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Homepage Archive - July 2020 (page 2)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | of the July 2020 homepage archives.

Tuesday 14

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Thoughts on Test Equipment

Mac's Radio Service Shop: Thoughts on Test Equipment, July 1954 Radio & Televsion News - RF CafeWhen reading through this "Thoughts on Test Equipment" episode of John T. Frye's "Mac's Radio Service Shop" is seems maybe he was describing what would become two decades later the Betamax (aka Beta) analog audio-visual (A/V) recording and playback system. Mr. Frye incorporated that sort of visionary thinking in many of his stories. Here, Mac McGregor was experimenting with recording "real" television signals on high fidelity audio tape and then using it later during troubleshooting and alignment of sets in his shop. The idea was born out of a lament about how specialized and expensive service test equipment had become as new and more sophisticated radio, TVs, record players, tape decks, etc., were coming onto the commercial marketplace. Says Mac, "We've reached the point where our service instruments are more expensive, more complicated, more subject to trouble, and harder to learn to use than the apparatus..."

Automotive Radar Spots Hazards Around Corners

Automotive Radar Spots Hazards Around Corners - RF Cafe"Using radar commonly deployed to track speeders and fastballs, researchers have developed an automated system that will allow cars to peer around corners and spot oncoming traffic and pedestrians. The system, easily integrated into today's vehicles, uses Doppler radar to bounce radio waves off surfaces such as buildings and parked automobiles. The radar signal hits the surface at an angle, so its reflection rebounds off like a cue ball hitting the wall of a pool table. The signal goes on to strike objects hidden around the corner. Some of the radar signal bounces back to detectors mounted on the car, allowing the system to see objects around the corner and tell whether they are moving or stationary..."

Cosmic Radio Signals

Cosmic Radio Signals, March 1948 Radio-Craft - RF CafeNational defense needs have pushed back the frontiers of science and technology since time immemorial. Mechanics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, psychology, astronomy, electricity, and as of the late nineteenth century, electronics. Astronomy was useful as a navigational tool and required a very sophisticated knowledge of geometry and algebra to make it accessible to seafaring men, cartographers, and land surveyors. Since the early 1900s, radio astronomy has played a huge role in the advancement of super-sensitive receiver designs. Most people think of information arriving to them in two or maybe three forms: sound, visible light, and some (but not many) even consider radio waves. As over-the-air AM and FM radio broadcasts die out, even fewer people are aware of radio waves; they certainly don't think of their WiFi or cellphone signals...

Thanks to Copper Mountain Technologies for Continued Support

Copper Mountain TechnologiesCopper 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.

Withwave Intros 1.85 mm to SMPM Adapter Series

Withwave Intros 1.85 mm to SMPM Adapter Series - RF CafeWithwave's Precision Test Adapters are designed based on precision microwave interconnection technologies. The new 1.85 mm to SMPM Connector Adapter Series coaxial test adapters are manufactured to precise microwave specifications and constructed with male/female gender on side 1 and male/female gender side 2. The precision microwave connector interfaces ensure an excellent microwave performance up to 67 GHz.

Getting Closer to 1984 Every Day

Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell - RF CafeI read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949, a quite a while back. Actually, I only read parts of it as I found it tedious and disturbing. Recent events show the works to have been eerily prescient - especially considering the last few months. Of course the groundwork for the anarchists and enabling government controllers has been in the making for a long time. Consider this Nineteen Eighty-Four excerpt: "Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right." - George Orwell. If that seems familiar, read his Animal Farm as well and compare the pigs' actions to that of the police-free zones being established. Both could have been written in 2020 as an allegory of our current society. Groucho Marx sings what could be the theme song for the anarchists.

Atenlab: Over-the-Air RF & Microwave Measurement Systems

Atenlab microwave components - RF CafeAtenlab has been operating in Taiwan for more than a decade, and has sold and installed hundreds chambers around the world. Holistic, affordable Over-the-Air (OTA) measurement systems perform comprehensive measurement and test in a controlled environment. Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR) with one-touch operation supports multiple systems - 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G - and major instrument brands. [M]ulti-probe OTA measurement systems offer reduced time measurements over single-probe systems.

