Few things are more frustrating when working on
miniature electronics that a crappy pair of needle-nose pliers or side cutters. Back
when I worked at Westinghouse building Mil Spec electronics assemblies, the guys in my
area insisted on Snap-On tools even though the cost was about 2x that of other brands.
It didn't take long after starting there to realize they were right. Mine are still used
almost daily - after three decades. One of today's best brands of high quality mini pliers
and tweezers is
Tronex. A look at them makes the quality obvious. Buying in a set
saves you 10-20% off individual prices ...
Light-emitting diodes (LED's) were still relatively
new to the scene of solid state electronics in 1969 when this article was published in
Electronics World Magazine. Two engineers from RCA Electronic Components wrote
to describe the state of the art in LED physics and features. The pair's prediction that
the LED would become "a light source that can be used for indication and display wherever
tungsten-filament, incandescent lamps are used" did not yet have enough insight into
the devices to know that four decades would pass before their prediction would be realized.
LED's have ...
"Academics have high hopes for
ferroelectric materials. Adding a single layer of these materials,
which have unusual electrical properties, to today's transistors could radically decrease
the power consumption of chips. But as engineers presented the latest research on ferroelectrics
at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), in San Francisco in December,
the mood in the room fluctuated between excitement and doubt. Many in industry are skeptical
about the benefits of ferroelectrics ..."
ConductRF's latest innovation is
Hi-Frequency RF Jumper
Cables with 2.92 mm, 2.4 mm or 1.85 mm connectors as standard. This
assemblies use our optimized direct solder attached connectors and our superior double
shielded hi-frequency A61SW flexible cable with shielding effectiveness greater than
−100 dB. These cables are design to support the latest requirements for 5G telecom
applications for cross connecting modules, but can equally be used in any field where
hi-frequency jumper cables are required ...
"For several years now, the submarine network industry
has benefitted from the arrival of coherent-based modems allowing cable operators to
upgrade their submerged network assets to previously unthinkable total information-carrying
capacities. Channel speeds initially increased from 10 Gb/s to 40 Gb/s, then
to 100 Gb/s, and now even higher. Submarine cables deployed many years ago are now
supporting an order of magnitude increase in total
information-carrying capacity. The exact total capacity of an upgraded
cable depends upon its unique ..."
"Researchers at Brown University, have been working
on a new study that showsterahertz data links are possible even without direct line-of-sight
between transmitter and receiver, a promising finding for future ultra-high-capacity
terahertz data networks. Today's cellular networks and Wi-Fi systems rely on microwave
radiation to carry data, but the demand for more and more bandwidth is quickly becoming
more than microwaves can handle. That has researchers thinking about transmitting data
on higher-frequency terahertz waves, which have as much as 100 times ..."
Pasternack, a leading provider of RF, microwave
and millimeter wave products, has just released a new line of high-speed
end launch connectors. These new removable end launch connectors are perfect for
signal integrity measurements, coplanar waveguide, chip evaluations, SERDES, substrate
characterization, 25 GbE and test fixture applications. Pasternack's new series of high-speed
end launch connectors is comprised of four models that provide VSWR as low as 1.10:1 ...
Just yesterday I posted an article titled "Understanding
Your Triggered Sweep Scope," that appeared in the May 1973 issue of Popular Electronics,
so I figured this "Scope-Trace
Quiz" would make a good compliment. It is from a 1965 issue of Popular Electronics.
Driver circuits all include a sinewave source in parallel with a series resistor and
diode, connected to the vertical and horizontal o-scope inputs. The resulting Lissajous
waveforms resemble hands on a clock face thanks to the diode. Shamefully, I only scored
70%, but in my own defense I'll say I didn't take the time to draw them out on paper.
Pay careful attention to the scope ...
Another important discovery by an amateur scientist
has occurred. Mr. Victor Buso was testing a new CCD camera on a 16" personal telescope
from his home in
Argentina when he noticed a star suddenly appeared
in an exposure. It then grew in brightness over successive exposures. He had captured
the very first sighting of a supernova in its initial stage of exploding. Realizing the
gravity of his discovery, he alerted the astronomy community. Astronomical research institutions
worldwide immediately trained their telescopes on the event to make detailed scientific
measurements. Interestingly, this all occurred in September of 2016, but is just now
making headlines everywhere ...
