Homepage Archive January 2013

Skyworks Intros 5 LTE Tx/Rx

Switches for Personal Devices

Skyworks Introduces Five LTE Tx/Rx Switches for Smartphones and Tablets - RF CafeSkyworks is pleased to unveil five LTE Tx/Rx switches for smartphones and tablets. The SKY13414-485LF, SKY13415-485LF, SKY13416-485LF, SKY13417-485LF and SKY13418-485LF main/diversity antenna switches cover SP4T through SP8T, and allow up to eight bands of WCDMA/LTE. The high linearity and low insertion loss achieved by this suite of devices make them ideal for switching applications commonly used in LTE-based handsets, data cards and tablets. Their symmetric design and higher power handling also provide flexibility in signal routing for higher power TD-SCDMA / TDD-LTE, WCDMA / FDD and LTE transmit/receive functions.

Hobnobbing with Harbaugh

Vintage Electronics Humor

Hobnobbing with Harbaugh, August 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is another installment of "Hobnobbing with Harbaugh," this time with the theme "The Office Monster." 1962 was still the era of large computer mainframes and dumb terminal workstations. The concept of computers in the workplace was a novelty and beyond the comprehension of most people. This would be the equivalent of iPad humor today. 

Please Visit JFW Industries

for Supporting RF Cafe

JFW Industries designs and manufactures a wide range of attenuators, RF switches, ppower dividers, test accessories and RF systems within an ISO 9001:2008 certified quality system.  These products meet or exceed the requirements of the most demanding applications. All JFW products are designed to the most exacting standards to provide innovative, high quality and cost effective solutions in a wide variety of global applications. JFW offers custom designs at catalog prices, fast delivery and no NREs!

Sensus Customer NV Energy

Earns Top Smart Grid Award

Sensus Customer NV Energy Earns Top Smart Grid Award at DistribuTECH - RF CafeNV Energy, a Sensus smart grid customer serving the state of Nevada, has received a top industry award from Pennwell for Smart Metering Project of the Year. NV Energy has deployed the Sensus FlexNet™ communication network and 1.3 million smart endpoints to date. The utility was honored today at the DistribuTECH Conference in San Diego, California. Sensus is presenting a full complement of products and services in booth #1817 at DistribuTECH. "We took a very measured approach with our NVEnergize project," said Gary Smith, director of customer energy solutions. "What makes our project unique is that it covers virtually the entire state and once complete will bring operational benefits to our company and energy management benefits to 1.3 million customers statewide."

Sherlock Ohms: Beeping Oven

Called for a Debugging

Sherlock Ohms: Beeping Oven Called for a Debugging - RF CafeSherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. This particular adventure reminds me of a very recent experience I had when troubleshooting a 1970s Vintage Snoopy Phone Showing Bug Exoskeleton and Filth - RF Cafevintage Snoopy telephone that I bought on eBay. The listing stated that it wasn't working, but I figured it wouldn't be too hard to fix. It turns out that the problem was not due to a bug - click on the thumbnail to see how it relates to the story "Beeping Oven Called for a Debugging."

Electronic Noise Quiz

Electronic Noise Quiz, August 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeOK, class, put you books away and take out a pencil. Spread your chairs out because we're going to have a quiz today. A collective sigh permeates the room. Remember those days? I still have nightmares over those moments, and they were decades ago for me. At least this "Electronic Noise Quiz" from the August 1962 edition of Popular Electronics won't affect your GPA. Sometimes PE's quiz illustrations are kind of hard to interpret, but this one does a pretty good job (except item 'E', but I'm not telling what it is since nobody helped me). You will need a fairly diverse background in consumer type electronics to do well, and having a few white hairs will probably help as well. Good luck. BTW, my score was 80%.

AWR and Zuken Announce

RF Verify Flow for PCB Design

AWR and Zuken Announce RF Verification Flow for PCB Design - RF CafeAWR Corporation, together withZuken and AWR Announce RF Verification Flow for PCB Design - RF Cafe Zuken, a leading provider of electrical and electronic engineering software solutions, today announce AWR Connected for Zuken™. This RF printed circuit board (PCB) verification flow simplifies the PCB design process and therefore shortens design cycles by enabling users to quickly and easily simulate and verify embedded RF functionality. AWR Connected for Zuken provides a pathway from Zuken's CR-8000 Design Force PCB design software into AWR's Microwave Office® high-frequency simulation software. The new interface enables an intelligent, collaborative design flow for RF design and verification on the PCB.

Amateur Radio Quiz:

A Log of dBs

Amateur Radio Quiz: A Log of dBs? - RF CafeHam or not, this amateur radio quiz will provide a nice break from the workaday routine and might even challenge you a bit. Sez the ARRL: "If there is a single unit of measurement beyond volts and amps that can be considered nearly ubiquitous in ham radio, it would have to be our friend, the dee-bee or dB. Key to computing values in dB is the logarithm, so this quiz also combines the two -- are you ready? If dBs aren't your cup of tea, the ARRL website contains a tutorial on decibels that may help you out."

Multi-Beam Hub Base Station

Antenna for Ultra Fast MIMO

Cobham Intros New Multi-Beam Hub Base Station Antenna for Ultra Fast MIMO - RF CafeCobham Antenna Systems and Microwave Antennas developed a new Multi-Beam Hub Base Station antenna for ultra fast MIMO. . Model number MBA6-3.5DS45/2045 enables MIMO (multiple input multiple output) radio system operators to meet their goal of 1Gbps/km2 anywhere within a cell. Designed for high speed MIMO 4G (and beyond) urban access for backhaul, this was originally a European Union funded project that has become a finished and available Multi-beam antenna with additional Military and Security beneficial applications. It provides an essential component enabling an improvement to the overall infrastructure capacity density of the current mobile network by an order of magnitude.

EBTEC Achieves General

Electric Air Flow Approval

EBTEC Achieves General Electric Air Flow Approval - RF CafeEBTEC Corporation has announced it has been recently approved by General Electric for Airflow Testing per Specification E50TF217. EBTEC joins only three other high energy beam service providers with this successful approval to the GE Airflow Specification - E50TF217. Manufacturing components that contain many small diameter holes in aerospace materials can be a cumbersome and time-consuming task. Measuring and inspecting these holes can be even more cumbersome. Complex aerospace and ground-based turbine engines rely on special types of materials with small hole sizes, and hole population densities...

Wireless Drones Overhead...

Get Used to Them

Drones for Hire - Airplanes and SkyThe drone, aka Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), has been mainstreamed in the last few years. Although drones have been around since the end of World War I, in use for target practice and eventually for reconnaissance, they have evolved from fairly crude platforms that require intensive human interaction to fully autonomous systems that can be programmed with a full mission profile then launched, modified for mission changes en route and in situ if necessary, and finally retrieved and reused. GPS, inertial guidance (gyroscopes), radar, lidar, and other complex sensors allow the craft to monitor and correct its flight course and attitude. For many dangerous missions - especially highly dangerous ones - drones have virtually eliminated the need to have a human pilot in the cockpit. The USAF envisioned decades ago that this would be the case, and further sees the day when even dogfights (aka air-to-air combat) will be conducted between drones of opposing militaries. I remember reading futuristic articles on such scenarios in publications like Popular Science as a teenager back in the 1970s. Today, a third of all aircraft in the U.S. military's inventory are drones. No longer the exclusive realm of militaries...

Empower RF Systems Intros

2.5-6 GHz Smart Amplifier

Empower RF Systems Intros 2500 to 6000 MHz Smart Amplifier - RF CafeEmpower model BBM5K8CKT (SKU 1191) is a 2500 to 6000 MHz amplifier which is guaranteed to deliver 100W output power and related RF performance under all specified temperature and environmental conditions. The amplifier module is 8.0” x 6.5” x 1.0”. This amplifier is suitable for broadband jamming and high power linear applications in the S / C bands. This module utilizes high power GaN on SiC transistors and also features built in control and monitoring, with protection functions. The control system core has a built–in non-volatile memory for event recording and factory setup recovery features.

Many Thanks to everythingRF

for Continued Support

everything RF is a search engine for RF & Microwave Components. everything RF lists complete catalogs from various RF & Microwave component manufacturers and enables engineers to search through them by specification. There are over 60,000 Components listed from more than 150 Manufacturers. Download datasheets, Request Quotes or Contact the Suppliers for more information via everything RF. Its Fast & Easy!

Webinar: Signal Generator

Fundamentals and New Apps

Webinar: Signal Generator Fundamentals and New Applications - RF CafeSignal Generator Fundamentals and New Applications, January 30, 1:00 PM ET. Presenter: Erik Diez, Senior Product Manager Microwave and Communications Division, Agilent Technologies. Abstract: Signal generators are a fundamental test tool that engineers use for a wide variety of RF and microwave measurements. This presentation will cover the basic architecture and theory of operation of modern signal generators, analog and digital modulation fundamentals, and sources of uncertainty that can limit measurement performance. We will also discuss how current signal generators can be used in various measurement applications ranging from device test and receiver test to signal simulation.