Monday 13

Protect Against Lightning

Protect Against Lightning, July 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeLightning has not changed since the days when Benjamin Franklin flew his special kite during storms. Contrary to some peoples' belief, he did not "discover electricity;" rather, the experiment proved his theory that lightning was a form of electrical discharge. Maybe someone has already pointed this out, but in effect Franklin put into service the world's first lightning rod. The conductive (wet with rain) hemp rope between the metal wire spike on the kite and ground (the plate of a Leyden jar) performed the task a lightning rod is meant to do - lower the difference of potential between the charged clouds and ground, thereby reducing the likelihood of an electrical discharge. An induced current traveled along the rope and charged the Leyden jar. If lightning had actually struck the kite as fables suggest, Franklin would probably have been killed even though he was holding on to a silk string attached to the bottom of the hemp string to provide some insulation. Mr. Kirchhoff's current law would have apportioned the lightning strike current at the knot joining the two strings according to the respective...

The Uncertain Future of Ham Radio

The Uncertain Future of Ham Radio - RF Cafe"The Uncertain Future of Ham Radio." Now there's a loaded title for an article on the IEEE Spectrum website. Written by Julianne Pepitone asserts, "Software-defined radio and cheap hardware are shaking up a hobby long associated with engineering." There are couple ways to look at the situation. One is that the availability of pre-engineered and built equipment is harming the fundamentals of the hobby by removing the requirement for a deeper understanding of the fundamentals. Another is that the real world of engineering is going the same way as well. Freeing up talent from the need to create and fabricate every minute aspect of a project opens opportunity for other creativity and skills building. As a documented lover of vintage equipment, I am willing to allow for modern approaches for vastly improved technology and, coincidently, lower prices. Ditto for all hobbies and activities.

DoD Gets $120M for Hypersonic Tracking Satellites

Dod Gets $120M for Hypersonic Tracking Satellites - RF Cafe"The Senate's annual defense policy bill would authorize an additional $120M toward a space-based sensor layer capable of tracking hypersonic weapons, despite the fact the Department of Defense did not seek more funding for the project in its fiscal 2021 budget requests. The Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor is DoD's answer to the growing threat posed by hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia. Hypersonic weapons present a significant challenge to the United States' current missile warning architecture. Not only can these weapons maneuver around ground based sensors, they're too dim to be picked up and tracked by space-based sensors in higher orbits. HBTSS theoretically solves this problem via a proliferated constellation of Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) sensors operating in low earth orbit..."

How to Solder

How to Solder, April 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeProper soldering is almost as much of an art form as it is a technical skill. Having been through numerous soldering classes in my career, starting with electrical vocational courses in high school, then again in USAF technical school, and other times while working as a technician and engineer, I always exercise care in making solder joints. Proper preparation - including both tinning of mating surfaces and a means to prevent the joint members from moving during cool-down - is of utmost importance for assuring a nice, smooth, shiny joint with just the right amount of solder. Lead-free solders do not tend to produce the level of shininess as do the good old 60-40 type tin-lead solders, but you can still make a nice looking joint. This might be more information than you want to know about me, but I even strive for perfection in solder joints in copper pipes and fittings used in plumbing work...

3D Printing of Antennas and RF Electronics

Practical 3D Printing of Antennas and RF Electronics - RF CafeMssrs. G. Kiesel, P. Bowden, K. Cook, M. Habib, J. Marsh, D. Reid, C. Phillips, and B. Baker of Georgia Tech Research Institute have an interesting article on the Aerospace Defense website entitled, "Practical 3D Printing of Antennas and RF Electronics." The earliest forms of 3D printing involved depositing successive layers of a pasty substance on a substrate, with a curing steps between layers. Next can using a melted polymer (plastic) filament to lay down tiers without the need for intermittent curing. For many years processes have been developed for 3D printing metallic structures. Many of these techniques are being used in "additive manufacturing" schemes to produce marketable items, including complex 3D shapes needed for medicine, automotive, and aerospace markets. This article discusses 3D printing in the RF & microwave realm.

Triad RF Systems: RF/Microwave Amplifiers and Amplifier Systems

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. 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.

Sunday 12

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built symbols, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Symbols available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every object has been built to fit proportionally on the provided A-, B- and C-size drawing page templates (or can use your own). Symbols are provided for equipment racks and test equipment, system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, and schematics. Unlike previous versions, these are NOT Stencils, but instead are all contained on tabbed pages within a single Visio document. That puts everything in front of you in its full glory. Just copy and paste what you need on your drawing. The file format is XML so everything plays nicely with Visio 2013 and later...

Amateur Radio Crossword Puzzle for July 12

Amateur Radio Crossword Puzzle for July 12, 2020 - RF CafeThis week's custom RF Cafe crossword puzzle contains some words particular to amateur radio, along with other tech-themed words and clues. Each week for two decades I have created a new technology-themed crossword puzzle using only words (1,000s of them) from my custom-created lexicon related to engineering, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. You will never find among the words names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort. You might, however, find someone or something in the otherwise excluded list directly related to this puzzle's technology theme, such as Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll, respectively. Avid cruciverbalists amongst us: the gauntlet has been thrown down...

