Thursday the 14th
Have you been looking for a Zenith
Radio Nurse, a Superior Speedometer Multitester, or maybe a Clough Brengle
3" Oscilloscope? Perhaps you happen to have a wireless phono oscillator, a
Weston 722 radio, or a Dumont 3" model 164E oscilloscope for sale. In either
Sprague Trading Post would have been the place to go in the mid 1940s,
when the company paid good money in Radio-Craft magazine to host a swap shop
for electronics hobbyists and professionals. Vacuum tubes, radios, test equipment,
and related items were offered and requested. Sprague was/is a major manufacturer
of capacitors, so they probably figured some of the equipment would need replacement
capacitors which traders would buy from them...
Rohde & Schwarz has a downloadable
whitepaper entitled, "Over-the-Air
(OTA) Testing - Important Antenna Parameters, Test System Setup and Calibration."
Future technologies and standards will make over-the-air (OTA) testing mandatory.
At the same time, integrated antennas are becoming more common with each development
cycle such as for low-cost IoT devices and 5G mmWave devices. Since measurement
requirements will change with OTA testing, engineers need a basic understanding
of antennas and antenna measurements. This paper provides you with extensive
knowledge on the following: Antennas in general, their parameters and different
types, as well as antenna characterization and testing The importance and
execution of OTA test setup calibration...
"Join our webinar on January 20th,
to learn how
Kinetic Vision uses Altium's platform to enable a connected and frictionless
PCB design experience, increasing their productivity x5 even in the midst
of Covid. For over 30 years, Kinetic Vision has provided technology solutions
to over 50 of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world. Hear about how their
embedded development team needed a better design and collaboration solution
to satisfy the increasing needs of their demanding clients and how Altium
helped solve their toughest issues. Altium Designer is their tool of choice
when it comes to designing PCBs, as it provides the most connected PCB design
experience - removing the common points of friction that occur throughout
a typical design flow. With the Covid situation, using Altium's platform became
even more essential as it enabled seamless remote working..."
The announcement of the
merging of Radio-Craft and Radio & Television magazines into
a single publication was made on the eve of America's entrance into World
War II. Knowing the visionary talents of publisher Hugo Gernsback, he
probably did so at least partly due to what could be predicted as a severe
contraction of the domestic electronics appliance market once the war machine
gears began cranking. It turns out that he was in fact prescient, because
history shows that the government did direct all critical production to military
equipment. Buying a new model radio, television, washing machine, and to some
extent car grew increasingly difficult from about 1942 through 1945...
Guerrilla RF introduces the GRF5508
and GRF5510, two of ten new
¼ W linear power amplifiers being released as part of the company's expansion
into the cellular market. These new InGaP HBT amplifiers were designed specifically
for 5G/4G wireless infrastructure applications requiring exceptional native
linearity over temperature extremes of -40°C to 85°C. Spanning frequency ranges
of 800-900 MHz and 880-960 MHz respectively, the GRF5508 and GRF5510
are tuned to operate within the n5, n8, n18, n20 and n26 5G new radio (NR)
bands. The devices can deliver 24 dBm of linear power over the entire
-40°C to 85°C temperature...
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
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.
Wednesday the 13th
The Duoscope, as presented in a 1954
issue of Radio-News magazine, was a pretty neat concept - sort of
like a picture-in-picture (PiP) scheme for television, only in a way much
better. Whereas PiP provides only a partial screen for each television program,
Du Mont's "Duoscopic" viewer somehow received two independent signals
and combined them on the screen in such a manner that there was both a horizontally
polarized for one show and a vertically polarized image for the other. The
viewer selected which picture to watch by wearing the appropriately polarized
glasses or by watching through a floor-mounted transparent, polarized screen.
The superimposed image on the CRT looked a lot like a virtually indiscernible
3-D picture as seen without colored glasses. Similarly, the audio for each
program was selectable using a remote (wired) switch box. Headphones were
used to provide private listening. The Duoscope turned out to be just another
"outside the box" concept that never played out in the consumer world...
End Launch 1.0 mm (Narrow Block) coaxial connectors are specially
designed for well used high frequency substrates to minimize electromagnetic
effects including impedance discontinuities from coaxial to GCPWG (Grounded
Coplanar Waveguide) and Top Ground Microstrip structure. The types of connectors
are 2.92 mm, 2.4 mm, 1.85 mm & 1.0 mm. Applications
include RFIC Chip set evaluation boards, high data rate ASIC and SoC evaluation
module test, and substrate characterization. We solve your performance
and cost problems.
"While most of the world is still using
the 4G networks and some companies have just released 5G networks,
China is testing next-generation wireless technology that is said to be
100 times faster than the American version of 5G. This next-generation network
expands from the 5G millimeter-wave frequency to terahertz frequency. The
5G network promises mass connectivity, ultra-reliability, and guaranteed low
latency. However, there is a limit to what 5G can do until 2030 and beyond.