Computer Racks Then and Now

Computer Racks Then and Now - RF CafeA few weeks ago there were photos circulating showing the grand magnitude of Google's server warehouses that crunch through trillions of bytes of data every day and store practically all the knowledge on Earth. Even though enormous high tech buildings, laboratories, and machines are so commonplace nowadays that we barely manage a feeble "wow" no matter the level of accomplishment, even at something like a million square feet of computers all wired into a massive network to do searches, draw maps, and serve YouTube videos. It made me think of the pictures on The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, Google allows first ever look at the eight vast data centres that power the online world - RF CafeU.K., where the number of valve (vacuum tube) switches in an entire rack of computer circuitry (that broke German and Japanese code during WWII) is less than that contained in a single USB driver IC in just one of Google's computers. We've come a long way, baby, but it is nothing compared to where we're headed in the next couple decades. 

Thanks to Anatech for Their

Long-Time Support

Anatech Electronics designs and manufactures the industry's widest range of RF and microwave filters at frequencies up to 40 GHz, as well as power dividers, directional couplers, and many other product types. We specialize in standard and custom designs for commercial wireless, public safety, satcom, and defense applications, and we can meet stringent military environmental specifications.

Communications Satellites

- Key to World-Wide TV

Communications Satellites - Key to World-Wide TV, March 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIn 1960, futurists were predicting that within 10 years it would be possible to beam television signals between continents and directly into homes. It was the eve of Project Echo, which boosted a 100-foot-diameter inflatable metallized plastic ball into low Earth orbit to reflect signals efficiently back through the atmosphere. Engineers and scientists were already planning the next best thing - a satellite that not only reflected, but also amplified, possibly frequency converted, and would even steer signals that impinge upon it. Envisioned in this article is hundreds of satellites being available for relaying signals between all regions of the Earth on then-standard VHF channels. We now have successful satellite television systems, but they operate at Ku-band due to bandwidth requirements and need special converters to interface with a television.

Hittite Expands Its Optical

Modulator Driver Product Line

Hittite Expands Optical Modulator Driver Product Line - RF CafeHittite Microwave has released a compact dual channel 32 Gbps Mach-Zehnder Optical Modulator Driver to further expand its fiber optics portfolio to support the next generation of 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Metro and Long-haul applications. The HMC6620BG is the first dual channel modulator driver in a compact BGA package with excellent channel-to-channel isolation of >30 dB up to 30 GHz and optional top or bottom cooling capability to ease space constrained module designs.

Post Your Resume on

Amazon.com? Not Quite...

Post Your Resume on Amazon.com? Not Quite... - RF CafePhilippe Dubost, Web Product Manager, hit a home run with his idea to create a page on his website that looks like an Amazon.com listing. Even knowing that this is a spoof (albeit a serious resume effort), the page contains all of the familiar features of an Amazon.com product page: an Add to Cart button, a Product Details and Product Description area, a Frequently Bought Together set of products, and even a 5-star rating by product reviewers. Take a look. Maybe you could try doing an eBay or Etsy resume. Craigslist wouldn't be advised, though since it is often associated with scams.

PMI Intros 0.5 to 18 GHz

2-Way Power Divider

PMI Intros 0.5 to 18 GHz 2-Way Power Divider - RF CafeModel APD-2-0518-YR1 is a 2-Way Power Divider / Combiner that operates over the frequency range of 500 MHz to 18 GHz. This model offers low loss of 3.5 dB typical (over 3 dB theoretical) with a VSWR of 1.5:1 typical into a 50 ohm impedance. The average isolation is 20 dB. This model offers a typical amplitude balance of ±0.45 dB and a typical phase balance of ±5 degrees. This model can handle input power levels of up to 25 watts into a load VSWR of 1.2:1.

Atomic Clock to Check Einstein

Atomic Clock to Check Einstein, October 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThere once was a

   Miss Fanny Bright

Whose speed was much

   greater than light

She set out one day

In a relative way

And arrived the previous night

Albert Einstein published his paper on Special Relativity in 1905 and on General Relativity in 1916. Since that time, many experiments have been performed worldwide by scientists intent on both proving and disproving Mr. Einstein. Laser and nuclear based timepieces have been improved for precision and calculations refined to aid in the task. Nearly 100 years later, General Relativity stands. Even the rigors of quantum mechanics has not toppled its precepts.

Please Thanks VidaRF

for Helping Deliver RF Cafe

VidaRF provides solutions for defense, multimedia, medical, datacom/telecom and industrial markets. RF connectors, cable assemblies, power dividers, adapters, terminations, attenuators, baluns, surge protectors.

Engineering Theme

Crossword for 1/27/2013

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., Hedy Lamar). This particular puzzle has lots of abbreviations and acronyms.

Please Welcome Nortec RF

as Our Newest New Advertiser

Nortec RF has more than 22 years of experience designing medium and high gain RF amplifiers, power combiners & dividers, directional couplers, 90° Hybrid Couplers, and RF/microwave filters. A wide range of configurations for power level, frequency range, connector type, number of ports, etc., is available depending on the product. Their research and development group and engineering team constantly introduces new, top of the line products into their product line.

The "Para-Talkie"

The "Para-Talkie", April 1945 QST - RF CafeThe first recorded successful parachute jump was made from a hot air balloon in 1797 by Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin. His performance elicited "a scream of terror" from the crowd below and even caused women to faint at the sight of his basket swinging wildly beneath the canopy. Many brave souls met with less success before and after that jump. By World War II the state of the art for parachutes had managed to cure the wild swing problem, but reliability still left a lot to be desired, especially when the 'chutes were packed by paratroopers with only a few weeks of experience. Control during the descent was rather limited due to the original round configuration with directional commands effected by pulling on the shroud lines on one side or the other. Getting to the ground safely with a field pack and a rifle strapped to you involved a lot of luck. It required even more luck to land with tube-powered radio gear of any sort. Bulky and heavy was the norm, particularly if any amount of battle ruggedness was built in. Massive high voltage transformers and lead-acid batteries pushed the limit of the definition of 'portable.' The 'Para-Talkie' was designed...

Please Welcome Back

Polyphase Microwave

Many thanks to Polyphase Microwave for resuming their advertising on RF Cafe. Polyphase Microwave has a wide selection of stocked specialty frequency conversion products including quadrature (I&Q) modulators and demodulators, single-sideband modulators, image-reject mixers, including models in a caseless configuration. Download QMSIM, their free quadrature modulator simulation tool.

Notable Quote

Notable Quote: "It's really boring when all the measurements and theory agree with each other." - RF Cafe"It's really boring when all the measurements and theory agree with each other." - Chad Orzel, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Union College, on discovery that size of proton might be smaller than originally believed.

Featured Book

Handbook of RF and Microwave Power Amplifiers, by John L. B. Walker. Whether you are an RF transistor designer, an amplifier designer or a system designer, this is your one-stop guide to RF and microwave transistor power amplifiers. A team of expert authors brings you up to speed on every topic, including: devices (Si LDMOS and VDMOS, GaAs FETs, GaN HEMTs), circuit and amplifier design (discrete, hybrid and monolithic), CAD, thermal design, reliability, and system applications / requirements for RF and microwave transistor amplifiers. Covering state-of-the-art developments and emphasizing practical communications applications, this is the complete professional reference on the subject.

January 2013 RF Magazine

Articles Available

2013 Magazines Archives

Microwave Product Digest:

- Manufacturing Friendly

  Circulator with Low Insertion

  Loss, by Brian Hartnett

- The Battle for Spectrum, by

  Maj. Christopher S. Tsirlis,

  U.S. Marine Corps

Microwave Journal:

- MIMO Radar: Demystified,

  by Eli Brookner

- Spiral Antenna Design

  Considerations, by

  T. Lam, R. Bidwell, S. Blee

- Conformal Antenna Array

  Design on a Missile Platform

  by K. Labowski, Christopher

  P. & J. Stack, Jr.

Highland Technology's Edge-

Triggered T165 Laser Pulser

Highland Technology Announces the Edge-Triggered T165 Laser Pulser - RF CafeThe T165 Laser Pulser incorporates an edge triggered pulse generator with 150 picoseconds nominal rise and fall times into a butterfly or TO-packaged laser. The 2" by 2" design connects directly to standard 0.1" pin-pitch butterfly laser packages, making it ideal for OEM use in laser systems. Laser current, bias, and pulse widths are settable with onboard trimpots or by external analog inputs. Built-in edge-triggered pulse generator is adjustable from 200 picoseconds to 2 nanoseconds. Pulsed laser current adjustable up to 750mA with heat sinking required above 400mA.

Please Welcome Advertiser

Pinpoint Laser Systems

Pinpoint Laser Systems is the newest company to advertise on RF Cafe. Since 1992, Pinpoint has been manufacturing a broad line of easy-to-use products that incorporate lasers, optics, electronics, and solidly built mechanical features. Manufacturing customers in many industries as diverse as semiconductor equipment to pet food, use these products which deliver measuring resolution of 0.0001 inch and work over distances of 200 feet, for both routine and complex measuring and alignment tasks. Pinpoint's laser measuring equipment is actively used in aerospace, power generation, machine shops, paper and textile mills, shipbuilding, plastic and film production as well as electronic assembly, to name a few.

