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Homepage Archive - February 2021 (page 2)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 of the February 2021 homepage archives.

Sunday the 14th

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt 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 as those 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!

Physics & Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for February 14th

Physics & Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for February 14th, 2021 - RF CafeThis Physics & Science Theme crossword puzzle for Valentine's Day 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!

Friday the 12th

Mackay Radio's Press Station

Mackay Radio's Press Station, August 1945, Radio-Craft - RF CafeMackay Radio & Telegraph Company, established in 1925 in Nevada by Clarence Mackay as a sort of spin-off of his father's Commercial Cable Company, is not usually a name that comes to mind when recalling early communications pioneers. Mackay was one of the earliest radio and telegraph companies, but also is still in business today under the name of Mackay Communications, Inc., based in Raleigh, NC. That makes Mackay one of the oldest electronics companies in the United States and in the world. Congratulations to them for surviving the cut-throat realm of corporate mergers, buy-outs, and hostile takeovers. As with nearly all technology concerns during World War II, Mackay did its part to help the Allies beat back the advances of Communism, Marxism, and Socialism by designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art radio communications systems...

If Memristors Act Like Neurons, Put Them in Neural Networks

If Memristors Act Like Neurons, Put Them in Neural Networks - RF Cafe"A low-power and non-volatile technology called the memristor shows initial promise as a basis for machine learning. According to new research, memristors efficiently tackle AI medical diagnosis problems, an encouraging development that suggests additional applications in other fields, especially low-power or network 'edge' applications. This may be, the researchers say, because memristors artificially mimic some of the neuron's essential properties. Memristors, or memory resistors, are a kind of building block for electronic circuits that scientists predicted roughly 50 years ago but only created for the first time a little more than a decade ago. These components, also known as resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices, are essentially electric switches..."

The U.S. Navy's "UFO Patents"

U.S. Navy "UFO Patents" - RF CafeThis "UFO Patents" story has gotten a lot of traction in the last week or so (play Twilight Zone theme in background while reading). It is based on patents filed by U.S. Navy scientist, Dr. Salvatore Pais, who works at the Naval Air Warfare Center, (NAWC - source of the very popular Electronic Warfare and Radar Systems Handbook). A Google Patents search on Dr. Pais' name returns some rather odd designs that include "Craft using an inertial mass reduction device" (US10144532B2), "High frequency gravitational wave generator" (US10322827B2), and "Plasma Compression Fusion Device" (US20190295733A1). Maybe he is just a brilliant visionary... or maybe he finally decrypted information stored in those Area 51 vaults?

Antenna Applications in Two-Way Radio Systems

Antenna Applications in Two-Way Radio Systems, December 1957 Radio & TV News - RF CafeIn spite of the proliferation of cellphones and near ubiquitous communications, there are still many applications that require private 2−way communications systems. Emergency services like police, fire, and ambulance; amateur radio, vehicular dispatch for utilities, delivery and repair services; and anywhere that cellular service is not either available or extremely reliable, cannot rely on cellphones for mission critical needs. There are a lot of legacy 2-way radio system antennas and associated towers still being used and many new installations in place. Word has it that use of Citizen Band (CB) radio is on the rise amongst not just truck drivers but everyday drivers and base station operators - largely for the anonymity factor...

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...

Vying for Control of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Vying for Control of the Electromagnetic Spectrum - RF CafeNancy Friedrich, a name I haven't seen in a while (she used to be the editor of Microwaves & RF magazine), has an interesting article on the Aerospace & Defense Technology website entitled, "Electronic Warfare: Vying for Control of the Electromagnetic Spectrum." The flood of wireless everything has made protecting and securing the EM environment an increasingly difficult task. She begins, "Over the past decade, preeminent countries involved in major military conflicts mainly focused on asymmetrical warfare — surprise attacks by small groups armed with modern, high-tech weaponry. During that same period, however, near-peer adversaries began attaining impressive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities. As a result, a plethora of new, dynamic threats flooded the EW spectrum, pushing threat detection and analysis to keep pace. Large military forces now face ongoing development and evolution to stay ahead of their adversaries..."

