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Cool Product Archive - 14

Featured Product Archive

The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |

RF Cafe Cool Product - Quite Universal Circuit Simulator (Qucs)Shown here is the transient response simulation of a Peltz oscillator as generated by the Quite Universal Circuit Simulator. Qucs is a GUI circuit simulator that can handle large-signal, small-signal and noise behavior, and runs on most platforms. The software aims to support most types of circuit simulation; e.g., AC, DC, S-parameter, harmonic balance analysis, noise analysis, etc. Qucsator, the simulation backend, is a SPICE-like command line circuit simulator. It takes a network list in a certain format as input and then outputs a Qucs dataset. Also as with SPICE, the output can be used as input by other interfaces. Cost to users: Free. Cost to developers: lots of uncompensated. Thanks to Bob for the tip.


RF Cafe Cool Product - Xi3 Corporation's 4-inch computerIf you try to take this portable computer on an airplane with you, it almost guarantees a full-body scan, pat-down, and orifice search by a team of TSA agent... with rubber gloves that have been worn all day. The Xi3 might be mistaken for "an object of concern," that triggers special personal attention at the terminal, but it is actually a modular computer that crams 6 USB ports, DVI, 2 eSATA ports, audio in/out, display port, Ethernet and special 'Xi3 Port' that facilitates scalability, all into a 4" cube. 3 CPU options are available at up to 2.2 GHz. What doe Xi3 stand for, you ask? X=Variable, i=Information, 3=Cubed. Base price: $849.


RF Cafe Featured Product - Motor Mouse USAThis Christmas, you can finally give or receive a trick ride that is "a superbly crafted classic sports car design with exquisite detail," having a high quality paint finish with chrome alloy wheels and built-in Bluetooth connectivity - for only $50. Motormouse features real rubber tires, and an extra wide 'spare tire' scroll wheel, a soft carrying pouch with spare battery section inside, and an opening trunk to store batteries and receiver. Motormouse includes a 'Super-Glide' mouse mat and includes 2 x AAA batteries. Red, silver, blue, and black.


If you are in the market for an inexpensive, high performance RF synthesizer, this is your lucky day. In the last handful of months I have featured three such devices in this spot, including, now, HGC Microwave's ______, a 29 to 3840 MHz synthesizer. Features include 1 Hz tuning resolution, very low spurious, and excellent phase noise. The unit incorporates both RS-232 and 4-wire serial interfaces. Software is provided for control. Its wide bandwidth, fine resolution, and compact size (5.39" x 6.48" x 0.67" ) make the ______ frequency synthesizer ideal for a variety of applications including automatic-test-equipment (ATE) and communications systems. Please contact Hans Glista for more info on his handiwork.


RF Cafe Cool Product -  FatWire's SG-14044-USBFatWire Wireless is offering a low-cost, high performance synthesizer "with the performance of generators 10 times the cost ." FatWire's SG-14044-USB operates in the 140 MHz to 4.4 GHz realm with an output power of at least +12 dBm (+15 dBm at lower frequencies), adjustable over a 30.5 dB range. Minimum step size is 100 Hz. SSB phase noise is -92 dBc/Hz @ 1 GHz, 20 kHz offset. It takes a 10 MHz reference input. Programming can be done via either a USB or a PS2 port. Price: A mere $750. The SG-14044-USB would make a good bench synthesizer for development and testing as well as for integration into a shippable product.


RF Cafe Cool Product - Seal Cell Dishwasher-Proof GSM PhoneStressed out over worrying about your cellphone falling out of your pocket and into the loo in a moment of inattention, then having to make that difficult decision whether best to hope it goes down the hole and lose your investment and contact list or instead garnering the willpower to retrieve it and suffer the indignation of having to decontaminate it - possibly to no avail - the end result being that you should have just flushed it? Well, Seal Cell™ has come to the rescue with its dishwasher-proof tri-band GSM phone with FM radio, GPS, and 2 Mpx camera. The Seal Shield folks also offer other toilet-proof items like keyboards and mice. Yes, life just got a little easier.

