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Homepage Archive - March 2021 (page 2)

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

Sunday the 14th

Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for March 14th

Science Theme Crossword Puzzle for March 14th, 2021 - RF CafeThis Science-Theme Crossword Puzzle for March 14th has many words and clues related to... you guessed it... RF engineering - and 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

Ceramic Capacitors

Ceramic Capacitors, June 1954 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeToday's ceramic capacitors are vastly different from most of those from the middle of the last century. While the ceramic capacitor in your modern electronic circuit is likely in the form of a thin circular or rectangular package, or of a tiny surface mount outline, those described in this Radio-Electronics magazine article were rather large tubular devices that had the appearance of a wirewound power resistor. The advantages of ceramic capacitors over other types available in the 1950 (paper and mica) are basically the same as today - high voltage handling and tight tolerances of down to ±1%. Table I lays out a comparison. Wikipedia has an extensive comparison of modern capacitor types, illustrating how far technology has advanced since then...

Networks Track GPS Interference Around the World

Networks Track GPS Interference Around the World - RF Cafe"When Kevin Wells's private jet lost its GPS reception on the approach to Hayward Executive Airport in California's Bay Area in February 2019, he whipped out his phone and started filming the instrument panel. For a few seconds, the signals from over a dozen GPS satellites can be seen to blink off, before slowly returning as Wells continues his descent and eventually makes a safe landing. Wells was quick to film the incident because this was not the first time he had suffered GPS problems. Less than a month earlier, his Cessna had been hit by a similar outage, at almost the identical location. 'At that point it was pretty clear to me that it was either inadvertent or purposeful jamming,' he told IEEE Spectrum. 'And I wanted to track it down.' Wells had fallen victim to GPS interference events..."

Magnetic Phenomena Quiz

Magnetic Phenomena Quiz, February 1962 Popular Electronics - RF CafeIf terms like "magnetostriction," "mu-metal," and "D-ring" arouse your technostimulus receptors, then this quiz on Magnetic Phenomena should be just what you've been waiting for. It appeared in a 1962 edition of Popular Electronics, but the principles therein have not changed since then. I must admit that I had never given thought to the orientation in which bar magnets should be stored when in close proximity to each other, especially since trying to store them the "wrong" way results in them trying to reconfigure themselves to the "right" way automatically. Not mentioned here is that a soft iron or other ferrous metal should be placed across the ends to help concentrate the magnetic fields within the magnets, thereby reducing the possibility of demagnetization due...

Thanks to PCBONLINE for Continued Support!

PCBONLINE - RF CafePCBONLINE supplies complex rigid and flex-rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs),and one-stop production with maximum flexibility ranging from prototype sample to mass production. Rigid-flex, HDI, multilayer, IC-loadboard, LCP 5G optical module, ceramic, MCPCB. Materials include Rogers, Taconic, Arlon, Isola, Bergquist, Kapton, Panasonic, and more. After more than 15 years of continuous efforts, PCBONLINE constantly updates our equipment, improves our technology, and serves you with the highest quality. Cost and delivery quotations online without the need for multiple phone call and/or e-mails.

Anatech Intros Highpass Filter & Ceramic Duplexer

Anatech Electronics Intros Highpass Filter & Ceramic Duplexer - 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 filters have been introduced: A surface mounted LTE 1542 MHz /1643 MHz L-Band Ceramic Duplexer having a bandwidth of 34 MHz (±17 MHz) in both bands with 50 dB isolation between bands, and a 5500 MHz Suspended Substrate Highpass Filter with rejection of 60 dB from DC to 4950 MHz at up to 15 watts. Custom RF power directional coupler designs can be designed and produced when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements are such that a custom approach is necessary...

Many Thanks to Nova Microwave for Continuing Support!

Nova Microwave Circulators & Isolators - RF CafeNova Microwave is a leader in technically differentiated electronic and radio frequency Ferrite Circulators and Isolators that connect, protect and control critical commercial and military wireless telecommunications systems. Our staff is dedicated to research and development of standard and custom design quality Ferrite Circulators and Isolators from 380 MHz to 26.5 GHz. Available in single or multi-junction topographies, the Nova Microwave product line of is specifically designed for use in varied environmental and temperature extremes. 

