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Homepage Archive - July 2021 (page 2)

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the July 2021 homepage archives.
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Wednesday the 14th

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics, July 1945 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIf you like the radio-themed comics from vintage electronics magazines, then you'll appreciate the jackpot of them (5) in the July 1945 issue of Radio Craft magazine. Being the era in which it was published, many of the comics at the time had military-electronics themes as well. A lot of them are credited to subscribers providing ideas. One of my favorite features is "Radio Terms Illustrated," where readers write in with suggestions for how common lingo in the radio realm can have an alternate interpretation. Such is the case with "Wave Trap" in the first comic. I think Frank Beaven was the illustrator for all of them. Look in the big list of other technical-themed comics at the bottom of the page for others which include "Radio Terms Illustrated."

Fun with Radio Parts

Fun with Radio Parts, December 1937 Radio-Craft - RF CafeMaking novelty items from electronics parts is nothing new. Lots of photos can be found on the WWW where very creative people have fashioned some pretty incredible electronics art items from resistors, capacitors, inductors, LEDs, PCBs, transistors, etc. Horseplay in the electronics realm also enjoys a long heritage, as illustrated in this 1937 issue of Radio-Craft magazine. I fondly recall the old days as a technician at Westinghouse Electric when, on the evening shift, we used to get away with playing practical jokes on each other in the lab. Ours were low tech stuff like connecting a high voltage supply to someone's metal toolbox or squeezing water from a soldering iron sponge wetting bottle through a length of plastic tubing (taped under a workbench) onto a guy's crotch while he was working intently on something. You'd probably get fired or sued...

A Short Course in Practical Electronics

A Short Course in Practical Electronics, April 1944 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe probability-based quantum mechanical model of atoms has been in existence since around 1932 when Robert Mulliken coined the term "electron orbital." It superseded the Bohr model that modeled the atom as a proton/neutron nucleus that was surrounded by electrons orbiting like planets around a star. For many decades thereafter, text books - particularly those used in beginner level courses - continued to present the Bohr model and only gave passing reference, if at all, to the quantum model. The Bohr model was and still is easier for most people to envision, although as time goes on the percentage of people who even recognize a planetary model is probably rapidly decreasing. This article from a 1944 edition of Radio-Craft magazine chooses to use the Bohr model as part of an introduction to electronics. Today, you might need to start from a lower point and talk about groupies swarming around rock stars for most people...

Many Thanks to Berkeley Nucleonics for Continued Support!

Berkeley Nucleonics Corp - RF CafeBerkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC) is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement, and nuclear research. Founded in 1963, BNC initially developed custom pulse generators. We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance. We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal, light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing procedures.

Vintage Heathkit AR−1250 Stereo Receiver Kit

Vintage Heathkit AR−1250 Stereo Receiver Kit - RF Cafe Cool ProductThis vintage Heathkit AR−1250 Stereo Receiver kit is one the latest Heathkit kits which appeared on eBay, although this one is mostly built. At least you can see the innards in the photos. There appears to be a lot of parts to assemble, but by 1985 Heathkit was shipping kits with major RF circuit components already mounted and tuned. Without photos of the unassembled kit I cannot be sure, but being declared "a four-evening kit" means it likely did have pre-assembled sections. I have been saving these kinds of images in order to preserve the history. A constantly growing list is at the lower right. The first instance of the AR−1250 Stereo Receiver I could find in a Heathkit catalog is in the 1985 Spring-Summer issue with a price of $349.95, but by the time the 1985 Christmas issue was mailed, the price had been lowered to $299.95 ($745.61 in 2021 money per the BLS Inflation Calculator)...

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...

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.

Tuesday the 13th

Electronics - at Work

Electronics - at Work, June 1945 Radio News - RF CafeGlenn Bradford's delve into "Electronics - at Work" is deep and wide. In this June 1945 issue of Radio News magazine, he hits on many of the main issues being debated in the mid-1940s regarding what role electronics would and should play in regrouping society following World War II. Major advances in mechanics and electronics were made during the war, and a huge potential workforce for dealing with designing, manufacturing, selling, and servicing of a vast array of promised appliances and gizmos was "out there" looking for an opportunity. In spite of that, indecision and reluctance to take risks plagued industries scurrying to adapt from a (sometimes forced) wartime production mindset back to a consumer-centric mode. Whereas the government funded conversion to defense products, it was up to companies to make the transition back. This is a very interesting insight into the situation. Be prepared for an introduction to many new terms...

