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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

My Hobby Website:


RIGOL Technologies (test equipment) - RF Cafe

Homepage Archive - February 2016 (page 1)

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.

Homepage Archive Pages

2022:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2021:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2020:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2019:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2018:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2017:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2016:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2015:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2014:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2013:  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

2012:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 (no archives before 2012)

See Page 2 of the February 2016 homepage archives.


Quantum Computing: Scientists Train Electrons with Microwaves

Quantum Computing: Scientists Train Electrons with Microwaves - RF Cafe"In what may provide a potential path to processing information in a quantum computer, researchers have switched an intrinsic property of electrons from an excited state to a relaxed state on demand using a device that served as a microwave 'tuning fork.' The team's findings could also lead to enhancements in magnetic resonance techniques, which are widely used to explore the structure of materials and biomolecules, and for medical imaging ..."

RF Cafe Now Has Google's 'Mobile-Friendly' Blessing

RF Cafe Now Has Google's 'Mobile-Friendly' Blessing - RF CafeMany format changes to RF Cafe have occurred since its inception in 1999, primarily to optimize the layout and content for presentation to my targeted audience - engineers, technicians, hobbyists, managers, and salesmen who make a living and/or pastime of electronics. This latest format change, however, comes in response to Google deciding to penalize website search ranking for any page or pages that do not pass its Mobile-Friendly Test. With 2/3 of the world's search business, they set the rules. If a page is not deemed Mobile-Friendly, it will likely be demoted to a lower spot on the search result page compared to if it was compliant. In some cases a website that would ...

Carbon Films Can Give Microchips Energy Storage Capability

Carbon Films Can Give Microchips Energy Storage Capability - RF Cafe"After more than half a decade of speculation, fabrication, modeling and testing, an international team of researchers led by Drexel University's Dr. Yury Gogotsi and Dr. Patrice Simon, of Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, have confirmed that their process for making carbon films and micro-supercapacitors will allow microchips and their power sources to become one and the same. The discovery, which was reported in the February 12 ..."

Baker "Donnie" Jones Added to List of Distinguished USAF Radar Technician List

I Dream of Jeannie - RF CafeBaker "Donnie" Jones Added to List of Distinguished USAF Radar Technician List - RF CafeFellow USAF radar tech Baker "Donnie" Jones contacted me with his service information for inclusion in my ever-growing list of members. Donnie spent his entire career with mobile communications groups, having served with the 1st CCG in Wiesbaden, Germany, the 2nd CCG at Patrick AFB, FL (which is where the I Dream of Jeannie air base shots were gotten), the 3rd CCG at Tinker AFB, OK, and the 5th CCG at Robins AFB, GA.

Who Is the Messiest Engineer of All?

Who Is the Messiest Engineer of All? - RF CafeHere's a chance to be famous (or more famous if you're famous already). National Semiconductor's Bob Pease, RIP, had a notoriously messy lab and office. He was stiff competition for engineers vying for the dubious honor of having the most clutter, but Bob was also an electronics genius. "If a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind, then what does an empty desk signify?" With Bob out of the way now, a new champion needs to be crowned. Maybe it will be you - or the gal who works in the cubicle next to you. This could be your 15 minutes of fame. Enter now...

Tech News for February 15, 2016

AT&T Partners with Ericsson, Intel for 5G Tests

USAF Rolls out FY 2017 Space Budget

Silicon IC with Laser: Light from a Nanowire

Gravitational Waves Finally Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction

“Ham TV” System Used for 1st Time During ARISS Contact with UK School

“Ham TV” System Used for 1st Time During ARISS Contact with UK School - RF Cafe"The 'Ham TV digital Amateur Radio television system onboard the International Space Station was used for the first time ever this week for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact. UK and ESA Astronaut Tim Peake, KG5BVI, inaugurated the system as he spoke on February 11 with students at a school in Rickmansworth, England. The DATV system in the Columbus module of the ISS allowed students at Royal ..."

Many Thanks to Saelig for Continued Support!

Saelig Company Electronics Distributor - RF CafeSaelig Company is a marketer and distributor for more than 100 manufacturers from all over the world. Founded in 1988 by Alan Lowne, Saelig has earned a growing reputation for having notable products not found elsewhere. "Saelig" is an Olde English word for "happy, prosperous, blessed." They sell and support a wide range of electronic control and instrumentation equipment and components to customers ranging from Fortune 500 industrial users, military, educational institutions and hospitals to individual end-users. Please visit Saelig to see how they might help you.

Saelig Announces New Distribution Agreement with Exostiv Labs

Saelig Announces New Distribution Agreement with Exostiv Labs - RF CafeSaelig Company announces that it has been appointed an authorized distributor of EXOSTIV™ FPGA debug products by Byte Paradigm, a leading supplier of embedded development solutions. Exostiv Labs is a division of Byte Paradigm which focuses on creating innovative solutions for FPGA debugging. This agreement will make Exostiv Labs' patent-pending FPGA debug tools available to Saelig's huge customer-base of electronic design engineers ...

