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Homepage Archive - December 2019 (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

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See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the December 2019 homepage archives.

Friday 6

Block that Ghost!

Block that Ghost!, January 1948 Radio-Craft - RF CafeIt is probably safe to say that the vast majority of cellphone users never consider that their cherished devices are fundamentally radios, and with that capability they would be merely powerful PDAs. Even less likely to be thought about is that as wireless devices, an antenna is needed to establish communications. Up until the early 2000s, most cellphones had some form of obvious antenna protruding from the case - either an extendable type or a molded stub around an internal antenna. Operational frequencies at the time were primarily in the 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz bands ,with 1/4 wavelengths of about 3.5 inches, 3.3 inches, 1.6 inches, and 1.5 inches, which was convenient given the physical size of phones. Always seeking to develop new features to outclass the competition, manufacturers decided ...

Software Engineer II Wanted by Cobham Mission Systems

Software Engineer II Wanted by Cobham Mission Systems - RF CafeCobham is seeking a Software Engineer II. As a growing organization in both commercial and defense aerospace markets, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop embedded electronic solutions for Cobham's industry leading safety and mission critical products and test equipment. The position is located in Davenport, IA. Key Responsibilities: Participate as a member of an integrated product development team for software/hardware architecture and trade study development of high reliability aerospace applications. Participate as a member of an integrated product development team to optimize designs and verify embedded system performance. Design, implement, integrate, and test embedded software in accordance ...

Carl & Jerry: TV Antennas

Carl & Jerry: TV Antennas, August 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIn this episode of Carl & Jerry, the teens ponder a question posed by Jerry's mother upon looking down their hillside home: "[L]ook at all those TV antennas down there. Hardly two of them are alike; yet they're all intended to receive the same stations. How come there are so many different kinds?" That was all the pair needed to set them off in an investigation to determine the answer. Being avid electronics and RF hobbyists and experimenters, they discuss the principles of how antennas work, various types of transmission lines, impedance matching, antenna types, bandwidth, and other topics relevant to the challenge. As with most Carl & Jerry stories, the intent is to educate the reader. As a bonus, I posted two of the electronics-related comic panels that were in this edition of Popular Electronics ...

Custom MMIC Intros Sub-Harmonic Mixer Product Category

Custom MMIC Intros New Sub-Harmonic Mixer Product Category - RF CafeCustom MMIC is excited to announce a new product category, adding to its growing list of high performance MMICs, with the introduction of three new GaAs Sub-Harmonic Mixers. The CMD303, CMD310/C3 MMICs cover frequency ranges of 13-21 GHz and 20-32 GHz respectively, with excellent conversion loss and isolation. Sub-harmonic mixers are driven by a local oscillator (LO) signal that is an integer fraction, or sub-harmonic, of the desired LO frequency. This eases the design, layout and cost of the LO source for microwave frequency designs. These new mixers operate with a x2 LO, meaning the user needs to provide the mixer with an LO at half the desired mixing frequency ...

Demystifying 5G: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing

Demystifying 5G: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing - RF CafeRohde & Schwarz has a new video presentation available entitled, "Demystifying 5G – 5G NR Coexistence with LTE Based on Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)." R&S Technology Manager Andreas Roessler steps through the highlights in a little over 18 minutes. More detail can be found on the R&S website. "5G New Radio (NR) supports the frequency range 1 (FR1) from 410 MHz to 7.125 GHz that is already intensively utilized by 4G LTE - in particular those frequency bands organized as paired spectrum (FDD). Traditionally, selected frequency bands would be cleared from LTE to be deployed by 5G NR. To avoid the high costs associated with this option, 5G NR added dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) that enables to share the same frequency band with LTE ..."

Electro-Photonics Offering RF & Microwave Products

Electro-PhotonicsElectro-Photonics is a global supplier of RF & Microwave components. Their products include SMT hybrid and directional couplers, wire bondable passive components, mounting tabs, filters, transmission lines, and very useful test boards for evaluating components (spiral inductors, single-layer capacitors). The Electro-Photonics team can support your small R&D design requirements with RF & Microwave test fixtures and save you valuable design and characterization time. Please take a moment to visit Electro-Photonics' website and see how your project might benefit.

