Visit @ IMS2014 Booth #1052
Windfreak Tech designs, manufactures,
tests and sells high value radio frequency products such as RF signal
generators, synthesizers, power detectors, mixers, and up/down converters. We
develop high quality, reliable, low cost products to make your life easier. Windfreak Tech is developing high quality, low
cost products to make life easier for RF Engineers and hobbyist - all at low cost. Please stop by our booth (#1052) at
Ten Essential Skills for EEs
You or somebody you know needs this book. When
author Barry Dorr told me a while back that he had a new book coming out aimed at recent college graduates and other job
hunters, I figured it might be just another "Top 10" type collection of ideas which wouldn't hurt to know, but that would
be too specific for general use. After reading through
Ten Essential Skills
for Electrical Engineers I can confidently tell you that is much more than one guy's opinion of what you should
know to advance in your career. It is rare that I actually read through as much of an engineering book as I did this one.
Mr. Dorr's primary goal is to provide...
Load Modulated Amplifiers"
Explore new ways to enhance power amplifier performance at the AWR sponsored webinar,
Simulating Dynamic Load Modulated Amplifiers—an Alternative Solution to Maintaining Efficiency over
a Power Range. This webinar introduces the concept of dynamic load modulation and demonstrates how amplifiers can be designed
using this approach. The ability of the AWR tools to model nonlinear components using discrete components and parameterized
variables gives the designer access to a fully dynamic simulation
Mr. Einstein believed everything is relative, and this
1963 article on the revolution of "microminiature
electronics" certainly attests to the truth of it. Unlike with his Theory of Special Relativity though, travel near
the speed of light is not needed to witness length contraction in the electronics realm; the passage of time and its attendant
evolution of technology does that for us. Today's definition of 'microelectronics' will to our progeny seem laughingly
absurd when they read about (or more likely have wirelessly implanted in their brain's memory cells)
our current transistor gate widths of tens of atoms. BTW, Lilliput, in case you don't know, is the island nation of Gulliver's
Good Life is a free publication printed in northern Michigan. Along with advertisements and stories from local interests,
every edition is chock full of humorous quips and jokes. These tech-related items are from the June 2014 edition.
Why Computers Should Be Considered Masculine:
• In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
• They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
• They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they...
New Lines of Tunable RF Filters
Fairview Microwave a preeminent supplier
of on-demand microwave and RF products, announces their new lines of
pass and band reject tunable filters. Fairview Microwave's tunable RF filters are commonly used in lab environments
for testing many frequency bands including PCS, UHF, PMR, Tetra, LTE, and WiFi. The tunable band pass filters and band reject
filters, also known as band-stop filters or band-rejection filters, are effective in band selection or frequency discrimination
with high attenuation greater than 50 dB
always have been and always will be a daunting subject to a lot of people. For electronics types, the issue of when to multiply
the logarithm of the ratio by 10 or by 20 seems to be the biggest stumbling block. After many years of working
with decibels, it becomes second nature. There are still instances, though, where I see seasoned engineers and technicians
routinely confuse unreferenced decibel units (dB, the logarithm of a ratio) with logs of ratios
referred to some base value (dBm, dBV, etc.). The bel unit was originally created to
quantitatively assign changes in perceived levels of sound loudness...
for Their Ongoing Support
The founders of Agile Microwave
have over 100 man-years of experience designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing and providing innovative solutions
to the industry. They have successfully designed and managed
multi-million dollar technical projects from concept to completion.
RF amplifiers using GaN and GaAs technology
for class A, AB, C, D and E available up to 100 W CW / 150 W pulsed, WB & NB, up to 30 GHz. RF limiters
switches, frequency multipliers, mixers, and integrated modules are among their offerings.
A Soldering Conundrum
Sherlock Ohms is a regular
feature by Design News where engineers and technicians describe their adventures of troubleshooting circuit and
software problems. Quite often I can relate to the scenarios because of similar instances I've had over many years of being
involved in electronics. This story by A. David Boccuti is very instructive in how to find the root cause of a problem in
production that suddenly appears for no apparently good reason. In Mr. Boccuti's case it was a component refusing to be
soldered properly when in the past there was never an issue. He did a commendable job in resolving the problem. Having begun
my post-USAF electronics career as...
That John T. Frye was a great short story
writer is a given truism based on his decades-long production of the
Jerry series in Popular Electronics. It is easy to look over the fact that he also had artistic skills as well
as evidenced by the pencil drawings that accompanied each installment. In this episode, our two electronics hobbyists build
a resistor anemometer to measure wind speed from within their basement workshop. In the usually storyline style, one boy
gives a lesson in circuit design while the other (also the reader) is the attentive student.
