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Homepage Archive - November 2022 (page 1)

See Page  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 of the November 2022 homepage archives.

Monday the 7th

Design and Layout of Printed Circuit Patterns

The Design and Layout of Printed Circuit Patterns, November 1952 Radio News - RF CafeThis article describing the "Auto-Sembly" technique for fully automated processing of electronic assemblies appeared in the 1954 issue of Radio & Television News magazine. Auto-Sembly was developed by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and might have first appeared in print in the 1951 issue of Electronics magazine. Single-sided printed circuit boards (PCBs) with components mounted on the far side were hot-dipped in a solder bath. All components were through-hole at the time since surface mount was not in the picture yet. The large mass (weight) and relatively low adhesion strength of copper foil to the substrates would not reliably hold the components in place under even normal use. PCBs were just entering the electronics market, and as with many new technologies was enthusiastically embraced and encouraged by proponents, or vehemently shunned by opponents. Given that transistors had only been invented four years earlier, PCBs of the era incorporated vacuum tube sockets...

A Look Ahead to "Microwaves & RF"

A Look Ahead to "Microwaves & RF" in 2023 - RF CafeI normally might not bother to promote something like this "A Look Ahead to Microwaves & RF in 2023" article, but it has some interesting readership statistics. Editor Dave Maliniac says in part, "In surveying our audience, we've found that you're a digitally savvy and digitally centric crew that uses digital magazines more often than print: 21% of you NEVER subscribes to a print magazine. 72% reads a digital magazine at least every month, if not more often. 35% never attend in-person events while 85% attend virtual events every year. 89% engaged with webinar content. Search is the highest used tool for information collection (70% 'important' or 'very important') and print is of low value (21% 'not important' or 'not important at all')." Add to that my observations in the past about all the hard copy magazines in the mail room trash cans. That's a lot of print advertising $€£¥₹₱ down the drain...

Belmont Model 5P19 Radio Schematic and PL

Belmont Model 5P19 Radio Schematic and Parts List, September 1947 Radio News - RF CafeThis schematic and parts list for the Belmont Model 5P19 vintage radio appeared in a 1947 issue of Radio News magazine. No functional description or tuning instructions were included. I have scanned and posted more than 250 of these for the benefit of the many people who restore and service these vintage radios, and often it can be difficult or impossible to find schematics and/or tuning information. The Belmont 5P19 is a "suitcase" portable radio that runs on batteries or house current. Two, 45 volt "B" batteries are needed to supply 90 volts for the plate bias. A running list of all data sheets is posted at the page bottom to facilitate a search for other radio models...

Major Offshore Wind Project No Longer Viable

Major Offshore Wind Project No Longer Viable - RF CafeModern nuclear power generation would obviate the perceived need for these massive wind and solar farms which are overly expensive to build and maintain. "A major offshore wind project in the Massachusetts pipeline 'is no longer viable and would not be able to move forward' under the terms of contracts filed in May. Both developers behind the state's next two offshore wind projects are asking state regulators to pause review of the contracts for one month amid price increases, supply shortages and interest rate hikes. Utility executives working with assistance from the Baker administration last year chose Avangrid's roughly 1,200-megawatt Commonwealth Wind project and a 400 MW project from Mayflower Wind in the third round of offshore wind procurement to continue the state’s pursuit of establishing cleaner offshore wind power. Contracts, or power purchase agreements (PPAs), for the projects were filed with the Department of Public Utilities in May. But last week, Commonwealth Wind filed a motion..."

The Solar Battery

Solar Battery, October 1954 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAs with so many topics in electronics, nomenclature has changed since the time when commercializable solar cells first came on the scene. Vintage magazines usually referred to them as "solar batteries," which was really a misnomer since they do not actually store energy like a battery. In this 1954 edition of Popular Electronics magazine (the premier issue), solar-to-electricity conversion efficiency rates of 6% are heralded as wonderful, enough to cause the author to claim "...a wafer-thin slab of crystal, 4 ft. x 15 ft., either resting on or built into the roof of a house, could supply enough current to operate all the lights, stove, refrigerator, and other appliances in the house - 24 hours a day." Even with today's efficiencies in the 20-25% realm, you couldn't power much of a house on a 4x15 foot array. Maybe they meant the number would be useful if you had gas-powered lights, refrigerator (yes, they exist), and stove...

