Anatech August 2012
The drive to create a nationwide 700 MHz public safety broadband network finally appears to have some teeth thanks to its inclusion in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The law reallocates 10 MHz of spectrum in the infamous "D-block" to public safety, which along with an existing 10 MHz of spectrum currently held by the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) will create 20 MHz of spectrum dedicated exclusively to public safety data communications.
Pasternack Introduces New
Line of Low PIM Connectors
Pasternack Enterprises’ high performance low PIM connectors are designed to fit on most commercially available 1/2” corrugated copper and aluminum cables. Low PIM connectors are available in 7/16 DIN and Type N series with both male and female interfaces. Pasternack’s custom length assemblies using these new low PIM connectors are made to order and ship the same day.
The KISS Principle at Work
This story was sent to me via e-mail. I haven't checked the veracity of it, but even if it's fictitious, it's still funny and makes a good case for the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle.
Thanks for the Support!
Amplifiers for the commercial & military markets from DC to 4 GHz. Hybrid construction techniques, utilizing chip and packaged semiconductors, on thick alumina substrates or PCB materials.
Patent Trolls on Trial?
Trial lawyer Maggie Tamburro, of IMS ExpertServices, weighs in on the infamous "patent troll," a genre of business practice that reportedly costs the U.S. economy up to $29B per year. To address the problem, Congress recently introduced a bill titled the "Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes." Ms. Tamburro argues that the practice is looked upon favorably when it is a large tech company essentially acting in a manner similar to companies whose raison d'être is solely the exploit the protected work of others. What think ye?
Measurements for Insights
Innovative Measurements for Greater Insights by Agilent, Wednesday, August 22, 1:00 PM ET
Many Thanks for Support
by Fairview Microwave
"Value added" distributor of RF, microwave, wireless & fiber optic passive coaxial components - compliance screening available. RF cables & connectors, crimp tools, calibration kits, torque wrenches.
"Humans act less precisely. The certainty of an absolutely correct outcome can be lower than with computers. But because humans care about the outcome, they tend to make decisions optimized for survival." - Ken Bowersox, former Shuttle astronaut, commenting on whether the U.S. space program should migrate to total robotics rather than manned missions. September 2012 Air & Space
2016 Beloit College
Each August beginning in 1998, Beloit College has released the "Beloit College Mindset List," which notes how changes in technology, cultural standards, and world events has altered the attitudes and expectations of the current crop of college freshmen. Just as the 1998 List addressed the graduating class of 2002, this year's list focuses on the college graduating class of 2016. What began as an admonition to the faculty regarding how the world their students have lived in is radically different from the one they experienced is now a much-anticipated form of entertainment. Tenured professors might know the source of common terms like...
RFMD® Commences LTE
Shipments to Samsung
RFMD expects to supply the majority of the 3G and 4G power amplifiers in Samsung’s highest volume smartphones this calendar year. RFMD already supports multiple feature phones, smartphones and tablets for Samsung with a broad range of products, including PowerSmart® power platforms, ultra-high efficiency power amplifiers, and other critical high-performance components.
Thanks to Triad RF Systems
for Their Support!
Tower-mounted amplifiers, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, aka drone) systems, and many standard (30 - 6,500 MHz, up to 200 W) and custom-designed amplifier subsystems to your specifications. A small, private company run by serial entrepreneurs.
Sherlock Ohms: Satellite
Station Motors Burning Up
Sherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that features submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. This one is titled "The Satellite Station Motors Were Burning Up."
Dust Particles Reflecting RF
in the Atmosphere
ARRL contributing editor Stan Horzepa (WA1LOU) posted an interesting article on the radio propagation mode known as "dust scatter." He conducted an experiment to determine whether he could detect a “passive” meteor back-scatter from the recent (August 12) Perseid meteor shower.
Most of professional technical magazines offer free subscriptions to qualified peoples (often that just means you still have a pulse). Advertisers pay according to circulation, so higher subscription numbers mean higher sales prices for them. A few of the most useful for us are GPS World, Wireless Week, Electronic Products, and Photonics Spectra. There are a couple hundred magazines and white papers to choose from.
Wireless Engineering Theme
Crossword for 8/19/2012
For the sake of avid cruciverbalists, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words. You will never be asked the name of a movie star unless he/she was involved in a technical endeavor (e.g., Lamar).
