Friday the 20th
Radio-Craft magazine's "Radio Term
Illustrated" feature of electronics-themed comics was very popular. Famous artist
Frank Beaven, who created illustrations for numerous publications at the time, took
ideas submitted by readers and turned them into clever word (or phrase) pictures.
You will need to consider some of them from the viewpoint of someone in the 1945
era in which they were made. I don't know if women Navy personnel are referred to
as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service ) anymore - probably not.
Arcing from motor armature brushes was a common cause of radio interference in the
days of AM broadcasting, hence "brush discharge." Enjoy!
The following article entitled "Top
5 Clever Solutions to Common Problems of RF and Microwave PCB Designs" was prepared
for and submitted to RF Cafe by its author, Ken Ghadia, of TechnoTronix Electronics
Manufacturing Services. He wrote asking whether he could provide an article on an
aspect of PCB design relevant to RF Cafe visitors, so I suggested addressing the
issue of placing digital and analog / RF signals on a common substrate. TechnoTronix
has a state of the art facility here in the United States that enables clients to
successfully overcome production and PCB fab challenges to produce the innovative,
cutting-edge electronics products and providing PCB prototype services, PCB, PCB
assembly service, PCB manufacturing service, PCB fabrication service & more
in U.S. and around the world...
"A novel semiconducting material with high
thermal conductivity can be integrated into high-power computer chips to cool them
down and so improve their performance. The material, boron arsenide, is better at
removing heat than the best
devices available today, according to the US-based researchers who developed
it. gallium nitride-boron arsenide heterostructure interface An electron microscopy
image of a gallium nitride-boron arsenide heterostructure interface at atomic resolution.
The size of computer chips has been shrinking over the years and has now reached
the nanoscale, meaning that billions of transistors can be squeezed onto a single
computer chip. This increased density of chips has enabled faster, more powerful
While a bit far-fetched, this Carl &
Jerry saga from the June 1963 issue of Popular Electronics magazine has
the two amateur radio hobbyists cum detectives applying their knowledge of standing
waves and an invention called SNARE, "Signal
Net for Actuating Radio-sensitive Explosives," by Irwin Ehlmann, to thwart an
assassination attempt on a visiting foreign dignitary. The name of the patent is
actually "Method and apparatus for detonating radio frequency sensitive blasting
caps," but the principal is the same. The choice by author John T. Frye of
a halo antenna on their mobile shortwave rig was probably no coincidence given the
guardian angel role it played in the adventure...
Exodus Advanced Communications introduces
our compact 2.0-8.0 GHz Module, model number
AMP1146A. This ideal TWT replacement produces 70-watts minimum, 80-90 W
nominal power. The minimum power gain is 48 dB with <−20 dBc harmonics.
Included are current & temperature sensing and built-in protection circuits
for optimum reliability & ruggedness for all applications. The nominal weight
is 3 lbs., and dimensions of 4.3" W x 7.8" L x 1.0" H. Class
AB linear GaN design. Suitable for all single channel modulation standards. Built-in
This 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...
Centric RF is a company offering from stock
various RF and
Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies,
terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance
parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power
levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today!
Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric
Thursday the 19th
On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor, the FCC issued a "Notice to All Amateur Licensees" that
began thusly: "All amateur licensees are hereby notified that the Commission has
immediate suspension of all amateur radio operation in the continental United States,
its territories, and possessions." The October 1945 issue of Radio-Craft magazine
announced the long-awaited planned resumption of transmitting operations. On November
15, 1945, amateurs were finally allowed back on the air, but only on the 10 and
2 meter bands. Another end to an FCC wartime policy announced was the requirement
to reduce output power by 1 dB (~20%) below normal maximum power, with the
motivation having been to extend the lifetime of tubes. Proving that engineers and
major corporations can have a sense of humor, get a load of the "sniffer" radar
dish shown here...
"In 1941 Isaac Asimov, the science fiction
writer, published a short story called 'Reason.' It was a cautionary tale about
robotics and artificial intelligence, but it's also remembered now for its fanciful
setting: A space station that gathered solar energy to send to the planets via microwave.
Ever since, space-based solar power has been an out-there idea - something with
potential to change the world, if we can ever master the technology, and muster
the funds, to do it. Donald Bren has done his share of reading about solar power,
and since he is one of America's wealthiest real estate developers, he's in a position
to help muster the funds. The California Institute of Technology has just announced
that, since 2013, Bren and his wife Brigitte have given the school more than US
$100 million to help make photovoltaic power from orbit a reality..."