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...

Many Thanks to Anatech Electronics for Long-Time 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. 

Sunday the 6th

Radar & Radio Theme Crossword for November 6th

Radar & Radio Theme Crossword Puzzle for November 6th, 2022 - RF CafeThis week's crossword puzzle for November 6th sports a radar and radio theme. All RF Cafe crossword puzzles are custom made by me, Kirt Blattenberger, and have only words and clues related to RF, microwave, and mm-wave engineering, optics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other technical subjects. 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., Reginald Denny or the Tunguska event in Siberia). The technically inclined cruciverbalists amongst us will appreciate the effort. Enjoy!

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!

Many Thanks to Axiom Test Equipment 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!

Friday the 4th

Sprague Capacitors

Sprague Capacitors, December 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeAside from vacuum tubes occasionally going bad, capacitors were undoubtedly the most frequently failing components in television and radio sets. All electronics of the era (and earlier) of this 1954 issue of Radio & Television News magazine had chassis full of high voltages and high temperatures which really strained the integrity of capacitors, especially electrolytic types used in power supplies and plate circuit decoupling circuits. As if a couple hundred volts wasn't challenging enough, TV cathode ray tubes (CRTs) often had bias voltages over 10 kilovolts. Most of us over 60 years old recall at least one instance of a sizzle followed by a loud pop, followed by the television going dark when a capacitor failed. It always seemed to happen at the most intense point of a program. Of course when that kind of failure occurred you knew the set would be out of service for a while since Dad wouldn't be able to fix it by pulling out all the tubes and taking to the hardware to test them all on the automated machine. In our very low income house with five kids, everyone scrambled looking for change in pants pockets and under sofa cushions to help fund a rapid repair...

Passing the Government Examination for Amateur Operator's License

Passing the Government Examination for Amateur Operator's License, October 1931 QST - RF CafeDid you know that the examinations for Amateur Radio Operator licenses were originally conducted by the Commerce Department, and not the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)? The FCC was established with passage of the Communications Act of 1934, which abolished the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) and replaced it with the FCC. The "Act" combined and organized federal regulation of telephone, telegraph, and radio communications. That's right, bureaucracies were renaming and reorganizing themselves even back then in order to expand and increase control and regulatory power. After all, the more segments of society you command, the more opportunities there are for accepting graft, payola, bribes, contributions to political campaigns, etc. But, I digress. When I first wrote this (2016), I was in the process of studying for the Amateur Extra license and am immersed in review of electronics principles, regulations, procedures, band plans, etc. Unlike in 1931, today you can buy a manual that has the entire pool of 700 verbatim exam questions that are used for the test, so in theory, if you can memorize all potential questions and answer...

Weighing the Benefits of Benchtop vs. USB Based TE

Weighing the Benefits of Benchtop vs. USB Based Test Equipment - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, Inc., an electronic test equipment rental and sales company has published a new blog post entitled "Weighing the Benefits of Benchtop vs. USB Based Test Equipment," that explains the differences between benchtop and USB based test equipment to identify the best option for a user's project. The most glaring difference between USB-controlled units and standard benchtop units is usually size. A USB unit fits next to a laptop computer on a small desk while a benchtop unit occupies the better part of a laboratory work area or 6U or more of a standard 19-in.-wide test equipment rack. Another difference between a USB unit and a traditional benchtop unit is the computer. For USB equipment, the computer is part of the test setup, whereas for a benchtop unit, it is an option...

Mini-Radar for Asteroid CubeSat

Mini-Radar for Asteroid CubeSat - RF Cafe"This 10-cm box will make history as the smallest radar instrument to be flown in space - and the very first radar to probe the interior of an asteroid. Its target? The Dimorphos asteroid, which on the night of 26 September had its orbit diverted and a vast 10,000 km plume sent out into space by collision with NASA's DART mission. This radar instrument, connected to a quartet of 1.5 m-long antenna booms, will be flown aboard the aircraft-carry-on-sized Juventas CubeSat, which will in turn be flown to Dimorphos aboard ESA's Hera spacecraft, due to be launched in two years' time. Hera - currently taking shape at OHB in Germany and Avio in Italy - will fly to Didymos to perform a close-up survey of the aftermath of the DART impact, gathering key information such as the size of DART's crater..."