Vacuum Tube Quiz
There are still a lot of vacuum tube guys out there who might remember enough about them to score well on this quiz that appeared in the February 1961 edition of Popular Electronics. My own exposure was mainly with airport surveillance and precision approach radars while in the USAF. We didn't have a lot of the fancy special purpose tubes shown here, but I was able to guess correctly on some of them based on how the tube is constructed and the response curves. Still, I'm embarrassed to tell you my overall score.
Please Thank KR Electronics
for Supporting RF Cafe
Filters for commercial and military markets. Custom & standard filters -bandpass, highpass, lowpass, notch, anti-aliasing, linear phase, fast response, phase matched, absorptive, root & full cosine.
Microwave Journal Articles
Wireless Sensor Network Challenges and Solutions
by L. Doherty, J. Simon and T. Watteyne
Antennas, the mmWave Advantage, by Christer Stoij
Tackling Satellite Interference
by Martin Coleman
Thanks to MECA Electronics
for Long-Time Support
RF/Microwave components including fixed attenuators, directional & hybrid couplers, isolators/circulators, power divider/combiners, RF Loads, DC blocks, bias Tees and adapters & cables. All RF realms served.
AWR Design Forum 2012
Off to a Successful Start
ADF is an open event at which designers of microwave and RF circuits and systems such as MMIC, RF PCB and LTE communication systems can network and share useful information and resources pertinent to high-frequency design, discuss AWR products and technologies, and collaborate on industry issues and trends.
Impressed on Mars
A portion of the tread pattern on the wheels of NASA/JPL's Curiosity Mars rover consists of a series square and rectangular holes that according to the Chuck Norris-looking guy on the embedded video (below) serve as "visual odometry marks." They are arranged in an asymmetric pattern on the rover that will leave an imprint on the surface of Mars so the onboard cameras can look at them to determine whether the craft is actually traversing the distance it is being commanded to move. Less distance between sets of marks are an indication that slippage is occurring. If that happens and Curiosity cannot correct itself, it will stop and make a call back home to JPL and await further instructions. The round-trip call can take anywhere from about 6 minutes to more than 44 minutes, not including the time needed to formulate a reply. Look more closely at the "visual odometry marks", however, and you will notice those holes are squares and rectangles that make up dots and dashes, respectively...
Please Visit Fotofab in
Appreciation of Their Support
Supplier of custom-made thin metal parts. Chemical etching, metal stamping, RF shielding, or any custom part made out of metal. RF/EMI shielding, metal stamping, lead frames, filter screens. Samples available.
Khan Academy: "Learn
Almost Anything for Free"
"Learn almost anything for free." That is the tag line of the Khan Academy. While the claim is a bit of a stretch, especially when you need to delve below surface level, they do have over 3,300 videos on everything from math to physics, finance, and history. According to their website, in August 2004, Sal Khan began remotely tutoring his cousin, Nadia, who was struggling with unit conversion. Soon, Sal also began tutoring her brothers as well. He became so popular that he started recording videos and posting them on YouTube. More and more people kept watching, and Sal has continued to make videos ever since. Khan eventually drew the attention of Google ($2 million grant) and Bill Gates ($1.5 million grant). The rest, as the saying goes, is history. RF Cafe visitors might be particularly interested in subjects like circuit analysis (4 lessons), capacitance, magnetism (12 lessons), electric motors, electrostatics, Doppler, optics, and fields. You might also like watching the video lessons on momentum and...
Intros 3 New Cavity Filters
The AB743B951 has a center frequency of 743 MHz and a bandwidth of 6 MHz. The AB2370B867 has a center frequency of 2370 MHz and 1-dB bandwidth of 40 MHz. The AB913B488 water-resistant cavity bandpass filter has a center frequency of 913 MHz, bandwidth of 20 MHz.
"[People] are not managing their tools; their tools are managing them. Tools now make the rules, and we struggle to keep up." - William H. Davidow in the August 2012 Spectrum (IEEE), re accelerated pace at which sophisticated technology is being introduced into society.