Friday 10

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, June 1951 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeWhen looking a these vintage electronics-themed comics, it probably is a case of "you had to have been there" to appreciate the humor in them. In a world of 24/7 broadcasting of every TV channel, the first comic wouldn't even make sense to someone who was born after about 1990, after which time most local over-the-air broadcast stations signed off at 1:00 or so, played the National Anthem, and then displayed a test pattern until about 6:00 am. The second comic is from the era of high voltages inside radio and TV chassis for vacuum tube plates and CRT accelerator grids. That big bulky thing the guy in the last comic is carrying is a thing called a cathode ray tube (CRT), which old people used to use to view television shows and SVGA computer displays...

RF Energy Harvesting Components & Systems

RF Diagnostics' RFD199A RFDET Converter - RF CafeRF Diagnostics, LLC, designs and sells surface mount RF to DC converters and other building block modules for RF energy harvesting systems. With our products you can harvest ambient AC/AM/FM/Wireless Energy to power your IoT battery-free system. For example, the RFDKIT−01 RF Energy Harvesting Experimenter Kit is intended for energy harvesting developers and hobbyists. It is intended for low power system developers and hobbyists. The kit contains parts to collect and manage the power from wireless energy from 1 Hz to 6 GHz. Users can connect to the modules using the included 4-pin headers with a little soldering and clipping. We also provide custom designs for RF/microwave and general electrical engineering products and design contracting services to clients in the commercial wireless and defense electronics businesses...

Many Thanks to LadyBug Technologies for Their Continued Support!

LadyBug Technologies RF Power Sensors - RF CafeLadyBug Technologies was founded in 2004 by two microwave engineers with a passion for quality microwave test instrumentation. Our employees offer many years experience in the design and manufacture of the worlds best vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, power meters and associated components. The management team has additional experience in optical power testing, military radar and a variety of programming environments including LabVIEW, VEE and other languages often used in programmatic systems. Extensive experience in a broad spectrum of demanding measurement applications. You can be assured that our Power Sensors are designed, built, tested and calibrated without compromise.

Molecular Electronics

Molecular Electronics, April 1960 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe"A transistorized i.f. stage for a TV set can be built today to fit into a match box. But molecular electronics has made possible the production of a device that contains two such stages and is only a fraction of the size of a single transistor!" Nobody talks of molecular electronics today, but that really is an accurate term for what we have when compound semiconductors like GaAs, GaN, or any of the many-atomed exotic photovoltaic substrates are being discussed. When referring to pure elements like silicon that are being doped with impurities, I'm not sure those structures are considered molecules which, according to Dictionary.com, are "the smallest physical unit of an element or compound, consisting of one or more like atoms in an element and two or more different atoms in a compound..."

Empower RF Systems' Technologically Advanced 90 kW SSPA

Empower RF Systems' Technologically Advanced 90 kW Power Amplifier - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems' Model 2225 is a long duty cycle pulsed amplifier operating from 5.2 to 5.9 GHz and represents our new technologically advanced liquid cooled and scalable architecture. This breakthrough solid state GaN design replaces tube technology to bring new capabilities to EW, Radar, Directed Energy and Satcom applications where tens and hundreds of kilowatts of CW and Pulse power are required. This new modern architecture offers scalability for affordable upgrade paths to future power needs by adding hardware to an existing system. Additional racks can be combined and for racks not fully populated, 2U amplifier drawers can be added without the need for tuning. The amplifier system layout consists of a system controller in a 3U and up to 16 hot swappable 2U amplifier drawers with each amplifier drawer containing an integrated power supply in its 2U chassis...

everythingRF: Their Name Says It All

everything RF Searchable Database - RF CafePlease take a few moments to visit the everythingRF website to see how they can assist you with your project. everythingRF is a product discovery platform for RF and microwave products and services. They currently have 267,269 products from more than 1397 companies across 314 categories in their database and enable engineers to search for them using their customized parametric search tool. Amplifiers, test equipment, power couplers and dividers, coaxial connectors, waveguide, antennas, filters, mixers, power supplies, and everything else. Please visit everythingRF today to see how they can help you.