Electronic Crosswords

Electronic Crosswords, October 1963 Electronics World - RF CafeThis Electronic Crosswords puzzle appeared in the October 1963 edition of Electronics World magazine. About half the words used are related directly in some way to electronics or physics. It's a fairly small puzzle so it shouldn't take you too long to complete. My RF Cafe crosswords, by the way, have 100% of the words directly related to the sciences, from a custom lexicon I have created over 20 years of making puzzles. Enjoy...

RF Cascade Workbook

RF Cascade Workbook - RF Cafe RF Cascade Workbook 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...

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.

Thursday the 3rd

Evolution of the Communications Receiver

Evolution of the Communications Receiver, November 1962 Electronics World - RF Cafe Author Maurice Johnson does a pretty nice job sizing up the evolution of communications receivers in his multi-part series in Electronics World magazine. He begins with the pre-World War II radio sets and works up through contemporary models. A major step in the evolution was going from simple heterodyne to superheterodyne frequency conversion; that was actually a WWI innovation. Heterodyne sets usually went from the radio frequency (RF) frequency directly to audio frequency (AF). Superheterodyne included an intermediate frequency (IF) prior to final conversion to audio, which permitted a fixed frequency filtering and amplification stage independent of the received frequency. Also addressed is the superregenerative circuit which greatly improved signal sensitivity. A shift from Morse code (digital) to audio communications drove improvement in detector technology, where the crude coherer type device was of no use...

Electronics-Themed Comics

Electronics-Themed Comics December 1958 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeBeing a big appreciator of good humor, and especially technology-related humor, I made sure to scan these tech-themed comics from the pages of vintage Radio-Electronics magazines. Some of the same themes from half a century ago are still applicable today - like inventing a device that will block television commercials (see the page 132 comic). There are a couple huge differences between then and now, though. For one thing, the percentage of each hour consumed by commercials has doubled or tripled since 1958. A Prime Time TV show in 1958 like The Untouchables ran 54 out of 60 minutes (90% show / 10% commercials). Big Bang Theory, a 2014 show, had a run time of 22 out of 30 minutes (73% show / 36% commercials)...

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.

World's Most Powerful Radio Transmitter

World's Most Powerful Radio Transmitter, February 1954 Radio & Television News - RF CafeIn the early 1950s, the U.S. Navy built what was at the time the world's largest and most powerful radio broadcast transmitter station at the Jim Creek Naval Station on Wheeler Mountain in Washington state. Its 1.2 MW, 24.8-to-35 kHz VLF transmitter (call sign NLK) can reach anywhere in the world, even to submarines. A half wavelength at 24.8 kHz is 19,830 feet. Photos indicate that the transmitter is located in the middle of a dipole arrangement. "Catenary cables," if you are unfamiliar with the term, refers to the sagging shape assumed by both the antenna cables and the tower support cables. "Catenary" stems from the word "chain," since it is the form a chain takes when suspended at both ends and allowed to hang freely in a gravitational field. The hyperbolic cosine function describes it mathematically. It is also the root of the word "concatenate," meaning to string together...

Senior RF Technician Opportunity at RGNext

/2022/Senior-Technician-RF-2604-RGNext-11-3-2022.htm"> Senior RF Technician Opportunity at RGNext - RF CafeRGNext (Range Generation Next) operates, maintains, and sustains mission-critical systems to provide safe and effective launch, testing, and tracking of Department of Defense, civil, commercial, and international space lift vehicles. Our employees serve on the forefront of global defense and space operations. We offer our team of experienced, professional employees an environment of challenging, stimulating and personally and professionally rewarding career opportunities. This /2022/Senior-Technician-RF-2604-RGNext-11-3-2022.htm"> Senior RF Technician position is located at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. Essential functions include operate and maintain electronic test equipment, to include oscilloscopes, RF signal generators, spectrum and network analyzers, power meters, and other test equipment, configure equipment for operations, select the appropriate antennas, calibrate equipment as necessary, and report when system is ready for operation...