Ready to launch your career? RGNext operates,
maintains, and sustains mission-critical systems to provide safe and effective launch,
testing, and tracking of Department of Defense, civil, commercial and international
space lift vehicles. We currently have an immediate opening for a
Transmitter Engineer. Our employees serve on the forefront of global defense
and space operations. We offer our team of experienced, professional employees an
environment of challenging, stimulating and personally and professionally rewarding
career opportunities. You will provide operations & maintenance support for
L-band and S-band radar hardware systems, maintain, troubleshoot and repair various
pieces of commercial and custom hardware...
Who cares about
television antennas these days, you're probably asking? Many people might care
soon. The December 2012 edition of the IEEE's Spectrum magazine had an
article titled, "TV's Future: The Broadcast Empire Strikes Back." According to author
Lynn Claudy, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is working on a standard
called Mobile DTV (MDTV) in the United States. MDVT enables broadcast stations to
deliver programming to some cellphones, laptops, tablets and to moving television
screens in cars, trains, and buses. Furthermore, a scheme to enable on-demand programming,
user feedback (voting, polls, quizzes, games), and other advanced features is under
investigation in research labs and field trials. Local businesses welcome a rebirth
of regional over-the-air-broadcasts...
ConductRF is now making many standard
VITA67 RF Cable assembly options available immediately through DigiKey. We are
supporting SMPM, SMPS and NanoRF insertable coax connector configurations with standard
validated performance up to 18 GHz. Each assembly is built utilizing our highly
stable coax cable. Solutions include options for both 0.086" and 0.047" Coax Cable.
A robust and powerful solution for Multi-Port RF interconnect. An new industry standard
for backplane Blind Mate solutions. Also support mixed signal requirements. SMPM,
SMPS & NanoRF contacts supports from DC to 18 GHz. Phase matching available.
100% Test Validated...
It was a lot of work, but I finally finished
a version of the "RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols" that
works well with Microsoft Office™ programs Word™, Excel™, and Power Point™.
This is an equivalent of the extensive set of amplifier, mixer, filter, switch,
connector, waveguide, digital, analog, antenna, and other commonly used symbols
for system block diagrams and schematics created for Visio™. Each of the 1,000 or
so symbols was exported individually from Visio in the EMF file format, then imported
into Word on a Drawing Canvas. The EMF format allows an image to be scaled up or
down without becoming pixelated, so all the shapes can be resized in a document
and still look good. The imported symbols can also be UnGrouped into their original
constituent parts for editing. Check them out!
NextPCB is one of the most experienced PCB
manufacturers in China, has specialized in the PCB and assembly industry for over
15 years. NextPCB provides the most innovative printed circuit boards and assembly
technologies in the highest quality standards, turnaround time as fast as 24 hours,
the lowest manufacturer direct prices, and the most dedicated customer service in
the industry. Turnkey service without a broker including components sourcing, PCB
prototyping, manufacturing, assembly, quality testing, and final shipment. Certified
by IATF16949, ISO9001, ISO14001, UL, CQC, RoHS and REACH.
Wednesday the 18th
Prior to the invention of gas (CO2,
HeNe) and chemical (iodine, hydrogen fluoride) lasers in the early to middle 1960s,
lasers (light amplification by stimulate emission of radiation) were made using
rare earth gems (ruby). Evolution occurred rapidly in power output, wavelength (color),
stability, purity, and lasing source type.The concept of lasers were introduced
in science fiction, but believe it or not the first recorded instance of the term
"LASER" was in a paper written in 1959 by Gordon Gould. Development flowed from
the preexisting maser (microwave amplification by stimulate emission of radiation)
knowledge. This 1960 news item in Electronics World magazine reported on
Dr. Theodore H. Maiman's work at Hughes Research Laboratories. Nowadays lasers are
ubiquitous in our lives (DVD players, automotive LIDAR, cat toys) and we have lasers
integrated into semiconductor substrates for intra-chip signal communications...
