There's not a much better way to finish up
a hard week at the office than reading a new episode of John T. Frye's "Mac's
Radio Service Shop." Mac McGregor and his trusty sidekick technician Barney tackle
nearly every issue associated with an electronics sales and service establishment
back in the heyday of radios and televisions. You might recognize the title of "Pride
and Prejudice" as being borrowed from Jane Austin's classic, which, to summarize,
deals with, well, pride and prejudice based on one's social status, and how it results
in lost opportunities. To be honest, I have not read the book (Melanie's the designated
book reader in our household) but I did see the movie version starring Keira Knightly.
Anywho, you'll need to read the second half of the story to get to the actual pride
and prejudice part ...
This is part 3 of a 5-part series of articles
by Farron Dacus. You can access this and the previous two articles and "Noise and its Shaping in Ultra-Low-Noise Synthesizer
Design" on the MW&RF website. "This third part in our low-noise synthesizer
design series is the medium-length online version. In print are the abridged versions,
while full-length versions are available at
Part 1 (Dec. 2018) covered basic design for functionality and stability. Part 2
(Feb. 2019) covered the many noise sources in the synthesizer outside of the actual
synthesizer IC. This third article looks into synthesizer IC noise, the closed-loop
shaping of noises, and related issues such as optimum bandwidth. Here, a key metric
for characterizing synthesizer IC noise is developed. This material also leads directly
to analysis of optimum loop bandwidth ..."
Antennas have been deployed in difficult environments
using many ingenious methods over the years both by professionals and amateurs.
The process typically involves first propelling a lightweight string or wire across
and/or up to a supporting structure (a tower, tree, building, whatever) and then
using that lead line to draw the antenna and its accompanying coaxial or twin lead
cable into its final position. Sometimes simply tying a line to a rock and tossing
it over a tree branch does the trick, but usually deployment requires a more powerful
launch such as a a bow and arrow or even a model rocket. Many years ago R/C
Modeler magazine reported on a large radio controlled airplane (Senior Telemaster)
that towed a lead line across a wide gulch ...
Skyworks Solutions, an innovator of high performance
analog semiconductors connecting people, places and things, today unveiled its newest
family of mini circulators for
5G infrastructure. Circulators, which play a critical role in protecting RF
elements from excessive signal reflection, help eliminate performance risks and
safeguard vital equipment. Given footprint constraints in 5G, solution size is also
a key factor. Leveraging proprietary materials and processes, Skyworks' ultra-small
circulators occupy up to 50 percent less board space than competitive products without
compromising functionality - making them ideal for 5G massive MIMO and small cell
applications. Skyworks' mini circulator family represents just one segment of the
company's expansive 5G infrastructure ...
memristor mimics the activity of neural networks, but can be
thrown into water and dissolved if data is at risk of falling into the wrong hands.
Neurons are remarkable. Simply by firing in certain patterns and at particular frequencies
in concert with one another, they endow us with something incredibly valuable: memory.
It's no wonder that scientists have long sought to mimic neural networks, which
are both compact and efficient, with electronic devices. One way is with the development
of memristors, devices that retain a 'memory' of the direction and amount of electrical
Rohde & Schwarz develops, produces and
test & measurement, information and communications
technology. Focus is on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity,
secure communications, monitoring and network testing. Markets serviced are wireless,
the automotive industry, aerospace and defense, industrial electronics, research
and education, broadcast and media network operations, consumer electronics, cybersecurity
for business and governments, communications and security solutions for critical
infrastructures and the armed forces, reconnaissance equipment for homeland and
external security, and much more ...
According to the Oxford English dictionary,
the definition of an anagram is: a word or phrase made by using the letters of another
word or phrase in a different order; e.g. "Neat" is an anagram of "a net." Therefore,
the title of this puzzle appears to be misnamed. Sometimes an anagram crossword
puzzle is created in which the clues are in the form of anagrams, but even that
is not the case here. With any due apologies to author Comstock, I hereby re-title
this a "High-Fidelity
Crossword Puzzle." The "high-fidelity" part is entirely appropriate since it
refers to the musical nature of the clues and words. As mentioned previously, the
late 1950s through the early 1980s was a major era for interest in high fidelity
radio receivers and playback gear. It represented the transition from powerful vacuum
tube amplifiers to hybrid amplifiers, clear through to high power transistorized
amplifiers. "Man caves" of the day were outfitted with the latest ...