Put PEP in Your Antenna Tuner

Put PEP in Your Antenna Tuner, October 1958 Popular Electronics - RF CafeI like the title: "Put PEP in Your Antenna Tuner." For those not familiar with transmitter lingo, PEP is Peak Envelope Power, but of course the word "pep," as in energy, is a clever double entendre. This tuner is for the receive side of operations, so it is not a high power circuit for blasting out signals for DX'ers to hear on the other side of the world. If you aren't averse to building a vacuum tube circuit and happen have a 6AG5 in your parts box, then here's a simple antenna tuner circuit for you. Otherwise, I'm guessing there are many modern, transistorized tuners you can build instead. It appeared in a 1958 issue of Popular Electronics magazine...

Promote Your Company on RF Cafe

Sponsor RF Cafe for as Little as $40 per Month - RF CafeNew Scheme rotates all Banners in all locations on the page! RF Cafe typically receives 8,000-15,000 website visits each weekday. RF Cafe is a favorite of engineers, technicians, hobbyists, and students all over the world. With more than 12,000 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.

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.

Wednesday the 2nd

Evolution in Electronics: Integrated Circuits

Evolution in Electronics: Integrated Circuits, November 1962 Electronics World - RF CafeSixty years ago when this "Evolution in Electronics: Integrated Circuits" article appeared in Electronics World magazine, commercially manufactured (as opposed to in laboratories and small volume production) ICs were at the very beginning of their evolutionary lifetime. It was only 14 years earlier that the transistor's invention first been announced at Bell Labs. Jack Kilby, of Texas Instruments, is credited with having built the first practical integrated circuit in 1958. The Darlington transistor IC was a relatively simple achievement since there were no passive components on the die. A 2-stage amplifier, as shown in figures 2 and 4, with on-chip resistors and capacitors was a big deal at the time...

Mac's Radio Service Shop: A.C.-D.C. Bread and Butter

Mac's Radio Service Shop: A.C.-D.C. Bread and Butter, October 1952 Radio & Television News Article - RF CafeThis installment of Mac's Radio Service Shop, entitled "A.C.-D.C. Bread and Butter," could stand alone as a chapter in a troubleshooting manual for vacuum tube radios. John Frye's (or a trusty consultant's) knowledge of circuit operation is abundantly clear here. Recall that Mr. Frye later authored the Carl & Jerry teenage techno-sleuth series in the next decade. A couple things stood out to me. The first is the heretofore unfamiliar phrase "play hob with," which means to cause trouble for. The second is mention of a metal tuning dial indicator needle making contact with a part of the metal faceplate and thereby affecting the tuning of the radio. What that means is the needle had some level of voltage on it that could short to the chassis. It was not unusual to have very high voltages on the dial and button shafts of user-accessible controls, with only a plastic or phenolic knob or button separating the user from a potentially lethal shock. Safety grounds were not part of the supply line cord, further increasing the danger...

Many Thanks to LadyBug Technologies for Their Continued Support!

LadyBug Technologies RF Power Sensors - RF CafeLadyBug Technologies was founded in 2004 by two microwave engineers with a passion for quality microwave test instrumentation. Our employees offer many years experience in the design and manufacture of the worlds best vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, power meters and associated components. The management team has additional experience in optical power testing, military radar and a variety of programming environments including LabVIEW, VEE and other languages often used in programmatic systems. Extensive experience in a broad spectrum of demanding measurement applications. You can be assured that our Power Sensors are designed, built, tested and calibrated without compromise.