"For decades, the United States has used
the same approach to detecting ballistic missiles from space: Put a handful of satellites
infrared sensors high in orbit and spread them out to achieve 24/7 coverage
of the Earth's surface. And it's largely worked. The Space Force tracks thousands
of missiles a year, and in one high-profile case in 2020, America's premier missile
detection satellite system was credited with giving a last-minute warning to war
fighters in Iraq who were able to seek shelter from incoming missiles launched from
Iran. But that constellation structure is no longer sustainable. The proliferation
of anti-satellite weapons is challenging the approach. It no longer makes sense,
U.S. military leaders have said, to put all of their billion-dollar eggs in one
Sam Benzacar of Anatech Electronics, an RF
and microwave filter company, has published his August 2021 Newsletter that features
his short op−ed entitled "The
Millimeter-Wave Debacle Revisited," where he notes, "there are good reasons
why few have dared to tread there, not the least of which are extremely challenging
propagation characteristics, very short range, and the need to rely on complex technologies
to make communications possible. I found it interesting that, except for a few bold
journalists, hardly anyone has asked whether, with all these challenges, it will
be economically feasible, at least initially, to use these frequencies." Sam also
presents some relevant industry news items as well...
NASA (and its predecessor NACA), and private
and public operators have been monitoring solar events in the optical realm for
many decades while attempting to correlate terrestrial phenomena with it. Auroral
light displays in the extreme polar regions have long been known to be caused by
solar flare and
mass ejections (CME). With the advent of radio, the electrical nature of the
upper atmosphere became evident when static (AM) and long range propagation affected
long range communications. Extreme CME activity eventually was associated with behavior
of the electrical power grid; indeed, massive blackouts and brownouts are to blame
for many. Last but not least came concern for sun-sourced electrons regarding satellites.
More than one 'bird' has been smoked by the sun's ejecta. In 1967 when this article
appeared in QST magazine, scientists were still in the early stages of
measuring and understanding the effects of solar activity on the sun. The Geophysical
RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is the next phase in the evolution
of RF Cafe's long-running series, RF Cascade Workbook. Chances are you
have never used a spreadsheet quite like this (click here for screen capture). It is a full-featured RF system
cascade parameter and frequency planner that includes filters and mixers for a mere
$45. Built in MS Excel, using RF Cascade Workbook 2018 is a cinch
and the format is entirely customizable. It is significantly easier and faster than
using a multi-thousand dollar simulator when a high level system analysis is all
that is needed. An intro video takes you through the main features...
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
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
Tuesday the 17th
No matter how proud I was of my family name,
I do believe I would refrain from using "Kluge" as a company moniker. Maybe the
word did no connate the same meaning in 1946 when this advertisement for the
Kluge Electronics "California Kilowatt" Amateur Radio Station appeared in Radio-Craft
magazine. An extensive WWW search turned up no examples of any surviving Kluge "California
Kilowatt" Amateur Radio Stations. One QRZ website discussion supposed that none
were ever manufactured. Per Wikipedia: "A kludge or kluge (klooj) is a workaround
or quick-and-dirty solution that is clumsy, inelegant, inefficient, difficult to
extend and hard to maintain." It has an interesting etymology. I found references
to the term "California Kilowatt" meaning a transmitter putting out more than the
legal power limit. California Kilowatt is also nowadays the name of a Canadian rock
"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
has published its first map that shows
4G LTE mobile broadband coverage across the U.S. The map shows coverage as of
May 15, 2021. Users can click boxes to show the coverage of each of the nation's
four largest mobile carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and UScellular. These
four wireless service providers voluntarily submitted the coverage data to create
the map. Specifically, the map shows where customers can expect to receive 4G LTE
service at a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps and upload speed of 1 Mbps. To use
the map, consumers can enter in specific addresses or zoom in to locations to see
where 4G LTE mobile data and voice service..."
Xylem, a leading global water technology
company dedicated to solving the world's most challenging water issues, seeks to
hire seeks to hire a
Senior RF Development Engineer to assist in the development and ongoing engineering
support of the Sensus portfolio of Infrastructure and Smart City products. As part
of the overall Sensus offering, Infrastructure and Smart City products serve as
an intermediate communications interface with utility endpoints and utility providers.
The Senior RF Development Engineer will work with other engineering disciplines
in the development and ongoing technical support of the Sensus portfolio and will
entail full life-cycle responsibilities from conceptual design of new product introduction
to resolving any technical issue with legacy products. Product design ownership,
collaborative attitude, and enthusiasm for delivering on-time within budget and
quality requirements are crucial for success in this position...
There is little incentive to build your own
field strength meter these days when commercial instruments are readily available
and relatively inexpensive. For instance, you can buy an MJF-801 FSM with a 100 kHz
to 500 MHz spectrum coverage for just $45, brand new. More sophisticated, calibrated
instruments are available for a lot more, but this basic unit is dirt cheap. However,
if you want to read a little about the theory behind a field strength meter and
see how one goes together, this article from a 1960 issue of Popular Electronics
magazine provides that opportunity...