Tech Headlines for February 14, 2016

Another Record Year for Silicon Wafer Shipment Volumes in 2015

Amateur Radio Parity Act Gets Favorable Subcommittee Report

How I Quit My Smartphone Addiction and Really Started Living (lots of these articles showing up)

Using Fast-Sweep Techniques to Accelerate Spur Searches

Using Fast-Sweep Techniques App Note - RF CafeKeysight Technologies' application note Using Fast-Sweep Techniques to Accelerate Spur Searches discusses the latest advances in signal processing, which enable you to make remarkable improvements in sweep speeds. Implementing a new type of digital RBW filter allows sweep speeds up to 50x faster without compromising amplitude and frequency accuracies. I remember back in the early 1990s while working for Comsat writing spur search software using Visual Basic and a National Instruments HPIB interface card to control an HP8568 spectrum analyzer to test programmable synthesizers for Inmarsat earth station RF modems.

Magnetic Spin Waves Brought Under Control to Enable Nanocircuits

Magnetic Spin Waves Brought Under Control to Enable Nanocircuits - RF Cafe"The spin wave remains trapped in the domain wall, which is formed in the middle between the differently oriented magnetizations. Researchers at the HZDR could thus control its propagation purposefully. But the more tightly electronic circuits are packed together, the more heat they produce, making them more likely to fail. Now an alternative to using electronic charge carriers for information processing is being developed, in the form of magnetic spin waves. These are faster than electronic ..."

Orbel and Nolato Custom EMI/RFI Solutions at IMS 2016

Orbel and Nolato Experts Partnering to Showcase Custom EMI/RFI Solutions at IMS 2016 - RF CafeOrbel Corporation, designer and manufacturer of custom EMI/RFI shielding, photo-etched precision metal parts and stamping; and Nolato, developer of EMC and thermal management solutions made of conductive silicone rubber, will partner to present a range of products at IMS 2016. In addition to extrusions, molded components, and dispensed gaskets, products on display will include: Board Level Shielding (BLS) ...

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics February 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThe February 1947 issue of Radio News only had two electronics-themed comics. Many months have up to half a dozen comics. Maybe the winter blues had set in with the magazine's illustrators. The first comic is a tad bit prescient in that it depicts a robber running past a television store and seeing a TV in the front display window showing a real-time video of the cop chasing him. That was way before there was a video surveillance camera on every street corner. I haven't discovered a vintage magazine yet with someone taking a 'selfie.' There is a growing list ...

Tech News for February 12, 2016

World's 1st 1,000 pF Ceramic Capacitor in 0201 Size

Navy to Double Money for Shipboard Radar Research

Electromechanical Trees Generate Electricity for Self-Powered Sensors

Battery Research Claims 10x Gain

Tesla Will Unveil Its $35k Model 3 on March 31st

Physicists Plan to Seek Higgs Force in Atomic Spectra

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 2016

RF & Microwave Engineering Articles for February 11, 2016 - RF CafeIncluded in this month's collection of interesting RF and microwave engineering articles is RF Cafe advertiser Windfreak Technologies, maker of, among other things, USB-controlled signal generators, with an article featured in Microwave Product Digest about those devices. If you have never been involved in defense contracting and manufacturing, you cannot appreciate the figurative 'hoops' that need to be jumped through ...

Cheap Cubic-Boron Nitride Could Enable Next Gen Smart Grid

Cheap Cubic-Boron Nitride Could Enable Next Gen Smart Grid - RF Cafe"Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU), led by Jay Narayan, have developed a new method for converting hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) directly into cubic-boron nitride (c-BN) that is faster and less expensive than previous processes and promises to make a material that is more viable for high-power electronics, transistors and solid-state devices. Boron nitride (BN) comes in four basic forms. Two of these forms of boron nitride, namely ..."

Diamond Days: Inside the IET's Jubilee Scholarship Programme

Diamond Days: Inside the IET's Jubilee Scholarship Programme - RF Cafe"There aren't too many professions that marry creativity with the prospect of making a real change to the world but as an engineer you'll have opportunities to do just that. Just ask Ceri Linton, an engineering student at Durham U. and recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, a programme that for the past four years has been providing beneficiaries with at least £1,000 per academic year. By way of a recap, the Institution of Engineering and Technologys Diamond ..."

So You Want to Be an Electrical Engineering Technician?