New Rental Partnership
Advanced Test Equipment Rentals (ATEC) partners with Kaelus to become a rental distributor
of Kaelus products. Kaelus manufactures Passive Intermodulation (PIM) Testers for the wireless
telecommunications sector, and ATEC is one of the largest rental companies of test equipment for the telecommunications,
aerospace, semiconductor, consumer electronic, and many other sectors. PIM, the non-linear junction that causes interference
in the RF path
As mentioned in an earlier
article, National Radio Institute (NRI) was one of the first companies to exploit the burgeoning field of electronics in
the early part of the last century. They invested heavily in facilities and resources for producing educational material
for both classroom and
courses. Up until sometime in the early 1990s when throw-away electronics and almost total offshore manufacturing became
the rule rather than the exception, there were always large advertisements in magazines offering to rescue floundering career
seekers with promises of untold opportunities and riches from servicing radios, televisions...
It's going to be a hot time in Tampa next
month in more ways than one. The RF and microwave industry may not exactly be producing the eye-watering revenue as other sectors of the economy but there are plenty of market and technology
"hotspots" that will no doubt be evident at IMS exhibitors' product displays. For example, the wireless industry is evolving
rapidly as LTE moves toward its next incarnation as LTE-Advanced, Wi-Fi morphs from discrete hotspots to a seamless network
via HotSpot 2.0, and distributed antenna systems and small cells
(ROI) for 2014
Professors and executive staff at top colleges get paid lots of $$$ for their services. Add to that über generous retirement and benefits
packages, the high cost of administering a plethora of social programs and politically correct courses, guest lecturers,
and '<insert worthless topic> Studies' degrees, and expected donations to various popular
causes. Throw in a prestigious brand name and maybe a sports team and the cost of actually getting an education can be really,
really expensive. Many studies have shown that for the vast majority of people, the college that issues your diploma has
almost no bearing on earnings after a few years of experience is gained...
for Ongoing Support!
For over 40 years KR Electronics
has designed and manufactured high quality RF & microwave filters
for the commercial and military markets. KR Electronics manufactures all filter
types and individually synthesizes filters for
special applications. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis and test methods are used to meet the most challenging
This the the forth and final installment on a series written
by Paul Rockwell discussing station design for long distance (DX) communications. Covered was antenna selection and siting
economics and construction(Part II), station configuration
and receiver topics (Part III), and propagation quirks and this one - operating tips (Part IV).
Consulting for Support!
RFdude.com LLC is a consulting company
run by Lance Lascari. With the help of
key clients over the years we have been able to take the business full time as of June 2008. Our goal is and has always
been to be a highly technical resource for hire specializing in the design of RF, Wireless, and Microwave circuits and systems with occasional work in embedded control
and signal processing. Projects over the years have been in the the aerospace, defense, industrial, telecom, and consumer
electronics industries. We have solid resources in terms of equipment, software, and materials...
7-Figure Mark in 2013
Welfare is alive and well in spite of political campaign promises to end it. According to a new Associated Press story,
the median compensation for the CEO of a large publicly traded company crossed over into the 7-figure realm for the first
time in 2013, with an average pay package of $10.5 million - an increase of 8.8% from $9.6 million in 2012. Why do I say
corporate welfare? Simple, the increase is attributed
primarily to a surging stock market, which is almost entirely funded by the Fed printing money (yeah,
I know, it's not actually printed) and passing it into the coffers of bankers, investors, and businesses either directly
via stimulus programs, quantitative easing, and bailouts, or via social programs, government contracts, hiring incentives
for OTWM workers, and a multitude of other manipulations ...
Here is a brand new batch of RF / microwave engineering magazine
articles for you.
» How Trends in Electronics
are Affecting Connectors,
(p22) B. Stanton
Compact Antenna Snares
WiMAX/WLAN, G. Ghobadi
» GNSS Signals Are Used for
» Multiband Doherty Amplifiers
for Wireless Applications
((p30) A. Grebennikov
GaN Solutions for Next
Communications, R. Baker
Engineering Fundamentals: An Introduction to Engineering,
by Saeed Moaveni. Specifically designed as an introduction to the exciting world of engineering, the book encourages students
to become engineers and prepares them with a solid foundation in the fundamental principles and physical laws. It begins
with a discovery of what engineers do as well as an inside look into the various areas of specialization. An explanation
on good study habits and what it takes to succeed is included as well as an introduction to design and problem solving,
communication, and ethics. Once this foundation is established, the book moves on to the basic physical concepts and laws...