Thursday the 11th

End to End Communications for Trains

 End to End Communications for Trains, October 1944 Radio News - RF CafeHere's a good article for the train lovers out there (there are many). According to an article I found in the Allentown Morning Call, the world's first radio broadcast from a moving train took place on Sunday, March 27, 1932. The feat was accomplished by radio station WJZ out of New Jersey, while aboard a Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) train. As reported in Radio News magazine a decade later, radio was being used for reliable communications between not only the attached cars (which also often had some wired interconnections), but between other trains and between the train and depots and switch yards. Given the era, no doubt the accomplishment relied at least partly on technology developed during World War II. Radio facsimile allowed printed messaging to replace the previous method of using a hook to snatch...

And Then There Were 3

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeRF & Electronics Schematic & Block Diagram Symbols for Office™ r2 - RF CafeRF Electronics Wireless Analog Block Diagrams Symbols Shapes for Visio - RF CafeEvery angle is covered now for anyone needing high quality, professional-looking graphical shapes for creating block diagrams, schematics, and test setups. I spent hundreds of hours creating these formats to play well with Visio, Word, Excel, and Power Point. All versions' components can be broken into constituent parts for editing, and can be re-sized without pixelation. Page Templates with border and title block are provided as well. At $35 each (or all 3 for the price of 2), the cost is easily justified. Site Licenses available. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Optimizing Radiation Detection for DHS & DoD

Optimizing Radiation Detection for DHS & DoD - RF Cafe"Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) integrated an accurate and efficient model of nuclear fission into a new software suite to give users a powerful and flexible tool to quickly and accurately model new and highly complex nuclear detection scenarios. SoftWare for Optimization of Radiation Detectors (SWORD) is an integrated software package that offers an interface to radiation transport codes, allowing users to design and optimize radiation detectors, which results in the faster development and evaluation of radiation detection equipment. 'Our sponsors and end users are focused on preventing nuclear weapons and other radiological devices from being smuggled..."

Please Thank Bittele Electronics for Their Support!

Bittele Electronics PCB Fabrication - RF CafeSince 2003, Bittele Electronics has consistently provided low-volume, electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) and turnkey PCB assembly services. It specializes in board level turnkey PCB assembly for design engineers needing low volume or prototype multi-layer printed circuit boards. Free Passive Components: Bittele Electronics is taking one further step in its commitment of offering the best service to clients of its PCB assembly business. Bittele is now offering common passive components to its clients FREE of Charge.

Carl & Jerry: He Went That-a-Way!

Carl & Jerry: He Went That-a-Way!, March 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis might be the first (and only) appearance of Carl's father, at least in a drawing. In this episode, John T. Frye's high-tech teen duo Carl and Jerry design and build a "polecat detector." In the process, a little drama is thrown in when a stander-by mistakenly believes he is being insulted. Even if, in spite of the detailed description by Jerry, you don't learn how a photocell-based threshold crossing circuit works, you might just learn the meaning of 'lugubriously.' Mr. Frye always worked valuable technical information into his stories about "Carl & Jerry," "Mac's Service Shop," and other regular features which appeared in electronics magazines for decades.

UK Engineer Salary Survey 2020

UK Engineer Salary Survey 2020 - RF CafeThe Engineer website just published a very extensive UK Engineer Salary Survey 2020/21. Cutting to the chase, the average salary of 845 respondents was £56,807. Oil & gas engineers toped the list at £75,366, while telecomms / utilities / electronics (TUE) got 3rd place at £58,412. British citizens who worked outside the country trumped every other category with a peak of £147,168. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland electronics engineers averaged £105,539 while South West (England) earned only £43,250. TUE's over 50 years of age constitute 61% of their category, and under 35 years old is just 12%. That looks like an excuse to massively import foreigners to fill the looming gap. Roughly half of TUE's like their jobs and a third like their salary. Half want a new job and half feel valued in their job. Read the report...

Thanks to PCB Directory for Continued Support!

PCB  Directory - RF CafePCB Directory is the largest directory of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Manufacturers, Assembly houses, and Design Services on the Internet. We have listed the leading printed circuit board manufacturers around the world and made them searchable by their capabilities - Number of laminates used, Board thicknesses supported, Number of layers supported, Types of substrates (FR-4, Rogers, flexible, rigid), Geographical location (U.S., China), kinds of services (manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, prototype), and more. Fast turn-around on quotations for PCB fabrication and assembly.