MFJ Enterprises, probably the largest manufacturer
of Ham radio equipment, is for a limited time offering a free downloadable copy
of their e−book entitled, "73 Dipole and Long Wire Antennas." While on the MFJ website,
you might want to take a look at the vast variety of products offered, including
VSWR meters, high power attenuators and terminations, frequency counters, field
strength meters, filters, amplifiers, EMI/RFI suppressors, antennas, antenna analyzers,
coaxial switches, tuners, panel meters, and much more. While some stuff is specific
to Ham bands, most can be used across very wide bandwidths ...
At VidaRF, the phrase 'Providing Simple
Solutions for Complex Connections' is more than just a slogan – it's a mindset,
a mission, and a driving force behind everything we do. Their pledge is to design
and distribute high performance, cost effective
RF Microwave products to fit each customer's unique applications.
Please visit VidaRF today to see how their lines of Attenuators & Terminations,
Directional Couplers, Power Dividers, Coaxial Connectors, and Circulator & Isolators
can be of use to your project. "When the standard just will not do, VidaRF has the
solution for you!" ...
I learned something from this poem...
or maybe I re-learned one of the many things taught to me that have been forgotten
- the definition of a vinculum. I admit to having to look up the word in the dictionary
after seeing it. How about you? Do you know what a vinculum is? A vinculum is a
horizontal line placed over a number or numbers to indicating repeating groups (7/11=0.63), or for negation in Boolean equations
(d=a-b+c), and it is also the dividing
line between the numerator and the denominator; e.g. (½) ...
"Engineers at Tufts University have 3D printed
metamaterials with unique
microwave and optical properties that go beyond,
what can be achieved by only using conventional optical or electronic materials.
The fabrication methods developed by the researchers demonstrate the potential of
3D printing to expand the range of geometric designs and material composites that
lead to devices with novel optical properties. In one case, the researchers drew
inspiration from the compound eye of a moth to create a hemispherical device that
can absorb electromagnetic signals ..."
Copper Mountain Technologies
develops innovative and robust RF test and measurement solutions for engineers all
over the world. Copper Mountain's extensive line of unique form factor
Vector Network Analyzers
include an RF measurement module and a software application which runs on any Windows
PC, laptop or tablet, connecting to the measurement hardware via USB interface.
The result is a lower cost, faster, more effective test process that fits into the
modern workspace in lab, production, field and secure testing environments ...
Parenthetically mentioned in this introductory
article on lasers is a "Mie" type particle. At first I thought maybe it was a typo,
but in fact it refers to
Mie scattering, which is the dispersion of electromagnetic waves by isolated
spheres, stratified spheres, infinite cylinders, or other geometries where radial
and angular dependence are independent. Two simple experiments are described for
demonstrating light scattering and absorption similar to what occurs in the atmosphere.
Whereas procuring the 2.5 mW laser source and to a lesser extent suitable light
meter would have been difficult and expensive in 1971 when this was published in
Radio-Electronics magazine, today's cheap equipment puts them within the
budgets of almost anyone. Many of the <$10 cat toy lasers provide plenty of power ...
Altum RF, a supplier of high-performance millimeter-wave
to digital semiconductor solutions for next generation markets and applications,
Greg Baker as its Chief Executive Officer. As founder and CEO, Mr. Baker brings
more than 25 years' experience to Altum RF in the RF and microwave semiconductor
industry, including component design, business development, marketing and sales.
With his extensive experience, Mr. Baker provides a clear understanding of product
development, operations and supply chain management, customer partnerships, sales
channels and strategic marketing. Most recently with MACOM as Senior Vice President
and General Manager, RF & Microwave BU, Mr. Baker also previously served as
It is not often that a feature article in
QST magazine is devoted to a topic totally
unrelated to amateur radio. In fact, a cannot recall another instance in the 10+
years I have been a subscriber. The May issue's "The Windsor Mystery Hum" is not about an unidentifiable
encroachment in the radio spectrum, but an audible and feelable vibration - in the
sub-100 Hz range - believed to be emanating from a steel mill on Zug Island
in Canada, across from Detroit. It began sometime around 2011, and no government
will divulge its source. As you might expect, lots of conspiracy theories exist,
but to date no confirmation of the origin. This is completely different from the
10 Hz "woodpecker" noise heard on HF radio receivers that has been tied to
Duga over-the-horizon (OTH) radar.
NI/AWR has an app note on the Aerospace &
Defense Technology website enentitled, "An Integrated Framework for Complex Radar System
Design." "Modern radar systems are complex and depend heavily on advanced signal
processing algorithms to improve their detection performance. At the same time,
the radio front-end must meet challenging specifications with a combination of available
components, implementation technologies, regulatory constraints, requirements from
the system, and signal processing. This application example shows how NI's Visual
System Simulator™ (VSS) system simulation software enables radar system architects
and RF component manufacturers to design, validate, and prototype a radar system .."