TSMC 2D Nanosheet GAA Transistor

TSMC 2D GAA Nanosheet Transistor - RF CafeGAA = gate all around. "At the 75th IEDM from December 3rd to the 7th in San Francisco, TSMC is giving a paper on a 2D nanosheet GAA transistor. The transistor with a 40 nm gate width produced a drive current of 410 microamps per micron at Vds of 1 V. TSMC uses a transition-metal dichalcogenide monolayer for the semiconducting channel in a nanosheet transistor. TSMC has integrated hafnium-based dielectrics formed by atomic layer deposition with the monolayer TMD material MoS2, to build a top-gated nFET with a physical dielectric thickness of 3.4 nm and an electrically equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) of ~1 nm..."

Principal RF Engineer Opportunity at RGNext

/2022/RF-Engineer-Principal-2599-2000-RGNext-11-1-2022.htm"> RF Engineer Principal - 2599/2000 Opportunity at RGNext - RF CafeRGNext (Range Generation Next) operates, maintains, and sustains mission-critical systems to provide safe and effective launch, testing, and tracking of DoD, civil, commercial, and international space lift vehicles. We offer our team of experienced, professional employees an environment of challenging, stimulating and personally and professionally rewarding career opportunities. This /2022/RF-Engineer-Principal-2599-2000-RGNext-11-1-2022.htm"> Principal RF Engineer position is located at Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA, and may be eligible for a hybrid telecommuting schedule after initial training period is complete. Job Summary: Performs engineering functions to design, develop, modify, integrate and test new subsystems on mono-pulse tracking radars on the Western Test Range at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Will lead an engineering team with the technical aspects of projects and the supporting multi-disciplined project teams...

The Tuning Eye - How It Works

The Tuning Eye - How It Works, January 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAre you old enough to remember - or have you ever heard about - the "cat's eye" on old tube radios that was used for fine tuning of stations? The "eye" was generated by a special type of electron-ray vacuum tube like this 6E5 from RCA. A fluorescent disk at the top of the tube was caused to glow in accordance with the level of control voltage, as shown in figure 2. The electron-ray tube had to be mounted horizontally in the chassis so that the "eye" was visible from the front of the chassis. This article from the January 1955 edition of Popular Electronics magazine also describes how the electron-ray tube can be used as a voltmeter. As with most things, RCA 6E5 vacuum tubes can be found for sale on eBay. The original 1930's "Coke bottle" variety like the one in figure 3 usually cost a bit more than the newer versions with the constant diameter glass envelope...

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 Centric RF for Their Continued Support!

Centric RF microwave components - RF CafeCentric RF is a company offering from stock various RF and Microwave coaxial components, including attenuators, adapters, cable assemblies, terminations, power dividers, and more. We believe in offering high performance parts from stock at a reasonable cost. Frequency ranges of 0-110 GHz at power levels from 0.5-500 watts are available off the shelf. Order today, ship today! Centric RF is currently looking for vendors to partner with them. Please visit Centric RF today.

Tuesday the 1st

White Noise / Its Nature, Generation

White Noise / Its Nature, Generation, and Applications, November 1962 Electronics World - RF CafeAuthor Lon Edwards provided a good introductory lesson on the subject of white noise. Since digital communications was not yet a major technology when the piece appeared in a 1962 issue of Electronics World magazine, pink noise, a pseudorandom version of the truly random nature of white, was not a concept well known in the electronics realm. White noise in the audio spectrum is the focus here, but the general principles apply at all frequencies. Interestingly, he states, "The word 'white' has been borrowed (inaccurately) from optics and is used to mean the long-time average energy distribution of the electrical voltages over a specified frequency spectrum." Solitron Devices (still in business), where Mr. Edwards was employed, manufactured a noise diode they called the Sounvister SD1-W, a double-diffused, silicon junction diode. An Internet search did not turn up a single instance of a surviving Sounvistor...

Many Thanks to Exodus Advanced Communications for Their Support

Exodus Advanced Communications - RF CafeExodus Advanced Communications is a multinational RF communication equipment and engineering service company serving both commercial and government entities and their affiliates worldwide. Power amplifiers ranging from 10 kHz to 51 GHz with various output power levels and noise figure ranges, we fully support custom designs and manufacturing requirements for both small and large volume levels. decades of combined experience in the RF field for numerous applications including military jamming, communications, radar, EMI/EMC and various commercial projects with all designing and manufacturing of our HPA, MPA, and LNA products in-house.