So You Want to Be an Electrical Engineering Technician?EcoTech Institute has an interesting Infographic titled "So You Want to Be an Electrical Engineering Technician?" (circa 2015) that presents statistics on how many engineering technician jobs are currently in existence in the U.S., what the top industries are that use engineering technicians, and how much one can expect to earn. Way back in the mid 1980s when I was last an electronics technician (prior to earning my BSEE), my highest pay was somewhere around $25k/year. According to the BLS's Inflation Calculator, that is the equivalent to $54k today, which is not too far from EcoTech's reported $57,850 is median for a Tech ...

e2v and Peregrine Sign Reseller Agreement

e2v and Peregrine Sign Reseller Agreement - RF Cafee2v, global leader in the high-reliability semiconductor market, and Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, have signed a strategic reseller agreement. Effective today, e2v will be the sole provider of Peregrine's high-reliability ICs for the worldwide space market. This strategic RF relationship combines Peregrine's expertise and proven track record in high-reliability RF and power management products with ...

Transistors Minus Semiconductors

Transistors Minus Semiconductors - RF Cafe"Everybody already knows that semiconductors are quickly approaching the atomic-level at under 5 nanometers, but most proposed solutions are based on variations-on-a-theme, such as going to a different "semiconductor" like graphene. Why not scrap semiconductors, instead, and use tunneling field effect transistors (TFETs)? The answer is that most materials require cryogenic cooling to make TFETs, according to Professor Yoke Khin Yap ..."

'Snow Rollers' Witnessed in Erie, Pennsylvania?

'Snow Rollers' Witnessed in Erie, Pennsylvania? - RF CafeLast month when I noticed a couple small snowballs in our back yard here in Erie, PA, I remarked to Melanie that the squirrels must have been having a little fun the previous night. There were no foot tracks of any sort to betray the mischief maker, so it seemed like the neatly made snowballs must have come from nowhere. They could not have fallen from the sky, though, because there were clear ruts in the snow leading up to them. I took a couple photos and promptly forgot about them.Then, a couple days ago there was a news story ...

Transmission Line Systems for FM & Television Home Receivers

Transmission Line Systems for FM & Television Home Receivers - RF CafeIt is amazing to me how many times I read an article, whether in a vintage magazine like this 1947 issue of Radio News, or a current edition of QST, how when discussing maximum power transfer from a source to a load, the author states merely that the load impedance must equal the source impedance. The fact of the matter is that the source and load impedances must be the complex conjugates of each other in order for maximum power transfer to occur. That is to say that if the source has a complex impedance of R + jX, then the load must have a complex impedance of R - jX (and vice versa) ...

Tech Headlines for February 11, 2016

Final GPS II Satellite Goes into Orbit as Air Force Readies for GPS III

Army and Air Force MARS Communications Exercise Set for February 12

U.S. House Subcommittee to Consider Amateur Radio Parity Act

New Thin Film Transistor May Lead to Flexible Devices

G teases 'Always-On' Display for G5 Phone

Army Aviation Budget Plunges Earthward

World's Most Accurate Optical Single-Ion Clock

World's Most Accurate Optical Single-Ion Clock - RF Cafe"Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. As early as 1981, Hans Dehmelt, who was to be awarded a Nobel prize later, had already developed the basic notions of how to use an ion kept in a high-frequency trap to build a clock which could attain the - then unbelievably low - relative measurement uncertainty in the range of 1E-18 ..."

Cognitive Radio: Interoperability Through Waveform Reconfiguration

Cognitive Radio: Interoperability Through Waveform Reconfiguration - RF CafeCognitive Radio: Interoperability Through Waveform Reconfiguration, by Leszek Lechowicz and Mieczyslaw M. Kokar. In the span of a century, radio technology advanced from spark transmitters, through analog radios based on vacuum tubes to solid state radios to finally software defined radios where most of the transmit and receive functionalities are implemented as programs running on specialized microprocessors. In recent years, cognitive radio emerged, which combines a software-defined ...

USAF '17 Budget: "We Simply Can't Afford "What We Need

USAF '17 Budget: "We Simply Can't Afford What We Need" - RF Cafe"It's simple: the Air Force 'simply cannot afford' to buy what it needs to buy over the next decade. The emphasis is the Air Force's own, published on its budget website ahead of the official budget release. 'The Air Force is facing a modernization bow wave in critical nuclear and space programs over the next ten years that, under current funding levels, we simply cannot afford,' the statement says. The fiscal 2017 budget request 'restores some capacity in ..."

Schematics and Parts Lists for Vintage Vacuum Tube Radio Models

Emerson Models 501, 502, 504 Schematic & Parts List, November 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThese are the schematics and parts list for vintage Emerson vacuum tube radio models 501, 502, and 504; Crosley model 56TD-W; and Arvin model 140P as they appeared in the November 1947 issue of Radio News magazine. I scan and post these for the benefit of hobbyists and historians seeking such information. As time goes by, there is less and less likelihood that records of these relics from yesteryear's archives will be made available. As with all historical information, it takes someone with a personal interest in preserving the memories in order to fulfill the mission ...

