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| 4 of the September 2019 homepage archives.
Necessity is the mother of invention, according to a popular saying, and perhaps there is no greater need that the one for survival as a nation. It cannot be denied that most of our advanced technology has been invented for the sake of defending the country against the threat of invasion from a formidable enemy who intends to use its advanced technology against you. Whether you love, hate or are neutral on the military, you have benefitted from its existence both in the form of enduring freedom and from everyday products and methods produced due to its existence. Human nature being what it is, history has shown that simply being willing to lay down your arms and play nice with the rest of the world does not result in peace - only in your being subject to somebody else's control. Missile technology - particularly the intercontinental range type - was the primary concern ...
Mr. Masaru Omoto has an interesting article on the High Frequency Electronics website entitled "Challenging Engineers' Perceptions of Cabling and Interconnects in a 5G Future." Not surprisingly, RF cabling has proven to be a major weak link in the system, particularly as frequencies move into the mm-wave realm. "5G is not just an incremental improvement over 4G; its the next major evolution of mobile communication technology with performance improvements of an order of magnitude over today’s networks. 5G does not simply replace 4G; it will importantly enable a wider diversity of tasks that 4G is unable to perform and opens the doors to implementation and deployment of IoT (Internet of Things). Beyond the fundamental but highly technological challenges of ensuring that a mass rollout of the 5G ..."
Withwave's Automatic Calibration Modules are ideal for users who want fast and easy calibration for various Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs). The W1204A Automatic Calibration Module is powered up via USB or 5.5 DC connector and communicates with your VNA via USB or LAN to perform full 1−port through 4−port calibrations. A simple one-push START button initiates the hands-off calibration routine. This module works as host systems, measures and calculates calibration coefficients and sends it to VNA easily. Versions available for frequencies beginning at 100 kHz and up through 12, 18, and 26.5 GHz.
Signal multiplexing was originally performed using a rotating mechanical device with commutator contacts. Such a contraption suffered from a number of limitations including contact wear, noise, speed, size and weight. Probably the most limiting were contact wear and switching speed. Bulk could be accommodated because back then everything was bulky. Standard vacuum tube switches were eventually used to build multiple (n) input / multiple (m) output switching circuits, but the space needed to contain them grew exponentially with the n x m matrix. Bell Telephone Systems, which played a huge part in the advancement of primarily wired communications systems, developed a 'radial-beam tube' that used a magnetic field to steer the electron flow between opposing sets of anodes and cathode ...
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 ...
FCC Improves Broadband Mapping for Rural Communities
"According to the FCC, the current national broadband map just isn't cutting it anymore. Across the U.S., individuals have varying levels of access to fast, reliable broadband service depending on location. In general, those living in rural communities have fewer connectivity options and slower internet service than those residing in more densely populated, urban cities. The result is millions of underserved and unserved homes and businesses, a challenge further deepened by the complexity of discovering exactly where the gaps in service exist. The practice of broadband mapping, first suggested by former FCC and California Public Utilities Commission commissioner ..."
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. Available in single or multi-junction topographies, the Nova Microwave product line of is specifically designed for use in varied environmental and temperature extremes.
It is doubtful that as many people today build their own stereo speaker enclosures as was the case back in the 1950s through about the 1970s. During those decades stereo equipment was a really big deal, as evidenced by the large number of articles in technical and hobby magazines. I have posted a couple dozen articles on the subject here on RF Cafe. Topics included equipment reviews and feature comparisons, troubleshooting and alignment, modifications to commercial units, build-it-yourself projects, optimized room layout and construction, and even advice on how to best enjoy your stereo system. Lots of comics appeared in the magazines as well poking fun at how a stereo enthusiast's family members and neighbor might not appreciate the ear drum-busting power capability of your system. There were also quizzes like this one on speaker enclosure baffle design ...
RF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable job openings. HR department employees and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting at no charge (of course a gratuity will be graciously accepted). 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from RF Cafe's high quality visitors ...
Today's consumer electronics (CE) industry has an estimated value of $354 billion per a Statista report (a high number compared to others I located). In 1957, according to this article in Radio-Electronics, the market value was reported to be $13.7B ($121B in 2014 dollars per the BLS inflation calculator). The world population in 1957 was 2.89B and grew to 7.10B by 2013 (per Census.gov). That means population increased by a factor of 2.45 while the CE industry grew by a factor of 3.05. Within the margin of error of marketing expert estimates, that represents essentially flat growth. Fret not, though, because while the total spending on consumer electronics per capita might have been flat over a span of nearly 60 years, the effective cost per electronics product and the vastly improved functionality and reliability of electronics products has increased by a much larger factor ...
Custom MMIC is proud to introduce two new Ka-band amplifier MMICs to its growing portfolio of higher frequency packaged products. Both the CMD242K4 (Distributed Amplifier) and CMD299K4 (Low Noise Amplifier) operate up to 40 GHz while being packaged in a small 4x4 mm air-cavity QFN plastic package designed for surface mount applications. This new "K" series designation signifies a new high frequency plastic package being utilized by Custom MMIC for 20 GHz and above products demanded by aerospace, defense and instrumentation customers. "We are constantly listening and responding to customer's needs and have had numerous requests to package more of our high frequency die products. After a comprehensive internal technical review and rigorous testing, we have selected a high frequency ...
