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Homepage Archive - June 2020 (page 2)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search RF Cafe" box at the top of every page. About RF Cafe.

Homepage Archive Pages

2020:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2019:
  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2018:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2017:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2016:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2015:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2014:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2013:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2012:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13


See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | of the June 2020 homepage archives.
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Friday 12

Understanding Super-Modulation

Understanding Super-Modulation, February 1950 Radio & Television News - RF CafeA few weeks ago I posted a two-part article on the Taylor super-modulation principle published in Radio & Television News magazine in 1948. It was a newly announced technology at the time and was written by its inventor, Robert Taylor. This piece entitled "Understanding Super-Modulation" appeared a couple years later by another author, John McCord, where he describes how it works , how to tune super-modulation circuits, and how it compares to other modulation methods - all conveniently in "Ham language." Super-modulation is a form of amplitude modulation (AM) that makes use of carrier and/or sideband suppression to achieve greater efficiency. A panadaptor - aka pan-adapter, aka panadapter, aka radio spectrum scope, aka panoramic adapter - is used to view the RF spectrum across a wide band. Essentially it is a low budget spectrum analyzer...

U.S. Navy Successfully Tests Laser Against Target Drone - RF Cafe"Directed energy weapons like this Northrop Grumman laser will provide the Navy new options for dealing with new threats. The U.S. Navy demonstrated a solid state laser weapon mounted on the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland May 16, shooting down a target drone near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) was developed by Northrop Grumman and integrated with full System and Ship Integration and Testing led by Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren and Port Hueneme. The Navy said that the operational deployment of the LWSD is the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid state laser..."

DC Motors & Generators

DC Motors & Generators, NAVPERS 10622 - RF CafeStudies of motors usually begin with the direct current (DC) type - maybe because most students have already had hands-on experiences with DC motors in models (cars, boats, airplanes) and/or electricity experimenter kits. They are small, cheap, and a simple flashlight battery (the ultimate in safety) makes them run. An alternating current (AC) motor requires either a direct connection to the house current or use of a step-down transformer, which still carries with it a high risk factor. This chapter of the U.S. military's Basic Navy Training Course (NAVPERS 10622) conforms to the tradition, and follows in the next chapter with AC motors and generators. While reading through the text, I ran across the unfamiliar term "kickpipe" and wondered how I could have missed that after so many decades of working with motors - both DC and AC. I didn't feel quite so dumb after looking up the definition; after all, I was in the Air Force, not the Navy ;-)

Keysight Tools for Design, Simulation and Test at Millimeter Wave Innovations Event

Keysight Technologies to Showcase Tools for Design, Simulation and Test at Millimeter Wave Innovations Event - RF CafeKeysight Technologies will showcase its suite of software tools for design, simulation and test at the Millimeter Wave Innovations event on June 23rd, 24th, and 25th, beginning at 9:00 am PDT. What: Next-generation wireless systems are targeting a range of new capabilities including higher bandwidth, more connected devices, and low latency. Millimeter wave technology is a key enabler for this upcoming wireless revolution and Keysight solutions deliver accurate, repeatable results at ever-higher frequencies and wider bandwidths. Training courses and virtual demonstrations of advanced tools for design, simulation, and test...

Spectral Domain Simulation Vitally Important When Designing Complex Systems

Why Using Spectral Domain Simulation is Vitally Important When Designing Complex RF, Microwave, and Wireless Systems (by Ed TRoy) - RF CafeEd Troy, owner of Aerospace Consulting, was kind enough to offer a few of his articles for posting on RF Cafe. With more than 30 years in the electronics communications design field, Ed has a lot of valuable knowledge to impart to us mortals ;-) This third paper demonstrates why using a highly capable software simulator for system design work is essential because of its ability to predict and facilitate mitigation of system-generated problems prior to building and testing the prototype. Case in point are spurious spectral components generated by the local oscillator and SSB to PM conversion created in a frequency doubler circuit. This paper was adapted from an example circuit provided in Keysight (formerly Agilent) Genesys Spectrasys. Spectrasys is a spectral domain block diagram simulator that allows the user to construct a system model and quickly determine the system performance. Whether you are involved...