The World Within the Atom

The World Within the Atom, August 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAuthor Saunder Harris wrote in this 1959 edition Popular Electronics that the concept of atoms has been around for more than 2,500 years since Greek philosopher Democritus suggested that a particle existed which was basic to all matter. It has only been in the last century and a half that we have learned that even the atom itself is made up of even more basic particles - the electron, proton, and neutron (J.J. Thompson found the electron in 1897, which was postulated by G. Johnstone Stoney in 1947). It wasn't until the 1930s that even those three entities were thought to be constructed of yet more fundamental particles - quarks, bosons, and leptons. Modern science believes it has fully defined the set of subatomic particles, particularly with the Higgs boson having been finally seen in the Large Hadron Collider (well, maybe). Does anyone really believe this is the final word on fundamental particles after have been proved wrong so many times?

Pinpoint Laser Systems Intros
Microgage Spindle Alignment Kit

Pinpoint Laser Systems Introduces Microgage Spindle Alignment Kit - RF CafePinpoint Laser Systems® has introduced the Microgage Spindle Alignment Kit, a unique new laser alignment and measurement system for lathes, turning equipment, spindles, and related machinery. The spindle alignment kit is turnkey, easy to use, and easily transportable to the factory floor. Ideal applications include aligning lathes and turning centers, adjusting boring mills, setting up spindles, aligning drive shafts, adjusting barfeeders, and many other industrial applications. This new Microgage system provides information on runout, centerline offset, parallelism, concentricity and other useful parameters that can guide machinery back to optimal alignment and improved profits

AWR Announces Wizard forbr>Finding Spur-Free Bandwidths

AWR Announces a New Frequency Planning Wizard for Determining Spurious Free Bandwidths in Communication System Design - RF CafeAWR Corporation announces RFP™, an innovative new frequency planning wizard within Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) that enables engineers to effortlessly and efficiently determine spurious free bandwidths when designing complex radio communications systems. Whether developing satellite communication, cellular, or military radio links, RFP is an essential part of the design process in that it provides greater insight into unwanted signals or spurs generated in a specified bandwidth. As well as analyzing spurs generated by a lineup of mixers, RFP analyzes the entire RF lineup of common components (amplifiers, mixers, filters, etc.) found in radio communication links.

Sherlock Ohms: Case of the

Strap Grounds Field Failures

Sherlock Ohms: The Case of the Strap Grounds Field Failures - RF CafeSherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. "Strap Grounds Field Failures" is the adventure of a design engineer dealing with a customer who's undisclosed design change caused debilitating electrostatic discharges in a load cell circuit.

More News on the Job Front

Engineering Job News - RF CafeA guy called yesterday from nearby Altoona, PA, I think just to talk to a fellow electrical engineer again. He said he has been without an engineering job for so long that he has given up looking. Such stories are very common these days. You wouldn't know it from the soaring stock market, though. Any correlation between Wall Street and Main Street seems to have disappeared.

Here are a few headlines pertaining to the job market.

• New College Grads Seek Annual Salary Increases Over Healthcare Benefits

• 6 of 10 Top Paying Majors in Engineering

• IEEE: Early Signs Show Tech Jobs Doing Well

• 5 Ways to Show You are a Leader in a Job Interview

• Starting Salaries Jump 3.4% for Graduates Earning Bachelor's Degrees

Moving to LTE-Advanced

with Heterogeneous Networks

Webinar: Freescale’s Power Amplifier Design Methodology Innovationss - RF CafeMoving forward to LTE-Advanced with Heterogeneous Networks January 24, 2013; 10:00 AM PT/ 1:00 PM ET/ 6 PM UTC Presenter: Jung-ik Suh, Wireless Marketing Program Manager, Agilent Technologies Abstract Wireless technologies have evolved to provide mobile users higher data rates on wireless networks with seamless connection anytime and anywhere. Commercial HSPA+ and LTE networks serve the Smartphone and tablet users with faster wireless data communication, and upcoming LTE-Advanced technology targets even faster speeds, with up to 1 Gbps and maximum downlink data rates. To achieve this dramatically faster wireless data communication, Carrier Aggregation, with the wider transmission bandwidths up to 100 MHz, enhanced Multi Input and Multi Output (MIMO) with up to 8x8 signal processing, and other advanced technologies, will play an important role. In addition, Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) will provide new and advanced network topology, which moves wireless networks closer to mobile devices with various approaches including lower power small cells and relay nodes. Remote Radio Heads, Distributed Antenna System and Wi-Fi can also be part of a HetNet, improving coverage, spectrum efficiency and data rates of the overall wireless service.

Webinar: PA Design

Methodology Innovations

Webinar: Freescale’s Power Amplifier Design Methodology Innovationss - RF CafeFreescale's Power Amplifier Design Methodology. January 10, 1:00 PM ET. This presentation provides an overview of a CAD-based design approach for high-power RF/Microwave power transistors. These packaged transistors are typically constructed using several LDMOS die each with total gate peripheries up to 150 mm, metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors, arrays of bondwires, and are all placed within a metal-ceramic or plastic package. In this presentation, we will review aspects of the designer use-model where trade-offs between accuracy and simulation time must often be considered.

Nortec Added to

Vendor Listings

Nortec logo - RF CafeNortec RF, located in Mount Laurel, NJ,is a high technology company, specialized in RF and microwave products. They have more than 22 years of experience designing power combiners/dividers, directional couplers, hybrid couplers, filters, and power amplifiers. Their research and development group and engineering team constantly introduces new, top of the line products into the product line. Nortec RF constantly works on introducing more products to the market and strive to bring the best quality, high reliability to our customers. They are always adding new products to their product line and request customers to constantly check their web site for new products. 856-793-9255

Pretty Sure This Isn't

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Chines planned villages coming to a U.S. area near you - RF CafeGovernment-designed idealized planned worker villages of the future - and today. Many politicians and bureaucrats in the U.S. love this vision for the rest of us, but not for themselves. No garages in sight (no need since no cars), but each unit has a bicycle rack. This is a new development in China. Surely there's a Wal-Mart in there somewhere. Are those wind turbines lining the ridge in the background?

Z-Comm Intros 924 MHz Phase

Locked Loop Synthesizer

Z-Communications Intros 924 MHz Phase Locked Loop Synthesizer - RF CafeZ-Communications announces a new RoHS compliant Fixed Frequency Synthesizer model SFS0924C-LF for indoor basestations. The SFS0924C-LF is a single frequency synthesizer that is phase locked at 924 MHz while using a 10 MHz reference. This coaxial resonator PLL features remarkable phase noise of -118 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and typical sideband spurs of -70 dBc.

Please visit Bittele in

Appreciation of Their Support

Bittele Electronics is a one-stop PCB assembly services including PCB fabrication, parts procurement and final circuit board assembly. Expertise in DFM (Design for Manufacturing) checking for your every order. Ideal service for PCB prototyping and low/high volume production runs. They will answer all your questions and solve all your problems in PCB design & layout, turnkey PCB assembly, PCB fabrication, prototype PCB assembly, and PCB component sourcing.

AWR Releases v10.04 Update

to Design Environment

AWR Releases V10.04 – New Upgrade to the AWR Design Environment Ships in 2013 - RF CafeAWR Corporation has announced AWR Design Environment™ V10.04, its first new software release in 2013, which includes many new features and enhancements to Microwave Office®/Analog Office® circuit design software and Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) system design software, as well as AXIEM® 3D planar electromagnetic (EM) software and Analyst™ 3D finite element method (FEM) EM software. A full list of the more than 120 “What's New” items in AWR V10.04 can be found within the software's online documentation.

Webinar: Precise Time Domain

Measurements in the Field

Webinar: Techniques for Precise Time Domain Measurements in the Field - RF CafeTechniques for Precise Time Domain Measurements in the Field, by Agilent, Wednesday, January 23, 1:00 PM ET. This webcast introduces time domain and distance-to-fault measurement techniques for identifying the location and types of discontinuities while operating in the field. It will describe the relationship between frequency domain measurements and time domain transforms and their relationships to time resolution and range. It will discuss the proper techniques for characterizing band-limited devices, such as couplers, filters, antennas and waveguide components, and wideband devices, such as cables and connectors.

Electric Fences Don't Make

Good Phone Lines

Tales from the Cube: Nonlinear transmission lines keep developer on the fence - RF CafeThis Tales from the Cube installment is a tale of an attempt to exploit the miles of electrified fencing on rural farms for telephone communications. It would be far cheaper to clip a special phone to the fence lines than to set new poles and string new lines for a relative few customers. It would have been easier to install a radio-based switching station for the remote farmers. 20 years later they finally have one - cellphones.

Skyworks Solutions

Magazine Advertisements

Skyworks Solutions Magazine Advertisements - RF CafeSkyworks Solutions has been a leader in the RF/microwave integrated circuit business for over a decade, having been known even before that as Conexant (for those of us who have been around long enough to remember). Sometimes you see a particular item in a print ad and then have a hard time remembering what it was that interested you when you need it. Well, it just so happens that I have a collection of Skyworks magazine ads here in JPG format that you can look through to jog the memory.