Teledyne Intros 4 New Reed Relay Families for High Rel Apps

Teledyne Relays Announces 4 New Reed Relay Families for High Reliability Applications - RF CafeTeledyne Relays today announced availability of four new reed relay product families, all offering extremely long life of up to 1 billion cycles, ideal for applications where high reliability is essential. The new product lines complement the already broad array of rugged switching solutions the company has been supplying for more than 60 years. Reed relays offer a compact and lightweight solution for switching of AC or DC signals. Contacts are hermetically sealed inside a glass envelope which protects them from corrosion. Compared with other mechanical-based relays, reed relays offer low power consumption, low contact capacitance and faster switching speeds...

C- and L-Band Microdisk Lasers on Silicon

C- and L-Band Microdisk Lasers on Silicon - RF Cafe"Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in China claims the first demonstration of room-temperature continuous-wave lasing of quantum dash (QDash) microdisk lasers (MDLs) on silicon in the C (1530-1565nm) and L (1565-1625nm) optical communication bands. The devices were optically pumped, but the researchers believe that electrically pumped MDLs could be realized in the future. QDash light emitters are attractive since they are less affected by crystal defects arising from lattice mismatches between silicon and III-V materials. Also, they are less affected by thermal variations. The team envisages the realization of multi-channel communication through the fabrication of different diameter and thickness disks on the same substrate with reduced light-source volume and complexity..."

Resistor-Selection Nomogram

Resistor-Selection Nomogram, April 1967 Electronics World - RF CafeEven in the age of computers and smartphone applets for everything, some people still are not comfortable with mathematics, including something as relatively simple as Ohm's Law. There are still a lot of electronics tinkerers around who grew up in the pencil and paper era (like moi), where slide rules ruled the day. While a software program or electronics calculator is convenient for many uses, sometimes a printed graphical tool is easier to work with - at least in a lab environment. Accordingly, for those who still appreciate a good resistor selection nomograph, here is one from the April 1967 edition of Electronics World magazine. Here's a challenge for recent college grads that are scoffing at the old guys who are right now having a grandkid print out a copy of this nomograph for them: What is the resistor color code number...

New for 2020! 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...

Many Thanks to Atenlab for Their Continued Support!

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 the 12th

IBM Military Products

IBM Military Products, August 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeYou might not know it, but International Business Machines (IBM) gained its prominence in the computer realm thanks to a massive contract awarded to it by the U.S. Department of War during World War II for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), an electromechanical computer (also called Mark I). It was used for making calculations during development of the atomic bomb by the Manhattan Project. IBM's success was rewarded with many later contracts for fully electronic computers used in military equipment, by the space program, and by university research departments (funded by the government). The company grew quite large and had a very extensive technical workforce including engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and technicians. While living in Burlington, Vermont, in the 1980s, I got to know many IBM employees (IBM used to have a major presence there). All were very pleased with the pay, benefits, and treatment by the company...

Neuristors Logic Gates from 2D Materials

Neuristors Logic Gates from 2D Materials - RF Cafe"Individual neurons in the human brain can efficiently perform so-called Boolean operations; a type of algebraic operations that include union, subtraction and intersection. Computing systems that emulate biological neurons, such as neuromorphic computing systems, however, typically require several devices to complete these operations. Researchers at Fudan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently developed neuristors based on two-dimensional (2D) materials that can perform logic operations individually, without the need for multiple devices. These neuristors, presented in a paper published in Nature Electronics, could enable the development of better performing bioinspired computing systems..."

Electronics Units Quiz

Electronics Units Quiz, May 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBack in the 1960s, Robert Balin created many quizzes on various electronics topics for Popular Electronics magazine. I have posted many of them (see complete list below). This one from the May 1962 issue is on the subject of units of measure commonly found in electronics work. All are still found in modern devices, so you don't need to be an expert on vacuum tubes and selenium rectifiers to get a good score. I missed the one for the tape deck, but then I don't ever remember concerning myself with the electrical and magnetic characteristics of tape decks. Maybe you will do better.

New for 2021! RF & Electronics Symbols for Office™

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 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!

Please Visit Triad RF Systems to Thank Them for Their Support

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 the 11th

Microwave Engineering Crossword Puzzle for July 11th

Microwave Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for July 11th, 2021 - RF CafeThis Microwave Engineering Theme Crossword Puzzle for July 11th 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!

Thanks to TotalTemp Technologies for Continued Support!

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

Friday the 9th

The Future of U.H.F.

The Future of U.H.F., June 1945 Radio News - RF Cafe"The more things change, the more they stay the same," applies to many things, and certainly does for crowding issues in the electromagnetic spectrum. Just as with a gas in an expanding volume, uses for newly opened regions of the radio spectrum are quickly occupied by new users. From the beginning of the radio age, the ability to utilize higher and higher frequencies was limited only by available technology - first vacuum tubes and now semiconductors. Now, as then, it is the higher power transmitting side of the communications equation that governs the upper frequencies. Designing components which work both at high frequencies and high powers is much more difficult than designing for lower powers. Capacitance, inductance, electron travel times, and voltage breakdown barriers are the culprits. This 1945 article from Radio News magazine discusses some of the issues which needed to be overcome in order to expand television broadcasting comfortably into the UHF region. Many industry forces were behind the push in order to open new markets and to squeeze more revenue-producing programming into existing spaces. Somewhat unexpectedly, the advent of cable television (CATV) thwarted well-laid plans for over-the-air broadcasting, and as history shows...