Empower RF Systems: RF & Microwave Power Amplifiers

Empower RF Systems - RF CafeEmpower 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.

Thursday 11

Mac's Service Shop: Buying and Using a Pocket Calculator

Mac's Service Shop: Buying and Using a Pocket Calculator, May 1974 Popular Electronics - RF CafeDo you remember your first calculator - electronic, that is (slide rules and abacuses don't count - actually they do, right?)? Mine was acquired sometime in the fall of 1976 during my first attempt at secondary education at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, where eventually, in 1987, I was awarded an Associate's degree in Engineering (which constituted the first two years of my eventual BSEE at UVM in 1989, on whose notable alumni list I am not). My name is not in AACC's list of notable alumni, either. But I digress. My calculator was a Texas Instruments model SR-50 that had a small red LED display. It cost about $100 ($445 in today's inflated money) and performed basic math with a few simple trigonometric and logarithmic functions. This edition of Mac's Service Shop, entitled, "Buying and Using a Pocket Calculator," has Mac telling sidekick Barney about the Hewlett Packard's HP-45 calculator. According to the Wikipedia entry, the HP-45 entered the market in 1973 at a list price of $395 ($2,084 today). That's the price of a high-end gamer's computer these days. Its features were about equal to my $100 SR-50 a decade later. For the budget minded calculator, he also recommended the Unicom Model 202SR...

Wired Wireless

Wired Wireless, March 1942 QST - RF CafeAs you might know, particularly if you are a frequent RF Cafe visitor, amateur radio operators (Hams) were prohibited from broadcasting during the entirety of World War II, ostensibly as a security measure. The concern was that people might unintentionally (or intentionally) convey information on troop positions and family names, domestic factory locations and activities, and the general state of the nation in regards to attitude and finance. Unlike today, that type of data was not easily gathered even by a dedicated deployment of internal spies. In the early 1940s, the majority of amateur radio activity was carried out in the form of Morse code, and operators were understandably concerned about losing proficiency due to lack of use. In order to mitigate the opportunity for "fist" atrophy, many Hams set up "wired wireless" stations between residences and club meeting locations. This particular system was designed to couple to the local overhead electric power lines, but there were also private setups with dedicated lines between locations. Then, as now, one of the biggest hurdles with conducting power-line carrier communications...

THz Radiation Can Alter Proteins in Living Cells

THz Radiation Can Alter Proteins in Living Cells - RF CafeRuh-roh, bad news for THz plans. "Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics, Tohoku University, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Kyoto University, and Osaka University have discovered that terahertz radiation, contradicting conventional belief, can disrupt proteins in living cells without killing the cells. This finding implies that terahertz radiation, which was long considered impractical to use, may have applications in manipulating cell functions for the treatment of cancer, for example, but also that there may be safety issues to consider..."

Impedance Analysis Webinar: Measuring Low and Fast

Impedance Analysis Webinar: Measuring Low and Fast - RF CafeIEEE Spectrum / TechInsider is presenting a free webinar by Zurich Instruments entitled "Impedance Analysis: Measuring Low and Fast". It begins at 1:00 am Eastern Time on Thursday, June 11 (that's today). Drs. Tim Ashworth and Magdalena Marszalek are the presenters. "Precision, accuracy and measurement speed are three critical aspects to consider in any impedance measurement. This webinar addresses all three aspects with two distinct impedance measurement scenarios featuring the Zurich Instruments MFIA Impedance Analyzer. In the first example, you’ll learn how to use the LabOne User Compensation to measure equivalent series resistance (ESR) below 1 mΩ and equivalent series inductance (ESL) below 20 nH for a DC-Link capacitor. You’ll also find out how the LabOne Sweeper tool can display ESR and ESL as a function of frequency, allowing you to see how these values vary at frequencies other than the test frequency given by the manufacturer..."