Online RF Calculators

everything RF, along with being a very extensive resource and dedicated search engine for electronics components, has a nice collection of online RF calculators that you will want to add to your shortcut list:

- Attenuator Calculator

- Microstrip Impedance Calculator

- Coax Impedance Calculator

- Cascaded Noise Figure Calculator

- Skin Depth Calculator

- Wavelength Calculator

- dBm to Watt Calculator

- Watt to dBm Calculator

NIC Intros 900 MHz

Ceramic Notch Filter

NIC Intros 900 MHz Ceramic Notch Filter - RF CafeNetworks International Corporation (NIC) introduces a high performance Ceramic Notch Filter in the 900 MHz band. This band rejection filter is suitable for applications ranging from commercial wireless to military. Custom designs are available upon request.

It's Finally Snowing in Erie

A Snowy Morning in Erie, January 21, 2013 - RF CafeYeah, a lot of people are not particularly fond of snow. I love it, and so do a lot of native Erieites. We have had a dearth of the white stuff thus far this season, so waking to a winter wonderland outside was a nice sight. There is about 8" out there now, with double that forecasted over the next 24 hours.

A TV Tube: As It Is Made

- In Germany     - In U.S.A.

A TV Tube: As It Is Made - In Germany - In U.S.A. from March 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBelieve it or not, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are still manufactured for specialty products and for replacement parts. Even with a high level of automation, there are still steps in the manufacturing process that require human handling. A comparison between CRT plants in the USA and Germany show the similarity but distinctly different processes in a Sylvania and Telefunken operations, respectively. The photos shown are from an article in a 1958 edition of Popular Electronics. At the bottom of the screen are videos of a modern CRT manufacturing process and a CRT recycling effort. As you will see, properly recycling a CRT is about as manually intensive as manufacturing one (but with no quality control and functionality concerns). I am not sure where the profit is in recycling unless inflation over the 10-20 years since manufacturing makes the value of materials worth the effort. A très cool documentary film on the designing and manufacturing process of RCA Victor television sets is at the very bottom of the page.

Sky-High Radar | Lab Aloft

Chases Cosmic Rays

Sky-High Radar | Trial/Error Machine | Lab Aloft Chases Cosmic Rays - RF CafeHere are a few tech headlines from the 1957 Popular Electronics. Sky-High Radar by Sikorsky is a new high-powered airborne search radar. The electronic Trial & Error Machine has some properties that would make it the perfect - it "differentiates between right and wrong decisions and profits from its own mistakes." Lab Aloft Chases Cosmic Rays uses a KC-97 UASF tanker for researching those mysterious and ubiquitous high energy entities. This Brain That Squirts reports on Bendix's prototype carburetor that uses an electronically controlled "electrojector" to inject fuel directly into the cylinder.

Many Thanks to Phase Matrix

for Continuing Their Support

Phase Matrix designs and manufactures RF and microwave T&M instruments and components and is a subsidiary of National Instruments. They manufacture within their own facility a wide variety of proprietary microwave hybrid components for use in its instruments, including state-of-the-art samplers, mixers, high-performance YIG-tuned filters, multipliers, microwave subassemblies, VCOs, PLLs, frequency multipliers, and custom products up to 50 GHz.

New RF Applications for the

3-D Smith Chart

New Applications for the 3-D Smith Chart - RF Cafe3-D Smith Chart software inventor Andrei Muller has been working overtime to demonstrate the unique capabilities of his brainchild to the engineering world, with the latest effort being a presentation at the Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference in December 2012 (see also IEEE June 2011 MWCL and the July 2012 Microwave Journal articles). Having begun as part of his doctoral thesis, the original 3-D Smith Chart program capabilities are being extended to make direct application to real-world RF design tasks more convenient. Examples are provided on Andrei's website that include amplifier stability circles, and complex matching of lossy lines. The primary advantage of the 3-D Smith Chart is its ability to display both the entire reflection coefficient and impedance planes, something even an extended 2-D Smith Chart cannot do. Access to the 3-D Smith Chart is free now, but a donation will be appreciated. I suspect it will not be long before you see the high-end simulators incorporating this tool.

Engineering Theme

Crossword for 1/20/2013

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., Hedy Lamar). This particular puzzle has lots of abbreviations and acronyms.

AWR Showcases Software at

IEEE Radio Wireless Week 2013

AWR Showcases Latest Software Release and Speaks on Piracy Panel at IEEE Radio Wireless Week 2013 - RF CafeAWR Corporation, the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA software, will showcase in Booth #7 at IEEE Radio Wireless Week 2013 the latest version of its AWR Design Environment™ with many new features and enhancements specifically developed for high-frequency wireless design. This latest version includes updates and innovative new technologies for Microwave Office®/Analog Office® circuit design software and Visual System Simulator™ system design software, as well as AXIEM® 3D planar electromagnetic (EM) software and Analyst™ 3D FEM software. AWR will also be partnering with parent company National Instruments to demonstrate joint hardware/software solutions in NI's Booth #8. In addition to exhibition activities, AWR's software piracy expert Ted Miracco will participate on a conference panel examining, “Should Design Engineers Really Care About Software Piracy?”

"Red Eye Jedi"

Martin Rowe Strikes Back

Red Eye Jedi (Martin Rowe) - RF CafeTest & Measurement World's crooning engineer Martin Rowe introduced his latest ode to the underappreciated and overworked members of society known as engineers. "'Red Eye Jedi' is a song for the engineers and technicians who have spent weekends on the road fixing problems. All too often, these trips come up at the last minute, ruining weekend plans. The inspiration for the song came from when I worked for a company that made measurement-and-control systems. One Friday afternoon, a call came in from an ice cream company that used one of your systems to monitor freezer temperature. The customer said in a voice kind of like Darth Vader, 'This factory must run.' ... The 'red eye' part of the song comes from the fact that I have flown many a red-eye flight from California to Boston over the years.

RFMD Unveils Highly-Integrated

FEM for Smart Energy/ISM Band

RFMD to Unveil Highly-Integrated FEM for Smart Energy/Advanced Metering Infrastructure and ISM Band Applications - RF CafeRFMD's single-chip RFFM6403 FEM delivers industry-leading performance, reduces customer design time and speeds customer time-to-market in Smart Energy/AMI applications operating in the 405MHz–475 MHz frequency range, as well as for portable battery powered equipment and general 433/470 MHz ISM band systems. The feature-rich RFFM6403 integrates a transmit high power path with a +30.5 dBm PA and Tx harmonic output filtering, a transmit bypass thru path with Tx harmonic output filtering, and a receive path with a low noise amplifier (LNA) with bypass mode. The FEM also features a low insertion loss/high isolation SP3T switch and separate Rx/Tx 50 Ω ports.

Fortune's 100 Best Companies

to Work For (2013)

Fortune magazine logoFortune magazine just published their 2013 list of the best 100 companies to work for. Criteria included job satisfaction, pay, work environment, hiring, job security - the standard fare. Here are some of the results that are of greatest significance to us. {full list}:

# Company
Wegman's Food
11  Qualcomm 
12  Dreamworks Animation 
21  W.L. Gore & Associates 
30  Mercedes-Benz USA
35 National Instruments
42  Cisco Systems 
54  Autodesk 
63  Hitachi Data Systems 
68  Intel 
75 Microsoft
* We shop there all the time

Bandwidth Bottleneck

Bandwidth Bottlenek Chart (IEEE Spectrum) - RF CafeThis chart from the January 2013 edition of IEEE's Spectrum magazine illustrates the devolution of Internet data rate speeds in the U.S. over the last decade and a half. Speeds increased nearly logarithmically (linearly on a log scale) beginning around 1992, then by 2001-2002 started falling below the straight line. We should be at around 10 Tbps rather than the 100 Mbps where we are today - a factor of 100. Demand for data bandwidth has far outpaced the ability to provide it. Don't expect big improvements anytime soon. A lot of money that could go into research and implementation is redirected for providing mandated free phones, computers, and service both here and in 'developing' countries - a hidden tax for people who pay their own bills. The story incorrectly says the trend began with the '2001' tech bubble burst, but the bubble actually burst in the spring of 2000 when NASDAQ and the DOW fell hard six months ahead of the fall election. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack was the knife in the back for any near term infrastructure improvement as priorities shifted elsewhere. We are expected to forget that.

IEEE JobSite Tips

IEEE JobSite Career Alert January 2013 - RF Cafe

5 Ways to Network

  Purposefully to Create

  LLifetime "Career Insurance"

7 Tips for Recent College


The Inexact Science of


IEEE Career Focus:


By John R. Platt Statistically speaking, quite a few of the people reading this article are probably doing so on new tablet computers that they picked up or received over the holidays. Those tablets — which didn't exist just a few years ago — would not be possible without the semiconductor industry. At the same time, the growth of the modern semiconductor industry has been fueled by the rapid development of new technologies — tablets, smartphones, and hundreds of other connected devices — that can be found in almost every facet of our daily lives. After an off year in 2012, the semiconductor industry is expected to grow 4.5% in 2013 to $303 billion, according to recent projections from World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS). With that growth the industry also has a tremendous need for new employees. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. alone are employed by the semiconductor industry, and that number is growing three times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.