IPP-8111, 20 dB, 150 W Coupler for 2–6 GHz

Innovative Power Products IPP-8111, 20 dB Coupler for 2–6 GHz, 150 W - RF CafeInnovative Power Products (IPP), with more than 30 years of experience designing & manufacturing RF & microwave passive components, is pleased to introduce the IPP-8111, 20 dB directional coupler for 2 to 6 GHz. The IPP-8111 is a unique broadband design which provides separate coupled ports for both forward and reflected signals with internal terminations. This coupler is produced in a surface mount (SMD) package of 0.48" x 0.65" and is available on tape and reel at a competitive price for high volume applications. Its insertion loss is less than 0.35 dB, main line VSWR is less than 1.35:1, coupling value is 20 dB, coupled flatness is ±2.0 dB, and directivity is greater than 17 dB. The IPP-8111 is available for both military and commercial use. View the outline drawings, test data and other details for the IPP-8111...

7031 kHz Author Ray Larson Checks In

7031 kHz, September 1972 QST - RF CafeIncredibly, author Ray Larson saw this post and wrote in with a little background on his motivation for the 7031 kHz article! Back in 2011 when I first posted it, I wrote, "How many 'Old Al' types - the antithesis of an 'Elmer' - are out there who knowingly or unknowingly frustrate others from participating in an otherwise fun activity because he insists on beating up on a trivial topic ad nauseam? You can feel the angst in the author's voice while reading. Ray, are you out there? Is this story real or fictitious? It could easily be either." Well, turns out Al is "out there..."

Creative Ways to Tame EMI

Creative Ways to Tame EMI - RF Cafe"Should circuit designers use shielding, active EMI suppression, or something else to mitigate EMI? Circuit designers want to design the best kinds of circuits with optimum performance. Those designers usually dread having to add a pesky electromagnetic-interference (EMI) filtering circuit to their nice, neat, and creative design. In this article, we will demonstrate some relatively simple EMI blocking circuitry to ease a designer's pain. In today's modern, tight packaging of electronic circuitry, creativity is becoming necessary to ensure EMI shielding. How do we minimize the weight, thicknesses, and cost of shielding in our circuit design? Enter direct-spray EMI coating processes. For instance, there's a direct-spray process known as Ultra-Thin Coating Application Technology or t-CAT..."

Nuvistors and Micro-Modules

Nuvistors and Micro-Modules: New Developments in Miniaturization, June 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeHave you ever heard of a "nuvistor?" I'm not sure whether I had prior to reading this article from the June 1959 issue of Popular Electronics. If I ever used one, I didn't know about it. There is an entry in Wikipedia for the nuvistor. It was supposed to be a real paradigm changer, but alas, that never happened. RCA could have made billions off the concept. The other subject of this article on miniaturization, micro-modules, definitely did gain huge popularity. They are ubiquitous today in the form of multifunction hybrid modules, plug-and-play system elements, mixed signal ICs with stacked die, etc. A nuvistor was used in the front end of the HP3400A True RMS Voltmeter (thanks to Michael M. for that). Also, thanks to Bob Davis for pointing out that the Lafayette HB-400 CB radio sported a Nuvistor in the receiver front end...

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!

Many Thanks to ConductRF for Continued Support!

ConductRF coaxial cables & connectors - RF CafeConductRF is continually innovating and developing new and improved solutions for RF Interconnect needs. See the latest TESTeCON RF Test Cables for labs. ConductRF makes production and test coax cable assemblies for amplitude and phased matched VNA applications as well as standard & precision RF connectors. Over 1,000 solutions for low PIM in-building to choose from in the iBwave component library. They also provide custom coax solutions for applications where some standard just won't do. A partnership with Newark assures fast, reliable access. Please visit ConductRF today to see how they can help your project! 