Windfreak Technologies Launches New Website with E-Commerce

Windfreak Technologies Launches New Website with E-commerce - RF CafeWindfreak Technologies announced today the launch of its new and much-anticipated ecommerce website at www.windfreaktech.com. Now customers can place orders directly on the website for faster service. Windfreak is a leading provider of low cost, high-quality USB-based RF products. The site's simplified look, enhanced content, and mobile device optimization, allows consumers to better interact with Windfreak Technologies online. The new features include a more attractive design, easier navigation enhancement, faster purchase checkout procedures, and mobile-friendly capabilities ...

Injectable Radios to Broadcast from Inside the Body

Injectable Radios to Broadcast from Inside the Body - RF Cafe"Implantable medical devices usually have to trade smarts for size. Pacemakers and other active devices with processors on board are typically about a cubic centimeter in size, and must be implanted surgically. Smaller implantable electronics tend to be passive, lacking computing smarts and the ability to actively broadcast signals, says David Blaauw, a professor of electrical engineer and computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor ..."

Tech News for February 10, 2016

BMW Owners Want Their AM Radio Back

Something New to Worry About: Connected Toy Security

Comcast Eyes Launching Own Mobile Network

Google Boss Becomes Highest-Paid in U.S. (seems awfully Capitalistic)

Hate Your Job But Can't Bring Yourself to Leave? You May Be Too 'Embedded'

New ARRL President Happy to be Part of "Exciting Times for Amateur Radio"

LinkedIn Plunges 43%, $11 Billion Wiped Out: Where Did the Money Go?

LinkedIn Plunges 43%, $11 Billion Wiped Out - RF Cafe"Earlier today, in a strange twist of fate I exchanged emails with Georgetown University professor Salil Mehta regarding Facebook. I replied to Mehta with a comment not regarding Facebook but rather regarding Linked-In: 'Pray tell, what the hell good is it for everyone in the world to link to everyone else in the world?' I had not yet seen the carnage in Linked-In. I looked just now thanks to an email from reader Tibor who writes 'I know it's not quite a FANG, but dang! A $50B company ..."

Please Welcome Isotec as an Advertiser on RF Cafe!

Isotec RF/Microwave Components - RF CafeSince 1996, Isotec has designed, developed and manufactured an extensive line of RF/Microwave connectors, components and filters for wireless service providers. Isotec's product line includes low PIM RF connectors and also low PIM RF components such as power dividers and directional couplers. Frequencies up to 40 GHz and our low PIM products can meet -160 dBc with 2 tones and 20 watt test. ISOTEC offers quick prototyping and, advanced in-house testing. Please visit Isotec today to learn how their products and services can be of use to you.

NI AWR Design Environment V12.02 Release Now Available to Download

NI AWR Design Environment V12.02 Release Now Available to Download - RF CafeNI AWR Design Environment™ V12.02, inclusive of Microwave Office, Visual System Simulator™ (VSS), Analog Office, AXIEM, and Analyst™, has been released and is now available to download. This new release builds upon the load-pull features introduced in V12 as well as offers dozens of improvements to Analyst 3D finite element method electromagnetic simulator and layout and to NI AWR Design Environment modeling, scripting and stability analysis ...

War Assets Administration Advertisement

War Assets Administration Advertisement, February 1947 Radio News - RF CafeUnlike today when resources of all types seem to be endlessly available, during World War II countries needed to collect and recycle much in the way of metal, rubber, cloth, and other basic materials for re-purposing into products used in fighting the enemy. Media coverage of bottle, metal, and tire drives showed children pulling Radio Flyer wagons loaded to overflowing with such items gathered from trash piles and soliciting neighborhood residents for anything that could be spared. Raw materials were not the only type of items needed, however. "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without" was the ...

Notable Science Quote: Carl Sagan on Johannes Kepler

Notable Science Quote: Carl Sagan on Johannes Kepler - RF Cafe"When he found that his long cherished beliefs did not agree with the most precise observations, he accepted the uncomfortable facts, he preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions. That is the heart of science." - Astronomer Carl Sagan referring to Johannes Kepler in the Cosmos series, The Harmony of the Worlds [Episode 3].

Prolific Inventor Artur Fischer Dies at Age 96

Prolific Inventor Artur Fischer Dies at Age 96 - RF CafeFischer Innovative Solutions - RF CafeProlific inventor Artur Fischer, holder of over than 1,100 patents, died on January 27, 2016, at age 96 in his hometown of Waldachtal (Black Forest), Germany. According to his company - Fischer Innovative Solutions - website, Mr. Fischer's success began with the invention of the very familiar nylon screw anchor for inserting into drywall. Most RF Cafe visitors will also be familiar with his company's extensive FischerTechnik line of mechanical construction toy sets. RIP, Mr. Fischer.

