech will also have a Raffle, giving away a Samsung tablet. Just drop off your business card during the show. Drawing will be on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 11 am. Be there!
QuinStar Receives Northrop Grumman 2019 World Class Team Supplier Award
QuinStar Technology, Inc. received Northrop Grumman's 2019 World Class Team Supplier Award. The award is presented to small business suppliers that consistently demonstrate outstanding achievements and support of Northrop Grumman programs. Leo Fong, President and CEO, and Sage Kuno, Program Manager, attended the Corporate Global Supplier Diversity Programs Recognition Awards Luncheon held on May 16, 2019 and accepted the award on behalf of the QuinStar team. "We are both grateful and honored to be selected for this prestigious award from Northrop Grumman." Please visit us at Booth #327 during IMS 2019 ...
Ametek CTS and Transient Specialists strengthen existing relationships through preferred rental partnership and sole U.S. ESD distributor status. Ametek CTS, which includes such well-known brands, such as Teseq, EM Test, Milmega, and IFI team up with Transient Specialists, a rental house specializing in EMC test equipment. Transient Specialists has the capabilities to meet a variety of RF amplifier and conducted RF testing systems, making them an ideal preferred rental partner. These include amplifiers ranging from 10 kHz to 18 GHz up to 600 watts and many EN/IEC 61000-4-6 solutions ...
Many Thanks to Electro-Photonics for Their Continued Support
Electro-Photonics is a global supplier of RF & Microwave components. Their products include SMT hybrid and directional couplers, wire bondable passive components, mounting tabs, filters, transmission lines, and very useful test boards for evaluating components (spiral inductors, single-layer capacitors). The Electro-Photonics team can support your small R&D design requirements with RF & Microwave test fixtures and save you valuable design and characterization time. Please take a moment to visit Electro-Photonics' website and see how your project might benefit.
Did The Government Just Test The Internet Kill Switch?
Techies across the Web are asking whether the U.S. government ran an unannounced test on the Internet kill switch that was put in place for emergency purposes yesterday morning, June 2. Per outage status monitors: Google Cloud is down, Google Compute Engine is down, Gmail is down, Google Drive is down, Nest is down, YouTube is down, Snapchat is down, Uber is down, nextDNS is down, Pokemon, Go is down, App Engine is down ...
Please Visit ConductRF in Booth #885 at IMS 2019
ConductRF looks forward to meeting you at the IMS 2019 show in Boston. Examples and sample will be available at Booth #885. You will find: Flexible & semi-rigid phase/temp cables, VNA Test Cables, RF test leads for production & lab use, High power RF solutions, D38999 cable & harness solutions, VITA 67 productions and solutions, Custom connectors and cables. See you there!
Rohde & Schwarz develops, produces and markets test & measurement, information and communications technology. Focus is on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications, monitoring and network testing. Markets serviced are wireless, the automotive industry, aerospace and defense, industrial electronics, research and education, broadcast and media network operations, consumer electronics, cybersecurity for business and governments, communications and security solutions for critical infrastructures and the armed forces, reconnaissance equipment for homeland and external security, and much more.
Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for June 2
This week's crossword puzzle contains the full name of our industry's big show in Boston. Since 2000, I have been creating custom engineering- and science-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 ...
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