Many Thanks to San Francisco Circuits for Continued Support!

San Francisco CircuitsSF Circuits' specialty is in the complex, advanced technology of PCB fabrication and assembly, producing high quality multi-layered PCBs from elaborate layouts. With them, you receive unparalleled technical expertise at competitive prices as well as the most progressive solutions available. Their customers request PCB production that is outside the capabilities of normal circuit board providers. Please take a moment to visit San Francisco Circuits today. "Printed Circuit Fabrication & Assembly with No Limit on Technology or Quantity."

Thursday the 11th

World Short Wave Time-Table

World Short Wave Time-Table, August 1938 Radio News - RF CafeI know a guy who began in radio back in the 1960s as a short wave listener (SWL), and then earned his Amateur Radio license in order to be able to send messages as well as listen to them. Short wave listening was a very popular pastime for many people - not just technical types - back before advances in communications made the world, to cite a cliché, "a much smaller place." Being just a "listener" was much less expensive and less involved that setting up a transmitting station (often requiring huge cabinets of vacuum tube equipment). Prior to around the 1960s, the only personal exposure most people had to the rest of the world was while serving in the military service. Movies, television documentaries, and magazines like National Geographic provided insight into foreign cultures. As with radio itself, existence outside your local town was a mystery so fantastical stories told by cosmopolitan travelers garnered troves of interested listeners. "All-Wave" radios tuned the AM (and later FM) bands and also included one or more shortwave bands. Under ideal radio wave propagation conditions, even a simple set could pick up broadcasts half a world away. Immigrants could listen to happenings in their home...

Adhesives Cured On-Demand with Magnets

Adhesives Cured On-Demand with Magnets - RF Cafe"Conventional adhesives require light or heat to bond. Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), have developed a new way to cure adhesives: passing them through a magnetic field. The non-contact method of curing leads to adhesives that can be activated on demand. The 'magnetocuring' adhesive is made by combining a typical commercially available epoxy adhesive with specially tailored magnetic nanoparticles created by the NTU scientists. Unlike the two-component adhesives that require the mixing of two liquids before use, the NTU-developed coating does not need to be mixed with any hardener or accelerator. The ease of use, according to..."

Radio Wave Propagation Fundamentals

Radio Wave Propagation Fundamentals (Artech House) - RF CafeArtech House today announced the publication Radio Wave Propagation Fundamentals, 2nd Edition, by Artem Saakian. This completely updated second edition of an Artech House classic provides a thorough introduction to the basic principles of electromagnetic wave propagation of radio frequencies in real-world conditions, fully updated by including new achievements in theory and technology. It serves as an invaluable daily reference for practitioners in the field and as a complete, organized text on the subject. This comprehensive resource covers a wide range of essential topics, from the classification of radio waves, electromagnetic wave theory, and antennas for RF radio links, to the impact of the earth surface on the propagation of ground waves, atmospheric affects in radio wave propagation, and radio wave reception...

Practical Design of Mixer Converter Circuits

Practical Design of Mixer Converter Circuits, February 1941 QST - RF CafeIn the present era, designing a frequency converter circuit consists in most cases of picking from a catalog an IC or connectorized component that has the characteristics you need from a gain and mixer spurious product standpoint. Add a couple filters, a local oscillator (although in some cases the oscillator is part of the IC), and a power supply, and you're good to go. Of course there are special cases where you have to use a basic mixer and do everything yourself, but even that is simpler than designing a primary circuit using diodes or vacuum tubes as rectifiers. Obtaining match sets for good mixer spurious product cancellation is very difficult, especially in a large volume production environment. It really is amazing what engineers and hobbyists of yore were able to accomplish using point-to-point wiring and a slide rule. Here is a good article form the February 1941 QST magazine...

Anatech Electronics Intros 2 Cavity Bandpass Filters

Anatech Electronics Mid-February 2021 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. Two new cavity bandpass filters have been introduced. The AB5424B1314 has a center frequency of 542 MHz and a bandwidth of 52 MHz. Insertion loss in the passband is less than 1 dB. The AB800B843 is an LTE band narrow band filter centered at 800 MHz with a bandwidth of 12.3 MHz and a 2 dB passband insertion loss. Custom RF power directional coupler designs...