Tech Headlines for February 9, 2016

Qorvo's (RFMD) Quarterly Revenue Falls 12% after Demand Pause from Largest Customer

T-Mobile Wins OpenSignal Speed Tests

Consistency of Earth's Magnetic Field History Surprises Scientists

Cautious Expectations for Semi Amid Slow-Growth Global Economy

Glonass Navigation System Reinforced by Soyuz Launch

Chiral Magnetic Effect Generates Quantum Current

China to Launch~40 Beidou Navigation Satellites in 5 Years

China to Launch~40 Beidou Navigation Satellites in 5 Years - RF Cafe"China plans to launch nearly 40 Beidou navigation satellites in the next five years to support its global navigation and positioning network, a spokesperson said Wednesday. By the end of 2018, another 18 satellites will be put into orbit for Beidou's navigation service, said Ran Chengqi, spokesperson of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System and also director of the China Satellite Navigation Office. Ran said the positioning accuracy of the Beidou Navigation ..."

"Frequency" vs. "Amplitude" Modulation

"Frequency" vs. "Amplitude" Modulation, August 1935 Radio-Craft - RF CafeA momentous development that changed the field of radio communications warranted merely a half-page announcement in 1935 when frequency modulation inventor Edwin Armstrong had his article published in Radio-Craft magazine. Spread spectrum modulation / demodulation would be the next big advance. I cannot think of any fundamentally new communications technology since that time, other than maybe the still-in-the-laboratory method of quantum entanglement ('spooky action ...

The Etymology of 'Quintessential'

The Etymology of 'Quintessential' - RF Cafe'Quintessential' is one of those oft-used words of which probably most people do not know (or have forgotten) its etymology, sort of like the phrase 'third rail' when discussing taboo subjects and 'fifth column' when addressing subversives. A quintessential example of something is the ultimate. In his article titled "That's Astronomy, Too" (3/2016 Astronomy), Dr. Jeff Hester reminds readers that Aristotle expanded on the concept of four fundamental elements - earth, air, fire, and water - with a fifth (quint) necessary (essential) element that is incorruptible: ether, or the heavens. We call it astronomy. You're welcome.

Keysight Technologies Announces ADS 2016

Keysight Technologies Announces ADS 2016, Its Latest Advanced Design System Software Release - RF CafeKeysight Technologies today introduced the latest release of its powerful Advanced Design System (ADS) software, ADS 2016. The software improves design productivity and speeds circuit and electromagnetic simulation performance. ADS 2016 provides new RF printed circuit board, laminate, module, and silicon RFIC products, as well as technologies, capabilities and other enhancements. "ADS users represent some of the best and brightest engineers in the industry, with their ...

Tower-Style ICs Could Boost Processor Performance 1,000x

Tower-Style ICs Could Boost Processor Performance 1,000x - RF Cafe"In the age of big data, cloud and the internet of things, our thirst for computing power has never been greater. Many of our readers will be familiar with Moore's law, the observation that predicts a doubling of computing capability every two years, as integrated circuits are packed ever denser with increasingly smaller transistors. This general rule of thumb has held firm over the past number of decades, but the pace of progress is now beginning to slow, with Intel's CEO noting ..."

Tech News for February 8, 2016

Australia's 2-Month 1800-MHz Auction Raises A$543.5M

Get the Skinny on the Smart Manufacturing Revolution

TI's Hack-Resistant RFID Chip  

ARRL Signs New Memorandum of Understanding with American Red Cross

Microwave Engineering Crossword Puzzle for February 7, 2016

Microwave Engineering Crossword Puzzle for February 7, 2016 - RF CafeFor the sake of avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create a new crossword puzzle that has a theme related to RF, microwave, electrical and mechanical engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathematics, 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). Enjoy!

LinkedIn Shares Fall 26% on Lower Profit Forecast

LinkedIn Shares Fall 26% on Lower Profit Forecast - RF Cafe"LinkedIn shares fall 26% on lower profit forecast. LinkedIn shares dropped 26% after the company projected lower than expected profits for the first quarter of 2016. The social media site forecast earnings of $0.55 per share - far below analysts expectations of $0.74 per share. LinkedIn also reported a loss of $8m (£5.4m) for the year, compared with a $3m profit in 2014. LinkedIn ..."

Tech Headlines for February 7, 2016

Single Atom Optical Modulator

Tech-Stock Wreck Destroys $529B This Year

Fastest Light Pulses Show Electrons Are Sluggish

More Schematics and Parts Lists for Vintage Vacuum Tube Radios

Zenith Models 6D014, 6D029 Schematic & Parts List, December 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThere are still many old-timers and beginning nostalgic collectors out there who nurse heirloom and otherwise procured vacuum tube radios - like these for the Hoffman Model A500, Stewart-Warner Model 9003-B, and Zenith Models 6D014, 6D029 - back to health and/or keep them in good health. While it is possible to purchase schematics, parts lists, and service instructions from many different models, there are still some that have escaped the scanners of those publishers. For those kindred spirits in search of such reference materials, I happily scan, clean up as ...