Bench Technician Job
Atlanta Communications Company is seeking a mature, experienced person with a dynamic personality and a strong electronics background as a Bench Technician. The ideal candidate will be FCC licensed, ETA certified, have experience with Motorola XTS, MotoTrbo professional and commercial series radios...
Challenges for SATCOM
Measurement Challenges and Techniques for SATCOM by Agilent, Thursday, August 16, 2:00 pm EDT
RFMD Intros 2.7V to 4.4V, 915 MHz Tx/Rx Module
Designed for 868 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz AMR solutions, RFMD’s new RF6549 features separate ports for Rx and Tx paths, and two ports on the output for connecting a diversity solution or a test port. PA section includes nominal Pout of 28 dBm.
Thanks to Oscilent for Support
Oscilent Corporation is a manufacturer of frequency control products offering design and production expertise in SAW Filters, quartz crystals, crystal oscillators, crystal filters, and ceramic resonators.
The Foundations of Mobile
and Cellular Telephony
On 17 June 1946, a driver in St. Louis pulled out a handset from under his car’s dashboard, placed a phone call and made history. It was the first mobile telephone call, placed on a system inaugurated by Southwestern Bell, one of AT&T’s local operating companies... (IEEE)
IEEE Job Resources
• How to Write Efficient Executive Summaries
• Hidden Job Market Secrets: What You Need to Know to Find a New Position in Today’s Job Market
"The Art of Failure Analysis"
For the last few years, IEEE's International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits has held an "Art of Failure Analysis" photo contest. Familiar shapes and patterns occur regularly in nature at the macro level that can be seen and recognized by almost anyone; e.g., the Nautilus spiral, the Fibonacci series in plant life, and fractal structures. It takes a high power optical microscope or even a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to see those familiar sights in the realm of the very small. Sometimes, though, the images are downright bazaar and look eerily familiar. This first-place winner from the 2012 "Art of Failure Analysis" is a good example. Titled, "People on the Beach," this first-prize-winning SEM image by Infineon's Lim Saw Sing...
High Voltage CMOS Driver
for PIN Diodes by M/A-COM
M/A-COM Technology Solutions has introduced a new High Voltage CMOS Driver for PIN diodes for use in military and commercial radio applications. The MADR-010574 is designed to work with M/A-COM Tech’s high power and high voltage PIN diodes. This driver supports series-shunt and all-series diode designs by biasing four diodes simultaneously.
Semis Other Than Transistors
In March of 1958 when this article appeared in Popular Electronics, learning of semiconductor devices other than transistors was usually new to experienced professionals as well as to hobbyists. Vacuum tubes still dominated electronic products in the day. Companies like General Electric, Sylvania, and RCA were the pioneers for development of Zener diodes, photodiodes, SCRs, thyristors, etc. Exotic compounds like selenium, germanium, silicon, and lead and cadmium sulphides...
Among the Novice Hams:
Pliers of the amateur radio hobby have since the beginning put forth a lot of effort training fledgling entrants in the realm of electronics and communications. Up until the latter part of the last century, there were a number of magazines - Popular Electronics among them - that would regularly print articles covering the basics of electronics. Other than the ARRL's QST magazine, it seems maybe Nuts and Volts is the only monthly still in print that you can go to for such information. I suppose it was inevitable with the emergence and now domination of the Internet as a source for most knowledge. The Among the Novice Hams column in Popular Electronics often included short primers on subjects like the basics of capacitors and inductors...
Positions Now Open
Empower RF Systems has announced positions available for the following areas: RF Engineer
, Senior CAD Designer
, Associate RF Engineer
, L- and S-Band Pulse/Radar RF Engineer
RFMW Intros Radiall
75 Ω BNC HD Connectors
RFMW announces design and sales support for Radiall’s new BNC HD Connector. The advanced design is available in a wide variety of colors, and its unique easy grip boot allows for high density integration without the use of a tool, making this high-definition BNC the best choice for all broadcast applications.
Many Thanks to Anatech!
Anatech Electronics has been a long-time supporter of RF Cafe. They specialize in RF & Microwave products specifically built for military, commercial and wireless communications.
RFMD Intros 6-Bit Serial
Digital Step Attenuators
RFMD’s new RFSA2644 / RFSA2654 6-bit digital step attenuators (DSAs) feature high linearity over their entire 31.5 dB gain control range with excellent step accuracy in 0.5dB steps. They are programmed via a serial mode control interface.