Featured Book

Electro Static Discharge: Understand, Simulate, and Fix ESD Problems, by Michel Mardiguian. Recognizing its methodic, step-by-step attack of the ESD problem, the initial release of this book was quoted by specialists as "the most thorough and concise treatment of the broad ESD continuum that is available." The book begins with the basics of ESD for humans and objects, and goes on to cover: Effects of ESD coupled to electronics Principal ESD specifications ESD diagnostics and testing Design for ESD immunity To help with troubleshooting, many ESD case histories are given along with their successful fixes. Electrostatic Discharge is essential reading for all designers who want to avoid component failures, no trouble found incidents, and random errors.

Z-Comm Intros 470-520 MHz PLL Synthesizer

Z-Communications Intros 470 to 520 MHz Phase Locked Loop Synthesizer - RF CafeZ-Communications, Inc. announces a new RoHS compliant Phase Lock Loop Synthesizer model PCA0495B-LF for satellite modem equipment. The PCA0495B-LF is a low powered frequency synthesizer that operates from 470 to 520 MHz with a 100 kHz step size in a package measuring only 0.50 in. x 0.50 in. x 0.13 in. This miniature PLL provides phase noise of -97 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and can be quickly and easily programmed through a 3-wire serial interface.

Tropospheric Scatter:

A Bridge to Alaska

Tropospheric Scatter: A Bridge to Alaska, October 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeCommunications links are so ubiquitous these days that we pretty much take for granted the ability to connect to the Internet and to other people. How many times have you been in public and heard someone have a fit because she couldn't get a good enough signal to make a call? It requires the person to get up and walk a few feet or maybe turn her chair in another direction to get an extra bar on the iPhone. How inconvenient. Even when placing a call to Hawaii or Alaska the expectation is that things just work. In 1963 when this tropospheric scattering network was installed for linking Alaska to the lower 48 states, satellite communications was still in its infancy and coverage was not even close to global. Even radio relay towers were relatively scarce across the landscape. We've come a long way, baby.

Please Welcome Dow-Key as

a New Banner Advertiser 

Dow-Key Microwave is the world's largest manufacturer of electro-mechanical RF switches. We are AS9100/ISO-9001 certified and committed to providing unparalleled customer service, competitive pricing, on-time delivery and products that are distinguished by quality and reliability. Dow-Key offers the largest switch product line in the world with over 10,000 unique configurations. They now occupy the 160x600-pixel banner slot in the right page border.

The Light Fantastic

The "Light" Fantastic, July 1963 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"The boy and his father had just witnessed a demonstration of one of the most promising and fastest developing technological devices ever conceived by man - the laser. In only three whirlwind years, the laser - which gets its name from the initials of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation - has moved out of the theory stage, out of the laboratory curiosity category, and into a whole new, exciting world of applications." That's the opening of an article in the July 1963 edition of Popular Electronics. I remember when ruby lasers were the the rule rather than the exception for lasers. Power levels were measured in units of 'Gillettes' in reference in the number of razor blades they could cut through. Next came chemical lasers with power levels in the megawatts and now even gigawatts that can take out ICBM warheads as they reenter the atmosphere and fry orbiting satellites. At the same time the realm of semiconductors and microcircuits was turning out devices on the opposite scale for use in communications, inertial navigation, and boardroom presentation pointers. This article is an extensive recounting in layman's terms the state of the art in 1963.

Sherlock Ohms: Case of the

Computer Preferring Leather

Sherlock Ohms: The Case of the Seasonal Computer Crash - RF CafeSherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. Computer Shuts Down Unless You're Wearing Leather reminds us of how far we have come with ESD protection. I remember how back in the 1980s, on a mission to demonstrate the vulnerability to non-believers, a group of techs (me included) would scuff our shoes on carpet and touch our fingers to IBM XT keyboards causing them to glitch or shut down. Then, we'd remark on how the IBM Selectric typewriter on the adjoining desk would never do that. No, I don't long for the return of the typewriter.

Thanks for Electro-Photonics'

Ongoing Underwriting

Electro-Photonics provides high frequency components and design services. We offer wire bondable passive components, coaxial products, printed antennas and very useful test boards for evaluating RF/Microwave components. Custom-design passive components and offer high frequency packaging services. The Electro-Photonics team can support your small R&D design requirements and save you valuable design and characterization time.

NIC Intros 823–961 MHz/

1709–2171 MHz LC Diplexer

NIC Intros 823–961 MHz/ 1709–2171 MHz LC Diplexer - RF CafeNIC introduces a high performance 823–961 MHz/ 1709–2171 MHz LC Diplexer for use in receiver-transmitter systems operating in the GSM, ISM, DCS and PCS frequency bands. This Diplexer offers low Insertion loss & high Isolation and is capable of handling CW power up to 50 W. Custom designs and different package configurations are available upon request.

Marvelous Microwave is

Continuing Their Support

Please visit the Marvelous Microwave in appreciation of their helping to deliver this website. Marvelous Microwave is a professional supplier of Microwave/RF components, for WiFi, Cellular, Bluetooth, GPS, DVB-T/S/C, Satellite Communication and related fields. A strong global channel and design group devoted to development and innovation to meet various changeable market needs. We strive for low cost, fast service, best prices, highest quality and "marvelous" service.

Notable Quote

Notable Quote: "But I think it would be great to be born on Earth and die on Mars." - RF CafeIn the November 2012 edition of Popular Mechanics, über entrepreneur and multi-billionaire Elon Musk (PayPal founder), in an article titled "Musk Will Save the Planet - And Then Leave It Behind," ended an interview this way. Q: "So you've said many times that you imagine retiring on Mars." A: "Yeah. I just want to retire before I go senile because if I don't retire before I go senile, then I'll do more damage than good at that point. But I think it would be great to be born on Earth and die on Mars."

PMI Intros 26.5-32.5 GHz SPST,

Absorptive, Solid-State Switch

PMI Intros 26.5 to 32.5 GHz SPST, Absorptive, Solid-State Switch - RF CafePMI Model No. P1T-26D532D5-90-1212-292FF is an absorptive, single pole, single throw, solid-state switch that operates over the frequency range of 26.5 to 32.5 GHz. This model provides a minimum isolation of 90 dB and maintains low insertion loss of 5.0 dB maximum. The VSWR is 2.0:1 maximum into 50 ohms impedance and offers switching speeds of 25 nsec maximum and 15 nsec typical. This switch is designed to handle input power levels up to +23 dBm CW.

Fellow USAF Radar Tech

Charles Pritt Checks In

Note from Charles Pritt re MPN-14 and TPN-19 radars from the USAF 3rd MOB - RF Cafe

Fellow USAF radar technician Charles Pritt just checked in with a plethora of info and photographs about his time in the 3rd MOB (aka 3CCG or 3rd Combat Communications Group). Charles sent me the following note in January of 2013. "Here is my [service] info, the best I can recall. I enlisted for 6 years, 1973-1979. I had a job description of ATC Radar Repairman Repairman, 30351. (lots of radar photos)
  • 1973 – training, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS
  • 1973 – 1976 Yokota AB, Japan - 1837th EIS, 1956th Communication Group
  • 1976 – 1979 Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, OK - 3rd MOB

Design Decisions: Choosing

the Right Connector

Design Decisions: Choosing the Right Connector - RF Cafe David Cianciolo of Fischer Connectors has an primer on connector selection. "When it comes to reliable system operation, choosing the right connector is key. The right connector can make your system smaller, lighter, and easier for the user to handle. It's not a place to take shortcuts, as the right connector system can help avoid the high price of recalls, repairs, and lost customers. Conducting adequate research on the connectors and cables must be done at the beginning of a systems design process to produce the optimal design. Follow these 10 steps to research the ideal connector early in the design phase and you can positively impact the design, usability, and cost structure of your entire device."

Many Thanks to 3Gmetalworx

for Long-Time Support

Since 1994, leading wireless electronics companies have relied on 3Gmetalworx to deliver cutting edge solutions for advanced RF/EMI PCB-level shielding requirements. From prototyping and design services to JIT manufacturing supply, our clients depend on us to provide a seamless service pathway supporting entire product lifecycle. Basic shielding cans meant for permanent installation, single-cavity shield sets and multi-cavity shield sets where cover can be removed and re-installed. RoHS / WEE Compliant.

Z-Comm Intros 1200 MHz VCO

for High-Speed A/D Converters

Z-Communications Intros 1200 MHz VCO for High-Speed A/D Converters - RF CafeZ-Communications intros a new RoHS compliant VCO model CRO1200A-LF for high speed analog to digital converters. The CRO1200A-LF is designed to operate at 1200 MHz within a tuning voltage range of 0.5 to 4.5 Vdc. This VCO features phase noise of -119 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and a typical tuning sensitivity of 2 MHz/V. The robust CRO1200A-LF provides the end user typical output power of -3.0 dBm into a 50 Ω load while operating off a 5 Vdc supply and drawing 20 mA, typically, over the temperature range of -40 to 85º C. This VCO features typical second harmonic suppression of -25 dBc and comes in Z-Comm's standard MINI-16-SM package measuring 0.5 in. x 0.5 in. x 0.22 in.