"The Buzzsaw" Trite Word & Phrase Slasher

"The Buzzsaw" Trite Word & Phrase Slasher - RF CafeDave Manners has a piece on the Electronics Weekly website about the 15 most annoying words and phrases used in news and technical writing, as determined by The Buzzsaw. Says Dave, "If only marketing gurus realised how intensely annoying the mindless repetition of some clichéd words are, it would save us all from a daily dose of Ugh! Thank goodness for www.thebuzzsaw.co.uk which helps by stripping out these horrors from the turgid rivers of marketing-speak. Here are the 15 worst offenders with the Buzzsaw judges' comments: The 2020 Buzzsaw Hall of Shame" Type in your Tweet, e-mail, memo, etc., and Buzzsaw will school you on which part(s) of the content is(are) annoying to your audience. Examples include "curated," "disambiguate," "human capital," "in the(this) time of Covid," "going forward," "we remain cautious," etc.

Anatech Electronics: Off-the-Shelf and Custom RF & Microwave Filters

Anatech Electronics logo - RF CafeAnatech 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 for your military and commercial communications needs. Sam Benzacar's monthly newsletters address contemporary wireless subjects. Please visit Anatech today to see how they can help your project succeed.

Wednesday 10

The Saga of the Vacuum Tube

The Saga of the Vacuum Tube, April 1946 Radio News - RF CafeHere is the final installation of a 22 part series entitled "The Saga of the Vacuum Tube," by Gerald Tyne, that appeared in Radio News magazine in 1946. Part 1 was printed in March 1943. The collective contents, which covered the development of the vacuum tube from its conception to the end of World War I, could have been published as a stand-alone book. Author Gerald F. J. Tyne presented the series to trace the development which took place up to the end of World War I along a particular branch of the network of roads which led to the modern radio tube. He traced the evolution from studies of the interactions between heat and electricity as pursued by the early philosophers and by the physicists who followed them (Lee de Forest, et al). These limitations have been adopted in an attempt to report the work done in the years where there is a dearth of readily available published material...

Getting Your Lab Equipment Back up and Running

Getting Your Lab Equipment Back up and Running - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rental and sales company has published a new blog post entitled "Getting Your Lab Equipment Back up and Running" that offers steps or precautions that should be taken with instruments that have been idle for some time, which is not unusual during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that they can provide the most accurate measurements possible as you get back to work. Since many of us have been working only from home, projects requiring test equipment have been delayed and the instruments in your lab have been left idle for a couple of months. Can those instruments be expected to deliver the same levels of performance and accuracy as soon as they are turned on? Axiom Test Equipment's latest blog post delves into why it is best to take some quick and easy precautionary steps...

Calls Home from Auto by Short Wave

Calls Home from Auto by Short Wave, August 1935 Short Wave Craft - RF CafeThis could be one of the earliest reports of mobile communications between a private automobile and a home base station. Using a personally designed and installed 5−meter transceiver both at home and in his car, Mr. Wallace is able to talk to his 12-year-old son on the way from work. My guess is that in 1935 there were not too many traffic jams, even in Long Beach, California, so it is doubtful that was the cause for his announced expected later-than-normal arrival home. The article states the automobile power supply needed to produce 300 mA of current at 525 V, which is ~160 W per Ohm's law, which seems unlikely considering car batteries were 6 V at the time, and that would work out to ~26 A. My question is whether little Billy possessed a license permitting him to talk back to dear old dad from the home station? If not, it really doesn't matter at this point since there is probably some statute of limitations that absolves him from prosecution...

International Postal Service Affects QSL Card Delivery

International Postal Service Affects QSL Card Delivery - RF Cafe"The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has temporarily suspended international mail acceptance for items addressed to certain destinations due to service impacts related to the COVID−19 pandemic. This situation could result in the return or loss of mail, such as QSL cards, addressed to affected parts of the world. The USPS has posted a list of affected countries, which is updated regularly. The Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail bearing a customs stamp that's returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may re-mail returned items with existing postage once service has been restored. When re-mailing under this option, customers should cross out the markings 'Mail Service Suspended - Return to Sender...'"