Thursday 5

A Guide to Home Study Education in Electronics

A Guide to Home Study Education in Electronics, September 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeWhen I ran across this "A Guide to Home Study Education in Electronics" article in a 1972 issue of Popular Electronics, I did a double-take upon seeing the author's name. This author wrote pieces for National Radio Institute (NRI) home study courses like the one appearing in a 1971 issue of NRI Journal, which supports his qualification for penning this particular article. He has appeared in '73 and Ham Radio magazines since the 1970s. His name still regularly shows up in the bylines of articles in Electronic Design, Microwaves & RF, and Nuts and Volts. Many books have been published in his name including Principles of Electronic Communication Systems, Handbook of Serial Communications Interfaces, and even one entitled How to Become a VP. At this point in time, there are not a whole lot of people who could claim the accomplishments in terms of having been so widely read over so many years by laymen, hobbyists, students, and professionals ...

3D EM Simulation of Antennas Installed on an Aircraft

3D EM Simulation of Antennas Installed on an Aircraft - RF CafeThe IEEE and will present a free 1-hour webinar on December 10th, at noon (12:00 pm) ET, entitled, "3D Electromagnetic Simulation of Antennas Installed on an Aircraft." Says the registration page: "Learn about the importance of using a range of methods in the 3D electromagnetic (EM) simulation of installed antenna performance. 3D EM simulation is a common practice for antenna designers and analysts. The variety in antenna topologies and design specifications necessitate a range of simulation algorithms to ensure an efficient or even feasible solution is available. This range of technology becomes even more important as antennas' operation in the installed environment is considered ..."

Free E-Book: The Next Generation of Students

The Next Generation of Students - RF CafeDownload this free e-book entitled, "The Next Generation of Students." Changing student demographics can pose big challenges to higher education institutions. The ability to adapt is key to creating a place where everyone can succeed. This report from Inside Higher Ed dives deep into what these changes mean for your campus and how technology can help you meet the needs of a new generation of students.

Senior Electrical Engineer Wanted by Cobham Mission Systems

Senior Electrical Engineer Wanted by Cobham Mission Systems - RF CafeCobham is seeking a Senior Electrical Engineer for electronics design of aerospace life support and air-to-air refueling equipment. As a growing organization in both commercial and defense aerospace markets, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop embedded electronic solutions for Cobham's industry leading safety and mission critical products and test equipment. The position is located in Davenport, IA. Key Responsibilities: Develops and qualifies highly reliable electronic designs for military and commercial aerospace applications Develops detailed digital electronic and embedded microcontroller circuits and schematics including the specification for components Leads and participates in Design Reviews for compliance with engineering principles ...

1st Galileo-Enabled Autonomous Vehicle Demonstrated in France

1st Galileo-Enabled Autonomous Vehicle Demonstrated in France - RF Cafe"The University of Technology of Compiègne, France, has hosted a live demonstration of the first autonomous vehicle to use the Galileo GNSS constellation. As part of this demonstration, a Renault ZOE electric car has been autonomously driven on tracks and on public roads in a world's first for the Galileo program. Participants in the event had the unique opportunity to ride in an autonomous vehicle fitted with an innovative positioning engine developed by the ESCAPE project - the ESCAPE GNSS engine (EGE). The EGE leverages Galileo signals and services to provide a core positioning component ..."

MPDevice: RF & Microwave Circulators & Isolators

MPDevice - RF CafeMPDevice (MPD) has become a trustworthy and reliable company in the global RF market as a manufacturer of passive RF Devices. Included are attenuators and terminations, coaxial connectors, adapters, and cable assemblies, DC blocks, surge arrestors, power combiner / dividers, and directional couplers. The Korean Telecommunication market is now entering into the era of hyperconnected society. With continuous enhancement in R&D capabilities and quality control, MPD will continue in an effort to become the No. 1 technologically innovative company with a focus on the emerging 5G marketplace.