Please Thank RF Superstore for Their Continued Support

RF Superstore coaxial cable, connectors, adapters - RF CafeRF Superstore launched in 2017, marking the return of Murray Pasternack, founder of Pasternack Enterprises, to the RF and microwave Industry. Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were sold. Partner Jason Wright manages day-to-day operations, while working closely with Mr. Pasternack to develop RF Superstore into a world class RF and microwave component supplier. RF coaxial connectors & adapters, coaxial cable & cable assemblies, surge protectors, attenuators. Items added daily. Free shipping on orders over $25. We're leading the way again!

Wednesday the 10th

Electronic Puzzle Square

Electronic Puzzle Square, July 1945 Radio & Television News - RF CafeDue to the era in which this "Electronic Puzzle Square" appeared (1945), I made a couple edits to help prevent misinterpretation. For instance the "mfd." in question 5 is microfarad (μF) in today's units standard. Question 4 originally had an upper case "E," which was a typo since it should have been a lower case "e," as in the base of the natural logarithm. When working Q7, leave the input and output terminals open when calculating the equivalent resistance; it's not like doing a "Pi" to "Tee" attenuator conversion. Q11 originally had "logE" where it should have been just "e." Q9 is a piece of cake. Question 15 assumes you know the resistance per foot of #25 B&S (AWG) copper wire, which you can find here (hint: it's 32.4 Ω/1000 ft)...

Compact Electronic Systems for High-frequency Applications Entirely in Glass

Compact Electronic Systems for High-frequency Applications Entirely in Glass - RF Cafe"To remain competitive in the field of the Internet of Things, even medium-sized industrial and process metrology companies need to increasingly integrate their sensor circuits into ASICs. The semiconductor industry is currently meeting this need with lower costs for development cycles and decreasing quantity hurdles. However, this is not occurring often enough in chip packaging, meaning that ASICs requiring individual packages are at risk of being bogged down due to the quantity hurdles of package service providers, most of which are Asian. This issue is now resolved by a consortium of seven partners from industry and research. Radar sensors for industrial and process metrology, as addressed in the project 'Glass Interposer Technology for Implementing Highly Compact Electronic Systems for High-frequency Applications (GlaRA) sponsored by BMBF..."

Determining Voltage Standing-Wave Ratios

Determining Voltage Standing-Wave Ratios, June 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeMeasuring voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) is a fairly common and simple operation these days with readily available and relatively inexpensive test equipment. Inserting a power meter in series with a signal to measuring the incident and reflected power, or even simpler, inserting a bidirectional power coupler in series with the signal and measuring the difference between the forward and reverse ports is a routine matter for even modestly equipped laboratories, Ham shacks, or field operations. Simply plug the two values into the following equation for the answer:  VSWR=(1 + β)/(1-β), where β=√(Prev/Pfwd). What if all you have is an oscilloscope, then how would you make the measurement? Actually, the calculation is even simpler because you use the ratio of the peak incident and reflected waves, but making the measurement requires more work. This article presents one way to get the job done...

Thanks to RF & Connector Technology (RFCT) for Continuing Support!

RF & Connector Technology - RF CafeProviding 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."

Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS) Needs an RF Design Engineer

Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS) Needs an RF Design Engineer - RF CafeDigital Intelligence Systems (DISYS), a global staffing, IT consulting & managed services firm with more than 33 offices worldwide, is in search of an RF Design Engineer. This engineering position will report to the manager of RF Solutions, primarily support the Tactical Solutions business unit, and will have Radio Frequency (RF) engineering as its area of specialization with design and test of RF electronics circuits and systems as the focus. You will be responsible for the hands-on design and realization of RF passive and active circuits used in phased array antennas, larger RF systems, and other RF components. Also, you will design and test circuits for receivers, transmitters, local oscillators, and RF subsystems. Designs typically range in frequency from VHF through 20 GHz. Simulate circuit and system performance using analytical software such as AWR Microwave Office, VSS, Agilent ADS, System Vue, and MATLAB...

