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• Microwave Transmission Market to Grow 5% in 2023

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• Canada Approves Local 3900-3980 MHz Band for Private 5G

• Quantum Matter Breakthrough

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Great Deal on Coaxial
and Twisted Pair Cable

Coaxial and Twisted Pair Cable for Sale - RF Cafe

Spools of various types of communications cables - RG-59 coax and a few kinds of twisted pair cables. Some reels / boxes are full or nearly full, and I guestimate at least 100 feet on others. Photos are shown below. Since I do not have the time or the will to unspool, measure the length of, and re-spool any of it...

Channel Master Antennas

Channel Master Antennas, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeThe decade of the 1960s was probably the heyday of television. Household incomes had been steadily rising since the end of World War II while inflation was relatively low. The Korean War was over and until around 1965 the country was not on a serious war footing. Game shows, soap operas, shows depicting non-dysfunctional families, variety show formats, non-woke cartoons, movies, and newscasts that didn't insult half the country with biased coverage fed the country's appetite for wholesome, useful entertainment. Once violent race riots and hippie anti-establishment protests became a major threat to safety and civic deportment, people monitored radio and television to keep abreast of events. In accord with rapidly improving television sets were advances in antenna technology. Viewers wanted the best possible picture and audio, and were willing to pay dearly for it. Through around the end of the 20th century, after which cable dominated as a transmission medium, over-the-air broadcasts in increasingly crowded RF environments made higher performance antennas even more necessary...

Compliant 3D-Printed Tunable GHz-Range Antenna

Compliant 3D-Printed Tunable GHz-Range Antenna - RF Cafe"Many situations arise in which an antenna needs to dynamically reconfigure its center frequency or beam pattern. In some cases, this can be done with a steerable, multi-element antenna array, but it's often not a viable solution for various reasons. As an alternative, a team of electrical engineers in the Penn State College of Engineering devised an innovative design for a reconfigurable patch antenna dubbed a reconfigurable compliant mechanism antenna (rCMA). The antenna, which leverages the inherent elastic properties of selected material to create a desired motion through controlled deformation, is designed to operate up to 10 GHz. These compliant mechanisms can be made as a planar structure from a single material yet still achieve multi-axis motion. Further, they can be designed as a full structure with minimal or even no assembly, require no lubrication, and their reliability is high, as it's based on the elastic properties of the material..."

War and the Radio Amateur

War and the Radio Amateur, May 1917 The Electrical Experimenter - RF CafeAmateur radio station operators seemed to always be amongst the first to lose their rights in time of war. Governmental power brokers - from unelected local bureaucrats on up to presidents - love to demonstrate their influence over citizens when the opportunity arises. The Radio Act of 1912 revoked the rights of amateur radio stations to operate, and in some cases authorized the confiscation of radio equipment for use by the government. Permission was not restored until 1919, after World War I. Amateurs took it on the chin again in World War II with revocation of licenses. In this 1917 article in The Electrical Experimenter magazine publisher Hugo Gernsback makes the case for permitting "our red-blooded boys be trusted to assist our officials in running down spies." "...we realize how absurd it is to close all privately owned radio stations during the war," says he. It fell on deaf ears, as usual. As the now mayor of Chicago once famously said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste..."

Anatech Intros 3 Filter Models

Anatech Electronics Intros 3 Filter Models for May 31st, 2023 - RF CafeAnatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. Three new filter models have been introduced - a 1176 MHz / 1575 MHz ceramic duplexer with an 18 MHz minimum bandwidth, a 1616 - 1626.5 MHz cavity bandpass filter with TNC female connectors, and a 4900 MHz bandpass filter with N-type male / N-type female connectors. Custom RF power filter and directional couplers designs can be designed and produced with required connector types when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements are such that a custom approach is necessary...

Electronics and IGY

Electronics and IGY, March 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThe International Geophysical Year (IGY) was an international scientific project that took place from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It was a collaborative effort involving scientists from around the world to conduct research in various fields of geophysics. The IGY was organized in response to a proposal by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) to promote international cooperation in the study of the Earth and its environment. The project aimed to advance our understanding of Earth's physical properties, including its atmosphere, oceans, and solid Earth. During the IGY, scientists conducted research in a wide range of disciplines, such as meteorology, seismology, glaciology, oceanography, and solar physics. They used cutting-edge technologies and established numerous research stations across the globe to gather data. One of the most significant achievements of the IGY was the International Geophysical Year Antarctic Program. Several countries established research bases in Antarctica, leading to significant discoveries about the continent's geology, weather patterns, and wildlife...

