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Homepage Archive - February 2018 (page 3)

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

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See Page 1 | 2 | 3 of the February 2018 homepage archives.

Wednesday 28

Tronex Precision Miniature Pliers

Tronex Precision Miniature Pliers - RF CafeFew 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

Light-Emitting Diodes, July 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeLight-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 ...

Ferroelectrics Tested as a Route to Ultralow-Power Chips

Chipmakers Test Ferroelectrics as a Route to Ultralow-Power Chips - RF Cafe"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 Flexible RF Jumpers Cables for Internal Interconnect

ConductRF Hi-Frequency Flexible RF Jumpers Cables for Internal Interconnect 2/20/2018 - RF CafeConductRF'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 ...

Shannon's Limit, or Opportunity?

Shannon's Limit, or Opportunity? - RF Cafe"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 ..."

Tuesday 27

Non-Line-of-Sight Terahertz Communication Links are Possible

Non-Line-of-Sight Terahertz Communication Links are Possible - RF Cafe"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 Intros mm-Wave Removable End Launch Connectors

Pasternack Introduces a New Line of Millimeter-Wave Removable End Launch Connectors - RF CafePasternack, 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 ...

Scope-Trace Quiz

Scope-Trace Quiz, March 1965 Popular Electronics - RF CafeJust 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 ...

Amateur Astronomer Captures Supernova's First Light

Amateur Astronomer Victor Buso Captures Supernova's First Light - RF CafeAnother 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 Víctor Buso telescope supernova - RF CafeArgentina 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 Announces Keynote Speakers

EDI CON China 2018 Announces Keynote Speakers - RF Cafe

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 ... 

Blimps Provide LTE Network Coverage in Hard-to-Reach Rural Areas

Blimps Provide LTE Network Coverage in Hard-to-Reach Rural Areas - RF Cafe"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 ..."

Monday 26

Bringing a Hidden Superconducting State to Light

Bringing a Hidden Superconducting State to Light - RF Cafe"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 ..."

Understanding Your Triggered Sweep Scope

Understanding Your Triggered Sweep Scope, May 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAll 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 Intros 968 MHz Surface Mount Highpass Filter

KR Electronics Intros 968 MHz Surface Mount Highpass Filter - RF CafeKR 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 ...

Axiom Test Equipment Late February Specials

Axiom Test Equipment Late February 22, 2018 Specials - RF CafeWhy 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 ...

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

Triad RF SystemsTriad 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 ...

World's 1st Superatomic 2-D Semiconductor

World's 1st Superatomic 2-D Semiconductor - RF Cafe"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 expand ..."

Sunday 25

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines February 25

RF Cafe Engineering Crossword Puzzle w/Weekly Headlines February 25, 2018At least 10 clues with an asterisk (*) in this 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 ...

Friday 23

Design and Simulate Phased Arrays with NI AWR Software

Application Example Demonstrates How to Design and Simulate Phased Arrays with NI AWR Software - RF CafePhased-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 ...

Mac's Service Shop: Servicing Without Service Data

Mac's Service Shop: Servicing Without Service Data, February 1974 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere 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 ...

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for February 2018

Engineering Career and Job Hunting Advice for February 2018 - RF CafeU.S. News and World Report published its annual list of the best jobs 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

- Letter to Future Engineers <more>

everythingRF Launches Photonics Resources Website

everythingRF Launches Photonics Resources Website - RF CafeGoPhotonics 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 Debuts New 3 GHz Sector Antennas for WISP Applications

KP Debuts New 3 GHz Sector Antennas for WISP Applications - RF CafeKP 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 ...

FinFETs Shimmy to 5G's Frequencies

FinFETs Shimmy to 5G's Frequencies - RF Cafe"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 ..."

Thursday 22

Church Spires to Boost Mobile Connections

Church Spires to Boost Mobile Connections - RF Cafe"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 ..."

Solid-State Scene: IC Comparators and Op Amps

Solid-State Scene: IC Comparators and Op Amps, May 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIt is hard to imagine a time when integrated circuit (IC) 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 ...

ISSCC: 80 GHz Automotive Radar on One Chip

ISSCC: 80 GHz Automotive Radar on One Chip - RF Cafe"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 ..."

Bluetooth Low-Energy Transceiver Slashes Consumption by over ½

Bluetooth Low-Energy Transceiver Slashes Consumption by over ½ - RF Cafe"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 Fast Switching, High Isolation, SPDT Switch for Wi-Fi, CATV, IoT, 5G

BeRex Intros BSW7221 Fast Switching, High Isolation, Reflective SPDT Switch for Wi-Fi, CATV, IoT and 5G Applications - RF CafeBeRex continues to expand its family of RF switches by announcing the availability of the BSW7221, 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 Edition

The Electronics Handbook, Second Edition - RF CafeSometimes 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 ...

How Chrome Ad Blocking is Already Changing the Web

How Chrome Ad Blocking is Already Changing the Web - RF CafeIt'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 ..."

Wednesday 21

Variable-Capacitance Diodes

Variable-Capacitance Diodes, July 1969 Electronics World - RF CafeIt 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 ...

Washington's Birthday, Not Presidents Day

Washington's Birthday, Not Presidents Day - RF CafeDid 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 never.

How Douglas Engelbart Invented the Future

How Douglas Engelbart Invented the Future - RF CafeThis 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 Tri-Band Omni-Directional Antennas for L, S, C Band

Southwest Antennas Releases New Rugged Tri-Band Omni-Directional Antennas for L, S, and C Band Communication - RF CafeSouthwest 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 Intros Shielded Surface Mount RF Inductors w/Higher Inductance

Gowanda Electronics Intros Shielded Surface Mount RF Inductors with Higher Inductance - RF CafeGowanda 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 ...

FCC Suggested Changes to CBRS Band Rules Could Hinder Progress

FCC Suggested Changes to CBRS Band Rules Could Hinder Progress - RF Cafe"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 ..."

KR Electronics (RF Filters) - RF Cafe
Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation - RF Cafe
RF Superstore (RF Components) - RF Cafe
Windfreak Technologies Frequency Synthesizers - RF Cafe

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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...

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