New Chinese research has outlined four major paradigm shifts that are needed
for a next-generation network. The long-form review is entitled "Towards 6G
wireless communication networks: vision, enabling technologies, and new paradigm
Rohde & Schwarz recently published
a white paper entitled, "Radio
Fundamentals for Cellular Networks." It begins: "Cellular technologies
have advanced from first generation (1G) analog technologies to advanced high
performance fourth generation (4G) and fifth generation (5G) systems in just
four decades. Despite the increase in complexity of wireless standards and
devices, cellular technologies maintain a set of common principles that form
the basis behind the design of cellular systems. In this white paper, we explore
these basic principles and examine the underlying technologies that lay the
foundation for today and future cellular systems." BTW, does anyone else think
R&S's use of that light blue on a gray background is not a very good choice?
There are a lot of audiophiles in the
RF Cafe audience, so this 10-question
Audio Quiz from Popular Electronics should prove useful. It covers
not just the physical aspects but also some simple electronics concepts, like
decibels of gain, crossover networks, push-pull amplifiers, etc. High fidelity
(hi-fi) stereophonic equipment was all the rage in the 1950s and 1960s. It
was a way for people to enjoy live concert quality music in their homes since
the quality of radio transmissions was not reliable, and stereo broadcasting
was not a common feature until the 1960s. Many articles were published educating
beginners and veterans on ways to optimize both equipment - receivers, turntables,
speakers, equalizers, etc. - and environmental parameters. Similarly, many
stereo-themed comics (and here) appeared in Popular Electronics and
other magazines. Enjoy.
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.
Tuesday the 12th
Meissner was one of many electronics
manufacturers that re-tooled their facilities for defense production during
the war years. They made RF coils and transformers (and a few radios). Company
public relations offices were sure to make their contributions known to people
who used their products and/or services. In this 1944 full-page ad in Radio-Craft
magazine, Meissner touted its coveted Army-Navy "E" rating, awarded for "excellence"
performance. According to the Wikipedia entry, only 2% of companies earned
the distinction, so it really was a big deal. The term "precision-el" was
used throughout Meissner promotions, and it took a bit of work to determine
what it meant. Turns out precision-el (i.e., precisionel) is a play on personnel
(i.e., personn-el). Such things were considered clever back in the day...
RF Cafe visitor Michael Maassel, an
electrical engineering professor in North Dakota State University's Electrical
and Computer Engineering Department, requested that I post these few questions
to help him effectively prepare students taking senior-level (aka "Capstone")
design courses for a real-world experience after graduation. Says the good
professor, "The biggest headache I have is getting the students to
document their work, both in hardware and in software. Currently, I am
requiring that the students use a quad line notebook. This has not been very
successful." How do you handle documentation in your every-day work?
"The 'fourth dimension' improves radar
accuracy in driver-assistance and self-driving systems. Several companies
are pushing it forward with recent introductions. In contrast to cameras and
4D imaging radar uses echolocation and the principle of time-of-flight
measurement to find things in its environment. It works well in all weather
and environment conditions, including fog, heavy rain, and darkness. 4D imaging
radar can tell when a car is moving and at what speed in a full white-out
snowstorm. It also has the benefit of sensing out to 300 meters - a requirement
for higher levels of automation. 4D is called 4D because it's a high-resolution
long-range radar sensor that not only detects the distance, relative speed,
Aircraft electronics has always been
on the bleeding edge of technology because of the ever-increasing need to
fly in the widest range of atmospheric conditions possible. Accordingly, skills
needed by avionics servicemen are amongst the highest required in any electronics
field. There are still many pieces of vintage equipment in service that need
to be maintained, but even 20- to 30-year-old airborne radars and navigational
units require top-notch techs to troubleshoot and align. One topic in particular
that plagues electronics operation even in modern airframes is that of static
electricity build-up and lightning strikes. We all face those kinds of static
discharge hazards in non-aviation environments, but for the most part a failure
on the ground or water is not as imminently life-threatening as a failure
in the air...
Whenever I see John Dunn's name I think
of the English poet John
Donne, but that's my problem. Mr. Dunn wrote an article for EDN
magazine entitled, "What's
the Difference Between EMF and Voltage?" He begins: "I once read this
very strongly-written essay about the difference between electromotive force
(EMF) and voltage. The author seemed like he was on some kind of holy crusade
and was intensely determined to set his readers straight on fundamental truths
that were NOT to be dismissed by infidels. I read his words, but for all of
the vitriol, I didn't understand him at all. Recently, I decided to take a
closer look at the issue. EMF is given in units of joules per coulomb. The
frame of reference for this definition is for any device that uses a non-electrical
source of energy to impart electrical energy to a unit of charge, which if
given the chance, will flow somewhere..."