Thursday 9

For the Record: The Flat Age

For the Record: The Flat Age, July 1955 Radio & Television News - RF CafeRadio & Television News editor Oliver Reed wrote in this 1955 issue about the "flattening" of electronics - including both individual components and overall assembled products. He described a large screen, wall-mountable television system with built-in flat stereo electrostatic speakers. "The so-called 'picture on the wall' television screen has also received widespread publicity although such a screen is not yet commercially available. In this system, a flat screen is connected to the TV receiver by means of a cable, and the picture is formed on the screen electronically." That is a lot like a large flat LCD or LED monitor being fed by an HDMI cable from a computer. Mr. Reed also writes of a magnetic tape video playback system akin to what eventually became the VHS / VCR. Evidently the concept of an optical-based storage medium like the DVD and Blu-ray disk was too far out of the realm of possibility...

Guidelines for Choosing RF and Microwave Products: Coaxial Cables

Guidelines for Choosing RF and Microwave Products - RF CafeAnatech Electronics has a handy app note describing how to select and specify coaxial cables and assemblies. "Coaxial cables are too often taken for granted and RF and microwave systems. As a result, they are often treated like a spool of bell wire, twisted, band, crimped, stepped on, and subject to assorted other abuses. However, the more you know about coaxial cable the more likely you are to treat it with respect, as its integrity, lifetime, and overall performance are at stake. To get a better understanding of coaxial cables in general, Anatech Electronics has prepared a series of guides that provide information about RF and microwave coaxial cables ranging from the basics contained in this application note to more detailed information about characteristics, applications, specific cable types, and other topics..."

Get Your Custom-Designed RF Cafe Gear!

Custom-Designed RF-Themed Cups, T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks (Cafe Press) - RF CafeThis assortment of custom-designed themes by RF Cafe includes T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Clocks, Tote Bags, Coffee Mugs and Steins, Purses, Sweatshirts, and Baseball Caps. Choose from amazingly clever "We Are the World's Matchmakers" Smith chart design or the "Engineer's Troubleshooting Flow Chart." My "Matchmaker's" design has been ripped off by other people and used on their products, so please be sure to purchase only official RF Cafe gear. My markup is only a paltry 50¢ per item - Cafe Press gets the rest of your purchase price. These would make excellent gifts for husbands, wives, kids, significant others, and for handing out at company events or as rewards for excellent service. It's a great way to help support RF Cafe. Thanks...

Many Thanks to Lemos International Technologies for Continued Support!

Lemos International - RF CafeLemos International Technologies is both a designer and manufacturer of wireless products and a distributor of products from other world-class manufacturers. A modular approach to wireless connectivity helps eliminate much of the technical design and testing and also simplifies or eliminates the need for expensive conformance testing and certification. Ready-to-use Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, licensed and unlicensed band products are available. Custom design services can help you achieve success with your project's unique needs.

Editorial re FCC Potentially Shutting Down Amateur Radio During WWII

Editorial on FCC Potentially Shutting Down Amateur Radio During WWII, November 1940 QST - RF Cafe"Do you think that F.C.C. would be engaged in the present terrific expense and effort of getting our fingerprints and citizenship histories if there were intention of shutting us down shortly?" That statement was printed by the QST magazine editor in the issue that preceded the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor by thirteen months. A few things about it are troubling. First, the FCC was collecting fingerprints of licensed amateur radio operators. Second, the FCC was assimilating information about licensed amateur radio operators' citizenship histories. Third, a combination of short-sightedness and apparent naiveté concerning the FCC's willingness to shut down amateur radio operations once America had been inevitably drawn into World War II...

Withwave Multicoax Cable Assemblies

Withwave Multichannel Coaxial Cable AssembliesWithwave's High Speed & High-density Multicoax Cable Assemblies (WMX Series) provides a wide range of multiple coax connectors and flexible cable assemblies with a choice of 20, 40, 50, 67 GHz configurations based on precision array design and superior high frequency cabling solutions. WMX Series cables are excellent signal integrity solutions for bench-top testing and automated test equipment to meet increasing demands of semiconductor test equipment and optical testing industries. These products consist of high performance flexible assemblies which can be bundled in housings (8 and 16 channels) and the interface to board is compression type which provides lower total cost of testing by avoiding costly soldering components...

KR Electronics: RF & Microwave Filters

KR ElectronicsKR Electronics designs and manufactures high quality filters for both the commercial and military markets. KR Electronics' line of filters includes lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop and individually synthesized filters for special applications - both commercial and military. State of the art computer synthesis, analysis and test methods are used to meet the most challenging specifications. All common connector types and package form factors are available. Please visit their website today to see how they might be of assistance. Products are designed and manufactured in the USA.