Monday the 31st

Carl and Jerry: The Hand of Selene

Carl and Jerry: The Hand of Selene, November 1960 Popular Electronics - RF CafeThis "The Hand of Selene" Carl and Jerry adventure appeared in the November 1960 issue of Popular Electronics just in time for Halloween. The magazine would have arrived in mailboxes on newsstands sometime in October. With the great popularity of zombies and the undead these days (in which I personally have zero interest), the scheme outlined here to make the hand of Selene (an Egyptian moon goddess) tap out answers to a soothsayer's questions would be a great scheme to use at a Halloween party. Read on to discover the tech savvy teenagers' clever implementation...

Candyflation - Huge Price Increase for Halloween Candy

Huge Price Increase Halloween Candy - RF CafeJust keep repeating, "There is no inflation. We are not in a recession." The Bloomberg report on Halloween candy cost increases this year surely must be wrong, but I reposted some of them here anyway (see thumbnail). I've dubbed it "Candyflation." Reese's candy is up 35% over a year ago. Twix is up 53%. That's nothing; I just paid $118 for a roll of 14-2 Romex wire that cost about $40-$45 two years ago. Gasoline's gone from $2.10/gallon to north of $4/gallon, depending on where you live. Electricity rates here have gone up >10% in two years and Duke Energy wants another 14% or more. Don't blame it on insane levels of deficit spending the last couple years, though. It can't be infrastructure costs and supply shortages needed to accommodate >5M illegal aliens crossing our southern border in the last two years. Of course not. It's that darn Putin causing all the problems, don't you know! We're being devastated here at RF Cafe.

The Spook - Another Weird Effect to Haunt TV

The Spook - Another Weird Effect to Haunt TV, March 1953 Radio & Television News - RF CafeHow often have we all mistaken "spooks" for Barkhausen oscillations? Yeah, it's embarrassing, but we've all done it. I can't tell you how many times as a kid I saw the tell-tale effects on our old black and white TV and said, "Mom, can you remind Dad to do something about those dang Barkhausen oscillations when he gets home from the newspaper office?" If you believe that line of bull hockey, I've got some waterfront property in the Sahara Desert to sell you. The only thing close to "Barkhausen" I might have known back then was the name of a German beer house on Hogan's Heroes (for which I own the entire DVD set). Anyway, this article, written in the days of over-the-air television broadcasts, presents a solution to the annoying "spook" effect caused by poor oscillator circuit shielding...

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.

Wind Farm Dismantled for Coal Mine Expansion

Wind Farm Dismantled for Coal Mine Expansion - RF CafeHaunting the renewable energy extremists this Halloween is the reality of a need for cheap, reliable electricity. The "renewable" adjective is a farce since once a form of energy is converted to another form it cannot be used again - unless you have a >100% Sterling machine. It is a feel-good term for activists. Faced with a freezing citizenry this winter, we learn: "A wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand the Garzweiler lignite mine. One of eight turbines installed at the location in 2001 has already been removed. Nevertheless, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would phase out coal by 2030, as did RWE, the company that owns the mine." Ach du lieber!

Carl & Jerry: Two Detectors

Carl & Jerry: Two Detectors, February 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeJust in time for Halloween, John T. Frye's teenage sleuths Carl & Jerry unexpectedly recorded a late-night conversation between two men where they plot how to dispose of the "body" when death occurred as a result of prolonged choking. Employing their trademark technical prowess and scheming ability, the pair sets a trap for the perpetrators and dutifully summon the authorities as they complete their nefarious act of the night before. Halloween comes into play because the recordings were made for use in creating sound effects during the reading of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Cask of Amontillado." This story, which appeared in a 1955 issue of Popular Electronics magazine, is a little dark compared to a typical Carl & Jerry story...

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF & Electronics stencils for Visio r4 - RF CafeWith more than 1000 custom-built stencils, this has got to be the most comprehensive set of Visio Stencils available for RF, analog, and digital system and schematic drawings! Every stencil symbol has been built to fit proportionally on the included A-, B-, and C-size drawing page templates (or use your own page if preferred). Components are provided for system block diagrams, conceptual drawings, schematics, test equipment, racks (EIA 19", ETSI 21"), and more. Test equipment and racks are built at a 1:1 scale so that measurements can be made directly using Visio built-in dimensioning objects. Page templates are provided with a preset scale (changeable) for a good presentation that can incorporate all provided symbols...

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.

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