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.
Monday the 11th
Do you detect any (probably unintended)
irony in the page 76 comic from a 1947 issue of Radio-Craft magazine?
It shows a husband and wife shopping for a new radio and has the husband telling
the salesman, "I don't care if it is FM - I want one that plays in the P.M.!"
I'll let you think on it for a moment. As with many of the comics that appeared
in the magazine, the scenarios were suggested by readers. The other comic
played on the common music programming schedule that included times of "dinner
music," "evening music," etc. If you like these comics, then you'll appreciate
the huge list at the bottom of the page of others with tech themes.
Qorvo, a leading provider of innovative
RF solutions that connect the world, today introduced a family of
high-performance low noise amplifiers (LNAs) tailored for base station
infrastructure deployments including 5G massive MIMO (m-MIMO). Qorvo's newest
family of LNAs combines the lowest noise figure in the industry - 0.3 dB
achieved at 2 GHz - with unmatched reliability and scalability in a very
compact footprint. The flagship QPL9547 LNA utilizes Qorvo's latest generation
enhancement-mode pseudomorphic High Electron Mobility Transistor (pHEMT) process
to provide market-leading noise figure and improved receiver sensitivity for
cellular base stations. This LNA is internally matched and is available...
If you are in the market for
mm−wave waveguide components,
you will definitely want to vist Quantum Microwave. They have a huge selection
of active (18-110 GHz) and passive (18-325 GHz) components that
are designed and manufactured right there in their Massachusetts facility!
Attenuators, detectors, diplexers, power amplifiers, mixers, isolators &
circulator, multipliers, antennas, switches, probe adapters, terminations,
and filters. Waveguide sections include straight, bends, twists, transitions,
and adapters. The star of the show, however, is their patented "GuideLock"
connector system that eliminates screws and creates a superior joint. Check
Most of us that have any reason to
visit RF Cafe know what a watt is both from a DC, Ohm's Law perspective, and
from an RF power perspective. Some, though, are not quite sure what an audio
watt is, as far as whether it is the same as a watt of DC power or a watt
of AC power (sinewave or not?). This short article from the August 1955
Popular Electronics answers the question, including why it is necessary
drive speakers at what seems like unnecessarily high power levels given
how sensitive the human ear is to sound...
RF 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...
Please take a few moments to visit
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.
Sunday the 10th
RF & Microwave Crossword Puzzle of 2021 has many 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 8th
John T. Frye, creator of the "Mac's
Radio Service Shop" and "Carl & Jerry" technodrama article series, employed
his mastery of electronics to weave into tales valuable lessons in circuit
design and troubleshooting, business practices, dealing with customers, test
equipment usage, education, as well as introducing new technology. His columns
ran for decades in multiple electronics trade and hobby magazines. In addition
to that, Mr. Frye wrote many technical articles such as this "Fundamentals
of Radio Servicing" piece that ran in a 1951 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine.
It is Part 23 of a series and deals with "Signals
in Space." An avid Ham operator, he is aware that it was radio amateurs
who played a large role in early discoveries...
Werbel Microwave, a designer and manufacturer
of RF and microwave power couplers, dividers, terminations, and DAS equipment,
introduces directional coupler model C-1182-20, a high performance
wideband directional coupler that covers 2 to 18 GHz with 20 dB
coupling and a typical flatness of ±0.45 dB. It has excellent return
loss and low insertion loss. Usually in stock, but check website or call for
availability. Werbel Microwave's catalog of directional couplers and power
splitters / combiners are high performance at an affordable price point. Our
original design, USA made.
The first recorded successful
was made from a hot air balloon in 1797 by Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin.
His performance elicited "a scream of terror" from the crowd below and even
caused women to faint at the sight of his basket swinging wildly beneath the
canopy. Many brave souls met with less success before and after that jump.
By World War II the state of the art for parachutes had managed to cure
the wild swing problem, but reliability still left a lot to be desired, especially
when the 'chutes were packed by paratroopers with only a few weeks of experience.
Control during the descent was rather limited due to the original round configuration
with directional commands effected by pulling on the shroud lines on one side
or the other...
"Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan
University have discovered a way to make
self-assembled nanowires of transition metal chalcogenides at scale using
chemical vapor deposition. By changing the substrate where the wires form,
they can tune how these wires are arranged, from aligned configurations of
atomically thin sheets to random networks of bundles. This paves the way to
industrial deployment in next-gen industrial electronics, including energy
harvesting, and transparent, efficient, even flexible devices. Electronics
is all about making things smaller - smaller features on a chip, for example,
means more computing power in the same amount of space and better efficiency..."
KR 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.