Wednesday 4

Theory and Application of UHF

Theory and Application of UHF, December 1944 Radio News - RF CafeThis is part 8 of a series authored by Milton Kiver entitled, "Theory and Applications of UHF," that appeared in Radio News magazine in the mid 1940s. As you might expect it is a very extensive delve into the relatively new realm of UHF generation, transmission, propagation, and reception. You might not know that up through the 1930s, UHF circuit and practice had been relegated to the amateur radio operators because those frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 GHz were considered too unexploitable for professional use. It was not until Hams did the hard work of figuring out practical methods of building circuits and antennas and characterizing geographical and atmospheric conditions that affected propagation that suddenly industry and government decided UHF might be useful after all ...

Anatech Electronics December 2019 Product Update

Anatech Electronics December 2019 Product Update - RF CafeAnatech Electronics offers the industry's largest portfolio of high-performance standard and customized RF and microwave filters and filter-related products for military, commercial, aerospace and defense, and industrial applications up to 40 GHz. In their December Product Update, Anatech has introduced three new hybrid directional coupler designs good for use in amplifier combiner and attenuator circuits as well as in other applications. One is a 6 to 40 GHz hybrid coupler with SMA connectors, another is a 0.5 to 3 GHz hybrid coupler with SMA connectors, and the other is a 3 to 3.5 GHz hybrid coupler with N connectors. Custom RF power directional coupler designs can be designed and produced when a standard cannot be found ...

Dots and Dashes, July 1934 Radio News and the Short-Wave

Dots and Dashes, July 1934 Radio News and the Short-Wave - RF CafeIf you read through this "Dots and Dashes" column from the July 1934 issue of Radio News, you will find many familiar topics -- and a couple weird ones. Among the familiar are transmitting electrical power via RF waves, an electronics industry convention and exposition being held in Chicago, elevator control with electric sensors to assure the cars stop at floor level, global communications, the closing of a historic radio station (how 'historic' can a radio station be in 1934?), earth-moon-earth (EME) experimentation, and remote control of beacon stations with radio signals. The weird ones? How about an "electric woman" with glowing breasts and a "queer-acting" radio microphone, do they qualify? ...

Spin Computing Slashes Power Consumption

Spin Computing Slashes Power Consumption - RF Cafe"Researchers at the MIT in the U.S. have developed spin computing circuits using magnetic spin that need no electrical current, potentially slashing the power consumption of computations. The spin computing architecture developed by the MIT researchers uses a nanometer-wide domain wall in layered nanofilms of magnetic material to modulate a passing spin wave, without any extra components or electrical current. In turn, the spin wave can be tuned to control the location of the wall, as needed. This provides precise control of two changing spin wave states ..."

Creating a Custom Cable

Creating a Custom Cable - RF CafeThe free e-book entitled, "Creating a Custom Cable," reviews the key elements to designing your perfect custom-made cable solution. Creating a custom cable that meets your unique application specifications can be a difficult task. There are a variety of elements that make up quality custom cables and many unique factors that must be considered. This eBook discusses the key questions to review with a custom-cable manufacturer in order to ensure the development of the best cable solution for your needs.

Exodus Advanced Communications: RF & Microwave Power Amplifiers

Exodus Advanced Communications - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. Power amplifiers ranging from 10 kHz to 51 GHz with various output power levels and noise figure ranges, we fully support custom designs and manufacturing requirements for both small and large volume levels. decades of combined experience in the RF field for numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC and various commercial projects with all designing and manufacturing of our HPA, MPA, and LNA products in-house.

Tuesday 3

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Barney is Promoted

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Barney is Promoted, May 1948 Radio News - RF CafeCertain things about John T. Frye are very apparent to the many of you familiar with techno-dramas - "Carl & Jerry" and "Mac's Service Shop" - and his many magazine articles on topics related to electronics and amateur radio: Mr. Frye has a good imagination, he is a good story teller, and he has a very deep knowledge of electronics theory, troubleshooting, repair, and practical operation. One particular aspect about him you might not know is that he spent most of his life in a wheelchair, as the result of polio. Born in 1910, John could not benefit from the polio vaccine invented by Dr. Jonas Salk in 1955. That was a mere three years before I was born. We are fortunate to live in these times when so much amazing medical research is happening to prevent, treat, and cure diseases, and while great advances have been made ...

Free E-Book: What Motivates the Best Engineers?