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt was a lot of work, but I finally finished a version of the "RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols" that works well with Microsoft Office™ programs Word™, Excel™, and Power Point™. This is an equivalent of the extensive set of amplifier, mixer, filter, switch, connector, waveguide, digital, analog, antenna, and other commonly used symbols for system block diagrams and schematics created for Visio™. Each of the 1,000 or so symbols was exported individually from Visio in the EMF file format, then imported into Word on a Drawing Canvas. The EMF format allows an image to be scaled up or down without becoming pixelated, so all the shapes can be resized in a document and still look good. The imported symbols can also be UnGrouped into their original constituent parts for editing. Check them out!

Many Thanks to Withwave for Long−Time Support!

Withwave RF & Microwave Components - RF CafeWithwave manufactures an extensive line of metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch, board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a fully automated 4-port vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors, attenuators, terminations, DC blocks, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner. Special test fixtures for calibration and multicoax cable assemblies. Frequency ranges from DC through 110 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they can help your project succeed.

Mac's Service Shop: Technician or Consulting Engineer?

Mac's Service Shop: Technician or Consulting Engineer?, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeAfter reading the first paragraph of this "Mac's Service Shop" technodrama entitled, "Technician of Consulting Engineer?," I expected to be told a story about the seemingly excited customer exiting the shop as he returned from lunch. Had the man made an unreasonable demand on Mac McGregor, the proprietor, and was rebuffed appropriately? It never materialized. In the second paragraph underling technician Barney mentions having seen two men exiting the shop on his way in, not just one. At that point I'm wondering what sort of melee had just occurred. As it turned out, my interpretation of the event was totally incorrect. While explaining the happenings to Barney, he imparts, as he is want to do, a couple clever bits of technical information in the process. This appeared in the October 1960 issue of Electronics World magazine...

Thanks Again for Windfreak Technologies' Continued Support!

Windfreak TechnologiesWindfreak Technologies designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value USB powered and controlled radio frequency products such as RF signal generators, RF synthesizers, RF power detectors, mixers, up / downconverters. Since the conception of WFT, we have introduced products that have been purchased by a wide range of customers, from hobbyists to education facilities to government agencies. Worldwide customers include Europe, Australia, and Asia. Please contact Windfreak today to learn how they might help you with your current project.

Moore's Law Getting More Complicated

Moore's Law Getting More Complicated - RF Cafe"There was a time, decades really, when all it took to make a better computer chip were smaller transistors and narrower interconnects. That time's long gone now, and although transistors will continue to get a bit smaller, simply making them so is no longer the point. The only way to keep up the exponential pace of computing now is a scheme called system technology co-optimization, or STCO, argued researchers at ITF World 2023 last week in Antwerp, Belgium. It's the ability to break chips up into their functional components, use the optimal transistor and interconnect technology for each function, and stitch them back together to create a lower-power, better-functioning whole. 'This leads us to a new paradigm for CMOS,' says Imec R&D manager Marie Garcia Bardon. CMOS 2.0, as the Belgium-based nanotech research organization is calling it, is a complicated vision. But it may be the most practical way forward..."

G & G Radio Supply Company

G & G Radio Supply Company Advertisement, October 1953 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIf only eBay had been around at the end of World War II, this surplus equipment would have dominated the electronics and electromechanical gizmo categories. Electronics magazines of the post-WWII era were filled for years with advertisements like this one from G & G Radio Supply Company in a 1953 issue of Radio & Television News magazine. That B-29 bomb sight, like the one used on the Enola Gay, could be purchased brand new for a scant $295, which even in equivalent 2018 dollars of $3,3142,758 (per the BLS), is a steal. This is not the famous Norden bombsight, but it's still a sweet collector's item, which is available on eBay today if you would like to own one. Already have a B-29 bombsight? How about a complete IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) secondary radar system? For a mere $350 you could have owned a complete rack of RC−188−A equipment, including the rack and chassis, a 450 W power supply, a 157-185 MHz transceiver (not in the Ham bands), a 5" CRT display, and a slew of vacuum tubes...

China's Take on U.S. Debt

China's Take on U.S. Debt - RF CafeOne great thing about being a member of the ruling class of a Communist and/or Marxist dictatorship is not being held accountable to the pesky citizens when making laws, spending, military action, social policies, environmental actions, medical actions, etc. You simply spend whatever amount of money deemed necessary to accomplish your desired ends - the people be damned. You would be forgiven if you thought I was referring to modern-day America, but I'm actually addressing China. Here from the South China Morning Post (one of my regular sources for tech headlines) is a story ridiculing the U.S. national debt. SCMP claims the amount of above-ground gold equals a cube 19.2 m per side, whereas the USGS says 23 m per side (50% greater volume). BTW, China's national debt is estimated to be at $14.4T. U.S. national debt is currently at $31.8T.