RFMD's 5GHz WiFi Module for

802.11ac Notebook and Mobile

RFMD Introduces 5GHz WiFi Module for 802.11ac Notebook and Mobile Equipment Applications - RF CafeRFMD intros the highly-integrated RFFM4501E FEM for 802.11ac notebook and mobile equipment applications. RFMD's newest WiFi FEM meets or exceeds the system requirements for 802.11ac connectivity in the 5.150–5.850 GHz frequency band and is optimized to support multiple applications, including notebooks, mobile routers, and low-power customer premises systems. The RFFM4501E integrates a +17.5dBm PA at 3.3V, a low insertion loss/high isolation SP2T switch, harmonic filtering, and an LNA with bypass mode.

Historical ‘Facts' That

Are Not True

Historical Facts That Are Not True - RF CafeThe IEEE has begun a new series of articles that claim to debunk long-held beliefs and set the record straight on topics ranging from the 'real' origin of 'SOS' as an internationally recognizable distress signal* and true burial place of frequency master Heinrich Hertz. Oh, and if you think Ham radio operators in the U.S. actually received signals from the sinking Titanic, well... read on.

* A man-on-the-street interview in the U.S. would probably find half the people don't know about SOS at all.

Engineering Theme

Crossword for 1/13/2013

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., Hedy Lamar). This particular puzzle has lots of abbreviations and acronyms.

Electronic Current Quiz

Electronic Current Quiz, October 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis Electronics Current Quiz from the October 1963 edition of Popular Electronics is recent enough (if you can consider 50 years ago) that it uses both transistors as well as vacuum tubes in the example circuits. I have to admit to only scoring 60% on it, which is pretty lame. You will probably do better, especially if you are my age or older.

A Scientific Weapon

for the Courtroom?

IMS ExpertServices: "No Appeal for Expert Witness 'Third Wheel'" - RF CafeMaggie Tamburro, JD, IMS ExpertServices - RF CafeExpert witnesses play a big role in most 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. A Scientific Weapon for the Courtroom? considers the importance of body language when attempting to sell a jury on your credibility. Ms. Tamburro emphasizes the importance of using every trick in the book to win juries and judges, particularly in high dollar cases like those that involve patent infringement. Practicing ahead of the trial is key to maintaining an edge under pressure. The same tactic can be employed for technical presentations in the boardroom, in front of potential investors, and even in your weekly project status meetings.

Project Mgt. for Business

Engineering and Technology

Project Management for Business Engineering and TechnologyProject Management for Business Engineering and Technology, by John Nicholas and Herman Steyn. There is an ever-growing need for better project management within the disciplines of engineering, business and technology and this new edition is a direct response to that need. By emphasizing practical applications, this book targets the ultimate purpose of project management; to unify and integrate the interests, resources and work efforts of many stakeholders to accomplish the overall project goal. The book encompasses the essential background material required, from philosophy to methodology, before presenting concepts and techniques for practical application on topics including: project initiation and proposals scope and task definition scheduling budgeting risk analysis.

A Few Winning Words on Hi-Fi

A Few Winning Words on Hi-Fi, July 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeComics in modern magazines are a rather rare phenomenon for some reason, but they were fairly regular features up until a couple decades ago. This set of comics from the July 1963 edition of Popular Electronics deals with high fidelity (Hi-Fi) stereo equipment, which was considered somewhat exotic and high-end for many people's budgets in the day. Inexplicably (not), that is about the time that increases in hearing losses were first being noticed in audiograms. 

Many thanks to RFMD for

Their Continued Support

RF Micro Devices is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance semiconductor components. RFMD's products enable worldwide mobility, provide enhanced connectivity and support advanced functionality in the cellular handset, wireless infrastructure, WLAN, CATV/broadband and aerospace and defense markets. RFMD is recognized for its diverse portfolio of semiconductor technologies and RF systems expertise and is a preferred supplier to the world's leading mobile device, customer premises and communications equipment providers.

Excalibur Engineering

Listing Added

Excalibur Engineering logo - RF CafeExcalibur Engineering of Irvine, CA is your one-stop shop to buy, sell, and rent new and used electronic test equipment. They offer the best prices and the best warranty in the industry. They also provide repairs and calibration for your electronic test equipment in our ISO-17025 accredited laboratory.

NIC Intros VHF Crystal

70 MHz Notch Filter

NIC Intros VHF Crystal 70 MHz Notch Filter - RF CafeNetworks International Corporation (NIC) introduces a high performance 70 MHz crystal notch filter operating in the VHF frequency range. This filter offers a narrow band notch attenuation of 25dB min and low passband insertion loss, making it suitable to select closely spaced adjacent channels in receiver applications. Custom designs are available up to 250 MHz.

RFMD Intros Two New

WiFi PA Modules

RFMD Intros Two New WiFi P Modules - RF CafeRFMD's new RFPA520x series of three-stage WiFi PA modules are designed for 802.11b/g/n applications. Each is a high-performance, highly integrated solution with minimal external components, eliminating the need for any external matching components and greatly reducing layout area, BOM, and manufacturing costs for the customer application. Built with an advanced InGaP HBT process, these PAs have high linear output power while maintaining excellent power added efficiency (PAE). RFPA5200 comes in a 4mm x 4mm x 1mm package, while RFPA5201 comes in 14-pin, 7mm x 7mm.

A Self-Contained Handie-Talkie

A Self-Contained Handie-Talkie, June 1944 QST - RF Cafe'Handie-Talkie' was the name given to early walkie-talkies used in the field by military communications troops. Having been written during World War II, the author of this QST article just assumed that any reader would be familiar with the WERS acronym - it stands for War Emergency Radio Service. Per the Wikipedia entry: "At the start of the Second World War the United States Congress had suspended all amateur radio activity throughout the country. WERS was established by the Federal Communications Commission in June 1942 at the insistence of the American Radio Relay League. WERS would remain in operation in through the end of the Second World War in 1945. WERS was to provide communications in connection with air raid protection, and communications during times of natural disaster. WERS licenses were given to communities and not individuals. One of the requirements for individuals to participate in the WERS was to hold an Amateur radio license."

IEEE JobSite Tips

IEEE JobSite Career Alert January 2013 - RF Cafe

- The Science Behind

  Persuading People

- Want a Tech Career? 7

  Core Skills You'll Need

- What's a Good Job, and Why

  Aren't There More of Them?

Webinar: PA Design

Methodology Innovations

Webinar: Freescale’s Power Amplifier Design Methodology Innovationss - RF CafeFreescale's Power Amplifier Design Methodology. January 10, 1:00 PM ET. This presentation provides an overview of a CAD-based design approach for high-power RF/Microwave power transistors. These packaged transistors are typically constructed using several LDMOS die each with total gate peripheries up to 150 mm, metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors, arrays of bondwires, and are all placed within a metal-ceramic or plastic package. In this presentation, we will review aspects of the designer use-model where trade-offs between accuracy and simulation time must often be considered.

Linx Technologies' Clever

'Quiz' Banner Ads

Linx Technologies Quiz Banner Advertisements - RF CafeCompanies pay a lot of hard-earned money for advertisement in order to grab the attention of potential customers. Some ads are business-only while others rely on a clever presentation, and still others use a mix of the two. Regardless of the tactic, the ads must be interesting enough to compel readers to seek out more information, which in the case of Internet ads is usually by visiting the company's website. The reality is that no matter how well an ad is designed, it will never appeal to everyone because of differences in taste and culture. Some people (me) prefer traditional furniture design while others (not me) prefer neo modern. Still, I will consider an advertisement with neo modern furniture in it if the product or service being pitched is compelling enough by itself to override the natural utter repulsion I have to neo modern furniture...

Please Visit JyeBao in

Appreciation of Their Support

JyeBao is a connector, cable, cable assembly and passive components manufacturer. Synergies and large stock keep lead times to a minimum and allow us to offer customers an unparalleled flexibility. Innovation is pivotal and we are constantly developing new products. JyeBao's product line includes RF Connectors, RF Adapters, RF Cables, RF Cable Assemblies, RF Components, and RF Test Cables.

Cobham Awarded $32M USN

Contract for Tx-Antenna Group

Cobham Awarded $31 Million U.S. Navy Contract for Additional Low Band Transmitter-Antenna Group - RF CafeCobham has been awarded a $31.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to manufacture the AN/ALQ-99 Low Band Transmitter-Antenna Group for Navy and Marine Corps EA-6B and EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft. The contract funds the sixth full-rate production lot, and includes the first installment of two-part procurement for a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to undisclosed customers. This award brings the total number of production orders to 314 of 337 required transmitters and, to date, 230 transmitters have been delivered.

Inside the World's

Most Powerful Laser

Inside the World's Most Powerful Laser - RF CafeThis thumbnail looks like a hornet's nest, but it is actually the target chamber of the world's most powerful laser which resides in the National Ignition Facility test facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California (something the government does right). The laser recently achieved a 500 TW pulse, which for a brief moment is more power than the entire U.S. uses at any instant. I look at the photos of all the machinery and electronics involved and, as with the Large Hadron Collider and similar installations, am in awe of the people who design, build, and operate them. Many of those people spend all their waking hours creating and exploiting their contraptions while often sacrificing relationships, health, and other opportunities. The world has been built on the backs of hard workers of all disciplines. We (yes, I include myself) are the 50%.