RF Cascade Workbook 2018

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 Is Available Now! - RF CafeRF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you have never used a spreadsheet quite like this. 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...

Res-Net Microwave: Precision RF & Microwave Components

Res-Net Microwave Components - RF CafeRes-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.

Tuesday 9

Bell Telephone Laboratories Solar Battery

Bell Telephone Laboratories Solar Battery, April 1954 Radio & Televsion News - RF CafeThis photo of Bell Telephone Labs' three scientists, G.L. Pearson, D.M. Chapin, and C.S. Fuller, inventors of the "Bell Solar Battery," reminds me of the very familiar shot of John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley huddled over their point contact transistor in December of 1948. The "battery" terminology is an interesting choice since we normally think of a battery as a charge storage device, but in fact a battery is fundamentally a charge creation device. A secondary battery may be recharged by reversing the depleted chemical (or other) process that generated the initial charge, but it first created the potential via a basic charge separation process. What we today refer to as a solar cell is a form of primary battery that is not rechargeable. Just as some chemical batteries (cells) are reactivated by replenishing the electrolyte, the solar cell is replenished by photons giving up their energy to the semiconductor substrate...

ConductRF D38999 RF & Mixed Signal Cables to 65 GHz

ConductRF D38999 RF & Mixed Signal Cables to 65 GHz - RF CafeAs a designated critical industry, ConductRF continues to operate at full capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. ConductRF offers a full line of D38999, RF and mixed signal cable solutions with performance up to 65 GHz. D38999 cables are one of our flag ship product capabilities. Standard features include M85049 backshells, RF contacts for #8, #12 & #16 gauge, BMA & SMPM solutions, low loss cable types, phase matching available. Custom marking and serialization also available. Made in the USA. ConductRF coaxial cable assemblies are available for immediate purchase from Digi-Key.

Single-Atom Transistor Paves Way For Quantum Computing

Single-Atom Transistor Paves Way For Quantum Computing - RF Cafe"Engineers from NIST have designed a new method for creating single-atom transistors that could advance the field of quantum computing. In conjunction with researchers from the University of Maryland, the NIST team has successfully created a recipe for designing single-atom transistors. The step-by-step instructions will allow engineers to fabricate these atomic-scale devices, which could prove vital in laying the groundwork for quantum computing. The team from NIST has already made a name for itself in the world of transistors. It is the second in the world to successfully create a single-atom transistor, and the first in the world that managed to fabricate single electron transistors that possess atom-scale control over the geometry of the device..."

Ponderings on Power Measurements

Ponderings on Power Measurements (Joe Cahak) - RF CafeJoe Cahak, owner of Sunshine Design Engineering Services, has submitted another fine article for posting here. Joe has many years of automated RF testing experience to leverage when writing this paper on the basics of power measurement. Joe has published many articles here on RF Cafe. This Ponderings on Power Measurements article begins: "A power measurement is a scalar quantity and is a measure of power detected. These measurements can be made a variety of ways. Most of us are familiar with the notion that voltage (volts) multiplied by current (amps) is power (watts) and power multiplied by time is energy. At DC or low frequencies these power measurements from the current or voltage is relatively easy and not very complicated. As we get to higher frequencies the typical means of measuring voltage or current breakdown and are not accurate..."

A Different Twist to Single-Wire Data Transmission

A Different Twist to Single-Wire Data Transmission - RF CafeOleksiy Kravchenko has an article posted on the Electronic Design website entitled, "A Different Twist to Single-Wire Data Transmission." "This alternative method for a single-wire data-transmission system is designed to handle a large number of components. Single-wire data transmission is useful when operating a multitude of disperse components if high speed isn't a requirement, but there's a need for flexibility. The approach reduces the number of conductors in the cabling by shrinking size and cost. It can also improve system reliability. Dialog Semiconductor's GreenPAK is a lower-power, NVM-programmable FPGA that's used in this article to implement serial-to-parallel converters using a single-wire line. Main idea behind the method: Let's start with the classic integrating RC element and its properties. The integrating RC element..."