Being a great appreciator of good humor, and especially
I made sure to scan these comics from the pages of vintage Radio-Electronics magazines. You might have to have lived through
the era of televisions with cathode ray tubes (CRTs) to fully appreciate the frustration of
trying to acceptably grab, align, define, sharpen, tone, and lock an over-the-air broadcast signal on track. Stories of
people putting feet or baseball bats through the sets were a big source of situational humor.
in Appreciation of Support
Excel-Wireless is a solution
provider with many years of experience in the cellular amplification
and wireless communications industry, serving private
companies, universities, military and government agencies. We stand behind our products
offering full service warranty, return and replacement, and installation support. We can produce up to 10,000 pieces of
different cable assemblies every day. Not many factories can do that!
Gettysburg Address - 1863
"...But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can
not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did
here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus
far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here
highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom
- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." - Abraham Lincoln.
November 19, 1863.
for May 26, 2014
"Hey, I'm a good software engineer, but I'm
not exactly known for my fashion sense. White socks and sandals don't translate to 'good design sense'." -
Linus Torvalds, inventor of Linux
"Ground is ground the world around," is an oft repeated saying when talking about making electrical connections
to Earth ground. In a general sense that is true, especially when referring to electromagnetic radio signals and antenna
systems that are in some manner dependent on the common connection. However, when you are working within the confines of
a localized electronic circuit such as on a printed circuit board or inside a chassis, there is no guarantee that without
proper precautions ground is not at the same potential everywhere. Poor (high impedance) soldered,
crimped, and bolted connections are among the prime offenders...
for 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
Sure, there are lots of resources on the Internet for identifying various
styles, shapes, and sizes, but sometimes there are so many that it can be time consuming to peruse through them all,
particularly if what you are looking for is an older type. This chart from a 1960 edition of Popular Electronics
might be just the thing you have been looking for when working on a piece of vintage electronic and/or mechanical gear.
Puzzle for May 25, 2014
Here is this week's
engineering crossword puzzle with words
and clues focused specifically on the topics of communications, electronics, science, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mechanics,
etc. There are no numbnut entries like names of movie stars or fashion designers - I leave those to the New York Times puzzle
& Tips for May 23, 2014
It is hard to believe that nearly two weeks have passed
since I scoured the Internet for job hunting and career guidance articles. With graduation time being here, there is particularly
a lot of information and advice for first-time job seekers. Of course if you are graduating and just now beginning your
job search, you might be a little late to the party - so to speak. Have you considered a career serving your nation's armed
forces? Some of the R&D and real-world applications experience...
The New Graduate's Guide
to Job Searching
How to Pierce Through
Veiled Job Interview
U.S. Air Force Engineering
article purposes to set the record straight about the difference between John A. Fleming's 'thermionic valve diode'
rectifier, which did not produce signal amplification, and de Forest's audion tube, which did provide amplification. U.S.
patent number 841387, "Device for Amplifying Feeble Electrical Currents," was issued to Lee de Forest on January 15, 1907,
a little over a year after Fleming received patent 803684 for his "Instrument for Converting Alternating Electric Currents
into Continuous Current" on November 7, 1905. Unlike the contest between...
and Transport Flying
"Don't forget who brung you to the dance," is a variation of
the old adage that admonishes you to remember who/what it was that provided the opportunity to be where you are now. It
aptly applies to radio
communications of all sorts. This short article from a 1932 edition of Radio News discusses the advent of radio
beacon installations across America to facilitate air navigation during inclement weather. Before there was an FAA, the
Department of Commerce handled commercial air traffic for passenger and cargo payloads. Aviation was on the verge of becoming
a very profitable industry (the Douglas DC-3 would make that happen...
This crossword puzzle is a little
trickier than some because it uses
electronics abbreviations rather than full words. Not everyone uses the same abbreviation, so some answers
are a bit more subjective. For instance, many people abbreviate the word 'transformer' as 'xfmr,' while others use 'trans'
or 'trr' (I use xfmr). Where you really have to be careful, though, is with evolutional changes
in terminology as is the case for frequency units, where 'cps' was most often used in 1958 rather than today's 'Hz." Enjoy.
Modeling, and Design of Nonlinear RF and Microwave Components, by David E. Root, Jan Verspecht, Jason Horn. This is
the definitive guide to X-parameters, written by the original inventors and developers of this powerful new paradigm for
nonlinear RF and microwave components and systems. Learn how to use X-parameters to overcome intricate problems in nonlinear
RF and microwave engineering. The general theory behind X-parameters is carefully and intuitively introduced, and then simplified
Melanie and I are moving back to North Carolina and will be on the road for the
next couple days. During the two-day drive, access to email will be limited until Thursday. Please forgive delays in responding.