Wednesday the 10th

Post-War Servicing Opportunities

Post-War Servicing Opportunities, January 1945, Radio-Craft - RF Cafe"Mediocre and half-baked technicians will be just out of luck." So said Radio-Craft editor Hugo Gernsback, writing in the January 1945 issue about the opportunities likely to be awaiting radioservicemen. Surprisingly, at least to me - but I suspect also to most of his readers at the time - Mr. Gernsback predicted that the majority of post-war electronics technician jobs will be for other than the kind of radio service work that existed before World War II. Major advances in factory automation with both electrical and mechanical innovations, when combined with recent advertising by consumer product manufacturers promising all sorts of amazing home appliances and entertainment gizmos, will assure a much wider and deeper (technically) variety of service work. Commercial, industrial, and domestic was predicted to require more troubleshooting, repair and maintenance savvy than merely swapping out vacuum tubes or tweaking potentiometers until "it seems right." Hence, the opening comment...

Modelithics COMPLETE Library™ v21.0 for Keysight PathWave ADS

Modelithics® Releases the COMPLETE Library™ v21.0 for Keysight Technologies' PathWave Advanced Design System - RF CafeModelithics announces the release of the newest version, version 21.0, of the Modelithics COMPLETE Library for use with Keysight Technologies' PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) software platform. The new release includes compatibility with PathWave ADS 2021 Update 2 as well as 10 new models representing over 220 components. The Modelithics COMPLETE Library contains over 775 highly scalable Microwave Global Models™ representing over 22,000 passive and active components. The library is an indispensable collection of simulation models for all types of passive and active RF & microwave devices engineered to enable designers to go from concept to product faster and easier. These models for discrete die, surface mount...

3D Printed Antennas and Arrays to Advance Radar Tech

3D Printed Antennas and Arrays to Advance Radar Technology - RF Cafe"Experts at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have created and tested 3D-printed antennas and arrays to advance radar technology and enable new applications for the U.S. Navy. The lightweight and rapid production of 3D-printed parts make it an attractive alternative to traditional manufacturing that often requires expensive materials and specialized equipment. 3D printing is a way to produce rapid prototypes and get through multiple design iterations very quickly, with minimal cost. Radar systems perform critical functions for the Navy and remain an important part of maritime navigation and national defense. Parts for antennas and arrays, which are multiple connected antennas working together..."

After Class: Working with Selenium Rectifiers

After Class: Working with Selenium Rectifiers, September 1957 Popular Electronics - RF CafePer Wikipedia, "A selenium rectifier is a type of metal rectifier, invented in 1933. They were used to replace vacuum tube rectifiers in power supplies for electronic equipment, and in high current battery charger applications. The photoelectric and rectifying properties of selenium were observed by C. E. Fitts around 1886 but practical rectifier devices were not manufactured routinely until the 1930s. Compared with the earlier copper oxide rectifier, the selenium cell could withstand higher voltage but at a lower current capacity per unit area." Electronics magazines of the era published many articles about selenium rectifiers...

ConductRF Hand Formable RF Cables at Digi−Key

ConductRF Hand Formable RF Cables at DigiKey - RF CafeConductRF hand-formable RF coaxial cables are available off the shelf from Digi−Key. ConductRF FM series of Hand Formable RF cable assemblies provides system designers with a versatile solution that allows RF cables to be physically routed and set in to position during installation. Standard lengths and connector types feature performance up to 18 GHz. Low loss, tinned braided cable of 0.086" diameter with shielding of >100 dB. 100% factory tested for VSWR & insertion loss. RoHS & Reach compliant. Ideal for internal module linking and great for RF Testing. When compared to traditional semi-rigid options, these cables can provide increased installation flexibility at a substantially lower cost. Made in the USA!

Please Visit Empower RF's Website in Appreciation of Their Support

Empower RF Systems - RF CafeEmpower RF Systems is a global leader in power amplifier solutions. Empower RF Systems is an established and technologically superior supplier of high power solid state RF & microwave amplifiers. Our offerings include modules, intelligent rack-mount amplifiers, and multi-function RF Power Amplifier solutions to 6 GHz in broadband and band specific designs. Output power combinations range from tens of watts to multi-kilowatts. Unprecedented size, weight and power reduction of our amplifiers is superior to anything in the market at similar frequencies and power levels.