EDI CON China 2018,
a conference and exhibition that brings together engineers working on high-frequency
analog and high-speed digital designs, taking place March 20-22, 2018 at the China National
Convention Center (Beijing, China), announces the lineup for its plenary keynote sessions
at this year's event. EDI CON China 2018 will feature two plenary keynote sessions, one
with industry experts focusing on 5G on March 20th at 9:30AM and one with leading experts
focusing on innovation on March ...
"Boston-based startup Altaeros has demonstrated
a new "SuperTower" to help operators deploy LTE in hard-to-reach rural communities
using tethered aerostats i.e. the industrial versions of blimps. SuperTowers float
at heights six to eight times higher than most cell towers and are a great way to reach
hard to reach rural communities. They offer greater flexibility for site placement, cost
up to 70 percent less to roll out, provide coverage equivalent to a network of 30 conventional
cell towers and have less impact on the environment ..."
"A team of scientists has detected a hidden state
of electronic order in a layered material containing lanthanum, barium, copper, and oxygen
(LBCO). When cooled to a certain temperature and with certain concentrations of barium,
LBCO is known to conduct electricity without resistance, but now there is evidence that
a superconducting state actually occurs above this temperature too.
It was just a matter of using the right tool - in this case, high-intensity pulses of
infrared light - to be able to see it. Reported in a paper published ..."
All oscilloscopes have some ability to trigger
the display sweep on the waveform being measured. Some models provide more options than
other to the user for controlling how the
sweep is triggered - positive-going edge, negative-going edge, high or low repetition
rate, frequency, specific voltage level, from the AC line, or even from an external source.
Without control over the trigger source, repetitive waveforms would be "walking" across
the screen, random signals and very long interval signals would be missed, and complex
signals would be a garbled mess. This article gives an introduction on how o-scope ...
KR Electronics has released part number 3338+,
which is a 968 MHz
highpass filter. The filter is a selective elliptic type filter. The stopband starts
at 885.5 MHz and the passband is maintained to >4 GHz. The filter is supplied in a
miniature surface mount package measuring 0.20" x 0.30" x 0.18". Other frequencies
and bandwidths are available ...
Why rent test equipment from Axiom? Get
test equipment without a capital
budget. Tax benefits - the expense of a rental can be deducted immediately. Protects
you against product obsolescence. Save time and money with quick delivery. Try equipment
out before committing a lot of money to a purchase. Save time and money on maintenance
costs (which are the responsibility of the rental company). Please contact Axiom today
for your rental needs ...
Triad RF Systems designs and manufactures
RF power amplifiers and systems. Triad
RF Systems comprises three partners (hence 'Triad') with
over 40 years of accumulated knowledge of what is required to design,
manufacture, market, sell and service RF/Microwave amplifiers and amplifier systems.
"We view Triad more as a technology partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications
product line." Please check to see how we can help your project
"Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter
- at least, that is the conventional picture. In a new study, researchers have fabricated
the first superatomic
2-D semiconductor, a material whose basic units aren't atoms but
superatoms - atomic clusters that exhibit some of the properties of one or more individual
atoms. The researchers expect that the new material is just the first member of what
will become a new family of 2-D semiconductors whose superatomic structures will greatly
At least 10 clues with an asterisk (*)
technology-themed crossword puzzle are pulled from this past week's (2/19 - 2/23)
"Tech Industry Headlines" column on the RF Cafe homepage (see the Headline Archives page
for help). For the sake of all the avid cruciverbalists amongst us, each week I create
a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words from my custom-created related
to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. Enjoy ...
Phased-array antennas are becoming popular for
a variety of applications such as automotive driver assist systems, satellite communications
and advanced radar and will be key components of upcoming 5G communications systems.