"With the rise of online learning, it's never been easier for engineers to acquire new skills and stay current on the latest technologies. Here are a few of the best online engineering courses to take. Online courses are increasing in popularity, and it's creating an easy way to take engineering lessons. It's helping future engineers get access to learning various programming languages and develop new skills. It's also helping seasoned engineers sharpen their skills and keep current with new technologies and best practices. But some online engineering courses stand out from the rest. Here are the online engineering courses worth taking ..."
PCB Directory is the largest directory of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Manufacturers, Assembly houses, and Design Services on the Internet. We have listed the leading printed circuit board manufacturers around the world and made them searchable by their capabilities - Number of laminates used, Board thicknesses supported, Number of layers supported, Types of substrates (FR-4, Rogers, flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. Fast turn-around on quotations for PCB fabrication and assembly.
While far from being an expert in the use of hand tools and small powered shop tools, I have built enough prototypes and models in my 61 years to have learned a fair amount about what results in success and failure. Admittedly, there have been times when quality has been sacrificed for the sake of cost and/or expediency. Personal safety has sometimes been risked as well - usually for no real good reason. Luckily, I still have ten fingers, two working eyes (although very near-sighted), and excellent hearing. Surely, you possess none of my bad habits ;-) This article from Popular Electronics magazine offers advice on how to properly work with printed circuit boards (PCBs) and, indirectly, the enclosures that might contain them. If you have never tired cutting a fiberglass PCB, you would be surprised at how tough they are. I ruined a band saw blade one time when I was too lazy to swap out the wood blade ...
Sure, it's just a gimmick for getting support for NASA's "Mars 2020 Lander" mission, but it is the closest a lifelong space exploration aficionado like me will ever come to booking a real flight. A ticket on the SpaceX Mars craft scheduled for 2024 will cost about half a megabuck. The program is officially called "Send Your Name to Mars." According to the Mars 2020 Lander Boarding Pass webpage FAQ, "All submitted names are reviewed, approved and then etched onto a microchip. The microchip is placed aboard the Mars 2020 rover, which will land on Mars." An itinerary of names will not be published by NASA, so privacy is maintained. Only a Martian with the ability to read the onboard microchip will know who to look for when visiting Earth. View my boarding pass here. You have until September 30th to sign up.
Triad RF Systems designs and manufactures RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad RF Systems comprises three partners (hence 'Triad') with over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design, manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems. PA, LNA, bi-directional, and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including tower mount, benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please check to see how they can help your project.
According to a 2001 paper published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, formerly National Bureau of Standards, NBS), "The end of the era of quartz frequency standards began in 1949 with the development at NBS of the world's first atomic frequency standard based on an ammonia absorption line at 23.87 GHz." Further, "The Bureau supported work on both technologies for the next decade, but the rapid advances in the accuracy of atomic frequency standards could not be matched by quartz devices, and the work on quartz frequency standards was stopped in 1959." This article from a 1957 edition of Popular Electronics claims that the "master of all master-clocks" resided at the U.S. Naval Observatory at the time - not quite accurate from what my research indicates ...
Exodus Advanced Communications' AMP2136−2−4−8KP pulse amplifier (2.0-4.0 GHz, 2 kW, 4 kW & 8 kW Pulse) series is designed for Lab Pulse/HIRF Mil-Std 461/464 test applications. Other frequency ranges & power levels available. The unit can produce different power levels based on configuration implementation. The design provides excellent band flatness, reliable robust performance with outstanding Pulse fidelity. Rack integrated for ease of application integration. Exodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. Headquartered in Las Vegas, the company utilizes its global network of resources to effectively serve customer requirements.
Researchers produce an optical waveguide that reaches the theoretical limit in thinness for the device. Upon laser excitation, the monolayer emits photoluminescence. A portion of this light couples into the monolayer and is guided along the material. At the nanohole array, periodic modulation in the refractive index causes a small portion of the light to decay out of the plane of the material, allowing the light to be observed as guided mode resonance. In today's world of optical devices, thinner and smaller is better. The purpose of tinier devices is to create integrated photonic chips that can be shrunk down to the size of the ICs that are used in computer chips. The expectation is that miniaturization of optical devices ...
Empower RF Systems is a global leader in power amplifier solutions. Empower RF Systems is an established and technologically superior supplier of high power solid state RF & microwave amplifiers. Our offerings include modules, intelligent rack-mount amplifiers, and multi-function RF Power Amplifier solutions to 6 GHz in broadband and band specific designs. Output power combinations range from tens of watts to multi-kilowatts. Unprecedented size, weight and power reduction of our amplifiers is superior to anything in the market at similar frequencies and power levels.
This is pretty much a ho-hum bit of information for most RF Cafe visitors, but there are a lot of people searching the World Wide Web (WWW - don't see that much anymore) for abbreviations and definitions of electronics terms. Most are readily available from multiple sources, but those which are more antiquated can present a challenge. As is almost always the case, the most reliable authority for information is from the original source, such as these lists in a 1955 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Examples are the use of "cps" for cycles per second, before the adoption of Hertz as the standard unit of frequency in 1960 by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM); e.g., "m.c." was the equivalent of MHz.