Giant Breakthrough in

Flash RAM Lifetime

Giant Breakthrough in Flash RAM Lifetime - RF CafeThe main obstacle preventing solid state hard drives (SSHD) for computers is the fragility of the high-speed PCRAM structure. After about 10,000 read/write cycles the insulator in the storage cell is wasted. Engineers at Macronix knew that annealing the IC at high temperature for many hours eliminates the problem, but the process would be prohibitively expensive. In a stroke of collective genius, they tried effecting a resistive element in each cell's gate region that could heat the area to 800 °C for a few milliseconds, thereby annealing on demand. It worked. Power consumption is kept to a minimum by selectively heating only cells that exhibit degradation or that according to a logging record are approaching their normal lifetime limit. Tests thus far have indicated essentially unlimited lifetimes. Right now the memory time is that which is used in Flash drives (aka thumb drives) and some personal electronics, but the industry will soon be scheming to finally replace forever the magnetic spinning HDDs we now use.

An Experiment with Gravity

► An Experiment with Gravity, January 1970 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and RocketsThis is pretty cool. If I owned a good receiver, I would definitely give it a try. In 1970 when this Popular Electronics article was written, a lot of Hams were still using tube receivers so the recommendation to let the equipment warm up for several hours prior to making the fine frequency adjustments was good advice. Nowadays the warm-up time and stability of receivers should permit 30 minutes or so to suffice (even ovenized frequency references need time to stabilize when first powered up). Unless I missed it, the author does not explicitly state that the frequency change measured over time is due to gravity acting on the mass of the crystal reference, but I suspect that is his intention since part of the experiment involves disconnecting the antenna and shielding the receiver from outside interferers. Over a lunar month period (29.5 days) we experience a leap tide and a neap tide which maximizes and minimizes, respectively, the vector sum of gravity and therefore should result in the greatest excursions. Maybe with a super-stable source, a larger scale phenomenon such as a planetary syzygy could be detected (but I doubt it).

Linx's Tiny MicroSplatch™

Antenna Breaks Chip Barrier

Tiny Low-Cost MicroSplatch™ Antenna from Linx Breaks the Chip Barrier - RF CafeAdding the MicroSplatch™ to your design is simple—the only things needed are a footprint for the antenna and associated proximity ground plane. Using advanced simulation tools, Linx designed the MicroSplatch™ with performance similar to our standard Splatch antenna, but only uses one third of the critical board space.  The MicroSplatch™ is available in the 403 MHz, 418 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz, 916 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands. Custom designs within the 400 MHz–3 GHz range are available. "We designed the MicroSplatch™ specifically as a chip buster aimed at high volume customer applications, where lowest cost is a leading consideration."

The Clacker Steampunk PC
...for the Man Who Has Everything

The Clacker Steampunk Desktop PC by Datamancer Enterprises - RF CafeThe December 2012 edition of IEEE's Spectrum magazine had this setup from Datamancer Enterprises. BTW, the suffix 'mancer' means prophet or fortune teller. From their website: The Clacker is a full PC suite including keyboard, mouse (made from a telegraph key), mouse pad (ancient map image), PC, LCD, speakers (vintage Atwater-Kent speakers which have been modernized), and a classic table and matching chair. The PC features a powered, spinning brass mechanical display reminiscent of Charles Babbage's 'Analytical Engine' and 'Difference Engine', which were giant brass mechanical calculators invented in the early 1900s whose functions influenced the design of modern computers. The Clacker ships with a 'Marquis' keyboard. The LCD also features an antique video projector built into the back which is powered and spins custom brass film reels while LED lighting flickers in a custom projection box, to give the impression that the image is being projected onto the LCD through the back. Spectrum says the price is $15k-25k. If you buy yourself one, please have a second sent to me. Thank-you in advance.

Empower Announces Two

Executive Promotions

Empower RF Systems Announces Executive Chairman Role and CEO Transition - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems Announcement - Executive Chairman role and CEO transition The Board of Directors of Empower RF Systems has approved the creation of a new role, Executive Chairman of the Board, and the appointment of a new CEO, effective, January 1, 2013. Barry Phelps, current CEO, will be transitioning to the role of Executive CoB, remaining active and involved with the Company and leading the management / oversight of Board responsibilities. Barry joined the BofD in 2007 and moved into a full time role as CEO in 2009. Jon Jacocks has been promoted to President and CEO of Empower RF Systems. Jon joined Empower in November 2007 as the company's first VP of Sales and he has served in that capacity for the past five years.

Sherlock Ohms: Case of the

Seasonal Computer Crash

Sherlock Ohms: The Case of the Seasonal Computer Crash - RF CafeSherlock Ohms is a regular feature of Design News that presents submissions from readers about troubleshooting challenges and how they were solved. The Case of the Seasonal Computer Crash is a bit hard to believe, but back in the early days of PCs, the equipment was pretty vulnerable. Not much thought was give to power line conditioning.

Vintage Radio Ads from RCA

Victor and General Electric

RCA Victor Advertisement from the November 6, 1948, The Saturday Evening Post - RF CafeHere is are advertisements by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Victor and General Electric (GE) from the November 6, 1948, edition of the The Saturday Evening Post. A lot of the radio, television, and phonograph models seen here can still be bought on eBay in either 'needs fix'n' or fully restored condition. If you see something you would really like but it is not General Electric Advertisement from the November 6, 1948, The Saturday Evening Post - RF Cafeon eBay yet, do a Saved Search and they will send you an e-mail when one appears.

Many Thanks to Guided Waves

Technology for Support!

Guided Wave Technology is a microwave filter R&D company, specialized in development and production of passive filter prototypes and series. Guided Wave Technology's Filter & Coupling Matrix Synthesis (CMS) tool facilitates synthesis of N+2 coupling matrices for GWT Filter & Coupling Matrix SoftwareChebyshev bandpass filtering functions, with arbitrary finite-position transmission zeroes.

PMI Intros 6.7 to 7.9 GHz,

30 W RF Limiter

PMI Intros 6.7 to 7.9 GHz, 30 W RF Limiter - RF CafePMI Model LM-6D7G7D9G-30W-SFF is a RF Limiter that operates in the 6.7 to 7.9 GHz frequency range. This limiter can handle 30 watts CW input power and provides a maximum leakage of +18 dBm. This model has a low insertion loss of 1.1 dB maximum and a recovery time of 10 µsec maximum.

PMI Intros 10-40 GHz SP4T,

Absorptive, Solid-State Switch

PMI Intros 10 to 40 GHz Single Pole, Four Throw, Absorptive, Solid-State Switch - RF CafePMI Model No. P4T-10G40G-60-T-GPO is a single pole, four throw, absorptive, solid-state switch that operated over the frequency range of 10 to 40 GHz. This model provides over 60 dB of isolation and has an insertion loss of 6 dB maximum. The VSWR is better than 2.0:1 into a 50 ohm impedance. This model is designed to handle operating input power levels up to 200 mW (+23 dBm CW) and has a maximum switching speed of 30nsec typical.

RCA Test Equipment


RCA Test Equipment Advertisement, November 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeI have to admit to not remembering (or ever knowing) that Radio Corporation of America (RCA) manufactured electrical test equipment, so seeing this full-page advertisement in a 1963 edition of Popular Electronics was a surprise. RCA made a few types of analog multimeter kits, some project and experimenter kits, and even an oscilloscope kit. A little more thumbing through other Popular Electronics editions revealed the RCA Institutes, which was a mail order electronics training program similar to the ITT Institute and National Radio Institute (NRI, from whom I took a course many moons ago). Knowing that if you wait long enough, just about everything shows up on eBay, I did a quick check and found a few vintage RCA Institutes items, including an RCA Institutes Ham Radio Signal Generator Kit...

Unruly Airline Passenger

Duct-Taped to Seat

Drunken Airpline Passenger Duct Taped to Seat - RF CafeHow many times have you been flying to/from a business trip and wanted to do this to the person sitting next to you (and get away with it)?? "A drunken passenger on a New York-bound flight from Iceland was duct-taped to his seat by fellow passengers after attacking one woman, spitting on other passengers and screaming the plane was going to crash. A friend of one of the observing passengers, Andy Ellwood of New York, posted a picture of the subdued flyer to his Tumblr with an account of the incident. The 'passenger drank all of his duty free liquor on the flight from Iceland to JFK yesterday,' Ellwood wrote." Who just happens to have a roll of duct tape on an airplane? Was Red Green on the flight?

Engineering Theme

Crossword for 1/6/2013

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., Hedy Lamar). This particular puzzle has lots of abbreviations and acronyms.

Toyota Unintended

Acceleration Lawsuit

Toyota Economic Loss Settlement Website - RF CafeWebsite visitor Michael L. sent me a note about the settlement of the class action lawsuit against Toyota for the claim that some of their cars accelerated unintentionally when the drivers ostensibly hit the brake pedal. It was an out-of-court deal to avoid a judge and jury debacle. Keep in mind when you read the following excerpt from the FAQ page that Class Members will receive a whopping 37 to 125 dollars each for payment or have an electronic control module modification installed. "How will the lawyers be paid? Class Counsel will ask the Court for Attorneys' Fees not to exceed $200 million, plus up to an additional $27 million in costs and expenses. These fees and expenses will go to the multiple plaintiffs' firms and approximately 85 attorneys who worked on the litigation." Ah, what a bunch of Good Samaritans those guys are.