What Motivates the Best Engineers? - RF CafeFor a limited time, you can download this free e-book entitled, "What Motivates the Best Engineers?" The key to recruitment and retention in the war for technical talent. With engineers in such hot demand there are only so many strings companies can pull on to ensure that the candidates they attract stay active in the hiring process and ultimately want to work for them. Download this new eBook to find out what really impacts candidates' decisions to choose one company over another, and what they truly value from an employer straight from Triplebyte's marketplace of candidates.

ERZIA Technologies and Richardson RFPD Announce Franchise Agreement

ERZIA Technologies and Richardson RFPD Announce Global Franchise Agreement - RF CafeERZIA Technologies S.L. today announced that it has entered into a global franchise agreement with Richardson RFPD, an Arrow Electronics company. The agreement covers ERZIA's commercial off-the-shelf products, including high-power / driver amplifier (HPA) modules and low noise amplifier (LNA) modules. ERZIA's broad product offering covers DC to 100 GHz, with connectorized and wave guide interfaces. All of ERZIA's COTS products are ITAR-free designs and offer a high degree of customization. "We are excited about ERZIA's broad capabilities, flexibility, quality and reliability," said Rafael R. Salmi, Ph.D., Richardson RFPD's president. "This product range is a good fit for Richardson RFPD's customers and target markets. Many customers today prefer to purchase amplifiers ..."

Bittele Electronics' Selective Soldering Capability

Bittele Electronics' Selective Soldering Capability - RF CafeBittele Electronics, with facilities in Canada, The United States, and China, has an ability to perform "selective soldering" on through-hole mounted components to target individual pins as opposed to exposing the entire PCB to a wave soldering process. As described on the Bittele website, selective soldering is used on assemblies where through-hole components are distributed across the PCB, as opposed to a high density connector pin array where applying a single blob of solder (using a "fountain" stream - see image to the right) would be difficult. In some instances both wave soldering and selective soldering is used. Since the vast majority of printed circuit assemblies use surface mounted components, selective soldering and/or wave soldering is performed first for through-hole component, and then surface mount components are added and a solder reflow pass ...

Solver Simulates Nanoelectronics at Atomic Level to 10,000 Atoms

Solver Simulates Nanoelectronics at Atomic Level to 10,000 Atoms - RF Cafe"Researchers from ETH Zurich have reworked the data flow of what was considered as a state-of-the-art quantum transport solver to boost its capabilities several orders of magnitude on complex atomically-resolved nanotransistor simulations. The research group led by Mathieu Luisier from the Integrated Systems Laboratory (IIS) at ETH Zurich started with a so-called quantum transport simulator software named OMEN, which runs its calculations based on what is known as density functional theory, allowing a realistic simulation of transistors in atomic resolution ..."

Withwave: RF & Microwave Components

Withwave RF & Microwave Components - RF CafeWithwave manufactures an extensive line of metrology quality coaxial test cable assemblies, connectors (wave-, end-, vertical-launch, board edge, panel mount), calibration kits (SOLT), a fully automated 4-port vector network analyzer (VNA) calibrator, between- and in-series connector adaptors, attenuators, terminations, DC blocks, torque wrenches, test probes & probe positioner. Special test fixtures for calibration and multicoax cable assemblies. Frequency ranges from DC through 110 GHz. Please contact Withwave today to see how they can help your project succeed.

Monday 2

Light Conversations in Future

Light Conversations in Future, December 1974 Popular Mechanics - RF CafeFor the majority of the last century, Bell Telephone Laboratories (Bell Labs) led the telecommunications industry, both for wired and microwave links. Whenever you learned of a breakthrough in telephony, you could assume it was another Bell Labs innovation and probably be right. Of course there were discoveries in other venues like university research facilities, but often those were at least partially funded by Bell. The company grew to be so large and influential that the government decided breaking them into smaller pieces would reduce their influence over the nature of communications systems. It is similar to how Google dominates Internet search engines and advertising, and how Facebook dominates social media, except nowadays those venues are considered vital to political futures so they are permitted to continue to grow unabated. This item about how fiber optic communications will provide a vital link to high capacity, high bandwidth transmission lines ...