Many Thanks to Reactel for Their Long-Time Support!

Reactel Filters - RF Cafe

Reactel has become one of the industry leaders in the design and manufacture of RF and microwave filters, diplexers, and sub-assemblies. They offer the generally known tubular, LC, cavity, and waveguide designs, as well as state of the art high performance suspended substrate models. Through a continuous process of research and development, they have established a full line of filters of filters of all types - lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, diplexer, and more. Established in 1979. Please contact Reactel today to see how they might help your project.

Tuesday the 9th

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, March 1944 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThese four electronics-themed comics appeared in the March 1944 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. People worldwide were still obsessed with radio and many forms of media created content to feed the frenzy. For that matter, any form of electronic gizmo was deemed to be magical to the average person. All sorts of fantastical inventions were envisioned. In 1944, less than half the households had even one television set, and hard as it may seem to believe, many did not have a single radio, either. Newspapers and magazines constituted the primary form of news distribution and consumption. I have to say that the comic with the quasi-Baroque-angel-style baby holding a "radio-bottle" kind of creeps me out...

Axiom Blog: Setting up a Home Test System

Axiom Blog: Setting up a Home Test System - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rental and sales company has published a new blog post entitled "Setting up a Home Test System," that discusses the most important equipment you will need when creating your home's test studio either for hobby endeavors or for the need to outfit a work-from-home environment due COVID-19 conditions. Cost of equipment is a significant factor when building your home test studio. However, keeping costs reasonable is possible by either renting equipment or purchasing quality used equipment at a fraction of the price which can be found through Axiom's extensive inventory. Setting up a Home Test System Social distancing has become a new way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Instead of daily trips to a test lab or electronic manufacturing facility, many engineers are being asked to work remotely to minimize contact with others and the potential spread of the virus. For many, home is the new office and workplace and for electronic circuit designers, testing is a helpful if not essential part of working on electronic designs at home...

Active Mold Packaging for mmWave and SiP-based Planar Antennas

Active Mold Packaging Used for mmWave Package and SiP-based Planar Antennas - RF Cafe"Active Mold Packaging (AMP) is a novel interconnect technology for IC packaging. Here, the previously unused areas of the epoxy mold compound (EMC) of an IC package are converted into an active carrier of electrical functionality. AMP offers additional metallization layers on the surface and in the volume of the EMC, thus enabling a new approach towards mm-wave applications. The LPKF solution provides simple, time-saving, and space-saving antennas with package integration. The simple, time-saving and reliable technology is based on three proven and standardized electronic production technologies..."

Do You Understand Women? 1942 Radio Retailing Today

Do You Understand Women?, September 1942 Radio Retailing Today - RF CafeMost people know that World War II marked the point at which a large percentage of American women made a major move from the role of homemaker to the roles of factory and trades workers. The societal shift was made necessary because a large percentage of American men were off fighting the war in Europe and the South Pacific, and therefore were not available to do those tasks. This article appeared in the September 1942 edition of Radio Retailing Today magazine less than a year into America's involvement in the War. Even a militant feminist would probably conclude that, given the state of the world at the time, it is a very fair assessment and generally exceedingly complimentary. Note this observation regarding use of women for manufacturing, "Women have made more radio tubes and radio sets than men ever will." I thought about that while preparing for the restoration of my 1941 Crosley Model 03CB console radio...

Rohde & Schwarz EMI Debugging and Analysis

Rohde & Schwarz EMI Debugging and Analysis - RF CafeRhode & Schwarz now has a website area dedicated to electromagnetic interference (EMI) debugging and analysis. "EMI debugging in the design phase will help keep product development on schedule Detecting, analyzing, and correcting causes of electromagnetic interference (EMI) early in the development process is the surest way to successfully pass an EMI compliance test and the best way to avoid redesigns, delays, and added costs late in a project. EMI debugging for unwanted emissions can start as soon as a circuit is live. Rohde & Schwarz supply multipurpose equipment including oscilloscopes with leading FFT functions, advanced trigger possibilities and very low input noise, and spectrum analyzers..."