Navy Electrician's Mate Webpage Helps ID This Iris

Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses, NAVPERS10622, Chapter 15 - Searchlights - RF Cafe"Kirt, I just found your website while looking for an explanation of the purpose of a device that a friend of my owns. It is an iris shutter for a 24" naval searchlight. Your site and description of the searchlight helped to figure out the mystery of this thing!" Thanks to Tim P. for this note. It validates yet again why I go to the trouble of posting this old material.

Please Visit AWR in

Appreciation of Their Support

AWR is a leading supplier of high-frequency EDA products for the design of wireless telecom equipment, semiconductors, high-speed computers, networking systems, automotive mobility systems, and a variety of other products. Familiar to the RF and microwave research and development community are Microwave Office, Analog Office, Visual System Simulator, APLAC, and Axiem.

NuWaves Partners with

Reseller MicroBee Systems

NuWaves Engineering, an international RF and embedded systems solutions provider, announced today that the company has added MicroBee Systems as its first domestic value-added reseller. Specializing in integrated tracking solutions – such as GPS, Wireless, and Time, Space, Position, Information systems – MicroBee will increase exposure of NuWaves' commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) RF module-level products in the DoD test and training range market. NuWaves' products will be offered both independently and as part of higher-level integrated system solutions by MicroBee for flight test telemetry, vehicle tracking, and remote systems monitoring and control applications.

Giant Scale SST Model Flies

by Wireless Control

Giant Scale Radio Control SST Flies - RF CafeOK, so it's an R/C model, but calling it 'wireless' qualifies for being featured on RF Cafe. This twin turbine model Concord SST flew at Panoramaflugtag 2012 in Ohlsdorf, Germany. German aeromodelers build and fly many giant scale aircraft.

December 2012 Book Drawing

Winner Selected

Congratulations to Tyler R., of Escondido, CA, for being the December 2012 book winner. Tyler chose Handbook of Dielectric and Thermal Properties of Materials at Microwave Frequencies.

Graciously provided by Artech House

NIC Intros 1200-6000 MHz

LC Bandpass Filter

NIC Intros a 1200 - 6000 MHz Wideband LC Bandpass Filter - RF CafeNIC introduces a wide-band LC Bandpass Filter centered at 3600 MHz with an operating BW of 133%.This filter is capable of passing signals between L & C bands offering low Insertion loss, while rejecting any signals in the UHF and X bands. Custom designs and different package configurations are available upon request.

Electronics Inventors Quiz

Electronic Inventors Quiz, November 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeMost of these matches of the devices and its inventor are pretty easy for people who have been around electronics for any length of time (well, not if the length of time is a day or two), but a couple just might stump you. This Electronics Inventors Quiz appeared in a 1963 edition of Popular Electronics, so you won't be challenged with knowing the inventors of the LCD or MEMS devices, but neither will you have to know who came up with the abacus or the Archimedes screw :-)

Hobnobbing with Harbaugh

- Those Happy Happy Hams

Hobnobbing with Harbaugh, November 1963 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is a little electronics hobbyist humor in the form a comic series titled "Hobnobbing with Harbaugh," compliments of Popular Electronics. For the non-Ham, QSL is the Q-code for "'I confirm that I received your transmission." You don't need to be an amateur radio operator to appreciate these comic strips, though. Note that with it being 1963, the husband and wife are shown sleeping in separate beds - just like in the TV shows of the era like The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy.

Please Welcome NIC

as a New Banner Advertiser

NIC is a leading manufacturer of custom RF & microwave filters, amplifiers, frequency sources, assemblies for military, commercial & space. Lumped, ceramic, crystal, cavity, combline & interdigital filters. Filter/amplifiers, filter/limiters, switched filter banks. For over 20 years, NIC has been a trusted partner for military, commercial & space solutions. NIC headquarters is located in Overland Park, KS with additional sales and manufacturing operations in Washington, DC and India.

New Book Added to Monthly

Drawing Prize List

Introduction to RF Design Using EM Simulators - RF CafeIntroduction to RF Design Using EM Simulators, by Hiroaki and Yoshie Kogure, and James Rautio (graciously provided by Artech House). Richly illustrated and written in an easy-to-comprehend style, this highly accessible resource provides novice engineers and engineering students with a solid introduction to the use of electromagnetics (EM) simulation in RF design. Engineers learn how to use EM software to design microwave circuits and to conduct signal integrity analysis of high-speed digital circuits. This authoritative book describes exactly how microwave and high-speed digital circuits operate, offering practitioners clear troubleshooting guidance for their work with these circuits. Professionals and students also benefit from a thorough overview of the wide range of high-frequency circuits and related EM tools (Sonnet) being utilized in the field today. DVD is included!

Many Thanks to RFtronics

for Their Long-Time Support

RFtronics develops both turnkey and custom solutions for the RF telecom equipment designers and manufacturers. Currently, our product line includes high power couplers, splitters/combiners and filters between 1 MHz and 3 GHz. They have a tight relationship with a local, ISO certified manufacturer with a 25 000 sq. ft. facility and more than 20 years experience in the RF/microwave design and manufacture. This gives them the best of both worlds, the agility of a small company and the production capabilities of a larger-sized, high-volume manufacture.

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

Laureate an Aeromodeler

Aeromodeler Dave Wineland Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics - RF CafeAs you might know if you have been an RF Cafe visitor for a while, my life-long hobby has been model aviation. Many notable people have similarly been aeromodelers from a young age, including aircraft designer Burt Rutan, Space Shuttle astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson, radio personality Paul Harvey, actor and WWII bomber pilot Jimmy Stewart, Olympiad Bruce Jenner, catamaran and surfboard designer Hobart "Hobie" Alter, to name a few. Physicist Dr. David (Dave) Wineland has just been added to the list since he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in December 2012 for his work on quantum computing. The Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA) monthly magazine Model Aviation printed an interview with Dr. Wineland in the January 2013 edition, where he discusses his history with model airplanes and his work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado. Model Model Aviation editor Jay Smith granted permission for me to reprint the article here on RF Cafe since it will likely be of interest to engineers and scientists who visit the website.

New Book Added to Monthly

Drawing Prize List

The Micro-Doppler Effect in Radar - RF CafeThe Micro-Doppler Effect

in Radar, by Victor C. Chen (graciously provided by Artech House). The Doppler Effect can be thought of as the change in frequency of a wave for an observer moving relative to the source of the wave. In radar, it is used to measure the velocity of detected objects. This highly practical resource provides thorough working knowledge of the micro-Doppler effect in radar, including its principles, applications and implementation with MATLAB codes. The book presents code for simulating radar backscattering from targets with various motions, generating micro-Doppler signatures, and analyzing the characteristics of targets.

December 2012 Book Drawing

Winner Selected!

Tyler R. of Escondido, CA, is a winner of the December 2012 book drawing. Tyler selected Handbook of Dielectric and Thermal Properties of Materials at Microwave Frequencies.

Please Thank NoiseWave

for Helping Deliver RF Cafe

NoiseWave designs and manufactures standard and custom noise test solutions to meet commercial and military wireless applications. Noise diodes in TO-8, DIP, or SM pin packages. Calibrated broadband sources ideal for NF measurement & BIT.

Learning Morse Code in a Whole New Way

Learning Morse Code in a Whole New Way - RF CafeThere is a website called MorseFusion.com that presents a new way to learn Morse Code. Rather than learning to interpret each character as a series of dots and dashes, it helps train your brain to respond to a familiar sequence of characters. According to the authors, it has been proven to be a more natural way of learning. The old school method of listening for dits and dahs was fine for receiving encrypted messages that had no logical or predictable pattern (after all, that is the goal of encryption). The Morse Fusion method uses novels like Moby Dick and A Tale of Two Cities, and begins with only oral pronunciation of each character and word for practice writing what is heard. Then, you select characters that should be sent as code rather than spoken characters, ranging from 0 (spoken characters only) to all 26 plus numbers and punctuation. You might be surprised at how confusing it can be to write down even the spoken letters at 15 wpm, and forget 30 wpm until after some practice. Free samples and practice are available, but there is a modest subscription fee for anyone wanting to really take advantage of the course. .. / .-- --- ..- .-.. -.. / ... ..- -... ... -.-. .-. .. -... . / .. ..-. / .. / .... .- -.. / -- --- .-. . / - .. -- . .-.-.- (thanks to  the Morse Code Translator)

Thanks to Fotofab for

Long-Time Support!

Fotofab is a 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. They are pleased to send you some sample parts, design guide and more information regarding our quality custom parts, short lead-times and low cost services.

Build Your Own Vibrato

Build Your Own Vibrato, December 1957 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRF Cafe visitor Jim L. requested that I post this Build Your Own Vibrato article from the December 1957 edition of Popular Electronics. "Make like Elvis with an 'electronic' throbbing guitar," is the pitch line. Vibrato, for the non-musically inclined, is the 'wa-wa' sound of an instrument as it smoothly wavers in pitch about a central note. This circuit is for use with an electric guitar, but acoustical stringed instruments like the violin and cello are routinely played with vibrato effect by rocking the finger up and down the length of the string. In typical 1950s style, the project is built with point-to-point wiring rather than using a printed circuit board.

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.

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