Many Thanks to Electro-Photonics for Their Continued Support

Electro-PhotonicsElectro-Photonics is a global supplier of RF & Microwave components. Their products include SMT hybrid and directional couplers, wire bondable passive components, mounting tabs, filters, transmission lines, and very useful test boards for evaluating components (spiral inductors, single-layer capacitors). The Electro-Photonics team can support your small R&D design requirements with RF & Microwave test fixtures and save you valuable design and characterization time. Please take a moment to visit Electro-Photonics' website and see how your project might benefit. 

Getting Feedback Straight

Getting Feedback Straight, March 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeFeedback has been widely misunderstood by many electronics enthusiasts, even those who have a fairly extensive background in circuit design (that which does not involve feedback). In fact, there have been instances of articles being printed in magazines like Popular Electronics, Radio-Electronics, etc., where the authors got relatively simple feedback equations wrong due to improper summing of nodes, necessitating a correction in a later issue based on reader feedback (a convenient and appropriate word for this comment). This article discusses feedback in audio circuits to avoid distortion, but the concepts apply to any frequency of operation. It is possible in many cases to implement seat-of-the-pants feedback schemes successfully, but if you need a specific response and guaranteed stability ...

DesignCon 2020, January 28-30

DesignCon 2020, January 28-30 - RF CafeThe 25th anniversary DesignCon 2020 event is being held January 28th through 30th at the Santa Clara Convention Center, California. It is North America's largest chip, board, and systems event. The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. Immerse yourself in the expertly curated DesignCon conference curriculum, created by engineers for engineers, with more than 100 sessions spanning 14 tracks covering all aspects of electronic design, including signal & power integrity, high-speed serial design, and machine learning.

Webinar: Creating a Culture of Automation

Creating a Culture of Automation: A Real-World Case Study with FIS - RF CafeA free webinar entitled, "Creating a Culture of Automation: A Real-World Case Study with FIS," will be presented on Thursday, December 5 @ 12 pm ET. "For IT automation to succeed, you need more than just the right technology. You need to develop a culture that embraces automation and celebrates its transformational potential. You need champions lighting the way to shift the collective mindset and develop an army of automators who actively identify and execute on opportunities to automate processes throughout your IT organization. What does it take to successfully create a culture of automation? Join our next webcast to find out! Get a front-row seat as Suneel Tummala, Director of Client Experience & LeanIT, shares how ..."

FCC to Allocate the 5.9 GHz Band for Wi-Fi and Automotive C-V2X

FCC to Allocate the 5.9 GHz Band for Wi-Fi and Automotive C-V2X - RF Cafe"The FCC , in a recent meeting, has proposed the allocation of specific portions of the 5.9 GHz band for unlicensed device use and automotive communications technologies. As announced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, while the lower 45 MHz of the band will be allocated for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi, the upper 20 MHz will be kept for new automotive communications technology, Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X). Back in 1999, the FCC had allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for a service called Dedicated Short-Range Communications. Commonly known as DSRC, this technology was intended to enable ubiquitous transportation and vehicle-related communications, but, the results haven't matched that intent. The technology has evolved slowly ..."

TotalTemp Technologies: Thermal Platforms for −100°C to +200°C

TotalTemp Technologies - RF CafeTotalTemp Technologies has more than 40 years of combined experience providing thermal platforms. Thermal Platforms are available to provide temperatures between −100°C and +200°C for cryogenic cooling, recirculating circulating coolers, temperature chambers and temperature controllers, thermal range safety controllers, space simulation chambers, hybrid benchtop chambers, custom systems and platforms. Manual and automated configurations for laboratory and production environments. Please contact TotalTemp Technologies today to learn how they can help your project.

Sunday 1

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle for December 1

Engineering & Science Crossword Puzzle December 1, 2019 - RF CafeFor two decades, I have been creating custom engineering- and science-themed crossword puzzles for the brain-exercising benefit and pleasure of RF Cafe visitors who are fellow cruciverbalists. This December 1st puzzle uses as part of its grid the common schematic symbol for a MOSFET dual gate, n-channel, depletion mode transistor. A database of thousands of words is used which I have 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 ...

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    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...

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