This application example provides a brief overview of the simulation capabilities within
NI AWR Design Environment, specifically Visual System Simulator™ (VSS), that address
the complexity and cost issues involved in developing communications systems based ...
Here is an area of electronics that will be foreign
soil to most Gen-Xers and Millennials -
troubleshooting your malfunctioning radio, phone, television, garage door opener,
kitchen appliance, etc. Admittedly, most modern devices are designed and priced to be
replaced rather than repaired. Relatively cheap product replacement and service plans
keep them going for a year or three until they are obsoleted by newer devices with whiz-bang
additional features. However, there are many of us still around who are born to tinker
and are too cheap to bear the thought of throwing something away before at least attempting
to fix it. I have written often about how many ...
U.S. News and World Report published its annual
list of the
for the coming year. At the top is software developer, which is no surprise. The nice
thing about software is that just about everyone has a shot at being "famous" through
independent development because the tools needed range in cost from free to really cheap.
The Internet and app stores provide the marketing venue - also free. Find out where electrical
engineering ranks in the list ...
The 100 Best Jobs for 2018
Survey Reports That Engineers Salaries Are Up
to Future Engineers <more>
GoPhotonics is an online product discovery platform
for the Photonics sector. They list complete product catalogs of lasers, laser diodes
and other photonics products from the leading manufacturers and make them searchable
by specification. The parametric search tools on
GoPhotonics have been developed
for each category based the parameters that users would need to specify when looking
for a product in the specific category. Laser Systems & Modules: We have over 10,000
Products listed from more than 200 manufacturers. Users can narrow down on lasers based ...
KP Performance Antennas, a manufacturer of WISP
antennas and accessories, announced today that it has released new high performance,
3 GHz sector antennas to its portfolio for use in WISP networks. KP's expanded line
of 3 GHz sector antennas consists of four new models including the
KP-3SX4-65 quad-port 18 dBi sector, the KP-3S3S-65SA which features
two 3 GHz antennas in one radome, the KP-3DP65S-45 18 dBi Dual Polarized sector,
and the KP-3DP120S-45 3 GHz sector which is specially designed for LTE applications ...
"Engineers at Purdue University and GlobalFoundries
have gotten today's most
advanced transistors to vibrate at frequencies that could make 5G
phones and other gadgets smaller and more energy efficient. The feat could also improve
CPU clocks, make wearable radars, and one day form the basis of a new kind of computing.
They presented their results today at the IEEE International Solid-States Circuits Conference,
in San Francisco. 5G transceivers need two key components: oscillators and filters. Oscillators
produce the frequency ..."
"Church spires across the UK will be used to boost digital connectivity
in rural areas following an agreement between the Government and the Church of England.
The accord, signed by the the National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England,
the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) encourages the Church of England to use its
buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and WiFi connectivity for local ..."
It is hard to imagine a time when integrated circuit
comparators were a big deal, but as recently as 1973 when this article appeared in
Popular Electronics, they were new to a designer's bag of tricks. Prior to an
IC solution, comparators needed to be constructed from opamps and a handful of peripheral
biasing components. As with other integrated circuits, not only does the overall price
go down, but so does circuit board real estate, cost, temperature variability, and electrical
parameter variance between devices. The first comparator circuit I remember designing
was a temperature sensor that went in an oven used for curing the potting ...
"Texas Instruments said 'yes' in an ISSCC paper
devoted to a single-chip 76-81 GHz frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar transceiver in 45 nm CMOS, which includes three transmitters,
and four receivers with integrated ADCs. To support system-level functional safety, the
design also features autonomous fault monitoring of the RF chain. The fast-chirp FMCW
signal is generated in a closed-loop 19-20.25 GHz fractional-N frequency synthesizer,
fed from a high frequency reference clock via ..."
"Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology
have announced a
Bluetooth Low-Energy transceiver with the lowest ever power consumption,
designed for use in the popular 2.4 GHz band. The breakthrough set to accelerate widespread
adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) applications was developed by a group of researchers
led by Kenichi Okada of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. When transmitting, the
transceiver consumes 2.9 milliwatts (mW) and when receiving, it consumes ..."