The RF Applications Engineer will help Copper Mountain Technologies' (CMT) customers all over the world use our Vector Network Analyzers to accomplish their projects and tasks successfully. The RF Applications Engineer will respond to prospect and customer questions via email, phone or work with them on-site to resolve any and all issues related to VNA measurements. The Engineer will understand customer solution requirements and work to provide a solution using current product feature set or interact with the development team to add features/functionality. This individual will also work with integration partners to support integrating CMT products in their solutions, and work with sales to support prospective customers during instrument trials. Our USB VNAs are next generation analyzers designed to meet the needs ...
"What's All This Pease Prototype Stuff, Anyhow? Digging through boxes of the prototype circuits that Bob Pease had amassed over the years proved to be a fun time for all involved. While visiting Texas Instruments in February of 2019, marketing maven Gayle Bullock took me and analog guru Paul Grohe into the storage area where all of Bob Pease's stuff was stored. The yearly Analog Aficionados party was that weekend, and Gayle thought we could give away some of the books and gizmos that were in storage. Only a few minutes had passed when Grohe pulled a large copper-clad prototype fixture out of the pile and exclaimed, 'Look at this, the LM317 voltage regulator prototype!' The LM317 adjustable voltage regular chip was a very popular ..."
Half a century from now, state-of-the-art reports we read of in today's media will seem as primitive as some of these projects that appeared in this March 1967 edition of Electronics World do now. As compared to some of the stories from 1950s - 1960s era, these technologies are notably closer to today's efforts because by then the transistor and some integrated circuits were commonplace. A case in point is the Tubeless TV Camera, whose thin-film printed sensor array was the precursor to modern CMOS charge-coupled devices (CCDs). Probably nobody in 1967 could have imagined today's state of the art sensor chips - and in color no less! Computer synthesized speech with the soothing tone and crisp inflections of HAL were far in the future, but formed the inspiration for the incredibly human-sounding smart readers of today that render speech in most languages. Weathervision, which ...
Anatech Electronics (AEI) manufactures and supplies RF and microwave filters for military and commercial communication systems, providing standard LP, HP, BP, BS, notch, diplexer, and custom RF filters, and RF products. Standard RF filter and cable assembly products are published in our website database for ease of procurement. Custom RF filters designs are used when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements dictate a custom approach. Sam Benzacar's monthly newsletters address contemporary wireless subjects. Please visit Anatech today to see how they can help your project succeed.
Even if you are not particularly interested in radio controlled (R/C) model airplanes, you will probably appreciate this article describing the incredible amount of engineering work that goes into the design and manufacturing of today's highly detailed, highly functional brushless electric motor-powered propeller and ducted fan models. This article provided by Motion R/C appeared in the July 2019 issue of the Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA's) Model Aviation magazine, and I am glad to see that they made it publically available. These models are not the el cheapo types you see in Walmart. Most include not just the four basic control functions of elevator, rudder, ailerons, and throttle, but also wing flaps, retractable landing gear, navigation lights, and more, that require up to a 10−channel transmitter to operate. All systems use 2.4 GHz ISM band, spread spectrum radios that have ranges beyond line of sight.
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. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment, they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!
"One of the least known but most fascinating of semiconductor devices is the light-emitting diode (LED). Until quite recently, these devices were too expensive for widespread use." That statement is hard to imagine in 2011. It was written in late 1970, just 40 years ago. Now, LEDs seem to be in every consumer device, whether it be a simple power ON indicator light or an array of alpha-numeric displays. TV and stereo remotes use infrared LEDs, opt isolators that use LEDs are integral components of modems, motor controllers, and motion sensors. Commercial truck tail lights are made of LED clusters, as are the grotesquely expensive LED bulbs that are verrrry slowly replacing incandescent and the toxic (mercury) CFL household bulbs ...
"MIT and University of Colorado have been exploring the potential of thermal atomic layer etching (ALE) of III-arsenide compound semiconductor materials with a view to the production of electronic devices such as fin field-effect transistors (finFETs). Thermal ALE is like thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) in reverse. The first report, in 2015, was for a process that etched aluminium oxide (Al2O3). The researchers used a viscous-flow, hot-wall ALD reactor to perform the ALE. The process was developed on templates with 70nm indium gallium arsenide (In0.53Ga0.47As) on a 300nm indium aluminium arsenide (In0.52Al0.48As) buffer ..."
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. The company is a leader in development and production of the films required for these type of RF/microwave components. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current project.
This RF Cafe Engineering & Technical Headlines Crossword Puzzle contains at least 10 words from headlines posted on the homepage during the week of August 26 through August 30, 2019 (marked with an asterisk*). These custom-made engineering and science-themed crossword puzzles are done weekly for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. Every word and clue - without exception - in these RF Cafe puzzles has been personally entered into a very large database that encompasses engineering, science, physical, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, etc. Let me know if you would like a custom crossword puzzle built for your company, school, club, etc. (no charge).