Empower RF Intros Compact Low Profile Low Power Smart RF Amplifiers

Empower RF Systems Intros Compact Low Profile Low Power Series of Smart RF Amplifiers - RF CafeEmpower RF is pleased to announce the release of the Low Power Series of our Next Generation family of RF amplifier systems. Leveraging our patented architecture, these broadband RF and microwave amplifiers are housed in a compact 3U air cooled chassis and are equipped with feature rich software control, making these amplifiers configurable to a wide variety of applications requiring digital modulation, multi-tone / multi-carrier, pulsed, and ...

Moore's Law Goes Post-CMOS

Moore's Law Goes Post-CMOS - RF Cafe"Moore's Law has a long life, but pure vanilla CMOS process technology - not so much. That's the view of Intel's top fab executive, speaking to an audience of chip designers. 'The economics of Moore's Law are sound if we focus on reducing cost per transistor,' William Holt told about 3,000 attendees of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) here. But 'beyond CMOS we'll see changes in everything, probably even in computer architecture ..."

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Carbon-Tet Can Kill

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Carbon-Tet Can Kill, February 1952 Radio & Television News - RF CafeCarbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was a common cleaning agent used commercially through about the early 1950s when it began receiving a lot of bad press due to a linkage to severe kidney damage from exposure even in vapor form. I notice that Mac mentions having read an article about the potential danger of 'carbon-tet' in an edition of Radio & Television News, not coincidentally the publication where the "Mac's Radio Service Shop" series appears. He also mentions a publication called International Projectionist, which included instructions for cleaning movie film with carbon tetrachloride, and had ...

Tech Headlines for February 5, 2016

How to Market to Young Engineers

Could Vietnam Become the Next Silicon Valley?

No Proof That Radiation from X-Rays and CT Scans Causes Cancer

Russian Telcos Under Pressure from Rising Competition and Weakening Economy

ARRL Announces Partnership with RFinder

Report Outlines Cyber Activity from Top U.S. Adversaries

The F-35's Terrifying Bug List 

Samsung's 'Transparent' Safety Trucks Hit the Road

Samsung's 'Transparent' Safety Trucks Hit the Road - RF CafeThis would have been a great April Fool's joke, but alas it's not. The brilliant idea is to mount a wireless camera on the front of trucks and broadcast the image to a large screen display on the back, all to the benefit of a trailing car driver contemplating a lane change. Hackers and lawyers worldwide must be salivating over the opportunities this scheme will offer. Imagine the massive liability lawsuit against the trucking company, camera and display manufacturers, a state DOT that permits such systems, and anyone else in the demonstrable line of responsibility for assisting a driver in making an ultimately bad decision to move into an adjacent lane based on information displayed on the screen!

GPS Error Caused '12 Hours of Problems' for Companies

GPS Error Caused '12 Hours of Problems' for Companies - RF CafeIt is hard to believe this type of error can happen. "Several companies were hit by hours of system warnings after GPS satellites broadcast the wrong time, according to time-monitoring company Chronos. The company observed problems last week, after noticing some GPS time signals were 13 microseconds out. Such a discrepancy is considered severe and several Chronos telecoms clients faced '12 hours' of system errors. Previously, the GPS errors ...

Keysight, X-COM Systems High-Performance RF Streaming Solution

X-COM Systems IQC5255B Has Signal Capture and Playback Bandwidth of 255 MHz - RF CafeX-COM Systems, a subsidiary of Bird Technologies, today introduced the IQC5255B, the latest model in its IQC5000 Series of RF record and playback systems that expands their signal-capture bandwidth to 255 MHz to address the increasingly-demanding requirements for evaluating the performance of electronic warfare, radar, and communication systems. In addition, the IQC5255B combined with the new N9040B UXA Series or N9030B ...

Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones

Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones - RF CafeThis article on the IEEE Spectrum website reports on Dutch police training eagles to snatch drones out of midair. While clever, it does raise the issue of potential harm to the bird by multiple, very sharp-edged, rapidly spinning rotor blades. As usual, reader comments are as good or better than the story itself. To wit, "Chopping up eagles, hawks & falcons in the U.S. is legal, as long as it's a windmill that's doing the chopping," and "It's also legal in the U.S. to turn Eagles into streamers when they fly over solar panel farms." ...

Leaded Components: Reports of Their Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Leaded Components: Reports of Their Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated - RF CafeHere is a short piece written by Nuts & Volts magazine editor Bryon Bergeron on how old-fashion electronic components with leads sticking out of them (vs. surface mount) are still preferred by many do-it-yourselfers. The title, of course, alludes to Benjamin Franklin's famous - and often misquoted (including here) - line regarding rumors of his demise after having not been seen on the streets for a long time.