Thanks to Electro-Photonics for Long-Time 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. 

Monday the 8th

The Radio Alarm

The Radio Alarm - RF Cafe

Hugo Gernsback, as I have often pointed out, had a penchant for predicting technology development and user trends. Decades of researching and publishing articles and books, inventing electrical and mechanical devices, and creating educational material enabled a synergistic combination of real-world experience and visionary thinking. In this 1945 Radio-Craft magazine editorial entitled, "The Radio Alarm," Mr. Gernsback envisioned a form of public emergency broadcast system that would notify the public of impending and/or in-process dangers like natural and man-caused disasters, invading armed forces, police alerts, etc. His idea involved incorporating a special always-on circuit into radios that would listen for a broadcast tone and then switch the radio on automatically. Of course in 1945 there would need to be a minute of two allotted for the tubes to warm up before sending out the actual message. In 1951 the CONELRAD system was put into operation to alert citizens in the even of a Cold War era invasion or attack, doing exactly what Gernsback had envisioned, albeit without a the special turn-on circuit. Then, in 1963 the more familiar Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) took over...

Please Thank IPP for Their Long-Time Support!

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 are serviced around the world. Please take a couple minutes to visit their website and see how IPP can help you today.

Bob Pease eBook Vol 1

Bob Pease eBook Vol 1 - RF CafeJune of this year marks the 10-year anniversary (albeit a sad one) of the passing of Bob Pease. Many of us read his sage insights on analog circuit design for decades; I remember first seeing his articles in Electronic Design magazine back in the early 1980s. "Pease Porridge" (nursery rhyme) was a technical dietary staple, to be ingested once each month when it came via snail mail. Electronic Design magazine has just released Bob Pease eBook Vol 1 as "A compendium of articles from [National Semiconductor's] legendary electronic design engineer Bob Pease." You'll recognize the trademark "What's All This..." beginning to titles (some have tried to hijack it). If for some reason you cannot complete the registration, you might be able to download directly from here. This is a great 2016 tribute to Bob - with photos, including of the famous messy cubicle.

Remler Model No. 36 6-Tube Dual-Wave Auto-Radio

Remler Model No. 36 6-Tube Dual-Wave Auto-Radio Radio Service Data Sheet, September 1935 Radio-Craft - RF CafeInstalling commercial broadcast radio receivers in cars and trucks was a big deal in the 1930s - even bigger than having one in your home. Having an ability to receive the popular shortwave bands was a real sign of success (as was merely owning a car). An advantage to auto radios was not needing an AC-to-DC rectification circuit like in-home models that required at least one additional vacuum tube and a hefty transformer - although many people in non-electrified rural areas had DC radios in their homes as well (the Rural Electrification Act wasn't passed until 1936). In its service instructions, Remler suggested to owners that if poor reception was experienced, the auto should be parked somewhere that a 50-foot secondary aerial couldn't be deployed. I could locate any examples of restored...

Modem-to-Antenna Solution in Era of 5G

Modem-to-Antenna Solution in Era of 5G - RF CafeChristian Block, of Qualcomm, has an interesting article on the Electronic Design website entitled, "6 Reasons to Move to a Complete Modem-to-Antenna Solution in the Era of 5G." Says he, "To help tame complexity as 5G continues to expand, network operators and OEMs should consider complete modem-to-antenna solutions." The short piece deals with how the smartphone industry is transforming with 5G, how 5G complicates RF design and finally how to tame 5G RF complexity. As with software, one of the biggest challenges with adopting new standards is deciding how far backwards in compatibility the new products need to be...

Many Thanks to Aegis Power Systems for Their Continued Support!

Aegis Power Systems - RF CafeAegis Power Systems is a leading supplier of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies for custom and special applications. Aegis has been designing and building highly reliable custom power supplies since 1995. They offer a complete line of switch mode power supplies and power converters for a variety of markets including defense, industrial, aircraft, VME, and telecom. Supports military, aircraft, EV, telecom, and embedded computing applications. Design and manufacture of custom power supply solutions to meet each customer's exacting specifications. Please visit Aegis Power Systems today.