Tuesday the 9th

What's New in Transistors

What's New in Transistors, June 1954 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeAs with most new discoveries, advancements came quickly with transistors. A little more than six years after Messrs. Brattain, Shockley, and Bardeen announced their invention of a positive gain, point contact transistor, this article in Radio-Electronics magazine reports on the wonders of junction diodes and transistors that eliminate the mechanical interface of the "cat's whisker" that was vulnerable to failure due to shock, vibration, and temperature changes. Note how closely spaced the patent numbers mentioned are for Sidney Darlington's compound transistor (aka a Darlington pair), Shockley's bistable transistor oscillator, Gordon Raisbeck's NPN-PNP balanced pair amplifier, and Robert Blakely's 3-terminal transistor mixer. Bell Labs, IBM, and the other big name research companies and universities...

Qorvo Technology Enables Perseverance Rover's Safe Descent to Mars

Qorvo Technology Enables Perseverance Rover's Safe Descent to Mars - RF CafeQorvo®, a leading provider of innovative RF solutions that connect the world, is proud to have been an integral part of the Mars Perseverance 2020 Mission that successfully landed an unmanned rover on Mars on February 18, 2021. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) officials confirmed that Qorvo products were integrated into the Mars Perseverance's critical descent stage landing radar. This mission-critical radar guides the rocket-powered "backpack" that helped the Perseverance Rover land safely on the surface of Mars. James Klein, president of the Infrastructure and Defense Products (IDP) business, said, "The Qorvo team is proud to support this historic scientific mission. Mars Perseverance proves that the products we design, manufacture and test can perform flawlessly, even under the harshest environmental conditions...

Heavy Rain Hinders LiDAR Sensors

Heavy Rain Hinders LiDAR Sensors - RF Cafe"The team from the Intelligent Vehicles Group at Warwick University published its study in the IEEE Sensors Journal, which details how the researchers specifically simulated and evaluated the performance of LiDAR sensors in the rain. High-level autonomous vehicles (AVs) are promised by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and technology companies to improve road safety as well as bringing economical and societal benefits. All high-level AVs rely heavily on sensors to operate. Using the WMG 3xD simulator, researchers tested an autonomous vehicle's LiDAR sensors in different intensities of rain..."

Rejuvenating Old Meters

Rejuvenating Old Meters, February 1943 QST - RF CafeAn article with instructions relating to subjects like overthrow, balance, friction, and cleaning could very well be about a country's revolutionary struggles. In this case, it is an article about how to rejuvenate a persnickety or inaccurate mechanical (aka analog) meter movement. W.R. Triplett, relative (I assume) of meter manufacturer Ray L. Triplett, is the author (Triplett is now owned by Jewel Instruments). There are a lot of analog meters around in labs, workshops, and garages. Unless they have been burnt out, most probably still work like new. Occasionally, however, the movements get sticky because of accumulations of dirt and dust, bug filth, or even from corrosion. This article offers some great tips for making them serviceable again...

Sr. RF Test Engineer Wanted by Modelithics

Sr. RF Test Engineer Wanted by Modelithics - RF CafeModelithics, Inc. is seeking Senior RF Test Engineer who is experienced with RF testing, RF / microwave lab equipment and lab software as well as having experience with I-V measurements / transistor linear and nonlinear measurements, particularly high-power load pull. Must have the ability to efficiently multi-task in a high paced, rapidly changing environment. Primary duties are to develop, manage assembly and execution of test plans for multiple customer projects. Additional responsibilities include managing the receipt and inventory of customer DUTs and other project related components. Additional duties may include data analysis and review, generating test data reports, develop / design models of calibration standards, analyze / assess calibration quality as well as support the modeling engineers and engineering team. Additional assistance may include training...

How To Build a Radio That Ignores Its Own Transmissions

How To Build a Radio That Ignores Its Own Transmissions - RF CafeJoel Brand has an interesting article on the IEEE Spectrum website entitled, "How To Build a Radio That Ignores Its Own Transmissions." In it he discusses self-interference inherent in most star networks. Mr. Brand begins: "Wireless isn't actually ubiquitous. We've all seen the effects: Calls are dropped and Web pages sometimes take forever to load. One of the most fundamental reasons why such holes in our coverage occur is that wireless networks today are overwhelmingly configured as star networks. This means there's a centrally located piece of infrastructure, such as a cell tower or a router, that communicates with all of the mobile devices around it in a starburst pattern. Ubiquitous wireless coverage will happen only when a different type of network, the mesh network, enhances these star networks. Unlike a star network, a mesh network consists of nodes that communicate with one another as well as end-user devices. With such a system, coverage holes in a wireless network can be filled by simply adding a node..."

Thanks to Res-Net Microwave for Longtime Support!