Multimeter - Past to Present

Multimeter: Past to Present - RF CafeInfographics were very popular about a decade ago, and were actually useful and informative in most cases. Electrical engineer Mr. Mogale Modisane, CEO of ToolsGaloreHQ.com, wrote to let me know about an infographic he created entitled "Multimeters: An Incredible History in Pictures (1830 until today)" which traces the evolution of multimeters. It begins with the basic galvanometer and progresses with the avometer (for amp-volt-ohm, a term I don't recall knowing), then on to digital multimeters. The webpage also has a section on the various patents that shaped the industry and discussions on related technical topics. Mogale notes, "In 1980 the Fluke Corporation (one of the largest multimeter manufacturers in the world even today), developed the first practical multimeter that could fit in one's hand." Seeing the 8020A meter really makes me feel old because I can remember using one when it was relatively new. Some of the other articles are pretty good, too, like the drill bit sharpening tutorial (or you can just buy a Drill Doctor like I have). Take a quick look if you appreciate historical aspects of our field.

The Young Squirt's 4th Epistle to the Old Man

The Young Squirt's Fourth Epistle to the Old Man, December 1935 QST - RF Cafe"Throwing the works to my bottle." Any idea what that means? Neither did I, and no source could be found for it. I assume it means cranking out max legal PEP in your power amplifier vacuum tube. "You went out just like a Swedish match in a Kansas hurricane..." Ever heard that saying? Neither had I. Evidently Swedish matches had a reputation for easily going out. I never knew the Swedes made such fantastic matches. Clearly, the tech jargon in 1935 was a bit different than today. This story from a 1935 issue of QST magazine will introduce you to many new terms with a fairly short read. The guy in the story looks a lot like the Ham in the 2013 Field Day patch...

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...

Thanks Once Again to everythingRF for Long-Time Support!

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 the 8th

Radio-Electronics Monthly Review

Radio-Electronics Monthly Review, March 1946, Radio-Craft - RF CafeEME (earth-moon-earth) amateur radio enthusiasts will be interested in reading this report of the first known instance of bouncing a radio signal off the surface of the moon and then receiving it. The event was reported in the April 1946 issue of Radio Craft magazine. A highly modified "SCR-271" radar set was used, and operated at the standard frequency of 111.6 MHz. Aside from customizing the pulse width and repetition rate, an adjustment to the receiver was necessary to account for the Doppler shift of the return frequency due the the moon's motion relative to the earth. Handling Doppler frequency shifts was necessary in the course of normal operation, but the moon, depending on its position in the sky, could be moving as fast as 750 miles per hour - faster than any airplanes of the era. Also presented this month was the first commercially operating RF food heater...

Antenova Lutosa Antenna for Small Devices on LTE and 5G

Antenova Intros Lutosa High Performing Antenna for Small Devices on LTE and 5G Networks - RF CafeAntenova Ltd, UK-based manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for M2M and the IoT, is announcing a compact high performing antenna for the 5G bands worldwide, including LTE band 74 1420-1520 MHz and 617-698 MHz. Lutosa is a flexible antenna measuring 95 x 15 x 0.15 mm, making it ideal for smaller designs, as it can be curved or folded and inserted into the device The antenna is linear polarised and showed high efficiency in tests. Antenova has designed Lutosa for easy integration into a device, the antenna does not require a ground plane or a matching network, and is simply fixed in place using its own self-adhesive strip...

Build a Numeric Glow Tube DCU

Build Numeric Glow Tube DCU, February 1970 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThe mere sight of a Nixie tube evokes passion and nostalgia in the hearts and minds of vintage electronics aficionados. For the uninitiated, Nixie tubes were one of the most successful early numeric display formats. They had wire filaments shaped in the form of numerals 0 through 9, stacked front-to-back inside a vacuum tube enclosure. Rather than the filament (wire) doing the glowing, the neon gas (plus traces of others) fluoresces (glows) in the vicinity of the wire. 7-segment LED displays had not yet hit the commercial market when this story was published in a 1970 issue of Popular Electronics magazine, so even though the numeric display uses vacuum tubes (Nixie) the power supply, counter, and display driver circuits use semiconductors rather than vacuum tubes. Very extensive circuit descriptions, building instructions, schematics, and photos are provided...

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...

Many Thanks to KR Electronics for Helping Deliver RF Cafe!

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.

   

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