With more than 1000
custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of
Visio Stencils 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). Stencils 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...
Atenlab 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 the 16th
Here is a snapshot of how a
career in electronics looked in the year 1960, per an article in Electronics
World magazine. The field of electronics was in transition from vacuum tube
technology to semiconductors, from point-to-point wiring in chassis to printed circuit
boards, and from analog to digital. Opportunities abounded from all angles - legacy,
contemporary, and futuristic. Jobs in electronics were readily available for people
of education levels ranging from high school to post-graduate. Annual pay began
at around $2,600 for assembly line workers to over $5,000 for experienced technicians.
Assistant engineers and communications specialists with some college began at around$3,000
and ranged up to $8,000 or more for test engineers. Degreed engineers could expect
to start at around $5,500 and go up well past $23,000. For a reference point, $1,000
per year in 1960 is the equivalent to about $9,317 in 2021 (about a 10x increase)...
"Forefront RF's game-changing
Adaptive Passive Cancellation
(APC) technology enables a smartphone's receiver to 'hear' the weakest signals while
transmitting at full power. The transceiver's self-interference is cancelled by
Forefront RF's chip which implements our unique APC circuits. Precise cancellation
is maintained using software control to continually adjust the operation of the
passive circuits. The APC circuits can be tuned over a wide frequency range, removing
the need for a bank of switched SAW and BAW crystal filters. In this way, Forefront RF's
chip reduces the space and cost taken by the RF front end in smartphones, wearables,
and IoT devices. APC technology is XGen capable, working across the generations
of mobile phone standards. From 3G through to emerging 6G concepts..."
Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Peking University in China
have reported progress in producing gallium nitride
(GaN) complementary logic (CL) circuits on low-cost silicon. The operation of
the circuits was similar to that achieved with silicon complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor
(MOS) p- and n-type transistors (CMOS). However, the GaN complementary logic circuits
were based on a MOS p-FET, but an n-type heterojunction field-effect transistor
(n-HFET) with a p-GaN gate electrode. A key property of these devices was that they
operated in 'enhancement-mode' with current blocking at 0V gate potential - i.e.
'normally-off' operation. The researchers see potential uses in the control of circuits
for power electronics, radio-frequency power amplifiers and harsh-environment applications..."
One sure giveaway to the age of a picture
is the presence of a wheat penny, a buffalo nickel, or a Mercury dime. This 1957
advertisement in Radio & Television News magazine for
Channel Master antennas has all three. It shows a walking Liberty half dollar
as well. Quarters haven't changed much over the years, with George Washington's
head on the obverse side since 1932. The wheat penny design ended in 1959 when the
Lincoln Memorial was put on the reverse side in its place. Thomas Jefferson's head
has been on the nickel since 1938. Theodore Roosevelt's head was ensconced on the
obverse of the dime in 1946. John F. Kennedy was placed on the half dollar obverse
in 1964. This ad is about antennas, not coins, though. For a lot, if not most, of
RF Cafe visitors, there has always been cable and satellite television. For some,
TV has always been available on their smartphones...
Ready to launch your career? RGNext (Range
Generation Next) currently has an opening for a
Communications Lead Technician. This position is located at Kwajalein Atoll.
RGNext operates, maintains, and sustains mission-critical systems to provide safe
and effective launch, testing, and tracking of Department of Defense, civil, commercial
and international space lift vehicles. We support ballistic missile, guided weapon
and aeronautical tests and evaluations as well as support space situational awareness
operations and experiments to defend the United States to ensure our nation's safety.
Our employees serve on the forefront of global defense and space operations. We
offer our team of experienced, professional employees an environment of challenging,
stimulating and personally and professionally rewarding career opportunities...
RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000
website visits each weekday and about half that on weekends.
RF Cafe is a favorite
of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more
than 16,000 pages in the Google search index, RF Cafe returns in favorable
positions on many types of key searches, both for text and images. New content is
added on a daily basis, which keeps the major search engines interested enough to
spider it multiple times each day. Items added on the homepage often can be found
in a Google search within a few hours of being posted. I also re-broadcast homepage
items on LinkedIn. If you need your company news to be seen, RF Cafe is the
place to be.
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.
Sunday the 15th
Theme crossword puzzle for August 15th, 2021, contains only words and clues
related to engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical words.
As always, this crossword contains no names of politicians, mountain ranges, exotic
foods or plants, movie stars, or anything of the sort unless it/he/she is related
to this puzzle's technology theme (e.g., Hedy Lamarr or the Bikini Atoll). The technically
inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!