Wednesday 8

Hi-Fi Anagram (crossword, actually)

Hi-Fi Anagram, July 1958 Radio & Television News - RF CafeFrom about the middle of the 1950s through the 1990s, stereo systems were a pretty big deal amongst music listeners. A lot of the interest was driven by rapid improvements in technology in sound recording and reproduction equipment. An economical boom in the post Korean War years combined with a process developed by Emory Cook to cut dual channels of stereophonic sound onto vinyl records enabled a fad fueled by teenagers of building the best home sound systems possible with available funds. Audiophiliac adults, of course, were also prime motivators of the technology since they had deeper pockets and could afford higher-end equipment and larger collections of records. Magnetic tape was also a bit part of the craze, but the big money was in vinyl. If you peruse the vintage electronics magazines like this Radio & TV News, Popular Electronics, Electronics World, et al, you will notice the pages were filled with technical articles on and advertisements for stereo music reproduction gear...

Measuring Tiny Quasiparticle a Major Step for Semiconductor Technology

Measuring Tiny Quasiparticle a Major Step for Semiconductor Technology - RF Cafe"A team of researchers led by Sufei Shi, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has uncovered new information about the mass of individual components that make up a promising quasiparticle, known as an exciton, that could play a critical role in future applications for quantum computing, improved memory storage, and more efficient energy conversion. Published today in Nature Communications, the team's work brings researchers one step closer to advancing the development of semiconductor devices by deepening their understanding of an atomically thin class of materials known as transitional metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), which have been eyed for their electronic and optical properties..."

Make Sure EVs and HEVs Are Good for Every Mile

Make Sure EVs and HEVs Are Good for Every Mile - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rental and sales company has published a new blog post that examines electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs) power systems to understand what should be tested and how to perform those measurements in order to achieve peak vehicle operation. Manufacturers of EVs and HEVs are making it simpler and more convenient to maintain adequate electric charge levels to keep their vehicles running for longer distances on electric power, enticing more drivers to try these environmentally friendly vehicles. Of course, testing the electrical motors, systems, and their components is an important part of ensuring that every EV and HEV has the longest running times and operating lifetimes possible, and that involves understanding what needs to be tested and how...

Many Thanks to Res-Net Microwave for Continuing Support!

Res-Net Microwave Components - RF CafeRes-Net Microwave has a complete line of precision RF & microwave components including attenuators, terminations, resistors, and diode detectors for commercial, military, and space applications. Products range from the small flange type to large 2,000 watt connectorized power attenuators and/or terminations at frequencies up to 26.5 GHz. In-house photo etch and laser trim capability. The company is a leader in development and production of the films required for these type of RF/microwave components. Please check out Res-Net Microwave's website to see how they can help with your current project.

Your Antenna - Key to World-Wide DX

Your Antenna - Key to World-Wide DX, November 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHere is a quick course on how to point antennas for over-the-horizon (DX) reception, and, if you also happen to have a license to transmit, for broadcasting. It covers how to determine the shortest straight-line path by stretching a string around a globe (remember those spherical maps that used to be a mainstay of every household and schoolroom?) and using a protractor (a what?) to get the angle. Radio signals unless refracted or reflected take a great circle route from point A to point B. Long distance airline flights take the same routes, which explains why flights from London to Los Angeles fly over Greenland enroute. Author Edward Noll uses a simple 1/2-wave dipole antenna radiation pattern as an example of how directivity is affected by frequency (relative to the fundamental)...

ConductRF TSA90 / TSX90 Phase & Temperature Stable Cables

ConductRF TSA90 / TSX90 Phase & Temperature Stable Coaxial Cables - RF CafeConductRF's DC to 18 GHz TSA90 with Type-N and SMA options as well as our TSX90 with extended frequency 27 GHz SMA solutions, are built with a special dielectric material that eliminates the "Teflon Knee" in phase change over temperature, which is a common cause for performance variance in RF cables used in different environments. These cables are over 30% smaller than traditional lab test cables, so offer users increased flexibility and density particularly where multiple cables are used together such as semiconductor testing. With connector options up to 27 GHz, these cables can offer users solutions for both RF test and also internal system cables. The triple shielding feature also ensure greater effectiveness for EMI...

Innovative Power Products: RF & Microwave Passive Components

Innovative Power ProductsInnovative Power Products (IPP) has over 30 years of experience designing & manufacturing RF & microwave passive components. Their high power, broadband couplers, combiners, resistors, baluns, terminations and attenuators are fabricated using the latest materials and design tools available, resulting in unrivaled product performance. Applications in military, medical, industrial and commercial markets. Take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today.


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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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