BeRex continues to expand its family of RF switches
by announcing the availability of the
a high isolation, SPDT RF switch with high linearity, low insertion loss, and a very
fast, 90 to 135 ns, switching time making it ideal for demanding wireless switching
applications such as Wi-Fi, CATV IoT and 5G applications. Using a single 2.7 to 3.6 V
supply voltage, the BSW7221 switch provides a wide 1 to 6000 MHz frequency range ...
The Electronics Handbook, Second
Sometimes it's still nice to have a hard copy reference
book on hand rather than clicking through a PDF file. This 2640-page, 2nd edition of
The Electronics Handbook, published by CRC, is such a book.
Peruse the "Look Inside" page samples and you will see it is like a compilation of undergraduate
textbooks plus table, charts, and graphs chock full of data. Analog, digital, RF and
electric power topics are included. Check it out ...
It's getting harder for companies to have their
online advertisements seen by potential customers thanks to the popularity of ad blockers.
Now, Google is building the ability into its own browser. "Google's browser doesn't go
as far as full-on
ad blockers and won't always stop ad trackers. But already it's cut
ads on 42% of websites it's tangled with. What was once unthinkable - that Chrome would
block online ads, Google's lifeblood - becomes reality on Thursday. That's when Chrome
takes a significant step in the direction that hundreds of millions of us already have
gone by installing
ad blockers. Chrome stops far ..."
It appears that maybe Abraham Lincoln had a son
who was an electrical engineer working at Motorola Semiconductor back in the 1960's.
Put glasses on Honest Abe (I did) and author Irwin Carroll's a spitting image of the
Great Emancipator. Seriously though, this article is a great introduction to the fabrication
and use of variable
capacitance (aka varicap and varactor) diodes. They have been - and still are - used
widely for electrically tunable oscillator and filter circuits. Topics such as temperature
and figure of merit ("Q") are discussed as well. This edition of Electronics World
ran a series ...
Did you think that holiday celebrated on the 3rd
Monday in February is "Presidents Day?" I assumed so given the prevalence of "Presidents
Day." Well, it maybe so for some states, but the Office of Personnel Management's calendar
still lists it as "Washington's Birthday." The
White House put out a story about it on Monday. Better late than
This article on computer mouse inventor
Douglas Engelbart appeared in the January 2018 issue of Smithsonian
magazine. I like the opening paragraph by author Valarie Landau, who happened upon a
1968 film while researching for a documentary. "On December 8, 1968, Douglas Engelbart
sat in front of a crowd of 1,000 in San Francisco, ready to introduce networked computing
to the world. Engelbart was no Steve Jobs. He was a shy engineer with no marketing background.
His goal was to speak directly to other engineers, showing them that they could use computers
in new ways to solve complex ..."
Southwest Antennas, an industry leader in rugged
RF / Microwave antenna
and accessory products, has released a new line of tri-band antenna solutions designed
to cover several popular sub-bands across the L, S, and C Bands. These omni-directional
antennas are tuned for high performance operation in the following frequencies: 1.70
- 1.85, 2.2 - 2.5, and 4.4 - 5.0 GHz. For users who expect to utilize these bands or
deploy multi-band radio systems, tri-band antennas can ...
Gowanda Electronics, a designer and manufacturer
of precision electronic components for radio frequency and power applications, announces
the expansion of its SML32S series of wirewound, shielded, molded
RF surface mount inductors in the
"1210" style. This expansion increases the number of individual parts in the series by
more than 20% and broadens the inductance range by adding values from 120 µH to 470 µH.
The expansion was done in order to address the market need for higher inductance shielded
inductors in RF applications ...
"The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) has approached
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its discontent over the proposed
changes in the CBRS band rules. According to the DSA, the changes to the Priority Access
License (PAL) and other rules, first requested by petitioners and now proposed by the
Commission, are both unnecessary and counterproductive to enabling the fullest use of
the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band. In its NPRM, the FCC proposed changes
which included increasing the length of license terms from three ..."