Parting is Such Sweet Revenge
The 21st century has brought with it new ways to leave your job. The exit strategies of the recently unemployed have taken a new tack: social media is proving to be an outlet for those who decide that they don’t want to go quietly.
Sherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that features submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. This one is titled "Blowing Fuses & Exploding Circuit Panels."
Analog Devices’ 8- and 16-
Analog Devices introduced two multiplexers, ADG5206 and ADG5207 that are able to guarantee latch-up prevention in high-voltage industrial applications operating up to ±22 V.
Thanks to ACS for
ACS designs, develops and sells Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software tools for RF and microwave engineering applications. ACS's main product is the LINC2 linear circuit simulator.
µP-Controlled Router Base
Engineering students at MIT have developed a hand-held computerized router that can precisely cut out or rout practically any shape on any size wood (or plastic, foam, whatever) based on a digital map of the pattern and the work surface. Strips of encoded tape are positioned on the material and then the router follows the tape. Notice while watching the video that the router moves around on the base unit. The operator's job is to keep the router near the center of the base so it doesn't move against a hard stop at the edge of the base. This type of function is traditionally performed with an X-Y plotter type system that automatically moves the bit across the work piece; they can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size. Depending on your patience and skill, an entire 4x8-foot sheet of plywood could be handled if desired. I'm guessing this device, once productized and made in China, will sell low end in Sears for about $150.
PMI Intros Analog Phase
Shifter for 9 to 11 GHz
Model Number PS-9G11G-3609-A-SFF is an analog controlled phase shifter that operates over the 9.0 to 11.0 GHz frequency range. This model utilizes a phase shift control voltage ranging from ±7.5 V for phase shift of 0-360°
AWR IMS2012 MicroApps
Videos Now on AWR.TV
AWR Corporation has added nine videos of its MicroApps presentations from the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2012 to its AWR.TV portal. Tune into the IMS channel to view the following AWR MicroApps presentations
August T&M World Articles
• Test Method Improves PWB Reliability, by Paul Reid
• A T&M View of the Higgs Boson Discovery: Pt 3, What They Actually Measure, by Ransom Stephens
August RFTI Articles
• Low-EMI Printed Circuit Board Design for High Frequency Waveforms (p.10), by Earl McCune and David Wyskiel
• Antenna Current Distribution: the Basis for Modeling and Simulation (p.22), Gary Breed
• The Mirror Technique for Reducing Radiated EMI (p.24), by Arturo Mediano
*---- Notice ----*
I will be away from my computer until Friday afternoon (August 10). I apologize in advance for any delays in responding.
RF Cafe Quiz #45
This quiz is based on the information presented in Handbook of Dielectric and Thermal Properties of Materials at Microwave Frequencies, by Theodore Anderson. This book is a wealth of information of dielectric characteristics of biological tissues in plants, animals, as well as for ceramics, soils and minerals. Particular attention is paid to properties in the ISM frequency bands. Extensive sources for similar studies are provided.
Engineering & Science News
for August 9, 2012
• FCC Asked to Raise Limit on Cell Phone Radiation
• Samsung Probes Allegation of Supplier's Underage Workers
• Deutsche Telekom Profits Jump 74% as Costs Fall
• 16-Year-Old New York Boy is the Fastest Texter in America
• Semico Cuts 2012 Chip Market Growth Forecast
• First Logic Gate Made from Undoped Silicon Nanowires
• Seeing the Light with NIST's New Noiseless Optical Amplifier
• Prepay Now Main Driver of U.S. Smartphone Sales
• U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Fell as Sales Plummeted
GreenPeak to Lead the
Smart Home Evolution
GreenPeak Technologies, a leading Smart Home RF communications semiconductor company, has announced it is expanding its product portfolio and customer target base. GreenPeak ZigBee chips are already integrated into leading cable industry set-top boxes to enable power saving and long range RF based connections for remote controls. Rolling out new radio chips that support the full range of ZigBee networking technologies including ZigBee Pro, ZigBee IP, RF4CE and ZigBee Green Power.