Electrons and Magnetic Fields

Electrons and Magnetic Fields, November 1968 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeUniversity of Southampton, England, professor James Holbrook suggests in this 1968 Radio-Electronics magazine article an "easy-to-follow substitute for the left- and right-hand rules," but I'm not so sure that the good professor's "Electron Orbit Method" is any better or easier to remember. Admittedly, it is hard to remember whether the use a left-hand rule or a right-hand rule for the various physical laws - motor rotation direction, current induction, torque, vector cross products, etc. Those involving current flow are made even more confounding because you need to know whether the creator of the rule refers to conventional current flow (positive-to-negative) or electron current flow (negative-to-positive). Note in Figure 110 from the Electricity volume of Basic Navy Training Courses how the generator rule is described as a left-hand rule with conventional current flow. However, the modern version for electron current flow uses a right-hand rule...

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks (EIA 19", ETSI 21"), and more. Test equipment and racks are built at a 1:1 scale so that measurements can be made directly using Visio built-in dimensioning objects. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

PCB  Directory - RF CafeThe leading website for the PCB industry. 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.

World-Wide TV and Phone Calls Via Satellite!

Electronics World - World-Wide TV and Phone Calls Via Satellite!, October 1960 Electronics World - RF CafeLittle did anyone suspect when the Bell Telephone Laboratories' "Sugar Scoop" antenna went online, as reported in this October 1960 issue of Electronics World magazine, that one of the greatest discoveries of the astronomy world would be made with it five years later. Developed originally to facilitate research on radio communications between the Earth and orbiting satellites, physicists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson measured an unexplained level of background noise in the realm of 2.7 Kelvins that persisted regardless of where in the sky the antenna was pointed. After ruling out the antenna and receiver as the cause, they surmised that the noise must be coming from the cosmos itself, and that the characteristic of it agreed with the theoretical model of the universe at an early stage in Big Bang event. It is now known as the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB, CMBR)...

Unpopular Electronics

Unpopular Electronics, August 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeYou would be hard pressed to find an electronics magazine today that included poetry as part of its typical features. I have published pages from the ARRL's QST magazine from the 1940s that had poems. Of course, the theme of the poems is almost always humor or parody, but poetry was not then an unknown / unpracticed art by the general populace as it appears to be today. Anyway, enjoy the jovial rhymes here from the August 1959 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Frequent comic contributor Carl Kohler provides the illustrations for the rhymes of Saunder Harris...

Please Welcome Back Werbel Microwave!

Werbel MicrowaveWerbel Microwave is a manufacturer of RF directional and bidirectional couplers (6 dB to 30 dB) and RF power dividers / combiners (2− to 16−way) with select models operating up to 26.5 GHz and 100 W of CW power (3 kW peak). All are RoHS and REACH compliant and are designed and manufactured in our Whippany, NJ, location. Custom products and private label service available. Please take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how Werbel Microwave can help you today.

Home Computers Circa 1981 - AT&T 6300

Home Computers Circa 1981 - AT&T 6300 - RF CafeIn the year 2023, it is easy to forget what the field of personal computers looked like back in the early days of home computing (assuming that you were even alive and a computer user then). My first PC (circa 1983) was a Sinclair ZX-80 model that had a membrane keypad, used a cassette tape deck for storage, and connected to a television display via a video converter. My first program beyond the obligatory "Hello World!" variety was one that plotted a sine wave and cosine wave on the screen. From there, I moved on to a VIC-20, and finally to my first "real" PC, an ATT 6300 (in 1987, while at the University of Vermont, working on my BSEE). The ATT6300 came with two, 5-1/4" floppy disk drives and no hard drive. It was a real step up when I installed a whopping 10 MByte internal HDD, and then even added an 8087 math processor to assist the 8086 processor. Its green monochrome monitor had a really weird resolution that almost NO software was designed for, so it could cause display problems. UVM required all engineering students to buy one from them, at around $3,000, as well as an HP dot matrix printer that cost around $450...

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook 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 (click here for screen capture). 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...