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

Monday the 8th

The Radio Month

June 1954 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF CafeOne of the great benefits of buying and reading these vintage electronics (and other types) magazines is running across information you have read or heard about from a historical perspective, but was late-breaking contemporary news at the time of publication. Although I cannot cite a specific instance off the top of my head, there have been times when the original sources told a very different story than the one often heard in second-, third-, or fourth-hand versions far removed from the actual event. It is like a Xerox copy of a document that has been through many iterations of copies of copies of copies. This 1954 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine reports on a petition submitted to the FCC by none other than Senator Joseph McCarthy, seeking to require all radio stations, including those of amateur operators...

Vintage NIB Rhode & Schwarz Test Equipment Found in Attic

Cool Product: Vintage NIB Rhode & Schwarz Test Equipment Found in Attic - RF CafeIt's not quite as monumental a find as discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave, or an original showroom-new Ford Model T sitting in a barn, but what Martin H. came upon in the attic of a old house in Gorlitz, Germany, definitely rates an "amazing!" response. Sitting on the Polish border, previously owned by an East German policeman, the domicile contained one each of the following pieces of vintage Rhode & Schwarz test equipment in brand new condition: • R&S Resonance Frequency Meter, Type WAM, BN 4312/2 (ca 1968) • R&S Phase Meter, Type PZN, BN 1941 (ca 1965) • R&S Power Signal Generator, Type SMLM, BM 4105 (ca 1974). Martin is looking for a buyer for all three of these magnificently preserved pieces of electronics history. The photos show no sign of damage, contamination or fading...

Thanks Again to Axiom for Continued Support!

Axiom Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment allows you to rent or buy test equipment, repair test equipment, or sell or trade test equipment. They are committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. Axiom offers customers several practical, efficient, and cost effective solutions for their projects' TE needs and is committed to providing superior customer service and high quality electronic test equipment. For anyone seeking a way to offload surplus or obsolete equipment, they offer a trade-in program or they will buy the equipment from you. Some vintage items are available fully calibrated. Please check out Axiom Test Equipment today!

Addressing the World's E-Waste Issues

Addressing the World's E-Waste Issues - RF Cafe"Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) has become indispensable in modern societies and is enhancing living standards, but its production and usage can be resource-demanding. After its use, EEE is disposed of, generating an e-waste stream that contains hazardous and valuable materials. EEE includes a wide range of products with circuitry or electrical components with a power or battery supply, according to The Global E-Waste Monitor, a report produced annually by United Nations University and other international organizations..."

Cardwell Condensers Advertisement

Cardwell Condensers Advertisement, April 1942 QST - RF Cafe"There's a WAR to be won." So goes the headline in an advertisement in the April 1942 edition of QST magazine. Like many American companies during World War II, Cardwell Manufacturing Corporation gave its highest priority to serving the needs of our nation's military. Patriotism was actually taught in schools back in the day, and the majority of citizens understood the need to devote their efforts to achieving victory, even if it meant putting personal interests on hold. The ad content typifies that attitude: "Though all our facilities of men and machines have long been pledged to the fulfillment of our assigned tasks, and though hundreds of thousands of Cardwell components are in active service on the far flung battlefronts of the United Nations, many times this effort is needed. And so, to our loyal personnel, we are saying, 'Let's redouble production again..."

Message in NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover

NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Has Message in Parachute - RF CafeHow come nobody told me about this? With all the articles I've read about the Perseverance rover recently landed on Mars, none come to mind which mentioned a message on the underside of the parachute used to lower the atmospheric entry spacecraft and its load to the point where retrorockets took over just above the surface. It only took a moment to figure it all out - much simpler than Carl Sagan's team's cryptic message on the Pioneer 10 and 11 interplanetary explorers, but a bit more tricky than "We come in peace for all mankind" on Apollo 11's Eagle lunar module. Très cool, IMHO.

Please Thank Anatech for Their Support!

Anatech Electronics logo - RF CafeAnatech Electronics (AEI) manufactures and supplies RF and microwave filters for military and commercial communication systems, providing standard LP, HP, BP, BS, notch, diplexer, and custom RF filters, and RF products. Standard RF filter and cable assembly products are published in our website database for ease of procurement. Custom RF filters designs are used when a standard cannot be found, or the requirements dictate a custom approach for your military and commercial communications needs. Sam Benzacar's monthly newsletters address contemporary wireless subjects. Please visit Anatech today to see how they can help your project succeed. 


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