World's Most Powerful Radio Transmitter

World's Most Powerful Radio Transmitter, February 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIn the early 1950s, the U.S. Navy built what was at the time the world's largest and most powerful radio broadcast transmitter station at the Jim Creek Naval Station on Wheeler Mountain in Washington state. Its 1.2 MW, 24.8-to-35 kHz VLF transmitter (call sign NLK) can reach anywhere in the world, even to submarines. A half wavelength at 24.8 kHz is 19,830 feet. Photos indicate that the transmitter is located in the middle of a dipole arrangement. 'Catenary cables,' if you are unfamiliar with the term, refers to the sagging shape assumed by both the antenna cables and the tower support ...

Tech News for February 4, 2016

Electrons and Liquid Helium Advance Understanding of Zero-Resistance

Spin Dynamics in Atomically Thin Semiconductor

Threats from Russia, China Drive 2017 DoD Budget

Indian Mobile Phone Manufacturing Passes 100 Million Mark

Microsoft Tests Underwater Data Centre

U.S. CEOs Unleash Recession Fears in Earnings Calls

Millimeter-Band CMOS Chip Communicates at 56Gbps

Millimeter-Band CMOS Chip Communicates at 56Gbps - RF Cafe"Tokyo Institute of Technology and Fujitsu Laboratories have jointly developed a CMOS wireless transceiver chip that can process signals at up to 56Gbps, a world's first, across a broad range of frequencies, from 72 to 100 GHz. Millimeter-waveband (30-300 GHz) could bring high-capacity wireless communications in places where fibre-optic networks would be difficult to lay. But designing CMOS integrated circuits running at such high frequencies ..."

Engineering Career & Job Hunting Advice

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for February 3, 2016 - RF CafeThis batch of career advice articles is a mix of actions both employees and employers can take to facilitate finding a new job, improving the environment of the current job, and how retain good employees. There are no articles here on how to dump poor performers; maybe I'll look for some of those types next time ...

- Here's Why You Didn't Get a Raise – and What to

  Do About It

- 101 Career Tips You Can Learn in 3 Seconds

- Is Your LinkedIn Profile Missing Vital Information?

- When It's OK to Tell Your Boss You're Looking for

  a New Job <more>

IPP Intros 0 - 1000 MHz, 50 W and 150 W, 90° Couplers

Innovative Power Products Intros 0 – 1000 MHz, 50 W and 150 W, 90° Couplers - RF CafeInnovative Power Products introduces their latest 90 Degree coupler that operates over the full 20 – 1000 MHz. band. Our new Model IPP-2315 handles 50 watts CW and comes in a Drop-In Style package which is only 1.71 x 1.90 x 0.76 inches. The IPP-2315 will combine two signals up to 50 Watts CW of total output power. This coupler has a remarkable amplitude balance of <± 0.30 dB across the whole band. This design is a 3 port device with an ...

Coronet Model C-2 Schematic & Parts List

Coronet Model C-2 Schematic & Parts List, February 1947 Radio News - RF CafeAt least for now, I am going to only scan and post schematics and parts lists like these three for the Coronet Model C-2, Sparton Models 7-46, 7-46PA, 8-46, 8-46PA, and Stewart-Warner Models 9001-C, D, E, F radios in graphical format, rather than run OCR on them to separate the textual content. There are still many people who restore and service these vintage radios, and often it can be difficult or impossible to find ...

Introduction to RF and Microwave Passive Components

Introduction to RF and Microwave Passive Components - RF CafeIntroduction to RF and Microwave Passive Components, by Richard Wallace. This authoritative new resource provides an overview and introduction to working with RF, microwave, and high frequency components. From transmission lines, antennas, millimeter waves, ferrites, hybrids, power dividers and filters, this book focuses on practical, time-to-market issues to help with projects in the field. Keeping mathematics to a minimum, this comprehensive volume is packed with over 700 illustrations that help clarify key concepts. The reader will gain an in-depth understanding of the special ...

Navy Putting $49.8M into Upgrading EW Test Center

Navy Putting $49.8M into Upgrading EW Test Center - RF Cafe"In another example of the military's growing focus on electronic warfare, the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division has awarded AAI Corp. a $49.8 million contract for test environment system upgrades to the division's Electronic Combat Simulation and Evaluation Laboratories. The contract covers 5 years with work to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., and is expected to be completed by January 2021. The air weapons division, based at ..."

Tech News for February 3, 2016

Safe Harbour: Tech Firms Shudder as Watchdogs Meet

Ukraine Power Grid Attack Is Wake-up Call; U.S. Not Ready

Google SkyBender Drone Project Aims to Deliver 5G Wi-Fi (6G coming soon)

Coupling 2 'Tabletop' Plasma Lasers Form Ultra Powerful Accelerators

Apple Opening EU's 1st IOS App Development Center in Italy

USAF Stands up Space Mission Force to Counter Russia, China

Pasternack Announces Brand New Product Line of VCOs

Pasternack Introduces a New Rackmount Variable Gain RF Amplifier with Performance from 100 MHz to 18 GHz - RF CafePasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter wave products, has just added an all new product line of voltage controlled oscillators covering select bands from 10 MHz to 11 GHz in a variety of package options. This line of voltage controlled oscillators is most commonly deployed in applications such as phase locked loops, frequency synthesizers, electronic jamming equipment and function generators. Pasternack's new voltage controlled oscillators ...