Please Visit Empower RF's Website in Appreciation of Their Support

Empower RF Systems - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems is the technological leader in RF & microwave power amplifier solutions for EW, Radar, Satcom, Threat Simulation, Communications, and Product Testing. Our air and liquid cooled amplifiers incorporate the latest semiconductor and power combining technologies and with a patented architecture we build the most sophisticated and flexible COTS system amplifiers in the world. Solutions range from tens of watts to hundreds of kilowatts and includes basic PA modules to scalable rack systems.

Carl & Jerry: Great Bank Robbery

Carl & Jerry: Great Bank Robbery or "Heroes All," October 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThe middle of the last century was the era of science fiction with fantastic adventures and inventions. In order to engage kids in the realm, clever and fearless teenagers were cast as leading characters. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, The Radio Boys, The Radio Girls, and others proved their sleuthing prowess, bravery, and ability to assess situations and respond remarkably. That made the introduction of the Carl & Jerry series in Popular Electronics magazine a pretty good bet for John Frye. Mr. Frye had already been for many years writing technical articles and what I have dubbed "technodramas," including the also popular "Mac's Radio Service Shop" series. His stories always integrated not just high tech paraphernalia, but also discussions of functional details of circuits, test equipment, and components. This "Great Bank Robbery" story, in addition to being a bit hokey, weaved together Ham radio operation, class "B" amplifier...

Canada's New Voice on Shortwave

Canada's New Voice on Shortwave, April 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRadio Canada International (RBI) is (was) the worldwide version of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), operating on the 9,745 kHz and 11,856 kHz shortwave bands. It carried broadcasts from 1942 through 2012, by which time the widespread access to Internet broadcasts rendered the service obsolete. What remains of RBI is a skeleton staff that generates podcasts in a few foreign languages. As with the USA's Voice of America (VOA), RBI's mission over the years was a combination of broadcasting for the sake of overseas armed forces members, anti-communist/socialist propaganda, and news items. This 1972 Popular Electronics magazine article reported on the new, much more powerful transmitters inaugurated in July of the previous annum. Its goal was to reach the four corners of the Earth in the same way VOA had been doing for decades...

General Radio Company

General Radio Company, October 4, 1965 Electronics Magazine - RF Cafe

This advertisement for General Radio Company's Recording Wave Analyzer (1965 Electronics magazine) caught my eye due to the chain-driven interface between the upper Type 1900-A Wave Analyzer and lower Type 1521-B Graphic Level Recorder chassis. Maybe that can be considered an early form of the GPIB - General [Instruments] Physical Interface Bus. I wonder how many neckties, a rigidly-enforced item of professional dress code of the era, got caught in those exposed gears? ...or fingers for that matter? OSHA would condemn such a platform these days. It is not apparent from the photograph whether there is also an electrical interface. The quality of the printed chart output is phenomenally good for 1965 equipment - and in color, no less. I also found it interesting that a reference was made to "M. Fourier," as though maybe Fourier's first name began with an "M," but in fact his full name is Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier (French), so the "M." would be an abbreviated form of "Monsieur..."

Electronics Theme Crossword for May 28th

Electronics Theme Crossword Puzzle for May 28, 2023 - RF CafeThis custom RF Cafe electronics-themed crossword puzzle for May 28th contains only words and clues which pertain strictly to the subjects of electronics, mechanics, power distribution, engineering, science, physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc. If you do happen see names of people or places, they are directly related to the aforementioned areas of study. As always, you will find no references to numbnut movie stars or fashion designers. Need more crossword RF Cafe puzzles? A list at the bottom of the page links to hundreds of them dating back to the year 2000. Enjoy.

Many Thanks to Anatech Electronics for Long-Time Support!

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. 

What's Your EQ?

What's Your EQ?, May 1963 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeHere are three more puzzlers from the "What's Your EQ?" section of the May 1963 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine. The Constant Current circuit has two solutions, of which the first - the one I solved (hint: first solve for the circuit impedance needed for the given voltage and current) - is the simplest and most intuitive. You're probably smarter than I am and will naturally arrive at the more sophisticated solution. Four-Way Switch is a piece of cake it you've done electrical wiring (hint: you can make another configuration switch from a 4-way). Don't let the vacuum tube diodes throw you on Rectified Voltage; just replace the symbols with semiconductor diodes (hint: the fat line is the plate = anode). Good luck.

Remember seeing something here and it's gone now? Check the Archives pages.

Lotus Communications Systems RF Components - RF Cafe
Anatech Electronics RF Microwave Filters - RF Cafe
KR Electronics (RF Filters) - RF Cafe
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 by RF Cafe
ConductRF Phased Matched RF Cables - RF Cafe

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


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 tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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