"The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded
program, Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR), and a consortium of 29
industry partners, have now completed the first phase of deployment of an advanced
wireless research testbed with end-to-end programmability of radio and edge compute
resources in Salt Lake City, Utah. It offers researchers the ability to test groundbreaking
communications technologies and to develop applications in a wide variety of virtual
network environments. The announcement marks the successful completion of the first
phase of a longer-term effort by the POWDER-RENEW team which consists of researchers
from the University of Utah's
Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental
Research (POWDER) ...
ERZIA serves critical aerospace and defense
missions by designing and manufacturing RF, microwave,
and mm-wave amplifiers, integrated assemblies operating from low frequencies
up to 100 GHz, and by providing high reliable satellite communications. The
company was founded in 2002 to become a worldwide reference of advanced engineering,
performance, reliability and ruggedness. Their catalogue of standard amplifier modules
comprises more than 100 different models, having also a high capacity of customization
for amplifiers and integrated assemblies. Some of products have space heritage and
are used in aerospace, commercial, military and scientific systems, having a wide
range of final applications ...
Note that in the obituary of sorts for
Philo Taylor Farnsworth, which appeared in the June 1971 edition of Radio-Electronics
magazine, it specifically states that he was responsible for the development of
the electronic television system, as opposed to the simple television system. That
is because the earliest television schemes were as much - if not more - mechanical
than electronic (see "Television Forges Ahead" in the March 1930 issue of Radio
News). Philo invented the "image dissector" detector tube used in his video
camera. Reconstructing the image with a cathode ray tube is a simple matter compared
to first detecting the image. After his company was swallowed up by International
Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) ...
Sam Benzacar, of RF and microwave filter
company Anatech Electronics, has written as part of his March newsletter an article
Is Coming to the Cellular Industry," with the AESA being an Active Electronically-Scanned
Array. Sam keeps abreast of all the latest news in the wireless world, which is
not unexpected given his company's long-time involvement in helping others make
their products play well together in an increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum
- both licensed and unlicensed. Other news includes the FCC's licensing of the 95 GHz,
mm-wave band, Japan's first 8K (7680 × 4320-pixel) TV broadcasts, and Bluetooth
devices being powered from ambient energy - assuming it's inside in front of a transmitting
radar antenna ;-) ...
Transient Specialists specializes in
EMC test equipment rentals
and carries a complete line of ESD guns, surge immunity test equipment, and EFT
generators. Rentals available for military (Mil-Std 461), automotive (ISO 7637),
and commercial (IEC 61000-4) EMC testing. Flexible terms, accredited calibrations
and technical support on EMC testing equipment offered. Equipment consists of top
EMC Test System manufacturers, including Teseq, Thermo Keytek, EM Test and EMC Partner ...
Have you ever heard of a
'globar' resistor? They have been around since the early days of radio and were
used, among other things, to protect vacuum tube heater elements from burning up
due to high inrush current when first turned on. Globars have a negative temperature
coefficient (NTC) of resistance so that, opposite of standard carbon and metal film
type resistors, they exhibit a higher resistance when cold than when hot. Mac and
Barney discuss their use in this episode of "Mac's Radio Service Shop." You might
be more familiar with the name 'thermistor' for such devices, but globars are unique
elements in that their construction from non-inductive ceramic material makes them
useful at high power levels and high frequencies ...
Planar Monolithic Industries (PMI) recently
introduced seven - count 'em, 7 - new products in their extensive line of RF and
microwave components. Included are a successive detection log video amplifier (SDLVA)
for 0.1 to 2.0 GHz; a 18 GHz, 12-BIT, vector phase shifter; a 5-channel switched
filter bank for 100 MHz - 18.0 GHz; a SP16T, absorptive pin diode switch for 0.1
to 20.0 GHz; a 2-channel switch filter bank; an SDLVA that operates at 200 - 2500
MHz; and a 7-way power divider for range 328 - 335.5 MHz. Contact PMI today for
more information ...
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. PA, LNA,
bi-directional, and frequency translating amplifiers are available, in formats including
tower mount, benchtop, rack mount, and chassis mount. "We view Triad more as a technology
partner than a vendor for our line-of-sight communications product line." Please
check to see how they can help your project ...
"Northrop Grumman has successfully integrated
the advanced AN/APG-83 SABR system onto multiple configurations of F−16 aircraft
and is now taking the next step in expanding to additional platforms, including
the U.S. Air Force (USAF) B−52H Stratofortress and B−1B Lancer bombers as well as
the U.S. Marine Corps F/A−18C/D Hornet strike fighter. Northrop Grumman's
SABR system design leverages proven, fifth-generation
Active Electronically Scanned Array radar capabilities of the AN/APG−77 on the F−22
Raptor and the AN/APG-81 on the F−35 Lightening II. SABR provides a reliable, cost-effective,
off-the-shelf, low-risk radar upgrade solution for multiple platforms ..."