Axiom Test Equipment: Rent, Buy, Trade & Repair

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom 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!

Monday 8

Fundamentals of Color TV: The NTSC System

Fundamentals of Color TV: The NTSC System, April 1954 Radio & Televsion News - RF CafeYou genius types might not be able to relate to the rest of us who read articles like this one entitled "Fundamentals of Color TV: The NTSC System" and are in awe of minds that conjure such things as the NTSC System and then build, refine, and perfect working hardware. Making the system backward-compatible with existing black and white (B&W) signals added to the complexity and cleverness of the solution - akin but more sophisticated than compatibility of stereo with original mono radio transmissions. When catchy marketing slogans like the familiar (to old folks) RCA television advertisement claim of "Before you see the color ... Your ColorTrak System grabs it, aligns it, defines it, sharpens it, tones it ... and locks the color on track," what it actually means is that a very smart bunch of engineers and scientists spent a lot of time and money designing...

New Error Correction Code Approach to Quantum Computing

New Error Correction Code Approach to Universal Quantum Computing - RF Cafe"A British scientist working in Australia has found a way to apply a three-dimensional code to a two-dimensional framework for quantum error correcting. Government agencies and universities around the world—not to mention tech giants like IBM, Google, and Microsoft—are vying to be the first to answer a trillion-dollar quantum question: How can quantum computers reach their vast potential when they are still unable to consistently produce results that are reliable and free of errors? Every aspect of these exotic machines - including their fragility and engineering complexity; their preposterously sterile, low-temperature operating environment; complicated mathematics; and their notoriously shy quantum bits..."

NEW - RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built symbols, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Symbols available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size drawing page templates (or can use your own). Symbols are provided for equipment racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics. Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing. The file format is XML so everything plays nicely with Visio 2013 and later...

A Logic Named Joe

A Logic Named Joe - The Internet Foretold? - RF Cafe SmorgasbordSomebody get Al Gore on the phone - preferably using Skype. It appears that maybe he did not invent the Internet after all. Sci-fi writer William F. Jenkins, who went by the pen name "Murray Leinster," wrote a short story entitled A Logic Named Joe, that appeared in March 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. In the story, an amazingly prescient description of the modern Internet is laid out. The works is copyrighted so I will not replicate the entire thing here, but these are a few excerpts that sound a lot like Mr. Leinster was in cahoots with DARPA during the development*. Before I forget, thanks to RF Cafe visitor Terry W. for sending the link. My comments look like...

Uncertain Regulations Stall Implementation of Counter-UAS Technology

Uncertain Regulations Stall Implementation of Counter-UAS Technology - RF Cafe"In early September 2019, a radical environmentalist group called 'Heathrow Pause' threatened to shut down Heathrow Airport in the UK by flying drones within the airport's no-fly zone to call attention to climate change. Some Heathrow Pause members were arrested the day before their previously announced fly-date (9/13) and on the day itself their drones were unable to take off, electronically jammed by the authorities. The protest represents a new wrinkle in the fast-moving world of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) use and integration. As previous drone-induced airport disruptions at Heathrow and Gatwick in the UK and at Newark Airport, New Jersey in the U.S. demonstrate, society will need to prevent as well as facilitate drone use in daily life..."

Centric RF: Attenuators, Adapters, Cable Assemblies, Power Dividers

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric 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. 

Sunday 7

Amateur Radio Crossword Puzzle for June 7

Amateur Radio Crossword Puzzle for June 7, 2020 - RF CafeEach week, for the sake of all avid cruciverbalists amongst us, I create a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, see someone or something in the exclusion list who or that is directly related to this puzzle's theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Enjoy!

   
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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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