We have been away from NC for seven years and are returning at the behest of family members.
A while back I was taken to task for remarking on the
seemingly crude (the word I used was 'barbaric") nature of some early medical machinery that
appeared in a mid-20th-century edition of Popular Electronics (see "Electronics Against Cancer"). I won't repeat my mistake here when describing how early medical
x-ray machines are scary looking. Admittedly, being stuffed inside a modern MRI machine and having the loud electromagnetic
coils cycling is no relaxing trip to the countryside, but the
shown here looks like the Q-36 space modulator beam Marvin the Martian might have pointed at the Earth to disintegrate it
just before he asks, "Where's the kaboom?...
Low Noise Amplifiers
Pasternack releases a new family of
low noise amplifiers (LNA) capable of high gain and broadband performance
between 9 kHz and 18 GHz which are widely used across the spectrum of military and commercial applications. A total of fourteen
new low noise amplifiers are offered. The new LNA category exhibits excellent broadband performance from 9 kHz to 18 GHz,
noise figures between 0.8 dB to 3 dB, gain levels from 25 dB to 50 dB
The Good Life is a free publication printed in northern Michigan.
Along with advertisements and stories from local interests, every edition is chock full of humorous quips and jokes. These
tech-related items are from the May 2014 edition. • Kids, you'll never know the pain of digging the innards
of a loved cassette out of a cheap stereo and crying as you wind it up with a pencil. • Twitter is proof
that people should not be allowed...
In case you are new to RF Cafe or have just missed it, a couple
years ago I released a free Excel spreadsheet titled
RF Cafe Calculator
Workbook that contains many worksheets with commonly needed calculations. It has Butterworth and Chebyshev filter plotters,
mixer frequency conversion, radar horizon, directional coupler, VSWR, Pi and T attenuators, RF path loss and propagation
time, and more for calculators. I have an Android App in the works that should be ready in a couple months, so stay tuned.
for Continued Support!
Vector Telecom has fully instrumented
microwave, millimeterwave, & antenna laboratories and production
facilities for up to 50 GHz. We provide microwave waveguide components and assemblies,
and antennas to global market. Vector Telecom consists of microwave and millimeterwave laboratories, antenna laboratories,
microwave and electronic components factories.
"If they don't define themselves on the
web, they're going to be defined by someone else." -
Patrick Ambron, co-founder of BrandYourself,
regarding personal and corporate reputation control on the Internet.
Carl and Jerry episode is a bit far-fetched compared to the typical storyline, but it does illustrate
how when you are desperate to get out a distress signal, a little technical knowledge and having a knack for improvisation
can save the day.
Puzzle for May 18, 2014
Every Sunday I create a
crossword puzzle using a word list
that I personally created and added to during over a decade of making puzzles. All of the words are related to engineering,
science, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, etc. There are no numbnut clues about movie stars or clothing designers. Enjoy.
For Your Professional
Other than taking college courses or attending seminars, reading technical books
and magazine articles is one of the best ways to keep current on component introductions, circuit and system design methods,
and industry news. I put a lot of effort every day into scouring the Internet for items that should prove useful to you
in your endeavor as a professional and/or hobbyist. Here are a few of the latest.
» Thick Metal Cladding
Cellular and WiFi MIMO
Radios, F. Mlinarsky
» The Industry's Next
Point, D. Corman,
P. Moosbrugger, G. Rebeiz
» GaN-on-Diamond: The Next
Babic, Ejeckam, Lowe,
Mollart, Faili, Wilman, Dodson
Francis, Twitchen, Bolliger
» 10 Tricks That Extend
O-scope Usefulness, A. Pini
App for Android Phones
everythingRF is offering a free RF Calculator
app for Android OS users. Among the many calculation functions available in this app are Pi and T, bridged T, reflection,
and balanced attenuator calculators; unit converters for dBm to watts and watts to dBm; RF propagation and link budget calculators;
coax and microstrip calculators; and noise figure, resonant frequency, skin depth, and VSWR calculators. Watch for more
to added later
Technologies for Support!
RIGOL is an emerging T&M
leader and a technology innovator in electronic measurement. RIGOL's premium line of products including:
spectrum analyzers, DMMs, programmable power supplies, signal and waveform generators.
DSA800 Series Spectrum Analyzer The DSA800 Spectrum
Analyzer by RIGOL redefines the product category by setting new standards for performance and price. Its digital IF
technology guarantees reliability and performance will meet the most demanding RF applications.