Following the previous month's introduction
for Electronics," which covered degreasers, cleaners, and polishing agents,
author Lon Cantor in the May issue of Popular Electronics wraps up with
coolers, lubricants, and special agents (no, not spies) such as protective and insulating
coatings. He devotes a lot of space to freeze spray for use in troubleshooting problems
caused by overheating circuit components. In the days before comprehensive computer
aided design environments that can identify heat concentrations with detailed temperature
maps and design rules checks (DRC), predicting potential overheating sources in
both normal operation and during impending failure was much more difficult. Running
a large series of worst case scenarios ...
Driverless and self-driving cars are on the
road today in various stages of experimentation. Recent headlines about the Boeing
737-Max automation catastrophe has me a bit dubious about the sanity of handing
the controls over to robots, but I suppose it is inevitable. In that case the AI
evidently wrested control from the backup human pilots. Scary. Radar, lidar, and
sonar are all technologies key to automotive automation. Mark Elo has a good article
on the MW&RF website entitled, "Overcome mmWave Automotive Radar Testing Challenges." He begins:
"With automotive radar moving to higher frequencies, the need exists for the right
test solutions such as high-bandwidth oscilloscopes and versatile arbitrary waveform
generators. Recent regulation changes have allowed the automotive radar market to
shift from the 24 GHz band to the 77 GHz band, introducing a range of
new design and test challenges ..."
Rohde & Schwarz has published four new
application notes on the subjects of
Digital Pre-Distortion, Envelope, Outphasing and
Doherty Transmitter. "RF design is becoming increasingly difficult, as frequency
and bandwidths increase. Be it power amplifier, or RF Frontends, power consumption
and energy efficiency is a key challenge that increases at higher frequencies. In
this resource library, we have collected a few pieces that address power consumption
in power amplifier (PA), power efficiency for RF Frontends (RFFE) and wideband signal
generation and analysis in general. Learn about test solutions for Envelope Tracking
and Digital Pre-Distortion, or Envelope, Outphasing & Doherty Transmitter tests ..."
I challenge you to find a calculus lesson
in a modern-day electronics magazine. In 1932, not all that long after Isaac Newton
developed differential calculus (that's a joke), Radio News magazine ran
a series of "Mathematics
in Radio" articles that included, among other topics, a few lessons in calculus.
Anyone who has taken college-level science or engineering courses knows how indispensible
calculus is in working out many circuit, physics, and chemistry problems. My appreciation
for calculus came when I realized that it actually allowed me to derive the kinds
of standard equations that are commonly seen in lower level applications. For instance,
if you needed to know the volume of a sphere, you could look up the familiar Volume = 4/3 π r3
formula, or you could write the equation ...
"Engineers have developed a novel concept
for rapid data transfer via optical fiber cables. In current systems, a laser transmits
light signals through the cables and information is coded in the modulation of light
intensity. The new system, a
semiconductor spin laser, is based on a modulation
of light polarization instead. The study demonstrates that spin lasers have the
capacity of working at least five times as fast as the best traditional systems,
while consuming only a fraction of energy. Engineers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
have developed a novel concept for rapid data transfer via optical fiber cables.
In current systems, a laser transmits light signals through the cables and information
is coded in the modulation of light intensity ..."
Providing full solution service is our motto,
not just selling goods. RF & Connector Technology has persistently pursued a
management policy stressing quality assurance system and technological advancement.
From your very first contact, you will be supported by competent RF specialists;
all of them have several years of field experience in this industry allowing them
to suggest a fundamental solution and troubleshooting approach. Coaxial RF connectors,
cable assemblies, antennas, terminations, attenuators, couplers, dividers, and more.
Practically, we put priority on process inspection at each step of workflow as well
as during final inspection in order to actualize "Zero Defects ..."
Since 2000, I have been creating custom
technology-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure
of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. The jury is out on whether or
not this type of mental challenge helps keep your gray matter from atrophying in
old age, but it certainly helps maintain your vocabulary and cognitive skills at
all ages. A database of thousands of words has been built up over the years and
contains only clues and terms associated with engineering, science, physical, astronomy,
mathematics, chemistry, etc. You will never find a word taxing your knowledge of
a numbnut soap opera star or the name of some obscure village in the Andes mountains.
You might, however, encounter the name of a movie star like Hedy Lamarr or a geographical
location like Tunguska, Russia, for reasons which, if you don't already know, might
surprise you ...