RF Cafe July Book
Warren G., of Stafford, VA, is the July 2012 winner of RF Cafe's monthly book drawing. Warren selected The Parameter Space Investigation Method Toolkit, Graciously provided by Artech House
Forum Request: Guidance Needed for My Future
A recent visitor to the RF Cafe Employment Forum posted a request for assistance: "I'm currently doing my Master's in Wireless Communications at the University of Southampton. I will be graduating by the end of September 2012.I was sure of getting a job in the UK after my course gets over. But due to the VISA regulations in the UK, am afraid that I wont be able to get a job. So, kindly help me out by giving your suggestions for the following..."
Richardson RFPD Intros Two
New Converters from ADI
The AD5686RBCPZ-RL7, a member of ADI's nanoDAC+® family, is a low power, quad, 16-bit buffered voltage output DAC. It includes a 2.5 V, 2 ppm/°C internal reference (enabled by default) and a gain select pin giving a full-scale output of 2.5 V (gain = 1) or 5 V (gain = 2). The AD7988-5BRMZRL7 is a 16-bit, successive approximation, analog-to-digital converters (ADC) that operates from a single power supply, VDD. The device offers 500kSPS throughput and is a low power, 16-bit sampling ADC with a versatile serial interface port.
Expert witnesses play a big role in most - if not all - of the court cases that get reported here. IMS ExpertServices is a law firm specializing in expert witnesses. Every month or so they send me an article about specific court cases that could be of interest to RF Cafe visitors. This particular installment is titled, "To Testify or Not to Testify: Re-Designating An Expert Witness?," and deals with a rather ironic turn of events in a medical case, but the outcome could affect even patent and copyright infringement cases, particularly given the reported low incidence of precedence in these matters.
Job Hunting Tips from the IEEE
• The Secret to Articulating Your Value
• Why You Didn’t Get the Interview
• Economic Strains Are Having Little Impact On Tech Job Opportunities In The Asia-Pacific
M/A-COM GaN HEMT Pulsed Power Transistor
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Announces New GaN HEMT Pulsed Power Transistor. The MAGX-002735-040L00 is a gold metalized, internally matched, GaN on SiC, RF power transistor that exhibits excellent performance when operated at +50 V, class AB operation, 40 W peak output, using a 300 µs pulse and 10% duty cycle pulsed signal. Leveraging state of the art wafer fabrication processes, the transistor provides high gain, efficiency, bandwidth, and ruggedness over a wide bandwidth for today’s demanding needs.
Measurement Challenges of 160 MHz 802.11ac MIMO
Webinar: Addressing Measurement Challenges of 160 MHz 802.11ac MIMO, by Agilent, Thursday, August 9, 1:00 PM EDT. With the latest incarnation of Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, designers are leveraging signal frequencies, modulation bandwidths, spatial demultiplexing and modulation schemes to meet the throughput needs of 802.11ac. This has posed several challenges for test equipment vendors as they try to meet the stringent demands of 160 MHz bandwidths, MIMO streams, 256 QAM all at frequencies of 5.8 GHz.
Hittite's MMIC LNA Covers
0.3-3 GHz, Only 4.5 sq.mm
The HMC374SC70E is a high dynamic range pHEMT MMIC LNA which delivers 1.6 dB noise figure, +34 dBm output IP3 and 14 dB small signal gain at 900 MHz. With saturated output power up to +19 dBm and output IP3 to +36 dBm, the HMC374SC70E is also ideal for driving the LO port of high linearity mixers and for transmitter pre-driver applications.
Engineering & Science News
for August 8, 2012
• LTE Revenues Expected to Grow 8x by 2016
• National NFC Service to Go Live in Singapore This Month
• Explore the Upper Reaches of the Amateur Radio Spectrum
in the ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest
• Apple Patent Trial: Samsung Scrutinized iPhone to Improve
Galaxy UI (will this set precedent for teardowns & reverse engineering efforts?)
• India Can Monitor BlackBerry Without Codes
• Our Edisons are Alive and Well at NIWeek 2012
• Nuclear Generator Powers Curiosity Mars Mission (no solar
• Discordant Bits and Single Photons Boost Quantum Power
• Gov't Motors (GM) Outsources $559M Advertising Deal
(imagine Dinah Shore singing "See the UK in your Chevrolet")