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 Electronics-Themed Comics June 1951 Radio-Electronics  

Engineering Job Opening

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe for as Little as $40/mo.

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeRF 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 13,000 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. Advertising begins at $40/month.

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2

RF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeIt 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. 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!

RF Cascade Workbook 2018

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 Is Available Now! - RF CafeRF 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...

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...

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...

Post Your Engineer & Technician Job Openings on RF Cafe for Free

Engineering Job Board - RF CafeRF Cafe's raison d'être is and always has been to provide useful, quality content for engineers, technicians, engineering managers, students, and hobbyists. Part of that mission is offering to post applicable job openings. HR department employees and/or managers of hiring companies are welcome to submit opportunities for posting at no charge. 3rd party recruiters and temp agencies are not included so as to assure a high quality of listings. Please read through the easy procedure to benefit from RF Cafe's high quality visitors...


Silicon Nanostructures Replace Plastic Lenses in Cell Phone Cameras

Silicon Nanostructures Replace Plastic Lenses in Cell Phone Cameras - RF Cafe"It's been a good decade or so for the makers of plastic lenses. In recent years, smartphone manufactures have been adding camera modules, going from one to two to five or more. And each of those camera modules contains several plastic lenses. Over the years, these lenses have changed little, though image processing software has improved a lot, merging images from multiple camera modules into one high quality picture and enabling selective focus and other features. The glory days of the plastic camera lens, however, may be drawing to a close. At least that's the hope of Metalenz, a Boston-area startup that officially took its wraps off today. The company aims to replace plastic lenses with waveguides..."

CMOS-Based Transceiver for >5G Applications at 300 GHz

CMOS-Based Transceiver for >5G Applications at 300 GHz - RF Cafe"Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and NTT Corporation (NTT) have developed a novel CMOS-based transceiver for wireless communications at the 300 GHz band, enabling future beyond-5G applications. Their design addresses the challenges of operating CMOS technology at its practical limit and represents the first wideband CMOS phased-array system to operate at such elevated frequencies. Communication at higher frequencies is goal in electronics as researchers attempt to achieve greater data rates that and to take advantage of underused portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many applications beyond 5G, as well as the IEEE802.15.3d standard for wireless communications, call for transmitters and receivers capable of operating close to or above 300 GHz. Current CMOS technology is not entirely suitable for such elevated frequencies..."

Nanofabrication Technology for Quantum Nano-Electronic Devices

Nanofabrication Technology for Quantum Nano-Electronic Devices - RF Cafe"Niobium metal is used in the implantation of a variety of superconducting quantum devices. However, the technology is typically limited to use in conventional Josephson junctions based on Nb-AlOx-Nb produced entirely by sputtering. In addition, the devices are most commonly in a vertical stack covered by niobium metal, making it physically limited to access the embedded films that could comprise insulators, semiconductor, or hybrids with ions. There is a need for improvement in the design as well as integration of functional materials for use in devices such as qubits as well as ion embedded devices for quantum memory. Also, implementation of large-scale computers requires nanofabrication technologies. Sending qubits states and implementing quantum networks requires an optical interface. This research presents nanofabrication processes..."

Age of Zero-Emissions Heavy-Duty Trucks Begins

Age of Zero-Emissions Heavy-Duty Trucks Begins - RF Cafe"Zero Emissions" has got to be one of most egregiously contrived, deceptive terms in the history of technology. Likewise for "Green Dollars," which really means government subsidization for something that citizens will not pay for. Per the story: "Despite accounting for only 9% of the global vehicle stock, large diesel truck engines represent 39% of the transport sectors' greenhouse gas emissions, and about 5% of Co2 emissions from fossil fuels. But this may soon change. For those in the automotive world trying to convince the boss that climate change is an important strategic issue for business, something important is happening: Companies are going after green dollars, money spent to reduce pollution and waste, and in doing so, they're also demonstrating good corporate citizenship."

















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Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    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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