Stratcom Pushes Unified Approach to Joint Spectrum Operations

Stratcom Pushes Unified Approach to Joint Spectrum Operations - RF Cafe"Military officials recently gathered to discuss the proliferation wireless electronic devices of all kinds—from weapons systems to smartphones—and the importance of managing and securing those devices in contested environments. The goal is the development of an Electromagnetic Battle Management system. The January 12-14 sessions included over 70 participants from across the military spectrum—combatant commands, the military services ..."

Congrats to January Book Drawing Winner Gregg B. !

Information Warfare and Electronic Warfare Systems - RF CafeThe January 2016 RF Cafe Book Drawing winner is Gregg B., of California City, CA. Gregg wisely selected Information Warfare and, Electronic Warfare Systems, by Richard A. Poisel (Graciously provided by Artech House). Each month I draw a name from a combination of the people who have ordered RF Cafe items and anyone who enters by sending me an e-mail with "<Month> Book Drawing Entry" in the Subject line (be sure to name the month). In more than 15 years I have never sold, traded, or otherwise given out e-mail addresses.

Notable Tech Quote for February 2, 2016

Aristotle quoting from his writing in Nicomachean Ethics - RF Cafe"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit" - Aristotle quoting from his writing in Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 4; Book I, 7.

Many Thanks to Windfreak Technologies for Continued Support!

Windfreak TechnologiesWindfreak Technologies designs, manufactures, tests and sells high value USB powered and controlled radio frequency products such as RF Signal Generators, RF Windfreak Technologies Synthesizers, RF Power Detectors, RF Mixers, RF Upconverters and RF downconverters. Worldwide customers include Europe, Australia, and Asia. *NEW* SynthHD: 54 MHz - 13.6 GHz USB controlled Dual Channel RF Signal Generator

Sea Water Fountain is RF Antenna 

Sea Water Fountain is RF Antenna - RF CafeThe sea water antenna is not a new idea, as reported here on RF Cafe back in 2009. "Branded SeaAerial, it shoots a column of water into the air to create a conductive plume for transmission and reception. 'A plume of seawater can be used as an antenna if it is insulated, so Mitsubishi Electric developed an insulated nozzle that transmits radio waves to the antenna even when the plume is physically connected to the sea surface. Effective insulation is achieved with ..."

Satellite Package Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Released into Orbit from ISS

Satellite Package Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Released into Orbit from ISS - RF Cafe"A package of two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads has been deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a collaborative Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin research effort. Built by Texas A&M students, AggieSat4 (AGS4) will release UT's Bevo-2 CubeSat in about a month, once it is far enough away from the ISS. Both schools received support from NASA's Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC) for the ..."

Tech Headlines for February 2 2016

GM Forms Team for Self-Driving Electric Cars

Hackers Allegedly Hijack Drone After Massive Breach at NASA

TVs with Microphones, Web-Connected Cars Let Big Brother Track You Everywhere

Many NYC students So Tech-Oriented They Can't Even Sign Their Own Names (I'd label it as stupidity)

Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle Designed to Intercept Nuclear Missiles Tested

Free Engineering Whitepapers and Magazine Subscriptions

Engineering White Papers & Books, Febuary 2016 - RF CafeThe free whitepapers, pamphlets, books, magazines, and chapter examples listed here are a small sample of a lot of new items that are offered for FREE through TradePub. The publishers make them available to qualifying people as a promotional campaign for their full line of offerings. Note: I earn a few pennies (literally) when you download one of these or the many other pubs available, so please help yourself ...

FCC Approves LTE-U Tests

FCC Approves LTE-U Tests - RF Cafe"Qualcomm given permission to evaluate performance of spectrum-sharing technology; WiFi Alliance to submit coexistence plan. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission late last week gave Qualcomm permission to test LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U). The decision paves the way for the mobile chip maker to evaluate the technology's performance using six Verizon base stations in three locations: Oklahoma City, and Cary and Raleigh ..."

Tech News for February 1, 2016

College Kids Spend 1/5 of Class on Phones Instead of Learning

New Record in Nanoelectronics at Ultralow Temperatures

Laid-off IT Workers Muzzled as H-1B Debate Heats Up

49% of Union Members Worked for Government in 2015

U.S. Lacks Full Space Launch Capability Beyond 2019 w/o Russian Engine

'Bijels,' a Complex New Form of Liquid Matter

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