11-19-2010RF Cafe Cool Product - Speedster Espresso MachineEven during worldwide recessions like the one we have been stuck in for two years now, there are still a huge number of folks who can afford to splurge on extravagance. For Espresso consumers of that ilk that are also die-hard motorheads, Kees van der Westen offers the Speedster. Styled to resemble a high performance engine component (maybe a turbo charger?), this steely work of chrome-plated art will make you feel like your Espresso is piping hot oil coming straight from an engine block. The Speedster features a double boiler system, electronic temperature controllers, steam boiler with heat exchanger to pre-heat the water, commercial grade rotation pump, two water temperature settings, and a four-hole steam tip. Price: €5,250 ($7,097).


RF Cafe Cool Product - Wreaths Across America, founded by Worcester WreathEvery Christmas since General Washington's troops were hunkered down at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777, American troops have sacrificed selflessly to secure and maintain the freedoms that we all enjoy to this very day. During and between wars, they often spend holidays separated from family and friends. Most eventually return home whole, some return permanently wounded, while others, having given "the last full measure of devotion," never find their way back to an Earthly home. For those special few, Congress established in 1864 the Arlington National Cemetery, wherein are laid to rest any and every active duty or retired U.S. serviceman who desires interment there. What does this have to do with a Cool Product? Well, every year since 1992, Mr. Worcester Morrill, of Worcester Wreath in Maine, has donated and delivered thousands of wreaths for placement on graves to honor our fallen. For that act of kindness, he deserves recognition.


RF Cafe Cool Product - Wearable Antenna VestThis might be the solution to the iPhone 4 reception problem. Although the Tactical Vest Antenna System was designed for use in hostile field environments, I believe it might have a far more lucrative future as an external antenna for the iPhone 4. A modification would ne necessary for the convenience of the user, however. As currently configured, it uses a hardwired interface to the transceiver, but to be really useful, the vest needs an active circuit to allow it to function as a repeater. Alternately, an NFC coil could be incorporated, or perhaps a Bluetooth interface would be more appropriate. Extending the vest's frequency range should not be too difficult. If Apple had not just ordered the halt to production of the Steve Jobs action figure, this would have been a great apparel accessory package.

11-26-2010RF Cafe Cool Product - Wireless Ear Automotive Noise Source DetectorWireless technology is ubiquitous these days. It is found in toys, medical devices, home appliances, factory automation, and security. RFID tags and NFC coils are everywhere. Wireless sensors in your car tires report pressure to the computer, and your cellphone automatically pairs up with the hands-off comms system when you enter the car. Even your mechanic is exploiting the technology through devices like the Wireless ChassisEAR. Small sensor modules are attached to the chassis and/or engine areas in order to isolate the source of a noise or vibration. Doing so allows the mechanic to listen while driving the vehicle under the conditions where those pesky noises always appear. I have on more than one occasion jogged next to a moving car while trying to hear where a squeak or engine noise was coming from. This would be a big improvement.


RF Cafe Cool Product - Retro Typewriter-Turned-USB-KeyboardNot to be confused with the SteamPunk fad that combines modern technology with sci-fi type contraptions, these retro typewriters have been modified to perform as USB keyboards that interface to a PC or a Mac - even an iPod. You can even buy a do-it-yourself kit to transform your own typewriter into a USB keyboard. If you are nostalgic for the pre-typewriter era, but need the convenience of modern technology to get RF Cafe Cool Product - BookBook for Mac Bookby, you can pacify that urge with a BookBook cover for your MacBook computer. These hand-crafted cases function not just as a protective cover, but also as an effective anti-theft measure because when closed, they appear to be just an old book. Maybe grandpa will take more kindly to those newfangled computers if you put a familiar WWII vintage IBM or a Smith Corona in front of him, or even a good book if anything newer than a Gutenberg printing press is too modern for the old guy.


RF Cafe Cool Product - Wireless LED Christmas Tree BaublesIn yet another melding of the old with the new, you can now have your very own set of remotely controlled LED Christmas tree baubles. That's right, from the comfort of your easy chair, you can switch the hand-blown angel, moon, star, and snowman figurines on or off. A single AA battery for each bauble lasts up to 150 hours, according to the Pro-idee company. Already have the wireless baubles? What you need, then, is a set of wireless Christmas tree candles with the exclusive hand-studded, sparkling Swarovski elements. Now how much would you pay?


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